*Disclaimer – I was provided a complimentary electronic copy of Meb for Mortals from the people at Runner’s World to review. I was not compensated for this review in any other way and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Two years ago, one year after the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, a 38 year old won first place. But not just any 38 year old. Meb Keflezighi. An American who vowed he would win this race and did just that, honoring all the victims and inspiring the entire country. It was a Hollywood moment that couldn’t have been any more fitting.
Meb has always been a hero of mine. As a New York-based runner, I’ve seen him at the start line of numerous races with a determined look and speedy legs. I’ve seen him blaze past me in the blink of an eye and cheered him on more times than I could count. And it never gets old. Every time I watch him run it reminds me why I love this sport and why I push myself each and every day to be a better runner.
So what is Meb’s secret to success? He’s won both New York City and Boston Marathons as well as Olympic medals, and in his new book Meb for Mortals he shares some of his secrets and strategies to how he accomplished these incredible athletic feats. From the mental aspect of running to the physical, this book feels like a conversation with Meb about his training and his recommendations for runners to perform at their best. Throughout the book he even demonstrates specific stretches he uses, strength training routines, what to eat, how to crosstrain, and discusses realistic long and short term goal setting and its importance—basically all the crucial information that can help you improve and tackle distance running. There is even a section in the book regarding the stretching “dos” and “don’ts”, including information about yoga and running.
While the book does not provide a specific training plan, it does provide insight into Meb’s training—what worked and what didn’t work. He stresses the importance of a proper diet in running, which I love and think often gets very overlooked. But instead of viewing that ice cream you couldn’t eat or the salad you got instead of pizza as a sacrifice, he suggests viewing these lifestyle changes as decisions instead. I love this perspective and it takes what we perceive to be something negative and turns it into a positive.
Here are some of my other favorite quotes from the book:
-“As I like to say, you can reach for the stars, but it’s not a bad thing if you land in a cloud.”
-“Commitment is a form of risk taking. That’s another way of saying there’s faith involved in commitment, because you don’t know if you’re going to reach your goal.”
-“If the goal you’re working toward has deep significance to you, you’ll find a way to persevere. But if someone else thrusts the goal upon you, when you hit tough stretches, you’re going to think, “Wait, why am I doing this?”
-“With the right goals and the commitment to keep pursuing them, you can achieve more in running than you ever thought possible.”
From cover to cover this book is filled with inspirational phrases and information to make you want to go out for a run. It is obvious how hard Meb trains to achieve his goals. He does clearly have natural talent, but to compete at his level it takes ultimate dedication and passion for the sport. And this passion was clearly evident during my reading. Meb has great perspectives into training and also how to adjust your training as you get older.
This book is certainly one to add to your running book collection for training ideas and strategies, to establish effective routines, running injury free, and also just to fuel your own running passion using the words of an American runner who continues to inspire us each and every time he laces up his shoes.
Who else will be cheering on Meb in the Boston Marathon?! I know I will. Go Meb!