Ryan Hall is back to what he calls “faith-based coaching” after just more than half a year of working with the Italian coach Renato Canova.
In an interview before last Thursday’s Peachtree Road Race, Hall said, “I’m kind of going back to the faith-based coaching.” He described Canova, who has coached world record holders and world champions, as “an advisor I use from time to time,” but, Hall said, “I have a bunch of people I talk with, probably [his wife] Sara more than anybody.”
In December, Hall announced that he was abandoning the self-coaching he’d done for the previous two years to be coached by Canova, who is best known for guiding the training of many top Kenyan runners. “I feel God bringing me under a new coach to learn from and work with,” Hall wrote at the time.
As part of his relationship with Canova, Hall had planned to travel to Kenya to train under Canova before April’s Boston Marathon. In February, however, Hall suffered a quadriceps injury, and canceled the trip to Kenya. The following month, he withdrew from Boston. As it turned out, Hall and Canova never spent significant time together.
Hall left the Mammoth Track Club in the fall of 2010 to follow a system based in part on pre-workout prayer to seek guidance on how to train that day. Hall has also said he takes one day off from running each week to mimic days of rest in the Bible.
During his first round of faith-based coaching, Hall placed fourth at the 2011 Boston Marathon in a tailwind-assisted 2:04:58 and placed second at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. He also, however, dropped out of the Olympic Marathon after about 10 miles with a hamstring injury, and then withdrew with injury from the 2012 New York City Marathon two months before that race was canceled.
In May, Hall completed his first races in a year. He placed second at the Bay to Breakers 12-K in San Francisco on May 19, and won an inaugural half-marathon in Costa Rica in 1:04:09 a week later.
At Peachtree, Hall ran 29:16 to place 19th overall, and 11th among Americans in the race-within-a-race U.S. championships.
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