“I like pushing myself and that’s one thing about running, too: You can argue, there’s not a crazy amount of technical stuff—like when you get into some of those track events like hurdles and stuff, it’s crazy technical—but, you know, it’s that idea that it’s your will versus what your body’s kind of telling you, right? Or, in some cases, like you’re fighting against somebody else. So just being able to get into a race and say, ‘You know what, it’s time to go,’ and just test your body is what I gravitate towards—and don’t get me wrong, sometimes I do that and I’m like, ‘Why in the world did I do that? I am in so much pain,’ but a lot of the time it’s just awesome that I have the opportunity to do that. I’m not necessarily a person who’s going to back down from somebody. Sometimes I’ll be cautious, like, ‘OK, this is not the right time to be making these moves.’ But, you know, when it comes down to the last little bit of the race, if I have something in me, I’m going to push hard and I’m going to try and dig as deep as I can to finish.”
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Nathan Martin ran 2:11:05 at The Marathon Project back in December to finish ninth overall. It was a personal best by over three minutes and also the fastest marathon ever run by a Black man born in the United States. Nathan broke Herm Atkins’ mark of 2:11:52, which had stood since 1979.
I really enjoyed this conversation and getting to learn more about Nathan. We discussed the newfound media attention he’s received since The Marathon Project, signing with an agent, and how he’s been adjusting to all of that. We also talked about what his accomplishment means to him and when he realized it was a bigger deal than he originally thought. He also told me about growing up with six sisters, losing both of his parents to cancer and how their passings shaped his life, why it’s important for him to serve as a role model and give back to his community, and a lot more.
Nathan Martin: Instagram | Facebook
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Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava
This episode is brought to you by:
— New Balance. I was recently able to get my hands on a pair of the new Fresh Foam 1080v11 and I was shocked to love them even more than I did last year’s v10 model. New Balance claims the 1080 offers the ultimate ride, and I’d have to agree. It’s the best fitting shoe I own and the Fresh Foam X cushioning feels super comfortable underneath my feet. It’s lightweight and flexible, but also responsive and durable—basically the perfect trainer to log most of your miles in, which is what I do. I wear it on most of my non-workout days and for long runs too. Check out the Fresh Foam 1080v11 on newbalance.com and consider adding a pair to your rotation.
Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.