The Strength Running Podcast
The Strength Running Podcast is where Coach Jason Fitzgerald shares running advice for new and veteran runners who are passionate about getting stronger, preventing running injuries, and racing faster. Featuring guests like Olympian Nick Symmonds and New York Times best-selling author Shalane Flanagan, you’ll learn what it takes to run fast, stay healthy, and become a better runner.
Episode 95: Peter Bromka on the Fear and Hope of the MarathonMay 9, 2019 01:10:44
I ran competitively against Peter while we were both in college. He was at Tufts University while I ran for Connecticut College.
Bromka was faster. In college, he was consistently a Varsity runner for their competitive Division III cross country team. But while he was a very good college runner, I wouldn't say he was a standout athlete.
Things started to change post-collegiately when Peter started running marathons. His first was 2:56 - a relatively pedestrian time by a former collegiate runner (one who was capable of running 25:xx for a 5-mile cross country course).
Soon, he dropped his time to 2:47. And then 2:41. His progression of improvement over 26.2 miles is eye-popping. After that 2:41, he ran:2:36 2:34 2:29 2:23 2:19
His fastest finish came last December at the 2018 California International Marathon. His official time - 2:19:40 - missed the Olympic Trials Qualifying standard by a mere 40 seconds.
This progression gives Peter Bromka one of the most fascinating stories in marathon running today. It's rare. It's unique. And we just don't see DIII runners flirting with Olympic Trials Qualifying times very often!
I brought Peter on the podcast to talk about this progression and the mental and physical adjustments he's had to make to continue improving.
In this episode, we talk about:How did Peter's mindset about training and racing change as he got faster? What role does fear play in how you think about breaking certain time barriers? Did he ever think he had reached his physiological limit? What then? What is it about the Boston Marathon that makes it so special (and difficult!)?
Peter Bromka is like a philosopher of running. You'll love hearing him wax poetic about the marathon distance and what it means to run it well.
Episode 94: How to Avoid the Dark Side of Passion and Build a Sustainable Running ObsessionMay 2, 2019 59:28
Brad Stulberg is a polymath whose first book with coach Steve Magness, Peak Performance, was one of my favorite reads from 2018.
His work focuses on helping athletes, business executives, and other top performers improve their chances of success by work on:Defining a path for long-term progression Mental toughness Developing sustainable motivation and purpose How to get into a deep-focus "flow" state Building resilience Development of optimal routines
His latest book is also coauthored by Steve Magness, titled The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life.
In this conversation, we spend time focusing on the nuances of passion, obsession, and building interest in things that we like.
His book is a defense of passion. It's a more nuanced, effective perspective on passion that acknowledges that it's hard to find, that it must be cultivated, and that too much of it can indeed be a bad thing.
Episode 93: 3:53 Miler Craig Engels on Training for Speed and his '80s-era MustacheApr 24, 2019 40:07
You might know Craig as the 2013 Pan-American Jr. Games 1500m champion or the 4th place finisher at the 2016 US Olympic Trials in the 1500m. More recently, Craig won the USATF indoor mile and set a blazing 3:53 mile PR.
His list of personal bests is eye-popping:800m: 1:46:03 Mile: 3:53.93 5k: 14:20.27
Craig is a fun guy to talk with because he doesn’t take running too seriously. He’s a fierce competitor but you’ll also see how his running really took off in college when he was able to have fun with his team.
(it's funny how you perform better when you're having more fun outside of training...)
He also doesn’t take himself too seriously, which I find incredibly refreshing. He rocks a mullet and an absolutely perfect 1980’s style Burt Reynolds mustache. The RV only came after the mustache because he wanted to keep the 80's theme going.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Jason and Craig talk about how his career exploded in college, his affinity for running fast, and why your next breakthrough might require you to take running less seriously.
Episode 92: How Deena Kastor Used Her Mind to Become a World-Class AthleteApr 16, 2019 44:34
After college, Deena traveled to Amarosa, Colorado to train under Coach Joe Vigil. That's when her running took off.
To discover why and how this happened (it wasn't better training), Deena joined me on the Strength Running Podcast to discuss the mental journey she's taken throughout her career.
Our conversation focuses on several topics:How to turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts - while running or in everyday life Why Deena used to race "with fear" (and how she recovered from this dangerous mindset) The mental expectations she's had to abandon to reach higher levels of performance How to "participate in the process" rather than overly worry about results
These are all major themes of her award-winning memoir Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory.
Episode 91: How to Create Motivation, Build Support Systems, and Multiply Your PerformanceApr 3, 2019 16:38
You don’t have to just “hope” that your motivation to run will be there in the morning when the alarm blares…
But motivation is fickle and unpredictable. Some days, you’re ready to crush a track workout or long run. Other days, you can barely bring yourself to jog for 30 minutes.
You don’t have to be a hostage to the whims of your running motivation, though. Relying on motivation is a fool’s errand.
Instead, you can structure your running life in such a way that missed runs or skipped workouts are virtually nonexistent.
You can do this without:the latest productivity app getting up at four in the morning every day joining a convent or becoming a monk… “biohacking” your way to the podium
I want to share with you a simple framework for automatically improving your running motivation and increasing the chances that you train hard – so you can race faster.
And it all starts with the other people in your life. Discover more about Strength Running's team.
Episode 90: Running for Enlightenment with Filmmaker Sanjay RawalMar 28, 2019 50:28
Sanjay Rawal is a filmmaker, runner, and the man behind the documentary 3100: Run and Become.
Before becoming a filmmaker, he spent 15 years in over 40 countries working on human rights and international development. His new film is about the longest certified road race in the world: the Self-Transcendence 3100 Miler.
It's an event that boggles the mind: 3,100 miles around a single city block in Queens, New York for nearly two months in the heat of summer. To win, you have to average about 60 miles per day (for nearly two months).
A race like this is less of a race and more of a journey of self-discovery that reveals the limits of human ability.
In this wide-ranging discussion about the spiritual side of running, Sanjay Rawal and I discuss:Why this race is more of a pilgrimage than a race The mechanics of a 52-day, 3,100-mile race What we can learn from traditional running cultures like the Navajo and Kalahari How we can train our minds to be more resilient What separates a runner who completes 3100 miles from the rest of us How the mindset of a spiritual runner can improve your competitive goals
Episode 89: Meb Keflezighi: The Molding of a Distance RunnerMar 21, 2019 59:32
Meb's legacy is cemented as a world-class runner: he's the 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, winner of the 2009 New York City Marathon and 2014 Boston Marathon, and 4-time Olympian.
He's also the author of three books guaranteed to get your competitive juices flowing:Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion's Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big Dream Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat Like a Champion Marathoner 26 Marathons: What I've Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life From Each Marathon I've Run
Perhaps more impactful is his approach to the sport of distance running and the marathon. Free from any personal scandal, Meb is a true ambassador to running. In 2017, he was recognized as an 'Outstanding American by Choice' by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
He's also run 26 marathons over the course of his decades long career. And anybody who has completed that many marathons at a world-class level has a lot to share.
In this conversation, Meb and I have a wide-ranging conversation about:His childhood in Eritrea and how it prepared him for distance running The surprises he learned when running his first marathon Why cross-training is so valuable for him How running has prepared him for setbacks in his personal life When running is particularly hard for Meb
We also talk about his new book 26 Marathons and the many lessons he's learned from each of the 26 marathons he's run over the last two decades.
Finally, I ended our conversation with a simple question ahead of next month's Boston Marathon: If you could talk to the entire field at Boston as they lined up in Hopkinton, what advice would you have for them?
Episode 88: Dr. Mike Young on Metcon Workouts and Free Weights vs. MachinesMar 14, 2019 56:56
Don't be surprised if a Metcon workout includes:Running Cycling Rowing Gymnastic movements Strength exercises Any combination of these forms of exercise
They're put together to condition the metabolism. In other words, to enable you to work at a near maximum intensity for a prolonged period of time.
They sound very much like a running workout - like a challenging hill workout, for example.
But the crucial difference is that they don't have to include any running. And that makes them useful for runners who may not be ready for a hard workout (or who want a different, less-specific workout).
I've brought Dr. Mike Young onto the podcast to discuss metcon workouts for runners (and more topics) in more detail.
You can also sign up here for our free course on runner-specific strength training.
Mike Young, PhD is the Director of Research and Performance at Athletic Lab. A Lead Instructor for both USA Track & Field and USA Weightlifting, he also works with elite athletes and has consulted with the MLS, MLB, NFL, PGA, and NHL.
An internationally recognized researcher, coach, and educator, Mike has the unique distinction of attending all three US Olympic Training Centers as an athlete, sport scientist, and coach.
He has degrees in exercise physiology, coaching science, and biomechanics – not to mention his prowess publishing multiple peer-reviewed journal articles.
This conversation focuses on strength training for runners and how to think more productively about certain types of strength workouts and whether or not machines are appropriate for runners.
Episode 87: Do Runners Really Need Nutrition Supplements?Feb 28, 2019 16:12
Running nutrition can be confusing.
To begin with, there’s your day-to-day diet. The debates will forever rage on in running circles on how to fuel your training, from keto to high carb to whole 30 and everything in between.
At the end of the day, simple whole foods are your best bet, not following specific, restrictive rules on quantity and substance.
On top of that, there’s a general sense that running means you need “extras” in your diet. Extra iron, extra protein, extra…. fill in the blank.
Runners frequently turn to supplements to satisfy these “needs.” There are thousands of articles and blog posts, not to mention advertising, dedicated to convincing you that as a runner, you need to add specific nutrients to your diet.
This episode discusses what's needed (and what you can skip) and how to dial in your nutrition for better running performance.
Episode 86: Beth Skwarecki, the Health Editor of Lifehacker, on Health & Fitness TrendsFeb 19, 2019 58:03
Beth Skwarecki is the author of two books and the Health Editor of Lifehacker. She's here to dispel fitness and health myths that might be leading us astray.
Beth is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the Association of Health Care Journalists. After getting a BA in biology from Alfred University, she received her Master's in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Rutger's University.
She also has previously taught nutrition and environmental sciences at the Community College of Allegheny County.
Her two books will interest the science nerds out there:Outbreak: 50 Tales of Epidemics That Terrorized the World Genetics 101: From Chromosomes and the Double Helix to Cloning and DNA Tests, Everything You Need to Know About Genes
This conversation focuses on the many side aspects of a healthy lifestyle that make running easier.
After all, it's critical to have a lifestyle that supports running. You can't train well if you barely sleep and drink a lot...
We're talking about:DNA trivia for runners How her job has changed her outlook on health and fitness How to engineer a less groggy morning (for the morning runners out there!) Whether elderberry supplements are a waste of money
Beth and I also discuss running in the dark, the cutoff point for running in extreme cold, and the warning signs of frostbite.
Episode 85: Lindsey Hein on Elites, Podcasting for Runners, and Training with KidsFeb 14, 2019 45:41
Lindsey has always been a runner. She ran cross country in high school and after running for fitness and health in college, started running marathons post-collegiately.
To date, she's run 14 marathons and is currently preparing for the 2019 Boston Marathon. She's also a RRCA-certified running coach.
Her podcast is one of the most popular running podcasts out there: I'll Have Another with Lindsey Hein has more than 160 episodes and features the most talented runners on the planet:Meb Keflezighi Paula Radcliffe Scott Jurek Shalane Flanagan
Lindsey is in a unique situation after being able to explore the training, lives, mindsets, and careers of so many world-class athletes. I couldn't help but have so many questions:How do we relate to elite runners who have physical gifts that we simply do not? What separates the best from the rest of us? How do we learn from these runners to enhance our own training?
In our latest episode for the Strength Running Podcast, we discuss the drawbacks and opportunities of interviewing elite runners, mindset shifts related to running when you start having kids, and a lot more.
Episode 84: How to Optimize Recovery with Christie AschwandenFeb 4, 2019 44:30
Recovery means much more than what you do - it's also about what you don't do.
