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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: Category: general
Oct 21, 2020

The obesity-related death of his mother was a wakeup call to young, overweight Jeffrey James Binney. He could continue down the same path, or he could change his fate. And so he started running. And running. And running. All the way to the grueling Leadville 100 ultramarathon.

 

Jeffrey’s film Once is Enough chronicles his journey from couch potato to ultramarathoner.   Fueled by grief and the desire to write jokes, his film is part documentary, part standup, and definitely unique! 

 

Jeffrey and Coach Claire tackle such interesting subjects as why on earth he set his non-athletic sights on doing a 100-mile ultramarathon, how he trained, his plant-based lifestyle, and the scourge of blisters and chafing. If you like your motivation served with a side of laughs, this episode’s for you!

Jeffrey is a Salt Lake City based actor, singer, comedian, and "athlete."  He grew up on a farm in Laredo, MO before moving to Brooklyn, NY and later Los Angeles after receiving his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance from Missouri State University.  Jeffrey has been seen on Late Night With David Letterman, in the 1st National Tour and Chicago Company of the Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and at comedy clubs and festivals across the country.

 

Questions Jeffrey is asked:

 

5:22 The reason I wanted to have you on the show is because I saw your film Once Is Enough on Amazon Prime this summer with my family.  I subject my kids to a lot of documentaries and this is one that they actually liked!  Can you tell us a little bit about the movie and why you wanted to make it?

6:42 While sitting in the hospital waiting room, you happened to pick up a copy of Trail Runner Magazine.  What happened next?

7:54 Most people don’t go running a 100-miler basically off the couch, let alone the Leadville 100. What were you thinking?!?! :)

9:51 What was it like running the race under-trained and overweight? That must have been a huge challenge physically for you.

11:20 Don’t you have to qualify for Leadville? How did you get into Leadville?

12:26 What was your typical training week like or how did it progress over your 14 months of training?  

13:51 How did you change physically through training?

15:23 Speaking of nutrition, you and I have a couple of things in common besides our gorgeous red hair. You and I are both plant-based! How did that fit into your training, your nutrition? What kind of things were you eating?

18:26 Most people think, “Oh, you’re on a plant-based diet. That means that you’re only eating twigs and potatoes and you’re going to be super thin, and clearly that’s not always the case for everybody, right?

19:17 Without giving away too much from the film, what kind of lessons did you learn?  Just going through it and the whole filming and making a beautiful movie? What kind of lessons?

20:26 Do you think anybody can do this?

21:03 I would like to talk about the ultra running community. It’s kind of a special group of some very strange and wonderful people. Would you agree?

23:20 The aid stations are much better for ultrarunning, right?

23:40 I would love to talk about gear, like what kind of gear that you were using. 

24:19 Do you still wear a bro?

24:49 Every ultrarunner, every runner, has to deal with chafing obviously. How do you deal with that?

26:58 There’s a point in the movie where you talk about your blisters that you had, and how did you deal with that? You look like you were in some serious pain there.

28:10 You manage your blisters better nowadays when you get them?

29:10 What kind of misconceptions have you come across in your running journey? When you started this, you had so much optimism about what this was going to turn out to be. What changed throughout your journey? What things were you surprised about?

31:21 What’s next for you? Are you still running? Obviously, COVID, there’s not a lot of races on the horizon, but what are you doing?

32:36 Some of the smaller trail races are still going on in person, so maybe there’s something you can sign up for that you could actually do in real life.

33:07 You’re still being coached by Ian Sharman, or are you on your own?

34:09 Questions I ask everyone:

 

  1. If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give?

 

  1. What is the greatest gift running has given you?

 

  1. Where can listeners connect with you?

 

36:08 Any new films on the horizon or was once enough?

 

Quotes by Jeffrey:

 

“I just went on a hike a few years ago with some friends to one of the taller peaks here in Utah. I was getting to the top and I was really beating myself up because I just could not keep up with them. And I finally got to the top and I was like, ‘Why are you beating yourself up? You have 100 lbs on all of these people. You don’t come from a lifetime of fitness other than five years.’ And you’d think after this whole journey that I’ve been on that I would be able to keep that in better perspective, but there’s still time like that when I still have to check myself.”

 

“I never considered myself particularly outdoorsy. I certainly didn’t consider myself tough. And it turns out I was wrong. It turns out I am way, way stronger and tougher than I realized.”

 

“Most of the time I was running 20-plus hours per week on top of a full-time job. It’s literally a part-time job.”



Take a Listen on Your Next Run

 

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast:

 

JJB.life

Once is Enough film

Leukotape

Ultra Ladies

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net



Follow Jeffrey on:

 

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

YouTube



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

Oct 14, 2020

What Your Massage Therapist Isn't Telling You: The Truth About Massage for Runners with Matt Phillips

That massage isn’t doing what you think it’s doing. Not if you see massage as a way to flush toxins out of your system, improve your circulation, or work out your muscle knots. Then what good are massages for runners? Prepare to be enlightened by today’s guest, Matt Philips, who is a running injury and performance specialist, as well as an expert in massage for runners.

 

Matt shares his knowledge with Coach Claire, dispelling a lot of common misconceptions about the benefits of massage for runners, but also talking about the benefits of massage for anyone, and he does so with a fair amount of humor! 

 

You may recognize Matt as a long-time RTTT and Extra Kick expert contributor. He started his career as a strength and conditioning coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In 2004, he focused on sports therapy, working with distance runners and endurance athletes.

 

Matt is currently part of a multidisciplinary team of physiotherapists, sports therapists, osteopaths, podiatrists and massage therapists, as well as a lecturer in Anatomy & Physiology. He writes for numerous websites and national magazines, including Runners Connect and Outdoor Fitness.

 

Along with his running podcast and website called Run Chat Live, Matt holds an annual RCL International Running Conference. The first one was held in Brighton, Sussex with ten world class speakers traveling from Australia, Canada, and the United States. This year, the event has gone virtual, and will be held on October 29th and 30th. Listen to the show for the 20% off promo code.

 

Questions Matt is asked:

        

6:17 You are a running injury and performance specialist and massage therapist.  We could talk about any number of running topics, but today I'd like to focus on massage for runners.  Let's talk first about some of the myths about massages.  What are they and how did they get started?

 

11:49 What about the toxins? People talk all the time about, “Oh, I’m flushing the toxins. My muscles are building up all of these toxins from the environment or from my run.” What does massage do for that?

 

13:18 Let’s talk about something that actually does build up in the muscles when we run hard, and sometimes we’re doing this on purpose, is to build up lactic acid. A lot of people think, “I’m going to go get a massage just to get rid of all that lactic acid.” Do you want to talk about that one?”

 

15:49 If lactate is a good thing, why does it hurt so bad?

 

16:05 What about improving circulation?  I’ve heard that massage can help your circulation. Is that true? 

 

18:03 When I have gotten a massage, they always tell me to drink a lot of water afterwards, and I assume that’s to flush out the toxins or whatever. Can you explain that? Why do they tell me to do that? 

 

19:51 Okay, so we know what massage doesn't do, what does it do?  

 

23:20 So, massage is good because it feels good?

 

24:26 I don’t know how the idea of massage being good because it feels good is going to be received by people who get massages all the time because they swear by it, like, “Oh, I had a knot in my neck and she just worked at it and I feel better,” or “Oh, I always get these cramps in my hamstring and after I get a massage, they’re totally fine.” There’s got to be something else going on here other than just relaxation.

