This episode focuses on striving for greatness. To understand this episode, I think that it would be helpful to know where it came from. We are coming up on the end of the cross country season and trying to put things in perspective for a group of kids with hopes of reaching the state meet. The New York City marathon is also this weekend which gets me thinking about my friend Ryan Shay who passed away during the Olympic Trials in Central Park back in 2007.
There is a natural tendency as humans to compare ourselves to those around us. The Olympics are the physical pinnacle of this comparison, and yet as we cover in the show the motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius” only means faster, higher, stronger. The goal of gathering the world’s greatest athletes is for all of them to raise each other up and test the limits of human capacity.
The ultimate comparison is not with another, but to the voice inside of you. The goal is to...
Perspective changes everything we do and how we do it. We naturally compare ourselves with others or with previous versions of ourselves. We judge workouts and difficult trials before they start. We name things hard or comfortable. We predetermine how stressful an event will be. Shaping the way we interpret every event in our lives, the perspective we bring to all situations is incredibly important.
In this episode, we start discussing our personal comparisons. We cover how social media can lead us to a comparison with someone else’s edited and ideal world. Social media is starting to actually show some reality, but still is filled with the opportunity to create a comparison that is simply impossible to reach.
Another form of comparison is the downward comparison. In this version, we protect ourselves by making sure that we only make comparisons to people we already feel we are better than. While it works as a nice boost...
How can I be a better runner is a regular question for a coach, and we have spent many episodes discussing the mental and physical aspects of training. In this episode, we take a very practical approach and cover some unwritten rules of running, what we call running etiquette.
First, we should point out that all of these answers are open for discussion. These opinions were formed under two very different introductions to running by two very different personalities, but the big takeaway from just about every lesson is to respect those around you.
We start with some situations that arise when running solo, like:
It’s time for a look behind the scenes of the Real Life Runners, and a chance to listen into a coaching call. The conversation this week is between Kevin and Angie about her latest 5k race over the weekend. The results were a bit mixed as it was a personal best, but it also fell short of the goal time.
In this episode, we really look at the relationship of coach and athlete. We cover how communication is key and how the long term development of an athlete should be at the front of a coach’s mind, even if that may have some short term issues.
We discuss pre-race nerves that hit Angie hard. These nerves started about a week out and created some serious stomach issues the night before and morning of the race, not to mention the race itself.
We cover the questions that Angie had after the race including did I put in the right work and enough of it? Was the speed work over emphasized while longer intervals were neglected? Did cross...
This episode dives into the world of the inspirational pep talk. We takes a few tangents along the way, but really try to view the pep talk from the perspective of both the coach and the athlete. We also cover why the speech that gets you pumped up and ready to run through a wall can be a good and bad thing depending on how and when it is applied.
Coaches want to feel like they are helping the athlete as much as possible. It is true that they generally plan the schedule and workouts. They help with mental tactics. They try to manage the emotions of an athlete through rough patches. Eventually the coach may start to see their role as elevated.
We realize that the coach is important. Teaching is important. But in the end, it comes down to the athlete. In all areas, the athlete is in charge. When the schedule says 5 miles, the athlete needs to do the work. When the workout gets hard, the athlete needs to find the mental capacity...
This episode marks the one year anniversary of the podcast, and it has been amazing. When we first started it was a little scary to think we would put this out to the world and people would actually want to listen. Now, as we approach 27000 downloads around the world, we wanted to look back at some major lessons for life and running.
This past weekend we also took a family trip to Disney World. One of the best characteristics of Disney is that it is constantly growing and looking to improve. As they keep building, the walls of the construction area often contain a picture of Walt Disney and one of his inspiration quotes. We thought it would be interesting to look at the lessons of life and running through the lens of our Disney trip.
The first lesson is based on a few quotes. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney was a dreamer and a visionary, but he certainly did not spend...
The half marathon is said to be for those who are only half crazy. Angie and I both tried our first half marathon to see what was possible at that distance, while knowing that we were not ready for a full 26.2. In this episode we dive into the half marathon from several different angles.
The half marathon is a great challenge race for a time strapped runner. The distance requires a long run, but not to the same extent as a full marathon. It also requires you to stay connected to you speed, but without the super fast workouts around a 5k that require extensive rest and tend to last a long time.
A safe number to be fully prepared for a half marathon is around 12 weeks. This number depends on your starting point and your goal for the race....
One of my least favorite questions to be asked is one that I also frequently get as a teacher, coach, and parent.
What do I need to do?
Except it usually sounds more like: Uunnggghhh, what do I do?!?!?
Please don’t get me wrong, I love helping other people. It’s at the core of our lives as a physical therapist, teacher, coaches, and, of course, parents. Helping and serving others is the point of this podcast and the foundation of Real Life Runners.
The issue is “What do I do?” is not actually asking for help. Below are my three issues with the statement and how to better frame the question if you find yourself wanting to scream “What do I need to do?”
First, let’s start with the question as a complaint that you probably already know the answer to. In very frustrating situations such as a running plateau, a healthy eating hiccup, or any challenge with your kids, this question may hit your mind....
How do I get faster? The ultimate question for a coach and competitive runner. While there really is no magic workout or super predictor, there are some best practices.
Different workouts are designed for different physical benefits, and those benefits have varying levels of importance at different race distances. Longer races require the physical ability to hold up over a few hours of running, while 5k races force an athlete to deal with higher levels of pain but for a shorter period of time.
As we have pointed out before, two athletes running the same workouts at the same pace(or intensity level) may not gain identical adaptations. New runners and seasoned runners will adapt differently, and age and gender seem to also play a role. With that in mind, we present some workout ideas for success at major race distances.
Are you a real runner? Do you identify as a runner? What are some of the benefits of finally accepting this identity, and what can be some of the downfalls of identifying this way?
Over years of coaching I have watched many runners take on the identity of runner. Some are quick to accept while others take years to accept and may secretly still think they are not actually a runner. The issue is usually connected to a negative self image and poor comparisons of themselves versus other "real runners". Once someone finally accepts the title of “runner,” the improvements on the metal and physical sides can really take off.
As long as running remains a hobby and not an identity, there is always an excuse for missing a goal. When a runner goes all in, a concept that varies widely in the world of real life runners, they can start working towards improvements. Goals can be set, training can be focused, experiments can be run....
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