For example, many runners think foam rolling or taking an ice bath are effective recovery methods. And if you enjoy them, I won't argue! But what you're not doing is equally important:Are you using your day off from running to do your own taxes and run 34 errands? Did you plan your big (i.e., stressful) family vacation for your post-marathon recovery week? Do you stay out late enjoying one or several too many adult beverages?
If the answer is yes, then it almost doesn't matter what you do for your post workout recovery.
Because the addition of stress - whether physical or mental - derails our best recovery efforts. That's why when I was in college, our track coach was very understanding of poor workout splits during mid-terms. You simply can't perform physically and mentally at a high level for very long.
We previously discussed a hierarchy of injury prevention strategies and how some tactics are far more effective than others. The same is true for recovery strategies.
I want you to understand the best, most productive, and effective ways to recover from your hardest workouts.
And I'm thrilled to present you with today's podcast episode with Ms Christie Aschwanden.
Christie is the lead science writer for FiveThirtyEight and a former health columnist for the Washington Post. She's also a finalist for the National Magazine Award and her work has been featured in Discover, Smithsonian, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
A fellow Coloradan like myself, Christie was a high school state champion in the 1,6000m run, a national collegiate cycling champion, and an elite cross-country skier with Team Rossignol.
She's on the podcast to discuss individual post workout recovery strategies but also the bigger questions:How do we know if we're fooling ourselves that something is working (when it isn't)? Why isn't it enough to simply ask, "Does this recovery method work?" Overall, have we made recovery too complicated? How do you prioritize mental recovery? If you were to speak to the entire Olympic Team about recovery, what would you say?
This episode is an excerpt of my full conversation with Christie for the Team Strength Running group coaching program.
Episode 83: Sarah Canney on the 2019 World Snowshoe Running ChampionshipsJan 28, 2019 48:07
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending an hour talking to Sarah Canney. She's a Road Runners Club of America and USA Track and Field certified running coach in addition to being a competitive mountain runner and member of the 2018 US National Snowshoe Running Team.
In fact, she recently placed 9th at the World Championships in Val di Non, Italy on January 5th.
Now, I've never gone snowshoe running. I don't own any snowshoes. Frankly, I don't even like the cold.
But after hearing Sarah speak more about the sport and how fun it can be, it's something I'm dying to try (and you can't get a better snowshoe running venue than Colorado's Front Range!)
And while snowshoe running might be a lot of fun, it can also be an extraordinarily helpful method of cross-training:There's less impact running slower on snow (and less injury risk) It's incredibly specific to running (in fact, it is running) Because it's more difficult than running on the road, less time is needed for a great workout
The more and more I think about this sport, the more that I think runners need to try it!
In this episode, we talk everything snowshoe running:How it's very similar to cross country The gear and equipment required for success The training: how is it different from running? What you need to know before getting started How difficult it can be and how that relates to pace and effort
We also discuss her running retreat Rise. Run. Retreat. for women and how she's making a big impact in the world of women's running.
Episode 82: Megan Roche on Becoming a Happy RunnerJan 10, 2019 42:07
Megan Roche is a professional runner for HOKA ONE ONE and the 2016 USA Track & Field Trail Runner of the Year at the ultra and sub-ultra distances.
A five-time national champion, she’s also the North American Mountain Running Champion and a six-time member of Team USA.
Her new book The Happy Runner: Love the Process, Get Faster, Run Longer was written with her husband David Roche (also an elite runner who contributed to our Little Black Book of Recovery & Prevention) and presents a unique and compelling view of how to excel as a distance runner.
In it, she discusses a wide range of fascinating topics for runners:The difference between hard and fast – and when to prioritize each How to define “the process” Why kindness can help you become a better runner
And of course, Megan and David cover the training side of things with a focus on how to get the most out of your body.
In this podcast conversation, Megan and I talk about:Can positivity make you a more robust runner? Does running make people more optimistic? Why is running “meaningless?” How her medical degree has impacted her training A lot more…
Episode 81: Strength Coach Tony Gentilcore on Deadlifts: Form, Dangers, and FunctionDec 10, 2018 49:59
Over the last two years, I've been learning more and more about strength training. In fact, our new strength program High Performance Lifting (details here) has rocketed to our most popular training course.
Like many runners, I'm not in love with weightlifting (I'd rather be running!) but I've come to appreciate just how valuable it is for endurance athletes. Higher levels of strength almost always lead to faster race times.
That's why I'm thrilled to present a new podcast with strength coach Tony Gentilcore.
Tony previously joined us on the pod to talk about why runners should lift.
He's back on today to go into more detail. Tony pointed out during our conversation that all of us deadlift all day long. Whenever we pick something up from the ground (a child, a bag of groceries, your running shoes), we're performing a deadlift.
If we practice that movement and get stronger moving in that way, it will make life - and our running - a lot easier.
And that's the mentality we should all have when we think about strength training: it's exercise that makes other exercise easier.
But we're going to talk a lot more about the deadlift in this episode:Is there such a thing as "perfect" lifting form? Should we chase ideal form or make adjustments based on our own anatomy? The similarities between running and strength training
If you're not sure where to start, don't miss SR's free strength series.
Episode 80: The Best (and least effective) Injury Prevention StrategiesDec 6, 2018 16:39
Now, my goal at Strength Running is to always show you the most effective approach. The training that will most likely get you to achieve your biggest goals.
That’s why we don’t waste time on minutiae. We don’t chase shiny objects like CrossFit Endurance or wonder if we should go keto or run all of our miles barefoot.
We focus on what has been shown to conclusively work for runners.
As you can imagine, some prevention strategies are better than others:If the goal is a fast marathon, great long runs are more effective than pool running workouts If the goal is a fast mile, speed development is more critical than foam rolling or core routines If the goal is to stay healthy long-term, a good dose of strength training is better than regular ice baths
This episode will rank the most effective injury prevention strategies so you know which one to choose for your needs.
Episode 79: How a Physical Therapist (and 2:24 Marathoner) Prevents InjuriesDec 3, 2018 56:22
Verrelle Wyatt is a 2:24 marathoner, 4:18 miler, and an Athletic Hall of Famer for his high school. He received his doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Walsh University in Ohio.
He has two medical licenses in both Physical Therapy and Sports Physical Therapy in addition to being certified as both a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES).
In this conversation, we discuss a lot:His experience working with Cirque du Soleil athletes How having a doctoral degree in PT has informed his running The training that led Verrelle to a 2:24 marathon How to avoid the common injury mistakes that land runners in his office
This episode is an excerpt from our full conversation for Team Strength Running, Strength Running's affordable group coaching program.
Episode 78: Jason Koop on Coaching Competence and Smarter TrainingNov 19, 2018 56:53
As a runner himself, Jason Koop has two top-10 finishes at the Leadville Trail 100 and has finished some of ultrarunning's most challenging races like the Badwater 135, Wasatch 100, and the Hardrock 100.
He's the Director of Coaching at Carmichael Training Systems where he's been for over a decade working with runners, cyclists, and triathletes.
Today, coach Jason Koop focuses more on trail ultramarathoners, guiding some of the best ultra runners in the country:Dakota Jones, winner of the 2018 Pike's Peak Marathon (after he cycled 250 miles in the four days before the race...) Missy Gosney, 4th at the 2015 Hardrock 100 Mile Timothy Olson, former course record holder of the Western States Endurance Run
This wide-ranging conversation covers a lot:The nuances and pros/cons of progression runs Why (and how) to never let yourself become more than 10% detrained The impact of climate change on the sport of running What Jason Koop wishes he could tell his 20-year old self How he continually learns about running, coaching, and exercise science
Our conversation is a must-listen for aspiring coaches, ultrarunners, and running geeks who want to dive a little deeper into training theory.
Episode 77: How to Get Injured: 5 Training Errors That Spike Your Injury RiskNov 15, 2018 17:12
Running injuries are formally called repetitive stress injuries. Do the wrong thing (over a prolonged period of time) and you can rest assured that you’re probably going to get hurt.
Here’s a great example from outside the running world. Recently I interviewed Staci Ardison in our monthly interview series for Team Strength Running about weight lifting. She’s become a very competitive powerlifter over the last few years and asked about injuries in the weight room. What causes them? How do you stay healthy while lifting?
Her answer was surprising. It wasn’t a neat new trick or fancy wrist strap for dead lifts.
It had nothing to do with what shoes you’re wearing (in fact, she frequently lifts barefoot or whether or not you were wearing compression socks.
Her answer was this:
Not doing things correctly. Don’t ego lift.
How simple. And also, how accurate.
In the sport of weightlifting (just like in running), injuries are caused by doing things you’re not prepared to do.
I want to provide a bit more detail on and examples of these training errors so let’s dive into the top 5 mistakes we make as runners.
For more on injury prevention, get our free email series here.
Episode 76: Yoga for Runners: A Deep Dive with Yogi Sage RountreeOct 25, 2018 41:29
With some runners hesitant to brave the yoga studio – and the benefits unclear – I wanted to get a leading expert on the podcast to discuss yoga for runners.
Please say hi to Sage Rountree.
Sage isn’t just an internationally recognized yoga expert with the highest level of training possible. She hasn’t just worked with Olympians, NBA and NFL players, and collegiate athletes.
She’s also a running and triathlon coach and the author of eight books, including:The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga: An Integrated Approach to Strength, Flexibility, and Focus Racing Wisely: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Performing at Your Personal Best The Runner’s Guide to Yoga, 2nd Edition
With a PhD in English Literature, race experience from 400m to the ultramarathon, and experience teaching yoga at venues ranging from the local Turkey Trot to the Pentagon, Sage has a breadth of experience unlike most other fitness experts.
She’s also the owner of the Carolina Yoga Company, the Hillsborough Spa and Day Retreat; and the Carolina Massage Institute.
And she’s on the podcast to talk about the many benefits of yoga for runners.
Episode 75: Running Advice for Beginners - 3 Errors that Derail ProgressOct 18, 2018 08:36
Today I want to help you avoid the most common mistakes among new runners. These "unforced errors" derail your progress, invite injury, and make running harder than it needs to be.
Simply not doing the wrong thing can be the difference between success and failure.
It’s like Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz once said:
“It’s not the great play that wins the game. It’s eliminating the dumb play.”
Here are three of the most common mistakes I see beginners make with their running – whatever you do, avoid these at all costs!
For more on beginner running, get our Bonus Podcast for new runners at https://strengthrunning.com/new/
Episode 74: Running Your First Marathon? Listen to this Behind the Scenes Coaching CallOct 9, 2018 53:40
Pam is a Team Strength Running member. Every month, I get the team together for a live video coaching call. We talk about workouts, scheduling races, planning around vacations and injuries, and how to strategically plan a season.
I recently asked the team if anybody was planning a BIG goal and wanted to come on the podcast to talk more about how to achieve that crazy goal.
[These opportunities are only available to Team SR members. Learn more about the team here.]
Pam stepped up. She’s not new to running but wants to run a marathon even though she’s never run longer than about 9 miles. Her longest race has been 10k.
This is a unique place to be: an experienced yet low-mileage runner who wants to make the leap to running 26.2 miles.
We’re left with a lot of questions:How can this transition be done safely with as little injury risk as possible? Can Pam train for a marathon now or should she wait? How can Pam build her mileage over the long-term to make running her first marathon easier to achieve?
These are the questions we’re answering on today’s podcast episode about running your first marathon.
This is a behind the scenes coaching call that I occasionally do for team members, highlighting their unique goals and struggles and how they can keep improving.
The format of the call is three parts:
First, what is Pam’s background as a runner?
Second, what are her goals and current training like?
Finally, we strategize on how she can make those goals a reality.
Episode 73: How NOT to Lift Weights: 3 Common Mistakes to AvoidOct 5, 2018 13:52
To kick off 2018, we’re focusing on strength training for runners. And there’s an undeniable advantage from getting the fundamentals right before you learn how to start lifting weights:
Progress is faster (you get better sooner!)
Risks are mitigated (far fewer injuries!)
Results are more substantial (you get stronger!)
My goal is to help you limit the early mistakes as you start lifting weights so you can enjoy all of the benefits of strength training exercises:power fewer injuries speed coordination lean muscle efficiency
We cover a lot more on Strength Running’s free weight lifting ecourse here – don’t miss it!
