What makes elite runners so good at running? Are they superhuman, and just have the talent to be able to leave us all in their dust?
Even though most elite runners struggle with revealing their weaknesses in fear of losing sponsors or upsetting the selection committees, today we are talking to a runner who does not mind sharing her struggles and does not mind speaking the truth, even if it makes some waves in the process.
Lanni Marchant is the Canadian record holder in the half marathon and marathon with her 1:10:47 and 2:28:00 PRs. She competed in both the 10,000m and marathon in the Rio Olympics, which you will hear about the drama involved in that scenario during this interview.
However, despite Lanni's success as a runner, she wants her legacy to be more than just her running. Lanni is doing all she can to help women rights, including speaking in front of Parliament on the topic, and showing the world once and for all, that there is no one best body type and weight for a runner.
Lanni spent most of her college career on crutches because she felt she needed to be skinny to run fast, but now she has a message for runners everywhere to get your head on straight, or you are throwing away your running!
Lanni is refreshingly honest, and I am sure you are going to enjoy this episode for her relatability and what she is doing for our sport.
Questions Lanni is Asked
4:00 You decided to go to University in the US, what was it that pulled you away from Canada?
5:10 What lessons were you taught about going to school in the US when you were still in high school in Canada
7:35 You struggled your way through your freshman year, why do you think so many runners struggle in that first year?
10:00 There were some remarks made to other people about being healthy, was it that about being leaner or heavier?
10:45 How did those remarks affect you?
12:30 What do you think, now that you have a good relationship with food, can be done to change the perspective?
20:00 How do you stop yourself from comparing when you are standing on the start line?
23:45 You mentioned your weight fluctuates throughout the year, what would you like to say to anyone who looks at pictures of you from Rio, and thinks WOW! I am never going to look like that.
27:20 A lot of words (such as muscular), women see as negative, do you have any thoughts on how we can change the thinking?
32:30 What made you decide to go in front of parliament to take a stand for women rights?
35:30 What would be your suggestion to men and women listening of how we can be good role models and stop the sexist comments?
39:00 Do you see women doing it to ourselves by putting each other down instead of working together?
44:00 Tell us about the double double debacle, and how is it different to qualifying for the Olympics in Canada and Great Britain
48:30 Did that affect you mentally, knowing that you did not know what you were doing. How did that affect your Olympic experience?
53:00 Where do you go from here? Running wise and career wise?
55:10 When you said you like to indulge after a big race, what do the first few days after New York look like for you?
1:00:00 Final Kick Round
Quotes from Lanni
I spent my entire college career doing what most NCAA females do, trying not to eat, eat very little, trying to cross training and overtrain, and offset what I did eat. You name the eating disorder trick, I did it.
I eat chocolate everyday…
In my off season, I might have a beer most nights, during season, I might limit it to weekends.
We need to embrace the builds and the bodies that we have, understand that you can train it and tweak it to fit within your sport and within the goals you want.
If we change that conversation for women in sport, then there’s not going to be the same insecurities for girls and there’ll be less pressure for girls to look a certain way and do stupid things to look that way.
I am not restrictive, but I have to recognize that I need to be making sure every calorie, piece of food and beverage I put into my body is servicing my body, so when I get to Rio, I am able to compete and be my best Lanni.
...A part of me regrets not getting my head on straight sooner, because who knows what I could have been doing in my 20’s had I not been just wasting away and wasting my time and wasting my talents trying to fit into other people’s definitions of what a runner should look like or what a runner should be. And those are years I’ll never get back.
If you look at any picture of an elite athlete in any sport, its not sustainable for us to look like that. You try to dial it in for maybe 4-6 weeks, where it is really important.
...both (genders) could benefit from the conversation being about our ‘machines’ and what we’re doing with them.<