AUDIO ONLY - 312: Keep It Simple: The 4 Things You Need to Improve Your Running
[00:00:00] This is the real life runners podcast, episode number 312. Keep it simple, the four things you need to improve your running.
[00:00:10] Angie: All right, so welcome to the podcast everybody. We've got another two parter for you. So if you guys have been listening to the podcast, you know that our last couple of podcasts were a duo. We had a part one and a part two in summer running, and we've got another two part series for you here all about.
Training, are you gonna sing
[00:00:52] Kevin: for this one also? What song goes with this one? I don't know, but I'm at the figure song before this comes out. I'm sure you will find one. I count on it. We
[00:00:59] Angie: will figure [00:01:00] it out. Um, but we were gonna do a podcast on, uh, and this is like a little behind the scenes as to what actually happens here at the Real Life Runners podcast.
And yes, it is how we operate. So, We've been wanting to do an episode about the different types of zone training, right? There's a lot of different training methods out there. There's power zones and heart rate zones and effort levels and all sorts of diff lactate zones and Oh yeah, thresholds and lots of different types of, so many
[00:01:30] Kevin: different terms out there, right?
And so many different tools to measure things.
[00:01:34] Angie: Lots of different ways that you can train. And so we've had this idea and we've gotten. Plenty of questions about what all of these terms mean and which ones best for us to use, and so we outlined an entire podcast on. Breaking down the differences between these types of different training methods, the benefits, the negatives, and everything in between, and how we feel kind of about all of these different
[00:01:58] Kevin: things, right?
That outline was [00:02:00] like two or three months in the making. I think you asked me to do it like two months ago, and I finally accomplished it and finished it because it's
[00:02:06] Angie: summertime now and you have the time and the energy,
[00:02:08] Kevin: right? Like I did not have time to do it during finals week. That didn't happen. But now it's done and, uh, we were ready to record and Angie decided, uh, that she had a different idea for the podcast, completely
[00:02:17] Angie: different idea.
And by deciding. I offered another option to
[00:02:21] Kevin: Kevin and which was better. And so like this is the thing is you offered a better option.
[00:02:26] Angie: So it's not that, it's better because both are gonna be good. And that episode is going to come out next week and I'm really excited for that. Wednesday, it's gonna be a fantastic episode, but it's going to be very granular, very detail oriented, different from a lot of our normal podcasts.
And so as I was kind of looking at, That outline and the things that we are gonna be talking about in that episode. I thought it was gonna be helpful for us to have an episode to preface that it's a prequel. It is a prequel. Yes. To help you understand that those training zones and things that we are [00:03:00] going to talk about next week, there are things that are beneficial about them.
They are also a good way for you to get lost and. We wanted to preface that episode with this episode, which is really how we feel about running and how to improve your performance, and that is really the keep it simple principle because so many times, We see people think that they need to have the fanciest watches, the most up-to-date technologies.
Go to a lab and get their VO two max, you know, professionally tested. Go. I'd like to get that done. That just sounds fine. If you're gonna, if it's fun, then
[00:03:39] Kevin: great. Right? That mask looks intense. I wanna run with like a scuba mask on my face on a treadmill. There's nothing
[00:03:45] Angie: fun about that for me. Um, you don't have to go get your gait professionally analyzed in a gait lab by a.
Physical therapist, unless you're having some sort of issue that you might benefit from that you people think [00:04:00] that they have to go get their lactate levels, you know, give blood and get their lactate levels measured. There's, there's new
[00:04:06] Kevin: stuff on the market. You don't even have to go to a place. There are now continuous lactate monitors.
Oh yeah. That you can just hook onto your, your arm or there various
[00:04:13] Angie: places. Well, and you see them. You see them a lot on professional
[00:04:16] Kevin: runners. They were, they were bigger in cycling before, like a lot of of tech starts in cycling and then moves itself over. Right. The whole idea of like power meters where hu like every like hardcore cyclist has a power meter or even like, like more recreational cyclists are getting power meters on and that's coming over into running.
Mm-hmm. So now there's like foot pods that measure this stuff. Y you don't need it all. It's interesting information, but if you're not sure what to do with it, it's just, Information and
[00:04:42] Angie: that's really what we wanna talk about today. Okay? Because if you are getting so bogged down in the details in the weeds of all of this, it can often lead to a lot of wasted time, wasted money, and wasted energy and a lot of stress around your running that really isn't [00:05:00] necessary.
And so the way we like to look at this is really thinking about are you are. Chasing the small, tiny details before you have the big rocks in place because you can improve significantly without chasing the 1%. And I think that that's really where a lot of those different training zones and things like that fall into.
Now. There are going to be plenty of people out there. That disagree with us on this? Yeah. There are plenty of coaches out there that train their athletes using all these different various methods and think that you need to have very specific paces for all of your workouts. And if you don't have a specific pace for your workout, then you're not doing it right.
You are. You are going to hear. All sorts of opinions across the board.
[00:05:50] Kevin: Yeah. The, the more precise someone has of like a magic plan, like the more precision there is to a plan in, in my opinion, the more precise it is that these are the [00:06:00] exact steps to get the result, the more likely it's not right.
[00:06:06] Angie: But it's funny because we as humans see all of those details and we think, oh, that must be better.
[00:06:11] Kevin: clearly there's a formula for this. Mm-hmm. But we've talked so many times on the podcast that there's not actually a formula for it. Like we are not actual robots. You can't just plug in this information, right. Plug in these workouts and automatically get these results at the back end. That's just not how it works.
And so if the, the fundamental analysis of the plan is, To plug it into a magic formula. Mm-hmm. Whatever the formula is, whether it's a heart rate or power or all the different things, if they, they all come down to a formula. Mm-hmm. And, and those, it's not as precise, cut and dry. And that's what we're gonna get into in a lot more detail next time.
But the, the big takeaway is it's not that cut and dry.
[00:06:47] Angie: It's not. And I think that it is very interesting though, to see that when we do see increased details, we often think that that's better. Yeah, that more details are better. That more detailed, a more detailed plan with [00:07:00] more specific paces mm-hmm. Are going to give me better results.
And that is not always the case.
[00:07:05] Kevin: It might be easier on your head, be like, well if I just hit an eight minute mile for this workout, then I'll be able to get the results is easier than being like, I want you to make it kind of medium. Well like it, it doesn't seem as concrete on that one. And so how do you know that I'm gonna get the.
The best result out of. And
[00:07:21] Angie: much of that is gonna go into our first pillar of mindset. Absolutely. And what, what we're actually thinking about that plan. But basically we see so many runners out there, especially recreational runners, real life runners, that are, we're doing this because we want to be strong and healthy.
As we get older, we want to chase some performance goals. Some of us, maybe some of us have time goals. And the more specific your time goals are. The more details you may or may not need. Okay. Again, still opt optional,
[00:07:53] Kevin: like the more details you think
[00:07:54] Angie: you need though you think you need more details, but you might not.
And this is the thing is a lot of people can get [00:08:00] amazing results without a lot of those details. And so we wanna talk about today the 95%, right? 90%. I mean, we can, we can debate on like how much of a percentage. It's not just, it is, but. Let's just say the big rocks, right? There are four big rocks that we need to be focusing on as runners.
Once those are in place, then if it's fun and interesting to you to kind of start to refine and chase that 1% or chase that extra 5%, then go for it. Do it right, but. We are often making this a lot more complicated than it needs to be, which leads to a lot of wasted time, a lot of wasted money, a lot of wasted energy, and a lot of frustration and disappointment because we think that we're gonna get these amazing results if we have all of these specific details and when we don't get those results and we're, we're kind of let down in the process.
Yeah, I mean, I
[00:08:51] Kevin: think two things I wanted to highlight there. You said, If you find it fun, you can add some of these other things. Yeah. I think that chasing all these, these numbers and stats and [00:09:00] details at the, the la, the loss of fun is a big miss. Mm-hmm. You also keep mentioning the big rocks, and I think we should kind of cover the metaphor that that's coming from is the story of the, like the college professor that brought out this big glass jar.
And he filled it up with a bunch of huge rocks and asked if it's full. And everyone's like, yeah, you filled it with rocks. And then he put in smaller rocks and he goes, is it full now? And you're like, yeah, no, no. Now it's full. And then he poured sand into it. Mm-hmm. And the idea is if he had started with the sand, there never would've been room to put in the big rocks.
Right. And so much of what we get bogged down in here, And running is these tiny little details of mm-hmm. Chasing this 1% improvement where there are some huge rocks that you could have, you could have put into the jar first, right? And been like, wow, it looks like I filled it up. And instead you're, you're putting in sand, but instead of dumping sand, you're putting in a grain of sand at a time where you could just pick up a big rock and the jar looks
[00:09:51] Angie: half full.
Right? And so if you focus on those small things first, you might not have room for the big things that are. Going to actually [00:10:00] make the biggest difference. But like Kevin said, if you put those big rocks in first, they're going to fill up the majority of the jar. You are going to make massive progress if you pay attention to these big rocks first.
Then if you want to, you can focus on. The details and the small things to fill in the gaps. Yes. Right. Those are more gap fillers. You use the big rocks to essentially fill the jar and then you use the little things to fill in the gaps where you know you might have 1% here, 2% here of like little ways that you wanna improve again.
If you want to, if that seems fun to
[00:10:34] Kevin: you. Yeah, and I mean part of the thing on these, like these chasing the 1% is there are things that might make a difference for one person, but not the next, like one of the easy references here is like the super shoes. Mm-hmm. They make a huge difference for some people.
Yes. But they actually have a negative effect on others. Yes. And so this is my biggest issue with the shoes themselves is it, it makes an unlevel playing field is because not everybody gets the same like magic boost off of the shoes. Mm-hmm. Some people actually have [00:11:00] a negative. A negative response to them.
Mm-hmm. And so chasing and being like, ah, my training can be so, so as long as I put on the magic shoes is not necessarily going after the thing that is going to be guaranteed to give you the results. Right.
[00:11:12] Angie: And so today we're gonna talk about these four big rocks that we train our athletes in inside the Real Life Runners Academy.
And we really help people nail these big things down first before we get into a lot of the nitty gritty details. And once you get these four big things down, Your training is going to improve, and then you'll also have like the time, the energy, the space to focus on the small details if you want. So if you want, we're gonna keep it simple today, next week we're gonna get into more details on all of those different zone trainings.
Okay? So let's talk about the big things today that we want you to focus on, because if you focus on these things alone, you are going to make. Massive amounts of success and improvement in your running. Okay, so step number one, [00:12:00] go for it. Rock number one is mindset. And I say this first for a reason because our thoughts have.
Control over everything that we do in our life. So often we as runners and we as humans don't realize the power that our mind has over everything that we do in our running and in the rest of our life as well. And it often leaves us feeling very unsatisfied or very disappointed because we think that when we make things mean something, we don't realize that we have control sometimes over what we are making.
Those that. What we make things mean. Does that make sense? No. I'm gonna have to go back and edit this out. You're gonna have to clarify that just a little bit on that one. Okay. So we can, in our minds, it's really important for us to break two hours in a half marathon. Okay. Got it. Okay. So in, in our minds that.
Is a very important goal [00:13:00] for us to achieve because that means that we are now a good
[00:13:03] Kevin: runner, right? So then we've attached our own feelings and emotions to this two hour number on a clock somewhere, right? So if we hit it, we feel better. If we don't hit it, we feel disappointed, but we arbitrarily chose the two hour as this important thing, and it didn't, didn't have to be important.
We picked it ourselves,
[00:13:21] Angie: right? And so it's. Our thought that creates the feeling that we have around that situation, which then determines the actions that we take and our actions re determine the results that we actually have. So all of the results that we have in our running can be traced back to our thoughts and the way that we decided to think about those things.
And so, The way that we think about ourselves as a runner, the way that we think about running. Like if you have the idea that running needs to feel hard in order to be effective, it's gonna be hard for you to accept the idea that running should feel easy most of the time in order for you to improve, which we've talked about on this podcast and we're gonna [00:14:00] talk about later, you know, in this episode as well.
But if you have a thought about it, It's going to be hard for you to do things that you might need to do in order to get the improvements that you wanna make. So kind of another thought that we're gonna go into and we can, I guess, wait until we get into the other big rocks, but like this idea of, um, If I want to improve as a runner, I just need to run more.
Yep. That can cause you to ignore strength training and mobility and other things that kind of go along with your ability to improve as
[00:14:33] Kevin: a runner. Yeah. So there's, there's mindset in the whole idea of the power of your thoughts. Mm-hmm. Because your thoughts literally control everything that you're going to do.