 

28:12 What is it with muscle knots? Do muscles really physically knot? I would love to know what’s going on. You can sometimes feel like in your back a hard lump, and if you massage it, it can kind of smooth out. So what’s going on under the skin? 

 

29:52 We often see those free massages at the end of a marathon. Should we be waiting in line for those or should we be skipping those?

 

31:26 Will massage make you less sore?

 

32:04 What about massage during taper week before your big race or a week after your big race? What do you think? 

 

35:18 If the main reason for a massage is relaxation, we can always choose other techniques such as getting into a hot tub or doing meditation or yoga. Is there something very specific about massage that is different from other relaxation techniques?

 

37:20 A lot of us are missing out on the power of touch with the COVID. Are there any ways to get a massage safely these days or replicate the massage experience at home?

 

39:00 On a more personal note, you are organizing an online running conference at the end of October.  Can you share the details about that?

 

Questions I ask everyone:

 

42:32 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give?

 

44:35 What is the greatest gift running has given you?

 

45:48 Where can listeners connect with you?

 

Quotes by Matt:

 

“If you are with a therapist who is telling you they’re breaking down scar tissue or they’re re-molding your fascia or something or changing the length of your muscles, then you have to question yourself whether they’re staying up to date with the latest evidence, and a lot of therapists aren’t.”

 

“Thanks to modern pain science and research which is developing, we know that you can’t fight pain with pain.”

 

“When we look and consider how important stress is in regards to delaying recovery, reducing the power of the immune system, on so many levels massage can help, not just runners, but any sports person, anybody, to function properly.”

 

“One of the interesting things which we forget is there’s plenty of people who have got pain when you push down on soft, unknotted tissue. There’s not a clear parallel either in clinical practice or in studies showing a correlation between tightness or lumps and pain.”



Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast:

Run Chat Live 2020 Info and Tickets

Run Chat Live

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

Promo Code for the International Run Chat Live Running Conference October 29th and 30th: RTTT20 for 20% off



Follow Matt on:

 

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

Twitter

YouTube



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!



Sep 30, 2020

Forget About Your Form and Just Wear the Right Shoe: Biomechanist Dr. Iain Hunter

 

Every runner dreams of running faster with less effort, with minimal chance of injury.  To do that, we often think we need to “fix” our running form to become more efficient. Dr. Iain Hunter, a running biomechanics researcher, thinks you just might be wasting your time trying to run like someone you are not and tells us what to do instead.

 

Iain shares his expertise with Coach Claire on topics that include if running mechanics can be improved, footstrikes, how to build strength outside of running, how different types of footwear affect performance, how to know which shoes to choose, and how we can run faster.

Iain, a biomechanics professor at Brigham Young University, is also part of a research team that helped determine just how much the controversial Nike VaporFly 4%s really helps you run faster. He shares the results of the study and the actual range of performance improvement attributable to the shoes (Hint: It's not always 4%).  His test subject for the study was none other than Jared Ward, the American Olympic Marathoner headed to London on October 4.

Iain has a mathematics education degree with a coaching minor from BYU, followed by a  Master of Education in coaching. During this time, his interest in biomechanics grew, which led him to pursue a PhD in Health and Human Performance at Oregon State University. Iain teaches Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise and conducts research related to the biomechanics of distance running related to performance and injury. He also works with USA Track and Field,  applying his research to elite distance runners. He has been a member of the American Society of Biomechanics since 2003.

Iain’s honors and awards include the USA Track and Field: USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science and the College of Health and Human Performance: College Teaching Excellence. For a list of his many publications and presentations, please refer to his bio at https://lifesciences.byu.edu/directory/iain-hunter

 

Questions Iain is asked:

        

4:32 You research and teach about sports biomechanics at Brigham Young University.  Can you first define what exactly that means and how you became interested in it?

 

5:45 Would you say that athletes that understand their particular biomechanics well will be able to perform their best?

 

6:23 Let's talk about running mechanics.  There seems to be no such thing as "perfect form" because top level athletes seem to run very differently and still succeed.  But can you improve on your running mechanics to run more efficiently and therefore perform better?  How?

 

7:44 Let’s talk about footstrike. Everybody asks, “Is there a proper way to hit the ground?” and “Heel striking is bad”, and “Forefoot striking is good.” Can you talk a little bit about that?

 

9:49 Runners come in all shapes and sizes. Taller runners are going to have a different cadence than shorter runners. Is that correct?

 

10:25 What about an athlete that continues to be injured and you look at something about their form. How do you make changes in a form because they really are getting injured from their preferred way of running?

 

12:55 I would think that if runners practice through their injury, changing their footstrike, that they would eventually learn to prefer that footstrike, but you don’t see that happening?

 

14:01 You kind of get used to running a certain way that’s right for your own body, and that’s hard to fix, right? So should we as coaches even both trying to change people’s form?

 

15:09 The most common reasons we think about changing our form is first of all, injury prevention, and second of all, speed and efficiency. We want to become faster runners over longer distances. So you say that it’s just more about practicing running that’ll become a better runner rather than changing our form?

 

16:11 What about outside of running? Surely you recommend strength training, and physical therapy, and all of that sort of thing. What sort of things should we runners be doing outside of the run?

 

18:30 Any tips for the knees?

 

20:04 Along with Olympian Jared Ward, you and a team of researchers set out to determine how much Nike's VaporFly 4% improved performance.  How was this study done and what were the results?

 

22:10 What were the differences in the people who were at each end of the Nike VaporFly performance bell curve?

 

23:20 The results from your study have obviously been used to help other companies compete with Nike. Is that correct?

 

25:53 It’s more than just the carbon fiber plate; it’s the foam that does the work or a combination that  makes this shoe effective?

 

27:03 I know that the foam, they have made some rules on the stack height of the shoe. Can you talk about what that is all about? Why would a higher shoe increase performance?

 

28:12 You mentioned that you saw that there was better recovery when wearing those shoes. Were you able to test that, like how a racer feels after the marathon?

 

28:49 Is the difference in muscle damage related to this new style of racing shoe simply because the foam absorbs some of the shock, or any reason why?

 

29:35 You’ve done a lot of research on shoes from barefoot shoes, minimalist shoes, spikes, all of that.  Can you explain how our choice of footwear affects our performance overall?

 

32:14 Because different types of shoes serve different purposes, you should have a quiver of shoes in your closet?

 

32:47 How often should you change your shoes? When do you know when to toss them away or donate them? Any advice on that?

 

33:53 What are you researching now and what questions are you looking to get answered in the future?

 

36:18 Most people know if they are good uphill runners and downhill runners, right?

 

36:45 Do we have different mechanics on uphill and downhill, most people?

 

39:47 Any predictions for the London marathon coming up October 4th?



Questions I ask everyone:

 

37:26  1.  If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give?

 

39:07 2.  What is the greatest gift running has given you?

 

41:50 3. Where can listeners connect with you?

 

 

Quotes by Iain:

 

“I’d say trust the body first, but then take into account your own thoughts and coach’s thoughts to help guide some potential changes in your biomechanics.”

 

“With just about any human activity you can think of, the body realizes, ‘Here’s a way that I can do this with less energy cost to me,’ and running is included there, where if you just let it happen, that’s the technique that will use the least energy.”

 

“I like to say, ‘Well, why are you going on this run?’ And if they have a good answer for that, then I can suggest, ‘Here’s the appropriate shoe for that purpose.’”

