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The Running for Real Podcast

Jul 23, 2021

Malcolm Gladwell is known as one of the biggest creative thinkers and voices of our time. We feel incredibly fortunate to have him join us for this episode, which we recorded live and in-person from his studio in New York. Malcolm is also a runner and most recently ran the open mile at the final event of the Trials of Miles series by Citius Mag with Chris Chavez.
Malcolm is the author of five New York Times Bestsellers, including Outliers, Tipping Point, and Talking to Strangers. Malcolm recently published his latest book, The Bomber Mafia. After recording the podcast with him, Tina, Knox, and Maria joined him on a run along the Hudson Valley.
In this episode we cover…
  • Malcolm’s story as a runner who stopped after age 16 and picked it back up again at age 50. 
  • Mile race against Chris Chavez in an attempt to break a 5-minute mile. 
  • “Being mediocre is much more enjoyable much more fun than being at the top being at the front. mediocrity brings freedom.”
  • The story of how he found joy in running again after finding a track club where everyone would enthusiastically say they were a mediocre track club and that was its greatest charm.
  • “It was the most incredibly open and it is the most incredibly open and accepting culture that I've ever encountered. Nobody cares what you do, how rich you are, if you’re skinny or overweight, and they don't care whether you run nine-minute miles. I never, in my running universe had known a world of running where nobody cares, and we're all just having fun.” I wasted 34 years of running because I didn't understand that the beautiful notion that it doesn't matter.
  • On being wrong: “I quite enjoy the feeling of being wrong because I really love, I love the revision. Discovering you're wrong is one of life's pleasures because it's it is that it's the way you open the door to real knowledge and backtracking is also a pleasure because you get to start over like what's better than that? Like it's like you know, all of the things it's this invitation to rethink something.”
  • On truth: a conversation about Mary Cain and Alberto Salazar.
  • On the distinction between discipline and toughness. “I think running builds discipline and discipline is more important than toughness. The idea that somebody has been a runner (discipline) is it is important because it tells me something about their willingness to tackle, in a persistent focused manner, a complex task that's super useful to me. I don't need to know whether they can run 100 miles (toughness).
  • On the importance of a diverse team: “The reason we try to pursue a diverse workforce is we think it makes it's not because we think it looks better or we're fulfilling some kind of social function because we think it makes the work better.”
  • When he was hiring for a podcast producer, a woman named Mia’s first thing she said in the interview. “If you guys do your show on these ideas, no woman will ever listen to revisionist history.” And I was like, oh really, we need to hire you. So we did.


Malcolm Instagram 

Malcolm's Website

Revisionist History

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Thank you to Malcolm, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.