Mm-hmm. So if you don't have the appropriate outlook on it, and this could be like self-limiting beliefs that you're like, I mean, I'd like to break two hours of the marathon. But I just, I would like to, I wish I could. Yeah. But you don't actually believe that you could. That's gonna change your, your output to it, like what actions you're actually gonna take.
If it's just a wish [00:15:00] that just kind of floats off in the air, you're not really gonna drive for the thing, you know? But your mindset shows up in all sorts of it. It shows up of whether you're going to do the workouts day after day, so it's gonna affect your consistency. Right. It's gonna affect you in the middle of a run.
Mm-hmm. As things start getting hard. Yep. As. Things are feeling easy, and in your head you're saying, oh, well, it's supposed to feel hard. Like it, it hits you in both different ways. It hits you in the middle of a race when you hit a low point in the race, or you've got the excitement of the beginning of a race.
There's so many times that your mindset matters. Mm-hmm. And it's so much more than I need to tell myself I am strong when races get hard. Like that's not mindset. That's that's a simple mantra. And that's not, that's not gonna be sufficient for saying, all right, mind check. Done. Mindset. Done. Yeah. Mantras
[00:15:44] Angie: are one.
Mindset tool that we can use. There's a lot of other mindset tools that we can use as well. There's self-talk, there's visualization, there's breathing, there's focusing, there's routines, there's mantras, there's of different mental skills [00:16:00] that we can use and practice as actual skills. There's habits, there's learning.
How to set up routines and habits in your life to set yourself up for success? The way that you set up your environment and the way that you think about your environment. Mm-hmm. The way that you think about your training. If you think that your training, your running is separate from the rest of your life and you're just kind of trying to fit things in wherever you can, you're going to be less successful than if you think that running in my life.
Go together. I have to figure out how these two things work together because I am one person. I am one human with one life, and running is a part of my real life. These two things are not separate. That's gonna lead to a lot more success when you realize that all of this is interlinked. And that's again, going back to the way that you think about things.
So your mindset controls all of the actions that you take in your life or all of the actions that you don't take. So if you're struggling with motivation and consistency, It's the way that you're thinking about your running, and is [00:17:00] it as simple as that? No, of course not. There are lots of layers of all of this, right?
A lot of times. We think, oh, well, okay, I just have to start thinking about this differently. Like, I'm going to be consistent, or you're just gonna tell yourself, I am a consistent person. Yeah. Right. There's these I am statements that people like to throw out there as like keys for rewiring your brain.
Yeah. They're one way that you can do it, but a lot of times if you don't believe it, that's not gonna work. And this is the key that a lot of people don't talk about. Mantras are great tools, but if you don't believe it, Just repeating it over and over and over again is not necessarily going to help you.
It might cuz with practice sometimes you can start to come around to it. Sometimes you can start to accept that thought more. You can start to believe that thought more repetition does, can be beneficial. But if that thought is so far fetched for you and you're like, Yeah, no, I'm not like, that's not me at all.
Right. Like if you don't connect to that thought, if you're in the middle of prison, it's not gonna help.
[00:17:58] Kevin: And you're telling yourself that [00:18:00] this is fun and it's not. Yeah. It's physical torture. Telling yourself it's fun is only gonna get you so far.
[00:18:05] Angie: But if you practice telling yourself that it's fun, yes.
[00:18:08] Kevin: running, while you're in other work workouts, while you're training, you've done some difficult training where you've been in difficult spots before and there's, you practice those things other, it's like that he used to try to get his. His team into like a negative headspace. Yep. And then put them into a difficult workout and figure out how do they climb out of the negative headspace.
Mm-hmm. Well, in physical discomfort. Right. And you've gotta come up with something, and maybe it is a mantra, maybe that's a tool that you have. Yep. But then the next time you try that thing, maybe that mantra doesn't work. You have to find another tool. Mm-hmm. So there's a lot about mindset, um, which really I think starts with.
Understanding the key concept that your, your mind, your, your thoughts on things. Mm-hmm. Control all of your actions.
[00:18:49] Angie: Yep. All of them. Exactly. The second big rock that you need to look at is you're running. If you want to be a better runner, you obviously need to run, but one of the biggest [00:19:00] mistakes that we see people making is going out and running all of their runs at the same effort level, which leads to a lack of progress, a lot of boredom.
Burnout and injury. Now, if you've heard my story before, you know that I used to hate running and I thought running was so boring because I just went out and I ran at that moderately hard pace, uhhuh or effort, every single run, and I thought it was torture and I hated it until I met Kevin. And Kevin introduced me to interval training, which was super fun for me because it was like, Now you get to run fast.
Now you get to run slow, now you get to walk, now you get to jog. Like there was all of a sudden all of this variety to what I was doing. So it made it a lot more fun. And I was also in my head before that going back to our rock number one of mindset. I always thought I was a slow runner. Mm-hmm. Because I went out and I pushed myself at that medium effort level, every single run.
And I saw that my times weren't [00:20:00] really getting better. Right. Right. And I would just do immediately plateaued almost. Yeah. Because I would just go out and, and I was, I was only running when I had to run as a part of conditioning in my other sports of course. Or because I wanted to lose weight when I was in college.
Yep. And again, I wasn't getting any faster. I was going to the gym and I was running multiple days per week and I. It just, it didn't feel good. It didn't feel good in my body. I didn't see my pace improving like I was getting no satisfaction from this at all.
[00:20:26] Kevin: It's funny cuz I started running, like I started running in high school, so I naturally had like speed workout days.
Right, because you
[00:20:32] Angie: were, but you started running with a coach. Yes. Right. And that's the difference I think because like you started immediately running, you started immediately running with a coach that knew what he was doing. Like a very
[00:20:40] Kevin: good, I started running with like a hall of fame
[00:20:41] Angie: coach too. Like, so he clearly knew what he was doing.
I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn't, I. Being coached by a running coach. Right. I was being coached by a volleyball coach who just me told me I needed to run a mile in eight minutes. That was
[00:20:54] Kevin: it. Right. I mean, when I first started running, it was like the summer before I entered high school. Right. And honestly, most of my runs, I [00:21:00] probably pushed too hard.
