Expert Interview with Olympian Galen Rupp

 
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How Galen Rupp became a running Zen-master.

“Does your mind have control over you or are you going to have control of your mind?” -Galen Rupp

Galen Rupp has racked up more accomplishments in his short 32-year life than one can count. Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000-meters at the London Olympics, bronze medalist in the Rio Olympics marathon, 2017 Chicago marathon winner, and the 2018 Prague marathon winner to name a few.  I could keep listing his accolades, but it would take up the rest of this page. 

Galen is a world-class marathoner, runner, and athlete but it’s not his physical accomplishments that are remarkable (although they are incredible).  It’s his mastery over his mind that is astounding.  Referring to Galen as just an athlete is shortchanging what he actually is.  Maybe we should start referring to him as the running buddha, or the asphalt Zen-master, the 26.2-mile stoic, or perhaps Gandalf the runner. 

The reason he has accomplished such physical achievements is due to this mental mastery.  There’s no way around it, what he does on a daily basis is brutal!  It’s painstaking, grueling, lung-burning, body-aching, gut-busting work.  The only way he is able to subject himself to this daily torture is through mental conditioning. 

There is no better fitting metaphor for life than Galen’s current event: the marathon.  It’s long, takes patience to develop the necessary skills, requires superior physical conditioning, and it demands incredible mental horsepower. 

Fortunately for us, Galen found some downtime in between running hundreds of miles a week to provide some insights into how he has risen to the top of the running world.

Below are the keys to Galen’s mastery over his life, body, and most importantly his mind:

Live each day with intention.

You never want to go into a day where you're not thinking about anything. Just getting the run done or going through the motions. It becomes almost a wasted opportunity.”

Everyday Galen is working towards being better, otherwise, what the hell is the point?  His life is highly calculated in terms of energy output and conservation.  If Galen is going through the motions in training, then it was a waste. 

Before Galen heads out to train each day he picks 2-3 things he is going to work on being better at that day.  If he focuses on that, the day will be a success.


Never pass up an opportunity to review your performance that day.

“After I'm done training I think it's really important you take a little bit of time to step back and review it and really be honest.”

At the end of each day, before going to bed Galen reviews what went well that day and what could be improved.  If he did something really well that day he tries to cement that feeling or thought in his mind.  He builds a mental bank account of all the good things he is working on and doing so that he can rely on it come race day. 

The more he reviews these good feelings or sensations he is working on, the more confident he becomes.  Come race day, everything he has been working on is automatic because he has mastered it physically and mentally.  He’s lived a million times in training and in his mind. 


Greatness is a result of mental mastery.

“The mind is a really under trained thing in a lot of athletes. Everybody wants to focus just on the physical part. I've always believed that it's the mental side of things and fifty years from now when there's some big breakthrough in performance it's going to be because people learned a lot more about your mind how you can train that.  Just the little things like self-talk, visualization.”

Learn to master your mind and you will have a huge competitive advantage. 

Below are Galen’s steps to taking control of his mind and unlocking his best performances:

  • Discomfort is your new best friend...get used to it. 

    • If you want to be the best you’re going to have to push yourself further than you’ve ever expected.  This will certainly not be easy, nor will it be comfortable. 

    • The key: start small.  Don’t run? Walk a mile...then two, then run a mile, then two.  Work your way up and keep improving each day. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to hit a home run on the first damn pitch.   Galen’s training plans, although much more rigorous and complicated follow a similar progression.  He works his way up each day, little by little, until he is ready for his best performances. 

  • Long term progress

    • “Sometimes when you look at the big overall [picture] it does seem a little daunting, but I think all those things it's really just segmenting it up.  Basically you get those smaller goals and check them off and then all the sudden you get closer and closer to the finish and it looks a little more manageable.”

    • Galen’s evolution as a runner has taken decades.  Fortunately, he has had great coaches that saw the long-term potential in Galen.  The key: don’t burn him out too fast.  Build for success decades from now.

    • Galen’s whole training is a yearly evolution and progression of difficulty.  Each year he builds upon last year, and the year before that.  If he and his coaches tried to go for gold out the gates the results would have been disastrous.  A crushed spirit or even worse, a crippled body due to injuries.

  • How to overcome stressful moments.

    • Breath!  In fact, when you take deep breaths in and exhale twice as long 5 times or more, your nervous system starts to change.  Your body switches from sympathetic to your parasympathetic nervous system.  You relax and regain composure.

