Dick Beardsley, a world class distance runner, is not only a great friend of mine but someone I highly look up to. Dick’s close finish with Alberto Salazar in the 1982 Boston Marathon is a moment in running history that will be remembered forever. Dick’s 2:08:53 at that Boston Marathon is a time many of us can’t even imagine. Not only is Dick an amazing person, friend, Coach, and motivational speaker. He also has written a book, “Staying the Course”, where he talks of overcoming much adversity through his life. In 2010, he was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.
I couldn’t be more grateful to have learned so much from Dick, call him a friend, and continue learning from someone so talented and willing to help others through all he does.
Dick Beardsley and I, Boston Marathon weekend
Q: When and how did you get started in running?
Dick: I started running in 1973 as a junior in high school. I went out for XC thinking I could earn a letter jacket and get a girlfriend. I finally earned my letter jacket as a senior and got a girlfriend at the same time!
Q: Who were some of your biggest role models growing up?
Dick: My best friend in high school George Ross. He was a year a head of me but was a real stud when it came to running. His dad and my Godfather Joe Ross was right there also as he was so encouraging of my running. He would time me doing repeats out in their cow pasture and came to all my meets even after George graduated.
Q: What are 3 lessons you wish you would have learned earlier in your running career?
Dick: Recovery, Recovery, Recovery!
Q: There seems to be different schools of thought on the benefits of higher mileage vs. lower mileage and higher intensity, you do quite a bit of coaching; what are your thoughts on these components of a training program?
Dick: I’m a firm believer in combining both of them together. It can be a little dangerous from a standpoint of injury but if you are really trying to get the most out of your running my feeling is you have to combine high mileage along with intensity.
Q: You talk in your book, Staying The Course, about the addiction struggles you faced while recovering from a serious injury; have you found that your ability to run has given you strength in overcoming those addiction struggles?
Dick: I don’t think you ever completely overcome a addiction but my running definitely helps to keep it at bay, but the minute I think I’ve overcome it, I’m in trouble.
Q: For those dealing with injury or illness. I frequently tell people that are trying to overcome adversity, endorphins are a powerful drug. Would you agree? How has being an athlete helped you through the years of comebacks from injuries, etc. And even if you can’t run, what cross-training have you done or do you recommend for runners to stay sane while injured.
Dick: I for sure agree that your own endorphins are a powerful drug! The best cross-training devise I’ve ever found is the ElliptiGO ( www.elliptiGO.com ) Its like a elliptical machine but even better as its about as close to running as you can get without actually running plus you can go all over the countryside on it!
Q: Your favorite inspirational book? Favorite inspirational movie?
Dick: Favorite inspirational book: “The Little Engine that Could” Favorite inspirational movie: Hands down its “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed
Q: Biggest attributes needed in dealing with adversity?
Dick: Positive Attitude!
Q: You have a new recovery drink on the market? Tell us about that? What is your approach to nutrition?
Dick: I’m very excited about my new Endurance & Recovery drink mix! It not only helps hydrate you but also helps reduce lactic acid buildup which is huge to running longer and faster! As far as my approach to nutrition, I really don’t have any! I eat when I’m hungry and don’t eat when I’m not. My body pretty much tells me what it wants. Sometimes its a steak, or fish or pasta, etc. I do take a multivitamin along with NuBound and a iron supplement.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Dick: I’ve been running for 40+ years now and love it as much today as I ever have! I can’t even dream running 2:08 marathons anymore but at almost 58 years of age I still enjoy training and racing and seeing how much I can still get out of myself!
Check out Dick Beardsley’s website http://dickbeardsley.com
… Dick is someone that can inspire us all, whether runner or not.