Run to the Top Podcast | The Ultimate Guide to Running

Running podcast to motivate & help runners of every level run their best. Coach Claire Bartholic interviews athletes, coaches, scientists, psychologists, nutritionists, & everyday runners with inspiring stories.
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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 25, 2017

Haven’t we all, at one time or another, struggled with getting new activities to become more permanent?

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and fellow Podcaster, shares her research with us on how to create lasting habits.

And because no single strategy works for everyone, she dove deeper into different personality types and how they can use their inherent predispositions to their advantage.

She also discussed the challenges different personalities traits have so we can be aware of avoiding potential roadblocks.

In her studies, she identified 4 general personality types: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels.

A link to her quiz is included below so you can learn how you may be able to make long-term positive changes in your own life.

She also touches on simple strategies we can all add into our daily routines to be happier people, how to avoid getting off track once the rush of completing a major goal wears off, and shares examples she has come across with other runners that are extremely helpful.

Many of us are still in a New Year, New You mindset and this episode provides powerful ideas to make sure that we stay on track with the goals we have set for ourselves, not just in the near-term, but for as long as we really want.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • How our different personality traits determine how they form habits.
  • Why we should use ‘milestones’ vs. ‘finish lines’ to maintain habits indefinitely.
  • Why it’s important to protect key activities in our schedules and how to do it.
  • Why and how we should use self-reflection of our prior experiences to realize what worked well, or didn’t, in our past.
  • How we can proactively stave off ‘Runner’s Blues’ after accomplishing a big goal or avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Questions Gretchen is asked:

4:19 Why should people focus on personal improvement?

5:36 What are some examples of easy, significant changes someone can make?

8:34 What are the 4 Tendencies you refer to in your books?

11:33 Besides Upholders, how can runners who fall into the other Tendencies work with their strengths to achieve their running goals?

18:08 Are there any dangers with being an Upholder that they should look out for?

20:30 How does social media play into these different Tendencies?

24:31 What is the Danger Of A Finish Line?

27:25 What would you suggest to help people avoid Finish Line Dangers?

30:00 Could you swap related activities for specific activities during a recovery period?

31:26 How do you stay mentally engaged when your fastest running days are behind you?

33:47 Do people need to take a temporary clean break without a goal or does it vary by Tendency?

36:24 What if people still feel something is missing after achieving a goal, even if they have replaced the key activities related to that goal?

37:55 What advice do you have to help people avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder?

41:38 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Gretchen:

If there’s something that you could do pretty easily that’s going to give you a big happiness boost, wouldn’t you want to do that?

(Regarding Questioners): They tend to love data and reporting, so things like monitoring how far they’re going or what their time is, keeping records. Really figure it out, whatever it would take to make that decision because while you’re  not sure it’s going to block your way because you’re going to be sort of stuck... but once you decide then you can do it.

(Regarding Obligers): If you’re an obliger you need ‘Outer Accountability’, you could work out with a trainer, you could join a running group where people are going to be annoyed if you don’t show up.

(Regarding Rebels): They can do anything the WANT to do. The idea of a structured schedule, something that is very appealing to an Upholder, it’s a big turn-off for a Rebel.

(Regarding Upholders): Upholders sometimes suffer from ‘tightening’ and this is when the ‘rules’ get tighter and tighter… Sometimes it can feel choking. If you feel like it’s sort of over-mastering you, you want to be aware that this is a phenomenon that Upholders can experience and you want to stay in control of it.

Hitting a goal is a great way to hit a goal; it’s not a great way to keep a habit, because habits are usually things that we want to do indefinitely. It’s more helpful to think of a milestone. It’s a 30-day Yoga Challenge, but what are you doing on Day 34?

To be happy you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, feeling right in an atmosphere of growth.




Jan 18, 2017

What if triathlons (or 70.3’s) weren’t as intimidating as they may appear?

What if, as a successful long distance runner, you already possessed a unique advantage over athletes in the other disciplines?

And what if, you could become a successful triathlete, or even just improve your running, without a significant increase in training hours by training more efficiently?

Rob Wilby is a professional triathlon coach based in England, where he is head coach at both Team Oxygenaddict and Knutsford Triathlon Club.

He specialises in helping age group triathletes rapidly improve, by focussing on maximising the effectiveness of training time and addressing their biggest performance limiters.

Over the last 20 years, he has helped hundreds of athletes exceed their expectations, from completing their first triathlon through to qualifying for the World Championships.

Rob provides great insight on the world of triathlons and 70.3’s and breaks down some perceived resistances that may prevent runners from entering these events.

He’s a fellow podcaster and has wonderful tips on training, coaching and having a successful mindset to enjoy what may be a new experience for runners.

If you’ve ever wanted to pursue a triathlon, but felt intimidated, Rob has great advice to help you get started. If you have never even considered triathlons, Rob’s training perspective can help you increase your running performance by leveraging cross-discipline training.


Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • Why runners have a unique advantage over swimmers and cyclists in triathlons.
  • How inclusive triathlons are for newcomers.
  • Maintaining Training / Life balance.
  • Equipment recommendations.
  • Benefits of training in multiple disciplines.
  • Swim form analysis and tips.

