chats with Running Influencers, Researchers, Olympians, Experts & Everyday Runners

Running podcast to motivate & help runners of every level run their best. interviews running influencers, scientists, psychologists, nutritionists, & everyday runners with inspiring stories.

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    What is Runners Connect

    Tired of reading fluff articles about how to run a marathon in 5 weeks or how to run faster without trying? So are we. Our mission is to provide you with unparalleled expertise and knowledge about training and racing to help make you a smarter, fitter, and faster runner. We're fellow runners and experts in one thing only - improving your running. If you've ever started a run at 3am or run circles in a parking garage to make sure you got in your run for the day, this site is for you.

Before today I was completely clueless on what being an ultra runner meant, other than you run more than a marathon. I can't even imagine running 27.2 miles, but these ultra runners are TOUGH, my guest today talks about the popularity of ultra running has risen, and how there are not only 100 mile races, but 200 mile races cropping up. WOW!

I am excited to be joined by another podcast host today, one who I love to listen to, and learn from; Eric Schranz. 

Eric is one of the founders of Ultra Runner Podcast (URP), which is a weekly podcast 1 hour long interview with elite runners, veterans, and experts in ultra and trail running world. 

 They have a featured section called Daily News, which is the most popular page. URP will be featured in Running Times this month!

Eric has been running for 30 years, starting elementary school, and coming from a family of runners. Even though Eric has only run one ultra, he has a lot of insight for you from his guests, and has plenty of races planned for this year.

Today Eric and I will discuss

  • Why ultra running has increased in popularity so much over the years
  • Why instead of a medal, you are awarded with a belt buckle for completing a 100 mile race
  • How runners can be compared to alcoholics and drug addicts when it comes to our obsession to running
  • What a fatass is
  • How to transition from marathon training to ultra running
  • What mistakes every ultra runner makes, even the elites
Feb 25th, 2015 by runnersconnect at 12:01 am

Sometimes you talk to someone whose passion just shines through their words. This was definitely the case with todays guest. He was knowledgeable about the evolution of running, and explains why we are so good at running as human beings, despite what some people think.

Usually, we as runners are described as the crazy ones, especially those of us who are marathon and ultra marathoners, but our guest today explains how those who are not running are actually the crazy ones. Our bodies have evolved over the years to allow us to be great endurance runners.

You know we like to think of ourselves as the running resource without the fluff, and that is exactly what this podcast is. We go into detail, and give you something to really think about, rather than just going over the same topics over and over.

Today our guest is Dan Liberman, also known as the Barefoot Professor.

  • Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University
  • Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard
  • Won the IG Nobel Prize in 2009, a parody award for unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research
    • This award is known for being able to make people laugh or makes you think, you will see that Dan has a great sense of humor
  • Has written four books, most recently the Story of the Human Body; Evolution, Health and Disease
  • Written many articles over the last 20 years, covering topics like
    • Minimalistic shoes
    • Foot strike patterns
    • Barefoot running
    • The evolution of marathon running

Todays Episode will cover

  • How humans are actually as efficient as other mammals, and in some ways better than other mammals
  • How running played a major role in human evolution
  • How hunter gatherers were not actually as healthy as we think they are, and how they actually spent a lot of their time sitting
  • Why the best place to run barefoot, is actually on the cement outside your house
  • How running faster forces you to run with better form, and how you can use this to prevent over striding
  • The difference in culture between Kenya and the rest of the world, and how that sets them apart from the rest of the world (other than Rita Jeptoo that is!) especially in marathon running

How Humans Evolved to be Great Distance Runners: Dan Lieberman

Feb 18th, 2015 by runnersconnect at 12:01 am

In this episode, I talked to the author of Older, Faster Stronger- What Women Runners Can Teach Us About Living Younger, Longer.

A few weeks ago, we talked to World Record Holder, Kathy Martin, and today we are taking that one step further.

It really reinforced my belief that you can begin running at any age. I could not believe what I was hearing; 70, 80, even 90 year old friends of our guest today. They not only still run, but they are breaking world records, and keep changing the rules when it comes to masters running.