Episode 72: Mark Cucuzzella, MD on A Comprehensive Injury Prevention PlanSep 17, 2018 55:33
If you don't know Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, you're missing out.
He’s a professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine and a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force Reservists. He designed the US Air Force Efficient Running Project and has presented running workshops on over 50 military bases.
Mark has been a national-level Masters runner, completed more than 100 marathon and ultra-marathon races, and is a two time winner of the Air Force Marathon. His PR? A staggering 2:24.
He's also strongly involved in the local West Virginia running community:race director of Freedom’s Run race series owner of Two Rivers Treads in his hometown of Shepherdstown
Mark's new book, Run for Your Life: How to Run, Walk, and Move Without Pain or Injury and Achieve a Sense of Well-Being and Joy is all of his expertise and experience distilled into one manual for preventing injury.
He's also on the Strength Running Podcast to discuss these topics in more detail.
We're focusing on three main areas of prevention:Running form: cues, mistakes, and big picture principles Barefoot running: how to get started and avoid injuries Lifestyle: what factors predispose you to getting hurt?
Episode 71: A Step-by-Step Guide to Tempo RunsSep 13, 2018 16:44
Tempo runs are beneficial for virtually every runner – from milers to marathoners, tempos are nearly ubiquitous.
Of course, they’re a staple for longer distance runners training for the marathon and beyond.
If you’re not familiar with this type of workout, there are three popular definitions:
1. Comfortably hard. A pace that’s faster than “moderate” but not exactly “hard.” If you have a high training age and prefer running by feel or perceived effort, this may be the most helpful definition for you.
2. The pace you could race for an hour. For some runners, their tempo pace is similar to or about the same as their 10k pace.
This definition is best used for more advanced runners.
3. 85-90% of maximum heart rate. If you train by heart rate (learn how to calculate your max heart rate here), this is a valuable way to ensure you’re in the right range for your tempo run.
More scientifically inclined runners know that tempo workouts are run at or near your lactate threshold. This is the pace at which you’re producing the maximum amount of lactate that your body can clear from your muscles and blood stream.
In other words, tempo runs are done at lactate threshold which is the fastest you can still run aerobically.
Episode 70: Eating Disorders in Runners: An Honest Conversation with Annyck Besso, RDAug 30, 2018 52:19
Most coaches - including myself - don't have the tools to discuss this serious issue. I have no personal experience or training with eating disorders in runners (though I have friends with disordered eating).
So I brought on someone who does: Annyck Besso.
The goals of this conversation are threefold:Give coaches better tools to educate, help, and guide their runners with eating disorders Open a dialogue among all runners and foster a healthy, productive conversation Provide resources to those who might be suffering from any type of disordered eating
Annyck is a Registered Dietitian with expertise in the treatment of eating disorders in private and academic medical center environments. She has a Bachelors degree in nutrition and dietetics, a Master's degree in dietetics, and specialty training in approaches like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Based Treatment (FBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
She's also quite the speedy runner, recently running 3:07 at the hot and humid Wisconsin Marathon.
Resources & Links from the show:The Recovery Record app Mind Body Health (Annyck's practice) Division of Responsibility Feeding National Eating Disorders Association Helpline FBT approach for treating eating disorders Recommended book: Nourishing Wisdom by Marc David Recommended book: Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch Recommended book (for parents): Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders by Eva Musby Strength Running's free nutrition series
Thank you Annyck for coming on the podcast to share your expertise about the topic of eating disorders in runners. There are a lot of resources included that I hope all of our listeners will find helpful!
Episode 69: Trail & Ultra Coach Doug Hay on Becoming a Trail RunnerAug 15, 2018 43:36
Trail running is a welcomed alternative to road running because it's a different type of stress that helps you become a better runner:The uneven surface can limit the repetition of running, thereby reducing your injury risk The varying terrain and obstacles (rocks, roots, holes, more turns and elevation changes) requires more athleticism Softer surfaces can promote recovery on easy days
Plus, let's not forget that running trails usually means that you're going to run slower. And that can actually be a very good thing!
When used appropriately, train running can aid recovery by forcing you to run slower. A lower heart rate - on a softer, more forgiving surface - is how to structure a great recovery day.
From injury prevention to athleticism to recovery, trail running can help improve the quality of your training (and your race results).
To help you make the most of running trails - and get started with the least amount of stress - I spoke with trail and ultra runner Doug Hay.
He's also the creator of the Trail Runner's System (today's sponsor).
Our conversation covers a lot:Our best advice for new trail runners Do trails make running easier? How "trails" can be a lot more than just trails The risks of road running Trail running as a gateway drug What trail gear is absolutely necessary (and what isn't)?
We also include a challenge for you - so don't miss this episode.
Episode 68: How to Improve 'Movement Knowledge' with Ryan Smith, DPTAug 9, 2018 39:53
Dr. Ryan Smith is a lead instructor for the Institute of Clinical Excellence in the Fitness Athlete division. He specializes in treating individuals who participate in CrossFit, Olympic Lifting, powerlifting, and other recreational sports like running.
He also specializes in pelvic health therapy, utilizing an external approach that focuses on education and management of diastisis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, and post-partum issues.
Ryan is an avid supporter of the Senior Rehab Project and promoting individuals to strength train throughout their lifetime.
You might recognize his name - he contributed to an earlier article on bodyweight strength training for runners.
And I'm excited to introduce a longer discussion with Ryan on many related topics:The common movement dysfunctions among runners (and how to address them) Should you worry about a "clicky" hip or knee? What are "movement vital signs?" How to use pain science to improve your running
Enjoy my conversation with Dr. Ryan Smith!
Show Links & Resources:Ryan on Twitter Ryan's PT office Recharge Weightlifting for runners My recommended strength exercises SR's free strength course (case studies, exercises, what not to do, and more)
Episode 67: Coach Jonathan Marcus on the Art of Coaching and ImprovementJul 30, 2018 59:26
Jonathan Marcus is to running as Charlie Munger is to investing: a coach that uses “elementary, worldly wisdom” to mold his athletes into high-level runners.
His past coaching and running industry experience includes:Assistant track coach at Portland State University Division I / NAIA / post-collegiate club / Oregon High School levels Involvement with the Portland Track Festival, USA Track & Field, NIKE’s Bowerman Track Club, and the Run Portland/Team Athena running clubs
He was appointed USA Track & Field High Performance Coordinator for the men’s middle distances in 2011 and his national role with USATF included serving as co-meet director for the prestigious USATF High Performance track meet held annually at Occidental College.
Currently he’s the Director of High Performance West, an elite training group in Portland Oregon. He also has an incredibly enlightening and action-packed podcast with fellow coach Steve Magness called On Coaching that I highly recommend.
What I most respect about coach Jonathan Marcus is that he’s a lifelong learner: always reading books, learning, educating himself, and connecting with others to improve his ability to perform at a high level as a running coach.
Our wide-ranging discussion might surprise you because we talk about some interesting topics that, on first examination, don’t appear to be truly about running or coaching!
Issues like:The books that Jonathan is reading (and why they’re not all running books) Empathy and bias (and why these are crucial traits for coaches) Vision (and how this relates to your success as a runner) “Cognitive coping skills” for racing and challenging workouts
For those who want to transcend beyond an elementary understanding of running, this conversation is a fantastic primer on the nuances of high-level running achievement.
I think you’re going to love it.
Episode 66: Tina Muir Cohosts the Podcast to Answer Your Running QuestionsJul 16, 2018 54:17
You might recognize Tina from Episode 31 of the podcast. She’s an 11-time All-American athlete and elite athlete for Great Britain who’s run in two British Olympic Trials.
Tina recently overcame amenorrhea by taking a break from training, had a daughter, and is now returning to competitive running.
But we’re not here to talk about Tina. We’re here to talk about YOUR questions, problems, and struggles.
In this conversation, we’re discussing:If you can only run a few times per week, should those runs all be “hard?” Do compression socks actually work? How do you advance beyond walking to run all of your miles? What are the most important things to remember when training for a Ragnar Relay? How do you pace a long run? And a lot more!
Episode 65: Nichola Ludlam-Raine, RD on Running with Diabetes, Detoxes & CaloriesJul 2, 2018 42:03
Nichola - or Nic as her friends call her - has such a long list of credentials and accomplishments that I simply can't share them all here.
But just a sampling of her education and experience demonstrates her expertise:Graduated from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours Degree in Sports & Exercise Science Graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a post-graduate diploma in Dietetics Holds a Master's Degree in Health Science Published author in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Her blog has also been voted as the UK's best health blog in 2015! Clearly, we're in good company.
In this conversation, Nic and I discuss a wide variety of topics important to runners:How can athletes running with diabetes fuel appropriately while managing their disease? Why is being "calorie-aware" important but fundamentally different than counting calories? Does the ketogenic ("keto") diet work for runners? Is coconut water a good source of hydration for runners? Do detoxes work? Should athletes like runners take multivitamins?
Use these principles to focus on big-picture principles and thrive!
Episode 64: 3 Plant-Based “Forcing Functions” That Improve Your DietJun 21, 2018 14:31
I’m a proud omnivore. I firmly believe that eating a balanced, “whole-foods” diet is the key to both long-term health and improved running performance.
But the issue isn’t which diet is best, but the results that a certain diet can give to you.
Over the past decade, I’ve been borderline obsessed with discovering the optimal diet for running performance.
I’ve read many of the best diet books, interviewed Registered Dietitians, pro athletes, and best-selling diet authors:Q&A Podcast with Anne Mauney MPH, RD How elite OCR athlete Kimber Mattox fuels her running Matt Fitzgerald on “The Endurance Diet” How pro marathoner Ariana Hilborn eats
I’ve also heard first hand from elite runners, USA Track & Field instructors, and world-class coaches about the best approaches to eating for endurance runners.
And they all include meat.
But… not one person (anywhere) thinks we should eat a meat-based diet.
Whether you’re vegan or an omnivore like myself, we should all eat a plant-based diet. Here are 3 strategies that work well for me.
Episode 63: The Beginner's Guide to Running Your First Marathon with Angie and Trevor SpencerJun 18, 2018 45:50
Angie and Trevor Spencer are the hosts of the Marathon Training Academy podcast and have helped thousands of runners over the years successfully run their first marathons.
Angie ran her first marathon in 2008, promptly got injured, but turned things around in a big way: since then, she's run 51 marathons and 4 ultras with not a single injury (!). A Registered Nurse, she also has USATF-Level 1 and RRCA-Level 2 coaching certifications.
Trevor followed in his wife's footsteps and went from couch potato to marathoner in just a few short years. After his first marathon in 2011, he's since completed 14 marathons, 15 half marathons, and a Spartan Trifecta.
They've both joined me on the podcast to talk about the subject of "Couch to Marathon" or how to:Transition from sedentary to marathon with as little injury risk as possible Differentiate between training to finish vs. training for performance Marathon training mistakes that are common among beginners
Every year, about a half a million runners finish a marathon in the United States (and most of them - nearly all of them - aren't elite athletes blessed with marathon-friendly genetics).
The marathon can be conquered. Success over 26.2 miles just needs a more strategic plan than your neighborhood 5k.
This is how you do it.
Episode 62: 3 Ingredients for Your Fastest 5kJun 7, 2018 15:37
Over the years of coaching hundreds of athletes to new personal bests from 1.5 mile military fitness tests up to the 50-mile ultramarathon distance, I’ve been given a “private look” inside how runners approach their training.
And most of the time, I’m horrified! There’s no progression. They avoid race-specific workouts. I see pacing mistake after pacing mistake.
If you want to run faster you need to take the next logical step in how you prepare and plan your training schedule. Even though you might think the 5k is short, it demands very specific workouts.
Good 5k training includes three distinct aspects of running fitness: speed, race-specific fitness, and endurance.
Over-emphasize endurance and you won’t have that “higher gear” to hammer the last mile.
Skip the specific 5k workouts and you’ll feel flat with no power.