I didn't have speed days. I just kind of went out and I, yeah, I ran. I probably pushed too hard, but I enjoyed that aspect of it. Mm-hmm. You ran push too hard and immediately didn't enjoy it. I ran push too hard and enjoyed it. I think that was the difference between the two of us. Mm-hmm. And then very soon thereafter, I was able to flip over and hit a variety of paces, which really leads to like the best way to improve from the pure running side.
Mm-hmm. Is you really need. A range of paces because the, the variety of different paces really will then create a variety of different stresses on your body. Right. It's not the same stress over and over and over again. Mm-hmm. Like if I poke you in the arm once, you're gonna get annoyed, but it won't. Hurt that much.
If I continue to poke that same spot, it's gonna become a bruise. Mm-hmm. So you need this variety of stresses all over the place so that you actually can improve overall as a runner. Mm-hmm. It's not just the same stress day in and day out, which just gets really boring.
[00:21:55] Angie: Yeah. And this is really the section that we're gonna go into a lot more [00:22:00] details next week is really this.
Rock number two of running, because that's where all of these different zone methods fall into is. I'm so excited for that one. Right. So the key again is that you're running your runs at different effort levels and different intensities. Now, there are lots of different zone methods, heart rate zones and power zones and lactate threshold zones, and all different types of zones out there that tell you that you're running at different.
Effort levels and intensities. Yep. Or you can just tap into the way that you're feeling, which is effort level training or rating of perceived exertion, which again is one of the ones we're gonna talk about next, next week. And also the one that we tend to lean on the most in our coaching practice.
Because you don't need any fancy technology. You don't need any sort of extra testing. You need to learn how to connect to yourself and to your body and to know what you're feeling. And that can be scary for some [00:23:00] of you, especially if you've been disconnected from your body a lot. If you've been someone that's been dependent on your watch and someone that's been dependent on, you know, this little device in your hand to tell you on your wrist or in your hand to tell you whether or not you're doing a good job in your running.
It doesn't have to be as complicated as making sure that 72% of your training is within zone 1.473. Yeah, you can do most of your runs. Make sure they feel easy, right? Sure. Let's, let's go back to the 80 20 principle. Most of your runs, 80% of your running should feel easy. So on a scale of one to 10, we're talking like a level two to three outta 10.
It feels easy. You can go out and run at a comfortable phase. Pace you feel like you could run for a very long time and, and not be tired. You feel like you can breathe easily. Your, your breathing is not labored at all. If you are running with someone else, you could have a conversation and not feel out of breath.[00:24:00]
That is what easy running feels like, and that's what the majority of your running. Should be in. Yeah, like a huge majority of it. Right? Then the other 20% you can sprinkle in faster paces. Some of them medium, some of them hard, like there's really, we say on a scale of one to 10, and we can go into more details and we will go into more details next week.
Yeah, we will. But the three biggest effort levels. That you need are easy, medium, and hard. Okay. So if we're gonna keep it simple in this episode, do most of your runs easy? Do some moderate and do a little bit hard.
[00:24:34] Kevin: Uh, yeah. The, the little bit hard is the one thing I just want to just touch a little bit on, on this one.
Yeah. Is you should do hard regularly. Mm-hmm. But when you do it, you should use it very sparingly. So, When we cook, there's salt in most of the things that we make. Mm-hmm. But there's never a ton of salt, otherwise it just tastes disgustingly like salt. But there's salt in it, so you use it regularly. You [00:25:00] should on a, on a at least weekly basis, touch into harder paces.
But when you do it, you don't do a ton of it. Yeah. I think that's what I got on hard.
[00:25:09] Angie: Yep. Okay. So that's the big rock when it comes to running. Okay. This is, again, this episode. We are here to keep it simple for you guys, because if you get these big rocks, you're gonna make a lot of progress. It doesn't have to be more complicated.
Next week, we're gonna get into a lot more details. So for those of you that love numbers and love details, stay tuned for next week. Okay? But for this week, remember, easy, medium, and hard. Mostly easy, some medium, a little bit hard. All right. Number three, strengthen mobility. So one of the big things we see here is that runners only focus on running.
They think in order for me to be a better runner, again, going back to those thoughts that control our actions, in order for me to be a better runner, I just need to run more. They've heard that before. They've heard of the 10,000 hour rule, okay? Where if I wanna become better at something, if I wanna become an expert at [00:26:00] something, I just have to keep doing it more.
And so they only focus on their running and they ignore. Strength training, mobility, anything else other than running, which leads to oftentimes injury or failure. Failure to reach your full potential because you're not strengthening the muscles that are supporting you as a runner, but oftentimes, If people are ignoring strength and mobility, it's really injury that we see the most.
[00:26:25] Kevin: is more likely to pop up before you hit failure to reach full potential. Right. Depending on like how often you race. Mm-hmm. Like that's the thing is failure to reach potential is gonna really highlight itself if you're racing all the time.
[00:26:36] Angie: Yeah. But, but you're gonna get injured before that. Yeah, probably like quite honestly, like if you're only running and if you're just trying to add mileage, you know, miles and miles, and miles and miles.
Especially if you are in your fourth, fifth, sixth decade of life. Yep. You can't just keep adding mileage with, while ignoring strength and mobility, you are going to get
[00:26:55] Kevin: hurt. Yeah. No, but I read that book from such a long time ago, once a runner and they [00:27:00] said the trials of miles. That was the key. Once a runner
[00:27:02] Angie: is what, an 18 year old?
[00:27:04] Kevin: Yeah, no, he's in college. Okay. 19 year olds. Perfect. And, and the key was just run a bunch. And I've, I've lived in this world before of, and it, cuz it makes. Sense to be a better runner, I need to run more, but the, the issue is in order to run more, I need to be strong enough to do it. Mm-hmm. Like strength y your actual fundamental strength in your body, and not just like your hamstrings and quads, but all of the muscles through your body is the foundation of everything else.
If you don't have sufficient strength, you're not running at all. Like if you don't have sufficient strength, you're not sitting up out of the chair, like you're just, you're laying in the bed because you're not strong enough. So you get strong enough that you can actually stand up. You need to be strong enough that then you can walk forward.
You need to be strong enough that you can run. You're like, oh, great. Well, now I can run. So now I guess I could just double, triple, quadruple my mileage. No, no, no. You need to be strong enough to keep taking all of these steps forward. If you're gonna increase volume, you're gonna increase [00:28:00] speed. You still need to increase your strength.
