Fueling The Pursuit

Olympian Carrie Tollefson on Digging Deep and Not Holding Back

Episode Summary

We are joined by Olympian Carrie Tollefson to discuss her early influences, her journey to becoming an Olympian, and her approach to staying focused and positive in races.

Episode Notes

"I think you really need to find people that are in your corner. No matter if you're an athlete or not, just find somebody that helps you see the best in you. And like I said, holds you accountable."

Today's guest is Carrie Tollefson, 2004 Olympian in the 1500 meters and multiple time champion in both cross country and track and field. Carrie gave us insight about the role her parents played in her becoming a successful elite runner. She credits her mother for her drive and her father who helped her to “train her brain” from an early age to help her become somentally tough. 

I’ve met and competed against a lot of Minnesota runners over the years and they all seem to have something special about them. I don’t know what they’re doing over there in Minnesota. Whatever it is, it's working! In all seriousness, Carrie seems to be a very happy go-lucky gal. And she admits that that’s one of the secrets to her success. She competes best when she’s free of concern and just running happy. Maybe that’s one of the secrets to optimal performance in life.  

Timestamped Show Notes

(2:47) Life in Minnesota, growing up and now…

(5:46) Seeing the world through an 11-year-old’s eyes…

(9:16) “We all believed we could do whatever we put our minds to because my mom told my dad that, and we heard stories about that. And she also told us girls that, and you know what? My dad believed it because of my mom, and all of us girls did.”

(11:25) The start of a running career…

(15:28) “I'm really thankful that I had a few of those people that are in a small knit group of mine that hold me accountable. Cause there're times, you know Jon, as runners, we have to be reminded why we're doing it. It's hard. It's not an easy sport. Anyone who picks this up, whether you're a newbie or a veteran or an elite athlete, world-class, whatever this sport is hard for all of us.”

(16:55) Dad’s influence on the mental game…

(18:36) When it clicked…

(22:14) The power of a well-timed reset…

(26:00) A defining conversation for Jon…

(28:18) Handling potentially life-changing diagnosis…

(30:31) “I'll tell you what, it fueled me, even more, to come back and to show everybody that I was going to be able to run with this new deal.”

(33:54) What was the significance of the 2004 Olympic trials as compared to becoming an Olympian?

(37:12) Making a decision to change plans during a race…

(42:35) Word cues...a simple, effective racing tactic…

(45:09) “Bryan, it’s 2:51:56. Come on now!” Carrie sets the record straight about running a 2:52 marathon as a mom…

(50:08) What’s ahead for the future?


C Tolle Run podcast - website

Carrie Tollefson's stats - World Athletics

2004 US Olympic Trials 1500m - YouTube


Carrie Tollefson - website | Instagram | Twitter

Carrie's fav UCAN product: Cocoa Delite Energy Tub


Jon Rankin - gobemore.co | @chasejonrankin

Bryan Green - maketheleapbook.com | @maketheleapbook

Learn More:

UCAN - ucan.co | @genucan

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