Run to the Top Podcast | The Ultimate Guide to Running

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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Run to the Top Podcast | The Ultimate Guide to Running






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Jul 18, 2018

In this week’s episode our host, Stephanie Kay Atwood, runs solo from across the border in Mexico with a tried and true training strategy for Boston Qualifying (BQ’ing): Run-Walk.

That’s right. By using run walk, over-distance training and only 3 days of running per week, Stephanie and other athletes she has coached have successfully BQ’d using this training method.

Jul 11, 2018

Learn how to use your brain power to be a better runner!

Psychologist, bestselling author, athlete and teacher, Dr. Michelle Cleere, works with high achieving athletes, musicians and other top professionals to stay on top of their game. In these pressure-filled fields, the mental factor can be overwhelming. Staying focused and motivated is key to their success.

Jul 4, 2018

Justin and Denise Ricks of Mad Moose Events share the history, geology, topography and the incredible routes to run and race in their home area of Moab, Utah, home to two National Parks: Canyonlands and Arches, plus nearby Bears Ears National Monument.

Jun 27, 2018

Simon Ong talks about his past health issues and how he changed his life through running. He shares details of his training cycles, from workouts to nutrition and how he went from couch potato to sub 6 minute miles in a half marathon. His story is one of inspiration and passion for running; the enthusiasm for life clearly in his voice.

Jun 20, 2018

Have you ever experienced gut issues during training or racing from a product that was supposed to help you feel better? We know that proper fueling during and after endurance performance and training is crucial, but what exactly do our bodies need, when do they need it and why do they need it.

Enter Dr. Art Zemach and Tailwind Nutrition. Dr. Zemach is a pediatrician, kayaker, and endurance athlete who has competed in Ironman Switzerland, Leadville Trail and other endurance competitions and offers cutting edge information about optimum nutrition for endurance athletes.

Jun 13, 2018

Krista DuChene was the 3rd place finisher in the 2018 Boston Marathon. She has run 15 marathons and her personal record of 2:28:32, set at Toronto in 2013, makes her Canada’s 2nd fastest marathoner of all time.

Krista shares her journey through the extreme weather conditions at the 2018 Boston Marathon and what it’s like to experience a major marathon as an Elite Runner. She also tells us about some of the challenges she has overcome such as finishing the 2014 Canadian half-marathon championships on a broken leg.

Jun 6, 2018

The Great Bangladesh Global Run Day

June 6, 2018 is Global Running Day. Run to the Top celebrates the global nature of running as we learn what it is like to run, and race, in Bangladesh.

We are joined by Mohammad Shamsuzzaman Arafat who,to honor health and running, has aleady run 1006 kilometers from bottom to top of his country. Bangladesh, a country the size of the state of Iowa, is home to a population larger than all of Russia.

Arafat is a 27 year-old ultra runner and founder of The Great Bangladesh Run, a movement that is focused on making a healthier and stronger Bangladesh.




May 30, 2018

Have you heard that running is going to mess up your knees or something to that effect? Dr. Cameron Dennis explains to us why that is simply not true. Yes, some runners experience knee issues at certain points, but it isn’t necessarily just because they run, but rather how they run: how often, how fast, how far, etc…

May 23, 2018

Coach Laura McLean, from RunnersConnect, offers running tips for beginners and more experienced runners as they transition in their own running lives.

Laura is a certified endurance coach and is also trained as coach for athletes with disabilities. She is a former elite hockey player who ran cross-country and track in high school.

Laura took a brief athletic hiatus after playing college-level hockey before rediscovering running. She hasn’t looked back since.


May 16, 2018

Julie and Lisa describe the 2018 meteorologically challenging Boston Marathon as ‘epic’ as they share their unique strategies for handling the weather.

And with so many Boston Marathons under their feet, it’s no surprise that they were also there in 2013 (the year of the bombings). We’ll hear their first-hand experiences during the trauma and chaos that ensued.

