301: What Are You Training For? - AUDIO ONLY
[00:00:00] This is the real life runners podcast, episode number 301. What are you training for?
So many runners think that they need a race on the calendar to train. , today, we want to talk about three different reasons that you might be training, and we want to encourage you to adopt reason. Number three for your longterm success and more satisfaction in your running. What are those three reasons? Stay tuned to find out.
And if you liked this podcast, please screenshot it and share it on social media or send it to a friend so you can help others benefit as well.
[00:00:55] Angie: all right. So what are you training for? Good question. I feel like [00:01:00] this is one of those questions that we, as runners get a lot.
[00:01:04] Kevin: Yeah. It, it follows quickly after. How long is your 5K marathon ?
[00:01:08] Angie: No, but like even from other fellow runners, right? Like, especially if you meet a new runner, it's like, oh, what are you training for?
Or are you training for something? Yeah, a hundred percent. Like are you training for something right now? So I think that this is a question. that I've heard a lot as a runner. It's a question that I've asked other people for sure, because it's an easy question to ask, right? Like if you know somebody else is a runner, it's like, oh, are you training for something right now?
It's something that's like a, an icebreaker almost.
[00:01:32] Kevin: Yeah. It's a definite icebreaker, kind of lets you feel like, what kind of a runner they are? Mm-hmm. .
[00:01:37] Angie: Oh, that's, , what kind of a runner they are. That's like a whole nother rabbit hole. But it's to go down,
[00:01:42] Kevin: it's, it's kind of what, what the outline you got laid out here goes into is what are you training for?
Kind of helps identify not everything about you as a runner, but certainly the type of runner that you are in this current moment.
We could get into that some at some point. Great.
[00:01:56] Kevin: On the podcast, but today we were talking about what are [00:02:00] you training for? Yeah. And the answer does not have to be 5k, half marathon, marathon ultramarathon.
Like it doesn't have to be a thing. There are other things that you can be training for, which is really what we're diving into.
[00:02:10] Angie: Yeah, and I think that it falls basically into three main categories like that when I was kind of thinking about this, of the reasons that we train and the reasons that people get into running, or kind of our motivations to continue and how those reasons evolve as we get into running, as we continue down our running journey and our running path.
So the first reason I think that brings a lot of people into running. . And to answer the question, what are you training for? There are a lot of people that train to lose weight or to get in shape or to get fit. Yeah. Right. Yeah. I know that this is one of, is, this is what brought me into running before I met you.
The only reason I ran was because I didn't like my body and I wanted to lose weight. I was not happy with the way that I looked, with the way that I felt and. . I [00:03:00] wanted to lose weight. I wanted to change my body, so I started running because running seemed like the easiest pathway for that. I didn't have to figure out, you know, an exercise video to watch.
I didn't have to figure out what kind of weights to lift in the gym. You just put on some shoes and you headed out the door, right?
[00:03:14] Kevin: Yeah. I mean, I got into running so that I didn't have to put on football pads and get hit by people who were much larger
[00:03:18] Angie: than I did. That's a difference. That's a different reason, but I think that this is one of.
Common things that brings a lot of people to running, especially later on in life. It's this idea of running because you don't like your body, it's because you're discontent or because you're even disgusted with how you look or how you feel, or maybe you just want to feel different.
[00:03:38] Kevin: Yeah. I mean, but it, it all comes from this, something's currently wrong with me and running is going to fix that.
Mm-hmm. . Physical issue that I'm having and, and you know, part of that's true, like there could be some weight loss involved. There could be some improvement in, you know, different like what blood levels and stuff like that. Like running is a healthy thing to go do. But It's hard to [00:04:00] continue to run day upon day upon day if you're simply running to try to be healthier.
[00:04:05] Angie: I think that this is kind of where I wanna go with this idea because I think that this can be an okay place to start, right? This is the initial motivation for a lot of people because oftentimes when we aren't happy, it spurs us to change something, right? Like and when we're not happy about something, it can spur that desire to change something.
But I think we get into trouble when we realize that this is not a sustainable or long-term reason, or a long-term motivation for most people. Like just trying to run to lose weight or to stay fit, or to stay in shape. Not going to, for most people, like lead to the, that long-term result and that long-term commitment.
[00:04:50] Kevin: It can certainly kick things off. Yes, yes. And there's some coaches that I follow that they say they suggest that motivation follows movement. Mm-hmm. They're like, oh, I gotta get myself motivated so [00:05:00] that I can get out the door and start running. Like try just getting out the door and running and see if motivation will follow it.
Mm-hmm. , in short, like this can be that little thing that kickstarts you of, all right, I wanna lose some weight, I want to get in, I wanna feel healthier, I want to get in shape. And it'll start you. And then as you start this routine, hopefully there are some different ways of motivation that kind of are gonna be a little bit more long
[00:05:22] Angie: lasting.
Right? And we're gonna get into a couple of. In this episode because we, we really think that even if this is the way that you got into running in the first place, if you came to running because you wanted to get healthier, you wanted to get in shape, you're probably not going to stay here. It's probably going to evolve unless it's like, you know, I just did it as simply a means to an end.
I lost the weight and now I'm done with running. Chances are if you don't move on to something else, you're probably gonna gain that weight back. But that's a whole different topic. But most of the time, if you got into it initially, if you guys are like, For this reason, it, it tends to then evolve into something else.
And one of the [00:06:00] other things that I wanted to point out about this is that running is not actually the best way to lose weight. I think that a lot of people think that bold, bold move. Yeah, I, I will make that statement over
[00:06:11] Kevin: and over again. You're doing it, but it shocks people. When you say you. Completely
[00:06:15] Angie: correct.
It's not the first time I've said it and it's not gonna be the last, and it
[00:06:18] Kevin: catches people off guard to get like the Running Coach, the running podcast, to be like, yeah, if you're looking to lose weight, maybe not the running podcast.
[00:06:26] Angie: Yeah. I think that it will work in the beginning for a lot of people.
Sure. You know, and, and this is again, where a lot of times when people first get into running, they see that initial progress, whether it's in their speed, in their distance, or in their weight, if that's what they're trying to, to change here. But that weight loss will plateau at some point if all you're doing is running.
Okay. and some people, it's unfortunate, but it happens. Some people actually end up gaining weight when they start running because they're hungrier and they eat more. , or [00:07:00] they're running and restricting their food, they're dieting at the same time. And those combinations lead to too great of a calorie loss, and that can lead to binge eating and other dysfunctional eating patterns.
