RunnersConnect Run to the Top Podcast

RunnersConnect Run to the Top Podcast


Running podcast to motivate & help runners of every level run their best. Tina Muir interviews running influencers, scientists, psychologists, nutritionists, & everyday runners with inspiring stories.


Fuel for What You're Doing: Rethinking Fueling and Hydration with Dr. Stacy Sims  

Stacy Sims - Fuel For What You’re Doing: Rethinking Fueling and Hydration


There are a lot of options for fueling and hydration products on the market. But beyond taste and marketing lies efficacy: is the product doing the job you need it to do when you need it to do it? There are also some misconceptions and myths that, while generally accepted, are not actually based in physiological fact. And muddying the waters further are the inherent physiological differences between men and women. If you’ve ever been confused standing in front of a sports drink display, you’re not alone.


Enter Stacy Sims, an Environmental Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Scientist specializing in sex differences of heat and/or altitude stress, recovery, genetics, and nutrition  to moderate adaptive responses for performance. Stacy is a Senior Research Fellow at The University Of Waikato and author of ROAR, which helps women understand and work with their physiology for better performance.


That’s not to say that there’s no information in here for men. Stacy passionately explains the why’s and when’s of fueling, hydration and more for both men and women. This episode will help you re-evaluate your fueling and hydration strategy to provide more optimal results.


Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:


Issues with the product functionality of the modern sports drink industry. How to fuel and hydrate while training vs. while racing; and how needs change based on environmental conditions and gender. What causes most cramping while running (it’s not what you think). Why drinking more water isn’t necessarily helpful. The specific needs of female athletes and how oral contraceptives compromise performance. The best natural sources of sugar.


Questions Stacy is asked:

3:37 What is your background in endurance sports?

4:35 What prompted your interest in Nutrition Science and Environmental Exercise Physiology?

5:25 What was your mission with Osmo, what is your mission now with Nuun and what is the history of the sports drink industry?

6:59 Has the sports drink industry been geared more towards palatability than osmolality?

8:55 Have you discovered that it’s better to separate fueling and hydrating altogether?

10:55 How does this play into recovery & post-workout drinks?

12:45 What would be a good fuel strategy during a marathon or long run?

14:36 How do you feel about all natural gels?

16:01 Why are you not a fan of electrolyte pills or salt tabs?

18:34 Does cramping have anything to do with dehydration or potassium deficiency?

19:43 How should a runner determine how and when to hydrate as well as to take electrolytes?

21:57 How do women’s hydration needs vary throughout the stages of their menstrual cycle?

23:49 How should a woman who is having her period leading into a race alter her hydration strategy?

24:40 What do you mean by “Women are not small men” and how do men’s and women’s protein and carb requirements differ?

27:30 Are you not a proponent of oral contraception for high performance female athletes?

29:04 What would you suggest to female athletes as a safe alternative to the pill?

30:07 What is your take on the popular high fat / low carb diet in general and for men vs. women specifically?

33:01 Do women need carbs as endurance athletes?

33:36 Does sugar actually inhibit one’s ability to use fat as fuel?

35:01 Out of all the different types, which sugars are best?

36:39 What about honey?

37:06 What are the best solid foods to use to fuel for training and competition?

38:28 How does ambient temperature affect how people process different foods?

38:41 What should people consume post-run, especially post-workout or post-long run to facilitate glycogen repletion, fluid balance and overall recovery?

40:16 How has your partnership with Nuun been so far and what’s in the works with them?

43:08 What is the new product Nuun just released?

47:50 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Stacy:



“No one’s really pushing down on ‘we need fluid first’, because you can live 3 or 4 days without hydration and you can live 7-90 days without food; so from a functionality and a physiological point, you really want to look at the hydration and not the carbohydrate intake.” “A sports drink is like a sofa bed; it’s not a good bed, it’s not a good sofa, because you’re trying to merge two things that shouldn’t be merged.” “When we think about all this engineered nutrition, you’re taking concentrated carbohydrate and putting it in this compromised gut.” “It’s not about eating a whole bunch of food at once, it’s a sip, sip, nibble, nibble approach.” “Use water for something up to an hour, but if something’s intense you need more than water, because water doesn’t hydrate.” “After 2 hours… your thirst is not a very good representation of what’s happening.” “Getting people to understand that what you read in a general scope does not necessarily apply to women because the research hasn’t been done on women.”



Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast:

Dr. Stacy Sims - The University of Waikato profile

Book - ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life

nuun performance

Urine Test Strips

Metromint Water

Dr. Constance Lebrun

"No Sweat": Nina Stachenfeld OCP research article

Running On Real Food blog

Kara Gaucher’s blog

mobilitywod gear

Book: Becoming a Supple Leopard - Kelly Starrett

Follow Stacy on Twitter

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

If more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, it means I can reach out to and get through to the top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!


Thank you to our sponsors for supporting Run to the Top

RTTT 2017-04-19 Mo Alkhawaldeh  

Running podcast to motivate & help runners of every level run their best. Sinead Haughey interviews running influencers, scientists, psychologists, nutritionists, & everyday runners with inspiring stories.

The Superfood of Champions: How Beets Can Improve Performance in Just Days - Dr. Andrew Jones  

Beet juice has become all the rage in the running world over the last few years, and for that we can thank Dr. Andrew Jones (aka @AndyBeetroot on Twitter).


With the help of his team at the University of Exeter, Andrew discovered beetroot’s natural performance enhancing benefits back in 2014 and continues exploring new ways for runners to fully capitalize on them. These benefits include a reduction in the cost of oxygen during exercise (and therefore perceived effort) as well as a boost in cognitive function, which, let’s face it, we could all use when the going gets tough at the end of a race.


And Andrew’s scientific pursuits don’t stop there. While he’s known more recently for his work with beetroot, Andrew is also the associate dean of Research and Knowledge Transfer, a professor of applied physiology, the Head of Sport and Health Sciences, and the leader of the Bioenergetics and Human Performance Research Group at the University of Exeter.


When he’s not studying beetroot’s ergogenic effects, he’s one of sport’s leading physiologists. Specializing in VO2 kinetics, he works with a variety of elite athletes and was the longtime physiologist to both Jo Pavey, who just 3 years ago became the oldest European female 10K champion at the age of 40, as well as Paula Radcliffe, who holds the world record in the marathon.


Let’s just say Andrew knows his stuff, and between all his groundbreaking research and expertise there’s a good chance you’ll have a hankering for some beets by the end of this interview.


Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:


Andrew’s work as a leading physiologist The importance of VO2 max to performance The research on beetroot to date and what’s next Beetroot’s performance benefits How to integrate beetroot in your diet for the best results


Questions Andrew is asked:

3:31 Andrew’s background

5:53 Working with endurance athletes in your role as a physiologist

8:10 How important do you think VO2 Max is to athletic performance?

9:18 What studies are you currently working on?

10:53 How did you originally become interested in beetroot?

14:54 In your study, how long did it take for subjects to start seeing results from beetroot?

16:26 Would endurance athletes get the same benefits from beetroot as shorter, high-intensity athletes?

19:44 How much of your research has focused on the benefits of beetroot for recreational athletes vs. elite athletes?

22:03 When you studied lesser experienced runners, did you see any changes in their VO2 Max numbers?

24:37 Would this also speed up recovery rates?

26:42 Are there any other food sources that contain a high concentration of nitrate?

28:50  Are micro nutrients more easily absorbed via liquid form?

29:33 How do our bodies process nitrate?

32:41 Is there an effective beet product that is mobile-friendly?

36:17 How can people integrate beetroot into their diets and training programs for best results?

38:11 Why would you recommend 3-4 weeks on followed by a break from taking it?

38:54 Would consuming beetroot midway through a long run provide any benefits?

41:54 Are there any GI issues or side effects to be aware of?

43:40 How much headroom do you think there is for beetroot research as an ergogenic aid?

49:42 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by GUEST:

“One of my specialities is VO2 kinetics: so when the gun fires at the beginning of a race, how quickly we can switch on our aerobic energy system to meet the energy demand by utilizing the oxygen that we breath in.”


“I’m very interested in the impact of the work that we do in the lab on actually changing practicing athletes and helping them improve their performance….So my PHD was really all about what’s the best approach we can use in the lab to measure the things in runners we know are important to their success and then relating that to the training that they do.”


“If you can understand the basis of fatigue, then that can help you understand performance more generally, and obviously that has applications in the elderly, the general public, and people with various diseases as well.”


“A chance encounter with a paper that surprised me in a journal led me to investigate the same topic further, and we’ve continued in that vein for probably the last eight years or so because the results were so - you know, it was one of those “eureka moments” that you get so rarely in science.”


“It looks as if in the condition where the participants took the nitrate top up halfway through, they were able to slightly spare the muscle glycogen concentration, which over the course of a marathon would be a beneficial thing to happen.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast:

Andrew Jones’ beetroot study

Beet It (supplement product)

Break 2 Project

Book: This Mum Runs by Jo Pavey

Book: 2 Hours by Ed Caesar

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

If more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, it means I can reach out to and get through to the top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!