 

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

 

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

Biomechanics.byu.edu

PodiumRunner article on Jared Ward and Iain Hunter helping Saucony develop faster racing shoes

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net



Follow Iain on:

 

Instagram

Twitter

 

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

 

Sep 23, 2020

Imagine doing everything right with your health and fitness, being in peak shape, and enjoying a super successful career announcing at the start and finish lines of some of the top marathons and races in the country, and then being slammed with a cancer diagnosis. What do you do?

If you’re Fitz Koehler, you become even more of an inspiration. In 2019, Fitz found a cancerous lump in her breast just seven weeks after a clear mammogram. True to form, she immediately began treatment,  including chemo, to wage an all-out war against the cancer. The treatment was exhausting and debilitating. Did she take time off? No! She got on the phone to the race directors, informed them of her diagnosis, and then told them she would still be showing up for the races. And she did. 

Fitz announced at all of her scheduled races, even when literally losing her hair while doing so. She continued to fly around the country, sometimes spending entire nights on bathroom floors, but she still showed up at the races where she both gave and got energy from the athletes. 

Fitz is now cancer-free and shares her story and amazing outlook on life and running in this motivating episode with Coach Claire. 

Fitz Koehler, M.S.E.S.S. is one of the most prominent and compelling fitness experts and race announcers in America. As the voice of the Los Angeles Marathon, Philadelphia Marathon, Big Sur Marathon, DC Wonder Woman Run Series, and more, she brings big structure, energy, and joy to sport. She’s also passionate about guiding others to live better and longer through her company, Fitzness®. Fitz has appeared on national media outlets and has worked as a speaker and spokesperson for corporations like Disney® and Office Depot®. She has also inspired millions of kids to get active through her successful school running/walking program, The Morning Mile®. Fitz enjoys water sports, strength training, animals, hugs, sarcasm, and travel. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two kids.

 

Questions Fitz is asked:

        

4:53 Besides being a fitness professional, one of the things that you are most well-known for is race announcing.  Can you tell us how you started and what exactly is involved?

 

7:48 You had a really full race schedule and were doing great. You’re absolutely uber-fit, and then all of a sudden, after doing everything right, you were hit with a cancer diagnosis. Can  you talk about what your life was like just before your diagnosis? Did you feel invincible?

 

8:43 You had just had a clear mammogram a couple months earlier before your cancer diagnosis.

 

10:04 Can you tell us how the cancer diagnosis, that first few weeks, how it affected you and your family?

 

11:21 You’re known for being a positive person who encourages people all the time, and you had to deliver some pretty bad news. How was that?

 

12:49 You had a full race calendar, and after you made that video announcing your diagnosis you had to make some phone calls to the race directors that were expecting you to show up. What was that like? 

 

14:47 As you were announcing the March 2019 LA marathon, your hair began to fall out during the race.  Can you talk about that?

 

17:16 Obviously losing your hair has got to be difficult for anyone, but you chose specifically not to wear a wig and embrace your baldness. Can you talk about that?

 

18:54 How many races did you end up announcing during your treatment?  And how difficult was it?

 

20:55 How did you have the confidence to call races? Anybody would have understood if you said, “Look, I’m just too sick. I’m going to take a pass.” How did you know that it was going to be okay?

 

21:33 Clearly your own exercise routine was thrown way out of whack by cancer.  How did your exercise change and how did you build back up?

 

24:46 Why don't you like pink ribbons?

 

26:23 Coming full circle, you were back announcing the 2020 LA Marathon.  Can you explain what that was like?

 

27:52 Now that you are cured of cancer, your life has no doubt been completely changed with the cancellation of races due to the virus.  How have you used this time instead?

 

29:50 Tell us what the title of your book is and when it comes out.

 

31:45 What’s your advice on what to say to somebody who announces a diagnosis like yours?

 

33:28 What’s your next race on the calendar?

 

Questions I ask everyone:

 

33:52 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give?

 

34:46 What is the greatest gift running has given you?

 

35:11  Where can listeners connect with you?

 

Quotes by Fitz:

 

“First of all, I whip them into a frenzy and then I yell, ‘Go!’ because we do not do boring races. And then I’m there at the finish line to welcome them home, and my intention is to make every single finisher feel like they won the damn thing, and if somebody goes home feeling disappointed, then I haven’t done my job.”

 

“Part of my platform as a fitness expert has always been annual exams, self-exams, and personally I felt like, ‘Gee whiz, if I ever have one cancer cell in my body, I want to know about it instantly so I could slaughter it.’ I just felt no mercy on cancer.”

 

“Stubborn is my greatest asset, my greatest curse. There was nothing going to hold me back, and when I make a decision, God help the person or thing that gets in the way.”

 

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

Fitzness.com

My Noisy Cancer Comeback - pre-order signed copy

My Noisy Cancer Comeback will be released in October on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible, etc.

MorningMile.com

Fitzness@aol.com

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

 

Book:  My Noisy Cancer Comeback,  available on presale at Fitzness.com

Finding a cancerous lump in her breast seven weeks after a clean mammogram was terrifying. But fitness expert and race announcer Fitz Koehler refused to play the victim or allow cancer to steal her extraordinary career or time with family. In My Noisy Cancer Comeback, Fitz reveals the juicy and gory details of her 16-month battle, all while zigzagging across the United States. Enduring chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries in the public eye wasn’t easy. You’ll laugh, cry, wince, and cheer as she chronicles the clash of an avalanche of side effects with 22 major race weekends. Her inspirational tale encompasses the terror of diagnosis, bald heads and black dresses, spectacular stages, parenting with cancer, perspective, and, most importantly, triumph. You’ll walk away grittier, more optimistic, and inspired to conquer any obstacle.

 

Follow Fitz on:

 

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

 

Sep 23, 2020

Imagine doing everything right with your health and fitness, being in peak shape, and enjoying a super successful career announcing at the start and finish lines of some of the top marathons and races in the country, and then being slammed with a cancer diagnosis. What do you do?

If you’re Fitz Koehler, you become even more of an inspiration. In 2019, Fitz found a cancerous lump in her breast just seven weeks after a clear mammogram. True to form, she immediately began treatment,  including chemo, to wage an all-out war against the cancer. The treatment was exhausting and debilitating. Did she take time off? No! She got on the phone to the race directors, informed them of her diagnosis, and then told them she would still be showing up for the races. And she did. 

Fitz announced at all of her scheduled races, even when literally losing her hair while doing so. She continued to fly around the country, sometimes spending entire nights on bathroom floors, but she still showed up at the races where she both gave and got energy from the athletes. 

Fitz is now cancer-free and shares her story and amazing outlook on life and running in this motivating episode with Coach Claire. 

Fitz Koehler, M.S.E.S.S. is one of the most prominent and compelling fitness experts and race announcers in America. As the voice of the Los Angeles Marathon, Philadelphia Marathon, Big Sur Marathon, DC Wonder Woman Run Series, and more, she brings big structure, energy, and joy to sport. She’s also passionate about guiding others to live better and longer through her company, Fitzness®. Fitz has appeared on national media outlets and has worked as a speaker and spokesperson for corporations like Disney® and Office Depot®. She has also inspired millions of kids to get active through her successful school running/walking program, The Morning Mile®. Fitz enjoys water sports, strength training, animals, hugs, sarcasm, and travel. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two kids.

 

Questions Fitz is asked:

        

4:53 Besides being a fitness professional, one of the things that you are most well-known for is race announcing.  Can you tell us how you started and what exactly is involved?

 

7:48 You had a really full race schedule and were doing great. You’re absolutely uber-fit, and then all of a sudden, after doing everything right, you were hit with a cancer diagnosis. Can  you talk about what your life was like just before your diagnosis? Did you feel invincible?

 

8:43 You had just had a clear mammogram a couple months earlier before your cancer diagnosis.

 

10:04 Can you tell us how the cancer diagnosis, that first few weeks, how it affected you and your family?

 

11:21 You’re known for being a positive person who encourages people all the time, and you had to deliver some pretty bad news. How was that?

 

12:49 You had a full race calendar, and after you made that video announcing your diagnosis you had to make some phone calls to the race directors that were expecting you to show up. What was that like? 

 

14:47 As you were announcing the March 2019 LA marathon, your hair began to fall out during the race.  Can you talk about that?

 

17:16 Obviously losing your hair has got to be difficult for anyone, but you chose specifically not to wear a wig and embrace your baldness. Can you talk about that?

 

18:54 How many races did you end up announcing during your treatment?  And how difficult was it?

 

20:55 How did you have the confidence to call races? Anybody would have understood if you said, “Look, I’m just too sick. I’m going to take a pass.” How did you know that it was going to be okay?

 

21:33 Clearly your own exercise routine was thrown way out of whack by cancer.  How did your exercise change and how did you build back up?

 

24:46 Why don't you like pink ribbons?

 

26:23 Coming full circle, you were back announcing the 2020 LA Marathon.  Can you explain what that was like?

 

27:52 Now that you are cured of cancer, your life has no doubt been completely changed with the cancellation of races due to the virus.  How have you used this time instead?

 

29:50 Tell us what the title of your book is and when it comes out.

 

31:45 What’s your advice on what to say to somebody who announces a diagnosis like yours?

 

33:28 What’s your next race on the calendar?

 

Questions I ask everyone:

 

33:52 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give?

 

34:46 What is the greatest gift running has given you?

 

35:11  Where can listeners connect with you?

 

Quotes by Fitz:

 

“First of all, I whip them into a frenzy and then I yell, ‘Go!’ because we do not do boring races. And then I’m there at the finish line to welcome them home, and my intention is to make every single finisher feel like they won the damn thing, and if somebody goes home feeling disappointed, then I haven’t done my job.”

 

“Part of my platform as a fitness expert has always been annual exams, self-exams, and personally I felt like, ‘Gee whiz, if I ever have one cancer cell in my body, I want to know about it instantly so I could slaughter it.’ I just felt no mercy on cancer.”

 

“Stubborn is my greatest asset, my greatest curse. There was nothing going to hold me back, and when I make a decision, God help the person or thing that gets in the way.”

 

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

Fitzness.com

My Noisy Cancer Comeback - pre-order signed copy

My Noisy Cancer Comeback will be released in October on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible, etc.

MorningMile.com

Fitzness@aol.com

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

 

Book:  My Noisy Cancer Comeback,  available on presale at Fitzness.com

Finding a cancerous lump in her breast seven weeks after a clean mammogram was terrifying. But fitness expert and race announcer Fitz Koehler refused to play the victim or allow cancer to steal her extraordinary career or time with family. In My Noisy Cancer Comeback, Fitz reveals the juicy and gory details of her 16-month battle, all while zigzagging across the United States. Enduring chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries in the public eye wasn’t easy. You’ll laugh, cry, wince, and cheer as she chronicles the clash of an avalanche of side effects with 22 major race weekends. Her inspirational tale encompasses the terror of diagnosis, bald heads and black dresses, spectacular stages, parenting with cancer, perspective, and, most importantly, triumph. You’ll walk away grittier, more optimistic, and inspired to conquer any obstacle.

 

Follow Fitz on:

 

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

 

Sep 16, 2020

It is the end of an elite era.  The beautiful training center in Blowing Rock, NC that has been home to some of the best endurance athletes in the country is for sale.  What does that mean for the elite athletes that live and work there?  And what about the adult and teen running camps that ZAP has hosted for the past 18 years?

 

Coach Claire talked to head coach and owner, Pete Rea to find out.

 

Pete Rea, the Elite Athlete coach at ZAP Endurance Team USA, has an impressive resume. He has led 51 athletes to Olympic Trials since the facility’s opening in 2002, and also coached the following:

  • 42 Senior US teams 
  • 9 ZAP athletes to spots on Senior World Championship Teams including 6 to the US World XC team
  • 4 USATF Club XC Team Championships (‘06,’07,’09,’14) 
  • 1 US marathon champion (Tyler Pennel) 
  • 1 Olympian (Pardon Nghlovu - Zimbabwe 2016 Rio Games Marathon)

 

Pete together with his wife, two-time Olympic trials qualifier Zika Rea, are coaches at the facility, host adult running camps during the summer and retreats all year. The facility has a state-of-the-art weight room, a bio-lab for physiological testing, and a 24-bed lodge. RunnersConnect has held fall running retreats at ZAP for years and it's always been a highlight of the season.

Big changes are coming to ZAP, however, and Coach Claire talks to Pete to discover what’s in store for the team and their beautiful 45-acre center. They also talk about the evolution of running since the ‘90s, what Pete sees as the future of running, and what’s next for him and the athletes he coaches. 

Prior to ZAP, Pete served as a private coach to athletes of all ages and abilities in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also the distance events coach at The Walton School in Georgia. Pete was a distance running standout both as a prep athlete in Connecticut, at the University of Connecticut, and as a post-collegiate runner in the early 1990s. Pete has been a freelance writer for over 20 years for publications such as Running Times, Running Journal, and more than a dozen fitness publications around the US. 

Questions Pete is asked:

        

2:59 You've been the head coach at ZAP Endurance, formally ZAP Fitness, since the beginning in 2002.  A lot has changed in the world and in the world of running since then.  Can you talk about what those early years were like in the sport and at ZAP and how it’s changed?

 

5:59 How has the environment at ZAP changed now versus in 2002?

 

6:57 You mentioned that the ZAP facility is for sale. That’s a big part of why I wanted to have you on this show. Can you talk a little bit about that, what’s going on and what the future’s going to be like?

 

8:24 How does not having a training facility in the future, how does that change the group training model? Because they won’t be getting up together. They won’t be probably having their meals together as much anymore. 

 

9:16 You mentioned that ZAP does group camps and group retreats, and that’s actually where we first met. RunnersConnect always has a training camp at ZAP. So what is that going to look like in the future?

 

10:33 What has the year 2020 been like for the athletes that you coach at ZAP?

 

11:59 What about the athletes that you have that have been injured? Have they been really using this time to heal and take care of themselves and scale back? At least maybe that is a silver lining for some of the people?

 

12:35 You have led 51 athletes to the Olympic Trials with ZAP.  What does it take for an athlete to reach that level?

 

14:52 How would you describe your coaching style?

 

16:42 Time on feet matters, but you can’t go hard all the time, right?

 

17:17 Would you advise a recreational runner who’s looking to move up to the marathon to do a lot of running at a controlled pace?

 

17:46 How much slower than marathon pace would you say is a good recovery or easy run pace?

 

22:49 What advice would you give the people listening about training without a goal race? How do you stay motivated? How do you add a little spice to it? How do you keep that carrot in front of you when there’s no race?

 

24:39 Two of your athletes, Joe Stilin and Joanna Thompson, have recently moved to New York City, but they are still affiliated with ZAP.  How will you work with them from a distance?