So there's like a whole host of other things that can happen if weight loss is the sole reason for your running, but I'm guessing. . If you're listening to a running podcast, especially called Real Life Runners, it's probably not the sole reason for you anymore, even if that might be how you started. Yeah.
[00:07:30] Kevin: I mean, there could still be shadows of it that pop up every once in a while. Like, yeah, I, that weekend was, was a tough one. You know, four kids' birthday parties was an awful lot of cupcakes. Maybe I should go for a run. Sometimes that thought crosses your mind, but it's not your day in, day
[00:07:44] Angie: out motivation.
Right? And so what we want you guys to start to adopt if you haven't yet, instead of training because you don't like your body, we want you to train because you love your body, like it's a complete 180 shift, but it's one of those [00:08:00] shifts that is so worthwhile. So instead of saying, I don't like my body, I need to go for a run, or I need to train in order to change my body.
Can you start to move towards maybe, maybe that 180 flip is too much of a jump for you right now, but what we would offer is this idea of I'm training because I love myself and I'm training because I love my body and I want to take care of it. And running and working out is a way for me to take care of the one body that I have in this life.
[00:08:32] Kevin: I think that's a good partial. rather than I, I'm not training because I hate my body. I'm training because I want to take care of my body. That's like the partial turn. Mm-hmm. , and then you can, you can flip it all the way around of I'm training and running to celebrate my body mm-hmm. to, to show off the power and strength that I have within me.
I think that's the full turn, but yeah. Just to take care of yourself. Mm-hmm. is strongly motivational. It's, it's a different way of looking at it. It's still kind of training for your health purposes, but it's training to care for [00:09:00] your body rather than, because your body's doing something. , it's helping your body live, live a more full existence.
[00:09:07] Angie: Right? And I think that that's, that idea is really gonna connect to a couple of the, the points that we're gonna make as this episode goes on. But before we jump into that, I like to think about this idea of, you know, training to lose weight or training just to get fit or lose 20 pounds or whatever it is as cleaning the house. We're gonna go with a cleaning the house metaphor.
[00:09:27] Kevin: It's a brilliant metaphor.
[00:09:28] Angie: In this, in this episode. So if you guys are like me, you like a clean house, right? But there's different reasons that we like a clean house, right? And there's different kind of ways that we can go about this, right? So sometimes when I look around my house, If it's messy, I feel disgusted. Right. And it spurs a big cleaning job. Like some, the girls know when this is coming, like mom's, mom's like oh, okay, we, we gotta clean. Mm-hmm. You know, like I look around and there's just stuff everywhere and the laundry baskets are all full and [00:10:00] it's like, okay guys, we need to do some cleaning around here. Right. And things like spring cleaning, or Kevin hates it because there are sometimes that, like I'll walk into the garage and he'll come, like if I'm gone for a while, Uhhuh, , he'll come out looking for me, like wondering where I am. And if he finds me just standing in the middle of the garage, he's like, uhoh, what's, what's, what's gonna happen now?
[00:10:20] Kevin: Yeah. Cuz you're just standing in the middle of the garage just sort of looking around, not moving anything, just looking in all directions. The 360 pan of the garage. Yeah. I think we should move everything in here. Mm-hmm. and throw half of it out. It's the explosion of cleaning. It's looking around and being like, this is not okay.
[00:10:39] Angie: Right.
[00:10:40] Kevin: And we need a massive overhaul now and then everybody has to pitch in. We're all cleaning everything. Yep. People are mopping and vacuuming. We're throwing stuff out like the big garbage bags come in. Mm-hmm. And we're cleaning stuff.
[00:10:52] Angie: We're cleaning closets out.
[00:10:53] Kevin: Oh yeah. Stuff is just going into the big, like this. This is the explosive cleaning. Yeah. Which, [00:11:00] which does create a clean house.
[00:11:02] Angie: It does. It creates a clean house. It creates a more organized house in the short term.
[00:11:07] Kevin: Yeah. Right, right. Then creates a clean.
[00:11:09] Angie: The other thing that I wanna point out about this is that usually, right? Like before, in the time leading up to those like explosive clean episodes that I have, it's usually things that have, are starting to get on my nerves, right? Like I'm starting to, like every day when I come home, I'm noticing more clutter in the garage. Uhhuh , or I'm noticing more clutter around the house, but spec specifically the garage cleanouts, right? Like the kids just kind of leave their. Or there are, you know, other toys around the garage and it doesn't get put away.
And I'm like, that shouldn't be there. That should be better organized. And it's like something I, I try to keep ignoring day after day after day. And, and when you ignore something, it builds right? Just like. Weight or being in shape or getting fit, right? It's like, oh yeah, I know I should do something. I know I should start working out.
I should start eating healthy. I should, should, should do all of these things [00:12:00] and then all of a sudden should piles up. Yep. Then you, your, your ti your should pile becomes too stinky and large that you have to just take care of it. Right? You just have to like, go in, change things up. I'm gonna start running, I'm gonna start cleaning the house, right?
And it. It produces results in the short term, but one major clean out job does not keep the house clean. There is a different motivation that is needed to keep the house clean or to continue on your training. Because if you start running to lose weight or to get in shape or to get fit A, what does it even mean? Like what is the specific goal that you're trying to achieve? But B, you're probably going to lose steam on that reason after a certain period of time, depend and who you are in that period of time is different for everyone. But at some point that motivation is gonna start to fade away.
[00:12:55] Kevin: It's funny that, that the garage cleanout coincides with [00:13:00] January. The way that a lot of people are like, I'm gonna get in a running with my New Year's resolution. Ours builds up for slightly different reasons. The kids are home for Christmas break. Mm-hmm. , all the Christmas boxes are down from the attic and sitting in the garage. Yep. They're home from breaks, so they're out on their bikes and then they come back and just dump 'em in the garage because they can't as easily get them back to where they're supposed to be in the garage cuz there's boxes and stuff down.
[00:13:23] Angie: you should just put those boxes up in the attic and then you wouldn't have to do these massive garage cleanups.
[00:13:27] Kevin: You don't like anything sitting on counters? I don't. In Christmas, decorations by definition is stuff sitting on all of our shelves and counters. Yeah. I just don't like clutter. Right. And
[00:13:37] Angie: so, and and yeah. Christmas decorations are clutter.