  • Build a mental bank account of good thoughts and feelings.

    • Cement all the good practices, feelings, and work you’ve done.  Remember what it felt like, what you were thinking, how your body responded.  Relive those moments over and over and review them continuously.

  • Do it for something bigger than you.

    • Galen isn’t just doing this for his own personal gratification.  Sure, it’s a rush when he medals in the Olympics but that is just one fleeting moment. 

    • In order to put his body and mind through daily torture he does it for his family.  It’s bigger than just him...it’s for his family.

  • Build unstoppable habits.

    • Willpower comes and goes depending on a host of elements.  If you create consistent daily habits, you will cease to rely on willpower and rely on the power of muscle memory and routine to keep improving daily.

    • Galen has developed incredibly strong habits.  He trains, he eats, he recovers, he focuses, and he spends time with those closest to him.  Rinse and repeat.

Galen is an incredible athlete, an incredible person, and a great family man.  This interview is jam-packed with great ideas, motivation, inspiration, and ways to improve your running and life.

Enjoy.

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Parker: So, we talked about in the morning, you start off early with a simple breakfast, tea, toast.  You do a little stretching, rehab exercises, and then a simple review of what you want to accomplish within that day.  Can you tell me what are you trying to visualize and review for that day? 

Galen: Yeah, I mean obviously I'll probably spend a little more time visualizing and going through some certain things that I want to try to really focus on if it's a more intense interval workout or something harder to do but even for an easy day. You know I think it's important that even if it's just one or two things and that could be physical things that you want to work on whether it's your form or technique, mental things that you want to work, training your mind. Really just want to pick a few things, it doesn't have to be elaborate and just use that opportunity to get better. You never want to go into a day where you're not thinking about anything. Just getting the run done or going through the motions. It becomes almost a wasted opportunity. And so, it's just on a daily basis it really is about making sure that you're squeezing every little ounce out of every training run and every exercise whatever it is you're doing. Everything has a purpose and it's all building towards whatever big race or goal you have in mind.

Parker: Is there something specifically that you're working on right now that you are reviewing in the morning whether it's your technique or something mental? 

Galen: It's something I've been working on for a long time, as far as technique is just really keeping my arms down and in. I don't want a lot of movement in my body anymore. It was all right a little bit on the track. Especially when you went to sprint obviously using your arms a lot. Now the marathon is such a pure endurance race it literally comes down to efficiency and if you can make your movement as efficient as possible it's going to save that much more energy over the course of the race that will allow you to conserve and close hard, hopefully, in the end. So, I've really stopped doing all upper body weights and am trying to get as small as possible. My upper body, that extra weight really isn't helping me.  It's just more that I got to carry for 26 miles. [...] And it’s weird you get used to running certain ways for so long that even just making a small change it just feels so drastic. So, it's doing something a certain way and so that's been something that I continue to work on and have been working on for a long time. There's still some room for improvement there. And mentally I think really just trying to get used to being uncomfortable for a long time.  That's really the name of the game with the marathon. It doesn't necessarily exponentially go up as far as the pain you're feeling or discomfort that you're going through but you're just feeling really miserable for a long time. And it's about [...] learning to deal with that and I've started doing a lot more mindfulness stuff and really just trying to stay focused on the present. It's easy for your mind to wander around especially when you might have a long way to go. You're going through a little bit of a rough patch running and for me I think it's really important even if it comes down to breaking it down to smaller levels, manageable chunks. But even if it's taking one step at a time it sounds kind of silly but it's all you can control you can't run the next eight miles, ten miles in the next second. So, you have to just concentrate on getting through whatever it is. And oftentimes trying to segment things out whether it's getting to the next water station, I've even counted light posts before. Sometimes when you look at the big overall [picture] it does seem a little daunting, but I think all those things it's really just segmenting it up.  Basically, you get those smaller goals and check them off and then all the sudden you get closer and closer to the finish and it looks a little more manageable.

Parker: Is there a technique you go back to often more than others when you're dealing with discomfort for a long time?