These women are sure to inspire you, and we will talk to our guest, Margaret Webb. How at age 50, she dedicated her life to her training, and put her body in better shape in her 50s, than she did in her 30s.

To hear a little more about Margaret:

  • She is an author, journalist, screenwriter, and teacher.
  • Her book Older, Faster Stronger- What Women Runners Can Teach Us About Living Younger, Longer is available in independent bookstores, as well as on amazon and in Barnes and Noble.
  • Margarets articles have been featured in Sports Illustrated Women, and she co-wrote the feature film Margarita, which was featured in over 100 film festivals all around the world. Margarita won 9 awards, including Audiences Favorite; Best Feature. It is currently available on Netflix for you to watch.

In this episode, we are going to talk about:

  • How approaching 50 was a turning point for Margaret.
  • How she decided to kick start her running, seeing not only an improvement in her physical health, but her whole outlook on life.
  • What the mentors and friends she surrounds herself with (one of which is a 3:57 marathoner at 75 years old) have taught her about running strong.
  • How running has grown into a team sport in recent years, and why.
  • The importance of eating sustainable foods as a runner, and how her diet has changed as she has aged.
  • What a typical week of training looks like, especially in her super fit year
  • Why Margaret recommends speed workouts, especially as you get older.

Is Generation UCAN a groundbreaking product when it comes to marathon nutrition? Or, is this yet another case of manipulating research studies to make marginal improvements seem more significant.

That's the question we're going to try to answer by delving into the actual research studies during this interview with Evelyn of the Carbsane blog.

Evelyn is a research scientist who loves examining the actual scientific studies of nutritional products, specifically those that deal with carbohydrates. Given her very practical and scientific approach to nutrition, she is the perfect guest for us since we’re all about the research here at RunnersConnect.

In this interview we’re going to talk about the "super starch" called Generation UCAN and whether the research studies found on their site support it being a superior carbohydrate source for marathon racing.

Specifically, we’re looking to see if the research indicates using this product will or should change your approach to race day nutrition.

What we’re not doing in this podcast is recommending one product over another. We simply want to look at the research to verify any claims and see what we can really find.

As we move through this podcast you’ll here us referencing specific studies and graphs. These studies and the graphs can be found below.

UCAN for Marathon Nutrition: A Review of the Research to See if it Really Works

Feb 3rd, 2015 by runnersconnect at 10:00 pm

Spring marathons are looming closer. Or maybe you just have a local race that you are thinking about in the future, it is time to really try to take those little things seriously.

Our founder of Runners Connect, Jeff Gaudette has a great podcast coming up next week about Generation UCAN, and if it really works as well as the company claims to.

Todays guest demonstrates the importance of refueling; explaining why it is so important, and what you need to keep in mind to stay healthy, not just right now, but for the rest of your life. We talk about how the decisions you make today could be affecting you down the road. This really gives you a lot to think about, and what I love about our guest today is that she does not work for a specific company who wants to sell us a product, but she tells it to us straight, based on her own findings from her research.

Our guest has 20 years of experience in the alternative health field to share with us today:

Nina Anderson

  • International Sports Science Association certified Specialist in Performance Nutrition.
  • She is a retired corporate pilot who has flown many jet aircraft including: Gulfstream, Hawker, and Citation III.
  • Nationally acclaimed researcher, television and radio personality
  • Co-authored 18 books
    • Analyzing Sports Drinks 
    • Low Carb and Beyond
  •  President of Safe Goods Publishing

Todays episode

  • Why need to consume more fats in your diet, how they are a better source of energy than glucose in carbohydrates
  • The danger of consuming glycerol to hydrate muscles, and what long term damage can do to the body
  • The critical importance of electrolytes and their role in the body, and the best way to make sure you have enough
  • What ingredients to stay away from in sports drinks
  • How adaptogens such as Rhodiola Rosea can help your health in many ways from reducing stress to helping burn fat into muscle

Are you ready to learn? I know I am

Download directly to iTunes

Or download the Full Audio MP3 to listen to on any device (Android and Windows) on your next run.

