Interview with Fitness Expert Ben Greenfield

In this episode we speak with author and fitness guru Ben Greenfield and in this episodes quick tip, Angie will answer a listener question about how to stay in marathon shape.

Ben Greenfield has been in the health and fitness podcasting space longer than we have. He was the first influencer to reach out to us after we launched and we used to have him on the show once a year. He’s a competitive triathlete, personal trainer, biohacker, speaker, and author of the book Beyond Training. He is a walking encyclopedia of health and fitness! In this conversation we talk to Ben about transitioning to obstacle course racing, building strength, tips on breathing for runners, ways to biohacker your house, and his thoughts on screen time and screen time for kids.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

John Muir Trust– contribute a tree to the MTA Forever Forest. We went with the idea of planting 262 trees as a nod to the marathon distance, with donations going toward our tree planting fund to create an ‘MTA Forever Forest’. “Come to the woods for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.” -John Muir

London Marathon Meet Up –See details here.

Yoga Trapeze -Yoga teacher Lucas Rockwood has come up with a unique solution called, The Yoga Trapeze. This lightweight, versatile inversion sling can hang in a doorway or from an exposed beam. It is excellent when used for yoga poses, core work, and traction (1-7 minutes upside down daily is recommended). You can try the Yoga Trapeze for 30 days for just $1 by going to YogaTrapeze.com, and if you use coupon code “marathon”, you’ll get a free instructional DVD with your order. 


MetPro – Take a metabolic assessment and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of their experts by going to www.metpro.co/mta

Topo Athletic -a gimmick-free running shoe company delivering footwear solutions for healthier, more natural running patterns. A roomy toe box promotes functional foot movement and the cushioned midsoles come in a variety of thicknesses and heel elevations, so you can pick your unique level of protection and comfort.

Athletic Greens -the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements and the easiest way to build a healthy habit each and every morning.

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Race Recap: Angie Tries to Race Walk a Marathon

In this podcast episode Angie recaps the Red Rock Canyon Marathon in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she decided to see how fast she can walk a marathon. It got interesting!

Plus you will hear how to improve your walking speed and use it effectively in marathon training.

The Red Rock Canyon Marathon in Las Vegas, Nevada, is put on by Calico Racing. The 12th year of the race was held on Feb 23, 2019.

Pre Race:
The race director was great about sending out pre-race emails and there was good information on the website. Joyce, the race director, said that putting on the race this year was very challenging because the government shutdown made it uncertain whether they would have to find a different location to hold the event. Then two days before the marathon the Las Vegas area had a snowstorm and the course had to be rerouted due to bad road conditions.

Packet pick up was located at Silver Sevens Hotel on Friday evening and they did offer last minute bib pickup on race morning at the start line. Since there wasn’t adequate parking available at the start area they required that runners either be dropped off or ride one of the buses from two locations in Vegas. I purchased a bus ticket to ride from the host hotel since I wasn’t planning on renting a car in the area and it departed at 4:45 am on Saturday morning for an approximate 40 minute bus ride. I sat with a lady from WA who is also working on her 50 states and has done over 100 marathons.

Race Morning:
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area has more than 179,000 acres and is absolutely beautiful with red sandstone formations, sheer 1,800-ft. cliffs and several mountains, including Mount Wilson, Rainbow Mountain and Indecision Peak.

The park, which sees more than a million visitors each year, is federally designated as a Backcountry Scenic Byway, the 13 mile paved scenic drive traverses some of the Mojave Desert’s most stunning scenery with sandstone formations, desert vegetation, and wildlife.

It was dark and around 20 degrees when we arrived at the start and it slowly started getting light as we waited for the race to begin. It was lovely to see the sun rise over the mountains but I was very unsure about my race strategy due to the cold. Fortunately there were some indoor bathrooms to stay warm in addition to the portable toilets offered by the race. By the time the race started at 6:15 am my toes and fingers were numb. The half marathon started at 7am and the 5k after that.

Course:
The course was modified because of the snow. It consisted of 4 laps of 5.77 miles and one shorter lap. Each lap started by the visitor’s center and had approximately 3 miles of uphill climbing and 2.77 miles downhill per lap. Some places had a 10% grade and total elevation gain for the marathon was around 3,000 feet. The marathon had a 7 hour cut off and the half marathon a 6:15 cut off.

The course was paved throughout the entire race and a section of the road was coned off for runners so that car traffic could continue through the park. This meant that there was often two way traffic of runners in the coned off area but it seemed like people navigated it well. Although doing repeated laps isn’t the most fun it was actually nice to see the same people again and again and spectators and runners who’d already finished cheered you on when you passed the start/finish line multiple times. Another redeeming factor was the beautiful blue skies, sunshine, seeing the snow on the ground, the mountains, and the overall stunning scenery. The fresh air was very invigorating and it did warm up to the mid-40’s by noon.

Aid Stations:
We passed by the same aid stations multiple times and they were staffed by friendly and encouraging volunteers. They offered water, sports drink, and gels at each one. The race also had EMS standing by at the starting area and there were a couple locations with portable toilets. There was a bag drop at the starting line and because of the looped course those were available (many runners added and shed layers as the temperatures changed). I used Generation UCAN snack bars for fuel (1-30 minutes before the marathon and then ½ a bar every 5 miles). My energy levels were solid throughout and my stomach felt good.

Finish:
The male winner was Aaron Gall and he finished with a time of 3:23:35. The female winner was Tatyana Steis and she finished in 3:35:58. The average finish time for the marathon was 5:11:32 and there were a total of 95 marathon finishers, 288 half marathoners and 170 who did the 5k.
They had a nice food table at the finish line with ramen noodles, applesauce, yogurt, pudding, granola bars, chips, water, and sports drink. As I made loops by the finish line earlier in the day I semi panicked because I didn’t see any food (and I’m always hungry after a marathon). The race gave out a nice big medal and a tasteful technical shirt.