 

26:01 In 2019, the Swiss running company On became the official sponsor of ZAP.  Can you talk about the change from Reebok to On?

 

27:19 What’s On’s answer to the Nike shoes? They’ve got some carbon fiber plates?

 

28:11 Any predictions for the London Marathon coming up?

 

29:13 What's next for your athletes?  What are they training for?

 

Quotes by Pete:

 

“Athletes now are fully aware of the types of training others are doing both domestically and around the world, and that’s helped athletes who at one point probably thought they were training hard and then realized they weren’t.”

 

“We’ve got a couple athletes right now who are struggling with injury. The party line is, ‘Well, if you were going to be hurt, if there’s such a thing as a good time, it’s now.’”

 

“What he averaged over the long term was clearly one of his greatest strengths, not what he did over any given three weeks or even a month or six months.”



Take a Listen on Your Next Run

 

Leave a space for libsyn link

 

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

 

ZAP Endurance

Elite Minds by Stan Beecham

On Running

Hansons Running

SweatyBetty.com/RTTT for 20% off through Nov. 1

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

 

Follow Pete on:

 

ZAP Facebook

ZAP Instagram

ZAP Strava



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

 

Sep 9, 2020

Jared Ward is getting ready to race. He is one of the few elite athletes that will enter the elite bubble to race the London Marathon on October 4th. 

 

Jared is an American marathoner who placed third in the 2016 US Olympic Trials and finished in sixth place at the Rio Olympics later that year. In 2019, he ran a personal best in Boston, finishing in 2:09, and then in Houston, at the half marathon in January of 2020, he was the first American man to cross the line in a PR of 1:01:36. 

 

With a condensed training build, Jared is now in full marathon mode and he talks to Coach Claire about how his training is going and what the 20-loop course in front of Buckingham Palace might be like for him. They also discuss pandemic-related changes to his and his family’s life and how Jared stays inspired.

 

Jared lives in Provo, Utah, and when he’s not training for marathons for Saucony or chasing around his four little kids, he is a professor of statistics at Brigham Young University. He famously wrote his master’s thesis on the best way to pace a marathon, and he was on a research team that set out to analyze the performance advantages of rival shoe company Nike’s Vaporfly 4%. That research helped Saucony create the Endorphin Pro which Jared wore in Boston last year for his PR performance. 

 

If you want to race against Olympic Athlete Jared Ward, sign up for the Chaski Challenge marathon relay this Saturday, September 12th. It’s a fun run for a good cause. 

 

Questions Jared is asked:

        

3:36 First of all, what a crazy year 2020 has been!  Can you take us back to the beginning of the year, as you trained for the Olympic Trials in January and February, what you were imagining 2020 to look like for you?

 

5:34 What did you do with your training with no races in sight?

 

6:55 I watched an interview after the race with you and you could have easily dropped out of that race when you knew things were going pretty bad, and a lot of elites do that. They save their legs for another day, but you decided that you were going to finish the race, and I’d love to talk about what was going on in your head at that point.

 

12:50 Speaking of family, how are you handling four kids at home, home schooling, training, all of the craziness that we parents are going through right now?

 

14:20 Another interesting fact about you is that you take one day off of running each week because of your faith.  Can you talk about this and how it affects your training?

 

17:05 Let’s talk about London. You have announced that you are going to be one of the few elites running the London Marathon on October 4.  Can you tell us how that came about?  

 

19:55 Let’s talk about the logistics of the London Marathon. It’s just loops around the park, right?

 

20:05 Are they allowing spectators for the London Marathon?

 

20:55 You obviously had to get special permission for travel and all of that. What are the logistics of traveling as an American to Europe right now?

 

21:16 Do you know how big the field for the London Marathon is yet?

 

22:06 Any predictions for the London Marathon, or is it just too crazy to even try to predict?

 

22:51 I would imagine that this type of course (London Marathon) would actually really play to your strengths. You’re a statistician, is that correct? And so you like the mathematical advantage of a 20-loop course?

 

24:14 On Saturday, September 12, you are headlining the men's elite virtual marathon relay called the Chaski Challenge, which is another virtual event put on by Tyler Andrews at Chaski Endurance.  Can you talk about that and what it's all about?  

 

26:38 So the Chaski Challenge is not a treadmill race? You can do this one outside?

 

28:23 What's next after London?

 

30:33 If racing can be done safely, then maybe it should be done, right?



Questions I ask everyone:

 

31:27 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you first started running, what advice would you give yourself?

 

32:31 What is the greatest gift that running has given you?

 

32:56 Where can listeners connect with you?



Quotes by Jared:

 

“I think it’s important for kids to see that even when it’s hard, it doesn’t mean we have to quit. We don’t have to give up.”

 

“I’ve come to appreciate now as a more seasoned marathoner that it’s a lot more about getting in enough training to unlock lifetime fitness than it is about some perfect marathon training block that tees the race up perfectly.”

 

“The Chaski Challenge on September 12th is creating an opportunity in a running world with fewer opportunities now than there were a year ago.”



Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

 

Chaski Challenge

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

 

Follow Jared on:

 

Instagram

Twitter



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

Sep 2, 2020

You Are Probably Hydrating Wrong: Sweat Expert, Andy Blow

 

Are you over-hydrating during your runs? Under-hydrating? How can you even tell and what should you do about it?  Sweat, dehydration, and cramping expert Andy Blow talks sodium, fluids, and performance with Coach Claire in this super informative episode.

 

Andy has a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and was a regular podium finisher in elite short course triathlon racing in his younger days, but he learned about dehydration the hard way. Andy found that he suffered more than most racers in heat and humidity and at longer Ironman distances, frequently visiting the medical tent due to cramps and dehydration despite following common hydration protocols, and he ended with poor race results.

 

Andy sorted out his hydration needs thanks to years of trial and error. Turns out, he’s a very salty sweater. As proof that one size does not fit all when it comes to hydration, Andy loses nearly twice as much sodium per liter of sweat than does his head of operations, Jonny. 

 

Motivated by his struggles, Andy specialized in electrolyte replenishment and founded Precision Hydration with the help of respected heart surgeon, Dr. Raj Jutley, who introduced Andy to sweat testing and the huge variances in sweat and sodium losses among athletes. 

Precision Hydration produces hydration products, and offers unique sweat and sodium testing, as well as education on creating the right hydration plan to fit your individual needs. They have created personalized hydration plans for top level athletes and teams such as the English Premier League, International Rugby Union, the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Formula 1 Motor racing, MotoGP, and IndyCar, as well as elite individuals from the worlds of cycling, running, triathlon, and firefighters and service personnel who are exposed to high levels of heat stress and sweating, helping them maintain performance in even the harshest  of environments.

As Precision Hydration progressed, they got exclusive access to patented sweat testing technology that requires no physical effort from the athlete. The technology has a long, credible history as a diagnostic test for Cystic Fibrosis and the test is simple, painless, and extremely accurate. They also developed their own range of effervescent electrolytes early on because existing products were simply not strong enough to meet most serious athletes' needs.

The company working with We were now, built up such a wealth of data on how athletes sweat that they were able to build an algorithm-based questionnaire to deliver personalized hydration advice for athletes who couldn't make it to one of their test centers. Precision Hydration’s mission is to give every athlete access to a personalized hydration strategy so that they have the best chance of achieving their goals.

Disclosure: Precision Hydration is not a sponsor of our show and this interview is not an infomercial for their products.  This is all about having an expert in the field help us understand our unique hydration needs.  