Coaches in addition to runners, they also explain how crucial strength and mental training is for the marathon and how a marathon training program should be like an ice cream sundae.

May 9, 2018

A gardener, a baker, a marathon racer? Why not?

Professional garden designer, amateur baker and finalist on the Great British Bake-Off, Jane Beedle gives us an inside look at getting onto the show and how to use the same determination to take on a marathon in 2018. Not just any marathon but the London Marathon.

Listen to the pre-marathon interview and post-race follow-up after Jane's attempt at the BIG 26.2 for the first time at age 62!


May 2, 2018

In this episode, Jackie Dikos teaches us how to fuel and hydrate during training, taper and race day while explaining the importance of macronutrients and how to combine them for optimal energy.

She also talks about why she focuses on a ‘colorful pate”, how and why to calculate sweat-rate and what to do with that information to more effectively leverage aid stations during marathons.

Jackie’s firsthand knowledge and experience provide a host of great information, so don’t be surprised if you listen to this several times to fully absorb these nutrients of fueling wisdom.


Apr 25, 2018

Have you ever felt that you weren’t (or aren’t) a ‘Real Runner’? Maybe it was because of a perceived lack of speed, perceived body image or something else. Well, you’re not alone and we have just the guest to help re-frame any negative self-talk that is holding you back from your best running self.

This week we are joined by Jill Angie - author, podcast host, Certified Running Coach, personal trainer and believer in those who have trouble believing in themselves.

Jill founded Not Your Average Runner which has blossomed into several books, a podcast, a Facebook Community and coaching program.

Jill believes that running should be running fun and accessible for runners of all shapes, size and speed. In this episode, she walks us through her own personal journey of running and how she now helps all types of runners gain a clearer perspective on what it means to run. And, while Jill’s primary focus is plus-size women, this conversation is one that every runner can benefit from.

Apr 18, 2018

Let’s face it: Nobody wants a seat on the injury bus. But sometimes we end up there anyway. It could start as a nagging niggle that progresses into a real sideliner or it could just be a persistent twinge that keeps us from performing our best. But how do you know what it is, where it’s coming from and how to keep it from becoming a potentially serious injury?

This week we speak with Dr. Brianne Showman Brown, a licensed Physical Therapist who works to treat athlete’s injuries without meds, injections or surgeries to facilitate a quick and safe return to running. She knows runners because she is a runner herself.

In this episode, Dr. Brown clearly explains what PF and ITB issues are and also what they may not be. She believes strongly in injury prevention and provides helpful tips on exercises that can be easily incorporated into even the busiest of lives.

We also discuss nutrition and hydration and the role they play in recovery and prevention. And although some self-diagnosis tips are shared, we also talk about when and why a professional should get involved in the diagnosis and treatment process.

There is an amazing amount of helpful information here and you may find yourself revisiting this episode more than once.

Oh, and if you participated in the Boston Marathon, this year or any other, please share your Boston Marathon experience on an upcoming bonus episode of Run To The Top by clicking here.

Apr 11, 2018

In this episode we speak with the winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon, Amby Burfoot.

We learn about Amby’s background, his experience winning the Boston Marathon, his perspective on the changes in the running world over the last 50 years, and why he believes the brain is the most important part of our running bodies.


Apr 4, 2018

Bob Anderson / Runner’s World

In this episode we speak with Bob Anderson. Bob is a native of Manhattan (Kansas), photographer, filmmaker and founder of Runner’s World, My Best Runs and finisher of a grueling year-long race challenge that consisted of one race a week for 50 weeks and averaged under 7:00 / mile pace at age 64.

Bob started running at age 15 and eventually launched a 1,000 copy magazine that later blossomed into the million-plus subscription periodical known as Runner’s World. But, as successful as Runner’s World became, it was not without a cost which we learn about in this interview.

Bob shares his many ups and downs with running as well as his film A Long Run, the creation of a new running event: Double Racing, and the development of an informational website, which features the best runs from around the world.

Bob’s passion for running is contagious and wise. We hope you enjoy our conversation with him.