Balancing all three ensures that you’ll feel powerful on race day and accomplish your race goals. So if you’re wondering how to train for a 5k, here’s how to execute each one (no matter what fitness level you’re at right now).
Learn more about SR's training programs if you'd like to race faster! See https://strengthrunning.com/coaching/ for more.
Episode 61: Alex Hutchinson on the Limits of Human EnduranceMay 21, 2018 48:26
Alex Hutchinson holds a PhD in Physics from Cambridge, a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia, and is a former national-class runner in Canada. He’s written for Runner’s World, Outside Magazine, The Globe & Mail, Popular Mechanics, and many other major media.
I’ve been pestering Alex to write another book after Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? became one of my favorite exercise science myth-busters (if you haven’t picked it up yet, I highly recommend it).
And he finally delivered! His new book, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance has quickly become my favorite running book from the last few years.
Our conversation centers on the psychological limits of endurance:intrinsic motivation peer pressure joy and running for “the right reasons” how to access hidden reserves of energy overriding the “central governor”
Alex’s book showed me the many factors that limit endurance – and practical methods for overcoming those limitations.
Often, it’s not your training that predicts your race performances, but what’s between your ears.
Episode 60: How to Run a Fast Obstacle Course RaceMay 18, 2018 14:51
Warrior Dash is a fun vacation from more traditional road racing. If you’re bored and need a new challenge, an obstacle race might be just the cure.
They’re fun – but you need the right training to prepare yourself for the challenge of completing a difficult obstacle course. With obstacles every few hundred feet on courses that are almost always hilly with uneven terrain, it’s downright difficult to maintain your pace and get in a groove.
For most runners, it’s a challenge just to run in between each obstacle!
But there are specific ways that you can train to ensure you have a successful race. Make no mistake: whether you’re running a Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder, these aren’t your typical road races. It takes a particular mindset to conquer them. Here’s how.
Episode 59: How Sam Plans to Escape His Cycle of InjuriesMay 10, 2018 55:02
Sam started running in 2002 to lose the weight he put on in college. But his training really picked up years later when he started racing more in 2015.
He told me:
I set a goal to run another marathon in December, 2016 with a goal of a BQ. I dumped weight lifting and boot camps, to focus on running. I jacked up my miles going from running 10-15 miles and week quickly to running 30-40 miles a week.
Leading up to the marathon I developed plantar fasciitis but was able to train through it. A week before the race I developed ITBS and ran the marathon anyways. It was a horrible race that left me sitting on the side of the road at one point.
But I finished (actually setting a PR in 3:30) and could barely walk afterward. After 2 months, I started training again and decided I wanted to try triathlons.
I jacked up my miles and completed a Half Ironman. But I didn’t take time to recover and developed ITBS. And I've been battling with issues ever since.
Listen in as we strategize how to get control over this injury cycle so Sam can focus on racing faster.
Sam is a member of Team Strength Running and is able to talk over these issues with me on our live coaching calls.
If you'd like that opportunity, sign up here to see when the team is accepting new members.
Episode 58: Superfoods, Veganism & Fasting: A Registered Dietitian’s PerspectiveMay 1, 2018 45:59
Heather Caplan is a Registered Dietitian, certified running coach, and host of the RD Real Talk Podcast.
She’s also the former Head of Nutrition and Coaching at tech startup Spright, Inc. She’s also worked in corporate wellness coaching and public health nutrition counseling.
Her work has been featured in national media such as Runner’s World, The Washington Post, Women’s Running, Outside Online, and others.
Heather is on the podcast today to answer YOUR nutrition questions:Are superfoods legit? What’s her hot take on fasting and the vegan diet? How much meat is too much? Can nutrition play a role in injury prevention? And more!
This is a very wide-ranging discussion based on your answers to my Twitter question here. If you like this format of podcast, we have two more you can download here!
Episode 57: The Complete Guide to Hill WorkoutsApr 26, 2018 15:23
Running uphill (against gravity) stresses your body in a unique way that you can’t mimic on flat land.
That stress results in some fantastic adaptations and benefits:There’s less impact running uphill so it’s easier on your joints and connective tissues Hills “force” you to run with better form, reinforcing a more efficient stride Running up steep grades builds power more safely than running fast on flat terrain Hills provide the most specific strength work runners could ask for Hill workouts build strength, speed, endurance, VO2 Max, and every other metric runners care about!
While hill sessions aren’t too race-specific (unless you’re training for an entirely uphill race), they have a valuable place in any training program.
This episode discusses these benefits, when hills should be incorporated into your season, my 3 favorite types of hill workouts, and the type of runner who will benefit most from hills.
Episode 56: How to Balance Running in Your Life, with Keira D'AmatoApr 17, 2018 47:01
In reality, we have to make time and shuffle our schedules to accommodate all of our responsibilities:Kids and family Work and professional obligations Social events Sleep? Maybe?
It's no easy feat to train well, work, have a family, and find some free time to read or have fun.
I remember back to one of the most challenging times of my life: the year after college when I had a 75-minute commute and a 9-hour work day.
That meant I was running 80-85 miles per week at 5:30am in the dark, in the freezing winter of Massachusetts. I had no time to do anything besides work, run, and ensure I slept 8 hours a night.
Now that I have a family, that's not a possibility. Hard decisions have to be made...
To help with those tough decisions, I want to introduce you to Keira D'Amato.
She was a 4-time All-American at American University in Washington, DC, specializing in events ranging from the 5k to cross country.
After college, she worked for years as the marketing director for Potomac River Running and today she's the "running realtor" for the northern Virginia and DC areas.
But she never quit running. Just last month, she won the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Washington, DC.
Keira is running after the Olympic Trials marathon standard of 2:45 - and she's close with her 2:47 PR!
Oh, and she's married with two kids...
In this conversation, we discuss:the many roles she's had in the running industry what she's learned about runners from being so involved in the sport her marathon progression from nearly 4 hours to 2:47 (!!) how her current training has gone and her strategy to get the OTQ how she manages to train at an elite level with a job and a family
Episode 55: How Tyler Andrews is Chasing the 50K World RecordApr 9, 2018 53:03
was a competitive Division III runner - but certainly not a multiple All-American or other kind of standout performer.
But that never stopped him from chasing big goals.
After graduating from Tufts University, Tyler kept training and improving. He's since qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials and currently holds the world record for the fastest half marathon ever run on a treadmill (63:38).
Now he has his sights set on another world record: the 50K ultramarathon distance.
And this Friday, he'll be making that WR attempt in California at the Santa Barbara Easter Relays. After 125 laps on the track, we'll know if he was ready to topple the 30-year record of 2:43:38.
In this far-ranging conversation, Tyler and I discuss a host of issues:The geeky nitty gritty of his training - most at 9,000+ feet altitude in Quito, Ecuador His pacing and fueling approach for a track 50k More philosophically, why is he attempting to break this record? And a lot more...
Episode 54: Listen in on a Coaching Call About Running a Sub-3 MarathonMar 28, 2018 50:16
It’s no easy feat to run a marathon under three hours. It’s faster than the fastest Boston Qualifying time of 3:05 (for young men) and according to one analysis, only 4% of men and just 1% of women achieve this level of performance.
An article from LiveStrong notes that:
“the nonprofit organization RunTri used the times of 230,251 finishers in 25 races to determine that in the 2011-2012 marathon season the average time for any person, regardless of gender or age, was 4 hours, 24 minutes and 0 seconds.”
I’m not familiar with either of these sources so we should be careful with the results. Let’s take them with a big grain of salt.
But still, they underscore the general idea that a sub-3 marathon is really hard! And especially for women, who weren’t born with many of the biological “tools” that aid performance (higher muscle mass, more testosterone, etc.).
So this coaching call was particularly exciting for me. Lindsey has a 3:14 personal best but that wasn’t under ideal conditions – in other words, she knows a lot of improvement is possible.
In this conversation, we discuss her training background, past race performances, and the training upgrades required to make her sub-3 marathon dream a reality.
Episode 53: How to Run a Fast Mile, with NCAA Mile Champion Henry WynneMar 6, 2018 48:44
Henry Wynne has an unusual origin story: he’s a former lacrosse player who had no interest in running but his parents encouraged him to stick with the sport in high school.
Fast forward about 10 years later and today, he’s an elite middle-distance athlete sponsored by Brooks. A former runner for the University of Virginia, he's had several notable accomplishments over the years:2016 Indoor NCAA Mile - Champion 2016 Outdoor NCAA Mile - 3rd 4 x All-American School Record Holder, 1500m
His personal best in the mile is 3:55 (from less than two weeks ago!) - and he's going to let you in on how he prepares to race.
Resources helpful for milers and other middle-distance runners:Increase muscle tension to race faster How to lift for explosivity Train your top end running speed How to run hill sprints Lift for speed and power
Episode 52: Maggie Callahan on The Benefits of Strength TrainingFeb 27, 2018 38:18
I had the pleasure of getting to know Maggie last fall when she modeled the exercises for our new strength training program.
We spent a few hours at a weight lifting gym called Barbell Strategy in Boulder, CO. Maggie and Addie Bracy (2x Mountain Runner of the Year) demonstrated 40+ exercises and we had a videographer to capture all of the magic.
During her time at the University of Arizona, she won the PAC-10 Steeplechase Championship (she'll also tell you that she's twice won her beer in weight!).
Her PR for the steeple - one of my absolute favorites - is 10:03 or the equivalent of about 10:45-10:50 for 2-miles (with 30-inch barriers and water jumps). It’s quite impressive.
Now, Maggie trains under elite coach Brad Hudson. Brad, as I’m sure you know at this point, is the author of my favorite book on running - Run Faster: How to be Your Own Best Coach From the 5k to the Marathon.
If you don’t own this book, go buy it. You won’t regret it.
Back to Maggie: just last month she got on the podium at the Arizona RnR Hlaf Marathon, running 1:17:20 for third place.
And I'm thrilled she's on the podcast to talk about her running and the benefits of strength training she has personally experienced.
Episode 51: Dimity McDowell: The Cofounder of Another Mother RunnerFeb 16, 2018 40:30
Dimity is the cofounder of Another Mother Runner - one of the largest communities you'll find for women runners.
Besides the blog, the AMR ecosystem includes a helluva lot:The Another Mother Runner podcast AMR retreats Run Like a Mother Train Like a Mother Tales From Yet Another Mother Runner The AMR store
Dimity is on the Strength Running podcast today to talk about the many issues that are more unique to women. As you can imagine, I'm not the best person to address this topic.
As a man, there are a lot of things I'm simply not aware of or privy to in the sport of running.
It's not just women's issues; I bring in outside experts on everything that's outside of my wheelhouse:Running through pregnancy Sports psychology and "mental training" The physiology of lifting weights
And I'm thrilled to introduce you to Another Mother Runner and the great work they're doing for the running community.
Episode 50: Running 101: How I think about training runners to race fasterFeb 7, 2018 57:50
Two years ago, I was interviewed for an event called The Running Summit. I spoke about wide-ranging topics:How I started running My injury prevention philosophy The biggest areas of improvement for runners Strength training do's and don'ts Warm-ups and cross-training My favorite aspects of coaching How running "scales" My favorite running authors The two principles of sound form you must remember Who benefits from getting a coach? How to build your mileage more safely than the 10% rule Why 'Run Less, Run Faster' fails as a training methodology and a lot more!
As you can see, we went DEEP on running and touched on nearly every important element of sound training.
This is an audio recording of our interview where you'll be able to glean insights from my experience as a runner, coach, and a coached athlete.
Episode 49: Pro Triathlete Jesse Thomas on Fueling for Ironman TriathlonsFeb 1, 2018 57:28
You might recognize Jesse as the dude who races in Aviators (there's never an inappropriate time for Aviators).
He was an All-American and school record holder at track and field powerhouse Stanford University. After graduating with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Jesse started a company and got an MBA before going pro in triathlon in 2011.
You might say that Jesse likes to stay busy.
Today, he's the CEO of Picky Bars - a company he cofounded with his wife Lauren Fleshman - and an elite triathlete who's a 2x Ironman Champion.
After reading a fascinating article in Triathlete Magazine last year, I reached out to Jesse to learn more about his nutrition philosophy and approach to fueling for such a grueling sport.
As the CEO and cofounder of a company that helps athletes fuel their workouts, a pro triathlete, and a highly educated guy, Jesse has interesting perspectives about the nuances of eating 6,00 calories per day.Does he follow any type of formal "diet?" How does his nutrition change throughout the season and year? Is he a calorie counter, scorer, or macronutrient calculator? How "perfect" does he try to be with his nutrition?
Jesse joined me on the Strength Running podcast to talk about these issues and a lot more. I hope you'll listen.
Episode 48: Strength Coach Randy Hauer on The Role of Lifting for RunnersJan 25, 2018 01:02:53
I've fielded hundreds of lifting questions from runners who all want to know, "How do I lift the right way?"
It's a great question. In fact, it's THE question!
Knowing how to lift properly will:Save you a lot of wasted time Give you the actual results you want Reduce your injury risk
But without knowing WHY runners should lift then it's impossible to answer HOW runners should lift.
Do runners need to build strength? Or power? Or neuromuscular coordination? When is the right time to work on each skill?
Also:Can kettlebell work be added into a lifting program for runners? If so, how? Are CrossFit or other HIIT sessions appropriate? If so, when? Should trail runners lift the same way as road runners?
Clearly, this is a complex topic!
Thankfully, we're featuring a top strength coach on the podcast to answer all of your questions about lifting for runners.
You'll recognize Randy Hauer as the strength coach behind the programming of High Performance Lifting - our step-by-step lifting program for runners.
Randy has over 30 years of strength and conditioning experience in a wide variety of disciplines and training styles:Olympic Weightlifting Sports performance coaching Personal training CrossFit Kettlebell training
He uses insights from these experiences to develop world-class programming for pro runners in Boulder, Colorado. He works directly with some of Brad Hudson's Hudson Elite team members.
In High Performance Lifting, Randy brings runners through a comprehensive 16-week strength program that periodizes strength training so runners will get strong, powerful, and (most importantly) faster.
And today he's answering the most common questions we've received over the last few weeks:HIIT / CrossFit training for runners When you should lift (Before or after running? Off days? Hard days?) Soreness from lifting weights Trail runners and lifting Mobility and movement fluency Is HPL just for "fast" runners? Is it right for older runners 50+? What about high school aged kids?
Episode 47: Ideal Strength Training for RunnersDec 20, 2017 17:50
Cross-training is supplemental exercise that can be helpful to your running, like cycling.
But just like form drills, strides, or dynamic flexibility exercises, I consider strength training to be an integral part of how to train distance runners.
If you’re not strength training, then you’re not training.
Running by itself only gets you so far. It’s a fairly one-dimensional form of exercise, after all.
If you look at how pro runners train (hell, even high school runners), you’ll see a lot of “other things” in their training:Form drills Plyometrics Bodyweight strength workouts Mobility Barefoot work Skill-based strength exercises (like Olympic lifts) Dynamic flexibility routines
Whoever said runners just ran?!
All of this extra training makes you stronger, more efficient, and flexible with higher levels of coordination.
In other words, you become a better athlete. Because you’re not a runner – you’re an athlete that specializes in running.
I wanted to dive into the topic of strength training in more detail so you know what to do – and how to do it – to become a faster and less injury-prone runner.
Episode 46: Strength Running's Favorite Holiday GiftsDec 8, 2017 17:41
I’m doing something a little different today in that I’d like to share with you what I think are the best gift ideas for runners this year. Now as a running coach, my focus is on improvement so I’m only going to recommend things that are going to help you improve. That’s why I won’t be suggesting sweatshirts, socks, shoes, or anything like that. Those are “nice to haves” but what’s in this episode are gifts that will help you get to the next level.
I also want to be completely transparent on three things:
#1 - If you follow any of the links that I mention or use the discount codes, then Strength Running is going to get a small kickback. It won’t cost you anything extra but it does help support the podcast so I can keep churning out episodes.
Ok #2. I’m only promoting products where I can give you a discount. The holidays can be a financially challenging time so I’m trying to hook you up with discounted and helpful running products.
FInally #3, I own, trust completely, or use myself all of these products and services. I will never promote something that I don’t believe in because life is too short not to be able to sleep at night.
Enjoy this episode and have a great holiday season!
Episode 45: Marathon Training at the Elite Level, with Pro Nick ArciniagaDec 5, 2017 45:51
I invited Nick to share as much detail as possible about his marathon training, race strategy, and post-race recovery so you can understand how an elite marathoner tackles the race.
Just recent he posted on Instagram:
To run your best, you have to put in the work, know your body, and keep reminding yourself that you can do it. Train both your mind and body.
And today, you'll hear what "the work" means to a professional marathoner.
You'll learn:How many weeks Nick prepares for the marathon Why his marathon training includes no cross-training How he structures his taper and recovery after the race His preferred marathon fuel The types of long runs necessary to race 26.2 miles
This episode goes deep into marathon training - the nuts and bolts and nitty gritty details of how an elite marathoner trains and races 26.2 miles.
Note that our conversation is just an excerpt from the full interview available to Team Strength Running members.
I encourage you to learn more about the team here (we're opening soon!).
Episode 44: Coach Jenny Hadfield on How Beginners Should Start RunningNov 28, 2017 55:50
Depending on whether you started running today or last year, today's podcast will clarify the most high-impact training available to you.
Because certain training strategies and workouts are either too easy for some runners - or too difficult.
Like Goldilocks, it's important to plan training that's "just right."
And new runners are at an interesting time in their running careers. There's so much potential and improvements will come quickly as long as runners stay healthy and focused.
So first, don't get injured!
Next, run consistently!
If you're healthy and running consistently, now you can take "the next step" and start focusing on bigger goals.
Jenny Hadfield has been helping runners accomplish their wildest goals for over two decades with a regular column in Runner's World and her promotion of adventure travel around the world.
Even though started running later in life, she's become quite the endurance athlete with race finishes around the world:The Boston Marathon Mark Burnett's Eco-Challenge The Antarctica Marathon The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Challenge
With her coaching and running experience, we teamed up to help new runners with 0 - 18 months of running experience get their training started on the right foot.
Is that you? Don't miss this new episode of the Strength Running podcast.
Episode 43: 3 Ways to Avoid the Dreaded Performance PlateauNov 21, 2017 22:07
If you can replicate the principles (not necessarily the exact workouts, mileage, etc.) that lead to personal bests then you can keep improving and setting personal bests.
The alternative is hitting a performance plateau. Stagnating. Running the same times over and over again...
And nobody wants that!
After working with a lot of runners for the better part of a decade, I've come to understand that there are three areas that most contribute to declining performances.
In this episode, we go over all three of those issues, simple fixes, and more strategies to help your speed keep increasing!
Episode 42: Easy vs. Marathon Pace, Goal Setting, and More Q&A with Coach Mario FraioliOct 24, 2017 53:46
The best runners know when to get help and work together.
If you're a Lone Wolf, some things are inevitable:Have a question? Prepare to spend hours going down the Google rabbit hole... Feeling unmotivated? Sorry, you're on your own. Not sure how to break through your plateau? Time to "try everything!"
But the runners who get the support, guidance, and camaraderie they need always seem to reach their goals.
Which one are you?
Today, my friend Mario Fraioli is joining me on the podcast to help me answer your toughest questions and give you the support needed to reach new levels of performance.
Mario and I competed against each other in college (he always beat me) while he was at Stonehill and I was at Connecticut College.
After graduation, he dove headfirst into the running industry. Some of his notable achievements:Author of The Official Rock 'n Roll Guide to Marathon & Half Marathon Training Senior Editor, Competitor Magazine Founding Coach of Ekiden Coaching Owner of personal bests ranging from 4:09 in the mile to 2:28 in the marathon Coach to the 2012 Costa Rican Men's Olympic Marathon Team
Today, his main project is The Morning Shakeout, a weekly newsletter of commentary and thoughts on running, culture, writing, and media.
Despite his coaching, writing, and training duties, Mario made time to help members of the Strength Running community with their running questions.
Episode 41: Jonathan Beverly on How to Run for Decades (with no burnout)Oct 18, 2017 48:23
For a lot of runners, what started as a way to get in shape or lose a few pounds turns into a lifelong passion.
Soon, you're going on running retreats and flying across the country to run a marathon. What did we do with all of our free time before running?!
Alas, not every runner gets to experience a lifetime of running bliss.
Some of us over train, burn out, or get so injured that we simply give up. But I will not let that happen to you!
Instead, let's learn from lifelong competitors who are still running after decades of workouts, long runs, and races.
These are athletes that have discovered the secret to unlocking a lifetime of racing, trail runs, and workouts (in other words... a lifetime of FUN!).
And Jonathan Beverly interviewed 50 of them to help you run for decades.
In his new book Run Strong, Stay Hungry: 9 Keys to Staying in the Race, Jonathan Beverly discusses the universal principles that promote lifelong running.
He spoke with 50 "lifetime competitors" like:Deena Kastor (American Record holder in the marathon and half-marathon) Bill Rodgers (4x winner of the Boston Marathon) Joan Benoit Samuelson (former marathon World Record holder)
But more importantly, he interviewed a lot of normal runners! Not just Olympians or previous Boston Marathon winners - but average runners who don't have elite genetics.
That's why this podcast episode is so important: it's what works for all runners - not just the best runners.
Episode 40: Courtney Frerichs on Long-Term Success: Gymnastics, Strength Training, and TeammatesOct 3, 2017 36:49
Last August, we witnessed the most electrifying track race in history at the World Championships: the women's 3,000m Steeplechase.
Before this race, no American woman had ever won a medal in the steeple at the World Championships.
This was also the first time any Americans had taken home both gold and silver at the World Champions or the Olympics in a race longer than 400m since the 1912 Olympics.
Both Emma and Courtney also ran faster than the existing American Record.
NBC Sports called the race "shocking."
Sports Illustrated described Courtney's effort "certainly one of the biggest surprises of the world championships."
And ESPN boldly proclaimed that this was one of the best races in the history of running.
I'll paraphrase ESPN:
Before this race, Courtney' fastest steeplechase time was 9:19. She beat that time by an enormous 15 seconds to win silver in 9:03.77. That's like scoring a hat trick in a World Cup soccer game after totaling only three goals all season.
No American had won a world title in steeplechase since 1952. No U.S. women had ever finished 1-2 in any world championship distance race. Track nerds -- why isn't there such a thing as a football nerd? -- are calling this the most thrilling race of the 2017 World Championships, and one of the greatest moments in American distance running history.
You sports fans can just call it amazing. Like a football game where -- nah, forget that. After a race like this, nobody cares about football.
A 15-second improvement? Over a race that's less than two miles long? INSANITY!
That kind of PR puts Courtney in the record books. She's now the 8th fastest woman to ever run the steeplechase.
Today you're going to hear directly from Courtney about this historic race.
Elite Runners on Failure: How 6 Pro Runners Deal with DisappointmentSep 13, 2017 47:39
But we almost never discuss the failures of the world's best runners.
What does it feel like to never achieve your biggest goal throughout your entire career?
How does an elite keep perspective? Do they ever think about quitting?
Most importantly... how do elites bounce back from setbacks? Do they have a different mindset than us normal runners?
What enables them to continue training at high levels for years?
How do they overcome a bad workout, long run, or race?
These are the questions that I couldn't get out of my head.
So I interviewed six pro runners to get their hot take on failure:Alexi Pappas - Olympian, Greek national record holder, and star of Tracktown Mike Wardian - racing phenom, world record holder, and nicest guy ever Brandy Erholtz - Pikes Peak Ascent champ, US Mountain Running team member Nick Symmonds - 2x Olympian and the CEO of Run Gum Devon Yanko - 2017 winner of the Leadville Trail 100, multiple national champion Travis Macy - ultra runner and author of The Ultra Mindset
They're the stars of Episode 39 of the Strength Running podcast. I think you're going to love this episode.
We talk about their own personal failures, how they bounced back, and whether their approach to failure has changed over time.
