I think we can all agree on our love for Meb. He’s humble, he’s kind, he’s someone you want to root for and besides being able to run a sub-6 minute mile for 26.2 miles and win huge marathons (New York and Boston) and Olympic medals, he’s a lot like us.
At his core, he just loves to run.
Meb seems to be a fairly simple man. In fact, I think he summed up his entire book Meb for Mortals in one sentence:
Three factors determine everything I do; good goals, commitment and hard work.”
Now get out there and run like Meb!
Ok, so maybe you need a little more guidance but truly, it all comes down to these three things that everyone can do, and can apply to their running life. Meb just happens to be one of the best in the world at doing it.
I love the story he tells about choices. Another running goddess and training partner of his, Deena Kastor is quoted in the book as saying “we make choices, not sacrifices.” Meb tells a story of being at a church social, looking around and seeing that everyone (small, medium and large!) is eating a donut. He thinks about the fact that he did a 12 mile run in the morning and will be doing more mileage on his ElliptGO later that day, yet he is the only one not eating a donut. He relayed these thoughts to a friend there, who responded by saying “You’re the only one here who won the Boston Marathon.” Exactly.
FIVE (MORE) SURPRISING REVELATIONS ABOUT MEB:
1. HOW DOES MEB FUEL PRE-RACE? Since he doesn’t sleep well the night before a big race (just like us!), he puts food like a banana, two or three whole wheat or bagel sandwhiches, on his bedside table. When he inevitably wakes up in the middle of the night, he just starts eating. This is genius people!
“Over the next few hours I eat a decent number of calories. By the time I’ve eaten my sandwiches, I’ve probably taken in as many calories as the people who stuffed themselves at the prerace pasta party. But by eating smaller amounts more frequently, I’m not making my digestive system work overtime, and my blood sugar stays at a more constant level.”
2. WHY DOES MEB WEAR SUNGLASSES?
“I usually wear sunglasses in a race if it’s a sunny day. This is not because of the sun but to help keep my head at the right level.
When you get tired, it’s natural to put your head down. As I discussed in Chapter 2, not hold- ing your head level can throw off your form, which in a race situation will just make you feel that much more tired.
If you’re wearing sunglasses when you lower your head, they’ll start to slide down your nose. When that happens, it’s a cue to return your head to a level position, looking 20 to 30 meters down the road.”
3. WHAT’S THE BEST FUELING TIP MEB RECEIVED FROM A FELLOW ELITE?
So, if you read my post this past Wednesday about living the life of an elite, you would know that elites get to have their very own “fluid” bottles on the race course. Because they train at such a high level, their bodies get used to a certain sports drink and they want to be consistent with that on race day. Fellow elite Ryan Hall, told Meb how to take this a step further and I think it’s a fantastic idea…except I don’t have this luxury!
“I practice drinking on my long runs and tempo runs. I’m fortunate to usually have someone accompanying me on a bike for these workouts. I give them two bottles. As in the marathon, one has sports drink in it, and the other has sports drink mixed with a caffeinated gel. (I learned that trick from my fellow Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall. It sure beats carrying the gels and having them freeze or cutting your lip trying to open them on the run.) On long runs, I have the bottle with the dissolved gel at 12, 15, and 21 miles.”
4. HOW DOES MEB STRENGTH TRAIN?
Meb makes no bones about the importance of strength training. Though out the book, he preaches the significance and positive impact strength training has on his running and racing, especially as he ages. I was very happy to see that he touts the importance of upper body training (it really is important to running!) but I wasn’t sure what to make of this:
5. DOES MEB TAKE CARE OF “ALL THE LITTLE THINGS?”
Meb talks about the fact that some people attribute his success to “taking care of all the little things.” Meb disagrees:
“It’s true that I’m dedicated to eating well, recovering well, working on my running form, cross-training, and staying strong and flexible. But it’s important to realize that I don’t consider those “little things.” They’re integral to being the best runner I can be; when done day in and day out, they’re like compound interest, building to something big over time.”
Meb is my hero for so many reasons but I love that he won, in epic fashion, the Boston Marathon in 2014, two weeks before his 39th birthday. He’s practically ancient in the running world and still winning marathons. It’s truly incredible and he’s such an inspiration to me.
I was given a copy of this book by Runner’s World (although all opinions are my very own) at just the right time. Reading all of this, two weeks before my first marathon in eight years and as a 40 year-old athlete, has pumped me up! Obviously I’m not comparing myself to Meb but I’m so inspired by him and, I guarantee, you will be too if you read even a few pages of this book!
[Tweet “5 Surprising Revelations in @runmeb new book, Meb for Mortals! @runnersworld #MebForMortals”]
Do you love Meb as much as I do?
Do you have any idea who this guy even is?
Tell me about someone in your life who inspires you!