 

Questions Andy is asked:

        

4:31 You are a former elite triathlete that learned about hydration the hard way.  I would love to hear some of your horror stories about how failing to hydrate properly affected your performances.

 

5:38 What were you doing wrong specifically with your hydration?

 

6:33 Can you give us a quick history lesson on the advice that athletes have been given about hydration?

 

8:33 Do you think it’s true that being a little dehydrated is a lot better than being over hydrated?

 

9:39 How do you know that you are well hydrated and how do you get hydrated before you hit the starting line?

 

12:29 I was looking at the back of a thing of salt that I have and salt has about 600mg per quarter teaspoon of sodium in it, so can I just take my bottle of water and throw a little sodium in it and call it good?

 

13:55 Can you just tell us what we should drink?

 

17:17 How do we measure our own sweat rate and  how do we measure our sodium losses?

 

22:01 Let’s talk about cramps because I have a pretty high level Masters Athlete that I coach and he is very, very fast. He’s a 2:27 marathoner, he’s almost 50 years old, and he often suffers in cramps, and for the most part, it’s at the end of the marathon, and he just powers through it. And we have not been able to figure it out. We think that it’s a muscle issue, but he is a strong hard worker, and so it’s really hard to figure out. Can you help explain the cramping issue?

 

27:36 Drink to thirst or drink to plan?

 

30:07 There’s a pretty common myth that if you’re 2% dehydrated, that’s too much. Can you talk about that?

 

31:58 How does somebody come up with a hydration plan? Do we just go out and run and see when we fall off the cliff? What do you suggest? Obviously trial and error, but let’s say I’m brand new to this whole thing. What advice would you give me?

 

34:35 Just like glycogen, we’re not trying to replace everything we lost during the actual event. Is that correct?

 

36:20 After the race, what do we drink?





Questions I ask everyone:

 

37:33 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you first started running, what advice would you give yourself?

 

38:06 What is the greatest gift that running has given you?

 

38:15 Where can listeners connect with you?



Quotes by Andy:

 

“I’ve had some very, very depressing long walks along highways by the side of the road at the end of an Ironman triathlon feeling like absolute garbage because of the problems I had with hydration.”

 

“Anyone who’s operating in a warm-to-hot environment who’s going for more than 90 minutes to two hours or doing lots of hard sessions on back-to-back days in that warm environment, they’re the people who benefit from really understanding their individual hydration needs a lot closer, and that requires a bit of investigation.”

 

“I quite often think that cramps that happen late on in endurance activities have a component that’s related to electrolyte imbalance.”

 

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

 

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

 

Precision Hydration

hello@precisionhydration.com

How To Measure Your Sweat Rate

Cramps

How To Start an Event Well Hydrated

How Much Dehydration Can You Tolerate?

How To Tell if You May be a Salty Sweater

Discount code for precisionhydration.com for 15% off your first order: RUNTOTHETOP

Free: Book a 1:1 video chat with a Precision Hydration team member to answer your hydration-related questions!

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

 

Follow Andy on:

 

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

Aug 28, 2020

In this week's episode, Coach Michael talks about the changes on our podcast shows, Coach Dylan's strength training sessions, the new live coach chats on YouTube and our upcoming RC mobile app. Tune in now!

Aug 27, 2020

In this week's Up-Tempo Talks episode, Coach Ruairi talks about the new 5k world record at Monaco Diamond League, FKT (Fastest Known Time) phenomenon among trail runners, and a showdown on the 1500m Irish National Championships. Listen now!

Aug 26, 2020

Dr. Tom Lawton Ran 22 Miles in a Mask To Prove A Point

Does wearing a mask really impair your oxygen levels as some people claim? Recent internet sensation Dr. Tom Lawton went to extremes to find out. After a prolonged period of not running, he ran 22 miles in a homemade triple-layer mask, testing his oxygen levels along the way. His goal was twofold: to prove it’s safe to wear a mask while walking about and to raise money for charity. 

 

In this episode, Coach Claire delves into the details of Tom’s mask experiment, finds out if he thinks runners should wear masks, what his experience as a critical care doctor has been like in the UK with the coronavirus, and also what he thought about recent controversial RTTT guest Matthew Hammersmith who has been putting on in-person races during the pandemic. Spoiler alert: Tom is not fully for or against what Matt is doing. Check out his opinion and see if you agree.

 

Tom Lawton is an intensive care doctor with the Bradford Royal Infirmary in Yorkshire, England, a healthcare researcher, and triathlete.  After being fat and wheezy through childhood, he took up rowing at his university, and hated running with a passion. Unable to run more than about a quarter of a mile without knee pain and a loud “slap” accompanying each foot strike, he foolishly ran (well, mostly walked while sobbing in pain) the London Marathon to raise money for charity. He then vowed never to run again.

A decade later and unfit once more, a drunken wedding bet saw Tom enter the first Ironman Wales. He started running under protest and arrived at the race having managed training runs of no longer than 10 miles. Undeterred, he excitedly scarfed down everything he’d picked up from the expo during the bike section. Alas, at least one of those things did not agree with him and he spent most of the run being sick. Nevertheless, he still somehow managed to beat his London Marathon time, which prompted him to pick up triathlon training for real.

Since then, Tom has continued to improve and has finished each of his last six iron-distance races in under 10 hours. However, the pandemic has put a stop to all that and he has been unable to train much since January due to a combination of work and the stress of caring for sick patients. 

Tom desperately wants to get back to training, so he wants everyone to do whatever they can to keep this virus under control, and he has become a keen mask advocate. In order to prove they were safe to wear around the shops, he pushed a bit more oxygen through one by running to the ICU and back, and has spent the last few weeks exposed to the Internet’s underbelly in the aftermath with his aforementioned 22-mile run. 

Questions Tom is asked:

        

5:03 You are a critical care doctor in the UK who has recently gotten quite a bit of attention for running 22 miles wearing a triple layer mask to prove that wearing a mask does not cause a drop in oxygen levels.  Before we get into that story, can you tell me a bit about what life is like with the pandemic where you are?

 

6:56 Can you talk a little bit about what the hospital you were working at was like in April with all the cases coming in?

 

8:20 Was your hospital overwhelmed with COVID patients?

 

8:50 In the United States, a big part of the decision to wear a mask or not seems to be a very political one.  We Americans prize our freedom and individualism and some people just don't like being told what to do, so they don’t want to wear a mask.  Are you seeing that in the UK as well, that kind of attitude?

 

10:54 Let's have you tell the story of the run that got shared around the world.  How did you set it up and what’s the story?  

 

14:47 Tell me about the mask you were wearing on your run?

 

15:49 How did you measure your oxygen levels on the run?

 

17:02 What kind of feedback are you getting from people? Are people saying that, “Well, you’re an athlete. Of course your oxygen levels are going to be great,” or “I have asthma. This isn’t going to work for me.” Did people say that you’re some kind of exception? Have you gotten any feedback like that?

 

18:49 You ran to work in a mask, and then presumably you wore a mask all day at work, and then you turned around and wore a mask and ran home. Is that right?

 

19:43 What you said before is you ran in a mask just to show that you could do it, but I’m gathering that you wouldn’t recommend it and it probably wasn’t great for performance. Is that correct?

 

22:05 I certainly know a lot of athletes who do live in big cities and run on crowded paths and they wear the neck gaiter or the buff because it’s easy to pull up and down. And you mentioned that Duke University study that came out, and it said that the buffs are actually worse than no mask at all because they break up the droplets and make them easier to spread. I’d love to get your thoughts on that.

