Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall takes time from vacation to talk running philosophy with local prep athletes

Published: Tuesday, July 8 2014 8:15 p.m. MDT

Ryan Hall said his father’s advice is the basis for the career he’s built.

He shared those tidbits of philosophy throughout the morning as he told the runners what his training routine looked like, how he feels about nutrition and how he views competition.

He asked his father to speak to the group before they took off on a mile and a half warm-up jog near the Wasatch County Fairgrounds. He said he ascribes to the “inspiration before perspiration” philosophy.

Ryan Hall said he’s learned from experience that encouraging others to do their best helps him as well.

“I found as I was encouraging people, it was actually lifting my spirit,” he said of going from 40th place to 10th place in the Beijing Olympic Marathon. “It wasn’t my best day ever, but encouraging people really helped me along the way out there.”

Both men talked a lot about perspective and why it allowed one to enjoy the journey regardless of the outcome.

“To find fulfillment in running, fulfillment in life, it cannot be based on comparison,” Ryan Hall said after having lunch with the group. “At least that’s what I’ve experienced. Even comparing myself to myself … it always leads me to frustration, always leads to depression and not feeling good. … That does not mean you can’t compete. As my dad said, ‘Competition is not about beating other people.’ It’s about me pushing myself, me getting everything out of me that God put inside of me. And I can do that every single day, whether I’m feeling good or not. I can always give 100 percent of what I have that day. I can’t always get a personal best, but I can always give my best. I think that’s the most fulfilling way to run. I think that’s the most fulfilling way to live.”

Wasatch senior Josh Collins said he was grateful to the Halls for their time.

"I learned a lot about just keeping your focus on being your best rather than beating other people," he said. His teammate, senior Bronwyn Taylor, admitted she didn't know who Hall was before Monday's workout and lunch.

"It was amazing," she said of the experience. "He was really inspirational. It's cool how he's such a good person and a good runner, and it made you really think about things. I learned running is a blessing and helping other people is a tenfold blessing."

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