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Formerly fat Faneca finishes a marathon in four hours

faneca Getty Images

Last year we passed along the word that Alan Faneca, the former NFL offensive lineman who once tipped the scales at well over 300 pounds, had lost 100 pounds in retirement. Now Faneca has accomplished something that would make most offensive linemen shudder: He’s completed a marathon.

Faneca ran his first marathon on Sunday, and he did it in 3:56:17, a very respectable time for any recreational runner, but especially for a guy who in his NFL playing days weighed more than twice as much as elite marathon runners weigh.

The 37-year-old Faneca told Runner’s World that he decided in October that he wanted to run a marathon, and he’s taken his workout routine seriously to get into good enough shape to finish.

I was always very strict in my training, taking notes and writing things down,” he said. “I had something to lean on.”

The health of retired players is a major concern in NFL circles, and health problems related to obesity are particularly concerning with huge linemen like Faneca. Good for him for putting in the hard work to get himself into marathon-running shape.

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22 Responses to “Formerly fat Faneca finishes a marathon in four hours”
  1. coltzfan166 says: Feb 4, 2014 12:39 PM

    PFT, you cannot post a story like this without posting a current picture of him. That’s not the PFT I’ve come to love.

    Michael David Smith: Click the link in the first sentence to see what Faneca currently looks like.

  2. barrywhererufrom says: Feb 4, 2014 12:40 PM

    Great Job to a pretty darn good guard!!!

  3. mataug says: Feb 4, 2014 12:44 PM

    The health of retired players is a major concern in NFL circles, and health problems related to obesity are particularly concerning with huge linemen like Faneca. Good for him for putting in the hard work to get himself into marathon-running shape.

    You could say the same about the United States (and its youth in particular).

  4. csilojohnson says: Feb 4, 2014 12:48 PM

    Go Faneca! Steelers o-line has been swiss cheese since he left.

  5. jonsilver1947 says: Feb 4, 2014 12:50 PM

    Great player:
    -nine times a Pro Bowler;
    -voted to the Steelers 75th Anniversary All Time Team by Steeler fans;
    -a major part of the Jets’ successful ground game in 2008-9 (2006 yds/20 tds in ’08, 2756 yards/21 tds in ’09). The line went downhill after he was cut.

  6. ballboy48 says: Feb 4, 2014 1:06 PM

    Well done Faneca!

  7. dynaco says: Feb 4, 2014 1:11 PM

    In his next gig, he wants to be a field goal kicker.

  8. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Feb 4, 2014 1:17 PM

    With the age and weight loss, Faneca could probably be an H-Back in the CFL now.

  9. FinFan68 says: Feb 4, 2014 1:17 PM

    What’s up with the “fat” headlines today?

  10. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 4, 2014 1:19 PM

    Sure he can run a 4 hour marathon in shorts, but how fast is he in pads? Too much emphasis placed on these timed runs. How often does an NFL player have to run 27 miles in a straight line on the football field?

  11. 12brichandfamous says: Feb 4, 2014 1:37 PM

    I’ve been a runner for seven years and sub-4 hours is a goal for the majority of people. It’s hard to do. He did it on his first race. That performance marks him as a strong runner and shows us all just how good an athlete he is and not just a big body.

  12. nfloracle says: Feb 4, 2014 1:41 PM

    Bravo. He’s an inspiration to everyone who wants to get in shape and lose weight.

  13. acmepackers says: Feb 4, 2014 1:44 PM

    Agree with 12brichandfamous. The vast majority of recreational marathoners aim for there 4-hour mark. Seeing a former lineman do it is impressive, to say the least. In a way, I think this is more impressive than Hines Ward doing an Ironman (with a team of the world’s best triathlon coaches helping him train).

  14. bobzilla1001 says: Feb 4, 2014 1:49 PM

    Former O-linemen shrinking down to a normal-size human being isn’t all that unusual. Playing at 320 pounds requires a lot eating. Skipping a few daily meals and living a normal life usually takes off the pounds.
    Former Steelers center Jeff Hardings and former Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke are also shells of their former selves.
    The guys who usually balloon up once their playing days are over are those who had to work hard to stay lean throughout their careers. Shawn King is a great example.

  15. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 4, 2014 1:56 PM

    “Big Al” Faneca becomes “Formerly Fat” Faneca.

  16. 44mpo says: Feb 4, 2014 2:02 PM

    Good for him. A very good time for what would be considered a big runner at 200 pounds or so.

  17. hines86for6 says: Feb 4, 2014 2:16 PM

    this guy deserves to be in the HOF someday. perhaps the best interior Olineman of his era.

  18. granadafan says: Feb 4, 2014 2:20 PM

    It would take Jared Larenzo 15 years to go 26 miles.

  19. elliottcovert says: Feb 4, 2014 3:05 PM

    It seems like a lot of retired linemen — Jeff Saturday, Matt Birk, and apparently Faneca — have all been losing weight since retirement. Good for them! No reason to carry out all that extra weight and all of the health issues it can lead to if your job doesn’t depend on it.

  20. boobsmcgoo says: Feb 4, 2014 3:15 PM

    Often the linemen lose weight and the RBs and LBs gain weight after retirement. Examples are Deuce McAllister and Rickey Jackson. FAT.

  21. meatcarroll says: Feb 4, 2014 4:07 PM

    Disrespectful headline. Faneca wasn’t ever “fat”, he was actually quite svelte for an offensive lineman.

  22. cometkazie says: Feb 4, 2014 6:37 PM

    Another Tiger, Jimmy Taylor, finished a marathon about 30y ago.

    I gave him his medal when he crossed the finish line.

    Geaux Tigers!

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