DW: How long have you been running?
RV: almost 20 years
DW: How many marathons have you completed?
DW: What was your best performance?
RV: 2:39 @ 2006 NYC Marathon
DW: Why do you think that was your best?
RV: Was a PR by over 6 minutes; Top 130 in race overall (40,000 finishers)
DW: Have you done any ultra marathons?
RV: not yet
DW: Can you talk a little bit about your training? Do you use music when you train and race? How do you train speed? Do you strength train for lower-body sports performance?
RV: I always listen to music when training. it totally adds to the idea of “escaping from life,” which is how I view exercise.
DW: How often do you do speed work and at what point in your training do you start?
RV: I try to get 2 speed days in and try to start 4 months prior to race day.
DW: How has the book “Born to Run” impacted the sport of distance running in your opinion?
RV: I think it has definitely sparked more of an interest and created a larger running community. With that said, I don’t think everyone is built for marathoning or bare foot running and the illusion created by the book may lead to injuries down the road.
DW: What do you think of the Pose Method?
RV: I have only really read about it but have not taken any type of instructional course. I do find it interesting and think there may be some vailidity. My only oppositon would be that everyone does not biomechanically move the same so it may not be applicable to everyone, as advertised. Also, some of the best runners in the worlds have terrible gaits but somehow seem to function when performing.
DW: I know you qualified for the Tough Mudder Championship race. How are you training for that? Did you add anything new or different? When is that race?
RV: The race is in December. I’m currently doing a lot of strength training but will transition into power training in August, and then endurance training from October to December. The challenge in programming for such a race is that you don’t know what the obstacles will be yet so I am planning on just manipulating body weight movements in order to become as efficient as possible.
DW: Do you have a role model or favorite athlete?
RV: The late Greta Waitz
DW: Lastly, what’s next for you? And what advice would you give to all the marathon trainees out there?
RV: I’m looking to transition into trail running. Road running is great but the training for trails is so much more interesting and I think it will take my performance to the next level. In July, looking to do “Running with the Devil” a 90 minute race up & down a ski mountain.