Thank you to our sponsors for supporting Run to the Top

Enter to win a FREE 6-Pack of Perfect Amino from BodyHealth

Why Your Best Accomplishment Should Be Your Next One - Dave McGillivray  

Why Your Best Accomplishment Should Be Your Next One - Director of the Boston Marathon Dave McGillivray


Race director, philanthropist, motivational speaker, accomplished athlete - Dave McGillivray is a professional with a purpose. From his extraordinary run across the U.S. to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1978 to serving as technical director then race director of the BAA Boston Marathon since the 1980s, McGillivray has helped organize more than 900 mass participatory events since founding DMSE, Inc. in 1981, while raising millions for worthy causes close to his heart.

In this episode, Dave shares with us his perspective on how running and races have changed over the years, as well as describing his own accomplishments and outlook. The Boston Marathon is arguably one of the most iconic races and one whose meaning has grown even more since the tragedy in 2013. I know that many of you are in the final stages of preparing for this event and I think this inside view may get you even more psyched up. If that’s possible.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:


Dave’s personal running accomplishments Dave’s drive for, and various types of, philanthropy His perspective on past and future accomplishments What’s actually involved in putting together a major racing event How Dave has maintained his high fitness level. Questions Dave is asked:

5:39 What is your running background?

7:22 What was your initial spark to start running?

10:34 What is the story behind your starting the first sanctioned running club inside a maximum security prison?

13:56 How was your experience with your 24-hour swim?

17:10 How do you feel running has evolved since the 1970’s?

20:40 Would you agree that there are many more recreational runners now than in the ‘70’s?

22:06 Do you feel that all races should have a qualifying standard like the Boston Marathon?

23:45 What does it mean to be a race director?

27:10 How has your approach to organizing the marathon changed since 2013?

28:39 How has the atmosphere of the race changed since then?

29:52 Besides security increases, what are some of the other challenges you have to address as a race director?

32:14 What is the best part about your job?

33:47 How do you will yourself to run the course every year after the marathon is over?

36:10 How have you managed to remain fit?

37:42 Have you had to alter your training at all or just other areas of your life?

41:16 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Dave:

“I just knew as I was running across America, going through 120 degrees in the desert, or running over the Rocky Mountains or running 50-60 miles a day, even though that might have been somewhat painful, it paled in comparison to what these kids were going through.”


“Kids ask me all the time: ‘What’s your best accomplishment?’ and I invariably say to them, ‘My best accomplishment is my next one.’”


“I help raise the level of self-esteem and self-confidence of tens of thousands of people in America”


“The toughest part about running a race is signing the application.”


“I have a button in my office that says: ‘My job’s secure; no one else wants it’.”


“The runners and race management have had to learn a whole new system. And sometimes people have a tough time with change, but eventually, after a year or two, it’s not change anymore; it’s become the norm.”


“I think the spirit from all the people who realize that good will always overcome evil has certainly been infectious for everybody.”


“I’d rather not put out fires; I’d rather prevent them.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run


Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel


Mentioned in this podcast:

Book: The Haywire Heart;

The Boston Marathon

Book: The Last Pick

Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises (DMSE, Inc.)

New Balance Falmouth Road Race

Beach to Beacon 10K

The Jimmy Fund

Dana Farber Cancer Institute


We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

If more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, it means I can reach out to and get through to the top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!


Thank you to our sponsors for supporting Run to the Top

Enter to win a FREE 6-Pack of Perfect Amino from BodyHealth

The Haywire Heart with Dr. John Mandrola, Lennard Zinn, and Chris Case  


The Haywire Heart with Dr. John Mandrola, Lennard Zinn, and Chris Case

It’s been said that if a little does a good job, then a lot is even better and too much is probably just right. However, evidence indicates that too much exercise, like that experienced by years of endurance sports, can lead to what is known as “athlete’s heart” - a host of conditions easy for physicians to misdiagnose.

In this episode, we are joined by Dr. John Mandrola, Lennard Zinn, and Chris Case, the co-authors of The Haywire Heart. Their book details numerous case studies, including that of co-author Lennard Zinn and the event that nearly killed him. Today, Lennard shares the story of his initial cardiac episode, diagnosis, and his new perspective on fitness as he still participates in endurance sports.

Dr. John Mandrola is a cardiac electrophysiologist and an active cyclist who had atrial fibrillation. He works in a private cardiology practice where he specializes in heart rhythm disorders. He is Chief Cardiology Correspondent for Medscape, the leading online resource for physicians and healthcare professionals seeking medical news and expert perspectives. He is a also a regular columnist for and VeloNews magazine.

