Meb Keflezighi is an icon for American distance runners. Now with only two marathons remaining in his career, New York in the fall and Boston on Monday, we are thankful to have had the opportunity to chat with him about working with Skechers on his signature GOMeb shoes and his preparations for the upcoming race.
Q: How does it feel to have your own signature shoes?
It’s a tremendous honor and a testament to the strong relationship I have with Skechers. I grew up without shoes, so to now have a line of GOMeb shoes, is unbelievable. I am thankful to Skechers and the running community for embracing the opportunity and the line of shoes.
Q: Can you give our customers some background on how long you’ve been involved with Skechers and how you collaborate with shoe production?
I started running for Skechers in 2011. I ran 400 miles in the shoes prior to signing a sponsorship contract to confirm that I had the confidence to endorse the shoes and run personal bests. I’ve worked very closely with Kurt Stockbridge on developing the GOMeb line of shoes. It is an honor to have my opinion and perspective valued by a company like Skechers. I gave feedback on cushion, flexibility, response, and lightness throughout the evolution of the GOMeb Speed shoes. Winning Boston in GOSpeed 3 was very special, because I was so involved in the development process.
Q: What input did you have in the development process of the GOMeb Razor?
I wanted something between racing shoes (GOMeb speed) and trainers (Strada). I wanted something that people can train with and race in tough courses. More cushioning was very important.
Q: What do you like about the GOMeb Razor? What kinds of races and workouts do you like to do in the Razor?
I like to run tempos and interval workouts in Razor. I like the support and more cushioning for workouts. This year, I’ll have run the Gasparilla Half Marathon and the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon in the GOMeb Razor. I will also race the Boston Marathon with the GOMeb Razor.
Q: What do you like about the GoMeb Speed 4? What kinds of races and workouts do you like to do in the Speed 4?
Very similar to the how I use the Razor. I use the GOMeb Speed 4 for tempos and intervals and races. Prior to the GOMeb Razor, most of my races were run in the GOMeb Speed.
Q: How are your preparations for Boston going?
My training right now is steadily building toward the level of fitness I want to have on race day. As in years past, I am training at altitude in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Every year it’s a different motivation to get the best out of myself. This year, it is very special to be training for my last competitive Boston Marathon.
Q: What is your favorite workout that you have done or will do leading up to Boston?
Tempo runs are my favorite workout and I consider them one of the most important parts of my training. Tempos tell me when I’m ready for race day.
Q: Do you have a song that really pumps you up for racing?
I like to listen to Eminem’s Lose Yourself on race morning. You’ve got one shot, one opportunity to make the most of race day.
Q: What is your go-to race day nutrition regimen?
On race morning, I usually eat a bagel with honey and a banana. I drink Generation UCAN’s protein mix for recovery. For snacks after the race or when I am traveling, I like Krave Jerky.
Q: What is a quote or mantra that you go to in your head as you prepare for Boston?
I always tell myself, “Run to Win.” To me, “winning” is not only defined as placing first. It means doing the best you can, no matter how challenging the conditions are. When I get toward the end of a race and start to feel the effects of a difficult exertion, this is what I tell myself. I’ve learned that you can always do more than you expect, even when the pain and self-doubt seem overwhelming.
Q: Random question, what is your spirit animal?
I don’t know. Maybe an Eagle, or a Deer. Or if it’s an animal in water, then a Dolphin.
Q: Running the Boston Marathon is a dream that many runners hope to achieve in their lifetime. What is one piece of advice you would give to anyone who has his or her sights set on Boston in the future?
I would tell runners to approach Boston with patience. Boston has an important place in our sport. The first time I ran Boston, my goal was to win. But guess what? Another eight years went by before I finally achieved victory. I had overcome injuries and a lot of setbacks. Staying persistent and never giving up is the key. So whether you are trying to qualify for Boston, or run a personal best in Boston, be patient with yourself. With a race as special as Boston, it is always worth it.
Thank you, Meb for inspiring all of us and good luck at Boston!
Want to run in the shoe Meb will wear while racing Boston?
Jenny is a marathon mom in every sense of the word. Not only does she run marathons, but she is constantly running around with her two kids, helping to teach them the value of an active lifestyle.