[00:28:02] Angie: Yeah, I think that one of the reasons that people have a hard time incorporating strength training is because they're not quite sure what to do. Yeah. Whereas it's easy to go out and just run more. That was one
[00:28:13] Kevin: my big issues
[00:28:14] Angie: is Right. So I'm like, But you're, you're telling me now that I'm supposed to incorporate strength training, I don't really know what I'm supposed to be
[00:28:19] Kevin: doing.
Right. The difference between running five miles and running six miles is literally just doing the same thing for an extra mile. Right. But the difference between running five miles and running five miles, plus going to the gym and doing a strength routine. Right. Plus setting up a strength routine inside of my house, getting a home gym.
It just equipment. It seems like there's stuff involved. Right. That is much more complicated than. Add an extra
[00:28:40] Angie: mile. Exactly, and it doesn't have to be more complicated. Again, there are basic movements that you can do as a runner without any equipment so that you can start to hit this big rock and start to knock off some of this area of your running performance and really your health in [00:29:00] general because strength.
Is very important for us as we get older. Yes, it's important for us as runners, but it's just important for us as humans. Lean muscle mass is one of the number one things that you can do to help prevent age related illnesses and problems as we get older, like all
[00:29:18] Kevin: the age related declines, right? Like.
Like, as you get older, your VO two max goes down. But why does your VO two max decline? Because you're losing muscle mass. Mm-hmm. But why are you losing muscle mass? Because you're not strength training, right? Just
[00:29:28] Angie: hit up a gym. So if you go out and just run more miles, it it, it's not gonna be the most effective way for you to increase that.
Right? If you
[00:29:36] Kevin: go out and run extra miles, it's as you age and try to increase your mileage, in all likelihood, you're just accelerating muscle atrophy.
[00:29:44] Angie: Oftentimes that is true. So strength, which seems like a bad choice, seem, yeah, so strength training is very, very important. If you're not sure where to start, we have a free resource for you over on the website, real life runners.com/strength.
Again, those are some of the basics, and I give [00:30:00] you a handout, you get a PDF download, you get a video explaining all of the exercises. And then I also have a, a short video. Explaining why I chose those exercises for strength circuit one, because as a runner, it's not that I just, you know, threw a bunch of exercises together.
I'm like, yeah, do anything. But as a runner, there are certain muscles that we need to strengthen for us to. A, get faster, B, be able to run longer, and C not get injured. And the videos that I put together explain kind of all of that for you. So
[00:30:31] Kevin: yeah, I mean, if you're not inside of our academy, I know we have a lot of academy listeners that listen to this, but if you're not and you've not gotten the strength, uh, that.
Like what Angie has created. The Strength guide. The strength guide that Angie has created. Cuz you've had this for a while and you years Yeah, it's it's amazing. Like if you've not seen the Strength Guide and you're not working with us, go to this website, give 'em website again, because this is phenomenal.
Like, you have to get this like of the rocks. This is now the rock that I'm like, I'm cheering on one place. I know
[00:30:57] Angie: you've, you've become like a strength advocate. [00:31:00] You've
[00:31:00] Kevin: strongly converted me. I now wave the strength flag as I do deadlifts.
[00:31:05] Angie: I strong armed you into strong.
Real life runners.com/strength is that free resource. If you don't have it yet, go check it out. Um, and again, it seems simple, but I. The simplicity is the beauty, like the beauty is in the simplicity of that because it doesn't have to be complicated. And the same thing goes with a lot of these basic exercises, quote unquote basic exercises at the gym, right?
Squats, deadlifts, planks, side planks. They seem basic, but they're not. They're very beneficial and they're basic for a reason. It's kind of like cliches, right? We were talking about cliches the other day. And you were, you were talking about how you were thinking about cliches or using them or something, right?
It is, yeah. But it was like they're cliches for a reason. Right. They didn't just become cliche.
[00:31:55] Kevin: Right. I was like, I was trying to push back against the cliche of like, well, that can't be true. I'm like, well, no, actually it [00:32:00] probably is because it's been like solid advice that's been given for a. Long time.
It probably is there for a reason the same as some of these basic foundational movements and Right. You know, but you go on, you go on the, the different social medias and it's, it's not a guy doing a squat. Certainly you could find people doing squats and showing off their squats online also, but you also have like, The guy who's bouncing on one foot with like a kettlebell swinging in one hand and he's jumping rope in the other.
Right. And like, you don't need to do that. Mm-hmm. That's overkill. That's not that. That's again, striving for the 1%. It's Especially
[00:32:33] Angie: when you're starting out. Yeah. Right. Like. In parentheses, especially when you're starting out. When you're starting out, the basics are the best. Keep it simple, keep it easy.
Challenge yourself, right? When I say easy, I don't mean that you shouldn't feel it. You should definitely feel the strength training. You wanna challenge yourself with the the strength exercises. But it doesn't have to be super complicated. You don't need tons of equipment. Make sure [00:33:00] that you're incorporating strength at least twice a week, maybe even three times a week depending on who you are and what's going on.
[00:33:06] Kevin: loved your, the foundation of your strength, like the, the strength, the first strength routine that you had created for me. Yeah. I was like, That seems like it's too simple. Like I'm pretty fast. I might be able to do more than this, but being pretty fast and being able to actually go through some of these fundamental movements in the gym are apparently two completely different categories.
As I found out with how sore I was after like day one of trying to add some actual, like extra weight onto these things. Mm-hmm. I'm like, wow, that is really, really hard. And it was. It wasn't like a long routine. I didn't spend an hour and a half in the gym. Right. I spent like 20 minutes and I was so sore the next day.
Mm-hmm. And then three days later when I did the next one, and then the next week I was less sore, and the next week I was just stronger. Right.
[00:33:50] Angie: And I'm so glad you point this out because. If you think, oh, I'm a good runner, or I'm a fast runner it or fast runner, I good. It's easy for me. Yeah, it's gonna be easy for me to do [00:34:00] this.
Uhuh, good one. Oftentimes it's quite the opposite, right? Like this is
[00:34:05] Kevin: watch distance runners try and rock yoga if they've never done yoga before. It's comical every time because I usually do yoga. Annually. Mm-hmm.
[00:34:15] Angie: Yeah. There's an event that I ask my family to go with me to, and, and Kevin usually obliges.
