Podcast: Re-Run with Fernando Cabada


“Running is something that I was always good at, something that I would do no matter what, it was always my little escape in some way. Whatever was happening at home, running would just make me feel a little better when I got to go out. It was just my escape and I needed it—I need it to this day. It’s the only time that I feel that nothing negative could touch me.” 

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Heading into this holiday week we’re going to re-run one of my favorite episodes of the podcast from years past. This one is from January 2020 and it’s with Fernando Cabada, a former professional distance runner who is still competing at an elite level. In fact, Fernando is now one of the fastest Masters runners in the country, running 2:16:51 at Grandmas Marathon back in June to qualify for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. He’s also the Masters American record-holder for 50K, running 2:57:35 earlier this year.

In this conversation, which we recorded in-person in his hometown of Fresno, California, Fernando told me about his rough upbringing in Fresno, where he suffered abuse at the hands of his father, to the close relationship he has with his mother and how that’s even strengthened in recent years. We talked about being embarrassed by who he was as a kid and how he’s worked to put that behind him later in life. He told me why finishing second in a school yard race as a 9-year-old was the best day of his life to that point. Fernando explains why he was feeling more depressed than ever in 2014 despite it being his best year of racing ever, and how he picked himself up afterward and found a way forward. We also discussed his relationship with running, the place it occupies in his life, and a heck of a lot more.

Fernando Cabada: Instagram | Cabada Training Systems

the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter

Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava

This episode is brought to you by: 

New Balance. The new FuelCell SC Elite v3 is going to be the shoe that I race the Boston Marathon in next April. It’s a next-level racing shoe with a carbon fiber plate and plenty of lightweight foam underfoot for a cushioned yet responsive ride. Right now there are select sizes remaining in an exclusive New York City Marathon colorway available on newbalance.com, so try and snatch them up before the holidays if you can, and they’ll be more widely available in early 2023. 

— Goodr. Goodr sunglasses are just the best! And this coming weekend, from Black Friday through Cyber Monday only, Goodr will be offering 20% off their entire product line, so if you’re in the market for some fresh shades that won’t bounce, don’t slip, and are polarized to protect your eyes, go to goodr.com and fill up your cart. Also, if you’d like to support me and the podcast, go over to goodr.com/MARIO and use the code Mario15 to get free shipping on your entire order.

Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.

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