New York City Marathon Winner and Olympic Silver Medalist Meb Keflezighi Joins The ElliptiGO Project

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Top U.S. Marathoner and “Cross-Training King” Becomes the Project’s Newest Member

Meb training on the ElliptiGO

My experience in Houston really solidified my belief in the power and necessity of cross-training for runners, and that’s how I came to find the ElliptiGO.

The ElliptiGO Project, a group of elite athletes focused on using innovative training tools and techniques to improve performance, today announced that 2009 New York City Marathon champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi has become the 21st member of the Project. Considered by many to be the top U.S. distance runner for the past decade, Meb has aligned himself with the Project in order to better leverage the ElliptiGO in his marathon training.

Meb refers to himself as the “cross-training king” because cross-training has been a core element of his marathon preparations for the past several years. The three-time Olympian, who is now 37, cites cross-training as one of the factors that has enabled him to enjoy such longevity in the sport: “It provides an ideal way for me to get in a cardio workout without stressing my body with another run.”

Recently, Meb had an unexpected benefit from his years of cross-training that came to light on the national stage. At the 2011 NYC Marathon, he forgot to apply his nasal breathing strip at the starting line. Instead, it remained in his shoe while he ran, slowly tearing up his foot during the race. Meb crossed the finish line with deep slices in his foot, yet he still ran a personal best of 2:09:13 and finished 6th in the field. In a normal year, he could have simply waited until these cuts had healed before resuming training. However, 2012 was an Olympic year and the U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials were scheduled to take place just 69 days after the NYC Marathon.

“Cross-training has been a big part of my normal training regime throughout my career. With my infected foot, I couldn’t run for several weeks, so there was no way I could rely on run training to prepare me for the Trials,” Meb recalled. “Since I was in such great shape during the 2011 NYC Marathon, I believed I could rely on cross-training to maintain my fitness until the Trials even if I wasn’t running. But I was nervous because even cross-training was limited because of the infection in my foot. I really didn’t know what to expect when I got to the starting line.”

Meb’s unorthodox approach worked better than anyone could have imagined. He not only won the marathon by upsetting defending champion Ryan Hall, he ran the fastest marathon of his life. “I really couldn’t believe it,” Meb explained. “I knew I had a very good shot to make the Olympic team by finishing in the top three, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to run the fastest marathon of my life, especially on such a course with so many turns.” His 2:09:08 finish ensured him a trip to London and established him as the oldest winner of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in history.

“My experience in Houston really solidified my belief in the power and necessity of cross-training for runners,” stated Meb. “And that’s how I came to find the ElliptiGO.” He had heard of other athletes using the ElliptiGO in their training, but he didn’t initially think it would be any better than regular cycling. “Once I tried it, however, the advantages became obvious. Most importantly, it’s very similar to running, so I can really get my heart rate up, which is critical for my training.”

Meb is incorporating the ElliptiGO into his training with the goal of continuing to improve his marathon performances. “I’m looking forward to the 2013 season with great anticipation and I’m excited to see how well I can do now that I’ve got the ElliptiGO as part of my running program. My first major test will be the Boston Marathon in April and I’m planning on running New York again in November.”

As the newest member of the Project, Meb joins an elite group of runners, including:

  •     Magdalena Lewy Boulet, 2008 US Olympic Marathoner
  •     Julie Culley, 2012 US Olympic 5,000-meter runner
  •     Lauren Fleshman, 2-Time US National Champion in 5,000 meters
  •     Adam Goucher, Olympian and 5-time US National Champion
  •     Simon Gutierrez, 3-time Masters Mountain Running World Champion
  •     Dean Karnazes, Badwater Ultramarathon winner
  •     Christine Kennedy, 2011 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year
  •     Brian Pilcher, 2011 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year, M55-59
  •     Chelsea Reilly, 2012 US Road 10K Champion
  •     Neely Spence, 8-time NCAA Div. II National Champion

To join the Project, elite athletes are required to have an inspiring running-related goal that they want to accomplish in the next two years and want to authentically integrate new training tools and techniques in order to help them achieve their goal. In addition, athletes must be willing to share their training and results with other members of the Project. Each athlete will use tools like the ElliptiGO in a slightly different way, so a major benefit to the team members is being able to communicate with each other and learn new ways to incorporate these devices into their own workout regimens.

The Project is currently recruiting elite athletes with ambitious goals who are interested in exploring innovative new ways of getting faster and staying healthy. For more information about The ElliptiGO Project, visit the website at http://www.theelliptigoproject.com.

About The ElliptiGO Project
The ElliptiGO Project exists to make runners faster through innovation. It is currently growing membership, adding new innovative running tools, and affiliating with other organizations that share the same goal of improving athletes’ performance through innovation. The Project tests new training techniques through competition, both on the track and on the road, and reports its findings with candor. http://www.theelliptigoproject.com

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Erika Dessert
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