#80: Marathon legend Meb Keflezghi

Host Brad Kearns visits with legendary American marathon runner Meb Keflezghi, whose longevity and ability to peak for championship events is arguably unrivaled in the history of elite running. Meb has had a 20-year run as a world-class runner and is still going strong at age 41! Meb was the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon in Athens, and made the 2016 Olympic team in the marathon at age 41. This historic performance defied our normal perception of aging for world-class runners. Meb’s historic Boston Marathon victory in 2014, the year after the bombings and the first win by a US runner in decades, was hailed as one of the most dramatic victories ever in running.

Meb’s unique approach to distance running offers practical tips and inspiration for runners of all ability levels. Meb discusses following a 9-day training cycle instead of the typical 7-day (gives him more time to recover) and his attention to a holistic approach, where he emphasizes stretching, mobility work, cross training with his interesting ElliptoGo machine, and constant attention to recovery.  Meb claims that a one-hour run actually takes two hours, what with the preparation time, drills and perhaps driving to the most suitable location (such as grass instead of pavement). An interesting tidbit: if you are absent-mindedly feeling/rubbing a sore joint or muscle, your brain is telling you that you have an injury problem – pay attention! You can count on Meb to avoid injuries and peak for big events. Listen when he says it’s better to be at 85-95% fitness than 101% and invite injury and burnout

Meb is a guy who gives back to the running community and inspires young runners. Listen to the true story of how he befriended a young collegiate runner (a friend of Brad’s) after a chance meeting in Mammoth and invited him to his crib to watch track on TV–the very first day young Tommy moved to Mammoth to train with the best! 

If you don’t know Meb’s story about emigrating from Eritrea to San Diego with his large family, check out his books, Run to Overcome. Read Meb 4 Mortals for training guidance and inspiration. Enjoy this podcast with one of the true legends and great inspirations of running. 


How has he maintained his magnificent career for over twenty years? [00:03:39] 

What has your brother contributed to your career? [00:10:28] 

How did the U.S. evolve in the distance running sport? [00:12:38] 

How has Meb contributed to the youngsters in the sport? [00:15:58] 

How does one use goal-setting into success? [00:19:23] 

What is the ElliptoGo? [00:22:07] 

What does he mean about focusing on “the small things?”[00:24:24] 

Injuries in runners are prevalent. What does Meb say about this problem [00:27:09] 

What is his theory about the 9-day training cycle? [00:31:37] 

What is the future of this athlete and where is the sport headed? [00:33:57] 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *