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The Extramilest Podcast

Aug 16, 2017

Charlie Engle is an endurance athlete, a father and a husband. He has completed several extreme endurance adventures, including a run across the Sahara Desert in Africa, 2 marathons a day for 111 days straight in extreme temperatures.

In this episode of the Extramilest Podcast we discuss:

  • ways to overcome mental challenges in training, racing and life
  • breaking the Sub 3 Hour Marathon barrier
  • his next adventure run and much more

Charlie and I have a lot of passions in common from Running to Storm Chasing and many areas in between. His excitement for life is contagious and I hope you enjoy our conversation!


  • Charlie does a lot of cross training to limit risk of injury. He focuses on overall fitness and health (3:12).
  • How Charlie was able to run across the Sahara, 4500 miles in extreme temperatures (4:15)
  • Words said to us by a stranger can be the thing that changes our life, if you really pay attention (5:38)
  • The worst pitch that convinced Matt Damon to make the documentary Running The Sahara (6:30)
  • The first few days of the Sahara run were a slow descent into hell, dealing with unbelievable amount of problems (9:10)
  • The mantra “one day at the time” works for sobriety and massive projects (11:00)
  • Overcoming tough spots in a race by breaking down the distance in smaller parts (11:45)
  • How Charlie trains for long ultra runs, both mentally and physically (16:00)
  • Importance of training enough miles in race condition, with your race gear in the same terrain (20:35)
  • Perceived risk vs. actual risk. Your mind limiting you and how you can overwrite this. (23:05)
  • The type of person Charlie wants on his crew during his races (24:20)
  • Charlie’s failed attempt to break the record to run across the United States. (24:50)
  • Important role of the mind and the right mentality. Lessons learned from the Barkley Marathon (27:12)
  • Charlie’s Mantra and tattoo for when things get tough: “No Big Deal” (29:47)
  • How Charlie has overcome his lows, such as addiction and going to jail (33:22)
  • It doesn’t matters what happens to you in life, all that matters is what you do about it. (37:10)
  • Attraction vs promotion in jail. How Charlie’s daily runs and yoga sessions inspired others in jail to start working out. (39:55)
  • Your happiness and fulfillment is completely up to you and not up to anybody else no matter what the situation is (43:45)
  • What Charlie is up to these days (46:50)
  • His upcoming adventure run of 5000 miles from the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea, to the highest point on earth Mt Everest (48:50)
  • Matt Damon and Charlie founded H2oAfrica and raised $6 million, then it became (53:35)
  • How Charlie broke the Sub 3 Hour Marathon barrier after many failed attempts (58:00)
  • Importance of slowing down, rest days and having fun to progress in running. (1:01:00)
  • Dr Phil Maffetone’s approach to listen to your body, focus on the right nutrition, and reducing stress (1:03:15)
  • Charlie’s book The Running Man and a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book (1:04:30)