[00:13:39] Kevin: Are clutter. Yeah. And so eventually Christmas break fills up and then, then we get new stuff at Christmas. Mm-hmm. , there's large cardboard boxes, places, there's just a buildup of stuff. Well, ,
[00:13:51] Angie: we, because there's new stuff, then we have to get rid of old stuff
[00:13:54] Kevin: and the old stuff, there's, so there tend to go into a pile in the garage to get donated.
[00:13:58] Angie: Right. So then everything's [00:14:00] just piling up in the garage for donation and in bags, and then it's just like, okay,
[00:14:04] Kevin: it's somewhere around the second or third week of January. I just walk out to the garage and Andy's Angie's standing there with this just look on her face that says, we're gonna spend six hours cleaning the garage. I think to myself, yes, this is gonna be amazing. It's, oh, thank God it's here again this year. It's so true, but it doesn't create a. Clean garage forever. No. If you don't change anything underlying, that exact same pattern is gonna happen 12 months later. Exactly. And we're gonna do it again the next January. Exactly. Which would happen continuously on this running loop of I train, I get in shape, and then I completely let it slack and weight comes back on, or I'm back outta shape. And then when I notice it and I get upset about it, then I can do it again. And it's just, that's the loop.
[00:14:50] Angie: Yeah. And so reason number three is gonna be, What we're going to suggest you start to move into and start to use. But before we get [00:15:00] there, we're gonna go on to reasonnumber two like of what are you training for? Thing number two that you're training for.
[00:15:06] Kevin: Which is what so many people answer that question with. What are you training for? And they name the race. Yep. Because that's what we got.
[00:15:12] Angie: Boston, Chicago. New York.
[00:15:15] Kevin: Local 5k.
[00:15:16] Angie: Right.
[00:15:17] Kevin: You know the, the Christmas fund run Turkey trial. Yeah. Like either whatever the race is, they're actually training for. They name a date, they got a distance. That's their race that they're training for.
[00:15:25] Angie: Yeah. So reason number two to or reason, the next way to answer this question is, I'm training for a race or kind of the, the more nebulous answer to this question is to challenge myself. I'm training because I like the challenge.
[00:15:39] Kevin: Which I like to answer, but it can get, it can get a little too vague sometimes.
[00:15:44] Angie: It's interesting, right? So I think the biggest thing that we see here is that people that often fall into answering that question with a race every single time is that they only train when they're following a plan or they, they only train or [00:16:00] follow a plan when there's a race on the calendar, right?
[00:16:03] Kevin: Right?
[00:16:03] Angie: So they feel like they always have to have a race on the calendar, because if there's not a race on the calendar, then I'm not going to be training and I'm gonna fall off the wagon. So I always have to have something there because that race on the calendar, that date, that is checked off, you know in the future that's what's holding me accountable.
[00:16:21] Kevin: Right? Like I've signed up for it. I paid money for this race. Mm-hmm. , so I should train for it. And then when that race finishes, if you don't have another thing on the calendar, what's gonna keep you going out the door? Yeah. So people just start searching for the next race to put on a calendar.
[00:16:34] Angie: Right. And what I like to, this often leads to what I like to call the roller coaster of training. Okay. Because basically what happens is you train for a race, you get, you know, you improve your fitness for that race, and then you run that race, you get whatever result you get. And then there's some downtime often afterwards. Mm-hmm. right? And there's that inconsistency when there's not another race right there. So then people end up, like their fitness [00:17:00] goes up and then they run that race, and then it starts to decline again and they put another race on the calendar. So they start training, they go up again and they go back down. So it's just this constant up and down roller coaster of training, which leads to a lack of long-term progress cuz you're always staying about the same. A lot of times when people fall into this roller coaster of training, they are just going up and then they back down and then they go back up to like, basically where they were. Mm-hmm. , but never really above it. And so they're, they wonder like, Why am I not getting faster? Like, I've been doing this for three years now, I, I don't understand, shouldn't I be improving? Shouldn't this feel easier? Shouldn't I be getting faster? Shouldn't I be able to do more? And the answer is no, because you're not training for long-term success. You're training for all of these short-term races. And when you just train for a short-term race, you're not thinking about that big picture. You're just kind of race hopping from race to race to race.
[00:17:57] Kevin: Well, I mean, that's the thing. That's why the rollercoasters great [00:18:00] analogy here is there's a lot of hills and valleys. You can climb giant things, but loop de loops, loop to loops and, and whatnot. But eventually you get back to the station you're at exactly where you started. Yeah. So if your training gets you from, from physical level A to B, but then you're inconsistent for a while and you slip all the way back to A you're at the starting point. Mm-hmm. like you've done some running, you might be able to get to B a little bit faster next time, but you're still back at point A. You need to kind of continuously progress. You can't backslide all the way to A every time, or it's just gonna be continuously moving from A to B for
[00:18:36] Angie: backwards.
Right. And this is the trap that so many runners find themselves in. Why am I not making progress? Yeah, and it's because you're not training again with that long-term vision in mind because a plan or a structure to your training is always a good idea, even when you're not training for a race. I have not been training for a race for basically the last [00:19:00] two years, but I haven't missed a day of training.
I think I've missed maybe. Less than a handful of days. Sure. Over the past few years, like because I have a structure to my training, I know exactly what my week looks like, and that is helpful to me for reason number three that we're going to get into. But having that plan, having that structure is always a good idea.
Especially because when you use a structure, when you use a plan, you can be building for that long-term success, even when you're not training for.
[00:19:33] Kevin: Yeah, I mean the structure also is related to habits and mm-hmm. habits just help you continue that, that consistency, because then you know what you're doing week over week. Yeah. And well, you might not be specifically training Exactly to optimize for a half marathon or a five care, whatever it is. Mm-hmm. if you are consistently running and strength training, you're doing all the things week upon week, upon week, all of that, all those benefits, they're going to combat.[00:20:00]
[00:20:05] Angie: even though I haven't been training for a race, I still have been training and my goal has just been to get stronger. Like I've been increasing my weight training, I've been increasing my, the weights and all that stuff. So I am training for something. It's just not a race. But you could hop
[00:20:20] Kevin: into a 5K and be quite successful without a problem.
Like it'd be really painful cuz it's 5k. 5k. But it'd only be painful because it's a 5k. Not because you haven't been training for a 5k.
