Interview with Marathon Runner Chris Pannone

Chris Pannone 2011 Boston MarathonChris Pannone, 25, is a New Jersey native and a former runner for the University of Colorado. Since graduating in 2008, Chris has become a familiar name at the top of the results of the local races. He runs for the New York Athletic Club and works full time for Generation UCAN. Chris finished 20th overall at the 2011 Boston Marathon with a personal best 2:18:05. His time qualifies him for the Olympic Marathon Trials which will be held in Houston January 2012.

East River Runner: It seems like just yesterday you were a college runner winning the local races. What has the post-college transition been like

Chris Pannone:  The post college transition wasn’t easy at first. I wasn’t quite used to training on my own but in time I learned to like it. The most difficult part of the transition was balancing my running with working full time. After a few months, I became used to the routine.

ERR:  This year you had finished 20th overall at the 2011 Boston Marathon, how do you feel about your performance

CP:  My goal was to be in the top 20 and run under 2:18. You can’t be too greedy with your performances in the marathon. A lot can go wrong out there. Although I was a few seconds slower than what I had hoped for, I pr’d and was pleased with the performance.

ERR:  How does it feel to be on the starting line with many of the world’s top runners?

CP:  I always feel very honored to be on the starting line with the world’s best. Running the ING NYC Marathon last November was very surreal, and Boston was a similar experience.

ERR:  What races do you have your sights on next?

CP:  I hav races planned for this summer, ending with the New Haven 20K. The real focus though is on the Olympic Trials next year. That has been the plan for the past year or so now I’m very excited about the opportunity.

ERR:  Will you do anything differently when training for the Olympic trials?

CP:   I’ve run 3 marathons thus far. With each buildup my coach Ryan Grote has had structured in different stimuli to see what I respond to best. We’ll add in a little bit more mileage this go around and tweak things a little bit, but won’t be doing anything drastically different.

ERR: Where would you like to be as runner, let’s say, five years from now?

CP:  I will be pleased if I am still able to compete at a high level. I’m young enough that I feel the best is yet to come in the marathon, so with that in mind, I’m going to continue to strive to improve year to year.

ERR:  Where do you get your support?

CP:  I have been blessed to be supported by the New York Athletic Club. They’re really a great organization. I couldn’t ask for better managers and it’s a privilege to run for a club with such a rich history. I am also supported by Brooks and Generation UCAN, a sports nutrition company. They have a fantastic line of products unlike anything else on the market place.

ERR: Runners will soon be beginning training for the NYC Marathon. What training advice can you give to the marathon runners out there?

CP: My best advice is to stay consistent, listen to your body, and make your long run the most important day of the week.

You can meet Chris and learn more about Generation UCAN‘s products this Saturday, May 21, 3 pm at East River Park Track Club‘s It’s My Park Day event at the East River Park track.

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