Mar 28, 2018

A lot of research and empirical data (not to mention a certain book by a certain author about a certain indigenous people who run hundreds of miles seemingly effortlessly) has made a strong argument for a more natural running shoe. But the sudden transition from a traditional shoe to a minimalist shoe often causes injuries rather than prevents them. Imagine that there’s a company that makes shoes that feel great AND offers models with differing amounts of drop to ease the transition.

SPOILER ALERT: You actually don’t have to imagine it, because that company actually exists.

Mar 21, 2018

Ali Feller

Meet 3:51 marathoner, author of the Ali On The Run blog and host of the Ali On The Run Show podcast, freelance writer and editor, Ali Feller. Ali’s appearance on this week’s episode was suggested by listener, Angie Sherman and for that, we are certainly grateful.

Ali was not a high school track or cross country star; far from it, in fact. Growing up she found running to be punitive rather than fun. After graduating college, she became Editor-In-Chief of Dance Spirit magazine. She is a currently contributor to many women’s health and fitness periodicals.

Ali shares with us her experience living with Crohn’s Disease. As you’ll hear in more detail, Crohn’s is a chronic autoimmune disease that is unpredictable and inconvenient, yet Ali explains how she has come to terms with managing it. All while still remaining as active as she can.

Although she is now focusing on shorter distance races like the 5K, she has completed 7 full marathons and dozens of half-marathons. She also tells us how she continues to train and how she approaches goal setting. Oh, and we will also learn about her awesome husband and loving dog. Or loving husband and awesome dog? Either way… Meet Ali!


Mar 14, 2018

Sandy Baird, DC - Preventing and Treating Marathon Injuries

A graduate from LifeWest Chiropractic College, Dr. Sandy Baird is a certified Active RElease Techniques provider whose practice, Riverstone Chiropractic, is located in Oakland, CA. Originally a civil engineer, a persistent repetitive strain injury led Sandy to the field of Chiropractic via massage therapy.

Dr. Baird treats both elite and recreational athletes and also speaks to local running groups and clubs on topics such as injury prevention, injury treatment, nutrition and recovery techniques. The Riverstone Chiropractic website has links to a wealth of informational blog posts that cover a variety of medical and health topics.

In this episode, Sandy shares her personal journey into chiropractic care, her approach to injury prevention and treatment, nutrition, and footwear. We also learn about different self-treatment and prevention exercises to help keep us on our individual training plans and how to counteract the detrimental effects of being in a seated position for extended periods of time..

In addition to all the great content shared in this episode, you can also receive Dr. Baird’s free e-Book Eight Steps to Fix Your Plantar Fasciitis by texting the word ‘runningbook’ to 44222. (Standard data and text messaging rates apply).

“Sitting kills our running.”

Mar 7, 2018

It’s understood that we need to stay hydrated not only during physical activities, but in general. But how can we improve the efficiency with which our bodies use hydration?

A former collegiate track and field athlete, Vishal Patel has worked with Olympic and World Camp calibre athletes on personalizing their nutrition and hydration strategies to excel in their sports. As Senior R&D Manager for Nuun, he has developed hydration products for the past five years.

For those who are not familiar with Nuun, they make dissolvable hydration tablets. In this episode, Visah explains the science and rationale of general hydration and how Nuun has designed multiple hydration solutions that are optimized for specific types of activity plus how and why hydration is so important, even if you are not active. He shares with us the methodology and philosophy that Nuun has regarding hydration supplements and specifically the role that sugar plays in performance fueling products.

He gives us insight into an easy, visual method for determining your daily hydration level and how Nuun fits in with other training and performance fueling products.


Feb 28, 2018

While admittedly not a super-athlete growing up, Dr. Brett Hill was naturally drawn to distance running and the mental determination it required. And as he studied to become a successful chiropractor, he realized that his lifestyle habits directly influenced his health so he set about becoming more naturally active and fueled.