Questions Rob is asked:

3:55 What is team Oxygenaddict?

5:55 How did you end up giving yourself a year to get ready for your first triathlon as opposed to waiting until the last minute?

8:19 Where did the name “Oxygenaddict” come from?

9:30 What are the brand advertising limitations for triathlon kits?

11:30 What’s your backstory?

17:59 What’s the percentage of people transitioning to triathlons are runners and what would you say to someone considering a transition to let them know they have support from the rest of the triathlon community?

22:48 What would you say about the difference between just running vs. running right after cycling?

25:20 Do you see triathletes of all levels (especially novices) competing?

28:11 What would you say to people who are 4-5 hour marathoners; is there an opportunity for them in the world of triathlon?

29:53 Do you have to like all 3 disciplines?

33:23 Do triathletes typically have 3 separate coaches for each discipline?

35:31 How does one train for a triathlon without it completely taking over their life?

40:57 As a coach, do you worry about recreational / mid-pack athletes burning out from overtraining?

43:36 What is your swim analysis?

48:21 Is there a general best swim form or are there a variety of good forms?

49:57 Do you breathe one side or both?

51:42 Any additional swim-form tips?

53:15 Is it more likely that a fit runner who thinks they’re not a good swimmer has bad form than that they’re not fit enough?

54:48 What about open-water swimming vs. indoor pool?

57:05 Good brands of entry-level bikes and wetsuits?

58:46 What is your podcast about?

1:02:52 Final Kick Round

Quotes by Rob:

“I’ve never come across anybody who’s elitist or snobbish at all at any of the events that I’ve been to.”

“Without a doubt, the people who make the strongest athletes in triathlon come from a running background.”

“You’ll see a massive variety of people at these events.”

“(By training for a triathlon)’ve consistently run for 12 weeks without getting injured, you’ve done all this hard work on the bike without getting injured, your body’s had a different stimulus without getting injured, and all of a sudden the result of that is, it turns out, you’ve got out of your own way and you’ve developed a different way of training  that’s going to allow you to get even faster on the run.”

“You can let the sport take up as much of your life or as little of your life as you like.”

“I’m probably doing about half the training I was before, and I’m still getting 99% of the benefit of it. So, almost I wondered how little training I could do and still be fit for racing.”

“You need to build your ability to train before you can train.”

“(Runners are) already aerobically very fit, and the reason they can’t swim quickly is because of a skill-based problem not because of a fitness based problem.”

“The key to swimming better is to improve your technique. Practice good technique and get fit as a byproduct of simply practicing good technique rather than trying to get fit and thinking that your technique will improve.”

Jan 11, 2017

What makes elite runners so good at running? Are they superhuman, and just have the talent to be able to leave us all in their dust?

Actually, no!

Even though most elite runners struggle with revealing their weaknesses in fear of losing sponsors or upsetting the selection committees, today we are talking to a runner who does not mind sharing her struggles and does not mind speaking the truth, even if it makes some waves in the process.

Lanni Marchant is the Canadian record holder in the half marathon and marathon with her 1:10:47 and 2:28:00 PRs. She competed in both the 10,000m and marathon in the Rio Olympics, which you will hear about the drama involved in that scenario during this interview.

However, despite Lanni's success as a runner, she wants her legacy to be more than just her running. Lanni is doing all she can to help women rights, including speaking in front of Parliament on the topic, and showing the world once and for all, that there is no one best body type and weight for a runner. 

Lanni spent most of her college career on crutches because she felt she needed to be skinny to run fast, but now she has a message for runners everywhere to get your head on straight, or you are throwing away your running!

Lanni is refreshingly honest, and I am sure you are going to enjoy this episode for her relatability and what she is doing for our sport.

Questions Lanni is Asked

4:00 You decided to go to University in the US, what was it that pulled you away from Canada?

5:10 What lessons were you taught about going to school in the US when you were still in high school in Canada

7:35 You struggled your way through your freshman year, why do you think so many runners struggle in that first year?

10:00 There were some remarks made to other people about being healthy, was it that about being leaner or heavier?

10:45 How did those remarks affect you?

12:30 What do you think, now that you have a good relationship with food, can be done to change the perspective?

20:00 How do you stop yourself from comparing when you are standing on the start line?

23:45 You mentioned your weight fluctuates throughout the year, what would you like to say to anyone who looks at pictures of you from Rio, and thinks WOW! I am never going to look like that.

27:20 A lot of words (such as muscular), women see as negative, do you have any thoughts on how we can change the thinking?

32:30 What made you decide to go in front of parliament to take a stand for women rights?

35:30 What would be your suggestion to men and women listening of how we can be good role models and stop the sexist comments?

39:00 Do you see women doing it to ourselves by putting each other down instead of working together?

44:00 Tell us about the double double debacle, and how is it different to qualifying for the Olympics in Canada and Great Britain

48:30 Did that affect you mentally, knowing that you did not know what you were doing. How did that affect your Olympic experience?

53:00 Where do you go from here? Running wise and career wise?

