A running icon, a record-breaker and an inspiration.
- American Record Holder in the marathon (2:19.36) and half marathon (1:07.34)
- 2006 ranked #1 in the world in the marathon
- 2006 Winner London marathon
- 2005 Winner Chicago marathon
- 2004 Olympic Bronze medalist, Marathon
- Has held 12 American records in various distances
We caught up with Deena in the mountains of Mammoth, California, to get her insight on the running life—from the first steps through the long run.
Do you have any advice for beginner runners?
"First, thank goodness you found this sport.
My advice would be to find a community of support—whether it’s your family, a coaching program, or a team you meet up with on Sundays to get in your long runs. It is important to find that support system.
If you can’t find that support system, then build it within yourself. Keep a journal and encourage yourself each day to get out there. Create a goal and then believe that you’re deserving of accomplishing it."
How do you set goals for training?
"For me, it’s all about showing up each day to put in the work. My intention is just to get the best out of myself everyday.
When training for a race, it isn’t just a race I want to do. The race doesn’t matter. It’s the days leading up to it that count and the journey it takes you on."
How do you push through challenging moments?
"I think it’s natural to be scared of the challenges that come up while racing. Years ago, I’d find myself tensing up in those moments, and I would think, 'Oh no, here it is, this is the time where I crumble and my dreams start slipping away.'
Now when I feel that way in the middle of a workout or a race, I start to get excited—because the moments when we start to struggle are the moments when we get closer to being the athlete that we are striving to be."