"Catfish" & "We Need To Talk" Star Nev Schulman On Running The NYC Marathon
Yaniv "Nev" Schulman first found fame as one of the stars of the film Catfish. The immense success of Catfish led to the film being turned into an MTV series, which launched its seventh season back in January. Schulman is also the author of the book In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity In The Digital Age and a co-host of the Facebook Watch series We Need To Talk, which Schulman cohosts with wife Laura Perlongo.
Schulman notably ran the New York City Marathon in at two hours and 58 minutes. This time turns out to be faster than that any other celebrity, including former NFL player Tiki Barber. When speaking with Schulman by phone about We Need To Talk -- which returns with a new season this month -- I asked him about his marathon-related preparation, and highlights from that part of the chat are below.
More on Nev Schulman and We Need To Talk can be found at www.nevschulman.com.
Speaking of the fountain of youth, how did you run the New York City Marathon so fast? Were you training for a long time?
NS: Yeah, I was. (laughs) My dad actually was a runner for a long time. I remember growing up he used to take me to the marathon finish line every year. It was like a little family tradition. He ran the marathon when he was about my age and always made a point to mention that he had run it in under three hours. So I kind of grew up with this unofficial challenge, which was, “Can anyone else run that marathon in under three?”
So, a couple of years ago I decided to try and I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be. I didn’t really train enough. So I ran it again the next year, training a little bit harder but still not enough. And then finally the last year I really committed to a much stricter and more formal training regimen and I finally did it. I finally got my “sub-three,” but it wasn't fun and I don't recommend it. (laughs)
What sort of training regimen was that for you? Was it about running a certain number of days per week? Weight training?
NS: I did the exact amount of training that I needed to for the time I wanted to get to. Obviously, there’s still a lot more I could do to go faster, which would have included more cross-training and weight-training. Mainly I was running three or four times a week, I was doing running workouts that I wouldn't normally do. One of them, which was the hardest probably… They're called “fartleks,” which I think is a German word for “repeat.” Running one mile not as fast as I could but like in like six minutes, which is fast, and then jogging for two minutes, and then again a mile in six minutes and two-minute rest.
The first time I did that I did it four times and I was exhausted. Then a couple of weeks later I did it again and I could do six of them, and a couple of weeks later I did eight of them. So it workouts like that, which are really not fun and super-hard and exhausting, are what makes you much stronger.
Do you think you might run the marathon one more time?
NS: You know, I probably will. I think for me it'll be more casual and I'll try to just enjoy it and not have it be so challenging. Because I still would like to keep running part of my life, but I do think that the wear and tear of running that much that fast isn't something I really want to continue doing.