My Experience/Strategy:

Like I mentioned earlier I felt very nervous and conflicted about my plan to walk the entire marathon. Part of that hesitation was wondering if I’d be warm enough and the other part was probably a bit of pride not wanting to look like a dork. So I decided to start off walking and see how it went. It actually took quite a bit of concentration to walk the whole way, especially on the downhills. I decided to adhere to the rules of race walking where you have to have one foot in contact with the ground at all times and the front/leading leg straight on impact. Race walking requires a bit more hip and arm action to keep power and momentum. A lot of people out on the race course made comments on how fast I was walking, and of course I felt compelled to explain my walking experiment. I managed to speed walk the entire time, felt strong and often passed people on the up hills (and then they’d usually pass me on the downhills). By the end of the marathon my legs felt a bit stiff from the straighter form required for walking and the tops of my ankles and feet were sore but overall fairly good.

photo credit: Mark Goddard

I met up with a former coaching client of mine named Mark Goddard from CA before the race and also saw him out on the course and after the race. Another MTA listener Teri was running the half marathon and I saw her out on a couple of the loops. Another fun surprise was when MTA fan Bobby from NY said hi to me out on the course. He was in the area and spectated a bit of the race. I also met some other cool runners at the event: Theresa, Grant, and Kyle who finished his first marathon (as part of training for an Ironman). We hung out and talked post race while we were waiting for the return bus. There was a couple out on the course and the ladies shirt said, “it’s my birthday and I’ll run if I want to.”

I got a lot of remarks about my walking speed and I’m sure people were laughing behind my back about me walking down hills. My finish time 5:31:21 for an average pace of 12:40 which was faster than I predicted due to the hilly course. My fastest mile was 11:38 and slowest mile was 13:58 (probably the one with the bathroom stop). My overall place was 57/95. This was my 44th state and 56th marathon.

It’s so important to remember that running and walking pace is all relative. A marathon is always a huge accomplishment, no matter how much time it takes you to finish or the percentage of running or walking you do.

I got this email a couple days after the marathon:

“Congratulations to everyone who came out to tackle the hardest and coldest Red Rock Canyon Marathon in our 12 year history.  I SO appreciate all of your cooperation with the forced last minute changes to the course.” Joyce (race director)

How to become a faster walker

We’ve never really talked specifically about walking as part of marathon training. We often refer in passing to doing run/walk intervals and in many of the marathons I’ve done there has been some walking, sometimes planned but often unplanned. I’m sure many of us have had the disheartening experience of a marathon gone wrong where were ended up doing extended periods of walking.

A couple such times stand out in my mind. The first one was my 3rd marathon, the Little Rock Marathon, which I did back in 2011, five months after having our third child. My endurance and core strength was certainly not up to par yet and the hilly course didn’t help matters. I managed to run for the first half and then ended up walking the entire second half. It felt like the longest slog ever.

Another marathon that stands out was my 32nd at the Lincoln Marathon which was unseasonably hot for May. Toward the later miles of the race I began walking more and more and it started feeling like a death march. There have been many other marathons where I planned to walk certain intervals, like through aid stations or up hills, and this didn’t have the same demoralizing effect. Sometimes I would look forward to seeing a hill because I’d given myself permission to walk.

I also think that doing specific run/walk intervals are a very smart race strategy for many people. You might see individuals during a race that have a timer go off as a signal for them to start their next interval. I’ve often had run/walkers pass me during marathons or we would leap frog each other during the event. When I did the Air Force Marathon in OH I remember Jeff Galloway (probably the biggest promoter of the run/walk/run method) blaze by me on the course. Let me tell you, his walking intervals were not a stroll in the park.

Other ways that walking can be used in your training is during your warm ups and cool downs. Walking for 5-10 minutes as a warm up and cool down is a very effective way to get your body safely ready to run and then to return it to homeostasis. Some runners walk between speed intervals at the track. And it’s entirely normal to walk tough hills, especially if you’re trying to keep your heart rate in a certain zone. My rule for hills is if I can walk the hill faster than I can run it I default to walking. Another way that walking can be used is if you’re dealing with a niggle, injury, or illness. It’s a great way to still get some healthy activity in without setting your body back. Occasionally there will be run days when I just feel super worn down and know that running will only exacerbate that feeling. I often switch my running mileage over to walking and usually feel much better the next day.

The health benefits of walking are indisputable and it’s something that accessible to nearly every person. Walking is often the gateway into running for many people. I was recently doing continuing education to renew my nursing license and did a course educating healthcare professionals on exercise. Check out these stats on the amount of Americans who don’t get the minimum recommended amount of physical activity. First off, here’s what is considered the minimum amount of exercise:

“People are classified as meeting aerobic exercise recommendations if they report engaging in moderate-intensity activity (like walking) at least 150 minutes per week, vigorous-intensity activity at least 75 minutes per week, or an equivalent combination of the two. Ideally, aerobic activities should be spread throughout the week and performed in at least 10 minute sessions. The muscle-strengthening recommendation consists of two days per week of moderate- or high-intensity exercise involving all major muscle groups.” (5)

We all know that obesity is an epidemic in the United States. Estimates show that nearly 70% of the adult U.S. population 20 years of age and older are either overweight (33.3%) or obese (36.4%). One of the contributing factors in the obesity epidemic is the fact that few people engage in leisure-time physical activity. According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one-half of U.S. adults do not perform the minimum amount of exercise needed to prevent diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. One in four adults do not perform any exercise at all. About 80% of adults do not perform the minimum amount of aerobic exercise combined with the minimum amount of muscle strengthening exercise recommended in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Taken individually, the aerobic activity guideline was met by 49.7% of adults nationwide, and the muscle-strengthening guideline was met by 24.9%. Numerous reasons for failure to exercise exist, including lack of interest, competing demands for limited leisure time, fear of injury or pain, no access to facilities, and lack of knowledge of proper technique.

Often when people say that they “can’t” run (which of course is debatable) I encourage them to start a habit of walking or another activity that they enjoy. It’s all about finding a healthy activity that you will stick with. I always find it inspiring that there are many older people in our neighborhood who are out walking every day, rain or shine.

At the other end of the spectrum from walking for exercise there’s the sport of race walking. Race walking is a sport practiced from youth track and field all the way up to the Olympic level. It’s something that most people don’t know or think about. I think the first time I thought much about it was when I did my USATF coaching class and there was a woman in the group who had competed in race walking for the Phillipines. She was able to walk a 7:30 mile. That certainly puts my 11:30-12:30 pace into perspective. Many of the world class race walkers do sub-6:00 minute miles.