Episode 38: Devon Yanko - Leadville Trail 100 Champ - on Recovery and PreventionSep 6, 2017 58:59
Meet Devon Yanko. On August 19, 2017 she won the Leadville Trail 100 - a race where 9,200 feet altitude is the lowest you'll experience on the course.
She finished in 20:46:29, averaging 12:28 per mile - a half hour ahead of her nearest competitor.
With nearly 16,000 feet of elevation change through Colorado's gnarliest mountain terrain, the course is so difficult that in most years, less than half of the field finishes the race.
Having run in similar places, I can vouch for how strenuous this terrain can be (even for experienced runners). With precious air at a costly premium, the steep grades and uneven footing make traversing these trails a form of slow-motion torture.
Going uphill burns the lungs after just a few steps. Each muscle contraction seems to draw double the amount of oxygen to fuel their movements.
Running downhill isn't much better. The rocky terrain is a nightmare for those with weak ankles.
Try running fast on a technical downhill trail after running for 3+ hours (in the dark, no less). It's terrifying.
To win Leadville is like single-handedly winning the World Series or the Superbowl.
Leadville is one of the top ultramarathons in the world. Winning it is a career-defining moment for trail runners.
But for Devon, it's just one more race on her long list of achievements:3 time member of the USATF 100k National Team including 2009 Gold Medal winning team in Belgium 2007 RRCA Marathon National Champion 2010 50 mile road National Champion 2012 Olympic Trials marathoner (PR of 2:38:55) 2011 100k National Champion Set Fastest Known Time on the Grand Canyon R2R2R trail with Krissy Moehl in April 2011 3rd place at the Two Oceans Marathon (56k) 5th in Comrades Marathon (89k, as well as first novice and first American) Ran the 3rd fastest trail 100 miler ever for a North American running 14:52 at the 2015 Javelina 100
Not to be outdone, she's also the owner of M. H. Bread and Butter bakery in San Anselmo, CA with her husband.
Strength Running readers will also be familiar with Devon - she joined eight other elite athletes in sharing her best injury prevention and recovery advice for The Little Black Book of Prevention & Recovery (it's free - download it now).
You're going to love my conversation with Devon - but not just because she's one of the best long distance runners in the world.
She's also hilarious.
Episode 37: Olympian Alexi Pappas on How Not to be BoringAug 31, 2017 45:50
Alexi's talents extend far beyond the track and screen. She's been a...columnist for Women's Running Magazine improvisational comedy performer in Los Angeles author of a one-act play
As you can see, Alexi has done a lot more than just running. That's why, in this interview, we don't talk much about running.
I didn't ask her what it was like being a multiple All-American for Dartmouth College. Or how it felt to set the Greek Record at the Rio Olympics of 31:36 in the 10,000m.
Instead, we talk about what it's like to pursue so many goals, what she's reading, and how she differentiates between her creative pursuits and being an elite athlete.
This conversation will show you how to pursue many goals and interests (while still prioritizing what's most important to you).
Alexi is a boundless source of quotables and wisdom that I found refreshing. I hope you enjoy this episode.
And please, don't criticize my Haiku poem at the end of the show. I'm not a poet!
Episode 36: Orthopedic Surgeon David Geier on Injury Prevention for KidsAug 14, 2017 50:53
You might know David from drdavidgeier.com where he simplifies the complex area of sports medicine.
David's most notably an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, South Carolina.
He was Director of MUSC Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina for eights years and is currently the Communications Council Chair for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Board of Directors.
Major media have featured his advice in interviews from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, The Atlantic, Forbes, and many others.
Check out David's new book, That's Gotta Hurt! The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever.
As you can see, I was quite excited to chat with him about the best injury prevention practices for younger athletes.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Episode 35: Joel Runyon on Overcoming Insane ChallengesAug 7, 2017 55:11
In Episode 33, I introduced you to Joel Runyon who recently ran an ultramarathon on every continent - and raised a staggering $190,000 in the process.
Today, we're diving deeper into the obstacles he faced, lessons learned, and what he'd change if he were to do it all over again.
In part two of our conversation, Joel opens up about the obstacles he faced while attempting to finish the 777 Project.
They included injuries, unrelated lawsuits, brutal trail races in the mountains of Thailand, and the normal logistical nightmares of running races all over the world.
Of course, Joel didn't quit.
It didn't matter that he had to take 6 months off to rehabilitate a peroneal tendon injury.
He didn't care that every race - and the travel that went along with it - was self-funded.
Nor was it even an option to quit during a race (how's that for commitment?).
More important than the mindset that allowed Joel to leapfrog these obstacles is the impact and lessons learned from the 777 Project.
We cover all that and more in today's episode of the Strength Running Podcast.
Episode 34: Madga Boulet on How to Overcome the Daunting 100-Mile UltramarathonAug 1, 2017 53:54
To help you shatter your perception of what's possible, discover the training necessary to run 100 miles, and inspire you to chase your next stretch goal, I've invited Magdalena Boulet onto the podcast to talk about her performance at this year's Western States Endurance Run.
One of the biggest names in the world of ultramarathons, Magda Boulet has an impressive list of credentials:1st - 2002 and 2003 Pittsburgh Marathon 1st - 2002 San Francisco Marathon 1st - 2006 Orange County Marathon 2nd - 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon 1st - 2015 Western States Endurance Run 5th - 2016 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc 2nd - 2017 Western States Endurance Run
She prepares methodically for challenging races, leaving no stone unturned as she strives to compete with the fastest endurance runners on the planet.
This unique "testing mindset" helped her identify potential injury warnings before this year's Western States, vaulting her onto the podium.
Using a blood analytics service called Inside Tracker, she identified biomarkers outside of her optimal zones - and then went to work fixing them through diet and lifestyle changes.
She's on the podcast today to talk more about:What it takes to train for 100 milers Are they so different from marathons...? Her personal fueling approach for ultra marathons Pre- and post-race blood testing goals How her blood test results impacted her recovery
Episode 33 - Joel Runyon on What It Take to Run 7 Ultramarathons on 7 ContinentsJul 24, 2017 01:07:09
Joel smashes through goals normally considered impossible.
Recently, he completed an ambitious project to run 7 ultramarathons on 7 continents for charity to build 7 schools in developing countries.
He succeeded - raising over $190,000. The 777 Project brought him to:Thailand Antarctica Australia Patagonia South Africa Finland and Chicago!
Joel's philanthropic quest brought him around the world to extreme locations and terrain that nearly broke him.
But his persistence led to the constructions of seven schools through Pencils of Promise, a charity where 100% of donations go toward its mission of school construction, scholarships, and trains teachers.
Joel is on the podcast to talk about what it takes to run a series of ultramarathons in rapid succession, in varying climates, on very different terrain, all over the world.
What are the travel logistics like for such an audacious project?
How do you train for so many different races?
What kind of gear is necessary to race in Antarctica?
We cover that - and a lot more - on today's show.
Episode 32: Find Your Best Stride with Jonathan BeverlyJul 13, 2017 52:52
Jonathan Beverly was the editor-in-chief of Running Times for 15 years. He’s run nearly 30 marathons and hundreds of road and trail races around the world.
He’s also coached with the New York Road Runners Club, taught several college running classes, and has coached junior and high school track and cross country since 2003.
Jonathan’s new book quickly became one of my favorites. Your Best Stride: How to Optimize Your Natural Running Form to Run Easier, Farther, and Faster – with Fewer Injuries is a holistic look at how to run with better form.
He does not promote a certain brand of form (like Chi or POSE).
He won’t make you run on your forefoot (that’s a big no-no).
And he isn’t even gung-ho about “cues” that make you run slightly differently.
Instead, the goal is to bring you back to when you were 10 years old. Remember back then? If not, just know that you ran with a lot better form back then.
Jonathan is on the podcast today to discuss how to reclaim your youthful, smooth, powerful stride.
Episode 31: When it's OK to Quit: An Honest Conversation with Tina MuirJun 30, 2017 49:00
Tina is a professional distance runner, Great Britain Olympic hopeful, and 11-time All-America Track and Field/Cross Country athlete for Ferris State University.
She's run in two British Olympic Trials, finishing 3rd in the 10k in 2012 and 5th in the Marathon in 2016.
Her personal bests, as you can imagine, are out of this world:5k - 16:08 10k - 33:24 Half Marathon - 1:13 Marathon - 2:36
Earlier this year, Tina made a stunning announcement that she was taking a hiatus as a pro runner. She's recovering from amenorrhea (she didn't have a period for 9 years) and is hoping to start a family soon.
But she realized that she just didn't enjoy her running anymore.
Every run was a struggle. She dreaded upcoming workouts and just wasn't excited about training anymore.
I consider this to be an unspoken problem in the running community. Amid calls for consistency, putting in the work, and training "no matter what" there lies a deeper issue: once you've done that, when is it ok to stop?
Tina is on the SR Podcast today to talk about her journey and give hope to runners everywhere whose hearts just aren't set on hard training anymore.
This is an honest, real, and personal conversation that I hope you enjoy.
How to Build Mental Toughness (according to a PhD and World Champion)Jun 26, 2017 01:01:37
I invited Simon Marshall, PhD and his wife Lesley Patterson to talk about practical strategies for building confidence, reducing pre-race anxiety, and managing fears.
Their new book The Brave Athlete is a handbook for the athlete's brain, showing you how to:Resist the urge to quit Embrace difficulty Respond positively to setbacks Build confidence and self-belief Cope better with stress and anxiety
This husband and wife team is quite the duo. Simon is former professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of San Diego and a professor of sport and exercise psychology at San Diego State University.
Currently, he's the performance psychologist for BMC Racing - a World Tour professional cycling team.
His wife Lesley Patterson is a dominant triathlete, having won three world off-road triathlon champions and an Ironman Triathlon. A professional mountain biker, she's also a former national champion in cross country.
And I think all of us get how important our brain is to our running.
How many times have you been halfway through a long run and dreaded every step?
How many races have you wished in hindsight that you had sucked it up and ran harder instead of settling?
It's happened to me more times than I can count. And it happens to world-class athletes (like Lesley, which we talk about) all the time, too.
This podcast will show you how to turn your brain into an asset, rather than a liability.
Episode 29: Ask the Registered Dietitian: Booze, Healthy Snacks, and Low IronJun 21, 2017 50:43
What we put into our bodies has a profound impact on our ability to train effectively.
In short, if you care about you running, you have to care about your eating habits.
And I've brought a Registered Dietitian on the SR Podcast to help.
Over the last few weeks, I've surveyed the Strength Running Twitter and Facebook communities about dieting, weight loss, nutrition, and race fueling.
I collected about a dozen of the best questions and got my friend Anne Mauney to help me answer them for you.
Anne worked with me to create one of SR's flagship programs, Nutrition for Runners.
She's one of the busiest RD's I know with a private practice in Washington, DC and a popular lifestyle blog. She also gives healthy eating presentations and workshops to organizations like Whole Foods.
Her work has been featured in Glamour, Self, The Washington Post, and Fitness Magazine. When she's not helping athletes improve their diets, she's usually running around DC or tackling yet another half marathon.
There are also two more Q&A podcasts that we did together - download them here for free.
On this episode, we cover a lot of questions:What foods fight inflammation? What foods increase iron levels? Is it ok to drink alcohol while you're training for a race? What's an optimal pre-marathon fueling strategy? Are carbs from bread or pasta "better" than those from starchy vegetables? What are your favorite healthy snack ideas?
Episode 28: Running Q&A Grab Bag with Coach Doug HayJun 6, 2017 55:03
But sometimes, life gets in the way. I simply don't have the time to answer all of your questions - especially when a single SR email goes out to about 80,000 runners...
That does not, however, mean I'm not paying attention.
In fact, I often save your running questions to get to them later. And that's exactly what we're doing today.
Joining me as the SR Podcast's first co-host is my friend, fellow coach, and ultra runner Doug Hay.
Fresh off his sub-15hr run at the Ultra Run of Champions (snagging him a sweet belt buckle!), Doug is helping us get to the bottom of some of your toughest questions.
Let's dive in.
