This week’s podcast is with Des Linden, a 2x Olympian, running the marathon for the U.S. in both the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Her most significant achievement to date happened this year (2018) when she became the first American woman in 33 years to win the Boston Marathon.

Prior to winning, she came in 4th last year (2017) and finished second by only two seconds in 2011 (a personal record at the time).

Two seconds!

Think about how crushing that could be. Everything you’ve worked so hard for is in striking distance only to miss by two seconds—if external outcomes are the primary measurement of success.

Imagine the persistence and the mental fortitude required just to complete a marathon, then on top of that fight back and win the Boston Marathon seven years after having a PR but coming up just short of first place…

That right there sets the tone for what this conversation is all about.

We discuss everything from being comfortable with getting vulnerable, why she doesn’t get nervous before races, and how she manages her internal dialog.

If there’s one thing I hope you take away from this conversation, it’s that Des is comfortable with who she is.

In her words: “The thing I understand most is … myself”

And having that understanding, that confidence is a very powerful thing.

“We’re all sorting it out. There’s no path to mastery. There’s a million. Find yours and let’s help each other get there. Everyone gets a boost when someone’s doing really good things.”

In This Episode:

  • How she came to be great at sports
  • Her view on competition
  • Being your best vs. the best and how fatigue plays a factor
  • The emotional risk that comes with her races
  • Getting comfortable with becoming vulnerable
  • Why she’d be ok if she lost everything / her identity as runner
  • Being hungry for experiences and seeing the world with an open mind
  • How she deals with both physical and emotional pain
  • The way to train patience
  • Why she doesn’t get nervous before races
  • The key to being authentic
  • Why winning the Boston Marathon meant so much to her
  • What goes into her being her best
  • Managing self-critique and self-talk
  • A moment when she struggled with her self-talk during race
  • The hardest moment she’s been through
  • How she utilizes meditation to spend more time in the present moment
  • When the going gets hard, remember your why


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS



“We’re all looking for the 1% but we don’t train our brain like we train the rest of our body.”

“People don’t look at me and say “super talented.” They look at me and say hard worker.”

“I define success by maximizing my personal ability.”

“If everything were gone tomorrow, I could rebuild and I’d be totally fine.”

Reflecting on both her career and her life: “I know patience very well.”

“If you learn to love the process, then it’s super easy to be patient.”

“The thing I understand most is … myself”

“It all comes down to… now.. it’s just this moment.”

“My rally cry the last couple months has been just keep showing up. It’s not a running thing, it’s an everyday thing. Everything in life, give yourself a chance. When it’s hard show up, when it’s going great, keeping showing up and see how far you can push it.”

“Remember your why. When things get hard you have the decision to bail or you can remember your why.”


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American Runner

Des Linden is an American long-distance runner. She represented the United States in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics women's marathon and won the 2018 Boston Marathon.