Some of the benefits of race walking are that it produces less impact on the body and requires solid endurance even though is a technically demanding sport. According to the USATF website: “Race walking differs from running in that it requires the competitor to maintain contact with the ground at all times and requires the leading leg to be straightened as the foot makes contact with the ground. It must remain straightened until the leg passes under the body. Judges evaluate the technique of race walkers and report fouls which may lead to disqualification. All judging is done by the eye of the judge and no outside technology is used in making judging decisions.” (2)

Race walking dates back to about 400 years ago in England and it didn’t take long to become a very popular sport around the world. By the 19th century, race walking was just as popular as horse racing and spectators often bet on the race outcomes, especially since racers would suffer through races that would last for several days. The typical races at that time would consist of racers trying to walk 100 miles in less than 24 hours. Other races would last more than 40 days, where the racers would try to walk one mile each hour. It did not take long afterward for race walking to become a part of the Olympics (1).

It’s seriously impressive when you look at the paces that these top level race walkers can do (often sub-6:00 min/mile). Check out some of these American race walking records (2):

  • Female: 5k= 21:51 (7:02), 10k= 44:09 (7:06), 20k= 1:30:49 (7:18), 40k= 3:27:10 (8:20)
  • Men: 5k= 19:09 (6:09), 10k= 39:22 (6:20), 20k= 1:22:02 (6:36), 40k= 3:02:18 (7:20)

Technique:
Race walking requires more of a hip swing than running. But similar to running you want to avoid over-striding which will produce a braking motion. Proper use of the arms is one key to mastering the hip motion because synchronizing arm and hip motion maximizes efficiency and speed.
Posture- Your body should be straight up and down throughout the entire stride, unlike with running where you want a forward lean starting from the ankles. In race walking bending reduces the ability to extend the hip and accelerate the stride.

Arms- Each arm should travel from a couple of inches behind the hip to just above the chest line. The primary power for arm movement is done by driving the shoulder on the backwards swing of your arm. But you don’t want to generate power by wildly pumping your arm backward or thrusting it forward.  Use the shoulder as a fulcrum so that the arms swing like a pendulum.

Hips- The hips are the body’s primary source of forward motion. When the hips are rotated forward, the swinging leg is pulled off the ground. As you repeatedly pivot the hips forward, they act as the body’s motor, propelling it forward one step at a time and increasing the stride length behind the body.

Swing Leg- To remain efficient, race walkers must pay careful attention to how their legs swing forward after push-off. Race walkers swing the legs forward with the knee as low to the ground as possible. While some upward motion is necessary to break contact with the ground, it should be minimized. For the greatest efficiency of motion when the rear foot lifts up, it rises only an inch or two off the ground.

If you’re having a hard time visualizing these concepts we’ll include some links with the show notes or you can go over to Youtube and look at a video of a race walker in action. Even if you’re not planning on giving up running and turning into a race walker there are good reasons to improve your walking efficiency. Many runners use a run/walk method to pace their marathons and having good speed and efficiency during the walking intervals will help to rest your running muscles and give you a better overall pace. During ultramarathons, particularly on trails, there is a good amount of walking/hiking that goes on. Some ultramarathoners learn speed walking techniques to help improve their ultra times by getting the most out of their walking sections. Plus, becoming a faster walker will give you a more purposeful look as you walk to work or while out doing errands.

Sources:
www.athleticscholarships.net/athletics-race-walking.htm
www.usatf.org/statistics/records/view.asp?division=american&location=road&age=open&sport=RW
racewalk.com/howTo/basicTechnique.php
ultrarunning.com/featured/how-to-increase-your-walking-efficiency/
What Healthcare Professionals Should Know about Exercise. CEU

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The World Marathon Majors -The 6 Largest Marathons on Earth


In this podcast episode we speak with Tim Hadzima, the Executive Director at Abbott World Marathon Majors, about the six largest marathons in the world and what makes them unique.

The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. The purpose of the Abbott World Marathon Majors is to advance the sport, raise awareness of its athletes and increase the level of interest in elite racing among running enthusiasts.

“Each of the six races that make up the Abbott World Marathon Majors boasts an international elite field for both men and women in the open and wheelchair categories, has a mass participatory field completing the same course as the elites, takes place in a major international market, has a history of 25 years or more and is regarded among the very best in the industry. Collectively, the group annually attracts more than 5 million on-course spectators, more than 250 million television viewers, 300,000 applicants and 150,000 participants. It also raises more than $80 million for charity worldwide and generates an economic impact of more than $400 million”.

In addition to the five races, two other Qualifying Races were included in the series: the IAAF World Championships Marathon and the Olympic Marathon.

We had the chance to speak with Tim Hadzima for this episode. Tim has been the Executive Director at the Abbott World Marathon Majors since 2013. He is also a marathoner himself and based in Chicago.

Interesting Facts We Learned from Talking to Tim Hadzima

  1. The Tokyo Marathon was not originally part of the Majors.
  2. The Chicago Marathon donates the red carpets the cover the bridges.
  3. Over 400,000 people enter the lottery for the London Marathon.
  4. The New York City Marathon had 52,000+ runners in 2018.
  5. The Berlin Marathon has one of the best start lines in the world.
  6. The London Marathon has raised 1 billion pounds for charity.
  7. The Singapore Marathon is under consideration to become the 7th World Marathon Major.
  8. Running is becoming more global. A decade ago there might have been a dozen marathons in China, now there are 1,200-1,300.
  9. Eliud Kipchoge, who is highest in the global rankings, is a once-in-a-generation gifted athlete.
  10. Elite wheelchair athletes can recover more quickly and most of them do every race or ever other race.
  11. If you’ve run one of the Majors you can claim a star towards a Six Star Medal.
  12. Over 4,000 runners have completed all six Majors.
  13. There is also a global ranking system for amateur athletes.

Medal for Six Star Finishers

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Earbuddyz Ultra -solve all your AirPods woes so the next time you’re running that marathon, dropping or readjusting your AirPods mid race is the last thing you need to worry about. Visit EarBuddyz.com or get them on Amazon for and use the promo code “mtafriends” for 20% off.

Topo Athletic -Our first running shoe sponsor!!! Topo Athletic makes a gimmick-free running shoe with a roomy toe box that promotes functional foot movement. And the cushioned midsoles come in a variety of thicknesses and heel elevations, so you can pick your unique level of protection and comfort. Get 10% off your first pair with promo code MTA.

Take our Podcast Survey -In order to find great advertisers, we’ll need to learn a little bit more about you. Once you’ve completed the survey, you can choose to enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes.

