Sunday, October 10, 2010

Khalid Khannouchi on the Chicago Marathon

by Kimberly Bogin

Khalid Khannouchi knows a lot about the Chicago Marathon. He should. He's won the race four times, setting what was at one time a world-record on the course.

Khannouchi is also the current American record-holder in the marathon, a 2:05:38 set in London in 2002. He's struggled with injuries for the last several years, and hasn't run a marathon since the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2007, where he placed fourth.

After having foot surgery in 2009, the 38-year-old Khannouchi is ready for a comeback and possibly a spring marathon. Right now he's in Chicago to meet fans, sign autographs and do a test at the mobile Gatorade Performance Lab.

I caught up with Khalid shortly after today's test, to discuss the Chicago Marathon, fellow American marathoner Ryan Hall and his surprising thoughts about the validity of the current world-record.

Marathon Examiner: First of all, how does it feel to be back in Chicago? This is a very special place for you.

Khalid Khannouchi: It’s very special. It’s great. I will always think about all the great memories here including world records, American records and all of that.

Marathon Examiner: You're in Chicago at the mobile Gatorade Performance Lab to have your body analyzed during a treadmill test. Did you learn anything during the test about the proper way to fuel both during and after training?

Khalid Khannouchi: Yes. I sat down with the person who did the test and actually I learned a lot from her. It’s very important to understand that fat and carbohydrate is the fuel of energy, and they explained to me the way my body was functioning during that five minutes of running.

The good thing about professional athletes, as they saw today, is that the more you train the more you teach your body to use the fat.