Galen: Yeah, I think a lot of it is just taking a second sometimes to really pause. For me I focus on my breathing a lot just getting in some good deep breaths some time. You get stressed and tense up, stop breathing like you normally would and your brain doesn't get a lot of oxygen, and you start making bad decisions.  Your mind starts to have these negative thoughts that start to build and can compound on each other so I think really the key part of it is just trying to not freak out, just step back and take a breath, relax and really try to get some of the positive things that are going on and get rid of those negative thoughts in your head as quickly as you can. If you start dwelling on those it just snowballs, and it starts to build where there is more and more of them and all of a sudden you start really doubting yourself and it's important to really stay focused on whatever you can.  Something that almost takes your mind off the pain. I pray a lot, even when I'm running a marathon. I'll say the rosary or go through different things like that and that's a real calming thing for me that helps keep my sanity, keep my mind right, and keep me relaxed.

Parker:  Yeah, I suppose the time and distances you're going you have plenty of time for that. So, we have the simple routine you go through in the first part of the morning how about at the end of the night before you go to bed? Is there anything that you're trying to do that helps you set up for optimal recovery and sleep.?

Galen:  I'm not really doing too much.  Really just trying to get to sleep a lot during the day. It's a big part of recovery for what we do but definitely after I'm done training I think it's really important you take a little bit of time to step back and review it and really be honest. I think that you can find big things that you're doing wrong. [...] It's the easy opportunity, the low hanging fruit. It's easy to correct those things but you kind of have to be hypercritical with yourself and look at trying to be objective with things and really be honest with yourself about areas you can get better. What you did well, and I [...] talk about a mental bank account where you do things well you want to really go over them and cement all that stuff whether it's different feelings that you were having, sensations, really focus on your senses of what was going on.  As you're doing running a certain pace or closing hard whatever it is and really cement that in your mind. And it's important that you review all this stuff and you don't just do it and then forget about it because the more you can review it, the more confident you become with it. That's just that much more experience you can use when times start to get tough in a workout or race.  

Parker: How about your routine leading up to race day. When does it start for you? Is it the night before, a couple of days before, and what about right before the race? What are you trying to do?  

Galen:  The day of or the night before the work should be all done at that point. About that time, I'm really just trying to relax and stay off my feet and get as much rest as possible so that I can just perform my best.  I think that if you're trying to think too much that night before or day before it's kind of too late at that point.  I really like to do a lot of stuff, even months leading up before. Generally, it's about two months before a big race where I really start hitting the mental stuff hard. And that's when you're going to see your last big push in training, real hard training cycle before you start to rest before a race is about two months before. At that time that's when all of the key workouts are. And that's when I think it's the most important that you are really doing these little things on a daily basis. [...] We do a lot of visualization obviously, just good self-talk too. I think having a few phrases that I'll say to myself, [...] three or four times a day it really just starts building stuff up in your mind and cementing who you want to be, who you think you are, how you view yourself, all those things but you got to do those things on a daily basis. And I think that that's a huge thing. I think the mind is a really under trained thing in a lot of athletes. Everybody wants to focus just on the physical part. I've always believed that it's the mental side of things and fifty years from now when there's some big breakthrough in performance it's going to be because people learned a lot more about your mind how you can train that.  Just the little things like self-talk, visualization.  They really set yourself up well and start building a great foundation for when you do get to race day to build on.

Parker: The Navy Seals have a belief, when your mind is telling your body that it's over, you're only at 40 percent of your actual output.  

Galen: Yeah, your mind will always give up before your body does, 99 percent of the time that's the case and you might think it's a physical thing or I can't make it, I can't do this, but it sounds silly but it's like all right well if that was the case you literally could not take another step. You couldn't run one more step in the race. When your body gives out it gives out. Your mind's just telling you you can't do it. And so, does your mind have control over you or are you going to have control of your mind?  It's really important that you start training your mind and taking control of your own situation, your own actions, your own thoughts because you do have the power to do that. But it certainly does take a lot of time and practice to get there.

Parker:  You mentioned phrases, and if it's not too personal, is there a phrase that you go back to that helps center you and give you the courage to keep going forward?

Galen:  I think it changes almost race to race really what phrases I might use. For me being courageous is always a big thing that I've always wanted to do. [...] Results kind of happen.  If you have the best race of your life and still finish fifth or sixth in that race [...] you can't just look at winning or losing as what defines you. For me it's always been about having the courage and having the confidence and belief to go try and do audacious things and put yourself in situations that are uncomfortable, and you might not think you're able to do it. The only way you're going to do them is by having the courage to get out there and put yourself out there and try. So that's been one that I've always used going back to college and has been pretty consistent.

Parker:  This might be a stupid question but I'm going to ask it anyway You've dealt with some pretty serious asthma for what I assume most of your life, but in some way has it actually helped you become a better runner? 

