Rock 'n' run: Goo Goo Dolls drummer Mike Malinin logs miles on the road

Goo Goo Dolls drummer Mike Malinin  Credit: Melanie Nissen/Warner Bros.
For those who dont own a radio: The Goo Goo Dolls are one of the hottest and busiest bands in rock music today.

From awards shows to radio interviews to appearances on TV shows like Sesame Street and Charmed (in addition to their worldwide concert tour), the band has been in top gear ever since releasing their smash sixth album Dizzy Up the Girl in September 1998.

When you sell over 3 million copies of an album, theres little down time but for Goos drummer Mike Malinin, theres always time to run.

For Malinin, who joined the band in 1995, running has a symbiotic relationship with rock stardom: It keeps me sane on the road, and gives me stamina for playing.

But running is more than just a source of energy to the 32-year-old, who supplies the rhythm for hits like Slide, Dizzy, and the bands current hit Broadway.

Malinin ran cross-country in high school, but says he wasnt as talented over hill and dale as his brother. In college, an aggravating knee injury turned him to cycling for seven years.

It was a TV broadcast of the 1994 Los Angeles Marathon that brought him back. "After watching the guys up front run, I was inspired to start again, he said.

Since March 1994, nothing has stopped him. Despite his hair-raising rock schedule, Malinin has racked up an impressive running resume that could rival many elites.

In six years hes run five marathons (L.A. and Dallas twice each) and three ultramarathons a 50K, a 40-mile and a 50-mile. His secret for such a prolific career on the run? Stay flexible and seek new challenges.

When were out on tour, I dont train to run anything, Malinin says of his racing plans. While criss-crossing the globe with the Goos, he runs for time, not distance.

Whenever we tour, I try to get out," he said. "At least I get to see some of [the places they play around the world] if I go for a long run."

Melbourne, Australia, is his hands-down favorite overseas run: I love the trails there," he said.

But Paris got two thumbs down: Where we stay, there are nothing but crowded streets. Theres just nowhere to run!

Malinin doesnt sweat it if the bands travel schedule forces him to take two consecutive days off. While touring, he averages 25 to 30 miles a week, and his schedule is best described as whenever he can.

At home, he cranks it up to 65 to 70 miles per week, running daily in the morning. This spring and summer he managed to average 35 to 40 miles per week while the band was on the road.

Once home in Los Angeles on break, he peaked at 60 miles per week (with two final long runs of 22 miles) while training for the July 9 San Francisco Chronicle Marathon, in which he posted a 3:23:56.

Thats just the road half of his running equation. Hes got big plans for races off the beaten path.

Im toying with the idea of doing the Angeles Crest 100 mile," he said. "I may do Western States if not this year, then next.

Malinins distance running tastes are widely varied, but his running career may move toward ultra-running of the off-road variety in years to come.

I like the personal challenge of finishing," he said. "After I ran a few marathons, I read about the ultra and thought, This is interesting. Its a different mindset; youre not going for speed the way you are in [standard road] marathons.

One thing seems clear: Rocking and running wont end anytime soon. Although Malinins not sure about a definite start date for recording the next Goo Goo Dolls album, he says the band will begin rehearsing soon, along with playing more concert dates later this summer and into the fall.

Is Malinin an ultra-marathon star in the making? If rock 'n' roll affords him the time, hell no doubt move a mountain to get there.

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