Episode 27: Ian Sharman on Racing Massive Downhills (and in costumes)May 24, 2017 49:11
I met Ian in August, 2016 one day before the Leadville Trail 100. We got coffee with a friend of ours and then watched a Beer Mile (it took place on the road behind us in the above picture).
Ian officiated – starting the race and cheering on runners as they raced and chugged beers.
Two days later, Ian crossed the finish line of the Leadville Trail 100 in first place – his third victory.
He’s no slouch in the world of ultra running. In fact, he’s one of the best ultramarathoners in the world:3 x winner (and course record holder) of the Rocky Raccoon 100 3 x winner of the Leadville Trail 100 Completed about 200 ultras and 100+ marathons (!) Record Holder – Grand Slam of Ultrarunning 7 x silver medalist at the Comrades Marathon
And over the last year, I’ve been fortunate to work with Ian on a few different projects:He contributed a training case study that highlighted his toughest workouts before Leadville. And he shared his best injury advice in the Little Black Book of Prevention & Recovery.
Now he’s back to talk about running an 11+ minute personal best at the Mt. Charleston Marathon.
But it’s not all training geekery. Did you know Ian has run dozens of marathons in costumes?
In fact, he’s run a 2:40 marathon as Spider Man!
This is going to be fun 🙂
Episode 26: CNN's Tom Foreman on Running for a LifetimeMay 15, 2017 55:19
I invited Tom Foreman on the podcast to philosophize about running, goals, and racing throughout life.
You might recognize Tom as an emmy-award winning journalist at CNN. He's reported on wars, natural disasters, and political skirmishes across 20 countries.
He's also quite the runner.
Author of My Year of Running Dangerously, Tom has a handful of marathons and ultramarathons under his belt and is chasing a BQ soon at the Cincinnati Marathon.
More than anything, Tom has a unique perspective on what running means at various stages of life.
Speaking with Tom is always a treat so I hope you enjoy this conversation. I think it will bring you new appreciation for running!
Episode 25: Tony Gentilcore on Why Runners Need to LiftMay 10, 2017 01:04:32
Is it surprising that I don’t think strength workouts are cross-training? Rather, strength work is just part of your training as a runner.
Cross-training is supplemental exercise that can be helpful to your running, like cycling.
But just like form drills, strides, or dynamic flexibility exercises, I consider strength training to be an integral part of how to train distance runners.
If you’re not strength training, then you’re not training.
And to help you get things right in the weight room, I invited top strength and conditioning coach Tony Gentilcore on the Strength Running podcast to talk about:What are the benefits of strength training? Do runners need to lift differently than other athletes? How do you strength train without a gym membership? What are the most common mistakes in the weight room? Do women need to lift differently or tweak their programs? What are the “little things” for weight lifters?
Cofounder of Cressey Sports Performance, Tony now owns his own gym outside of Boston and trains top-level athletes and everyone else.
A frequent contributor to major fitness and media outlets like T-Nation, Women’s Health, and The Boston Herald, Tony also runs a popular strength training blog.
Tony made my job easy as podcast host because he has a great sense of humor and can make exercise science seem easy. I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I did speaking with Tony.
Even if you’re comfortable in the gym, you won’t want to miss this episode.
Episode 24: How to Review An Entire Season (and plan for the next one)May 1, 2017 47:09
You might recall George from episode 6 of the Strength Running podcast.
We talked about a lot:What’s the ideal length long run during marathon training? And half marathon training? Should you keep running marathons if your ultimate goal is to run a faster marathon? If your long runs are already 15+, what types of LR’s should you focus on during a marathon season? How long should you run at tempo pace during training? What is the optimal marathon pacing strategy?
George wanted help planning for a PR attempt at the half marathon. Episode 6 was a “behind the scenes” coaching call where we strategized on how he could make it happen.
Now, he’s back on the podcast to see if my ideas actually worked!
For a long time, George’s episode was the most downloaded show because folks loved listening “over my shoulder” as we strategized.
And I think you’ll enjoy this show just as much.
Episode 23 - Dr. Simon Donato on Ultra-Endurance, Grit, and the Doors that Running OpensApr 20, 2017 40:26
It's not every day that you meet somebody with so many varied interests.
And when you do, pay attention. Their insights and mental models are light years ahead of the average person.
Simon Donato is one of these "Renaissance Men." His many accomplishments include:A PhD in Geology from McMaster University and a Masters in Paleontology from Western University Credit as the creator and host of the television show Boundless chronicling his pursuit of adventure and ultra-endurance Creator of both Stoked Oats and Adventure Science Finishes at the world's toughest races, including 220km of stand-up paddle boarding to running 250km across the Sahara Desert
He's on the podcast today to help us find more adventure in our life.
I think runners are uniquely suited to be adventurers because of our endurance, appetite for suffering, and thirst for new experiences.
This episode is an excerpt from an interview included in Team Strength Running - affordable coaching with teammates, proven training, me as your coach, and team perks like discounts and other bonuses.
If you'd like to learn more about the team, sign up at http://strengthrunning.com/tsr/ (we're opening soon!).
Episode 22: Dear Boston Marathon Runners:Apr 13, 2017 04:53
Boston is unlike any marathon in the world. It first started in 1897 with a whopping 18 runners. In 2011, nearly 27,000 runners ran the race on “Marathon Monday,” also known as Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts.
In one of the most famous stories, Kathrine Switzer finished Boston as the first woman with a race number in 1967. She registered as “K.V. Switzer” to avoid detection since women were not allowed to run at that time. When officials found out she was running, they tried to physically eject her from the race. Luckily another runner body checked the official to the ground and she was able to keep running.
Her historical finish proved that women could run marathons and sparked a women’s running revolution. Race officials eventually recognized the female race winners from before they were officially allowed to compete in 1972.
After Bill “Boston Billy” Rodgers, a Boston legend, won the race four times in trademark style in the 1980’s, the race has become one of the most competitive marathons in the world. With a prize purse approaching $1 million in 2011, the best marathoners in the world show up to give it their all.
Showcasing the extreme competitiveness of Boston, in 2011 Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai overtook early leader Ryan Hall and crushed the last 10k to finish in a mind-blowingly fast time of 2:03:02.
Yes, you read that right: the world’s fastest time is an average 4:41 mile pace over 26.2 miles.
In this podcast, Jason shares some words of wisdom before you line up in Hopkinton to race the world's most prestigious marathon.
Episode 21 - Nate Helming on Movement, Strength, and Dynamic AthleticismApr 4, 2017 56:58
Nate is the cofounder of The Run Experience. And he doesn't just have a USA Track & Field coaching certification. He's also completed continuing education courses in:USA Triathlon CrossFit CrossFit Mobility CrossFit Endurance Carol Paoli's Free Style connections
Like me, he recognizes that injury prevention and athleticism are what make faster, healthier runners.
And in this conversation, we dive deeper into mobility work for runners and how to implement a daily mobilization routine into your schedule. Plus, the differences between mobility and flexibility.
You'll notice that Nate has quite the background in CrossFit. While I've gone off on CrossFit in the past, we acknowledge the helpful parts of this sport that runners can use to design smarter training.
If you're injury-prone or looking for ways to level up your training, you don't want to miss this episode.
Episode 20 - Author Matt Fitzgerald on "The Endurance Diet"Mar 23, 2017 01:03:57
Diet is more important than most runners realize - and the effects of poor eating habits can derail anybody's running:If you don't eat enough, you're more prone to running injuries and won't run as quickly during races or workouts If you eat too much, you'll gain weight and running economy will suffer A sub-par diet results in poor recovery (and could result in weight gain, too) A sub-par diet also causes low energy levels outside of running
But if you dial in your nutrition then performances will improve, recovery will be faster, and you'll just feel better.
And I think every runner would benefit from that.
To help optimize our dietary choices and approach to fueling, I invited author Matt Fitzgerald onto the podcast today.
Over the last several years, Matt has been investigating the eating habits of professional endurance athletes around the world.
And his findings are powerful. World-Class runners in the United Sates, top swimmers in Australia, and champion triathletes in South Africa all have one thing in common: their diet.
There's overwhelming evidence from around the world - and indeed, from every type of endurance sport - that the best runners in the world all eat the same way.
Matt calls this approach The Endurance Diet and outlines five foundational habits that shape how elite runners fuel their training.
And on the podcast, we outline each of these habits and how you can apply them to your life. Enjoy!
Episode 19 - Dathan Ritzenhein on Strength Training and Marathon FuelingMar 21, 2017 52:43
Ritz has more career highlights than there are spectators at the Boston Marathon (ok maybe not but still!):3x Olympian at the 10,000m and marathon distances Former US Record holder in the 5,000m (12:56.27) 3rd fastest American marathon time in history (2:07:47) Three-time USA Cross Country Champion Two-time Foot Locker National high-school Cross Country Champion Half-marathon PR of 60:00 (2nd best HM time in US history)
A Generation UCAN-sponsored athlete, he is now preparing to run the River Bank Run 25k this May.
I kicked off the episode with an embarrassing story - one I debated sharing but I thought it was funny. Enjoy!
On more serious topics, we chat about:His injury prevention approach that's helped him rebound after so injuries (stress fractures, hernias, Achilles problems, and more) His favorite confidence-building workout His go-to meal after a marathon Eating pop-tarts the night before racing a marathon How his training has changed since turning pro
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dathan Ritzenhein!
Episode 18 - Coach James Dunne on Injury Prevention for Bigger RunnersMar 9, 2017 01:00:18
James doesn't look like the "typical" runner - he's 6'6" and 250 pounds. A former professional rugby player, James has a degree in Sport Rehabilitation and is fully insured member of the British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRaT).
He's the founder of Kinetic-Revolution and has an ongoing fascination with the functional biomechanics of running (in other words, how you move while running).
In this far-reaching discussion, we talk about quite a few issues:Should overweight runners be more worried about injury? Is gaining weight more important for injury risk than being consistently overweight? Does training for weight loss differ than training for a race? How?
Enjoy my conversation with James (and don't miss the announcement at the end of the show!).
Episode 17 - Overcoming Self-Doubt and FailureMar 3, 2017 04:43
In this short episode, Jason shares a letter from a runner named Colleen. She experienced self-doubt and was afraid of failure before a race. But with a positive mindset and a few inspiring lessons, Colleen successfully finished her race.
In this letter, Colleen shares her journey. And I hope you find it motivating as you push through with your training.
Episode 16 - Matt Frazier on the Healthy Habits that Support Hard TrainingFeb 21, 2017 38:48
Long runs, weekly mileage, and faster workouts are all important - but they won't help you improve if you don't prioritize a healthy lifestyle.
Without proper nutrition, you won't have as much energy to tackle your training.
Without enough sleep, recovery will be sub-par and some of your hard work will be wasted.
Without reducing stress, the risk of over-training and injury increases (and you'll rarely feel good).
So it makes sense to give yourself every advantage and set yourself up for success, especially if you're gearing up for a big race or attempt at a personal best.
When you get these "little things" (which are not so little) right, it makes training much easier to accomplish.
After all, success in running depends on the lifestyle that surrounds the training.
So I invited No Meat Athlete founder Matt Frazier on the podcast. In just the last few years, Matt has implemented a staggering number of changes to his life:He adopted a vegetarian diet - and then vegan No Meat Athlete was born and quickly became a world-wide movement He improved his marathon from 4:53 to 3:09 to qualify for Boston Not wanting to settle, he started running ultras - including a 100-miler He's given up oil and experimented with other habits like journaling, meditation, and fruitarianism
If you've ever tried to start a new healthy habit, you know how difficult this can be on top of your other obligations like work and family.
And I wanted to know how to make all of these "little things" easier to implement in your life.
Because if you're not sleeping well, eating right, and eliminating stress the other 23 hours of the day, then running a longer distance or racing a Personal Best is going to be that much more difficult to achieve.
Episode 15 - Dr. Mike Young on Speed Development, Sprinting, and Lifting for SpeedFeb 14, 2017 58:24
Dr. Mike Young is the Director of Research and Performance at North Carolina-based Athletic Lab. A Lead Instructor for both USA Track & Field and USA Weightlifting, he also works with elite athletes and has consulted with the MLS, MLB, NFL, PGA, and NHL.
