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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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The Strength Running Podcast
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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!

Dec 19, 2016

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...

Dec 1, 2016

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.

Nov 27, 2016

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.

Nov 20, 2016

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.

Nov 13, 2016

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.

Nov 9, 2016

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.

Nov 2, 2016

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)
Oct 30, 2016

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.

Oct 28, 2016

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.

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