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'Simpsons' Writer Shares His Funny Journey From Couch Potato to Marathoner

by
author image Laura Hertzfeld
Laura Hertzfeld has reported on entertainment, business, and lifestyle topics at a variety of outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Tablet, and NPR.  She holds a degree in history from Barnard College, Columbia University.
'Simpsons' Writer Shares His Funny Journey From Couch Potato to Marathoner
Joel Cohen joined Stronger podcast host Erin Mosbaugh to talk about marathon training and tips for getting ready to run 26.2 miles. Photo Credit Twenty20/Gracie Wilson

“The Simpsons” writer Joel Cohen spends all day writing about doughnuts, so it’s no surprise that before he trained for a marathon, his lifestyle was starting to mirror Homer’s. “My spirit animal was a beached whale,” Cohen writes in his book, “How to Lose a Marathon.”

“TV writing rooms are not the healthiest place in the world. That lifestyle of sitting for 12 hours a day and eating for 14 hours a day does not lead to peak fitness,” Cohen tells LIVESTRONG.COM on the latest Stronger podcast.

Cohen joined LIVESTRONG.COM GM Jessica Barron and podcast host Erin Mosbaugh to talk about marathon training and tips for getting ready to run 26.2 miles. Cohen has run several marathons and continues to run for fitness and fun. Barron, who ran the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2017, also shared her secrets to training through the pain.

One of the ways to stay inspired — especially toward the end of the 26.2 miles — is to think of someone to dedicate your race to, Barron said. She ran in honor of her brother, who committed suicide, and was raising money to support mental health causes. “Something in your brain changes as you go,” she says. “When you want to give up you dig deep for that person.” Cohen said the crowd on the sidelines also gives you great motivation to keep going.

As for tips on how to get going with your marathon training, both Cohen and Barron say starting early — and we mean in the morning — is the only way to make sure you hit those miles. “My advice would be just get up and go,” Cohen says. Barron agrees. “A lot of the marathons start at 6 a.m., so you want to have your body programmed that that’s when it can do its work.”

Think you’re crazy enough to run a marathon? Listen to the latest episode of Stronger to get inspired — and to hear how poop, fartleks and ugly shoes are all a part of training.

What Do YOU Think?

Have you ever trained for a marathon? Who would you dedicate your run to? Check out the Stronger podcast, and then share your comments below!

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