Interview with Lauren Fleshman: The Importance of Rest, Long-Term Thinking and the Story of Picky Bars

lauren fleshmen interviewLauren Fleshman is perhaps one of the most decorated US middle distance runners in the early part of this decade. Her list of accomplishments include two California State Championships, three NCAA titles and two US Championships in the 5,000 meters, three top-five finishes at NCAA cross country, multiple PAC-10 1500m titles, PRs of 14:58 for 5k and 2:37 for her debut marathon, and a 7th place finish at the 2011 World Championships…phew.

And she’s on our show today to discuss how she managed to be successful for so long, how she’s dealt with injuries, and how she’s continued to channel her passion for running and nutrition into her company Picky Bars.

Lauren is an inspiration to many female runners thanks to her honesty, her intelligence, and her fierce competitive desire and spirit. Lauren didn’t disappoint for this interview and brought her A game with some very impactful lessons. Here are a few tidbits:

  • How a long-term approach and patience enabled her to have success during the transition from high school to college when many other athletes typically falter. You’ll be surprised to learn that Lauren initially struggled to keep up with her training partners, but stayed positive by focusing on the small steps towards her goal.
  • The importance of rest and taking downtime and how that helped her make continued improvements year after year.
  • How she handles the issue of body image and distance running. Even elite runners like Lauren struggle with wanting to look thinner and be smaller, but Lauren stresses the importance of not taking shortcuts and being comfortable with your own body type.
  • How she turned a devastating injury into an opportunity to express her passions outside of running and actually come back stronger than before she was hurt.
  • Finally, we chat about her company Picky Bars and the importance whole foods and nutrition play in the diet of serious runners.

This was one of my favorite interviews to record as Lauren’s passion and intelligence are palpable throughout the show. I absolutely guarantee you’ll find tons of useful nuggets of training advice. Enjoy!

Watch this week’s show now