How can you not love Meb? He’s the coolest guy who thinks about donuts and does weird looking neck presses at the gym.
I mean really!
How awesome is Meb?! I love him! That fueling trick is awesome and so interesting about the sunglasses! Makes total sense! He is such a fantastic athlete and I remember feeling so much pride after his win (and I wasn’t even into running then!!)
When I heard about his win it was via Twitter and I was at the grocery store. I started crying in the aisle. Seriously. He’s so inspirational and I love the fueling trick!!
You know I am not a big runner but of course I know who Meb is (and not just from reading your blog)! He is a superstar. I like the idea of eating when he wakes up in the middle of the night. That is smart.
I’m inspired by women who have started their own businesses (like you). I want their courage and savvy.
Thanks Britt!! You have a ton of courage and savvy…I think you’re just short on time right now with that adorable baby of yours!
Another book I MUST add to my collection :)!!!! I LOVE Meb!!!!! He is amazing (aren’t all runners).
“The little things aren’t little things”……who doesn’t need that reminder….convicting! He seems like such a hard working, smart and down to earth guy!
I thought the same exact thing! All the stretching and cross training and foam rolling are definitely not little things and they all add up on race day 🙂 speaking of…good luck in the 5K this weekend!
You know what makes me really happy?? When someone else reads a book and actually shares USEFUL information from it rather than just here are what the chapters are 🙂 And I love that we read the same book and thought of totally different things we wanted to share. You rock.
Agreed! Thanks so much Amanda and it makes me so happy for you to recognize that I really try to make these reviews the least boring and most helpful they can be. It’s challenging when it seems like the entire blog-o-shpere is reading/reviewing the same thing! xo
I love this and love Meb. He’s probably one of my favorite athletes. I want to read this book! Such great tips here and can imagine that there’s lots more in the book. OMG can you please do the neck press at the Y and take a picture for me??? 🙂
You know that’s coming… 🙂 how can I resist?
I know who Meb is and I enjoyed reading this. He is very inspiring, but I am more inspired by women I see running at all hours of the day pushing jogging strollers than by anyone else. I didn’t start running until my youngest was five years old…. the everyday women who make it happen while juggling everything else, they inspire me.
Agreed! Everyday athletes and the women and men around us can be the MOST inspiring.
I love Meb! He is such an inspiration! I definitely have to get this book! Thanks Allie!
You are welcome! 🙂
I really enjoyed this review b/c you know what? I’m going to admit that I’m a bit Meb’d out, but you brought in some new, fresh aspects that I haven’t read/heard elsewhere. So thank you!
Hello from Meb’s co-author. Thanks for the insightful review.
Because you mentioned the forehead-against-ball exercise, I’ll let you know that this one was new to me. I started doing it over the summer, a few times throughout the day. Within a couple of weeks most of the upper back and neck discomfort I get from spending too much time working on a laptop with bad posture went away. So don’t be shy about trying it!
Hi there and thanks so much for taking the time to read this! I appreciate the tip and now I will definitely have to try it. Thanks!
I’ll admit I did not know who Meb was, but this was interesting! The sunglasses tip was a good one, even for casual runners. And I just read the comment above mine from Scott – I am totally going to try that!
Right?? Thanks Dana!
I love Meb and your blogs always enlighten me! You get to the point and pass on useful information and beneficial tips!! Thank you, Allie for being you and sharing such helpful information with us! A new book to add to my list! I did purchase the last running book you recommended and I’m learning so many new tips.
That is so great Tiffany! I always want to be revenant and helpful so I appreciate the feedback 🙂
Love Meb. Met him at the Falmouth Road Race in 2009. Such a approachable, down to earth guy. Looking forward to reading this book. Have a great race Allie.
So cool that you met him! Thanks Kevin.
I think Meb is awesome!!
I would have never thought about using sunglasses to keep from dropping your head when tired but it makes a lot of sense.
I can’t imagine eating during the night but I drink water every time I wake up!
That is a great idea too! I’m not sure I could eat either but I want to – it would be so much better then cramming down all the calories before and early morning race.
The sunglasses thing is SO interesting! And makes so much sense! Loved the reveal about the middle of the night eating…genius on 2 levels…helps him fuel and also probably helps distract from the fact that he is up in the middle of the night! Super smart!-Ashley
Can I just say how happy it makes me to have you back? *smiling*
What a cool trick with the sunglasses! I learned a lot about Meb here today! Think I am going to pick up that book for my daughter and husband!
It really is a great read and just so inspiring. Plus, I didn’t really mention how many training plans and exercise plans there are – I figured enough bloggers have covered that already! Thanks Michelle.
I love this so much! I haven’t read it yet, but now I want to get on that! YOU are inspiring me hard!!!!
It’s SUCH a great read. Of course, I would read anything from Meb.