Prince Royce on Training for a Marathon: “I’ve Become Such a Stronger Human Being”
Marathons move everybody—even multi-platinum-selling, award-winning Latin recording artist Prince Royce—to be better.
While touring the U.S. this summer, the 28-year-old Miami resident made time in his jam-packed schedule to train for the TCS New York City Marathon on November 5.
The race will be a homecoming for the bachata singer: Royce grew in the Patterson Houses on 143rd Street in the South Bronx. “From the window, I’d always see the marathon running by,” he recalls. “But I never thought I’d be signing up for it.”
But a funny thing happened this year. He started running on a whim, and really liked the results.
“For me, what it strengthened the most was my mind,” says Royce, who credits running with helping him come up with song ideas. “It’s hard to explain, but I think I’ve become strong within. Obviously, there’s a physical aspect to it, but I’ve become such a stronger human being.”
Growing up, Royce wasn’t exactly athletic. “I hated cardio,” he says. “I would always go to the gym and lift heavy and there was always this obsession with getting big or whatever. I could never deal with my heart rate being up.”
As he came around to the idea of running, Royce went big and registered for the TCS New York City Marathon. “It was a you-only-live-once kind of thing,” he says. “I’m a New Yorker, so for me, it was a New York thing, like how cool would it be to run all five boroughs?”
Royce has already run several shorter distance races in NYC this year. He finished the New Balance Bronx 10-Mile in September and the NYRR Staten Island Half in October.
Last week, Royce has completed his first-ever 20-mile training run—and he did it all without music. While he doesn’t listen to his own material while training, he’s partial to hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar, and “Eye of the Tiger.”
“I really can’t believe I’ve gotten this far,” he says. “I can’t imagine what Sunday will feel like.”
Come race day, the course will take Royce back to the block where he grew up, passing the middle school and high school on Morris Avenue he attended as a kid. “I’m going to run across the street from the church where I was an altar server,” he adds.
He’ll traverse the five boroughs on behalf of two charities, the National Kidney Foundation—Royce’s grandfather died from kidney failure—and Change for Kids, an organization that provides resources to students in NYC’s public school system. “It’s not just raising money, it’s creating awareness for these things,” says Royce. “There are so many reasons for this run.”
“I know what it is to grow up and be poor and go to public school,” he says. “High school is so important. That’s when kids are molding into the people they’re going to be in the future, so I’m running for them.”
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