 

25:01 A lot of people say, “Well, hey, if I’m healthy enough to go running or I’m healthy enough to go run a race, then I probably don’t have corona.” What do you say to people who say that?

 

26:06 We recently had a race director on this show and he was putting on smaller races, 200-to-300 people at the events, and with very minimal pre-race, post-race contact, but still, in a race, and there’s pictures of these races that you’re not six feet apart, you’re passing people, there’s crowds at the starts, so what do you say about holding races during the pandemic?

 

28:17 Part of the race director’s argument was there’s a mental health risk of not going out and seeing other people, and that’s hard to deny as well. People are kind of going a little stir crazy, but also some serious mental issues are happening because we are all stuck inside. Are you seeing that as well?

 

30:03 And on a personal note, how is your training going?  



Questions I ask everyone:

 

31:37 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you first started running, what advice would you give yourself?

 

32:10 What is the greatest gift that running has given you?

 

32;59 Where can listeners connect with you?



Quotes by Tom:

 

“There have been a lot of people, especially with this mask-run context, they need to complain and say they don’t want to wear masks, and various forms of abuse. And a lot of them are American, but I’ve had Canadian abuse, I’ve had French abuse, I’ve had UK abuse, so it’s not just an American thing.”

 

“The purpose of doing this wasn’t to show that you should run in masks. It was to show that you could walk around the shops quietly in one, and the running was just to make it kind of more extreme and make it really obvious that if anything was going to make my oxygen levels drop, then running for 22 miles should have made it happen, and it didn’t.”

 

“This disease is about people thinking of others. Most of us involved in running are relatively young, we’re fit, we’re healthy. We are not going to die from coronavirus even if we catch it, but we could spread it to friends, to family, to people we don’t know who are more at risk, and those are the people we’ve got to really think about.”



Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

USA Today Article

abc News Article

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

 

Follow Tom on:

 

Twitter



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

Aug 25, 2020

Why you need to do cool down exercises after a workout? How to properly cool down after running or racing? Coach Hayley explains in today's episode.

Aug 24, 2020

How to stay speedy and healthy when running in your 50s, 60s, and 70s? Can older runners do speed work without ending up injured? Coach Claire shares tips to help master runners increase speed and avoid injury in today's podcast.

Aug 21, 2020

In this week's episode, Coach Michael talks about the feedback we received on our daily podcasts and asks your suggestions about our plan of making a slight change with the podcast format.

Aug 20, 2020

Why do a lot of runners wear racing flats during workouts? Why some runners follow a 7 day training cycle vs a 10 day training cycle? Why do runners incorporate squats and deadlifts in their training - What are its benefits? Find out in today's podcast from Coaches Ruairi and Dylan.

Aug 19, 2020

Are You Tough Enough to Race the World’s Harshest Deserts? Samantha Fanshawe

 

Imagine running 250km (about 155) miles in 6 stages across the most inhospitable deserts in the world while carrying everything you need for the entire race on your back.  Whether you think that sounds incredible or miserable, you’ll probably agree the idea is fascinating.

Samantha Fanshawe, president of the 4 Deserts Race Series at RacingThePlanet, manages ultra stage races all over the world in some of the harshest conditions from the Atacama Desert in Chile to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia to the Namib Desert in Africa to the coldest desert in the world, Antarctica.

Sam tells Coach Claire what it’s like to race these events, what you need to do to train and prepare, and who should (and should not) sign up for an event like this. It’s a fascinating dive into the world of some of the toughest races on the planet, and you can enjoy it from the comfort of home!  

Sam has always been a citizen of the planet. She is a Brit, born in Peru and schooled in Pakistan for a few of her early years. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a joint honors degree in Maths and Biology, then went off to explore parts of the world such as Sydney, Australia, before returning to the United Kingdom to work in business development of corporate clients in the recruitment industry. After a couple of years, her company transferred her to Singapore, followed by stints in Penang, Malaysia and Hong Kong. 

Sam has mastered the art of dragon boat racing, competing in the Dragon Boat World Championships. She also plays squash, hikes, rides horses, and mountain bikes. She fell in love with running while living in Asia, starting with half marathons before running the Singapore Marathon, sprint triathlons, adventure races, and ultimately ultramarathons including the Hong Kong Oxfam Trailwalker, the Gobi March, Vibram HK 100, and Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset. 

In 2005, Sam volunteered at the hottest race on record, the Gobi March, a seven-day, 250km footrace. She fell in love with the spirit of RacingThePlanet and became a staff member, and has since worked over 20 RacingThePlanet/4 Desert events.

 

Questions Samantha is asked:

        

5:18 You have a very interesting background, living all over the world. How did you first get involved with RacingThePlanet?

 

6:23 Can you describe what these events are like? I’d love to hear what they are and what kind of people sign up for them?

 

9:12 How many people actually really run every single day and how many people do more of a walk/hiking?

 

9:46 The participants pretty much have to bring everything as far as food. They don’t have to bring a tent I understand, but pretty much everything else?

 

11:02 How has the pandemic affected RacingThePlanet?

 

12:47 Let’s talk about training for the race. Let’s fast forward to 2021 when everything is perfectly healthy. How would you recommend training for something like this? Is it similar to marathon training?

 

14:05 Training for the race with a backpack is super important, right?

 

15:01 I imagine you have a lot of repeat athletes who do this over and over again, but I would love to hear about the first timers. What challenges do the first-time racers tend to face?

 

16:44 What kind of food do people eat on something like this? I imagine it would be different if you’re running or walking because you can chew a lot better when you are walking, but what kind of foods are most people bringing in their backpack every day?

 

19:23 You’ve got all of your food for all six stages in your backpack the whole time. Is that what you’re saying? No one takes it for you to the next stage.

 

19:43 I imagine not everybody makes it to the finish line. What are the reasons that you see that most people have to stop the race?

 

21:52 What kind of people should NOT sign up for a race like this?

 

23:03 I bet you have a whole collection of amazing stories from races as epic as this. Can you share a few of the more memorable stories of things that have happened in some of these races?

 

25:19 I noticed that registration for Antarctica is by invite only.  Can you explain?

 

26:57 I imagine you’re not dealing with heat in Antarctica, but there’s probably some other challenges like dealing with the cold and maybe frostbite. What are the other challenges in Antarctica?

 

27:56 How many times have you gone to Antarctica now?

 

28:29 What is the future for RacingThePlanet? Is there anything new in the works?



Questions I ask everyone:

 

30:09 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you first started running, what advice would you give yourself?

 

31:11 What is the greatest gift that running has given you?

 

32:35 Where can listeners connect with you?



Quotes by Samantha:

 

“The whole ethos of the race was not only to take people to amazing places and to achieve things that maybe they didn’t think was possible like covering 250km on foot across a desert, but also to make people realize that you can survive for seven days in a desert without the internet, without your phone, without a comfortable bed, without a shower, and just with everything you can carry on your back.”

 

“Our goal is to encourage people to finish, but within the cutoff times and safely and when they’re in the right position to do so.”

 

“When you think you’re done, you think what you’re going through is nothing compared to what some other people are going through, not just in the race, but in life as well.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

RacingThePlanet

info@racingtheplanet.com

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

 

Follow Samantha on:

 

Facebook - RacingThePlanet

Instagram - RacingThePlanet

LinkedIn - RacingThePlanet

Twitter - RacingThePlanet

YouTube - RacingThePlanet



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

 

Aug 18, 2020

In today's episode, Coach Hayley talks about electrolyte drinks and guidelines for electrolyte replacement. Listen now to find out when do you need electrolytes and when plain water is fine.