55:10 When you said you like to indulge after a big race, what do the first few days after New York look like for you?

1:00:00 Final Kick Round

Quotes from Lanni

I spent my entire college career doing what most NCAA females do, trying not to eat, eat very little, trying to cross training and overtrain, and offset what I did eat. You name the eating disorder trick, I did it.

I eat chocolate everyday…

In my off season, I might have a beer most nights, during season, I might limit it to weekends.

We need to embrace the builds and the bodies that we have, understand that you can train it and tweak it to fit within your sport and within the goals you want.

If we change that conversation for women in sport, then there’s not going to be the same insecurities for girls and there’ll be less pressure for girls to look a certain way and do stupid things to look that way.

I am not restrictive, but I have to recognize that I need to be making sure every calorie, piece of food and beverage I put into my body is servicing my body, so when I get to Rio, I am able to compete and be my best Lanni.

...A part of me regrets not getting my head on straight sooner, because who knows what I could have been doing in my 20’s had I not been just wasting away and wasting my time and wasting my talents trying to fit into other people’s definitions of what a runner should look like or what a runner should be. And those are years I’ll never get back.

If you look at any picture of an elite athlete in any sport, its not sustainable for us to look like that. You try to dial it in for maybe 4-6 weeks, where it is really important.

...both (genders) could benefit from the conversation being about our ‘machines’ and what we’re doing with them.

I wanted my words to carry more weight and to have more meaning than any title or PB or anything beside my name.

Women are harder on each other and ourselves than any man ever will be and I don’t know why that is.

You’re a girl; you can change your mind

Your body is your equipment, and it is your engine.

Once I finally accepted I was never going to get rid of these figure skating quads, and started training them to benefit me...the better runner I became.

We need to embrace the bodies and the builds that we have. Understanding that you can train it, and tweak it to fit within your sport and the goals you want.

What I do is fierce and sexy, not how I look doing it.

Set your goals, but don’t limit yourself by them.

Don’t Be Afraid of changing your mind

Running is supposed to add to your life, not detract from it.

My legacy in sport, and helping to change things in sport, that is something that is more important to me.

When I am out of season, chocolate can be breakfast. When I am in season, chocolate can be part of breakfast

Jan 4, 2017

The journey of losing weight is not easy.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight in the past knows that all too well, but our guest today not only shares his struggles with using food as comfort to process his emotions, but how he finally broke free of using food as a form of self medication.

Josh Trent, of Wellness Force Radio has fantastic advice for us all on how to grow to love our bodies from a place of abundance and trust, rather than a place of anger (like so many of us do).

Every human being goes through stages, and although therapy has been shunned in the past, Josh has some great insights on why it is so important, and can help us upgrade our old software to deal with our issues once and for all/.

Josh talks about having a why, the reason you are willing to put in all the hours for your training, and that why should be bigger than you. Having a why that makes you cry will give you energy to pull from when life stacks roadblocks in front of you. We only have control over our experiences, and we need to make sure that our behaviors are in alignment with our goals.

Josh challenges us all to set a new fear PR, something that is terrifying, but will help us to feel more alive than ever before.

If you are ready to make 2017 your best year ever, this is an episode to inspire you to do just that.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • Why Josh felt like he wasn't running towards pleasure, but instead, away from pain
  • The difference between YouStress and Distress
  • Why the first 5 minutes of your day are the most important, are you eating mental junk food?
  • Why voicing the thoughts that are going through your head will take the power out of them
  • How to use habit formation to reach your goals
  • Why having a community will help you to replace the negative thoughts in your mind

Questions Josh is asked:

4:15 Where did your journey start?

8:15 What was it about the moment with the red cup that made something switch in your mind?

9:25 We often think of drugs as pills, but tell us how food or exercise can be that addiction or way of coping with our feelings

12:30 You lost 75lbs, but we are in a world of perfection, so we struggle to find peace with ourselves, how did you learn to do this while you were going through this journey?

15:00 What can people recognize within themselves, where they can realize they are in a place of anger, and how can they move to a place of love?

16:00 Tell us about some of strategies to get out of a negative mindset

20:00 How long did it take you to spin your mental perspective to where you were confident in who you were?

22:20 How did you get to a place to where you did not see vulnerability as a weakness or something to be embarrassed about?

25:15 Why do you encourage people to face their frustrations and be vulnerable?

26:25 How can we make sure we make a behavior change rather than a New Years Resolution?

32:20 Let's use an example of a runner, and how they can make good choices to be ready for their big race coming up

36:20 What about people with families who believe it is not realistic to put themselves first, what would you like to say to them?

39:30 Describe just how much our negative thoughts affect us during races, and how can we take the steps to overcome those negative thoughts in a race?

41:30 How do you practice going against the negative thoughts in the moment?

48:00 You always ask your guests for what their definition of wellness is, what is yours?

49:30 Is it possible to fill up all three cups to have balance in our lives?

51:30 What themes come up over and over on your podcast interviews, that you would like to tell people today?

53:00 What are examples of some "why's" that will help people achieve their goals?

56:35 The Final Kick Round!