“How to Lose a Marathon” -Interview with Joel Cohen, Writer for The Simpsons

In this episode we speak with Joel Cohen, author of the book ‘How to Lose a Marathon -a Starter’s Guide to Finishing in 26.2 Chapters’.

Not too long ago Joel went from an out-of-shape couch potato and writer/producer for The Simpsons T.V. series, to a slightly out-of-shape finisher of the New York City Marathon.

His book describes the odd and painful things you discover when you become a long distance runner.

Interview with Joel Cohen

Joel is a writer and producer for The Simpsons and winner of two Emmy Awards and three Writer’s Guild Awards.

In “How to Lose a Marathon”, Joel Cohen takes readers on a step-by-step journey from being a couch potato to being a couch potato who can finish a marathon. Through a hilarious combination of running tips and narrative, Cohen breaks down the misery that is forcing yourself to run.

The Struggle is Real!

The good news is, you don’t have to be a gifted athlete in order to finish a marathon.

Joel Cohen was inspired to train for 26.2 after reading the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. This decision was made in spite of being a self-described lazy slob, blissfully ignorant, and least likely to succeed at running.

He forced himself to get up early, put in the time (he did 90% of the runs called for by his training plans), endure the misery and go the distance on race day.

You don’t have to be fast to earn the title ‘runner’. What matters is that you put in the training and respect the distance of the marathon. Joel finished 26,782nd at the New York City Marathon which didn’t win him any awards but it did give him the massive feeling of accomplishment that comes with running so far . . . and a reason to write a book making fun of himself.

Running Culture

Joel excels at capturing the humorous bits of running culture that one stumbles into as a newby -like the horrible taste of gels, thighs rubbing together, long porta-pottie lines, and losing toenails.


After completing NYC Joel went on to run the Chicago Marathon. He says that if he had to start all over again he wouldn’t have tried to “go it alone”. When you’re a new brand new runner it pays to connect with a local running group/club or an online community like MTA.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Joel Cohen Instagram www.instagram.com/howtoloseamarathon/

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Thrive Market – Get $20 off your first 3 purchases (that’s $60 of FREE organic groceries + free shipping) when you used the link thrivemarket.com/mta. They are doing a drawing for a free $50 starter kit with lots of goodies. All you got to do is enter your email address when you visit the site.

Bombas Socks -Buy one pair, or four at www.bombas.com/marathon, and get twenty percent off your first purchase.

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