Aug 17, 2020

Should you accumulate a lot of mileage at an easy pace in training? Or should you try to reach race-specific speeds frequently? Is it necessary to do all of your runs faster if you want to get faster? In today's episode, Coach Claire look at one study that addresses this topic of training intensity problem.

Aug 14, 2020

In today's episode, Coach Michael talks about his experience as a high school runner and college athlete, and why is it worth to consider college sports from an athlete's perspective. 

Aug 13, 2020

Coach Dylan and Coach Ruairi welcome you back to another episode on running headlines where we cover the latest events and actions that happened in the running world during the past week or so. Listen now!

Aug 12, 2020

Battling Depression with Running Shoes and a Dog: Nita Sweeney

A major depressive episode turned Nita Sweeney from the law to writing. She is now an award-winning author who shares what she’s learned in her autobiographical Amazon best seller Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink. 

 

Running, and more specifically, running with her dog helped change Nina’s life and her mental health, and she talks with Coach Claire about how running can be an effective tool for managing mental health issues, the challenges and limitations of running, the importance of community, even a virtual one, for keeping your spirits and your training up, and for all you new pandemic puppy owners, she shares tips on how to run with your new friend. 

Nita has been plying her writing trade for over 25 years, and her work has been featured in health.com, healthline.com, livestrong.com, Fupping.com, PsychCentral.com, bpHope.com, Bustle.com, NextAvenue.com, UpJourney.com, Medium.com, Pawstruck.com, Thrive Global, WGRN, Sweatpants & Coffee, Authority Magazine, Intergenerational Inspiration, 2014 and Beyond, and Pretty Progressive, and in bp Magazine and Epoch Times, on the Word Carver, Running Dad, My Brain on Endorphins, and Diz Runs podcasts, and was nominated for the Ohio Arts Council Governor's Award.

Her articles, essays, and poems have appeared in Buddhist America, Dog World, Dog Fancy, Writer's Journal, Country Living, Pitkin Review, Spring Street, The Taos News, WNBA-SF blog, Pencil Storm, The Writing Cooperative, It's Not Your Journey, Wide Open Writing, and other newspapers and newsletters. She writes the blog, Bum Glue and publishes the monthly email, Write Now Columbus.

 

Her poem "Memorial" won the Dublin Arts Council's Poet's Choice Award and an early draft of her memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink, (previously titled Twenty-Six Point Freaking Two) was short-listed for the William Faulkner - William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award. The book was awarded a Maxwell Medal in the Human Animal Bond category of the Dog Writers Association of America writing competition. It is a #1 Amazon Bestseller in the "mood disorders," "bipolar disorder," and "running & jogging" categories. The book was selected by Ohioana Library to be included in the 2020 Ohioana Festival.

Nita also coauthored the popular writing journal, You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration and Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving, with Brenda Knight (Women of the Beat Generation.)

Nita earned a journalism degree from The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, a law degree from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves on the board of the Women's National Book Association of San Francisco. For ten years, she studied with and assisted best-selling author Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones) at week-long writing workshops teaching the "rules of writing practice" and leading participants in sitting and walking meditation. Goldberg authorized Nita to teach "writing practice" and Nita has taught for nearly twenty years.

When she's not writing and teaching, Nita runs. She has completed three full marathons, 27 half marathons (in eighteen states), and more than 80 shorter races. Nita lives in central Ohio with her husband and biggest fan, Ed, and her yellow Labrador running partner, Scarlet (aka #ninetyninepercentgooddog).

 

 

Questions Nita is asked:

        

2:41 Let's start with your running journey.  How did you begin to run regularly?

 

5:03 Your running journey is also connected to your mental health journey. Can you talk a little bit about that?

 

7:46 What was it like finding a running community?

 

10:14 How specifically has running helped your mental health?

 

11:49 I think it’s pretty well known that everybody who gets a running habit going, you feel good, at least when you stop running. Sometimes when you actually are running it doesn’t always feel good, but most of the time we feel good after we run, but there is a limit to that. You can only run so many miles in a day. You can’t always rely on exercise for all of your mental health issues. Where do you kind of draw the line and say, “Yes, running is a tool but I need some extra help?”

 

14:16 Sometimes you need actual therapy beyond running; don’t you agree?

 

15:41 I would also like to talk about you running with your dog, Scarlet. A lot of runners have dogs, and dogs help us get moving and get active, but you decided to write a book about that. Can you talk a little bit about that? 

 

19:03 What other tips do you have for someone who just got their pandemic puppy and want to start running with the dog?

 

20:59 I know a lot of people who run with dogs who will maybe do their warmup with the dog and then circle back home and drop the dog off and then do a longer run. Is that something that you’ve had to do? In marathon training, you can’t take your dog for 20 miles or something like that.

 

23:21 I would imagine if you’re doing any kind of speed work or some kind of session where you need to do that, that must be a challenge with a dog?

 

24:21 Many runners have, like you, found running later in life.  How has your running changed as you age?

 

16:13 With your running and the pandemic, all the races have been canceled for the most part, a lot of us are left without goals. Are you still running and training without that goal and deadline?

 

28:44 I’ve started to see these socially distant races come up, and it just makes me wonder, is everybody going to wear masks when they run, which is obviously hard, and how do you stay six feet apart, what if you want to pass somebody? Have you looked into any of that, like how they’re going to do that?

 

31:49 I would love to hear more about when you are depressed or going through a mental health episode, you know that running makes you feel better, you know that calling a friend makes you feel better, you know that intellectually, but because you’re depressed and not feeling good, you don’t feel like doing those things. So how do you start moving when you don’t want to move? How do you reach out when you don’t want to reach out? Any tips?

 

35:37 Let’s say I’m a brand new runner and I want to find community. Where would  you suggest me going?



Questions I ask everyone:

 

38:09 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you first started running, what advice would you give yourself?

 

38:55 What is the greatest gift that running has given you?

 

39:42 Where can listeners connect with you?



Quotes by Nita:

 

“I had to find something that suited me in a way, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, and running did that.”

 

“I really think that it’s kind of ironic that I ended up writing a book about running. I couldn’t have done that without the focus and endurance that I had from marathon training.”

 

“Having gone through an injury, coming out the other side, realizing that it’s going to be okay, that’s been one of the great things of having done anything, but especially running for a long time, seeing those patterns.”

 

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

NitaSweeney.com

Depression Hates a Moving Target

John Bingham "The Penguin" books

Marathoner in Training

Dash for Donation

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

claire@runnersconnect.net

 

Follow Nita on:

 

nita@nitasweeney.com

Twitter

Facebook



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

The more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, the more I can reach out to and get top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

Aug 11, 2020

In today's podcast, Coach Hayley talks about some training tweaks that master runners can make to optimize their running performance and their health going forward. Tune in now!

Aug 10, 2020

What is running biomechanics? How improving your mechanics can help improve your running performance and reduce susceptibility to injury? Find out in today's podcast from Coach Claire.

Aug 7, 2020

What the running community thinks about participating in 2020 races such as London Marathon? In today's episode, Coach Michael talks about the email responses he received on this topic and the reasons runners gave on why they want to run or not to run a race.

Aug 6, 2020

In this episode, Coach Dylan interviews Coach Ruairi about his latest race experience and then both talk about their race plans during this pandemic. Listen now!

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