This interview is informative, cautionary, and, at the same time, inspirational. Don’t forget: RunnersConnect members with training plans and / or Masters Subscriptions can get The Haywire Heart for 20% off by logging onto the RunnersConnect Dashboard > Resources > Member Perks.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: What is, and what causes, “athlete’s heart” Various risk factors What can life be like after a cardiac diagnosis How to recognize symptoms How to work with your physician Types of treatment available Questions Guests are asked:

3:46 Was part of your intention with The Haywire Heart to dispel the myth that ‘more is better”?

5:10 What is “athlete’s heart”

7:17 What is the most common heart condition caused by overtraining?

8:53 Lennard, what is your background as a cyclist and what led up to your diagnosis?

14:15 What are some of the symptoms you experience now?

15:16 What do you do when you experience your arrhythmia during exercise?

16:40 Dr. Mandrola, what is the risk of this for endurance athletes?

18:03 Is someone more at risk if they started running at a younger age vs. started later in life?

19:27 What were some of the difficulties in studying this?

21:44 Are there any other factors that might have influenced why there are fewer women with arrhythmias?

23:37 Is there a correlation between women being shorter than men that may reduce the risk in women?

24:05 For how long has this been studied?

24:43 Lennard, do you still cycle competitively?

30:39 How does living at higher elevation affect this condition?

32:21 How long have you been living in Boulder?

35:24 Were there any significant patterns that tied the case studies in the book together?

39:13 What types of treatments are available for arrhythmia?

41:42 Lennard, what type of business do you run in Boulder?

42:30 Were you trying to create an optimistic tone with your book?

43:57 Dr. Mandrola, are there any ways to reduce risk of “athlete’s heart”?

46:28 What would you recommend someone do if they experience symptoms?

50:30 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Guests:

“The heart is a muscle, just like the bicep; if you do curls and weight lifting, like endurance exercise, your heart’s going to adapt. And endurance training causes lots of different changes to the heart.”


“I was about 15 minutes into this half-hour climb and I looked down and saw that my heart rate was now 220 (bpm) and it just stayed there; I just kept riding. And I felt fine. But after seven minutes of continuing that way and it never came down, then it seemed like that’s not the greatest thing to do to keep going.”


“I think in the coming years and decades, we’re going to learn more about women athletes and heart disease because more and more women are doing endurance athletics.”


“People seemed to follow a similar pattern in that initially they would essentially be in denial, and then there was the realization that this was something serious and there was the contemplation of how this is going to change my life / is this going to ruin my life / how will I ever be able to do what I love, and then, of course… hopefully, they will continue down the path that Lennard took and realize that this doesn’t mean that they have to never do what they love to do.”


“Pay attention to symptoms. Don’t ignore excessive trouble breathing or a racing heart that seems out of proportion to the effort.”

“Always leave enough energy for the post-race party.”


Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast:

Book: The Haywire Heart;

Book: Born To Run

Book: The Sports Gene

Book: Slaying The Badger

Moots Bikes

8 Things You Need To Know About Electronic Shifting


We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

If more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, it means I can reach out to and get through to the top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!


Thank you to our sponsors for supporting Run to the Top

Enter to win a FREE 6-Pack of Perfect Amino from BodyHealth
Use coupon code TINA for 10% off at

Passing the Baton - Tina Muir and Sinead Haughey  

Fare Thee Well, Tina Muir - Welcome, Sinead Haughey

This is a bittersweet episode, to be sure, for today we bid the fondest of farewells to our host for the last 2 years, Tina Muir, and introduce the new host for Run To The Top, Sinead Haughey.

Most recently, Sinead was the Director of Premium for RunnersConnect having been a 2-time NCAA Championship qualifier in the 10K at Furman University. Sinead shares her background with us, which includes running professionally for Zap Fitness and Reebok.

As the torch is passed from Tina to Sinead, Tina gives us a preview of her new venture: Running For Real. Every runner goes through a mentally rough stretch with running at some point, but very few are willing to share their challenges openly. With Running For Real, Tina is creating a safe environment for runners so they don’t have to suffer in silence with their struggles - whether it’s frustration with training, race results, or injury.

While we are all going to miss Tina and her contributions here, we wish her nothing but the absolute best as she blazes this new trail. And we are equally excited to welcome Sinead as the new host and voice of Run To The Top.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

Getting to know new host Sinead Haughey An inside look at Zap Fitness RunnersConnect premium content and various ways to access it Tina’s new focus: Running For Real Why Tina is so passionate about the mental side of running that no one else is talking about

Questions Sinead is asked:

3:10  What was your collegiate and post-collegiate running experience?

