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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!