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May we Ask You For a Favor?

Thank you again for listening to the show. If it has helped you in any way or you know another runner who could benefit from what we talked about today, we would really appreciate if you would share it using the social media buttons on the side of the page.

We would love if you could leave a review for the podcast on iTunes for us. It would really help us grow. Thank you!

If you have any questions you can email [email protected], call at (231) 287-7059, or click the voice message button on the right side of the page.

Everything You Need to Know About Electrolytes: Nina Anderson

Jan 28th, 2015 by runnersconnect at 12:01 am

Runners love it when our sport intersects with what is going on in life. We had not had a good running movie in a while....until recently that is.

Unbroken has been a huge hit in cinemas, because it follows the true story of Olympian Louie Zamperini, who survived 47 days in a raft, after his bomber plane crashed into the ocean, and then he spent years as a prisoner of war in Japan.

A little more about the author, Laura Hillenbrand:

  • Unbroken sold 4 million copies, likely to be higher by now
  • Author of Seabiscuit
    • spent 42 weeks at the #1 NY Times Bestseller list
    • William Hill Sports Book of the Year
    • Voted Best Sports Book in history by Newsweek
  • Two time winner of the Eclipse Award
    • Highest Journalistic honor in Thoroughbread racing
  • Co founder of Operation International Children
    • Provides school supplies to needy children through US troops

Laura suffers from ME, which keeps her mostly indoors, but it has helped to shape her creative process, which you will learn about in this Interview.

Today we are going to cover

  • How Laura came up with the idea for Unbroken, and why Louie Zamperini was so fascinating to her
  • How Laura has adapted to her life with ME, and how we can correlate that with the ups and downs that we go through in our running lives
  • What happened in Louies final days before he passed last summer
    • You do not want to miss this, it was absolutely fascinating
  • Why Laura believes sports stories are the best out there

Whether you have read Unbroken, seen the movie, or not. We would love for you to listen to this podcast. You will learn about one incredible person, and someone who Laura believes would have been the first person in the world to break 4:00 in the mile, had WW II not intervened.

Hello!

Welcome to another episode of Runners Connect Run to the Top Podcast. I am so happy you are tuning in to another episode. I would like to thank you for listening (reading) today. I know you have many choices to where you could spend your time, so I appreciate that you have chosen to listen to Runners Connect.

I also would like to thank you for the feedback you have given from previous episodes, and your patience as I continue to grow into my role as a podcast host. I apologize for my nervousness. I am hoping as I become more comfortable, it will flow a little smoother, but I appreciate your patience while I get there!

Our guest today is one of our writers; you may have seen him on our blog. He has written quite a few of our popular articles: Matt Phillips

Matt is a sports therapist with over 20 years of experience. He is a running performance coach who specializes in pain and movement management. He writes for Running Fitness Magazine in addition to Runners Connect, and is the head of the Hove 57 Run Club.

Matt is also a presenter at conferences at the Brighton and London Marathon. I hope you do not mind the British accents as you are going to be hearing quite a lot of them today!

Matt is known for his Runner's MOT (Inspection for listeners in the US); a 30 minute full body gait analysis to look at what you can do to work on your individual differences.

In Today's show we are going to look at

  • The Importance of a full body gait analysis, especially when compared to the prescription given from most running stores that just looks at the arch of your foot.
  • How to find reliable running form analysis locations where there will be someone who really knows what they are talking about, and what to watch out for.
  • If Haile Gebrselassie walked into a running store, he would likely be put in motion control shoes, but he wears neutral shoes; things are not always as they seem.
  • How heel striking does not lead to a greater risk of injury; In one study, over 90% of elite and sub-elite marathoners were found to be heel strikers!
  • Matts thoughts on a sub 2:00 marathon, and what puts Kenyan and Ethopian athletes ahead of the rest of the world.

Jan 14th, 2015 by runnersconnect at 5:00 am

We think you are going to really enjoy our guest today, especially those of you who are late starters into the running world.