He has degrees in exercise physiology, coaching science, and biomechanics – not to mention his prowess publishing multiple peer-reviewed journal articles.
Mike has coached seven national champions in Track & Field and at four Division I NCAA programs.
He’s on the Strength Running Podcast today to talk about how distance runners can benefit from speed development – from specific workouts to other ways of getting faster (it’s not all sprint work).
Episode 14 - Running and Pregnancy with Claire Shorenstein MS, RD, CDNFeb 7, 2017 52:55
Claire Shorenstein is no stranger to running long: she's a Boston Marathon-qualifying runner, frequent triathlete, and multiple ultra marathon finisher.
Perhaps more importantly, she's a Registered Dietitian and New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. A certified Road Runner's Club of America running coach, she works at several private practices to counsel athletes and non-athletes on their nutrition goals.
Her specialties include weight loss, sports nutrition, chronic disease prevention and management, and pre- and post-natal nutrition. Read more about Claire on her website, Eat for Endurance.
She is also very pregnant as of now!
In this episode of the Strength Running Podcast, we discuss how pregnancy will change your approach to running, nutrition, and exercise in general. Please enjoy!
Episode 13 - Building Your 'Foot Core' with AFX Founder Matt FergusonFeb 2, 2017 01:05:17
Current research shows that strengthening the small stabilizing muscles around the arch and plantar fascia can improve ankle stability and balance - but it's often neglected.
So I invited Matt Ferguson, the founder of AFX, on the Strength Running podcast to discuss several topics around foot strength:How to build strength in these oft-neglected muscles Mistakes to avoid and myths that can derail your progress The value of being a "cautious minimalist" How to choose shoes that are right for you personally
We also dive into the history of running shoes and why they look very different today than they did 40 years ago.
Episode 12 - Bart Yasso, the 'Mayor of Running,' on His Life on the RunJan 26, 2017 37:06
Bart Yasso is a legend in the running community. And as the “Mayor of Running” and Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World, he’s one of the most recognizable faces in the sport.
If you don’t yet know Bart, here’s a short list of what he’s been up to over the last 30 years:Competed in more than 1,000 races during his 30+ career at Runner’s World Successfully finished the 56-mile Comrades Marathon, the Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon, and the Badwater Ultramarathon Has run races on all 7 continents (yes, even Antarctica) Inducted into the Running USA Hall of Champions Inventor of the “Yasso 800’s” marathon predictor workout Winner of the 1987 U.S. National Biathlon Long Course Championship 1998 winner of the Smoky Mountain Marathon 2:39 marathon PR (like me!) Has cycled twice across the country by himself with no support
He’s also the author of My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon.
In 2014, I had the pleasure of meeting Bart at the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival (recap here) where he shared the running stories that have shaped his life.
In particular, how the Comrades Marathon brought South Africa, a country weighed down by the horror of Apartheid, closer together.
And how his favorite running memory is drinking coffee by the Trevi Fountain with his mom during the Rome Marathon.
More importantly, Bart spoke about the people that make the sport of running so incredible. Meeting other runners is what keeps him going – and he meets a lot of people flying to 45 races every year!
Episode 11: Your Questions, Answered: Motivation, Trail Running & More FunJan 9, 2017 17:27
This episode of the Strength Running podcast is brought to you by... YOU! Coach Jason Fitzgerald answers 7 of your biggest questions about running consistently, improving your trail running skills, motivation, and how many miles you should start with when you first begin running.
For beginner runners or those who are just getting back into running after a long layoff from injury or simply taking a break, how you tackle your training is really important. For more beginner-oriented training advice, sign up at http://strengthrunning.com/new and you'll also get the bonus encore podcast that answers even more of your burning questions!
Episode 10 - Mastering Your Inner Psychology with Dr. Justin RossDec 20, 2016 01:02:01
Dr. Justin Ross is a Denver health psychologist who focuses on sports and performance psychology among other specialties like stress reduction and pain management. He’s also a triathlete, Boston-qualifying marathoner, and a founder of Mind Body Health, a Denver-area integrative health psychology and counseling center.
And we talk about a lot: everything from managing anxiety before a race to practical strategies for both increasing and decreasing arousal around key performances. But we also get into behavioral change - in other words, how do you change specific behaviors (like waking up earlier) that make running a lot easier?
Finally, I share a lot of my own running stories and we play a good game of role-reversal where he interviews me about my inner self-talk and why in the world we chanted “Grimace” before high school cross country races. The reason is not entirely legal but you’ll have to hear that story yourself...
Episode 9: Behind the Scenes of Lara's Ultra Coaching CallDec 10, 2016 01:13:13
Lara has a background in adventure racing and 24-hour team mountain biking. She also loves the trails, so splits and finish times aren’t usually that important.
Lara decided to cut through the noise and join Team Strength Running where she could follow proven training programs, have a team to support her, and get all of her questions answered by a running coach.
She recognized that runners sometimes need a little extra nudge to accomplish a challenging goal:
One night I read an article about habit-making and how one’s intrinsic motivation is finite. That’s why it’s so important to have an external motivator to form good habits.
My lightbulb went on and I joined Team SR that evening. If I was going to take my training seriously, I had to realize that I AM an athlete and there will be days where my intrinsic motivation won’t be enough and that’s when I can rely on my team.
Lara had been making steady progress when she suddenly faced an enormous setback: Three months before her 50k she tore a ligament in her ankle and was unable to run.
She was devastated. Her doctor didn’t think she would be able to race, but Lara remained positive and with focused physical therapy and smart adjustments to her training, she got healthy and fit enough to run her race.
Lara’s perseverance paid off, and against challenging odds she was able to make it to the starting line healthy. In this call, we dive deeper into her bacckground and training history to help her continue to improve.
Episode 8: Finding Adventure with Ultra-Endurance Pro Travis MacyDec 2, 2016 01:02:45
Travis Macy is an endurance Renaissance Man. If it exists, he’s probably done it.
Multiday, team stage race? Snowshoe racing? Ski mountaineering? He’s completed all of that – and a lot more. Sponsored by brands like Hoka and Injinji, Travis has completed over 120 events in 17 countries.
When he’s not running up mountains in Colorado’s front range (even bringing me along for a run), he’s skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, or gearing up for his next 100-mile ultra.
His book, The Ultra Mindset, is a blueprint for success in running, business, and life. Miss his actionable running lessons at your own peril…
In the latest episode of the Strength Running Podcast, I sit down with Travis to talk about his many adventures in the world of ultra-endurance.
I’m sure you’ll find it inspiring – but more importantly, the advice can help you plan your next adventure.
Episode 7: The Books That Will Change Your Running (shortie)Nov 28, 2016 11:17
There's no better investment in your running than a book. For the price of a movie and popcorn, you can learn the training strategies of elite coaches, Olympians, and the lessons that have taken others decades to learn.
Wouldn't you like to shortcut that learning curve?
Coach Jason Fitzgerald shares his six favorite running books (and the other - admittedly weird - books he's currently reading) that will propel your training to new heights and deepen your understanding of the sport.
Episode 6: Behind the Scenes of a Marathon Coaching CallNov 21, 2016 01:11:29
Have you ever run a marathon and thought you could have raced faster? A lot of marathoners do! And in Episode 6 of The Strength Running Podcast, Jason dives into the background, training, and race execution of a member of Team Strength Running.
In this episode, you'll hear how George trained to run his recent best marathon and Jason's advice on how he can take his performance to the next level. You'll learn more about mileage building, long run specificity, workouts that help your marathon goals, and a lot more.
Episode 5: Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness on How to Make Exercise EasyNov 14, 2016 59:36
You might know Steve as the creator and Rebel Leader of Nerd Fitness, a wildly popular community of desk jockeys and average Joe’s looking to level up their lives.
He’s also author of Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Being the Hero of Your Own Story (if you’re into personal development or self-improvement, I can’t recommend this hilarious, insightful, and uplifting book more strongly).
But Steve is way more interesting than the books and businesses he’s created. He’s also a former skinny dude who’s bulked up to look like Captain America.
Today, he can do muscle-ups. He’s spoken at Google and Facebook. And the dramatic transformations he’s enabled are truly remarkable.
The best part? Steve is one of the good guys – someone I’ve had a few adult beverages with and let stay at my house.
I respect him. And I think you will as well after you listen to us chat about health, goal-setting, and how to make exercise easy to do.
Episode 4: Mario Fraioli on the Benefits, Lessons, and Problems with Virtual CoachingNov 10, 2016 38:18
Mario Fraioli is a collegiate cross country All-American, 2:28 marathoner, formerly a Senior Editor at Competitor Magazine, and the publisher of the morning shakeout newsletter. He’s interviewed pros like Ryan Hall, Adam Goucher, Shalane Flanagan and many others, in addition to being the 2012 Costa Rican Men’s Marathon coach.
Mario is also the author of The Official Rock ‘n’ Roll Guide to Marathon & Half-Marathon Training, coach to local runners in the Bay Area, and his latest pursuit is as the founding head coach of Ekiden Coaching.
In this conversation, Mario and I discuss coaching for runners. You’ll learn who benefits most, how to make the most of a coaching relationship, and the biggest lessons we’ve learned from the numerous coaches we’ve had over our careers.
Episode 3: Shalane Flanagan on Morning Routines, Unfinished Business and Writing a NYT Best-SellerNov 3, 2016 41:28
Born in the coastal town of Marblehead north of Boston, Massachusetts, Shalane showed an early aptitude for distance running.
A three-time All-State cross country athlete, she also finished first in the state in the mile and her 4:46 performance won the National Scholastic Indoor championships. Her two-mile performance still stands as a Massachusetts record.
Flash forward to to 2004 when Shalane turned professional and her achievements kept piling up. A two-time national champion in the 5,000m, she won the short course cross country championships in 2004 and 2005.
Today, Shalane is one of the most dominant female distance runners on the planet, boasting achievements like:2008 Bronze Medalist in the Olympic 10,000m Multiple American Record holder 2nd fastest American female marathoner of all time with a 2:21:14 personal best 2012 Olympic Trials marathon winner and 10th overall at the 2012 London Olympics 6th overall at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the marathon
But Shalane isn't just a runner. She's now a New York Times best-selling author with her coauthor Elyse Kopecky of Run Fast, Eat Slow: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes.
This was one of the easier interviews I've ever done because Shalane is so easy-going and relaxed. I had a blast talking to her about a wide range of subjects:Does Shalane have a Boston accent after a few glasses of wine? Her favorite type of wine Go-to runs in the Boston area What does running 120 miles a week feel like? A snapshot of her strength training program Why she now loves fat - after avoiding it for years Her favorite race What's next for Shalane (this might be surprising)
Episode 2: Hindsight is 20/20: How to Learn from Jason's Biggest MistakesOct 31, 2016 25:34
Running ain't always easy. And with over 18 years of running experience - and 6+ years of coaching thousands of athletes - Jason wanted to share some of his biggest mistakes and the lessons that he's learned the hard way.
Why share these lessons? So you don't have to make the same mistakes! Trial and error works, but it's messy. Instead, eliminate all that wasted time and effort and instead focus on these Big 7 Lessons to avoid injury, gain endurance more quickly, and race a lot faster.
Episode 1: Nick Symmonds on Becoming an Olympian and Starting Run GumOct 29, 2016 49:53
Nick Symmonds is one of the world's best middle distance runners. A two-time Olympian and 2013 silver medalist at the World Championships, he has a personal best time of 1:42.95 in the 800 meters (and a 5:19 beer mile PR!).
An outspoken advocate for athletes rights, his company Run Gum has sued the US Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field to help track athletes better market themselves. Considering that more than 50% of elite track and field athletes live under the poverty level, this would dramatically help them land more sponsorships and make a better living.
In this far-ranging conversation, Nick and coach Jason Fitzgerald talk about everything from Tesla and SpaceX, auctioning off ad space on Nick's shoulder to the highest bidder, what it feels like to perform on the world's biggest stages, and starting his performance running gum company Run Gum.