[00:34:20] Kevin: Right. And, and you're like, man, it's just, it's such a nice, relaxing thing, and I am just dripping sweat. And I'm sore. Like as we're leaving the event,
[00:34:28] Angie: I'm like, this is way too easy because I do yoga every week. Right. So it's like that class specifically is a very, very basic class because, which
[00:34:36] Kevin: I appreciate.
Yeah. All right.
[00:34:38] Angie: All right. Fourth Rock. All right. Fourth big rock is recovery and nutrition, and in our program we used to have these two things separate, and we've just recently decided to put them together because they really do go hand in hand. Recovery and nutrition are like two sides of the same coin, essentially.
Yeah, right. So a lot of times we see. [00:35:00] So many people and out there on social media, this is running rampant, right? Oh my goodness. Trying to hack your way to recovery, trying to make sure that you're focusing on the ice baths and the infrared sauna, and doing all of these other little recovery hacks and try to And the supplements.
The supplements, yep. All of that. And not getting enough sleep. Or focusing on mid run nutrition. What do, what do I need to take in on my run? How many calories and how many grams of carbohydrates do I need to take in during my run while still eating like crap? The. Other 16 hours of the day. Right.
[00:35:39] Kevin: And Eli Crapp falls into a couple different categories, right.
Whether it's junk that you're just putting in your body mm-hmm. Or lack of fuel that, that you're literally just not putting fuel into the body the rest of the day. Mm-hmm. You're like, no, no, no. I fuel during my run. But that's the, I I fast the other 23 hours of the day, oh, we're not gonna take, that's not gonna work.
Intermittent fasting. No, no, no. I went, I went to the extreme of I only eat during [00:36:00] my run. Right. I make sure that I have these three gels during my run. Right. And that's my fuel for the day. Right. It's not gonna work.
[00:36:05] Angie: So trying to only focus on your running nutrition or only focus on hacking your recovery, that's a great path to, again, lack of progress, burnout, and injury while you're ignoring the big rocks of getting enough sleep.
Right? This is a really big thing that Kevin and I are non-negotiable about
[00:36:27] Kevin: now. Yep. Yeah. No, this is, this is the one, like sleep is, is the one thing that it's like, okay, well I guess I'm not gonna be able to get in my run tomorrow. Mm-hmm. Because the afternoon, we have these things with family and we stayed up too late.
Right. For me to be able to get my run in in the morning, and so I'm not going to run and I accept it the night before. It's not like, ah, maybe I'll try and squeeze it in here. It's like, no, no, no. I'm not going to sleep like three hours because we stayed up doing yeah, whatever. Probably fun thing, thing with our family, watching a movie out with friends, whatever it [00:37:00] is, that means I'm not doing a morning run the next day.
[00:37:02] Angie: and this is one thing that we definitely did not used to prioritize as much as we do
[00:37:08] Kevin: now. Oh my God. I used to take so much pride in how fast I could burn the candle from both ends.
[00:37:13] Angie: Yeah. And it led to very, very, Poor results, poor outcomes.
[00:37:19] Kevin: Yeah. I mean, three trips to the hospital for three seizures in a year is not usually the sign of good long-term success.
Mm-hmm. But I do think that there was a connection between, uh, like extensive lack of sleep. Yes. That had been building up for years. Chronic. It wasn't just like, oh, well during this marathon training cycle there was lack of sleep. Right. It was lack of sleep since like I was 18 or so. Right. That finally, Um, had enough by the time I was Yeah.
[00:37:45] Angie: 15 years of chronic sleep deprivation. Right. 15 years basically. Okay, great. Well, wait, 2017, so you were 36. So
[00:37:51] Kevin: I started the massive sleep deprivation Yeah. Around the year 2000. Yes. So 17 years of chronic sleep deprivation.
[00:37:56] Angie: 17, 18 years of chronic sleep deprivation. Well, so, and [00:38:00] here's the thing. How many of us.
Have this kind of mentality of like, oh, it's just sleep. It's like, oh, I don't need that much sleep. It's just sleep. Right. God, that was me. Or I'll sleep when I'm dead. This is like the hustle culture message that's out there. Right. And there's a lot more of this take care of yourself. Message coming in. I, I start, I'm like seeing a lot more of that, thank God, but there's still, there's still a lot of people
[00:38:21] Kevin: pushing.
I'll sleep when
[00:38:22] Angie: dead. There's. Still a lot of that hustle culture mentality out there of, I don't need the sleep. I just, if I'm gonna sacrifice something, it's gonna be the sleep, right? I can stay up late, I can wake up early and go for my run, and then I'll just kind of miss out on some sleep that day.
This overall, especially in the long term, leads to very poor results. And hopefully your poor results don't end in seizures like it did for Kevin. Um, but maybe for you it's a knee injury, it's that chronic ache, achy back, you know, back pain that won't go away. Mm-hmm. Like people sometimes wonder like, why [00:39:00] do I have this nagging injury that is not?
Getting better. Like I'm quote unquote doing all the things, and I say, how much sleep do you get every night? And they're like, oh, about five to six hours. Yep, that's not enough. All right. We as adult humans need seven to eight hours of sleep every night. And there are people out there that will tell you, oh, not everyone needs seven to eight hours.
I will tell you that it's true. That there's people out there that will say that, or that not everybody needs it. Not
[00:39:28] Kevin: everybody needs it, but the number of people that think that they're an outlier just does not make sense on a bell
[00:39:32] Angie: curve. Well, so what I was going to say is that I don't think that if like it's not going to be detrimental to you, oh, is could it, could it be true that you might be an outlier and you don't quote unquote need seven to eight hours of sleep maybe.
Probably not right? Prob, you're probably not the outlier, but would it be detrimental for you if you actually did get [00:40:00] seven to eight hours of sleep? If you are someone that said, you know that whose body doesn't need seven to eight hours of sleep, and you'd be okay on six hours of sleep. Would, wouldn't you still benefit if you get seven to eight hours?
Like I would argue yes. Right? Probably. And those of us that are athletes could probably benefit from even more sleep. So if the average human needs seven to eight, maybe we would do better on eight to nine because we are breaking our muscles down every time we work out. And it is during sleep, especially during deep sleep where our, our bodies regenerate and recover.