[00:20:29] Angie: Right. I mean, I could, I could complete a half marathon right now. Yes. You could wanted to as well. Like it likely wouldn't be a PR because I have a been specifically training for a half marathon, but I could go out next weekend and run a half marathon if I wanted to.
[00:20:41] Kevin: Yeah. And from where you are right now, you could probably in four to six weeks, get yourself pretty close to optimized for a distance between a mile and a half marathon. Mm-hmm. And that's kind of the interesting part of your consistency training, right? Is you could set yourself up over kind of a shorter [00:21:00] window. Yeah. To be into whatever events you want. There are these training plans that you find. It's like, oh, 12 week plans to get to all these things, depending on where your starting point is. 12 week plan to get to those things. But from where you are right now, I don't think that you would need that. I think you could do it probably in half the time. Yeah. And get in really good shape over a wide range of distances.
[00:21:20] Angie: Yeah, because I've just been base building for a very long time. Like I've maintained a base in my mileage. I just has, I have a very strong mileage base. Yeah. And then I've been increasing my weight training and my strength on top of that base.
[00:21:33] Kevin: And you're not neglecting speed during base building like some people are not speed. Oh, it's base building. So it's just long, slow foundational miles. No, no, no. Your foundation is built of all sorts of bricks. Yes. Some of those bricks are rooted in strength, some are rooted in speed. Mm-hmm. , some are rooted in long, slower runs.
Yep. But, , all of those involve your base and when you can just keep stacking those bricks day upon day and follow through with weeks, the growth that you can get over years [00:22:00] is totally different from a rollercoaster. The rollercoaster has shot off the track and landed on a completely different place because you just keep climbing. It's like the least safe rollercoaster. It's a won conveyor is really what you got.
[00:22:10] Angie: It's a won conveyor.
[00:22:11] Kevin: You know, or it goes forward and backwards and upwards and sideways, and then it bursts through the roof. It's a won conveyor.
[00:22:16] Angie: That's an interesting metaphor that I had did not expect. But yes, long-term success is built over years. It's not built over weeks and months. And if you are thinking in these short-term race cycles, that's the way you're thinking. You're thinking, okay, what am I doing for the next 12 weeks? What am I doing for the next 12 weeks? It's, instead of saying, I wanna get stronger. I want to train for my first half marathon. I wanna train for my first marathon, my first ultra, whatever your bigger goal is, I wanna be able to pick up my kids when they're 15 years old and you know, give 'em a piggyback ride around the house, whatever that big goal is for you, that big goal does not have to be a race. That big goal can be whatever it is you want, but that success that you find is going to be built up through those [00:23:00] weeks and months of training all added together because each training cycle needs a purpose and should have a purpose to help you continue to grow and improve as a runner. And when you understand the concept of training cycles, like outside of just a race, right? Like every training cycle is not just to train to complete a race. For example, right now I'm in a base building cycle. I've done, I've basically stacked a couple of base building cycles on each other, is essentially what I've been doing. Kevin, you are also in a base building cycle right now? Yes. It's for a future ultra-marathon that you want to do, but right now you are in a strength building cycle because you realize that with your last attempt at your ultra marathon, there was some strength deficits that likely added or contributed to your inability to finish that race.
[00:23:51] Kevin: Yeah, there's definitely some contributions. So I mean I've really been focused a lot on strength and part of that cut back from the mileage that I would prefer to be doing. Now [00:24:00] I'm kind of working this, this transition of I I was strength building for three good months. Mm-hmm. , can I keep that strength and start putting some mileage in there? Yep. Which, I'm in that, like that play mode now of if I start upping the mileage, am I going to lose the strength? Am I going to lose the benefits that I want? Because that's, that's not the goal. Like right, do I, do I keep my mileage here? Like how is this gonna work? And so that, that's my current spot is transitioning from one plan to the other. But I had a clear plan. Mm-hmm. , even though the race on the schedule is really far in the distance in January, I still had a goal of increasing my strength, technically it was for a race. Mm-hmm. I hadn't signed up for the race. I had like several races in mind. I still have not actually signed up for the race. Right. But I knew what the, the bigger goal was. I knew what the longer term goal was and to get to that, I was gonna need to increase strength.
[00:24:53] Angie: Right. So you have a basic timeline in your head. Yes, you knew that like you wanted to do an ultra towards the end of this year or at [00:25:00] the beginning of next year. So then when you work backwards, you're like, okay, right now this is a strength building cycle. Next one, I'm going to start adding more mileage then while maintaining that strength, right? Yeah. How can I, can I maintain strength and then start adding mileage? Then can I maybe go back into another strength building cycle, right? There's different ways that we can do this, because then what you can do, Is stack your, your training cycles for continuous growth and improvement. You can literally continue to improve as a runner into your fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, decades of life as long as you're focusing on the right thing, as long as you're focused on long-term growth, long-term success, and as long as you use training cycles to your advantage so that you have one focus. Like Kevin said, you're not neglecting anything at any point in time just because you're focusing on building strength or building mileage in this cycle, that doesn't mean that you're not doing speed work, you're doing speed work throughout. That's just not the focus and it, the intensity [00:26:00] is different based on what you're focusing on as well.
[00:26:02] Kevin: Yeah. I mean, it's all how it breaks down. Yeah. Like you, you only have so much effort you can put forth in your training. Mm-hmm. , there's, there is the rest of your life going on also. So there's so much time and energy that you can put into running mm-hmm. . So it's like, all right, I'm gonna focus more on lifting during this cycle. So I'm probably not gonna be able to go and, and do these much longer, long runs. I've gotta kind of pull back from that a little bit because there's only so much that I can devote time-wise and energy-wise. Yeah. Into run, you know there was something else I wanted to say about this stacking the cycles before you got to your, Cleaning the house metaphor here. You're gonna have to start. It might come to me.
[00:26:38] Angie: All right, let's hope it comes back to you. So, back to our cleaning the house metaphor. I'd like to think of race training and specifically continuous race training. Like where you're just kind of jumping from race training to race training as cleaning the house when you know you have company coming over when, because there's a deadline, right? Like, and the girls always like they used to know, they've kind. [00:27:00] gotten a, a good handle on mom's cleaning cycles? Yes. Throughout the years, yes. Like it used to be. Okay, we have to clean the house. And some of their first question, one of their first questions was, who's coming over? Yes. And it's like, well, actually, you know, so-and-so's coming over.
