Sara Hall is one of the best runners in the world today, having won the national 5k road championship and the prestigious Fifth Avenue Mile here in New York City. She also earned four runner-up finishes in NCAA championship track races while running for Stanford, where she met her husband, marathoner Ryan Hall.
Together, Ryan and Sara make one of the most athletic and inspirational couples you'll ever meet. We talked to Sara about her passion for running, visualization, their Steps Foundation, and more.
MBG: What do you love about running?
SH: I fell in love with running in middle school when I was exploring the trails in a large state park across the street from my house. There was something so freeing about being able to chart my own course, and I also was driven to run a set course faster each time out. I won my first race, and loved the thrill of the sprint finish. To this day, these are still things I love about running. I also loved that it was an individual sport. I played soccer and basketball growing up, but I loved how with running, I was solely responsible for how well I did. I loved seeing the direct correlation between my hard work and performances. And mostly, I love running because I believe God created me with a gift to do it, and when I'm running, I feel like I'm doing one of the things I was made to do.
Any beginner tips for someone who is just getting started?
You have to know that it will take some time before you "get over the hump" and actually start enjoying your runs. It is painful at first, but the pain will get less and less as you get fitter and you will actually enjoy the very act of running. I would suggest picking a goal race to get you out the door when you're tired or in unideal conditions. And I believe when you dedicate that race to a charity, it makes that race even more meaningful and motivating! That's why we started The Hall Steps Foundation.
How does goal setting and visualization play a role in your training?