4:33 What is an elite runner’s typical day at Zap Fitness like?

6:10 Why did you choose to run at Zap?

8:33 How does having a dedicated chef at Zap work?

9:33 What were some of the things you didn’t like about your post-collegiate experiences?

11:45 Before taking over the role as new host for Run To The Top, what were you doing for RunnersConnect?

14:25 How does the RunnersConnect Premium Content work? How can people get access to the Coach Chat?

16:21 The passing of the baton...

Questions Tina is asked

18:20 What are your post-RunnersConnect plans?

23:55 Do you find middle-aged runners more open about their running struggles than younger runners?

27:58 Will you be offering anything beyond your new podcast?

31:23 What’s one tactic people can use to remain mentally tough during a race?

36:17 How often did you use your ‘Mental Bottles’?

39:35 The Final Kick Rounds (double feature)

Quotes by Tina and Sinead:

“Something that I’m going to have to accept as a post-collegiate runner is that I’m not trying to score points for anybody anymore.” (Sinead) “I think there’s definitely a pressure when you are younger to give off this vibe of being superhuman and never admitting that you need help. I think the elite world is even worse.” (Tina) “Especially for new runners something they might find kind of intimidating coming into the sport is that there are just so many bad days, but once you get a good day it makes it all worth it.” (Sinead) “I want to make sure that I do this right and I want to make it so that it can actually change people’s running lives forever rather than just be something they learn and then two races later they forget it and need something else.” (Tina) “I love helping people with the mental side of things because that is something that is just so often neglected and it makes SUCH a big difference.” (Tina) “You could be the fittest you’ve ever been in your life and you could still run the worst race of your life because your mental side could really break you apart.”  

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Mentioned in this podcast: 

Zap Fitness

Evie Serventi on Run To The Top

Scott Fauble’s blog

Good Gut - Prebiotic

#running4real hashtag on Twitter

Images about #Running4Real tag on instagram

Deliciously Stella (@deliciouslystella) • Instagram

Tina's blog

Follow Tina on Instagram

Running For Real Facebook page


Jeff Galloway- Go Slow To Go Fast  

Wait... What?? 

That’s correct. 1972 Olympian, Jeff Galloway, who was self-coached and absorbed as much as he could from other runners has proven that to go fast, you should go slow. Hundreds of thousands of runners have trained with his method and the results he shares in this episode are nothing short of amazing.

Since starting his retail store, Phidippides, in Atlanta, Georgia in 1975, Jeff has listened to runners who were looking for better and better training strategies. He has developed training methods, retreats at multiple locations around the globe, written several books, trained runners directly and remotely, written for Runner's World, partnered with Disney… well, you get the idea.

We are so very lucky to have Jeff join us to tell us about his personal experiences with running and how his unique training philosophy has helped runners at all levels achieve great results while avoiding injury. This is likely to be one of those episodes that you listen to over and over because there is just so much good information. Be sure to check out the links below for even more tools and resources!

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: Jeff’s personal experiences running in college and his Olympic trials. Jeff counterintuitive training methods including full distance training and Run Walk Run. The benefits of group training. How The Magic Mile accurately predicts a runner’s future race times. How to leverage our human brain to keep our ‘Monkey Brain’ under control. Questions Jeff is asked:

2:50 What are some of your favorite moments as a runner?

11:55 Do you think professional / elite runners today would give up a spot in a race to help a teammate advance?

13:30 How was it having a group working together in the early 1970’s?

15:06 What’s your theory on why there aren't more big groups of people who want to train together?

17:12 Should recreational runners train in groups?

19:26 How can people get involved in your training groups?

22:20 You have runners do a 26 - 29 mile run 3 weeks before their marathon at a slower pace for 6-7 hours?

24:38 So the only you’re adding on race day is running faster?

24:55 What exactly is the Magic Mile?

26:29 How do runners get their individual Magic Mile times?

26:59 Is it just running that mile as fast as you can?

27:51 What is the Run Walk Run method?

31:14 What would you like to say to runners who have a social stigma against walking?

33:51 Does the amount of walking differ for each person?

35:24 What is the ‘Monkey Brain’?

38:13 How long should the walk-breaks be?

40:00 How does it feel to have a training method named after you?

42:29 How does it feel to have a whole event series named after you?

45:07 What is involved in your retreats?

48:02 Do you have a favorite race you recommend all runners do at least once?

