Top marathon tips from pro skater Salman Agah

Salman Agah is one of the world's most famous skateboarders, and is credited for inventing Swtich! Now I know nothing about skateboarding, but even I know what Swtich is! For those of you who don't, Swtich (or Goofy as it's often called) is riding the opposite way to your natural stance. i.e. bloody difficult!

Having started skating aged 5, Salman has travelled the world and skated alongside Tony Hawk & Lance Mountain - to name but a few. Vans produced a namesake shoe in his honour, and the accolades continue. Since retiring from pro skating, Salman has been involved in numerious creative projects, from book launches to young enterprise schemes, and most recently he co-launched Downtown L.A. pizza joint Toddy G's, serving delicious pizzas (that's true, I ate A LOT when I went there!) some with rather unusual toppings - mac and cheese being a case in point.

Now it's not every day you get to interview one of the world's best skateboarders, and seeing as as my knowledge is limited to the above, I asked Salman Agah about marathon running instead! Salman is running the Los Angeles Marathon later this month and here are his tips from the top..
Name: Salman Agah
Age: 38
Home: Los Angeles
Career: Skateboarding / Restaurateur / Freelance Marketing, Branding, Media Planning Consultant

How did you get into running? I was inspired to start running by my friend Max.

Is this your first marathon? Yes, this is my first marathon.

What made you decide to run the Los Angeles Marathon 2011? Max ran the marathon last year and we were visiting & talking about it - it sounded like a good challenge. It was easy deciding to run the marathon in LA, because I live in LA and the start of the marathon is 2 minutes from our flat.

Can you tell us your goal time? I’d like to run it in between 4.5 to 5 hours.

What charity (if any) are you running for? My run will benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles - www.active.com/donate/T2EA/tinachow

Who is your marathon inspiration? Over the years I’ve had several friends pass and others that cannot run any longer. So thoughts of them keep me trotting along.

What has been your trick to integrating your training into your already busy schedule? It’s definitely tricky especially as my runs have gotten longer. I just force them in there. I ebb and flow. Sometimes I’m very disciplined and sometimes I lag. The one trick that really helps is to have my stuff out and prepared the night before I run. That helps a lot.

What do you tell yourself to beat the wall? If ever you’ve hit it! I hit the wall once the first time I tried running 16 miles. It was obnoxious. I couldn’t see and was freezing, it was total delirium. There is no beating the wall if you hit it. I run with GU (energy gel) now and take routes that have water along the way. I don’t like to carry anything on me when I run.

Can you name your top three tracks on your marathon playlist?
Death or Glory - The Clash

Ex Lion Tamer - Wire

Los Angeles - X

What is your pre race ritual? 10 Minute Stretch, Deep Breaths, Go!

What is your marathon top training tip? What helps me is to take a 10 minute bath in icy cold water after my run followed by a steam room for 10 minutes and then back into the icy waters for 5 minutes and then a cold shower. That’s what helps me recover quickly.

Thanks for the tips Salman, I'm not sure about the 10 minute cold bath though brrrrrrr! Wishing you loads of luck for the marathon on March 20th! x