“Where you’re born, how you’re born and how you grew up are not your destiny. You can change your destiny. If you do the work, you can be better tomorrow than you were yesterday.”
What is the secret to running impossibly fast? Or distances longer than previously imagined?
Beginning in the 1960's, an unknown farm boy turned coach named Bob Larsen launched a decades-long quest to find the ‘secret sauce' of speed and endurance that would eventually revolutionize the sport and catapult American running onto the national stage.
This is the story of how Larsen took turned a rag-tag group of also-ran junior college athletes called the Jamul Toads into cult-favorite national champions. Later, he would apply his secret training regimen to athletes like Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor to create victories at the New York and Boston Marathons as well as the Olympics.
To unpack this incredible yarn, today I sit down with New York Times Deputy Sports Editor Matthew Futterman.
A graduate of Union College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Matthew has previously worked for The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Star-Ledger of New Jersey, where he was a part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News in 2005.
An avid marathoner, Matthew became obsessed with the history of American distance running and the training innovations that create champions. The result of this quest is his new book, Running to the Edge: A Band of Misfits and the Gur…
Part Bob Larsen biography and part autobiography, it's a fascinating account of how one maverick coach discovered and developed the unorthodox paradigm that would launch American runners to unprecedented breakthroughs and ultimately inform the protocols of some of today’s most fleet of foot.
From Bob Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine to the quest to break the 2-hour marathon, today's exploration focuses on the science behind running performance. The ongoing quest to find the secret sauce of speed and endurance. And the evolving crusade to run faster and farther than ever before.
It’s about what can be learned from Bob Larsen's example, and the methods he pioneered that led to his stature as one of the greatest running coaches of all time.
And it’s about our shared love for the sport of running.
Even if running isn't your thing, I think you will find this conversation compelling. The stories are legend. And the life lessons applicable across disciplines.
The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/matthewfutterman455
) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts
I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange!
Peace + Plants,
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