The weekend of April 13-15 will gift one of the maximum challenging physical feats ever accomplished through NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. On Saturday, April thirteen, Johnson will race the Toyota Owners 400 at the Richmond Raceway with a 7:30 p.M. Begin. Less than 48 hours later, the seven-time NASCAR champion will compete in a wholly specific task when he strains up for his first 26.2-mile race at the Boston Marathon.

Inspired by the city’s “Boston Strong” response to the 2013 bombings on the finish line, Johnson knew at the day of the tragedy that he desired to complete the oldest annual marathon at some point. One snag from making this occur is the typical NASCAR racing time table. Knowing the trials a NASCAR race has on his frame—maximum of them taking vicinity on Sundays—he knew at a minimum he might want 24 hours of recuperation time earlier than he should truly compete on Patriots’ Day (the third Monday of April in Massachusetts). But this yr, the NASCAR schedule covered up perfectly with its Saturday-night race to permit him the danger to finally run Boston.

While April 15 will mark Johnson’s debut over 26.2, the race is far from his first staying power take a look at. As Johnson continues to dominate at the race song, he pushes his physical limits as an avid triathlete, bike owner, and runner. He frequently competes in Ironman triathlons—in 2015, he completed fifteenth usual at the HITS Naples half-iron distance triathlon regardless of getting lost. He is an envoy for PeopleForBikes, an advocacy business enterprise that increases awareness for cycling safety. And he has competed in several halves of marathons through the years, together with his maximum current performance at the Daytona Beach Half Marathon in February. (He ran a 1:34, which was right sufficient for the fifteenth vicinity.)

With the same committed enthusiasm that earned him a mythical reputation on the race song, Johnson, 43, has dedicated himself to the goal of running under 3 hours for his first marathon. In a communique with Runner’s World approximately weeks before the Boston Marathon, Johnson mentioned his schooling for the distance, how he manages his NASCAR racing agenda with eighty-mile running weeks, and the hill workout that he likes to hate throughout his prep for 26.2 miles.

Runner’s World: You have a fantastic endurance base with driving, biking, and triathlon enjoy. How has the transition to marathon schooling been to date? Jimmie Johnson: It went adequately. I sensed that I ought to do the marathon on the give up of the remaining season. In the again of my thoughts, earlier than I engaged with my coach and wholly dedicated to it mentally, I just began to select up some greater jogging miles and much fewer bike miles. I feel that became a pleasing manner of taking the pressure off and get my legs switched into strolling. As the extent did choose up, I bumped into a few problems alongside the way, and I realized how tough strolling is—the injuries, the healing aspect, constitutional remedy. Loads go into getting prepared for a marathon, so my eyes are wide open in an experience. I’m so inspired by what people are doing at an elite level, what the weekend warriors do. It’s been a pretty project.

What injuries have you ever skilled on your build-up?

I had a calf difficulty that set me to lower back a handful of days. I had an SI (sacroiliac) joint trouble, after which I had a lingering IT (iliotibial) band issue that took about three weeks to ease up and make depart. Then I stuck a probable cold weeks ago and was out, which became hard at the mind. At least with the alternative problems, I could swim, pedal, and do something to stay energetic; however, the cold genuinely wore on me mentally.

Are you feeling healthy now?

I experience without a doubt good, sure. I came off that cold and got an 80-mile week in closing week and then a 65-mile week this week. My speed and tempo runs have all been showing some tempo, which is very encouraging. I ran 20 [miles] the previous day and completed sturdy with it, so things went the proper way. Now that we’re pulling miles out this week, I can see that my body responds nicely and feels better. The tempo is there, so I’m excited. I’m indeed searching forward to April 15.