Build back stronger than they were before. So if we're short cutting our sleep, we are not building our body back up stronger. Or as strong as we could be, and we're then making it take longer for us to improve and really setting ourself up again for
[00:40:49] Kevin: injury. Yeah, I mean, so much like the body really needs somewhere around that, like eight hours plus or minus.
But like I said, it's, it's a bell curve. Yeah. Some people need even more [00:41:00] than that, right? Like for some people, eight is not sufficient. Mm-hmm. And for some people, you know, they can go less than that. But the way a bell curve works, the way that population mean works is not that many people are on the low end.
And it probably would've shown up a long time ago. If you've been sleep deprived for the last like 20 years, you're like, no, no, no. This is just how I feel. I feel totally normal. Maybe normal is exhausted. Right. How would you feel if you took a nap?
[00:41:24] Angie: Yeah, I mean, maybe I think that that's true. I think that people are chronically exhausted and don't even realize it, right?
[00:41:32] Kevin: So that they think that that's
[00:41:33] Angie: normal. They think that's normal, right? And they just associate that with, okay, well this is how I feel every day, so that must be normal. Right? And not realizing that they could feel better, but. In your case. Right. So for those of you that aren't really familiar with Kevin's story, Kevin had a series of three seizures over the course of 2017 and we did all the tests.
I mean, oh yeah. Okay. So many tests and they could not find [00:42:00] one reason for them, they could not, was a good waste of money. They couldn't pinpoint a reason for these seizures. Thank God on one hand, right? Like thank God there wasn't some sort of like growth or something going on. A good, good point, but, When the more and more research that I did and that we did, going into this idea of overall health and lifestyle and things like that, I am a firm believer now that the chronic sleep deprivation played the biggest role in all of this.
And like you just said, it took 17, 18 years for that to come to head. Yep. Right. So, You might think that you can survive on six hours, five hours of sleep, that you're quote unquote fine sleeping five or six hours a night and then getting up early to train. But is that going to have long-term health consequences for you?
I don't know. I hope not. Yeah. Right. Like I, I, I don't wish this on anyone. I don't want wish any negative health consequences on [00:43:00] anybody, but I do think that you are taking a risk, it's kind of like a, a Russian roulette in a way. Like, and maybe it's not, I. A seizure, maybe. It's, like I said, it's a, it's an Achilles injury that won't go away.
It's a, or the
[00:43:13] Kevin: illness that won't go away. Illness. Illness. We got away, got sick with a cold and you still seem to have that cold six weeks
[00:43:18] Angie: later, or cr or like, uh, subsequent illnesses. Right? Yeah. Like you just seem to be sick all the time. Yeah. That's
[00:43:24] Kevin: probably, it's a immune system. That's probably a lack of enough sleep.
Mm-hmm. And in this same category of making sure you're sleeping enough is making sure that you're fueling Yeah. Sufficiently at all times. Like at all times. You need to make sure that you are putting enough fuel in your body, and this is whether you're training hard, whether you're training easy, whether you had like a workout that day, a strength workout, that day speed session.
Always make sure that there is enough fuel inside of your body and air on the side of, maybe I'll have a little
[00:43:54] Angie: bit more, and I think that this is one thing that we have a very hard time with as a [00:44:00] culture, especially as females. Yep. Because if you are like me and you're in your fourth decade of life or beyond, right?
Fourth, fifth, sixth. If you grew up in the eighties and nineties, With diet, culture and all of the things that, all the messaging that we were given at that time, it was always less is more, right? Eat less cuz you wanna lose weight. Mm-hmm. Eating more is going to lead to weight gain and if you come into running with that mentality, again, going back to rock number one about mindset and the way that you think about things, if you have a hard time, Or if you think that you need to eat less in order to lose weight, you're going to restrict the amount of food that you're eating, which could possibly mean that you're not fueling yourself for the training load that you are currently undertaking.
So if you're under fueling, which means not eating enough. Based on how much you're running and training every day and every week, you're not giving your body the building blocks that it [00:45:00] needs to build back stronger in those recovery periods. Okay, so again, a little basic. During workouts, you break your body down.
During recovery, your body builds back stronger, but it needs. Building blocks, which is protein and carbohydrates to build back the muscles stronger than they were before. Okay? Protein specifically will help build back that muscle. Carbohydrate will refill your energy stores and also is the main fuel source for your brain and for most functions in your body.
Right. And so if you're restricting your food in general, or if you're restricting one food group like carbs that now have the bad rap, um, in today's society, people are
[00:45:41] Kevin: given 15 years. People
[00:45:42] Angie: will be fine with carbs. It'll be right. It's always a pendulum, right? But right now, that's what seems to be demonized.
If you're thinking, okay, well I, I have to eat low carb, or I have to be fasting, or I, I'm, I have to be doing all of these things for my gut health or for this health. Are you fueling yourself [00:46:00] as an athlete? That's what you have to ask yourself. Am I providing my body with the fuel that it needs in order for me to do the training that I wanna be doing right now?
That includes the running, the strength training, like whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish right now, whatever goal it is that you have, are you fueling your body in order to help? Accomplish
[00:46:20] Kevin: that goal. I think that's excellent stated. Um, and then one of the other things I just wanna touch on just a little bit, because it falls into the category of trying to hack your way to success, which ignores the fundamental principles, it's reaching for the 1% and forgetting the low hanging fruit.
Um, some of these recovery shortcuts from, you know, the, the magic compression boots to the ice baths, to the various supplements. Mm-hmm. They might actually prevent your body from going through the actual, like, Your own body's recovery process. Yeah. When you work out, whether it's running or lifting or whatever, it's when you workout, you get sore.
You're sore for a reason. It signals your body. You went a little bit too hard, and [00:47:00] then your body is forced to build back stronger. It's forced to say, oh, if I want to go to that speed again, I need to get a little bit more capable of that. And it makes whatever the appropriate adaptation is, it builds the muscle, it creates mitochondria, increases the blood volume, it does all sorts of the different adaptations depending on how you showed it that it wasn't capable.
If, if you use all of these different recovery shortcuts and say, oh, my, my legs are feeling sore, so if I take an ice bath and then I get the compression sleeves on, it just wipes out the soreness and your body doesn't bother trying to build back stronger because it. Doesn't have anything to build back anymore.
All the soreness is gone, all the inflammation is gone, and there's no repair crew trying to rush to the scene because you artificially took care of it. So you're not necessarily coming back stronger. You're going through these difficult workouts, but then you're artificially re like enhancing your recovery.
