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7 Gems of Running Wisdom From Elite Runners

Marathon season is in full effect with the Chicago Marathon happening this weekend! (Any readers doing it or going out to cheer?!) Chicago is one of those iconic — and flat and fast — courses that so many runners love. Per our ambassadorship with Brooks Running, we recently got to sit in on a chat with two uber elite runners on the Brooks team — Amy Hastings and Bobby Curtis — and ask them pretty much anything we wanted about training, racing, fueling and gear.

They’re both planning on running the Chicago Marathon like a boss, and it was fascinating to get into their brains! While the whole conversation was pretty darn awesome, here are seven gems of running wisdom that really stuck out. Whether you’re gearing up to run a marathon or even just a lap around the block, hopefully these quotes inspire you as much as they did us!

Running Wisdom From Amy Hastings and Bobby Curtis

1. Do what you can to zone out and relax before a race. Both runners said that they try to relax as much as possible before their race, which means mindless TV watching. And not just any TV. Amy says the more guilty pleasure the show is the better. So … four hours of “Say Yes to the Dress”? Yep, totally okay. Good for you even. (You heard it here first, folks!)


2. Know that there’s always a good mile ahead of you. “There are always going to be good and bad miles. If in a bad one, know there’s a good one ahead,” Amy says. Yep, that one also applies to life’s ups and downs.

3. Know what you want out of your race and adjust your training accordingly. Bobby says that it’s important to think about what you want to accomplish on race day and work backwards from that. If it’s to go hard and run fast, train for that. If it’s to feel good and enjoy the process, incorporate that into your attitude and schedule when training. Decide on what you want to accomplish on race day and then plan your training based on that goal, he recommends.


4. Have a motto. Amy’s favorite that she got from a coach? “I breathe in strength; I breathe out weakness.” She says this to herself as she runs like the wind.

5. Rethink breakfast. Who says breakfast has to mean a bagel or a banana? Both Amy and Bobby swear by non-traditional breakfast foods as their pre-race meal. Rice, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs … no matter what it is, just make sure it’s food your body is used to and that you know it runs well on.


6. Stay fresh for your race. The best piece of advice Bobby ever got was from a coach who said: “Keep your training al dente. Don’t overcook yourself.” Like Amy’s good miles and bad miles analogy, Bobby says it inspires him in all areas of his life to find just the right balance and stay focused.

7. Have fun with it. Amy and Bobby both say that come race day the No. 1 thing you should do is to HAVE FUN!

Good luck this weekend, Amy and Bobby, and everyone else running a marathon or race of any kind! Thanks for dropping the running wisdom on us! —Jenn

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  1. chanelle says:

    I’m not a runner but I think these are great ideas for the race of life.

  2. These are really good advice! The fundamental wisdom of running is to stay hydrated! Water,thanks. GP

  3. I don’t have a motto but when things get a little tough I say “boom chugga lugga boom chugga lugga” in time with my steps until my mind clears out any thoughts of quitting.

  4. Nicholas says:

    You definitely have to have fun with it, if you don’t enjoy what’s the point – just do something else lol!? Number 5 stands out for me and matches my views on a wider spectrum, find out what works for you. Everyone is different so the way you train, improve and perform should be optimised to you.

  5. Alexander says:

    I joined a 21-km marathon run last week. It was fun but the run did kill both my legs and I have to rest 24 hours to get recovered. I will try some of your tips next time!

  6. Andrea says:

    Yeah these are good tips, seriously avoid overtraining, eat well and stay mentally fresh.

  7. George says:

    Just perfect. You have really shared some good gems in this article.
    Keep sharing such articles.

  8. Roger says:

    Thank you for posting these great running tips.

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