After dropping more than 100 pounds since retiring from the NFL in 2011, former offensive lineman Alan Faneca ran his first marathon Sunday in 3:56:17. This is a great accomplishment, especially when you look at former NFL players like Matt Birk and Faneca dropping weight to stay in good health.
Faneca, 37, started training for the New Orleans Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon back in October after chatting with his former Pittsburgh Steelers. He followed a training plan made by a friend but said he was still nervous on race day.
“I was very nervous about going from the slow long run pace to all of a sudden running 30-45 seconds faster,” he said. “I got the adrenaline thing but adrenaline doesn’t last for four hours.”
Faneca was a first round draft pick in 1998 when he was drafted from Louisiana State University to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Faneca, who now lives in Louisiana, also played professionally for the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, earning nine-time All Pro and Pro Bowl selection as well as a Super Bowl ring in 2006 with the Steelers. He should be a future Hall of Famer, the guy was a stud for the Steelers.
Faneca went from weighing 320 pounds to 215 after his football career ended. He said that by cutting back on his daily calories and sticking to a six-days-a-week cardio plan, he was able to take the weight off easily.
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“For athletes, when you stop [playing] you have to realize you can’t keep eating the things you were eating because you’re not doing the things you were doing,” said Faneca, who reduced his calorie intake to 1,800 calories a day after he retired.