Fueling The Pursuit

5x Olympian Abdi Abdirahman on Sustaining 20+ Years of Running Excellence

Episode Summary

We speak with Abdi about his Tokyo Olympics experience, what's driven him to continue competing for 20+ years, and lessons learned from his new book Abdi's World.

Episode Notes

"During the race, to be honest, I don't wear a watch. Rule number one. I don't run for time. I just get to the front and hang on as long as I can."

Our guest this week is Abdi Abdirahman, 5-time US Olympian at 10,000 meters and the marathon.

I’ve known Abdi for about fifteen years now. If you know anything about this living legend in the sport of running it’s that he brings joy wherever he goes. There’s never a dull moment when he’s around. Just ask any of his peers. In fact, you can find out for yourself when you read his new book, Abdi’s World. Throughout his book are anecdotes from some of the best runners from the past few decades. They all share the common theme of how calm, cool and fun Abdi is, no matter what. This may be the secret to his twenty plus years of success as a long distance runner for the US. 

Bryan and I got to interview him on the Go Be More podcast in July of 2020. He shared so much wisdom from his journey with us in that interview. Today, we get to bring things full circle as we dive into his experience running the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics and some of the lessons he shares in his new book. Abdi’s been competing at the highest level of running and we want to give you insight into how he’s done it. Who knows. Maybe his approach will be the key to helping you reach your own goals.

Timestamped Show Notes

(2:57) Giving credit to Tokyo, the first Olympic venue since Covid…

(8:00) Prepping through the pandemic and working through an injury…

(9:29) A weight challenge…

(12:08) “I'm still, you know, a work in progress. And that's one thing you have to understand, things don't happen overnight.”

(15:50) Approach to injuries…

(19:08) “But at the end of the day, I let not those goals consume or control me or just make my life around that thing.”

(20:49) Driven by passion or achievement…

(25:59) Some unexpected training regimens…

(28:23) Competition, technology, and more improved shoes…

(33:18) “If I'm getting ready for New York, Boston, or Olympic trials, that's something I usually give myself six, seven months just to build up to be the best as I can be.”

(37:08) Keeping everything in balance…

(40:07) Lessons learned while writing a book…

(41:52) “To be honest, don't let the goals consume you.”


Abdi's World: The Black Cactus on Life, Running, and Fun - Amazon

Everyone has a right to have hope w/ Abdi Abdirahman - Go Be More Podcast


Abdi Abdirahman - website | Instagram | Twitter


Jon Rankin - gobemore.co | @chasejonrankin

Bryan Green - maketheleapbook.com | @maketheleapbook

Learn More:

UCAN - ucan.co | @genucan

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