Today we have Kathy Martin, also known as the Running Realtor. Kathy has held or still holds US and World Records in Every event from the 800m to the 50k. She was also the Bengay Athlete of the Year in 2004.

Kathy is a 9 time Masters Cross Country Champion, and was nominated the USATF Masters Athlete of the Year. She is graded at close to 100% in almost every distance she has competed in, and has been featured by the New York Times. Kathy has even had a Nike Commercial made about her, which you can check out on her website KathrynAMartin.com

In this interview, you will learn about:

  • How Kathy has changed the rules when it comes to running as a masters athlete
  • How Kathy went from lying on the road, barely able to run one mile at age 30, to being the American and World Record holder in many events as far as 50k
  • Importance of listening to your body at any age, and what Kathy does to stay healthy, and prevent muscle loss as a masters runner
  • Kathy's advice on how to overcome excuses for not running, and training while you have a full time job
  • Theories on why female masters participation is taking longer to grow than males masters running, and how to compete within your age group

Download directly to iTunes

Or download the Full Audio MP3 to listen to on any device (Android and Windows) on your next run

You can also download directly to your Stitcher Radio app

 

 

May we Ask You For a Favor?

Thanks again for listening to the show. If it has helped you in any way or you know another runner who could benefit from these words of wisdom please share it using the social media buttons you see on the page.

Additionally, reviews for the podcast on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

And lastly, if you have any questions you can email [email protected], call at (231) 287-7059, or click the voice message button on the right side of the page.

Links and resources mentioned in this interview:

USATF Masters Track & Field

USATF Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships

Entry Form for the USATF Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships

Kathy Martin- The Running Realtor website

Leading the Way for Masters Runners: Kathy Martin 

We are very excited to have a special guest to restart the podcast for 2015!We interview Boston Marathon race director, Dave McGillivray to hear his inspiring story, and learn how the Boston Marathon became as big as it did.

It is hard to know where to start; Dave McGillivray has been the Boston Marathon race director since 1981, but he is also the race director of Beach to Beacon and Falmouth. Some of you may have raced those ones in the past.

With so many impressive feats to his name, picking a career highlight is a challenge

In 1978, Dave ran from Medford, Or. to Medford, Ma.- a total of 3452 miles to raise thousands for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Faber Cancer institute.

In 1982, Dave ran a 3:14 marathon blindfolded to raise over $10,000 for the Carroll Center for the Blind.

As you can see, and as you will hear in the podcast, Dave is very focused on helping others and making other people be the best they can be. He is a great ambassador for the sport.

Every year Dave runs his age in miles, and he has done since he was 12, including running 60 in 2014.

Dave competed at the Ironman World Championships in 2014, covering the distance in 13:34.

He is also the author of the 2006 book, "The Last Pick" where he talks about being picked last for sports teams because of his small stature. Dave talks about how to never underestimate your ability to set and achieve goals.

Unsurprisingly, he is a motivational speaker who does presentations all over the country.

In this interview, you will learn about:

  • How Dave has changed his perspective on running over the years
  • Why Dave is the last person to run the Boston Marathon every year, and why the running the 2013 Boston Marathon was the most important marathon he ever completed
  • How his diagnosis of Coronary Heart Disease was a turning point in his life, and why we all need to keep in mind that we are not invincible
  • Why the Boston Marathon selection procedure works

 Setting up for Success; Boston Marathon Race Director, Dave McGillivray

Many retired elite runners have found meaningful ways to give back to the sport to which they gave so much of themselves.

One such runner is Australian marathoner Rob de Castella.

Known as a fierce competitor who never gave an inch to anyone, Rob raced marathons so hard that he often needed several months after a marathon to fully recover and be ready to race again.

Rob trained in almost exactly the same way under the same coach for the best part of 15 years. His training system is a model for many Australian runners and coaches today.

However, Rob is best known these days for his work with the Indigenous Marathon Project, a program that trains indigenous Australians (or “aborigines”) for races around Australia and ultimately the New York City Marathon.

