Ben Gibbard: 'My Goal Was to Beat Flea' in the L.A. Marathon

Death Cab frontman says he took up jogging to 'shed some unhealthy habits'

January 4, 2012 11:00 AM ET

ben gibbard flea
Ben Gibbard speaks as Flea leaves him in the dust.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images; Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

In the new issue of Runner's World, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard talks about taking up jogging to "shed some unhealthy habits," plus how he'd hoped to beat the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea in the L.A. Marathon.  

Overcoming his skepticism about jogging, Gibbard says he built up gradually from short runs and became hooked when he first experienced a "runner's high." "It was that euphoric point everyone talks about," he says. "And like so many drugs, your next high is never as high as your first time, so you're left chasing that initial high."

Comparing running to songwriting – "when you have those uninspired moments, you have to power through them" – Gibbard admits that he wanted to beat Flea when both musicians ran the L.A. Marathon. "He got me by about four minutes... I don't think we should underestimate what good shape Flea is in." 

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