Experiencing “Phantom Pain” during marathon training. Have you ever found yourself obsessing over little aches and pains as you get closer to race day. Read Angie’s post here.

Help us Plant a Tree for the John Muir Trust!

Help us plant a MTA Forever Forrest in partnership with the John Muir Trust. We’ve set an initial target of planting 262 trees (you will see what we have done there) as part of the Trust’s Wild Woods tree planting appeal during 2019 as they look to significantly increase the number of native trees across the land in their care.

Angie visited one of the places where they are planting trees when she walked the slopes of Schiehallion, a few days before she ran the Loch Ness marathon.

By helping us plant the MTA Forever Forest, you’ll be helping the MTA community to create an everlasting feature of the Scottish landscape. Each donation of £10 (about $13 USD) will cover the cost of planting one tree, including staff time and equipment.

www.johnmuirtrust.org/MTA

Angie with Kevin Lelland of the John Muir Trust

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Meb Keflezighi -Live Podcast Interview!

In this special podcast episode we bring you to the Tallahassee Marathon in Florida for a live interview with the great Meb Keflezighi -the only man who has won the New York City Marathon, The Boston Marathon, and an Olympic medal.

For years we’ve been wanting to get Meb on the podcast. Well, it finally worked out and all I needed to do is drive to Florida and back to bring it to you!

I made it to Tallahassee which is the capital of Florida and checked into my hotel, which was also the race headquarters. Big thanks to the race director Sheryl Rosen for helping me arrange this interview!

Let me set the scene for you guys . . .

We had a dedicated room at the race expo at the session was open to the public. I wasn’t sure how many people would show up but even an hour before we were supposed to start there were runners already in the room. By the time we started the room was completely full and there were people standing in the doorway.

Meb was born in Eritrea in 1975. The country had a 30 year war with Ethiopia to gain independence. It was during this period that Meb’s father Russom Keflezighi had to flee the country because he was a supporter of liberation and was wanted by the Ethiopian soldiers.

In this conversation you will hear him talk about his family and what it was like growing up in Eritrea and immigrating to the US and the people who impacted his life. He also talks about how he got into the running and specifically how he became a marathoner. He will hit some of the highlights of his career and describe fighting through injury and dealing with unexpected mishaps – there is one marathon where he had a plastic breath rite strip in his shoe before the race that he meant to take out of his shoe and put on his nose before the race start but he forgot.

Among his many accomplishments:

  • Meb won a silver medal at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens in 2004.
  • He won the 2009 New York City marathon in 2:09:15.
  • He won the Olympic trials in Houston in 2012. He is the oldest winner of the Olympic Trials Marathon at age 36.
  • He won the 2014 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:08:37, two weeks before his 39th birthday.

He’s retired now and has a new book coming out in March called 26 Marathons, What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from my Marathon Career.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Generation Ucan -a fueling product that Meb calls his secret weapon. Use the code MTAMEB to save 15%.

NuNeeShop.com -NuNee is designed specifically to relieve that dreaded Runner’s Knee pain. Use code MTA20 for a 20% discount.

Drury Inn and Suites -where we stay when we travel. Free evening food and drinks!

Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

Mace -When runners hit the road or trails, they shouldn’t have to worry about self-defense. Enter promo code MTA for 20% off the kit today.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes.

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

Go to Source

Meb Keflezhigi -Live Podcast Interview

In this special podcast episode we bring you to the Tallahassee Marathon in Florida for a live interview with the great Meb Keflezhigi -the only man who has won the New York City Marathon, The Boston Marathon, and an Olympic medal.

For years we’ve been wanting to get Meb on the podcast. Well, it finally worked out and all I needed to do is drive to Florida and back to bring it to you!

I made it to Tallahassee which is the capital of Florida and checked into my hotel, which was also the race headquarters. Big thanks to the race director Sheryl Rosen for helping me arrange this interview!

Let me set the scene for you guys . . .

We had a dedicated room at the race expo at the session was open to the public. I wasn’t sure how many people would show up but even an hour before we were supposed to start there were runners already in the room. By the time we started the room was completely full and there were people standing in the doorway.

Meb was born in Eritrea in 1975. The country had a 30 year war with Ethiopia to gain independence. It was during this period that Meb’s father Russom Keflezighi had to flee the country because he was a supporter of liberation and was wanted by the Ethiopian soldiers.

In this conversation you will hear him talk about his family and what it was like growing up in Eritrea and immigrating to the US and the people who impacted his life. He also talks about how he got into the running and specifically how he became a marathoner. He will hit some of the highlights of his career and describe fighting through injury and dealing with unexpected mishaps – there is one marathon where he had a plastic breath rite strip in his shoe before the race that he meant to take out of his shoe and put on his nose before the race start but he forgot.

Among his many accomplishments:

  • Meb won a silver medal at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens in 2004.
  • He won the 2009 New York City marathon in 2:09:15.
  • He won the Olympic trials in Houston in 2012. He is the oldest winner of the Olympic Trials Marathon at age 36.
  • He won the 2014 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:08:37, two weeks before his 39th birthday.

He’s retired now and has a new book coming out in March called 26 Marathons, What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from my Marathon Career.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Generation Ucan -a fueling product that Meb calls his secret weapon. Use the code MTAMEB to save 15%.

NuNeeShop.com -NuNee is designed specifically to relieve that dreaded Runner’s Knee pain. Use code MTA20 for a 20% discount.

Drury Inn and Suites -where we stay when we travel. Free evening food and drinks!

Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

Mace -When runners hit the road or trails, they shouldn’t have to worry about self-defense. Enter promo code MTA for 20% off the kit today.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes.

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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How to Use Suffering to Your Advantage as a Runner

In this podcast episode you will learn how to use suffering to your advantage as a runner and transform fear into positive growth as we talk with ultra runner and author Akshay Nanavati.

Akshay Nanavanti is a Marine Corps veteran and ultra marathoner who has set a goal of running across every country in the world. When we spoke with him he just finished Liberia.

He’s author of the book Fearvana -the Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Akshay Nanavati website: https://fearvana.com

Yoga Trapeze -Yoga teacher, Lucas Rockwood, has come up with a unique solution called, The Yoga Trapeze. This lightweight, versatile inversion sling can hang in a doorway or from an exposed beam…

… and for traction, 1-7 minutes upside down daily is recommended. 
 You can try the Yoga Trapeze for 30 days for just $1 by going to YogaTrapeze.com, and if you use coupon code “marathon”, you’ll get a free instructional DVD with your order. 


Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways and need-to-know information. 8 Million people are using Blinkist right now and it has a massive and growing library: from self-help, business, health to history books.

Mace -When runners hit the road or trails, they shouldn’t have to worry about self-defense. You can stay focused when you carry Mace Pepper Spray, because you’ll be prepared when it counts. Mace actually invented pepper spray – and they offer tons of other self-defense products. Enter promo code MTA for 20% off the kit today

Shoutout!

At age 62 I just completed my first marathon (Disney) in a time of 4:06:09. Couldn’t have done it without the very helpful MTA podcasts. Proud to say I just signed up as a MTA member. Now I can become even more informed! Jeff

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Taking Action and Setting Big Goals in Running and Life!

The beginning of the year is definitely a great time to set aside space for self reflection, both on the year gone by and the year stretching ahead. This can help you stay the course or correct your course.

In this episode we want to offer you two simple but powerful tips for making 2019 an epic year. Plus, we are going to be sharing a lot of books with you. So get ready to channel your inner student!

The way that you best achieve goals is going to depend on your personality and how you respond to expectations. A couple books that I highly recommend when it comes to setting goals are Better Than Before and The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. But I think that there are a few key areas that will enable each person to make progress.

Take Daily Action

The fact is that you can set all the goals you want but to actually carry them out you have to take daily action. It’s not enough to dream that a future version of yourself is more disciplined or virtuous. The things you do today are making your future self. So start today with your goals. Maybe this is the year that you’re going to build back your running base, train for your first half marathon, your first marathon, your first ultra, train for a PR, or make changes in your eating. Whatever the goals you have to be very clear about what you want and what it will take to get there.

If it’s helpful you can enter these daily action steps on your calendar so you have constant reminders and can get the satisfaction of checking them off. Part of taking action involves getting the support you need. Most people do best when they are surrounded by an encouraging support system. Maybe that means a friend, family member, online group, journaling, or an app. The bottom line is that you don’t have to go it alone. Maybe you’ve been interested in or on the fence about Academy membership. Our goal is to have your back. To be positive, encouraging, and help you make your running goals a reality.

Set Bigger Goals

If you’ve just started to run the thought of running a marathon is going to seem overwhelming. It can seem overwhelming even when you’re in the midst of marathon training. As you take daily action you will grow as a person and will be able to set bigger goals. This will give you an increased sense of confidence which will lead to more growth.

Part of the process of setting bigger goals involves not being afraid to fail. Many of us tend to avoid committing to anything that we’re not sure we can accomplish and avoid things that might make us look foolish. But if you truly have the desire to do something, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Former Navy Seal Brad McLeod says this, “Don’t be afraid to fail. Without failure you won’t know your limit. And it is impossible to win every day. You may even feel like you are regressing at times. This is where you have to fight through.” Failure doesn’t have to have such a negative stigma. In fact, if we never failed we’d be completely perfect (and I’ve never met a perfect human). Fear is one of those tricky emotions that needs to be examined before it’s acted upon.

Finally, having a growth mindset doesn’t mean that you’re constantly dissatisfied with where you are in life or with what you’ve accomplished. It’s also not helpful to be constantly comparing yourself with other people, which is often what social media draws our attention to. Often we’re comparing our worst with someone else’s best. Sometimes the running world can leave you with the impression that you’re not fast enough, you don’t have enough endurance, you’re not thin enough, or you’re not making progress quickly enough. I’ve thought all those things too. But feeling like you’re not enough doesn’t actually lead you into a positive space for growth. It leaves us stuck and discouraged which saps our energy.

As we continue into this year I’d encourage you to do it with the mindset that you are enough. This will lead to more progress as you take action and set bigger goals. Knowing that you are enough will give your efforts a sense of positive energy.

My Goals for 2019

  • To write a daily gratitude list
  • Increase to 20 min of daily meditation
  • Spend more one on one time with my boys,
  • Run a sub 4 marathon
  • Run a marathon in 3 new states
  • Strength train 2-3 times per week consistently,
  • Continue reading good books.

And speaking of books . . .

Books I Enjoyed Last Year

I read a total of 263 books in 2018 (more non-fiction than fiction which was a first for me). Here are my top 7 favorite non-fiction books from last year:

  1. Daring Greatly, How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown (Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and Dare to Lead). She talks about vulnerability, whole heartedness, shame, and courage. The fear of vulnerability is at the core of many of our difficult emotions. She writes, “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.” Her message calls us to dare greatly and strive for whole heartedness in our lives.
  2. Get Well Soon, History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright: as a nurse I’m fascinated by the history of diseases, epidemics, and medical practices of the past. This book is a great blend of history, storytelling, some very gruesome practices, and humor.
  3. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. This is the autobiographical tale of Bill Bryson who after living in the UK for many years returns to the US and decides to hike the Appalachian Trail with a good friend from the past. He’s an amazing storyteller and dives into the history of the Trail along with his preparation and experiences alongside it. I just recently learned that it was made into a movie that was released in 2015.
  4. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This book tells the story of the 1936 US men’s Olympic 8 person rowing team. These were just ordinary young men after the Great Depression from poor backgrounds that were transformed into a force to be reckoned with. They went on to defeat the elite Eastern rowing clubs and compete in the 36 Olympics in front of Adolf Hitler, defeating Germany’s Aryan team.
  5. Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gossling. This is written by a psychologist who studies how people project and protect their inner selves by looking at their belongings. He can predict with uncanny accuracy so many things by looking at people’s stuff. There’s a lot of interesting research, psychology and stories packed into this book.
  6. Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor. Deena does an amazing job of weaving her personal story of training and growth along with inspiration for the reader. There is so much about mental toughness and mindset that can be gleaned from this book.
  7. Endure by Alex Hutchinson. This books explores the variable limits of the human body and mind where it relates to human performance, particularly long distance running.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Generation UCAN, our go-to fueling source for long runs and races. Use the promo code “MTANOBONK” to save 15% off your order.

Athletic Greens -With 75 whole-food sourced ingredients, Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

About Angie Spencer

Angie is a registered nurse and running coach who empowers new runners to conquer the marathon, run faster, and take their health and fitness to the next level. Join the Academy

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Year in Review: the Historic, Unbelievable, and Inspirational Running Stories of 2018


In this podcast episode we take a look back at the biggest stories in the running world from 2018, it was quite a year! And in this episode’s quick tip Angie shares two simple questions that can improve your training this year.

