I have a love/hate relationship with Ryan Hall.
In 2005, watching him run away with the NCAA 5000 meters at the Outdoor Track and Field Championships was so inspiring…and then from there it seemed that every race he entered was an awesome display of gutsy and inspired running.
But, as a fan of the sport, we also had to endure months on end without a glimpse of Ryan Hall. And, while that’s probably what was needed for him to be as great as he was, it was tough as a fan to swallow.
But there is no doubt that Ryan Hall is the greatest American-born marathoner in US history. His 2:06 debut at London was tremendous, as was his wind-aided 2:04 at Boston.
The thing that I learned from Ryan Hall is how specific the marathon is. Did he do VO2 Max sessions and sprinting, etc.? Yes.
But, his main session for the marathon was always the long tempo run at marathon pace / effort. Dialing into marathon pace / effort in training is key to being prepared for the marathon on race day.
We say it all of the time, running is a simple sport, don’t over-complicate it, but we do.
Ryan Hall kept it simple…every two weeks he ran a long, continuous, tempo run at marathon race / effort…and until the end of his career, Ryan Hall was always prepared for his marathons.