So yes, we have to all like chip in and clean this house because so-and-so's coming over today at five o'clock. Because when you know that someone is coming over, there's a deadline. You want the house to be ready. You know, you want the company to have a good experience and to enjoy their time with you.
[00:27:31] Kevin: And you put, put up fancy towels.
[00:27:33] Angie: You, yeah, and you think that that clean house is going to add to their experience. Or maybe you want them to think certain things about you. They, you want them to think that you're organized and that you're a clean person. Maybe you're trying to impress somebody. Maybe it's a new friend, you know.
[00:27:47] Kevin: Like just don't let 'em go through the garage, cause everything's thrown in there. There's Christmas boxes still out there.
[00:27:54] Angie: Yeah. You know, when you know that you have company coming over that's kind of like, okay, well [00:28:00] we have to, we have to clean because we have this company coming over. I have to train because I have a race on the calendar. It's because there's that deadline, that looming deadline that you feel like you need to get ready for and so, you know, is that again, is that the sustainable way to keep a clean house? Is that the sustainable way for you? Make long-term progress in your running? I would agree not.
[00:28:23] Kevin: Okay. Well, so here's the thing is it's better than option one. Yes. I guess option one is you let things get so bad that you have to have this massive like explosive cleaning thing. Mm-hmm. this time especially, and this is I think why some people race hop, that they're racing every like month, every few weeks because their fitness never falls that far. Yeah. Because they can keep going from one race to the next. They're like, well, if I just always have a thing that I'm training for next mm-hmm. I will always stay on top of it. Yeah. If you keep inviting company over every week, every couple of weeks, the house is never gonna get that bad. Mm-hmm. you still have to clean it because companies [00:29:00] coming this afternoon, so we're spending all morning cleaning it. Mm-hmm. , but. At least it's, it's not gonna be that bad whereas like spring cleaning an annual overhaul of the entire house, top to bottom. Yeah, that's this like massive thing that you have to put into, and then you're exhausted from the cleaning, so you're gonna have to take a little break. You know, when you've got, when you've got the race on the schedule, when you've got company coming, if you do it often enough, you create the illusion of consistency. Mm-hmm. , because you just keep putting something there that's like, well, I am still going for this. I do, I I am going to keep the house clean because they're coming back next week. But what's it look like on Tuesday? If company comes every Sunday? Yeah. What's the house look like on Thursday afternoon?
[00:29:42] Angie: Well, and there's also that basket that things just get thrown in. Mm-hmm. , right? Like when you're doing like a. Cleaning job. Yep. For a company coming over. Oftentimes I know that I've done this, I'm, I'm definitely guilty of this. We take the basket of laundry that's been sitting on the dining room table and just move it into our [00:30:00] room a hundred percent because we know that the company's not going in our room. Right. So, All of a sudden we're just moving clutter. , right? , we're just moving things around. We're not actually cleaning. And it's the same with like when we're training for a race, like we're focusing on this race now, like maybe we'll train for this distance or we're trying to like optimize for this one specific thing but is your overall fitness improving? Right? Is the house actually getting cleaner or are you just moving things around? Are you just kind of adjust? or is there actual change being made?
[00:30:32] Kevin: Right? Like you just keep picking up on little things that have to get done just for this cycle? Well this person's gonna be in our backyard because we're gonna have them on the patio, so we gotta get that area clean. Mm-hmm. . Okay, so now we can move things to the garage. Oh, but this person's gonna be in the living room. Okay. So then we can hide it in our bedroom this is what happens when you're training for different race distances. Yeah. You're just like, all right, well, I guess I'm gonna increase my mileage because I'm training for a half marathon. And then you follow that up with a 5K and you're like, all right, well I don't need the mileage. So now I'll focus [00:31:00] on some speed. And sure, you're getting some variety for this, but none of them are looking at like the big picture of how do I incorporate some longer distances and some speed and strength and, oh wait, mobility's probably an important thing. Is your nutrition falling by the wayside? Like, yeah, you gotta make sure that you're incorporating all of the different aspects of training at all times and race hopping sometimes neglects things, which is often why race hopping. I think besides the lack improvement, sometimes it leads to injury that you don't see coming because you keep forgetting certain things cause you're trying to just optimize for that distance. Mm-hmm. , instead of looking at big picture, how am I gonna improve year upon year?
[00:31:36] Angie: Yeah. And so that takes us to number three. Okay, which is where we want all of you to get to, to us, this is the goal like it's, it's not to train to just to lose weight or to get in shape or to get fit. It's not to train just because you have a race on the calendar. It's really reason number three. So what are you training for? I'm training for life and I'm training for the joy of training. [00:32:00] And I think that so many people think that running is just running, you know? Oh, it's just, it's just running. It's just the way that I stay in shape. It's just the way that I, you know, am able to eat all the cookies. Mm-hmm. , or, you know, eat the things that I want to eat or drink, the, the things I wanna drink. And if you're, if you think of running that way, I think that it can get very boring and I also think that motivation can diminish. When you think of running that way, when you think of running as just running,
[00:32:28] Kevin: well, anytime you put the word just into it, yeah. It just, it seems like it's not enough. Mm-hmm. . It's just this. Well, okay. I think that can't be that exciting if it's just whatever the thing is.
[00:32:37] Angie: Yeah, but like I, I'm the kind of person that likes to just kind of take a step back and try to see the bigger picture. A lot of times, like it's just kind of one of the things that I like to do, so I periodically ask myself like, what's it all for? Especially when I don't feel like going for my run that day, especially when I don't feel like working out that day. I'm like, I even doing this. Mm-hmm. [00:33:00] do you have an answer to that question? And I think some people, when they first start asking themselves that question, they answer that with, I'm trying to lose weight, or my doctor said I needed to get, you know, healthier, or I've got this race on the calendar. Yeah, right. Like they have those more superficial reasons. When I ask myself this question now it's because I wanna be a strong and healthy person. I'm training. because of the life that I want to live. I want to be a strong, a healthy person. I wanna live an active life. I wanna become a stronger version of myself every single day.
