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.
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:
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.
Diet is more important than most runners realize - and the effects of poor eating habits can derail anybody's 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!
Ritz has more career highlights than there are spectators at the Boston Marathon (ok maybe not but still!):
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:
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dathan Ritzenhein!
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:
Enjoy my conversation with James (and don't miss the announcement at the end of the show!).
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.
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:
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.
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).
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!
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:
We also dive into the history of running shoes and why they look very different today than they did 40 years ago.
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:
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!
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!