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053: What Should I DO?

goal setting running Sep 13, 2018

 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....

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052: Key Workouts for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon training

podcast running training Sep 06, 2018

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.  


  • 3 x 4 x 400 at sub 5k pace with 45-60 seconds between each and 3 minutes between sets or 400 at...
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051: Are You A Real Runner?

mindset podcast running Aug 30, 2018

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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050: Is Your GPS Watch Holding You Back?

podcast running Aug 23, 2018


As technology improves, and the amount of information available on your wrist increases, are GPS watches helping or hurting your running?  As with most things in life, the answer is, of course, both.

We require every athlete on our cross country team to get at least a stopwatch.  Other athletes we train often have gps watches. We both have gps watches. The ease of workouts improves when you strap a watch to your wrist even if the workout is simply run harder for 2 minutes, and then easier for 2 minutes.  If you are looking to improve your performance, you are going to need some concrete numbers that a watch can provide. The extra enhancements like heart rate, pacing, and cadence can also be used to see performance improvement.

When using a watch to train in heart rate zones, the watch provides an honest accountability partner.  It forces easy to stay easy and lets you know when your heart rate has reached its hard zone. The watch may not know that you...

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049: Do You Want or Need a Fresh Start?

mindset motivation podcast Aug 16, 2018


With the start of a new school year, there has been a lot of talk about clean slates and fresh starts.   Today, we talk about that concept and take two different angles: 

1. On one hand, we should look at everyday as a fresh start, a new chance to make choices that lead us closer to the person that we want to become, the goal we want to achieve or the milestone that we want to hit.  Why wait until some random day on the calendar when you can just start today?

2. On the other hand, do we ever actually get a clean start?  Our experiences shape us and our view of the world, so is there such a thing as a fresh start?  Can we just forget about the past and start again?  And if so, do you want to?

We talk about reality vs. perception, and how all events and people in our life can help to teach us things and help us to grow.  Yes, each day is a new day, and we should be conscious about the choices that we make, but changing our perceptions on past...

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048: Schedule for Success - Planning, Setting up a Routine, Easy Ways to Meal Prep and Plan so the whole family is happy

podcast Aug 09, 2018


Show notes by Kevin :)

As summer wraps up, and we gear up for another school year, it is important to make sure that the level of daily, weekly, and monthly organization increases.  Now, to be very honest, I am not the best with organization, but I see it’s incredible value. On the other hand, Angie is the master of organization and planning and keeps all of our lives running smoothly.  

While I will rarely step up and lead the organization process, it is very important that the entire family does contribute to the overall weekly and monthly plans.  Parents must discuss their needs with each other or they risk simply giving everything they have to the rest of the family. Kids must contribute their needs so they can see how everyone is working together to create happiness and success for the entire family.

We have spent time with our kids discussing the difference between wants and needs, and this has transitioned nicely into their contribution to the...

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047: How to Fit Running and Fitness into Your Hectic Life

podcast Aug 02, 2018

How do I possibly fit it all in?  I feel like I am struggling to keep up right now with work and family...where am I going to find space for improved eating not to mention mental and physical personal health?  When trying to combine work and kids and fitness you can quickly feel overwhelmed. How do you make sure that every area is getting its attention?

This episode covers the steps to regularly check in and make sure you are clear on what you want to accomplish to be happy and satisfied and not simply busy but mentally fried.

First, you need to carefully and honestly set your priorities.  This bit of advice comes from basically every self help book you will ever read.  Take time to write out the categories in your life and then order them by importance.  Actually write this down. Decide on the major goals that fit the categories and understand the timeline involved in reaching these goals.  Again, actually write this down. Now check in on the list...

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046: Bringing Out the Best in Athletes and People: Coaching and Personality Styles

podcast running Jul 26, 2018


What good is a running coach?  When Kevin started running, his high school coach was a coaching legend with decades of success.  When Angie began running to be a faster runner, she relied on Kevin.

The coach creates the runner both physically and mentally.  They are like the artist carving the statue out of the rock. The mindset of a strong coach should be as Michealangelo stated: “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”  The coach needs to see the runner and find the best way the bring out the highest potential.

In this episode, we discuss several coaching styles and bring up the benefits and challenges of each.  While there are dozens of ways to categorize coaches from mileage to which coaching legend you follow, we came up with four to cover in this show

The "numbers" coach relies on a calculator to take an athlete from point a to point b.  They have a very solid...

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045: How to Prepare for a Marathon - Mind and Body

running Jul 19, 2018


The marathon is quite the beast of a race.  Many runners set the marathon as a long term goal or the peak of their running achievement.  

Others run a few every year while a rare few set out to run one in every state in the US or aim for global destinations.  Regardless of where you may fall on the spectrum from first race to hundredth, one thing is clear, the marathon is not easy.

 Running a marathon requires substantial physical preparation.  

  • Runners must increase the time they are able to spend on their feet and the length of run they can complete.  
  • They need to be able to learn how to fuel during a run.  
  • Training for a marathon should include practicing different types of fuel to see which option works best with your body.  
  • Runners also need to be able to deal with drinking while running.  
  • The physical preparation slides into the mental challenge as the training requires the ability to handle whatever happens on race...
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044: Training Paces Explained: What is marathon pace? lactate threshold? tempo pace?

running Jul 12, 2018



The internet in filled with training plans designed for all sorts of race distances with the allure of magic paces and workouts to help you reach your peak.  In this episode we break down where these plans come from, what some of the vocabulary means, and hopefully educate you about how different paces can help you.  

First, the plans come from well intentioned exercise physiologists trying to take research on elite athletes and adjust it to mortals.  The issue is when reducing the paces or distances, the benefits might not be the same. Also, given the background of an elite runner versus a more typical runner, even identical workouts will result in different physical adaptations.  

The paces in these plans often fall into one of these categories.

Marathon pace- This is what you can sustain for 2:30 to 3:00 regardless of how far that gets you.  If you finish a marathon around 4:22(10 minute miles) your "marathon pace" in...

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