And so that's what I have to remind myself of. It's this piece of identity. It's. Who I am that motivates me to do the things that I want to do or that I need to do in order to maintain that identity. Because I see myself as a strong and healthy person, and I want to continue to be a strong and healthy person. [00:34:00] So if I wanna be a strong and healthy person, I have to do the things that strong and healthy people do, which means I have to work out consistently. I choose to make running a part of that and weightlifting a part of that and yoga and some mobility. That's what I like to do to move my body so that I can keep my body strong and healthy so that I can be the kind of person that I want to be and live the type of life that I want to live.
[00:34:25] Kevin: Yeah. So I mean there's the training for life aspect. I love, I really have leaned into training for joy. Yeah. And fun and there are plenty of people, there could be people listening that would look at my training schedule and be like, are you sure that you're training for joy and fun?
[00:34:42] Angie: That does not look fun.
[00:34:44] Kevin: But to me it's incredibly fun. Mm-hmm. , like, I love what I go out and do. Like the other day, Sunday morning, I woke up in Pitch Black. and put on like a, i I strap my vest on that has like the carrying the water in the back and a headlight onto my [00:35:00] forehead. This looks ludicrous to other people. Our, like our own daughter thinks that I'm out of my mind, but to me this was so much fun. I'm like, no, no, no. I, I like. I told her, I'm like, I ran to your friend's house. She goes, she does not live close. I'm like, I know. And I ran like the long way to get to her house and then I had to add, add an extra loop of our neighborhood when we got back, cuz I ran for over two hours. But to me that was so much fun. I listened to a couple of podcasts, I had some music going. There's a variety of things, but sometimes I shut all that off and I just run and there's just thoughts that come in and outta my head. I find it. It's interesting to just run and see what you can do. I find it fun is part of it, but I also just find it really interesting to just head out and run and see how far can I go? Like what's the body gonna feel like today? Mm-hmm. it all just sort of seems like a, an interesting science experiment and that's kind of fun to me.
[00:35:51] Angie: Yeah, I was, I was just saying it like an experiment, like what can I do today?
[00:35:55] Kevin: At my core, I'm an engineer. There was a reason why teachers for years told me I should go off and [00:36:00] get engineering degree. Yeah. I don't know if they were necessarily correct, but the, my brain does still lean that direction, not necess. Using it.
[00:36:07] Angie: But yeah, and I think that this is really where it gets interesting because it's both very deep and also very playful at the same time.
[00:36:17] Kevin: Yes, this is great.
[00:36:18] Angie: Right? Like this is the, the very interesting part of this, like number three that we're thinking of because it really is both like, it is this deeper reason of like, I'm training because I wanna be this strong and healthy person because it's a part of who I am and because I wanna live an active lifestyle. But it's also this playful, there's this playful aspect of it as well of like you. , what can I do today? Like, what can I, can I make this more fun? Can, can, how does, how can this bring more joy into my life? Because it both means everything and nothing at the same time. And this is a really weird mind hole to to, to go down, but it, [00:37:00] stick with me here for a second. Because when you decide that you are a runner and running is a part of who you are, running is a part of how you want to live your. , that's everything. Yes. Right? Like this is a part of who I am. It's not the only part of who I am. Right. Like I'm a lot of things. I'm a mother, I'm a wife, I'm a runner. I'm all sorts of different types of identities. Right. A runner is a piece of my identity.
[00:37:24] Kevin: Which I think is very important. It is a piece of your identity.
[00:37:27] Angie: Yes. Right. It is not everything about me. It is not who I am, but it is an important part about me because of what I take, the meaning that I take. , right. The, the lessons that I've learned through running or how I challenge myself or how I've become stronger, both physically and mentally, how I've become more resilient, that is a very important part of my identity that spills over into all of the other parts of who I am. Mm-hmm. right? So in that sense, it kind of means everything because it's at my core, a [00:38:00] part of who I am, but at the same time, does your running actually matter? And I would say, no, it doesn't. Right? Because like does your pace or your distance really matter? Is running a marathon going to change the world? Probably not.
[00:38:17] Kevin: Yes.
[00:38:18] Angie: Like you can.
[00:38:18] Kevin: No. So no.
[00:38:19] Angie: But I mean, it can, it, it's gonna change your world. Right? Right. Like if you set a goal and you decide I'm gonna run this marathon, it can change your life for sure. Running can change your life but the world as a whole, like one person completing a marathon, how much impact does that make on the world as a whole? You could argue a lot, especially if they, you know, use their running as a fundraiser and they raise money to help other people and that those charities can do a lot of good work in the world. So there's for sure a ripple effect.
[00:38:50] Kevin: Yes.
[00:38:50] Angie: You know, I am, I'm not undermining the ripple effect, but at the same time, , can we just be playful with it?
Just be like, it's really fun to just see what I'm capable [00:39:00] of, right? Like it doesn't have to be this huge thing of, with all of this deep meaning and putting all this pressure on yourself either.
[00:39:08] Kevin: No, and that's the thing is like it means a lot to to you and it's gonna mean a lot to like the people that are close to you. Not necessarily cause it even means a lot to them, but you mean a lot to them. Yeah. And it means a lot to you. And so they will let you know that it does mean a lot to them. Like you were super supportive, I'm going off and running an ultramarathon. Yeah, you're driving the car and, and keeping along with me is fantastic. My running an ultra was not super meaningful for you other than that you were incredibly supportive of. Like, you didn't create this goal for me of you should go do an ultra-marathon. Right. But you were incredibly supportive and so it mattered to you in that It mattered to me. Right. But to like Joe Schmo driving down, you know, taking the same bridge. Yeah. And passing me on the road. Like there were people that honked, some people [00:40:00] were like, Hey look, it's a bunch of weirdos running down the road trying to get to Key West. And they went wrong. Other people probably it annoyed them there was a race taking place down the side of the road. Other people might not have even noticed that there were people running down the side of the road.
Mm-hmm. . So for some people, and literally this was the exact same thing happening simultaneously. Some people it was everything. You've got people that are in the race that is like this, this is the race that they've been training for for a year. Yeah, two years, whatever. It's so in that moment it meant everything. You have people that it's, that are supporting them. It means a lot to them. You have other people having the exact same experience that are annoyed by what is taking place. Mm-hmm. that are amused by what is taking place or that are completely oblivious to what is taking place. Yep. So it means everything and nothing simultaneously. Yeah. Which is phenomenal. There's a..
[00:40:49] Angie: It's so interesting, right? Like if you really think about it.
