Heather MacLean

Ali on the Run Show Episode 598: Beyond the Run with Heather MacLean

“I’m very much a ‘fall down eight times, get up nine’ kinda girlie. I fall down a lot! I have a lot of mishaps. Races don’t always go the best for me. I’m still working on a few things. It was just nice to have this moment where everything came together.”

Last year, professional athlete Heather MacLean became a breakout star. The Team New Balance Boston athlete made her first Olympic team — every professional runner’s dream. But with the ultimate high of getting to represent Team USA also came emotional lows. In this candid conversation, Heather talks about the pressure and expectations she felt heading into last year’s U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, and about the not-so-glamorous side of running for a living. She also talks about the post-Tokyo comedown and how she dealt with it. Then, we talk all things 2022: Heather’s highlight reel, her first U.S. National title, and her first sub-4:00 1500m race in Monaco. Plus, setting boundaries, how to protect your space, and how to go through life as a people-pleaser who is friends with everyone.

SPONSOR: New Balance. Click here to learn all about the conversations New Balance is having to promote mental wellness.


What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Heather recaps her trip to Hawaii for the Kalakaua Merrie Mile (5:55)
  • Where Heather falls on the introvert vs. extrovert scale (9:00)
  • Heather reflects on the summer of 2021, including the pressure and stress she felt heading into the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials (11:00)
  • How it feels to be left off the pre-race prediction lists (19:30)
  • Heather’s experience with the post-Olympics blues (27:00)
  • Heather shares her 2022 highlight reel (38:40)
  • Heather and Allie Wilson’s adventures in Monaco (41:55)
  • Heather talks about winning her first U.S. National title, and what it meant to trust herself during a race (54:25)
  • What Heather is looking forward to in 2023 (1:04:50)

For more, check out:

Allie Wilson on Episode 469 of the Ali on the Run Show

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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