53:54 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Jeff: Even on the days when I was physically destroyed, which was most of the days during the first month, I felt better in my head and in my spirit than I had ever felt in my life. I helped my father get into running when he was 52. I never heard any of my Florida Track Club teammates brag unless they were being funny about something. There is no doubt that when you have a stable of good runners you can get some really good workouts if the coach is monitoring the effort level and making sure the athletes aren’t running over their heads in workouts. The reason our Group Retreats have expanded is because there is so much interest in getting individual help with running and learning hands-on: ‘How do you do these drills’, ‘What is my form like’, ‘Am I doing something wrong?’. We found that people tend to hit the wall within about a mile of the that they ran on long runs within the last 3 weeks. And so, by going the (full race) distance, not only do people feel strong and have more belief that they CAN do it, but they actually run FASTER. (The Run Walk Run) is a method that conserves resources that reduces injuries down to practically NOTHING and allows runners to run faster in long distances. You are the captain of your ship. You are the one who determines how you’re going to run.
Mary Wittenberg & Virgin Sport -A Social Movement  

Mary Wittenberg & Virgin Sport - Social Movement 

As CEO of the New York Road Runners from 2005 to 2015, and having been involved with them since 1998, Mary Wittenberg helped the NY Marathon grow to include 400,000 participants, including 120,000 school children across multiple events and helped found the World Marathon Majors which connected the marathons in Boston, Berlin, London, Chicago and New York. 

Since stepping down from NYRR, Mary is now Global CEO of Virgin Sport and together with Richard Branson, she is re-inventing group athleticism to encourage as many people as possible to experience social running. 

Virgin Sport has four weekend multi-events on the calendar with more to follow. And you know if Richard Branson is involved, these fitness festivals will truly be special.

In this episode Mary tells us about the philosophy behind Virgin Sport and how they are engaging athletes of all levels. She also goes into detail about the events currently on the calendar as well as what the future of Virgin Sport looks like. 

She shares her experiences of running, both as an athlete and as a race organizer and group leader. Her passion for running and fitness shine through in this conversation. 

She is an inspiration and we are all very lucky to have her join us on Run To The Top.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: How Mary’s rowing team led to her becoming a runner What Mary did as CEO of NYRR and how the youth program grew under her leadership What it was like to run the NYM after being the CEO. Why she believes running is for just about everyone, especially kids The current and future vision of Virgin Sport Questions Mary is asked:

3:14 What is your background as a runner?

4:40 How much has competitive running changed since you were a more serious athlete?

6:13 Had it been an available option would you have continued post-collegiate running?

6:57 Do you still run now?

8:22 What was it like to run the New York Marathon after having been the director for so long?

11:53 What did being the CEO of New York Road Runners entail?

15:33 Why did you feel it was so important to build it at a youth level vs. focusing on adults?

17:20 Of the 50+ NYRR events, which is your favorite?

18:10 What about being the first female marathon race director?

19:29 Why do you think it’s important to have other events outside of traditional marathons for people to choose from and do you think other cities will adopt these, too

21:31 What about your current job as CEO of Virgin Sport?

23:33 What can you tell us about these initial four festivals you have scheduled?

26:08 Can people pick and choose which events they want to do, can they do all of them?

27:18 How do potential future events look for Virgin Sport beyond these first four cities?

28:43 How could someone get involved in these events?

30:03 What is it about running that makes you want to share it with as many people as possible?

31:56 Where you would like Virgin Sport to be in 10 years?

33:07 What can more recreational runners do in their own world to inspire others?

34:57 What do you think about Park Run?

38:09 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Mary: 

I think there’s many more opportunities today for young runners and athletes in other sports that switch to running to find a post-collegiate running group and run pretty seriously.

You realize as time goes on that there are still roadblocks to women in leadership.

If you fit running and some high intensity running into your life, it may be the best way for you to get healthy and fit. It’s not just about the marathon.

I have always had this burning desire to take the model of community based running and fitness on the road.

We’re in the experience business.

Our Proposition is based on bringing people together.

For us, the challenger in the industry is not other people putting on events, because from a mission of purpose that’s awesome they’re doing that. Our challenge is the things that stop people; the comfortable bed, the super-busy workday.

Just by getting out the door every day, you inspire people. When people see people running, other people realize: ‘Oh. maybe I can do that, too.’

  Mentioned in this podcast: 

2017-03-01 - Michael Hammond  

Running podcast to motivate & help runners of every level run their best. Tina Muir interviews running influencers, scientists, psychologists, nutritionists, & everyday runners with inspiring stories.

Train Your Brain for Success- Evie Serventi  

Running can be tough, not just on our bodies, but on our emotions and psyche. 

This is especially true whenever we experience any perceived setback; injuries, a rough workout or a less than desired performance in a race. 

