Sam Gibbons Follows a Hybrid Athlete Approach to Running

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My guest today is someone that I recently connected with on social media.

He posts great content on health and fitness while constantly challenging his physical limits.

I look forward to going a few easy miles with Sam Gibbons today!

Sam Gibbons

Accidental Runner

Sam Gibbons grew up playing sports.

Early on, he focused on football (soccer here in the States) but switched over to Rugby during his teens.

He ran to stay in shape, but it was always his least favorite activity.

As he got older, Sam stopped playing rugby and focused more on weightlifting and CrossFit.

Sam became an accidental runner when his friend asked if he wanted to take a friend’s place in the Paris Marathon.

He generally tries to say yes to most things and running a marathon was no exception.

Sam fell in love with running after his first marathon in 2021, but the training wasn’t without challenges.

Youthful Arrogance Approach

When Sam agreed to run the Paris Marathon, he had a total of 8 weeks to prepare.

As a Physical Therapist (PT) by trade, Sam had a good understanding of how the body works.

His strength background helped him to adapt to a shortened plan.

Looking back, Sam had a youthful arrogance approach.

In the days leading up to the marathon and during the race he made a few rookie mistakes.

Sam walked far too much while sightseeing, wore the wrong clothing during the race, and didn’t fuel appropriately.

Even with all the errors surrounding his marathon, Sam had a newfound love for the sport.

It was two years before he would run another marathon because he had shifted his focus to another area.

Hybrid Fitness

Sam was intrigued by athletes that could seemingly do it all.

The people he looked up to were people who could lift heavy while also having big endurance engines.

He began to alter his training to include an even mixture of a few different disciplines.

After training in a similar manner consistently, Sam feels the fittest he has ever felt.

With all the kinks worked out of his training, he decided to give the marathon another try.

In 2023, The London Marathon happened to fall on the same day as his birthday.

Sam took that as a sign that he should run another Marathon.

Sam Gibbons

Following the Basics

Heading into training for London, Sam had 16 weeks to prepare.

This was his first time training for a marathon while following his hybrid fitness approach.

His goal was to properly train for an endurance event while also trying to increase his lifts.

Sam once again did his own programming which included 3 days of running.

With some trial and error, Sam eventually landed on following the 80/20 rule of running.

He learned to follow his heart rate and run 80% easy and 20% hard.

Two Sides Of the Ego

Sam was an experiment of one during training.

He made some mistakes along the way, but overall he was successful in his goals.

Sam realized that as long as he did the basics consistently he would get rewarded for his efforts.

In preparation for the marathon, Sam also eliminated alcohol for 4 months to see the effect it had.

The race itself went well and Sam successfully completed the London Marathon.

He ran the race with a plan of how to control his ego to maximize his results.

Sam ascribes to the theory that for the first half of a marathon, you should kill your ego.

For the second half of the race, you need a big ego to be able to keep pushing.

Sam Gibbons

Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Sam Gibbons by following him on Twitter.

Sam Gibbons is an experiment of one in his journey to become a hybrid athlete. Share on X

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2 replies
  1. James Mathis
    James Mathis says:

    The part that stood out to me was when he said “A hand up not a hand out” I had to pause and think about that for a minute. What can I do to help my local running community?

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      That’s a good one James! Though I’d argue you already do a pretty good job of supporting and helping your local community.


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