In this episode, he shares with us that our bodies have an innate ability and desire to function correctly. It is critical to create the dietary and physical environment our bodies are actually designed for. He further explains what these environments are and why they are so beneficial. We also discuss the merits and proper strategies of transitioning to barefoot or minimalist shoe running.

In addition to being a chiropractor, Brett Hill is a paleo-nutritionist, barefoot runner, author, podcast host, and public speaker. With all of these activities, his family and, of course, running himself, it would be easy to assume it’s overwhelming. He explains how he now manages to keep a healthy balance of it all and the adjustments he has made to accomplish this balance.

Feb 21, 2018

You could easily say that freelance writer, professional blogger, public speaker, coach, 3:11 Marathoner, wife and mother of three Dorothy Beal has a lot on her plate. Like many of us with busy lives outside of our training, Dorothy has had to learn how to balance it all. Oh, AND she has graced the cover of not one, not two, but THREE magazine covers!

On this episode, we hear from Dorothy about the catalyst that turned her into a runner and how running has impacted so many areas of her life. Her philosophy and perspective on running are incredibly healthy and well-grounded, especially when considering how easily we can become over-obsessed with training and race results. She also shares with us her approach to balancing training and family nutrition as well as some interesting lifestyle changes she has adopted, such as her ‘Dry January’. 

Dorothy has a contagious positive energy that comes through clearly in this conversation about the transformation running has made to her very full life.


Feb 14, 2018

This week we introduce, certified nutritionist, award winning speaker, best selling author, running coach, certified rafting guide, AND the new host of the Run To The Top podcast, Stephanie Atwood.

Stephanie is the founder of Go Wow Living and host of the “Active After 35 Thrive To 105” podcast. In this episode, we learn about her background and listen as she shares secrets she’s learned from helping other runners throughout her career. She has a great perspective on redefining success and failure and believes in creating different successes. It’s easy to forget that the very act of stretching out of comfort zone, even if we fall short of our ideal goals, is still a worthy accomplishment.

Butch Cassidy counseled the Sundance Kid in the movie’s opening, “Every day you live, you get older.” and the same is true for runners. However, there comes a day, a session or a race where we have to accept that our fastest days may be behind us. This doesn’t mean we need to stop running or competing, but a healthy mental paradigm shift is sometimes needed to refocus our motivation to stay active as we age.

In our busy and hectic lives, it’s easy to overemphasize training to the point where it becomes unhealthily all-consuming. Stephanie talks about the concept of “Periodization”, which allows people to build up for a couple goals, but also structure down time to enjoy other important areas of our lives.

Please join us in welcoming Stephanie as we are sure her insight and experience will help you become, not just a better runner, but a better, happier and healthier you.


Feb 7, 2018

Pam recently completed two marathons with seven weeks of training in between, but no significant improvement in her time.

She would like to reach her goal in her next race, but feels the 24-week program she used last time is too long. She wants to to know how she can maintain fitness and then ramp up for race.

Coach Jeff provides context for post-race recovery and maintenance training prior to jumping into a marathon build-up and how long that build up should, and maybe shouldn’t, be.

He also explains how to leverage the time between races to arrive at the start of a marathon training cycle even stronger without much additional effort.

We hope you enjoy listening to this conversation and find some takeaways that help you in your training.


Jan 31, 2018

We’re doing something a little different today on Run To The Top and we hope you find it helpful. One of our athletes, Wayne Jimenez, recently DNF’d a marathon at mile 16 and was not sure why. He has completed marathons and half-Iron Mans, but just over halfway through this race he could not keep going and he’s eager to get back in a marathon ASAP since he still feels pretty strong from all his training. But, he’s concerned about racing too soon.


Coach Jeff engages Wayne in a discussion to unpack what happened during, and more importantly prior to, the race to help identify the root cause of the issue and to determine when Wayne should make his way into his next corral.


We hope you enjoy listening to this conversation and find some takeaways that help you in your training. We would also love to know what you think of this podcast format as well as any suggestions you have for Run To The Top in general.

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