[00:00:00] I’ve said it before, but I want to go back on my statement a little bit. I’ve said don’t do what the pros do because you simply can’t keep up with the pros. But that isn’t entirely the truth. And today I want to talk about Galen Rupp’s routine in his diet and recovery to get him to run faster.
[00:00:30] If you haven’t been on the channel before, I’m Jesse Funk. This is a show I call Runner’s High where we talk about everything running, including Galen Rupp’s diet and recovery routine. So if you’re into running, hit subscribe. Stick around for more videos that come out every Tuesday and Thursday. So I saw this article recently from GQ where they interviewed Galen Rupp.
Now, if you don’t know who Galen Rupp is, he’s the Steve Prefontaine of our times, basically at least the closest thing to it. Obviously, he doesn’t have quite as many records as Steve had when he was alive in that time period. But he’s basically our our modern running superhero, four-time Olympian, silver medalist and the 10,000 bronze medalist in the marathon at the Olympics.
[00:01:17] So needless to say, Galen’s got some chops mid thirties at the time of shooting this video and he has done. A lot of different distances and done well in a lot of them. And there are a lot of things that he can share with us about how we should approach our own recovery and diet, especially as we age, that aren’t specific just to being a pro.
[00:01:42] One of the things I really loved the interviewer asked Galen about in this article was “How do you take mental breaks from running?” Because unlike us mortals, Galen often maintains 100 plus mile weeks, which is tasking on anybody, but especially somebody trying to be at the top of their form consistently from year to year. And you have to be able to give yourself mental breaks to get away from the sport so that you can maintain that high level when you are in it. You need to be fresh.
[00:02:14] And it really came down to something very simple, something we see a lot nowadays, but I don’t think we always pay attention to. And what Galen goes on to describe is actually mindfulness being present in the moment with whatever you’re doing. I know this is something that I’ve struggled with and had to find my own strategies to adapt over the years, in particular because I think I have undiagnosed ADHD, high functioning.
If you are like me, it’s not a problem unless it hinders your life. So often you go undiagnosed. In any case, being present with what you’re doing and focusing on this moment right now allows your brain to recover from that thing, that running or whatever that stressful event is.
[00:03:09] So maybe you’re doing some other kind of workout or work is stressful. That’s kind of where entertainment and relaxation comes in. For me, maybe I’m playing a video game or writing music, playing my violin, whatever it is. Sometimes just vegging out, not doing anything and letting my mind be still. Galen suggestion is simple on the surface, but sometimes difficult in practice. Despite that, I think it’s very worthwhile to try to practice it, to try to be mindful, because it allows you, again, that mindspace to get away from running and be fresh when you come back to it.
[00:03:50] He goes on to mention in the article that. What does he do for his diet? How does he treat his diet? And he mentions that it’s changed over the years, especially as he gets older. He’s not able to tolerate as much junk. And I think that’s something that all of us find. And if you’re still young, as far as running is concerned, teens to twenties, you can usually get away with a little bit more than as people get older.
He mentions that as well and talks about eating like we would think lots of whole foods, things that aren’t processed. And he credits his wife for being an excellent cook in helping him in that department. As you might imagine, if you’re running 100 miles a week, you’re probably pretty tired and you need somebody on your team to help you out.
[00:04:40] He does, however, say that one of his vices is pizza and it’s hard to get away from. There’s the maxim he mentions of “If the fire’s hot enough, it’ll burn anything”. And I think sometimes we use that as an excuse to eat junk, eat poorly, and not follow our our real gut when we know, hey, this may not be the best thing for me. He mentions it somewhat in jest, as in, I don’t think that’s true anymore. I’m putting words in his mouth. But that’s the undercurrent, that’s the undertone, that’s reading between the lines of what he’s saying there.
[00:05:20] Now, that being said, I actually have a suggestion from my friend Barb Lindquist, who’s a former pro triathlete, 2004 Olympian. She always says 90-10. So if you eat well, 90% of the time, that 10% of the time you have a treat, probably not a big deal. So if you’re like Galen and you love pizza, it’s okay to have pizza. Just don’t have pizza every night. Have it every once in a while.
Because again, as Galen mentions in the article, you need some amount of moderation for sanity when you become really, really strict. That is another stressor on you and can make things more difficult than if you allow yourself a little treat here and there. It’s kind of like a mental release valve.
[00:06:10] One of the last things that Galen mentions in the article is that things change as he’s gotten older in terms of training and recovery. He mentions how he doesn’t really feel like he has to do things the same way as when he was younger. And I find this comment a lot, especially when you get articles from, say, people who are setting new master’s records. They talk about avoiding injury, which often means decreasing mileage, reducing the days of speedwork that you’re doing, and then increasing strength work.
[00:06:45] So Galen mentions, and I believe as well, the longer you’ve been doing it, typically the better your cardiovascular system is going to be. You have that base under you. It’s kind of like conventional wisdom. I don’t have a scholarly article to point to at this very moment, but feel free to check that out to verify me if you’d like to. So your cardiovascular system gets better, but your ability to produce top-end speed starts to go down.
So you have to spend more and more time on that proportionately. Whereas like now, I’m not spending as many days doing Speedwork as I was in college, but I also can’t tolerate as many miles and don’t recover as quickly. But I am spending more time weight training now to keep my high end power up and to keep my overall strength up because again, as we age, it decreases.
[00:07:39] So as I mentioned in the very beginning of this video, I often suggest not trying to mimic the pros. And I think that has more to do with don’t try to run their schedule. Don’t try to run their workouts unless you’re another pro and you want to give it a go. If you are just out for fun, if you are trying to even get just sub elite, which would be like sub 17, then you probably still don’t need to mimic the pros. You need to figure out what’s good for you.
[00:08:09] However, there are things like thinking about diet, thinking about recovery, thinking about mindfulness, and how to prep our minds for good workouts, good race days. Those are things I think we can take directly from pros and apply to our lives because they don’t take the same kind of physical toll that, say, a pro workout might, but they can have the same recovery benefits that they’re going to get as professionals to us, as amateurs.
[00:08:43] So do you have any questions for me that you’d like to see answered in a future video? Leave them in the comments below. Subscribe. So you get to see it as well, and I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.