A few of the topics we discussed included:

  • The training program that took Rob to World Championship medals and world records in the marathon
  • The practice of purposefully going into hard workouts tired in order to get more benefit from a shorter workout
  • Rob’s current work with gluten- and sugar-free foods and the Indigenous Marathon Project

This is clearly a former champion who wants to give back to the country that supported him for so long.

Using Running to Give Back: An Interview With Australian Marathon Icon Rob de Castella

With the incredible speeds at which Kenyan and Ethiopian runners are running marathons these days, one of the hottest questions in the running world is: When will the 2-hour marathon be broken?

Some, including this week’s guest Dr. Philip Maffetone, believe that it should have already happened.

Dr. Maffetone is a longtime physiotherapist who has worked with some of the best endurance athletes in history, including 6-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion Mark Allen and 9-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz.

In his new book 1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon, Dr. Maffetone outlines how he thinks that the 2-hour barrier will be broken, from training to nutrition to shoes and more.

Some of the key points of our discussion included:

  • 1:59 and why Dr. Maffetone decided to write it
  • The idea of “maximum aerobic heart rate” and why he thinks this concept is the key to improvement in the marathon
  • Dr. Maffetone’s idea about the role barefoot running in the sub-2:00 quest and how to go about transitioning to that style of running
  • The somewhat unique idea of spread out, “slow weights” strength training sessions

http://runnersconnect.net/running-interviews/maffetone-159/

Most runners and coaches would agree that there is a big difference between running a hard workout and running a race.

And as we’ve talked about before, racing is a skill.

The better you can get at learning to push yourself at the right moments, the better you’ll race.

One running legend who believes this is Greg Meyer, who until this past April was known as “the last American man to win the Boston Marathon.” (He finally lost that dubious honor to 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi in April)

Greg and many of his contemporaries in the late 1970s and early 1980s were known for competing frequently while maintaining a fairly high level of training.

Greg talks at length about the benefits of not just frequent racing, but true competition and the different attitude and mindset that it brings out.

Some of the key points of our discussion included:

    • The training program that took Greg to wins at the 1982 Chicago and 1983 Boston Marathons
    • The idea of racing frequently and the different, more competitive attitude that stems from that
    • The 2014 Boston Marathon where Greg finally stopped being known as “The last American man to win Boston”

This is a great talk that is sire to get you fired up for your next race.

Aug 20th, 2014 by runnersconnect at 5:00 am

One of the more common questions I get asked is “what supplements should I be taking as a runner”.

Almost immediately, that question is followed by something along the lines of…

I saw this add for x product. It claims to [insert crazy claim here (eliminate lactic acid, improve recovery, enhance Oxygen utilization, etc)]. Do you think it actually works?

Sadly, 90% of the supplements you’re pitched won’t do anything to help your running.

But I can’t blame you for wondering and asking about them. The claims look amazing and it’s tough to understand the science sometimes.

Plus, many of them are backed by “studies” (notice the word “studies” is in quotes. If you watch the interview below you’ll understand why).

I remember having the same questions when I first started running and into my competitive career.

I certainly didn’t want to miss out on any potential benefits, especially if they were as easy as taking a supplement.

I tried a lot myself. But like I said earlier; none of them really worked.

But all this doesn’t really answer the question.

Is there anything that will actually help your running? Are there supplements that you absolutely must avoid?

That’s why as part of the Marathon Nutrition Blueprint I set out to really find the answers to these questions.

So, I went out and found one of the leading experts. More importantly, an expert who had nothing to gain from recommending one supplement over another.

Luckily, I knew just who to go to. Kamal Patel.

Kamal Patel has a double MBA/MPH (Master of Public Health) from Johns Hopkins University and is the director of Examine.com.

Examine.com is an independent encyclopedia on supplementation and nutritionthat is not affiliated in any way with any supplement company. Founded in early 2011, Examine.com is the unbiased source for supplements and nutrition.