We all talk to ourselves, whether we’re aware of it or not, but many people don’t realize that this self-talk actually affects our performance. This is both good and bad, depending on the type of self-talk in which we engage ourselves. 

If we habitually beat ourselves up after a setback, this can become detrimental to our running. On the other hand, if we use more positive self-talk, even after a setback, we can recover from it that much better.

Evie Serventi, a competitive runner and swimmer, is the Deputy Editor of Running Fitness magazine in the UK and is also a Sports Psychologist. 

In this episode, she talks to us about the importance of Mental Training and shares with us techniques that she recommends for training our brains to help us run better and to not sabotage the effort we put into our physical conditioning.

As you will hear, Evie and I have a wonderfully close relationship. She has been a tremendous resource for me and I think you will come away with actionable steps that will get your brain and body working more effectively together.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: How running is helping refugees cope in England How Evie has helped Tina PR How to be aware of our self-talk and use it to perform even better Self-encouragement vs. Excuses How to use ‘Check-ins” to become aware of our mental states and adjust accordingly. How could a running diary help? What is ‘Reframing’ and how can we use it to improve our performance? Questions Evie is asked:

4:40 Tina’s Big Announcement

7:05 Evie’s Big Announcement

10:10 Will running be a part of it?

12:08 How did you become Deputy Editor for Running Fitness Magazine?

16:33 How did you get into sports psychology?

19:47 What advice would you give to someone who, later in life, is considering making a big career change or going back to school for something new?

22:00 What about the refugee group you’re working with?

28:57 Why be kind to yourself vs. being tough on yourself?

34:26 What does ‘Be Kind To Yourself” actually mean?

35:26 Should someone work on this prior to a race or can someone start doing it once they are racing?

38:11 How can people start putting these “Mental Bottles” into practice?

42:14 How do you avoid letting ‘being kind to yourself’ turn into just making excuses?

45:04 What’s a good exercise for people to start with?

48:32  What other mental strategies would you suggest for those thinking that they are struggling in various ways.

52:27 What are your future plans, website, other info?

55:05 Are you still taking on new clients?

59:13 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Evie:

“Run your own race; control what you can control.”

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

“If you want to do something, you find a way.”

“The risk, though with (motivating yourself via) negative emotions, or feeling angry, even if you feel that they’re positive at the time, is that they’re generally not sustainable.”

“Self-talk is part of your mental training.”

“There IS a lot you can control about your own performance and your own actions. You can’t control the weather, you can’t control the amount of runners, the speed of the other runners. But what you CAN control is your attitude and the way you approach the run.”

“Keeping a diary of what you’re thinking, during a run, after a run / post-run thoughts, can often be quite revealing and help you in terms of “Where do I start? I’m not confident and I don’t feel like I’ve got the mental toughness to do this race.”

“Ask other people; observe what other people who you think have mental toughness do. How do they train? What do they wear? What sort of statements do they say? What sort of language are they using?”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast: 

Follow Tina on Facebook

Fast Feet Forward

Fast Feet Forward (FFF) is a pilot research study lead by Dr Ana Draper for Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust in collaboration with Virtual Schools Kent and a small local charity, Kent Kindness. The study involves a sport-based early intervention trauma group protocol for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) who now live in Kent. The idea behind the intervention is to coach a group of young (male) asylum seekers through a serie

Decoding Sleep: How to Clean up Your Sleep Hygiene- Luke Gupta  

Sleep Illiteracy? Sleep Education? Sleep Management? Is it really a big deal? We’ve all been sleeping our entire lives, but do we even think about sleep correctly? 

Luke Gupta graduated from the University of Bath with a B.Sc in Sport and Exercise Science and completed an M.Sc in Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University. Currently, Luke is conducting a part-time PhD Studentship into Sleep and Athletic Performance in collaboration with the English Institute of Sport. 

He worked with some of the Rio Olympians across many different sports on their sleep habits. In this episode, Luke shares with us what his research and experience has shown him about how the function and significance of sleep in an athlete's life. 

The way Luke talks about ‘sleep’, it sounds like an actual entity with it’s own set of rules. 

For those of us who have spent many nights waiting anxiously for sleep to overtake our racing minds, he may not be far off. How can people who have difficulty falling asleep learn these rules and thus manipulate them to our advantage? 

Listen as Luke decodes the inner workings of sleep, confronts myths that have permeated our ‘understanding’ of sleep and gives us all practical methods for getting all the sleep we’ll ever need. 

