Although Ryan Vail is obviously no stranger to the running scene, Vail will run his first marathon at the olympic trials on January 14th, 2012. Vail is incredibly grateful to all of his sponsors and wife who support him so that he is able to chase after his olympic dreams full-time, and he plans to hold nothing back in Houston. He says that he’s determine to not to let the 12 weeks of hard training go to waste!
Runners Feed: Take us through a typical day of your life…
Ryan Vail: Training takes up the bulk of my day. I wake up, eat a light breakfast, and head out for my first run for the day. This will usually be followed by either drills and strides or a long core session and stretching. After lunch I have a few free hours, and I spend those in a number of ways. I might read, study foreign language, play Mario, nap, or do household chores. I’m a house husband, so there is always plenty to do. I cook most week nights since my wife works, and I tend to get creative. I’ll do my second training session in the mid to late afternoon and then finish preparing dinner. Most evenings are pretty low key, but my wife and I do like to enjoy all the music, theater, and food that Portland has to offer.
RF: Do you work full or part-time while training? If so, what do you do? If not, what has kept you afloat while you pursue your dream?
RV: Currently I am training full time. I was working part-time at a local running store, Fit Right NW in Portland, but I decided to focus on my marathon preparation full-time. Marathon training is time consuming and exhausting. I have been very fortunate to be able to pursue this dream full-time thanks to a sponsorship from Brooks. They started supporting me immediately following my graduation from Oklahoma State, and it has been a great experience. Being a somewhat smaller company, it has a very personal feel to it. We are dealing directly with Brooks employees that live and breath running and have a genuine interest in our success. There are a lot of Brooks athletes qualified for the trials, and Brooks is putting a lot of effort into supporting us and creating a team-like atmosphere in Houston.
I have also been fortunate to be part of the Powerbar Team Elite. Powerbar supports numerous athletes by providing us with the nutritional supplies necessary for training. Nutrition and hydration can be expensive when training for a marathon, and Powerbar has allowed me to have full access to all the products I need for training and race day.
RF: When the going gets tough on the 14th what will keep you gunning for the finish line?
RV: This is my first marathon, so it’s hard to quite grasp how tough those last miles are going to be. There is a lot on the line, so I don’t think motivation is going to be an issue. It’s the Olympic Trials. I will also be thinking about the 12 weeks of hard training that I cannot let go to waste.
RF: What will you eat the night before?
RV: They will be serving dinner to athlete’s at the meet hotel the night before the race, so I will eat whatever is served there. I’m sure there will be some pasta which has typically been a favorite of mine the night before. My stomach can take pretty much anything, so it’s not something I will stress too much about as long as I don’t overdo it.
RF: Race day shoes?
RV: I’m going to be wearing a version of the Brooks ST 5. Brooks made a great lightweight flat in the T7, but the concrete at Houston is a bit of a concern for me. I wanted a shoe with a little more cushioning to it. Brooks put the effort into making me an non-posted ST, so that pair will be on my feet race day.