[00:40:51] Kevin: Yeah. There's, there's this story from one of a podcast that I, I love to listen to that he tells over and over of when he ran rim to [00:41:00] rim and he got from one side of the Green Canyon to the other, and there's a bus that you can take back mm-hmm. And he gets on the bus and starts opening a wrapper to eat a snack, and the bus driver turns around and says you, you can't eat on my bus. And he goes, I just ran rim to rim. She goes, it's my bus. You're not allowed to eat on my bus. Yeah. To him, he just done this amazing thing to this bus driver. She's like, yeah, okay, great. But you're not eating on my bus.
[00:41:21] Angie: Yeah. I don't care.
[00:41:22] Kevin: like, she,
[00:41:23] Angie: I literally don't care.
[00:41:24] Kevin: She literally could not care less. So yeah, she, she's like, no, no snacking on my bus.
[00:41:29] Angie: Right, and like, it's so interesting how, you know, for that moment, that bus ride their lives connected. Yep. But other than that, those two people were probably, maybe never see each other again.
[00:41:40] Kevin: Of course.
[00:41:40] Angie: Right. And it's just like, even when I was crewing your ultra-marathon, I was like thinking about the ridiculousness of it all. Right? Like, and, and this is, I mean, believe me, I love you and of course I'm here to support you no matter what, but I'm, we're, we're race, you know, we're hopping down a one a like driving. I'm gonna drive [00:42:00] two miles now so that I can give you another water bottle. And I'm like, this is kind of ridiculous. Like this.
[00:42:05] Kevin: This is the stupidest way to get to Key West. Why doesn't just get in the car,
[00:42:09] Angie: right? Like, like literally we're trying to get from Key Largo to Key West, and you're running it like when people are just driving, like it takes four hours, well, two hours to drive from Key Largo to Key West, but like why in the world would anyone choose to just run this? Just to see if they can, you know, like back in the day of like the old Western stuff, like you actually had to like walk and run in places, right? Because you didn't have the option to drive.
[00:42:34] Kevin: Cause the automobile didn't exist
[00:42:36] Angie: now and it was like such a hot day and there were all these cars driving. It was like feeling the exhaust. What's going on right now? Like this is absolutely crazy. But at the same time, Amazing at the same time.
[00:42:49] Kevin: Well, I mean, when you're out there running for hours upon hours, yeah. And this is the thing, like I love listening to podcasts when I run, but I also try and make sure that on a few [00:43:00] runs during the week, I have nothing. Sound wise going on. So I'm just out there for the run and I can get the thoughts on that. When I was doing this ultra, there was extended hours of time where I had nothing in my ears. Yeah, because my headphones were bothering me, cuz I had, like, it was trying to get the shade over my head and it pushed my headphones too much into me. It was painful. So there was hours where I was literally answering the question continuously of what the heck am I doing? Mm-hmm . And if the answer did not include some aspect of fun. I don't know if I could have kept going.
[00:43:34] Angie: So how did you answer that question during that race.
[00:43:37] Kevin: In almost all of the ways that we've covered today. Yeah. Like I'm doing this for my health, I'm doing this to challenge myself. I'm doing it because I paid a bunch of money to, to do this race I'm doing.
[00:43:47] Angie: It's also ridiculous.
[00:43:48] Kevin: Yes.
[00:43:49] Angie: Like why do we pay all this money to go out and run it? It's, it's the whole thing. If you really think about how ridiculous is it makes it so arbitrary.
[00:43:59] Kevin: [00:44:00] Yes.
[00:44:00] Angie: In a lot of ways. But it also is not arbitrary and like, so when you guys hear me say this, I don't want you to feel discouraged me like, oh, it's not even worth it. Like it's, it is like it's both worth it and not worth it at the same time, and that makes it worth it.
[00:44:14] Kevin: But that's also what allows you to just laugh, like when you have a bad workout. Yeah. Sometimes people have a bad workout and it just crushes them. Yeah. That used to do that to me. Like I'd have bad workout, I couldn't hit the times that I was going for, and I'd be like in a bad mood for the rest of it. And at this point I'm like, ah, had a bad workout. Wonder. Wonder why that was. Mm-hmm. wonder. And it's much more of an experiment than a like, oh man, something went wrong. Yeah. I'm not a good runner. I'm super slow. I should give this whole thing up. It's a waste of all my time. Yeah. I don't spiral that direction. Yeah. I'm like, huh, that was weird. Mm-hmm. , I didn't get to the finish line of this race. It's like, hmm, let's figure out what's going on. Let's change the. You can accept that it's an experiment. Nothing has to be this super negative spiral that you're in it, the whole thing.[00:45:00] To me, I just, I have a whole lot more fun with running. I'm having more fun with running now than I have since high school. High school was a blast running when I was getting into, and everything was new and exciting. That's kind of where I'm at right now, is everything is so much fun and if it's not fun, Continuously, like every day does not have to be like, no. That was amazing. Yeah, because some days it's not.
[00:45:24] Angie: Sometimes it's not fun.
[00:45:25] Kevin: Some days are really hard workout. Some days the weather does not cooperate, whether
[00:45:29] Angie: it's sometimes your body just doesn't feel like it.
[00:45:30] Kevin: Right. but for the most part, the overall over the week. Yeah. It's fun to me. I'm having a blast and I think that that is super motivational to keep you doing it. Mm-hmm. that's gonna keep you doing it a lot more than, I wanna make sure that the number on the scale stays appropriate is I'm just having a whole lot of fun. Why wouldn't you continue to do the thing that you're having fun with?
[00:45:52] Angie: Right. And this is also why it's good to have an idea of what you're training for. Like yes, you can be training for life, you can [00:46:00] be training because you're just like, wonder what I can do? But if you wanna really see what you can accomplish mm-hmm. really see what you can do. You need that plan, you need that structure, you need those training cycles to stack, to continuously move you towards that long-term success. So when you're in this part in number three, it doesn't mean like, oh, I'm just gonna go run whenever I want and do whatever I want. And like, I mean, you could if you wanted to, but don't expect to improve much if that's how you're approaching your training.
[00:46:30] Kevin: You're not gonna answer the question, what am I capable of? Yeah. , like you're going to probably have some variety in your training, but you're not gonna optimize that variety. Mm-hmm. , you're, you may end up skipping things that you don't enjoy. Like I said, that I train for fun, but sometimes there are workouts that I'm like in the moment is not super fun. Yeah. But it's gonna help me get to things that I have a whole lot more fun with. Mm-hmm. . So you gotta combine these things and without a plan, without some structure to it, I would continue to skip the parts that don't bring immediate joy and fun.