Galen:  [...] I have just kind of looked at it like something that I have, I'm not going to change that. It's really about making sure that I do everything possible to keep it as well controlled.  I've had great doctors, going back decades, basically have done a phenomenal job with it. I've always tried to just really minimize the risk with it. The cold is something that has always bothered me so when it gets cold out you learn to not be so hard headed, run inside more and do things that keep the air a little warmer using masks. [...] It’s just something you have to do deal with.

Parker:  Is there any food or nutrition that you've incorporated into your regimen that's most positively transformed your training, body, or performance?

Galen: I've gotten more into nutrition, especially in the last couple of years. When I was younger I never ate bad but if I wanted to go have a burger, beer, pizza, whatever it was I'm going to be fine. [...] As I've gotten older I think I'm putting more of an emphasis on nutrition. And I really just try to eat a lot more wholesome foods. I don't eat a lot of processed stuff anymore. And the biggest thing for me is just drinking more water. I try to drink at least a gallon a day now. And that again is something that I would kind of just drink when I was thirsty for the longest time. But now I've been much more conscious about hydrating and not just chugging a Gatorade bottle here or there when I'm thirsty and thinking that's good.  It's being on top of it more throughout the day and it's made a huge difference as far as just recovering faster.  My body has just been a lot healthier. I noticed if I go a day or two without drinking a lot I just start to hurt more. Water flushes everything out all the bad stuff, the lactic acid.  I've never been one to be on a strict nutrition plan, but I think it's just really trying to eat a lot of whole foods, a lot more fruits and vegetables, and things like that has been a positive for me.

Parker:  What about regimens or tools? What have you implemented that has had the greatest impact on your performance? 

Galen:  [...] I've always been pretty big into weight training and I've certainly cut back a lot with my upper body recently. But I think just being really balanced from one side to the other is has been a huge reason why I've been so healthy which has allowed me to train so hard for such a long period of time. And that foundation really started in high school that we started doing a lot of different weight exercises and lot of bodyweight stuff too that I think really laid a great foundation for me as a whole that allowed me to handle a lot of volume. [...] But I think some people try to jump into that right away and whether it's doing real heavy lifts, or Olympic lifts, whatever or even running wise just doing a lot of mileage pumping that up really fast. And they don't have a foundation to build on it and then they end up getting hurt and it just comes this bad cycle where they are compensating, you're trying to fix one injury and something else pops up. And so, I didn't really realize it at the time, but I think that having that foundation in high school and really making sure my body is totally balanced. [...] I truly believe that it's all these years of exercise and putting a big focus on keeping my whole body strong and that it's allowed me to have really good running mechanics and that balance I think has kept me healthy for a really long time.

Parker: Your longtime coach, Alberto Salazar, in his own right is one of the most accomplished runners in history. What is it like having such a successful competitor as a coach?

Galen:  I feel really lucky, blessed just that our paths crossed coincidentally when I was a freshman in high school and he just happened to be coaching at the high-school I was at. But it's awesome. I think he knows everything that we've been through as far as how we are feeling, the way we all get kind of moody when you're in heavy training. You're tired all the time, you feel dead. You keep going, punishing yourself almost on a daily basis and having done that himself he really relates to us all really well, he understands. He probably puts up with a lot because he knows what we're going through as far as getting frustrated. Whatever it is. But having him understand that I think that allows him to be such a great coach and he always talks about not repeating the same mistakes that he made with himself and that we're the beneficiaries of all the terrible injuries that he had and dumb stuff that he did.  He's really put a huge emphasis on just learning from his own mistakes and then he's like "I'm not going to make the same mistakes with you guys." It's been great and when he tells you you're ready to go or he tells you, "Wow, that was a great workout, this is better than anything I did." And he broke the world record when he was running. Hearing that from someone I think it just gives it that much more meaning behind it [...] and you take that to heart so much more with someone like that. So, it's huge from just a coaching standpoint and confidence to have someone like that in your corner, it's the best.

Parker:  Your coaching relationship first started with freshman year of high school? You're approaching almost two decades now.

