Will Smith Trains for a Half Marathon in Just Three Weeks in New 'Bucket List' Episode

Will Smith takes on the challenge of running a half marathon with minimal training

Will Smith is putting his body to the test once again on his Facebook Watch show Bucket List.

In Wednesday’s episode, the actor decides three weeks out to run a half marathon in Cuba — and undergoes strict training to try to achieve his goal of running the 13.1 miles in under 2 hours and 10 minutes. The only catch is he’s never run a marathon before, and hasn’t been to the gym in 3 months.

“As I talk this story out, it doesn’t seem like a good idea,” Smith admits right before he starts training. “It’s my snap reaction to say, ‘Yeah, I can run a half marathon.’ Then when I have my quiet moments, I think of all the bucket lists, this is the one I’m most concerned about. In my deepest honesty with myself, I really am not sure I can run 13 miles.”

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Smith also opens up about the drive he’s found ever since his father Willard Carroll Smith, a U.S. Air Force veteran, died in Nov. 2016.

“My father died about a year and a half ago, and it didn’t hit me so much emotionally as it hit me existentially,” he says. “It was like ‘Oh s—, I’m next.’ I want to keep my body conditioned, and more than anything, I wanna keep my mind strong.”


To do that, Smith undergoes hard training, including using 45 pound weights in the pool and walking underwater to get mentally strong. He also spends time in a sauna reaching a temperature of 210 degrees before immediately jumping into an ice bath and going straight back to the sauna to help him regulate his body temperature.

Smith also goes on several long runs and even runs up sand dunes to get ready.

And when it’s finally time, an excited crowd greets Smith in Havana and the race starts off, with Smith keeping a good pace. But at around mile 10, the actor’s heart rate spikes and he’s forced to slow down to a walk, looking disappointed in himself.

“I was definitely on the edge of hurting myself,” he says. “I just surrendered to the truth of that moment. I missed my time. I really don’t like losing.”

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The actor is able to recoup enough and finish the race running, coming in just 20 minutes over his intended time. As he heads back to his hotel, he reflects on how much differently he’s taking the disappointment now than he would’ve ten years earlier.

“There used to be so much poison in my drive. For me, being number one was everything, and I was willing to die to be the biggest movie star in the world. And there was nothing more important than that,” he says. “I’m in a different place in my life. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t feel the pressure of living up to the billboard image of myself like I used to. I’m the happiest I have ever been in my life.”

Watch Will Smith’s Bucket List starting Wednesday at 9AM PT/12PM ET on Facebook Watch.

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