New Records

Eliud Kipchoge smashed Dennis Kimetto’s world record in the marathon by more than a minute, finishing in 2:01:39 in Berlin. This was his 3rd Berlin win and 11th marathon.

Gladys Cherono of Kenya won her third Berlin Marathon while setting a new course record of 2:18:35.

Molly Huddle set a new US Half Marathon Record at the Houston Half Marathon breaking the tape in 1:07:25 and beating Deena Kastor’s 12-year-old record by a nine seconds,

Abraham Kiptum set the new half marathon world record in Valencia Spain. His 58:18 finish was also a 51-second personal best for Kiptum.

Zach Bitter broke the 100-mile trail world record at the Tunnel Hill 100-mile race in Vienna, Illinois with a time of 12:08:36

Camille Herron won the 100 mile challenge at the Desert Solstice Track Invitational in Phoenix, AZ, while breaking both the 24-hour world record and the USATF 100-mile world record on the track. Herron, who is from Oklahoma City, ran 100 miles (160K) in 13:25 and 162.9 miles total (260.6K) for a new 24-hour world record.

Andrew Snope won the world 24-hour barefoot track record by running 144 miles/230.4K during that time.

Cynthia Arnold of Montana set a new record for half marathon pushing a triple stroller record when she ran 1:29 while pushing three kids at the Missoula Marathon. The kids were ages 6, 3, and 10 months. https://runningmagazine.ca/the-scene/half-marathon-triple-stroller-record-broken-in-montana/

Mo Farrah set a new Eurpoean record in the marathon with a time of 2:05:11 at the Chicago Marathon.

The 2018 Boston Marathon had extremely challenging conditions with wind, rain, and cold. Many of the elite favorites dropped out or performed much more poorly than they expected. In a surprising upset, Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi won in 2:15:58. He’s an extremely prolific marathoner who holds a job as a teacher.

Desi Linden won Boston in 2:39:54 after doing her best to encourage other runners like Shalane Flannigan during the race. An unknown runner named Sara Sellers placed 2nd at Boston and has launched her running trajectory in an entirely different direction.

Jim Walmsley  set a new course record at the Western States 100 with a time of 14:30:04.

Gene Dykes of Pennsylvania broke Ed Whitlock’s M70 marathon record with a time of 2:54:23 at the Jacksonville Marathon in Florida on Dec 15th. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a25593341/70-year-old-marathon-record/

Jeannie Rice, age 70, of Ohio ran 3:27:50 at the Chicago Marathon—smashing the 70-plus women’s world record. Rice, who still works as a realtor in the Cleveland area, felt fine after her marathon. She was back at work—in heels—Tuesday after the Sunday race. www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a23742988/70-year-old-woman-sets-marathon-record/

Pete Kostelnick, who we had on a recent episode ran from Kenai Alaska to Key West Florida (a total of 5,390 miles in 97 days. He also ran a total of 10,000 miles in 2018 and was recognized by Strava for that accomplishment.

Pete Kostelnick

Karel Sabbe from Belgium age 28 set a new Appalachian Trail FKT (fastest known time) by covering 2,189 miles in 41 days 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is almost 4 days faster then the previous time!

Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer earned his 40th career 100-mile victory at the age of 50.

Notable and Interesting News

Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes, passed away in 2018 at the age of 88.

Abu Dhabi ADNOC Marathon has its inaugural race this year. They offered a large prize purse with $100k to both the male and female winners!

UN employees called PRunners meet for a weekly run in Central Park. “Founded by the representatives of Finland and Liechtenstein, the group includes members from Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lebanon, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Tunisia”. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/world/americas/united-nations-running.html

The Wonder Woman Run Series was launched by DC Comics with five events across California.

The Bizarre and Unbelievable

Cheng Kean Wee, a pacer for the Penang Bridge International Marathon in Malaysia may have had his balloon save his life during a lightning strike. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a25309340/marathon-pacer-balloon-struck-by-lightning/

The Honolulu Marathon was plagued by course cutting according to Marathon Investigation which claims that more than 300 people’s results show no splits for one or more timing mats but still crossing the finish line and claiming false finishing times.
https://www.marathoninvestigation.com/2018/12/honolulu-marathon-over-300-runners-flagged-in-initial-review.html

Shenzhen Half Marathon in China disqualified a total of 258 runners for cheating at the after traffic cameras show large numbers of runners cutting through trees. Race organizers announced yesterday that there were 18 runners with fake bibs, three imposters and 237 cheaters, most of which took a short cut on the course. https://runningmagazine.ca/sections/runs-races/traffic-cameras-catch-mass-cheating-at-shenzhen-half-marathon/

2018 Telco Mexico City Marathon has seen an estimated 13,000 runners facing disqualification for shortening the course! https://runningmagazine.ca/sections/runs-races/13000-alleged-cheaters-at-mexico-city-marathon/

Ginette Bedard finished her 16th New York City Marathon in 6:19:01 at the age of 85. Bedard is quoted in Runner’s World, “I always thought to myself, I’m not qualified to do the marathon, those are superhumans. Until somebody told me, ‘What do you care?’ That gave me some kind of incentive, and I got addicted, because I was better than I thought. The assuredness extends to dating, too. She’s all but given up finding anyone “interesting” or “suitable to my tastes” after her husband passed away four years ago. “A man of my age is too old for me,” Bedard said. “[A man with a cane] isn’t what I’m looking for. https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a25049407/ginette-bedard-new-york-city-marathon/

Proposals during marathons/races: There has been a growing trend of marriage proposals happening at marathons, particularly during races. This has created some controversy with some people speaking out on social media that during a race isn’t the time to propose. Many think that it’s only proper to let the runner finish their race and not to take away from their hard work.

Brendan Morphet encountered two grizzly bears at August’s Yukon River Trail Marathon in Whitehorse, Canada, and lived to tell about it.

