DKNY – Deena Kastor in New York!!!

Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever

Yesterday, Deena Kastor was in town and I had the pleasure of going to hear her speak at Fleet Feet Syracuse! For those of you who don’t know, Deena is an Olympic bronze medalist and she is the American record holder in the 5k, 8k, 15k, 10 miles, 20k, half marathon, 30k and marathon (USATF).

First of all, let me just say that Deena is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! She chatted with us like we were a group of old friends and then she took the time to meet with us individually, sign some autographs and snap some pictures – very exciting stuff (I am such a running nerd)!

She spoke for a short while about a variety of topics and then she did an extensive question and answer session. Here are some of the topics she touched on:


Deena said the three important components for her marathon training were speed workouts (done at faster than marathon pace), tempo runs (done at marathon pace) and long runs (done slower than marathon pace). I believe she said she did her speed on Tuesday, some hills on Wednesday, tempo on Friday and long runs on Sunday (obviously, she was running the other days as well).

While training for the marathon, she was running over 120 miles per week! I believe she said that she is closer to 70 miles per week now.


Deena really stressed the importance of recovery. While marathon training, she was sleeping over twelve hours per day (that includes a nap). Wow! Where do I sign up for that?

While building her mileage up, she would increase each week, but every so often, she would decrease before starting up again.

In addition, after a goal race, she would take a month off!

Being Part of a Team

Deena really focused on the importance of being part of a team. She talked about her experience at Arkansas, as well as her more recent experience with the Mammoth Track Club. You can tell that being part of a team is a huge motivation for her!


Deena does not cross-train. In fact, she said that even when she has an injury, she does not cross-train. Instead, she allows her body to rest and she focuses her mental energy on healing.


Pre-Race Meals

Deena’s two favorite pre-race meals are pasta with pesto and artisan pizzas. These are my favorite pre-race meals too!! No wonder we are BFFs.

Race Mentality

She said that when she runs a marathon, she doesn’t try and think about counting down 26.2 miles. Instead, she focuses on her eight water bottles – she said this is an approach that allows her to wrap her head around the race much more easily.

Mary Cain

I asked Deena what she thought about Mary Cain going pro and not competing in college. She said that while she thinks being part of a [collegiate] team is very important, this was the right decision for Mary, since she wasn’t really part of a team in high school either. In other words, it has worked for her up until now so it is a consistent approach.

The Los Angeles Olympic Trials and the Rio Olympics

I asked Deena about the Los Angeles Olympic Trials marathon and the possibility of Rio. She got this sheepish grin and started talking about it like a high schooler talking about her crush. It was pretty fantastic because she is 41 and she loves the sport as much as ever. Also, it was pretty clear to me that she is going to go for it – and I think that’s awesome!!

Which running celebrities have you met?

Were they what you expected?

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14 Responses to DKNY – Deena Kastor in New York!!!

  1. Chris P says:

    So cool that you got to meet Deena Kastor! Sleeping over 12 hours a day(including naps) while marathon training? Wow! I didn’t expect that. I consider myself lucky if I can get 8, and usually that’s enough for me, though I sometimes get 7 or 6.5 which isn’t enough after heavy training.

    Running over 120 miles per week while training for marathons is pretty normal for elite marathoners, as I understand it. Taking a month off after a goal race sounds strange to me. Does this mean no running at all, or just short runs or cross-training during the month off?

    Great post. Besides meeting Vincent Chiapetta, one of the founders of the NYC Marathon, I haven’t met any elite or pro runners. I met Chiapetta in the park while I was running with a group, by accident! He’s in excellent shape still, though he admits he is more of a power-walker these days than a runner. Very inspirational guy. I hope to run into him again. Great post, and can’t wait to hear how you do at your next race.

  2. I’m sooo jealous… She is going to be at the Fleet Feet in Albany on Friday and I can’t make it because I have to work… sooo bummed out but sooo excited for you!

  3. Wow I’m super jealous. I am glad you posted her interview here too, it’s all really interesting. I always wonder what elites eat prerace and such. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow this is totally cool. I did a blogger interview with Sage Canaday pro ultra marathoner and he was the nicest coolest guy ever. A real highlight of my running experience so far.

  5. leerunsdistances says:

    Dude!!! Deena Kastor … I’m soooo jealous. I can tell Deena’s down to earth person. I love her answers and her desire to compete for a spot on the Rio 2016 Olympic team. As long as they have legs you can’t count Meb or Deena out of any race! As far as running celebrities I have met Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers and both are very nice Joan is very quiet and reserved.

  6. jeri says:

    Well you and DK are just presh, right??!??! OMG. So jealous you got to meet her and hear her speak.

  7. runkiwirun13 says:

    Great post! I met Grete Waitz (1st woman to run the marathon in under 2.5 hours). She came to speak where I worked the year she was a guest at the Corporate Challenge in Rochester. I think it was 2007. She also gave us autographed books. Very humble, sincere person. Sadly, she passed away in 2011.

  8. irenejean says:

    I love these tips, thanks for sharing them! I have never met a running celebrity, but I would love to meet Deena!

  9. YOU LOOK SOOOO HAPPPYYYYY!!!! It makes me smile.

    I’ve never met any running celebs. I guess, it’s the part of being new to the sport 🙂 I really enjoyed the recap of this meeting. How did you sign up for this? I remember how I was obsessing about rhythmic gymnastics stars when I was training. I would give anything to chat with them!!! Great… now I want to meet a running celebrity 😀 xoxo

  10. How awesome! I am training for my second marathon right now and I really appreciate reading all of her advice 🙂

  11. Sophie33 says:

    This is so cool for you! The 2 of you look great! 😀

  12. runrodrun says:

    DEENA! Love her. Loved watching and learning about her via Spirit of The Marathon. I would’ve flipped out!

    As for my brushes with running celebrity. I’ve met and ran in a 10k training run with Canadian Eric Gillis. Yes he took it easy on all of us 🙂 And once when I was on a bench getting ready for a race I looked up and noticed that the guy sitting right next to me was 2012 (and then reigning) Boston champ Wesley Korir talking with another Canadian elite, Reid Coolsaet!

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