This interview has been a part of the Marathon Nutrition Blueprint for quite some time, but because the questions about supplements keep coming in (seriously, I get about 3 per week), I wanted to share this with our entire audience.

So, if you’ve ever wondered about what supplements work, which one’s don’t, and which ones to avoid, you have to watch or listen to this interview.

Interview outline

Here is the outline of our interview. This does not cover everything we discussed, but was mainly a framework for the interview:

  1. What’s the danger of looking for short cuts with supplements? What are some of the misconceptions people have about how supplements can help or what they can do.
  1. What are some of the supplements that research has shown can help runners either recover faster, absorb training better, or flat out improve performance?
  2. What are some supplements that many endurance athletes use that don’t have good scientific backing or we’re now coming to find out are basically useless.
  3. Finally, what are some supplements that are definitely bad for endurance athletes and should be avoided?

All of us have thought and wondered about what else goes on at the races that we run besides the actual running.

What do those huge entry fees go towards?

How about the expo and the sponsors?

What kind of logistics does it take to put on a large race?

The answer to these questions, and countless others, is far more complex than we can imagine…and it only gets bigger with the size of the race.

On the show today to help dive into all these questions is Phil Stewart.

Phil is the owner of Road Race Management and has been the race director of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in Washington, D.C., which attracts well over 15,000 finishers annually, for over 20 years.

In this interview we discuss many key details that are involved in putting on a race, including some of the potential pitfalls.

Some of the key points of our discussion included:

  • What goes on behind the scenes of a major race event, from the all-important permit process to the “wrap-up” process that can take months after the actual race date
  • The Cherry Blossom race’s commitment to the elite runners that are invited every year and its desire to be seen as a real sporting event
  • The financial aspects, including the topic of entry fees as well as sponsors and where they usually come from
  • Some of the rewarding parts of being a race director and road racing’s unique combining of elite and everyday runners

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to go behind the scenes a major race, you’ll love this sneak peak.

A Sneak Peak at What it Takes to Organize one of the World’s Largest Races

Aug 6th, 2014 by runnersconnect at 6:12 am

Some lessons in running span generations.

This week we have another 2-part special with one of America’s best from the 1980s and a current rising star.

Both will share the secret sauce to their success. More importantly, during the podcast you’ll get to hear and connect how their approaches to training, while different, share the same common threads. Lessons you can apply to your training.

Benji Durden

Our first part features Benji Durden, one of the country’s best marathoners in the early 1980′s. A largely self-coached athlete who later coached former RunnersConnect interview guest Kim Jones, Benji now runs a race timing company in Boulder, CO.

Like many of his running contemporaries, Benji ran a great deal of races, even in the middle of marathon build-ups and often only 2 days after his longest run of the week.

Some of the key points included:

  • Benji’s training and how he blended frequent racing into marathon training
  • The potential benefits of frequent racing and why every race doesn’t need to be test of one’s full potential
  • The nuts and bolts of timing races (a nice insight to how you get timed for all those races you run)

Christo Landry

In our second part we welcome Christo Landry, who has been on a tear through the U.S. road racing circuit this year, winning 3 U.S. titles at different distances.

Some of the key points included:

  • How Christo maintains top racing fitness for a long period of time and over different distances
  • Some key workouts that form the basis of his training program
  • Christo’s plan to stretch his success at shorter races into a good marathon this coming fall

This is a great podcast that highlights and compares the underlying training philosophy of every elite runners training schedule while contrasting the subtle personalization that makes it work for them.

Hopefully, this will help you understand and establish the basics of training in your own schedule while creating the tweaks that make it work for you.

Interviews with elite runners are great, but they can -be difficult to relate to.

Of course you’d do all the strength work, get more sleep, and run more miles if you had the time.

So let’s talk to someone who shares a lot of the same struggles you do – balancing being a mother, working a full-time job, and trying to be the best runner she can be.

In this week’s interview, we talk with Carrie Dimoff who, in addition to everything mentioned above, is a 2-time Olympic Trials qualifier in the 3000m steeplechase.

