With These 3 Items, You’ll Be Running as Fast as a Pro

With These 3 Items| You’ll Be Running as Fast as a Pro

Let’s talk a little about the legacy of Joan Benoit Samuelson. In 1983 (at the age of 26)| she set the women’s marathon world record for her finish time of 2:22:43 at the Boston Marathon u2014 a course record that would not be bested for 11 years. Then| one year later and just three months after having knee surgery| she became the gold medal winner of the first Olympic women’s marathon. Fast-forward to today| and you’ll still find Joan coming up on top. This year| Joan| 56| finished the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:52:10 (that’s a 6:34 mile for those counting)| placing first in her age division.

If you run| it’s hard not to be inspired by the perseverance and passion that Joan exhibits in the sport. And because it can’t hurt to learn from the best| we wanted to know what her absolute must haves are when she hits the trail (and the one thing she always leaves behind).

Source: Thinkstock

| Love It: Goals

“”The first must have [in running] is a goal. You need to set a goal for yourself|”” says Joan. It’s a belief that has stuck with Joan her entire career. Case in point: During the 1998 Olympic marathon trials| at the age of 50| she hit her goal of running a mid-2:50s marathon after her retirement from competitive running (which happened in 1991). Her time of 2:49:08 set a new US record in the 50+ age category.

Whether you’re just starting out or on your 10th marathon| Joan advises to set your sights on an end goal. It can be finishing every run with a smile| completing your first 5k| or hitting a new marathon personal record.

| Love It: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus

If you look at photos from Joan in the ’80s to those of today| one thing remains a constant: Nike. Like many runners| Joan keeps pace wearing Nike Air Zoom Pegasus ($100). Now in its 31st year of production| the neutral trainer is built to cushion the foot| even after clocking in serious mileage.

| Love It: Coffee

Believe it or not| Joan didn’t start drinking coffee until she was 50| but now she won’t do a long run without first enjoying a cup. Calling it her “”performance-enhancing drug of choice|”” she credits coffee for giving her runs an extra edge. She’s right| too. Recent studies indicate that having caffeine before a workout increases endurance and can also ease post-workout muscle soreness.

| Leave It: Music

One thing Joan always leaves at home are her earbuds. Running without music may seem unfathomable to many| but Joan says she never listens to music when running. While music can be key when it comes to motivation| taking a break can better allow you to focus on the sound of your breath and foot strike. It also keeps you more aware of your surroundings| whether that be oncoming cars| runners| or cyclists. If you usually run with music| challenge yourself to do the occasional workout without a playlist| and instead of the songs| let the run energize you.