With the Boston Marathon coming up I have been seeing a number of running pages talking about a new book out by 2014 Champion Meb Keflezighi. On a whim last week I decided to spend the money and downloaded my copy of Meb For Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner. I am very much not a marathoner nor do I have any intentions of ever being one. I am, on the other hand, training for my second half marathon which is taking place later this week!
Not fully paying attention to the book or the reviews of it I had thought that most of the book would be story telling about how he got to the point of wining an Olympic Medal, The New York City Marathon & the Boston Marathon. Completely proving me wrong, this book was all about training, recovery, goal setting & more.
Each chapter outlined important parts of any runners routine or should I say, parts of the routine that every runner should have. One of the best things about this book is that it wasn’t just for people who plan to run marathons. Yes, most of Meb’s races and goals are marathon based but he is able to compare how he trains to how someone should be training for a 5k or a half marathon.
I’m pretty sure some of my close friends are happy I’m done with this book, I’ve been driving them crazy for the last 4 or 5 days with text messages. There were a number of moments where Meb would say something and my response would be “that’s insane!” and immediately would have to text a friend. For example:
For some runners, a recovery day means no running. At times in my career, it’s meant 10 to 12 miles in the morning and 4 to 7 miles in the afternoon. Most regular runners fall between these two extremes.
Keflezighi, Meb; Douglas, Scott (2015-04-07). Meb For Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner (Kindle Locations 2717-2719). Rodale Books. Kindle Edition.
As I mentioned, Meb is very quick throughout the book to point out that “most runners” do not qualify for what he is talking about. Very few runners around the world are at the level he is at and chances are they are not the ones reading his book for tips.
I do like that Meb never says “this is exactly how you should run.” He reminds readers that he is outlining what worked for him, what works for him might not work for someone else. Meb gives examples of what some of his competitors do in contrast to how he handles things. I think this is incredibly helpful for anyone looking for different ideas to try in their training. Meb’s way works for Meb, but it might not work for someone else.
My favorite chapter in the entire book was the chapter on goal setting. Meb gives fantastic advice about how to set goals, yes plural. He is very big on never going into one race with only one goal. He suggests setting multiple goals in case your major goal doesn’t work out… you still have other goals to aim for and things to be proud of. One of my favorite quotes from the book was:
Most of us have enough areas in our lives where we have to meet others’ expectations. Let your running be about your own hopes and dreams.
Keflezighi, Meb; Douglas, Scott (2015-04-07). Meb For Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner (Kindle Locations 195-196). Rodale Books. Kindle Edition.
As someone who won the Boston Marathon 10 years after he won his Olympic medal, Meb is definitely someone who has been through a long (and not yet over) running career. He does point out how his training has changed over the last few years now that he is one of the older elite runners in the world.
Overall I think anyone who is a runner should read this book. I recommend the paperback copy and a highlighter. I have over 25 notes in my kindle and I think if I had a paperback copy I would’ve had even more, I just get lazy sometimes with the kindle!
On that note, go buy the book & good luck to Meb as he makes an attempt to defend his Boston title today!