Suffering for the Love of Running: Amelia Boone on Grit & Passion

Amelia Boone is a force of nature. She’s not only a full-time attorney for Apple, but the most dominant female obstacle course athlete in history.

Amelia Boone Running

But she’s not just the best (if not THE best) female OCR athlete – she usually beats 99% of men in every race she enters.

A small taste of her racing performances include:

  • 30+ victories (and 50+ podium finishes)
  • 2013 Spartan Race World Champion
  • 2012 Spartan Race World Championship 2nd place overall (only 8 minutes behind the male winner)
  • 2012, 2014, and 2015 World’s Toughest Mudder Champion
  • 3x finisher of the Death Race

Being a lawyer for Apple, how does Amelia fit in the training required to be world-class with a full-time legal career?

Getting up at 4:00am to summit mountains certainly helps.

But it’s not just getting up early. Anybody can do that once or twice. It’s sustaining the early mornings, high mileage, and brutal races that makes Amelia’s example so inspiring.

Looking into her race history, I’m faced with countless questions:

What makes someone excel in two diverse areas like law and professional obstacle course racing?

How does someone develop the internal motivation to practice the consistent grit required to succeed in ultra-endurance OCR?

Is this a learned trait or something you’re simply born with and can’t change?

What practical lessons can we draw from one of the world’s best obstacle course athletes on training, time management, and the art of suffering?

Amelia Boone on the Drive to Win

Amelia Boone Obstacle Course Race

Sufferfest. Photo courtesy of

It’s important to learn from people who are doing things that seem “impossible.” If your goal is to improve, to see what you’re capable of achieving, and to get as much as possible out of life, then it’s helpful to study the best.

For example, if you want to run a faster marathon, don’t ask someone who isn’t a coach. It’s not in their wheelhouse.

But Amelia Boone is a runner I’m fascinated with. Recently I had a long conversation with Amelia for Team Strength Runningmonthly interview series on how she’s able to succeed at so much.

And more importantly, what we can learn from that and how we can apply it to our own training.

In this conversation, we talk about:

  • The evolution of her training – and why she doesn’t do CrossFit
  • Even at her level of competition, whe she avoids training twice per day
  • The nuances of her drive to accomplish as much as possible

Note: this excerpt is no longer available. Sign up here if you’d like to join the team and learn more.

Notice how Amelia describes her drive to succeed:

It’s this internal drive to find the next thing and see what I can accomplish. To me, having that keeps me passionate: having a new challenge.

Now I’m like, what else? So let’s look at ultras. I have a bucket list of things I want to do in my life.

Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fall on your face and for me, that’s what it’s all about.

The full interview is available for members of Team Strength Running (audio, a full transcript, plus Amelia’s challenge to you…)

Click here to learn more about the team. You’ll be the first to know when we open the doors to new members.

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