Meb For Mortals – a Book Review

by Her Happy Balance on April 17, 2015

Good morning, friends! How is everybody doing on this wonderful spring Friday?! It’s been a hot minute since I last checked in with you folks – all I can say is that grad school/work/attempting a social life is zapping up all my free time. But today I’m coming at you with a fun Friday favorite of sorts – I’m sharing my review of an awesome read.

Meb For Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner

Meb For Mortals - cover

Talk about great timing! If you had a chance to check out my last post, you saw that I have recently signed up for my first full marathon. Yes, I have lost my mind and no, I have  zero idea where to find it again. But all craziness aside, I devoured this book in two days! It’s not exactly a page turner, per se, but I was just so genuinely interested in hearing Meb’s opinion on all things running.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 3.21.50 PM

My favorite chapter was on food and nutrition – Eat Like Meb – but that’s a surprise to absolutely no one. Getting inside the brain, and peeking into the life of a professional marathon runner, was just so fascinating! One of the coolest facts I found out about Meb was that he has a really hard time sleeping the night before a race. But instead of worrying about not getting a good night’s sleep, he uses this habit to his advantage and strategically “carb loads” when he wakes up throughout the middle of the night. He claims that this benefits him race day morning as his digestion process has already been going on throughout the night. Whereas other runners sleep through the night, wake up and eat a breakfast, and then their bodies have to digest that food in the morning, which could potentially lead to some GI issues if not properly digested before race time. The theme of using your own personal habits, and maybe even weaknesses, to your advantage was a theme throughout Meb’s book.

Eat Like Meb - Chapter Cover Page

Another chapter that really helped me was Run Like Meb. Here, Meb talked about how when running gets tough in a race, he uses those moments to reassess his form, and make any changes he might need to improve his running A-game. He provided lots of drills and helpful hints to try and ensure proper running form and I found his photo pictorials very useful. One thing I learned about my own form is that I need to focus more on keeping my head up and looking straight ahead instead of at my feet. And I have always known that when I run I tend to tense up my shoulders and hold my arms up higher. Whenever I think to do it, I try to use one of Meb’s tips to ensure that my arms are swinging as they should be. So now when I’m running and I want to check my arm swing, I look at my shadow. If I see a triangle of open space in my shadow when I swing my arm back, I know I’m doing it the correct way. I’m not sure I explained that tip in the most optimal way, but I promise that Meb makes it all clear in his book. And another nice feature of the book is that Meb summarizes all discussed topics into a very concise list of Do’s and Don’ts at the end of each chapter. 

Meb For Mortals - Ch. 1 Do's & Dont's

Overall, Meb’s book was really helpful and easy-to-read, and I really think I personally benefited from it. Was every single page crucial to read? No, you could definitely skip from chapter to chapter as needed. But I think that that format was pretty great because it ensured that he touched on a topic in his book for everyone. Need to work on stretching? Go to the Stretch Like Meb chapter. Concerned about your strength training regimen? Check out the Strengthen Like Meb chapter – and so forth. And if you’re interested in taking a peek into someone else’s training timeframe and running schedule, Meb provides his for all different race lengths – 5k to the marathon. 

Meb For Mortals 10k Plan

So if you’re looking to improve your running game, or are as fascinated with the personal lives of celebrities as I am, you should definitely add this book to your “must-read” list.


Favorite professional athlete?

What’s your long-term, big-time athletic goal?

Most recent running book you’ve read? Any suggestions for me?


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