Mikuláš Dzurinda was born on 4 February 1955, in Spissky Sturtok. He attended a technical high school in Spisska Nova Ves and studied economics at the University of Transportation and Communications (UTC) in Zilina, where he received his Ph.D. in 1988. After finishing his university studies, Dzurinda worked as an economic analyst at the Transportation Research Institute and then as the director for Information Technologies at the Regional Directorate of the Czechoslovak Railways in Bratislava. Dzurinda's wife, Eva, also a UTC graduate, has served as the head of the Slovak Committee for United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) children's hotline since 1999 and continues to be active in many issues concerning children's rights. The Dzurindas have two daughters.
Mikuláš has become quite well-known for his love of long distance running. He has run in over 13 International Marathons for Peace. In November 2001, he ran in the New York Marathon in the United States to express the solidarity of people in Slovakia with the American people after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. In April 2003, he ran the London Marathon in support of U.S. and British troops in Iraq.