To run 26.6 miles competitively, Olympic runner Shalane Flanagan must log a ton of miles in training for the classic event.
“I run 115 miles a week,” Flanagan tells Us Weekly. “I’m running twice a day for 80 minutes in the morning and 40-48 minutes in the evening.”
Naturally that amount of running gets exhausting, so the 35-year-old makes sleep a top priority.
“In between running, I get into the gym and maybe get a massage," she says. "It’s really important to get a nap in for at least two hours a day. Even if I don’t sleep, just to lie down and close my eyes.”
Flanagan has also found help with Hotshot, a scientifically proven muscle cramp treatment.
“That is really prevalent in these endurance events. My training partner, Amy Cragg, and I tried it prior to Trials and we felt like it made a difference. So, we take Hotshot before hard, long training sessions and before we race," she tells Us. "That’s a new component to my training to prevent cramping. It’s nice to take cramping out of the equation."
As she prepares to race on Sunday, August 14, in her fourth Olympics, Flanagan has put more pressure on herself compared to past Games.
“In my first Olympics in Athens in 2004, I had no idea what I was getting into, and it was a really overwhelming situation, in an incredible way,” she says. “I didn’t have goals or dreams of medals. It was more of a celebration, to just be a part of the Olympics and to celebrate my hard work. For the next one, I had my sights set on a medal. Each one has evolved as I’ve grown older and my expectations of myself have gotten higher. The first one was more laid-back and there’s more pressure now. But I always say that pressure is a privilege. Each one is as exciting as the other, but there’s more of an excitement to perform versus just be there.”
The 10,000-meter bronze medalist from the 2008 Olympics has her sights set on getting back to the podium.
“I have two goals left. The first is to earn another Olympic medal. To just get one is incredible. As a little girl I just wanted to go to the Olympics, never even thinking I would get a medal. Especially to medal in the marathon because there’s something magical, sexy and cool about the distance — it’s one of the oldest events in the Olympics," Flanagan says. "And then my other goal is to win the Boston Marathon. Those are the two things left on my bucket list that would really blow my mind. They’re really hard goals, but that’s what makes it exciting, to try to attain something that seems somewhat impossible."
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