Yeah. You're like, Uhuh, that doesn't seem [00:47:00] like it's super fun to do. Why don't I just go. An eight miler instead, like, yeah, that would, that would be my path. So I need some structure in place. Mm-hmm. . Because ultimately what's most fun is what am I possible and searching. Really trying to find that question to me that's the most fun to me.
[00:47:15] Angie: Yeah. I think that it's really fun to, to grow and to stretch yourself. Like I love growing. I love all aspects of personal growth and personal development. Mm-hmm. , like I read personal development books. I, I can't even tell you the last time I read a fiction book and people are like, well, when's the last time you read read fiction? I was like, I don't read fiction. No, no idea. I love personal develop. I love growing. I love challenging myself. I love trying to become like the next version of myself. I don't wanna say a better human, because I am a good human already as I am. It's just like, okay, what's next? You know? It's like looking ahead, but also being content with where you are. Like there's a paradox in all of this, right? The whole idea of it means everything and it means nothing at the same time. I can be happy and content right now and still want to [00:48:00] improve. Like there's all of that mixed up together and that's what makes all of this so beautiful.
So, going back to our clean house metaphor, like I clean the house because I like a clean house. I like the way that my house makes me feel when it's clean. I like the space that it provides to me, like both the physical space and the mental space. I don't like clutter. When I see clutter like I'm looking over at my kitchen right now and there's stuff on the counter, like when I have physical clutter, it creates mental clutter in my mind. And yes, I could do. Thought work and like, you know, not let the clutter bother me and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but like, or I could just clean it up or you put the things away. I, I like having a clean house because I see myself going back to this identity piece. I see myself as an organized person, so I like to have an organized and clean home, and it's, A reflection, like if I have an organized [00:49:00] and clean home in a clean space, to me that's a reflection of the person that I want to be a of the person that I am. So if I think of myself as an organized and clean person, I need to do the things that organized and clean people do and keep my house in a way that I would define as organized and clean. So it's more of like who I want to be, who the type of life that I want to live, which is clutter free and clean, right? Like I don't like seeing all the dirt on the floors that the dog brings in. So, I have to vacuum multiple times per week. Do I have to? No, of course not. Is it gonna change the world? Nope. You know, but like, I like to see clean floors. I like to see my dog is clean, and you know, she's a white dog, so when she looks gray, she needs a bath, you know? Mm-hmm. like, there are just certain things that I like because it makes me feel good, and it makes me like my head space is better. [00:50:00] I'm able to accomplish more things that way. And so in order for me to be that organized person, I need to do the things that organized people do.
[00:50:08] Kevin: I like to see myself as a good husband, and I think as part of that, I like to keep my wife happy. Yes. And she likes to have a clean house, , and so when she starts cleaning things up, I notice that it's time to clean things. Mm-hmm. because I don't look at the counter and be like, oh man, we gotta put all that stuff away.
[00:50:25] Angie: And I've asked you that before, right? I'm like, do you not ever like, does this not bother you? And you're like, no.
[00:50:29] Kevin: But sometimes I see you start like putting, like you put something away. I'm like, oh, okay. You should put that thing away. And then you put the next and the next thing away. I'm like, okay, we're cleaning things now. like, okay, what we're doing now is cleaning things. And I, I would like to be helpful, like I see myself as trying to be helpful in, in the house.
[00:50:48] Angie: And that's part of your love language also is like acts of service, like Right. I, I like to do things for my wife. Yes. And, and you know that cleaning, the act of cleaning doesn't make me happy, but the result of cleaning makes [00:51:00] me happy. Yeah. Like having a clean house makes me happy.
[00:51:02] Kevin: Yeah. So I will, so I will do things to help keep you happy.
[00:51:05] Angie: Because you define yourself as a good husband. Yes. And in your mind a good husband. does things to help keep his wife happy.
[00:51:11] Kevin: That's, that's, that's the steps that I have taken and that's how things kinda stay relatively clean. Mm-hmm. and I think Or in the garage.
[00:51:18] Angie: Or in the garage. Right. And I think you're an excellent husband then. I just, I don't understand how it doesn't bother you, but, you know, you and I are two different people. Two different people, and I just, I just appreciate that you help when you do realize that it's something that bothers me.
[00:51:32] Kevin: Oh, it's cleaning time, .
[00:51:35] Angie: Yes, you were, you were wonderful that way. Kind of back to this whole running thing, you know, what are you training for? You know, are you someone that is training for reasons number one or reason number two, and do you want to start to evolve into reason number three, starting to train for life and train for the joy of training to realize that it means everything and [00:52:00] nothing at the same time. And that is an amazing thing and an amazing place to be. And if you want help getting there, come find us. We love helping other runners become physically and mentally stronger. We love helping other runners learn how to train with more joy. That is one of our biggest goals. With our podcast, with our coaching program, with everything that we do, is to try to bring more joy and bring more light into this world because we think it can use it.
[00:52:28] Kevin: Yeah. And running can bring that it Absolutely. So then yes, running means everything cuz it helps shine lights in the world. Absolutely. So, especially when they're headlamps at five o'clock in the morning.
[00:52:38] Angie: Yes, so follow us on all the platforms at Real Life Runners, and if you're interested in getting some help with your running, we can teach you how to personalize a plan that's right for you inside The Real Life Runners Academy, our group coaching program, we also offer one-on-one coaching. I don't know if we have any spots available whenever you're listening to this podcast. But you can [00:53:00] find all those coaching options over on the website, real life runners.com. So head over there and check out those coaching programs because we would love to help you just learn how to train for life and learn how to bring more joy to your running and when you're in number three, by the way, like, and training for life and training for joy. That also includes training for races and trying to improve yourself and trying to run longer or run faster or do all of those things cuz that's really fun and that's, that can bring a lot of really, you know, excitement and joy and personal growth and development into your life as well. So we're not saying you have. Ignore all that stuff we're saying that all these things can work together in a very beautiful way.
[00:53:41] Kevin: Excellent, excellent wrap up.
[00:53:42] Angie: All right, you guys. So thank you as always for joining us. This has been The Real Life Runners podcast, episode number 301. Now, get out there and run your life.