Book Review: Meb for Mortals

Sorry that I have not been very active lately on the blog. I’ve been doing tons of traveling, conferencing, seeing family, etc., which has made it kinda hard to write. I’m on my way back to Kansas and things are returning to at least some semblance of normalcy (for like 5 days).

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Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love Meb Keflezighi. For any major marathon, I always root for him and I follow him on facebook and instagram. He’s just a really nice and classy guy. I like that he always finishes his races, even if he is not performing well and that he takes a generally laid back attitude to running and life. He also posts lots of pictures of his kids, and I really respect people that are good parents.

Since I knew I’d be flying all day Friday, I decided to get Meb’s book “Meb for Mortals” to see if it had any good running, training, or life advice. I’ve read Meb’s other book, “Run to Overcome”, which I liked a lot, mostly because he has had an interesting life. This book focused on training and running the way that he does. He covers topics such as running form, training programs, shoes, stretching, and everything in between. So, this is my raving review of his book (I mean, I knew I’d like it because he’s just the coolest!).

These were some things that I just loved about this book:

  1. Lots of great mantras: This book is filled with great one-line mantras to repeat to yourself during the roughest part of a race or training. I struggle a lot with the mental side of running and training. I start to suffer and everything goes out the window, and this can eventually lead to my form suffering which can lead to injuries. He just says things throughout the book that are very positive and good reminders when you are working hard.
  1. Emphasis on recovery: Recovery is a very important part of anyone’s training, especially for those of us who are a little more injury prone. He talks about recovery throughout the book… in every chapter. He makes an important point: Undertraining is ALWAYS better than overtraining. This is hard for a lot of us (him too), but it’s so important. He also has a whole chapter about recovery. Pretty much, when in doubt, go slower, take time off, or do a recovery run.
  1. Running drills, stretches, and strength work: He shows lots of pictures of him doing drills to help running form, certain stretches and strength exercises. I like that a lot. I am going to add some of this stuff to my own training. I really think it’s beneficial. The drills he does are a lot of what I did when I was in physical therapy for my knee a few years ago. He says they help prevent injury, and I believe him.
  1. You will inevitably get injured: I know, this is the part of running we don’t want to think about, but he touches on it. I live in fear of my next injury, but he really gives a lot of advice for the eventual injury a runner will have. He talks about adding intense workouts on a bike or elliptical. Honestly, it’s a load off my shoulders to know that I will get injured. It’s not if, it’s when… but that’s OK. When it happens, take time off and switch key workouts over to your bike. Take three weeks off, take a month off… do what you need to do, but you can stay in shape and train hard for when you can get back. I really like that attitude.
  1. Honesty: He is just so honest about his training. He goes into every part of it and says why he does it, how it helps him, and why it lead to him either running a PR or getting to the podium. He emphasizes key workouts, and is honest about how they work for him. He also mentions when he uses a particular product and if they are a sponsor. I just like how open he is about his training. He doesn’t have to put this out for everyone, but he does, and I like that.

Basically, I loved his book. It’s an easy read, it won’t take you long (I read the whole thing while flying from Florida to Kansas City, plus a layover), but the info in there is golden. Maybe it will just be affirmations of what you already know, or maybe it’ll be some new info. Either way, I think hearing how a world class runner trains will only help you.

What are some of your favorite running books? Have you read any of Meb’s books?

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Meb for Mortals

  1. Funny you should post this now, I was just thinking this weekend about how I really want to buy this book! I think this was a sign!

    I am really happy that he includes a point about “undertraining is always better than overtraining.” This is something I have always believed as well, so it’s nice to have an expert verify it 🙂 There have been times both in my taper and recovery where I worry that I’m not running as many miles as I wanted to, and I have to remind myself: “when in doubt, err on the side of rest!” I can point to several times I have suffered from not enough rest, but I can’t think of a single time I have suffered from TOO MUCH rest. Thanks Meb! 😛

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  2. Love Meb! I see him every so often in Flagstaff and it’s always such a star-struck moment for me! haha Thanks for your review! I’ve read a few others and I’m going to have to make the purchase! Love his attitude on injuries! I feel like that mindset helped a lot with my most recent injury.

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