Train with running legend Shalane Flanagan and hear her new mantra

The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon Champion offers insights on how to stay active and healthy at home

New York Road Runners

Renowned American long-distance runner Shalane Flanagan took over Mastercard’s Twitter handle Monday for a virtual training seminar that combined expert advice with timely inspiration. Aspiring runners from around the world tuned in to hear the winner of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon women’s open division, who now coaches an elite track club in Portland, Oregon.


Flanagan began with a message of encouragement for those whose lives and plans have been disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


“It’s a really difficult time, and we’re grieving as a nation and as a world because there’s been a lot of loss,” she said. “I have been coaching athletes to compete this summer, and we’ve had to work through the grief and loss of those goals to pivot and create new dreams.”





The challenges of today, Flanagan explained, make it all the more important to prioritize your physical and mental wellbeing, something that she achieves through running.


“Running is my outlet, and it allows me to process what is going on and any stress,” she said. “I hope that I can share with you my routine that I do to get my mind right, set my intentions, and get my body right to go for a run.”


It starts with the motivation to get moving, which the sleep-deprived new mom finds in an uplifting mantra.


“I’ve been really tired, and my mood hasn’t been great in terms of the desire to go run, so I tell myself that mood follows action,” she explained. “If I get out the door and put one foot in front of the other, I am going to be in the right mindset and the right mood eventually when I get down the road.”


As for physical warmups, Flanagan demonstrated a set of stretches that can be done indoors with minimal equipment: a mat, a towel, a foam roller, bands, and shoes. The exercises covered everything from the legs and back (“I like to foam roll my back—it’s my favorite stretch.”) to glutes and arms (“Take off your shoes and use them as weights.”)


Recovery from a run is equally important, and she recommends staying hydrated, eating healthy foods (Flanagan’s working on her third cookbook), and getting more of the one thing she’s currently missing.


“When your body is recuperating, the more sleep you can get the better,” she said. “I find if I work out hard, I end up sleeping better.”


Throughout the livestream, Flanagan took time to answer questions from viewers, including one about her favorite running spots.


“I live in Oregon and I’ve started to get into some trail running in Forest Park, which is super cool,” she said. “My favorite places in the whole wide world would be Switzerland, Boston, and New York.”


As an extra treat to fans, Flanagan showed off her TCS New York City Marathon medal and bib and shared the words she repeats to herself during the toughest parts of a race.


“There are always rough patches I have to talk myself through, and one of my favorite things to say is ‘I didn’t come this far to only come this far,’” she said. “It’s a reminder to push through, lean into that hurt, and think of the reason you’re out there.”