Brandon Smith Shifted His Mindset By Running For Himself


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Today’s guest is someone that looks forward to a good run and also looks forward to a good beer, so clearly, he’s one of us.

I’m looking forward to digging in a bit deeper and getting to know him a little better.

Let’s start this conversation with Brandon Smith as we go a few easy miles.

Brandon Smith

Always Running For Others

Brandon Smith was always athletically inclined growing up.

He played soccer collegiately but preferred shorter and faster when it came to running.

Brandon said his soccer teammates would’ve voted him least likely to explore any distance beyond a mile.

Brandon hated running and looking back attributes that to always running for someone else.

Running for himself didn’t begin to happen until after he was married.

His wife is a great athlete and ran all throughout high school.

She was a big part of the reason he stumbled into the running scene and hasn’t looked back.

Another big reason was that the energy of the running community was contagious and pulled him in.

Brandon Smith and His Wife

A Marathon Of A Birthday

Brandon is 41 now, but his first experience running a marathon occurred on his 27th birthday.

He admittedly didn’t know what he was doing.

Brandon never trained beyond 14 to 15 miles and didn’t eat or drink at all during the race.

The marathon was not a total disaster and he still managed to finish.

Following that race, he swore that he would never do that again.

It took him a full ten years to the day before he would eventually run another marathon.

Brandon went into his second marathon properly trained and was officially hooked on running after that.

He began to hit some time goals, which provided motivation to see what he was capable of.

Intro To Ultras

Once Brandon reignited his love for the sport, it also got him curious about ultras.

Following his second marathon, Brandon got an itch to do a 50k.

He convinced his wife to sign up for the Algonquin 50k and wasted no time preparing and training.

Brandon and his wife live in Rehoboth Beach, which is a small beach town in Delaware.

Rehoboth Beach doesn’t have a lot of good trail options, therefore Brandon does about 80% of his mileage on the roads.

The more experience he got on the trails, the more he realized how much mental toughness plays in the sport.

Trail and ultra running require more problem-solving and strategy that is often quite different than road races.

Brandon Smith

A Quick Progression

In the span of about 16 months, Brandon went from his first 50k to the starting line of his first 100-mile race.

In between the 50k and the 100-miler, Brandon did a couple of 50-mile races as well.

Brandon chose Run Rabbit Run 100 as his first race at that distance.

The race takes place in the Rockies with a substantial amount of elevation gain.

He was at a slight disadvantage living at sea level where it’s flat, but he compensated by getting in the best shape possible.

Brandon has now completed the race twice and has a loose goal to do a 100-mile race annually for the next 20 years.

He has two more 100-mile races on his schedule for 2023, one is in April and the other in July.

Respect The Distance

Each 100-mile race that Brandon does is hard in its own way.

So much can happen in the span of 100 miles even with the best preparation.

Brandon goes into each race with a variety of goals, but finishing the race is always his first priority.

He does have some time goals he hopes to eventually accomplish which include a sub-24-hour 100-miler.

On his best day with everything aligning, he is optimistic that he might even be closer to a 20-hour finish.

Brandon goes into each race fully expecting to adjust his plans as needed for whatever he encounters.

Brandon Smith

Embracing The Process

Brandon may have big time goals for race day, but it is the training that he really embraces.

He enjoys the goal setting, challenges, and discipline that are required for ultra-running.

Brandon loves the process and treats race day as a celebration of what he has already accomplished.

When a race inevitably gets hard, Brandon has found that he is quite skilled at shutting off his mind while continuing to move forward.

He never worries about how much he has left in a race, but rather takes it one step at a time.

Brandon dedicated the majority of his life to various sports.

Running has been the one activity that he has found to be the most sustainable for the long term.


Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Brandon Smith by following him on Instagram.


Brandon Smith hated running growing up because he was always doing it for someone else. Running for himself was a gamechanger. Click To Tweet


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