“I run approximately 75 miles a week.”
Cue Bruce Springsteen – the anthem to Liam Meirow’s life. He is most definitely Born to Run, and he filled us in on what it takes to be a Track & Cross Country runner for Oklahoma University, how he keeps his body in peak condition and how he balances it all with being a full time student.
Meirow is a sophomore at OU running on a full scholarship (pardon the pun). He was recruited in High School which is where he became the Colorado state champion for the 1,600-meter race and built a lung capacity equipped for almost anything. He also holds a list of records at Summit High School that you’d need a scroll to name off.
Now that he’s running at college level, things haven’t slowed down. Take a look at his weekly training schedule:
- AM 9-10 mile run + weight room session
- PM 3 mile shakeout with strides, drills, agility ladders, hurdle mobility, and core routine
- PM Hard workout on track ranging from 5-10 miles total (tempo run, intervals)
- AM 6 miles with strides, drills, agility ladders
- PM 6 miles
- PM 9-10 miles and hurdle mobility, weights session, core
- Either travel day for competition or another Tuesday-like day (hard workout)
- Race day or easy day/ day off
- Long run of 14-15 miles
It’s a lot on the body, so when we asked him about the benefits and drawbacks of this much running, we knew we were getting tried and true answers. While distance running is great for the heart, it can be hard on the muscles and joints.
“Before you run, heat. After you run, ice.”
Meirow sometimes uses heat pads to warm his muscles up before long runs. Afterwards, he takes a 15 minute ice bath. There’s a lot of pain to put up with which makes the mental aspect as important as the physical one.
“Running is definitely a huge mental sport in the fact that there’s not much reward in it until you win in race. It’s kind of a grind till the end.” says Meirow.
The mental focus he puts into his running carries over into his school work, which he takes very seriously.
“That physical stimulus – it just gives a good balance physically and psychologically to your studies because it’s like the stimulus of running helps you focus more when you’re studying and vice a versa. So they both help each other out” Meirow said as he spoke about how he balances such an intense training schedule with full time classes. It’s important to be able to have the mental discipline to be present.
In fact there is a trick to it. Wherever you are, stay present and focused on the task at hand.
“When I’m in class I’m focused on what the professor is talking about and I’m doing homework and not being distracted by running media and win practices because I have a schedule out here too,” Meirow continued. “When I go to practice I forget about school, I don’t let exams distract me and I just train for that hour or two hours, or for however long that is. And so, if I minimize distractions, I just basically have two priorities: school and running. Makes it pretty easy.”
Meirow has the gift of making easy and simple what many would find incredibly difficult. There has to be something that makes it all worth it.
“During the day I look forward to going to our locker room… just walking into that door… no matter what kind of day I’m having it just really turns things around. That environment really motivates me.”
Being part of a team and having a focused goal and a bigger purpose is what drives Meirow —and most people— to push themselves further than they ever thought they could.