Does Jared the Subway guy only eat Subway sandwiches? Where did he buy those cool geek specs? And is he allowed to chow down at McDonalds? Find out the answers to this and more in PastaQueen’s interview with Jared the Subway guy.
I got to chat with Jared last Thursday on a conference call with four other bloggers: Courtney from My Dallas Mommy, Julie from Wii Mommies, Mindi from Moms Need to Know, and Jessica from Fringies…Knitting with One Needle. I also want to apologize to them because I was the moron who kept accidentally hitting buttons with her cheek for the first 10 minutes. As I said, I’m thirty now and can no longer operate technology.
The roundtable nature of the interview created a nice conversational atmosphere, and we got to learn a lot about Jared, his foundation, and his training as he prepares to run the New York City Marathon on November 7. (Good luck, dude!) Jared seems like a nice, down-to-earth guy, who’s still grateful for all the opportunities Subway has given him. Here’s what he had to say on a variety of topics, based on my notes and questions he answered from all the bloggers. (And I admit, I stole most of my questions from your comments on my last Jared entry.):
How do you maintain your healthy eating and training schedule while traveling for Subway gigs?
“It is by far the hardest challenge,” Jared said. When you travel, especially for business, you have to remember you’re not on vacation. You have to make healthy eating a priority. Jared tries to ask about what restaurants he’ll be eating at so he can prepare in advance. He orders sauces and dressings on the side, but the key is to stay “mentally strong.”
You’re very recognizable as the Subway spokesman, but do you ever eat at competitor’s restaurants like McDonalds or Pizza Hut?
Jared laughed and said he doesn’t go to any quick service restaurants because they don’t serve food he wants to be eating. He also said that he’s aware that the Subway spokesman probably shouldn’t be seen at those places. “You don’t want to see me under the golden arches.” However, he wanted us to know he doesn’t eat Subway for every meal. When he eats out, it’s at sit-down restaurants.
How did you become the Subway guy?
Believe it or not, Jared didn’t have a 5-year-plan or 10-year-plan to become the Subway spokesman. He was a business major at Indiana University when a friend wrote an article about his weight loss for the paper. That led to more articles and television interviews until the Subway spokesperson opportunity came up. When he graduated, he had to decide if he wanted to keep pursuing the Subway gig or get “a real job.” He decided to stick with Subway as long as it was still fun and he wanted to do it.
When I trained for a half-marathon, I had to take some days off for injuries. Have you faced any obstacles like that in your training?
Yes, running is completely new to Jared, but he knows you have good days and bad days. The important things is to have the mental will to push through the bad days. He’s fortunate that he hasn’t had any knee problems like I did from damage I did when I was overweight. He’s come to like running, and plans on continuing to run 5-8 mile distances after the marathon. He’s never gotten the runner’s high, but he loves the feeling of accomplishment he gets at the end of a long run.
What has training for the marathon been like?
“Twenty-six miles is a very, very, very long way to go.” Jared has been building up to the distance and has successfully completed several shorter races, including a half-marathon. He says he breaks it up mile by mile. He allows himself 20-30 seconds of walking at each mile. That’s time he uses to drink fluids and mentally recharge. He’s also got a watch with GPS, heart monitor, and pace intervals that he uses to monitor his progress. He’d like to finish the marathon in about 5 hours, but his real goal is to simply complete it no matter what his time.
What advice do you have for other who want to lose weight?
Phase 1 is losing weight. Phase 2 through infinity is keeping the weight off, which is much harder than Phase 1. “Until they create a carrot stick that tastes as good as a mozzarella stick, it will be difficult.” The key is to find exercise that is fun to do and not a chore.
Congrats on your recent marriage! Is your wife a runner? Does she go on training runs with you?
Jared’s wife is not a long-distance runner, but she leads an active life. Sometimes she’ll run a mile with him on a training run and then turn back home. She’s been very understanding of his training schedule. Jared admits, “I’ve seen my trainer this year a lot more than my wife.”
What are some of the best experiences you’ve had as a result of being the Subway guy?
Jared’s gotten to attend the Superbowl for several years, which he loves as a big sports fan. He also enjoys meeting with Little League teams. He got to meet President George W. Bush when he was in office, and Bush told him that at the Texas ranch he’d often ask the secret service guys to run out and get him Subway sandwiches. Jared also got to meet President Obama before he was president, but after the Democratic Convention speech that made him famous. Jared was walking down a hallway and recognized Obama, but wasn’t going to bother him. A few seconds after they’d passed he heard Obama say, “Jared?” They then had a conversation and Obama said he likes how Subway is toasting their subs now.
Can you talk about your foundation?
The Jared Foundation aims to stop childhood obesity. Jared particularly emphasized that he wants to find techniques that actually work, and not just ideas that sound good but have little impact. They’re starting a pilot program in Indianapolis (where Jared lives) in which they’re handing out pedometers to school children and challenging them to reach a certain number of steps.
You’ve been doing this for around 11 years now. What question do you get asked a lot that you’re absolutely sick of answering?
Jared laughed and said one common misperception people have is that he only eats Subway. He wants us to know he does eat other foods. He also feels lucky that people still care, and he hasn’t had to get a “real job” yet.
And where did you get those cool specs?
Jared laughed. “They’re Burberry.”
Thanks to Jared for taking the time to talk to us! As part of the Subway Commit to Fit program, I’m giving away a $25 Subway gift card. To enter, post a comment below listing what your favorite Subway sandwich/cookie/wrap/salad/whatever is. You must be a US resident to enter. The contest ends at 11:59pm on Thursday, November 4, 2010. Winner will be drawn randomly. For more information about the Commit to Fit program and for a chance to win up to $26,200, visit the Subway Facebook page.