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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.
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Jun 20, 2017

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?

Enjoy!

Jun 5, 2017

Usually, I fire off answers as fast as I can. Whether that's on Facebook or Twitter, I try to be as responsive as possible.

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.

May 23, 2017

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:

  1. He contributed a training case study that highlighted his toughest workouts before Leadville.
  2. 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 🙂

May 15, 2017

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 DangerouslyTom 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!

May 9, 2017

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.

 

May 1, 2017

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.

Apr 19, 2017

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!).

Apr 12, 2017

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.

Apr 3, 2017

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.

Mar 22, 2017

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!

Mar 20, 2017

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!

Mar 9, 2017

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!).

Mar 2, 2017

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.

Feb 20, 2017

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.

Feb 13, 2017

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).

Feb 6, 2017

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!

Feb 1, 2017

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.

Enjoy!

Jan 25, 2017

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!

Jan 8, 2017

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!

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