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Ryan Hall, who was America’s top marathoner from 2007 to 2011 before abruptly retiring from competitive running in 2016 at age 33, said today he is back to training—but he does not know if he would define it as serious or not.
He wants to get back into shape to be able to run a 2:18 marathon or a 1:07 half marathon, which would make him fit enough to be able to pace his wife, Sara Hall, during training. She will be a top contender at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in February in Atlanta.
Sara Hall first hinted at her husband’s return to running in an Instagram post, saying he has “already gotten in ridiculously good shape.” Hall clarified his wife’s comments in text messages to Runner’s World.
Currently, he does not have any races on the calendar, he wrote. While he builds up training, he plans to continue his regimen of lifting heavy weights, so he can “deadlift 400 pounds, squat 350 and bench 250.” He is not eyeing competing against “the running fellas unless they want to do an arm wresting match,” he wrote.
Hall, 37, still holds the American record in the half marathon (59:43), which he set in 2007 in Houston. He ran the 2011 Boston Marathon in 2:04:58, the fastest time ever by an American, but the point-to-point course is not record-eligible.
In subsequent years, he struggled with injuries and fatigue and went through numerous coaching changes, but his fans hoped he would regain his early form. Hall’s 2016 retirement announcement came as a shock to many. He cited chronically low testosterone and extreme fatigue as the reasons for his decision, and he embarked on an ambitious weight-lifting program to boost his energy levels.
Hall is his wife’s coach, and she recently ran 2:22:16 at the Berlin Marathon. Together, they have four daughters they adopted from Ethiopia, and the older two are competitive runners.
When asked today if he was considering easing off the weights to see how fast he could be, Hall replied, “Not at the moment.”
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