Highlands College students run a half marathon every year as part of the curriculum. https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a25323961/highlands-college-all-students-run-half-marathon/

The Inspirational

Dr. Theodore Strange was running the NYC Marathon and came upon an unresponsive woman. He performed CPR until police came with a defibrillator. The woman didn’t respond until the third shock. She was transferred to the hospital and thankfully recovered. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a24846279/doctor-saves-womans-life-at-nyc-marathon/

Dan Leite crossed the finish line of the Columbus Marathon in 4:54:59 with a new heart, after receiving a heart transplant three years earlier.
https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a25457903/dan-leite-marathon-after-heart-transplant/

Justin Gallegos, a runner at Oregon, became the first professional runner with cerebral palasy when he was given a pro contract from Nike. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a23760216/justin-gallegos-nike-contract/

Dave “The Washing Machine” Garvin from Australia, ran the Melbourne Marathon with a 20kg (45 pound) washing machine strapped to his back as part of a challenge to raise money and awareness for mental health services. He’s done multiple marathons, often in costume.

Matt Daniels of Australia finished a stretch of running 535 half marathons in 535 days to raise funds for Leukemia research. He’s no stranger to endurance events having completed 55 marathons in 55 days back in 2016. https://www.pressreader.com/australia/geelong-advertiser/20181226/282114932689709

Daniela Ryf a Swiss triathlete who is the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Ironman World Champion was stung by a jelly fish during warm up. “It felt like having fire under my arms,” Daniela told CNN Sport. “A bit of me wanted to go back to the hotel and cry but I thought that wouldn’t really help much,” said Ryf. “My team invested so much time to help me achieve everything. The race was my turn to give back. Her efforts culminated in a new course record of eight hours and 26 minutes. She has an incredible mentality which has helped her push through the pain barrier on countless occasions and remain positive throughout her glittering career. “If giving up isn’t an option, you don’t have to think about it,” she said. “You then just need to figure out how to keep going. “The body only does what the mind tells it to do. I told myself I wouldn’t give up and that I’d be the champion. https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/16/sport/daniela-ryf-ironman-world-champion-hawaii-spt-intl/index.html

Nate Viands, an 8-year-old leukemia survivor finished his first marathon 3:32!
https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a25617079/eight-year-old-marathoner-beat-leukemia/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_rnw&utm_medium=email&date=122318&src=nl&utm_campaign=15487824

Xolani Luvuno of South Africa completed his nation’s iconic Comrades Marathon, the world’s largest ultramarathon — with one leg. Luvuno, who lost his right leg to amputation following a bone cancer diagnosis in 2009, conquered the 90.184 km distance on crutches in an official time of 15 hours, 50 minutes. https://www.thesouthafrican.com/comrades-marathon-xolani-luvuno-video/

Also Check out this article:
https://www.runnersworld.com/news/g25596959/best-race-moments-2018/?fbclid=IwAR2v4AUe5d1yzr-bc_i6–C3oEuy8xmqRkqaEiFzrSkutKsW28Qx1YFvQMk

The NuNee Device – NuNee is designed specifically to relieve that dreaded Runner’s Knee pain. Available today at NuNeeShop.com
Use code MTA20 for a 20% discount.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so, you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes. Start your free 7 day trial today.

Athletic Greens -With 75 whole-food sourced ingredients, Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

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Unraveling the Mystery of Your Metabolism


In this podcast episode we bring you a fascinating conversation about how the body’s metabolism works and how you as a runner can lose weight and keep it off.

Our guest today is Angelo Polo -an expert on the metabolism and the founder of Metpro. He has worked with NFL players, celebrities, physique models, entrepreneurs, and politicians to help them achieve body transformations. We wanted to have him on the show to pick his brain.

In this episode you will hear . . .

  • The mysteries of the body’s metabolism explained and why it is so unfair
  • What the diet industry gets wrong
  • Considerations for runners
  • Positive disruptive habits that you can start implementing now to see results in your nutritional intake.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Metpro – Take a metabolic assessment and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of their experts by going to www.metpro.co/mta

The Tallahassee Marathon -Run a fast course through Florida’s capital city this February 3. Plus meet special guest Meb Keflezighi! Trevor will be doing a live audience interview with Meb on Saturday February 2nd at 1:30 at the race expo. The marathon and half marathon is on February 3rd. Use code Academy for 20% off your race registration.

Sun Basket offers 18 weekly recipes including Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Pescatarian, and more—all delivered to your door. Get $35 off your first order with our link!

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Finding Your “WHY” as a Long Distance Runner

Why do you run?  In this episode we talk about the importance of finding your “why” if you want be a long term runner and what listeners shared with us about what motivates them.

Plus we give you a quick run down of this year’s MTA Virtual Half Marathon.     And in the quick tip segment, Angie answers a question about how to implement treadmill running into your training. 

When it comes to running or any other important habit that you want to implement in your life it’s important to find your “why.” In fact, finding your why is probably the most important thing you can do to create a sustainable running habit.

I know that right now we’re talking to aspiring runners, brand new runners, lifelong runners, and those somewhere in the middle.  Maybe you’re still a bit on the fence about this whole long distance running thing.  You know that it can be a key to making you healthier and happier, but some days you just don’t have the motivation to get out there and some days you find yourself just plodding along. 

All of this is totally normal.  Not everyone falls in love with running during the first steps…in fact, many very accomplished runners had a bumpy start.  Like Pete Kostelnick who we interviewed on our last episode. He didn’t always pump out 55 mile days for weeks on end.  In fact, after running his first marathon he swore he’d never do another.

Some “Whys”Are More Sticky

One way to turn an “it’s complicated” relationship with running into a full blown commitment is to find your why.  And I’m going to let you in on a little fact…some whys are more “sticky” or meaningful than others. 

My Story

When I first started to run as a teenager my whole motivation was to lose weight.  That began an on again, off again relationship with running that would last the next decade.  As soon as I started feeling too fat or out of shape I’d jump back on the running bandwagon.  But it was a means to an end.

When I started running again at the age of 27 my weight had nothing (or at least little) to do with it.  I was looking for a change in my life.  I was seeking something that I could do for myself to make myself healthier and happier.  And this time it stuck. 

Angie at her first marathon

I ran my first marathon in 2008 and haven’t looked back sense.  That’s not to say that there haven’t been bumps in my running journey.  I’ve dealt with setbacks, discouragement, and many runs that just sucked.  But I’ve stuck with it because part of my identity is based on being a healthy and strong person and being a runner makes me feel both of those things.  Along with the benefit of being healthier physically running also helps me manage anxiety and depression.  I also love the way running has allowed me to explore the world. Now I’m one of those people who hopes I can run up until the day I die.

Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about your why is that it may (and probably will) change over time.  It’s important to reevaluate your WHY on a regular basis.  Some of your whys will be serious and life-changing, some will be fun and whimsical, and most people have a combination of reasons.

We asked the participants of the 2nd annual MTA Virtual Half about their why.   And here’s what they said:

Love of food/drink

“I like eating ice cream and drinking brewpub beer.”  -Kathleen

“I like to drink beer year round.”   -Stephen

Friends/running community:

“Besides my love of food? Well, it’s my running friends.  No matter how crappy my day can be I know they are there to make me laugh.” Kathleen

“Endorphins, girl time, chocolate.”  Jennifer

Races:

“I made a goal. Run 26.2 in all 50 states by the time I turn 50 (2019). Although I’m 2 states away from finishing my goal, I know I won’t stop. It keeps my head level. It’s my ME time. Oh, and it’s my bad ass feeling.”  JoAnn

“Running in the winter can be tough. I always have to sign up for another race to keep up my motivation.” Margaret

Alone time:

“I love being out in nature, having some Me Time with a podcast.”  Amanda

“Running is a huge part of who I am, and I can’t even conceive of a week without running. I run for fun, to enjoy being outside in every type of weather, to challenge my body, to focus my mind, and also to let my mind drift. Plus I love to eat chocolate.” Lynne

Supporting charity:

“I started long distance running to support a local charity. It helped to find the right charity, the right coaches, the right races, and most importantly the right running buddies. I went from a novice to half marathoner to marathoner and will hopefully keep adding on the distances. Running keeps me sane. And the MTA family keeps me motivated.”  Pamela

Because I can:

“Because I can! When I’m running, all of the “I shoulds” turn to “I cans” and then “I dids.”  Rachael

“Because I can and what keeps me going? My friends do as does my community, but so does my family. Having that support and knowing I can, and that my body allows me to do this is my why, because I couldn’t always run and only started 4 years ago. I am the sole healthy member of an immediate family struggling with morbid obesity. I also live in the second most unhealthy state in the US and see my community struggle with health. Some in my immediate family are completely immobile because of it and I think about that when I run and feel much gratitude for my ability but also sadness and empathy knowing that they cannot do the same. I run for myself and my health but also for those who can’t and hope that I might, in even the smallest way, be an inspiration to someone in a similar circumstance, whether it be in my family or community. I want to challenge the doubts of people who fear starting an active lifestyle and think running (or walking) is not possible. I want to help others love to live healthier active lives. This is my “why” every single day.”  Jennie

To be a positive example:

“I’m a positive example for my kids to follow. It’s something my wife and I share.”  Ryan

“Running is my passion and purpose and allows me to connect with and inspire others. I enjoy running with friends and coaching kids. Reaching goals feels amazing.”  Cari

“My two kids are my why.” Kyle

“My girls, my patients, my health, and because today I can and tomorrow I might not be able to.”  Jennifer

“Started running 2 1/2 years ago for my health. Never thought I would love to run but I do! Helps me keep my head clear, de-stress, sleep better, maintain a healthy weight, and be a role model for my daughters. If their Momma can become a runner at age 45 they can do anything they set their mind to. I ran my first marathon this year.”  Hope

A way to enjoy nature/fresh air:

“I have been looking at running as an opportunity to enjoy ALL seasons rather than always sitting inside waiting for Spring to come and just feeling cooped up and inactive all winter. It has kicked seasonal blues in the butt so far this year!!”  Sara

“Because I love being outside, because it helps me with stress, and because I never feel better than after I’ve finished a run!”  Suzanne

“Fresh air and being outside – I need my outdoor time!”  Jo

Stress relief/better headspace:

“Running is like medicine for me. I’m a pastor and my job is never done. When I finish a run, I feel accomplished something and it helps me with the stress of life. A good long run is one of the few times in my week that my mind can just relax and enter into the pattern of foot-falls, breaths, and motion.” Eric

“I’m in law enforcement and running is my stress relief as well. I started running to lose weight and redirect my thoughts from stress at work.”  Joel

“Because I love it! For my mental health, it makes me happy, the feeling I get after finishing a long run or race is the best!”  Annabelle

Change or improve my health:

“Stay healthy. I also remember how good I feel afterwards.”  Valerie

“About 18 months ago I was fat and unhealthy and hated what I had become. I read a book that spurred me into action, lost 30kg. Then I started running and found my new passion. I did a 282 day running streak, found the MTA podcast along the way…I have first marathon in 7 days time. My why is that running is my new addiction…it’s better than food, better than alcohol, it’s the best way to start my day.” Simon

“I have been running for 5ish years and it’s the whole package of clearing my head of negativity, being healthy and sleeping better.”  Scott

Challenging myself/achieving goals:

“What keeps me going is the challenge and the accomplishments. Plus I feel good after I’ve done it, may it be a half, a full or an ultra. I’m trying to see if I can do a 50 miler next year. Which is definitely another challenge for me. But first, I’d like to finish my 50 states half and full by next year.” Lynne

“I just enjoy challenging myself….trying things I’m not sure I can do….and it’s something I get to do for myself that’s healthy.”  Tom

“The thought of something greater within myself waiting to be discovered.”  Andrew

More confidence:

“I love the process of working towards a goal that is challenging and something I chose for myself. I love how it puts structure into my daily life and how it affects me as a person – I’m so much more confident, independent and enthusiastic than I used to be.”  Cecilia

“Because of all my “nevers” that actually came true. I never thought I could get a doctorate, mountain bike race, have twins, have amazing family and friends, have a rewarding career/business of my own, have a heart attack at 45 and bounce back. Running certain races/distances/times/with friends is a satisfying way to keep quashing my “nevers” and continue to test my limits physically, mentally, and spiritually…on my feet and in my life as a whole.”  Jennifer

“The confidence that running gives me is my reason and my hope is to run forever!”  Tricia

“It makes me feel like a stronger person. Knowing I have the ability to win the battles with feeling tired, being cold, and being lazy. Every time you go running; that’s a win.”  Stephen

“I can’t imagine not having running in my life. My “why” is that it completes who I am. It helps with my fitness and stress and my ability to think more clearly. It provides me with the opportunity to be outside where every run is a different adventure. I love the struggle and the feeling of accomplishment after completing a 20 miler. I love the running community. It’s fun quirky and tremendously supportive. I’m 53 and I’ve only been running for 5 years and my largest regret is that I didn’t find it earlier.”  Gregory

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