While it might seem like too much for a person to maintain, Carrie has done so for several years and is making it work well.

Some of the things that Carrie and I talked about included:

  • Carrie’s training and the strategy that she has worked out to balance her family, running, and professional lives
  • Her experiences with running during pregnancy and having faith that you can and will get fit again
  • Carrie’s personal time management strategy, which is based on being fully focused on whatever she is doing at that time
  • The work that Carrie does as a Nike footwear developer and the process that goes into designing and updating shoes

If you need a little inspiration, or even some tips on how to better balance your family, work and running, this is the interview for you.

How to Balance Being a Mother, Working Full-Time and Running Your Best: An Interview With Carrie Dimoff

Jul 23rd, 2014 by runnersconnect at 5:59 am

At the 1976 Olympic Marathon in Montreal, American runner Don Kardong used a patient and disciplined strategy to finish in fourth place, losing out on a bronze medal by a mere 3 seconds.

However, Don’s future in running was influenced much more by a race he ran and won just before the Olympics, the Peachtree Road Race 10k in Atlanta.

That experience ultimately led to the founding of the Bloomsday Run in Spokane, Washington, a 12-kilometer race that attracts nearly 50,000 finishers annually.

Don and the Bloomsday organizers have done a great job of including all sorts of charity and fun running while maintaining the race’s roots as a top-level competition for some of the best runners in the world.

Some of the things that Don and I discussed included:

  • Don’s own running career and the training that made him one of the top-ranked runners in the U.S.
  • The race strategy that Don employed to finish 4th place in the marathon at the Olympic Games
  • How the Bloomsday Run came to be and the rapid growth it experienced in its first few years
  • The extreme importance of communication between all parts of the race organization when planning and putting on a race
  • One of Don’s craziest experiences as race director

Interview With Olympian Don Kardong

Welcome to round two with the Spence family.

Many, many runners have been at a point where they feel that they just can’t catch a break.

An injury happens, heals, and then something else goes wrong.

And so on…and so on…and so on.

Neely Spence Gracey has experienced her fair share of that cycle.

After never having suffered a major injury from 8th grade through college, she suffered 2 stress fractures, a bout with Lyme disease, and a broken kneecap that required surgery all in the space of 2 years.

Perhaps most frustrating of all were the flashes of brilliance in between periods of injury.

Through all of this, Neely has done a remarkable job of staying positive and motivated. She has also truly come to appreciate the simple act of running.

In this interview, Neely and I are going to discuss how she has continued to overcome these injuries and the lessons you can take away.

Some of the things that Neely and I discussed included:

  • Her progression in the sport and the importance of incremental increases and quality over quantity in training
  • The importance of finding doctors and therapists that you feel you can trust
  • Neely’s advice on how to reduce injuries and how to speed recovery when injured
  • Neely’s renewed appreciation for all parts of her running and how to find yours if you’re down with an injury

How to Bounce Back After an Injury: Interview With Neely Spence Gracey

In 1991 at the World Track and Field Championships, the men’s marathon was held in sweltering conditions, described as the worst ever reported for championship marathon.

Steve Spence was able to handle it better than almost everyone – thanks to his innovative training – earning himself a bronze medal.

Steve was ahead of his time in several ways.

He used high weight, low rep strength training and also bucked the accepted marathon training model by putting his speed work first and following it with high mileage and long runs.

Also, Steve was one of very few runners to coach himself onto the Olympic team.

Some of the things that Steve and I talked about included:

  • How Steve became his own coach and lessons you can learn from his experience with self-coaching
  • The training program that allowed Steve to race consistently well for months at a time
  • Steve’s unusual-for-the-time approach to marathon training and weight training
  • How Steve approaches to his own running since his retirement from elite competition
  • Steve’s coaching work at Shippensberg and his thoughts on the future of the sport

This was an amazing interview, especially for those of you who are interested in how to add strength training to your running, looking for innovative ways to train for the marathon, and who are trying to coach themselves.

Innovations in Weight Training and Speed Work When Training for the Marathon: An Interview With Steve Spence