Galen:  Yeah, it's crazy. I think it's important, I look at a guy like Eliud Kipchoge for example, probably one of the best marathoners of all time, and he has had the same coach ever since he started running and I think it's really important and I just happened to be lucky enough to fall into that situation at a really early age. It's hard when you get guys that want to switch coaches or you're going from one program to the next and you have to relearn what they want to do and their philosophies. And it's hard to really get in a groove and build year to year when you're doing that. And he's [Salazar] always taken a very long-term approach with me. I can't remember who told him this, but he said don't give Galen or whoever your young kids are, don't give them everything all at once. Even if they can do it. You're better off leaving a little bit so you can keep giving them more and more every year. And so, he's been very disciplined and diligent with doing that. And now I feel like I've had so many years of, knock on wood being healthy, and I think that's a big reason for it. We've forgone some of the short-term gains. I probably could have run a little faster in high school if I had done a lot more mileage that some of the other kids I was running against. But he's like we're not going to take a chance to screw that up just so you can run a few seconds faster this year.  [...] We never picked a race if I wasn't ready for it. If I was sick or hurt. We're not going to run it just to get a little bit of money.  You really have to constantly have this long-term approach and be really disciplined and stick to it, because it does get hard.  You've committed to run something, you might want to race, or you don't want to miss it, or you're going to get a good amount of money to run there or whatever it is. But if you start making decisions based on that stuff, looking at the short term, you will end up falling into a trap and eventually it's going to catch up to you and screw yourself up for the long term. It just ends up being a disaster. I think that that's been a big thing that he's done, and I think we're so close and we've been working together for so long that he can tell when something's not right with me. If something’s on my mind or if I'm looking really tired. He can tell just by watching because he's seen me run for so long. It's just been awesome to have someone like that because I think one of the biggest things that he does he knows when to push me, when I need a good kick in the ass to get going. Whatever reason when I'm not running well and there's nothing wrong with me, he'll definitely pour it on and give me extra. And then other times he can tell it's just I'm a little exhausted he needs to back off. And that really only comes from watching someone run for so long. So, he knows when to push and when to hold back.

Parker:  It's so interesting too, so many people in different sports, seeing a lot of professional golfers. You hear them changing swing coaches and all these different coaches. You see these big swings in their performance because they they're getting someone else's set of rules, or thoughts, and teachings and they're trying to adapt to these different things and it just throws them way out of whack trying to basically restart on their different philosophy. It's just interesting. Like you're saying the importance of a long-term relationship.

Galen:  Yeah, and that doesn't mean that you're not open to adapt or try new things but when you're in the same program it's easy to make those changes because you still have the general idea behind everything. [...] And then you start trying to add more layers to it. But yeah, you're constantly changing it's just, it's too hard. You have to relearn different things and then you start not doing things that you were doing before. And just from a workout standpoint it's really important. We have real distinct benchmark workouts that we do that you can see your improvement every year, and you should. And when you're ready to go when you do the certain benchmark workouts year after year, season after season. It's really objective and really easy to measure where you're at because I did the same workout two years ago or three years ago and this is what I ran so I'm ready to go. You're ready to PR (personal record) and run even quicker. I think just having that consistency is a really good thing.

Parker:  You've had had so many different major milestones and great wins from the Olympics to marathons, but is there a moment or a race that has been your favorite or stands out as the best moment of your running career? 

Galen: I should probably spend a little more time...you get so focused on the next thing I think sometimes you keep wanting to go to the next thing. You go "Hey, that was sweet." You go out, spend a night or two having fun enjoying it but it's always like, what's next? How can I keep getting better? But I would say for sure the Olympics in 2012 were a big thing for me just because that was the first real major international competition that I had medaled in and really right there I think I was right around a second maybe less than from winning and so it was right there. I had always been right on the cusp and really close and working towards making that breakthrough. I think one of the hardest things is getting from fourth, fifth, sixth place to one of those medal spots. It sounds kind of silly but it's just exponentially harder to make that jump up there right in that area. I had finished fifth or sixth for a long time and was close. I always thought this was going to be the year. For it to finally happen in an Olympic Games and my teammate (Mo Farah) being the one person that finished ahead of me was just something that was, it was just really cool. I felt really happy for Alberto, all the coaches that we worked with.  It was just such a great validation that what we were doing was on the right track. You can be the best in the world embracing science and training as hard as we do. It was just a really, really cool moment.

Parker: In that scenario, going to the Olympics, it's such a different stage, did you feel a little bit overwhelmed?  How do you stay composed in that race? Was it a different feeling than you had in other ones?

