Step One: Begin To Believe

By Mario Fraioli

Reconnecting with Hodgie-San at Boston in 2015.

Bob Hodge, my soft-spoken friend and first post-collegiate mentor, recently relaunched his running-themed website. It’s still a work in progress and rather plain-looking but chock full of timeless running knowledge, information and inspiration—all of which I’ve been reading, revisiting and absorbing for the better part of the last 15 years. There’s training logs from legends like Bill Rodgers, former marathon world-record holder Steve Jones, Kenyan Rogers Rop, Hodgie himself, and others (if you like geeking out over those sorts of things), not to mention an awesome series of remembrances from various contributors, and plenty more to dig through over the course of an inspired afternoon.

Hodgie, for my money, is one of the most under-appreciated American marathoners of all-time, with a third-place Boston Marathon finish and a 2:10:59 PB sitting atop his resume. More than anything else, Hodgie taught me that running is a perpetual pursuit of enjoyment and training is an exercise that isn’t meant to be overcomplicated.

“Everything we need to know about training was discovered many years ago through the ultimate science: trial and error,” Hodgie writes. “The exercise physiologists merely explain (perhaps correctly, perhaps not) why they think these methods work, and many write books suggesting they themselves invented the best methods. When you begin to believe, that is when you will be on the right track to try and accomplish whatever you have set out to do.

A version of this post first appeared in the morning shakeout, my weekly email newsletter covering running, writing, media and other topics that interest me. If you’d like for it to land in your inbox first thing on Tuesday mornings, subscribe here.