[00:47:52] Angie: Yeah. And so there are benefits to some of these recovery tools depending on the training cycle that you're in, and depending on the tool [00:48:00] that you're currently focusing on. So we're not saying that they're all a bunch of, they're, they're not all a sham, like they, no, they, a lot of them work. But what Kevin, I, I mean, I completely agree, right, is that you're not allowing your body to actually make those adaptations.
It's like, um, Doing things for your kids instead of letting them do that things themselves. Yes. Right. Like when you have kids and they're growing up, they need to learn certain skills and if you, so if they get up, say they're trying to learn how to walk uhhuh, and they get up and they fall back down and you run over and you pick them up and you carry them everywhere.
It's gonna take longer for them to learn how to walk a whole lot longer.
[00:48:37] Kevin: Right. Or it will be way faster to get there if you just carry the kid rather than let them walk and trip and walk and trip and walk and stumble. Well,
[00:48:44] Angie: and think about the other skills that we try to like tying their shoelaces.
Right. That's a great,
[00:48:49] Kevin: oh my. How, like let's build in an extra 20 minutes to get outta the house because the kid, it's though needs to tie both of their
[00:48:55] Angie: shoots. Right? But if you don't let them do it, and if you don't let them fail and you don't [00:49:00] let them take the time to, to learn how to do that themselves, and you just jump in and do it for them, they're never gonna actually learn how to do it.
You're, they're gonna be a 10 year old on my softball team that doesn't know how to tie their shoes when they're on first base. That asks first base coach to tie her shoes because she doesn't know how to do it. I mean, because her parents been doing it for her the whole, the whole time.
[00:49:18] Kevin: I know you get excited with the 10 year old.
I used to sell shoes. I. The number of full-grown adults in their thirties and forties that would come in, no, they could tie their shoes, but they couldn't tie them Well, no. They literally, they would take like a completely brand new pair of shoes that was loosened all the bottom and just take the two end strings and yank up so it's not tightened anywhere.
Instead of like fighting from the right, they just yanked the whole thing up and then I, they would still tie awkwardly. It was. So uncomfortable. It was, it was
[00:49:50] Angie: bad. I mean, maybe they were just doing that because they were trying shoes on and they didn't wanna take the time
[00:49:54] Kevin: to do it. I don't know. My boss would regularly tell me, Kevin, go tie their shoes for them.[00:50:00]
Which was really uncomfortable because I was like, I don't know, 18 at the time. Right. And I would have to go like, tie the shoes of this like, 40 year old person. I was like, um, you, you have to start here. It was, it was the funniest thing. Yeah. But
[00:50:13] Angie: th that kind of makes the point, right, of like, if you're the parent that's constantly doing the thing and tying your sh the shoes for your child and don't let them do it, it, it's gonna take a lot longer for them to learn that skill.
So if you're short cutting your recovery by using all these recovery hacks, Will you feel better quicker in the short term? Absolutely. But will it take you longer to make those adaptations that you want? Probably
[00:50:38] Kevin: yes. Yeah. So like if you have a race coming up this weekend and you have something that's particularly sore, by all means, absolutely.
Ice the heck outta that thing, right? Whatever you can do to feel better this weekend, but long term, year over year growth is gonna be better without some of the tools. All the time.
[00:50:53] Angie: Exactly. So those are the four main pillars that we want you to think about. The four big rocks that you need to be [00:51:00] putting in your jar to keep your training simple.
Okay. Again, mindset, realizing your th the power of your thoughts and really getting clear on what it is that you're thinking like. Step one for all of this is awareness. If you haven't, um, listened to episode 300, go back and li listen to episode 300, which is the Real Life Runners method, which goes through the three steps of awareness, intention, and action.
You can take those three steps and apply that to every single one of these rocks. Like where am I right now with my mindset? How do I want to show up? What is the intention that I want to have? What is the goal? And then start taking action to change those things, right, in all four of these areas. So again, number one, mindset.
Number two, running. Keep it easy, medium and hard. Number three. Strength training and mobility. Make sure that you're incorporating strength training at least twice a week. And it can be basic. It doesn't have to be big, complicated things. And number four, making sure that you're getting enough sleep and fueling your body with enough food [00:52:00] so that you can gain the benefits of your training.
Those are the four things you really need to focus on before you start to get into. The nitty gritty details that we're gonna go into a lot more next
[00:52:10] Kevin: week. This was a great episode. I am also really looking forward to the details of next week.
[00:52:15] Angie: I think that next week is gonna be a lot more you talking than me talking.
We'll have some listeners back and
[00:52:19] Kevin: forth because you are a genius, so you're gonna help be able to explain some things to well, I know, but you get
[00:52:23] Angie: very, very excited about all the little scientific, I think you're really excited details. So, um, again, a couple things that we mentioned in this episode. If you.
Aren't a part of the Academy, which is our coaching program, and you want a strength guide. Head over to real life runners.com/strength if you do wanna become a part of the academy where we walk you through all four of these big rocks step-by-step so that you can make sure that you are. Incorporating all of these things into your training plan to create a training program that is right for you, a customized training program that's right for you, so that we help you assess exactly where you [00:53:00] are right now, help you set a goal, and then take the actions that you actually need to take in order to see improvements and kind of get rid of all the fluff and stuff that you don't need along the way.
Um, you can check out our group coaching program [email protected] slash academy. Um, You can also just go to the, the homepage real life runners.com and, and get to it that way you can navigate your way through. If you forget the slash academy, just go to the homepage, real life runners.com. And if you just scroll down the page a little bit, you'll see where it says group coaching, and you can get to it that way as well.
Um, we would love to help you guys. We love helping runners to cut out. You can always DM Angie. Yeah. Or we love helping runners to cut out the bologna and just focus on the things that are actually gonna move you forward, because it doesn't have to be complicated and it can be a heck of a lot of fun. So check all that stuff over.
Out over on the website, and if you haven't yet, one last request, please leave us a review over on Apple Podcasts because it does help people to [00:54:00] find the show. So thank you to everyone that is, has already left us a review, and if you haven't yet, um, we would be very, very grateful if you just took a couple of minutes to leave us a quick review over on Apple Podcasts and.
As always, thank you for spending this time with us. Stay tuned for Part two next week. This has been The Real Life Writers Podcast, episode number 312. Now, get out there and run your life.