Galen: It's definitely different because of the atmosphere. It would be silly not to acknowledge that. I've run in some big stadiums before but nothing like an Olympic stadium especially with being in that race it was in Great Britain where my teammate was from and so they were all really into the 10,000 (meters) which doesn't always happen at a track meet. The atmosphere was definitely crazy. I remember going to the Olympics in 2008, I was young then and really had no shot of medaling. And I think when you get to the Olympics and maybe I'm going to be the one that just has this breakthrough performance and runs out of my mind, get all the medals, a storybook ending and I think that those thoughts are natural, but my coaches sat me down and they gave it to me real straight. They said "Look it's going to take a miracle for you to medal, let's be real. You're just not there yet. It doesn't mean you can't get there over eight years." But they really told me to make sure that it was a positive experience. And you just run a really good solid race. It's such a tricky thing because they only come around every four years.  You don't get a lot of time to practice for it. There's no way you can do that. So again, it's really just making the most of that single opportunity and running a great race.  Take it all in. But four or eight years it's going to be a lot different. You're going to look back on this experience and if it went really poorly. You ran horrible, you didn't execute, you had a terrible race, that's still going to stick with you and that's going to be in the back of your head. So, they really set up a great race plan for me and I ended up running. [...] I was like twelfth, thirteenth or fourteenth, somewhere in there, way back. But it was a great race for where I was at the time and I think that that was huge for me.  And I didn't realize it at the time but being able to go there so young and just go through everything whether it was the opening ceremonies in the stadium, all that and seeing what goes on an Olympic Games that you have to go through, it was big. So, it was just expected when I got to where I kind of had a just different lay of the land, what to expect as far as when to check in and all these different procedures you have to go through before the race and you really can just focus more on racing. And it's not this whole new thing I guess. So, I think that was big. In London a lot of it is really just, the race is still the same, the stage is bigger, you can't think about all the people watching. It's no different than running any other race that you run in. It's still the same distance, same track, and so it really is just about doing all the things that you do. People are always talking about the process but it's true you have to just focus on executing and running your race plan and doing all the things that you practice and train. And chances are you'll run a great race. So that was all I was thinking about then, and I had a great build up, and Mo was running really well, and I was sticking with him in all my workouts. For me that was just huge because I knew, I'm training with the best distance runner in the world at the time. It's like, if I'm staying with him in all the workouts, shoot, why can't I be with him in a race? I should be right there. And so, I think that that was a big thing for my confidence. And then once we got in there it almost felt like practice towards the end and with me and him. And we bided our time, we ran together most of the way, and were pretty close. And like we had done so many times where we sprinted like crazy at the end of doing grueling long workouts that we knew we could close and so we were ready, and it really just came down to executing.

Parker:  What a unique thing for you guys, both of you. Training partners and finishing one, two. First and second. I mean, how often does that ever happen? So uncommon.

Parker:  You have three little kids and a wife. How do you balance training and competing and traveling with your family?

Galen:  It's certainly tough at times. I feel really fortunate. My wife certainly takes the brunt of it and she's given up literally everything so that I can really pursue my dreams and do what I need to be the best athlete I can be. She takes care of the kids, she'll travel with them and she really just...it's incredible. I've never met somebody that's been so selfless. She could have done anything she wanted but she chose to stay home and take care of the kids and be with us and really take care of the house and our family. And I feel really lucky. I think that it's a job that doesn't really get as much recognition as it should because it is so hard. She laughs she says "I could never do what you do" but it's what she does. It's a 24/7, 365 days a year job that doesn't let up. And she's just incredible at it. [...] She has a real good understanding of how she cares and shows her love. I think by doing all that allows me to do everything I need to and I also I work hard.  I definitely take a lot of motivation from her and how disciplined and how strong she is. It makes me want to train that much harder and not say that this is all for nothing. She's not making all these sacrifices for me to screw around or not get everything I can out of myself on a daily basis. So, it really is inspiring to me. I always kiss my wedding ring before the start of a race and I always say a little prayer before I start a race and that goes all the way back to high school. So those are probably the only two superstitions that I have. When I'm not training or doing things for my job it's about spending time with my kids and my wife. But it's hard. You have to make it a priority to schedule things out and really try to once you're done working, I give all that I can to my family because they give all, everything to me.

Parker: I love it, that's the perfect way to send this one off. What's the next race coming up?

Galen:  I'm going to run a ten-mile race in the Netherlands, and two weeks later on the 16th of September I'll run a half marathon in Copenhagen. Should be pretty quick. And those are the only two tune-up races for the Chicago Marathon on October 7.  

Parker:  All right. Well best of luck to you and thanks again.