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: The roles our genetic and early adolescent personality traits play in determining the sports we excel in. Is 8 hours a night really the magic number for sleep for everyone? Does going to bed early equate to more rest? How Circadian Rhythms affect our sleep habits. Why your bed should not be a multitasker. Internal vs. External sleep aids Performance vs. well-being Is it possible to front-load sleep before a race? Questions Luke is asked:

3:30 How did you get into your current field and position?

6:05 Has your experience reaffirmed that this is the area you want to focus on?

6:51 What does your job look like? What are some of your favorite parts of working with athletes regarding sleep and performance?

9:05 How did you help the Rio Olympians optimize their sleep for their competitions?

11:12 What differences did you see between the different types of sports / athletes?

15:01 Does all this apply to recreational athletes as well as Elite Athletes?

17:05 What are some common myths about sleep and can you debunk them?

18:40 How does anyone know what their optimal amount of sleep is?

22:45 What if someone gets up unusually early, say for a 4:00 a.m. flight; what should they do to catch back up on their sleep?

24:45 Other myths you’d like to bust?

26:46 What has your researched uncovered about how sleep affects changes to performance, motivation and physiology?

31:12 What are some of the things that you’ve found help people fall asleep?

34:17 If someone’s mind won’t shut down when they’re trying to fall asleep, what should they do?

38:13 What are the pros and cons of using sleep aids?

43:18 Other suggested sleep aids or behavioral sleep aids?

45:04 How can we avoid psyching ourselves out while waiting to fall asleep?

47:17 Based on your research, how close is the correlation to sleep and performance?

50:53 What should someone do to manage anxiety the night before a race? 

54:03 Do you have any planned research we can keep up to date with?

58:40 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Luke:

“My research recently found that there’s big differences between sports and how the athletes sleep and perceive sleep.”

“Listen to your body.”

“Sleep is quite an automated process in that if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep one night, the next night’s sleep will, more likely than not, be that much better given the opportunity. That’s just how sleep works.”

“You can’t just say if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep you’re going to perform poorly.”

“The way sleep works is: the longer you stay awake, the sleepier you feel.”

“When you try to do anything with sleep, that’s when it tends to go wrong.”

Mentioned in this podcast: 

Dr. James Maas on Run To The Top podcast

Dr. James Maas Pillow - Bed Bath & Beyond

English Institute of Sport

Consumer Reports - Blue Blocking Glasses

Luke's research published in Sports

Jay Dicharry- If You are Serious About Your Running, Time to Get in the Weight Room  

Jay Dicharry may or may not have taken Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies quiz, but it’s safe to say that he’s probably a Questioner. Jay is not afraid to question beliefs that many of us have blindly accepted for years and study if, in fact, there is actually any truth in them or if there are better ways to train to avoid injuries. He has a passion for this ‘Pre-Habbing’ which goes back to his injury-prone youth.

 Jay is a renowned expert in biomechanics and physical therapy and is also the author of Anatomy for Runners. In this episode, he challenges us to reevaluate parts of our accepted, conventional training and running wisdom.

 He does a great job of deconstructing clinically complex concepts into easily understandable ideas and examples. He breaks down things like Strength Training versus Power Training and the differences between joint limitation or blockage, shortened tissues, stiffness / sticky tissues, and dynamic mobility.

 Our conversation covered a lot of ground and included many additional resources as noted by the links below. This may very well be an episode that you will want to listen to multiple times to explore these and evaluate what changes you may want to integrate into your own personal program.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:  How biomechanic training can help Pre-Hab or prevent injuries. Biomechanics fact vs. fiction and the ongoing critical evaluation of prior assumptions. How to leverage strength training to improve your running while reducing your volume. How to evaluate a potential strength coach or options if you don’t have access to one. Risk / Reward balance of using different types of shoes for training / racing. Jay’s Mobility / soft-tissue work philosophy. The difference between ‘stretching’ and ‘dynamic mobility’ and which you should do before a run. Questions Jay is asked:

3:50 When did you determine that biomechanics was your passion?

6:37 Is there still a lot of misinformation portrayed within the PT / sporting world?

8:07 Do you still get frustrated when people repeat ‘facts’ they haven’t verified or is it getting better with more readily available information?

10:30 What is it that drives you to keep exploring?

12:33 Is there anything surprising that you’ve learned about Pre-Hab along the way?

14:42 Who else can people reference for up-to-date information

16:17 Is the UVA Running Medicine Conference open to the public?

17:14 (Listener Question) If you could go back and rewrite Anatomy For Runners, is there anything you would change?

18:58 Is there another book in the works?

19:25 What is your philosophy on strength training and plyometrics?

20:52 Exactly what type of training are you referring to by ‘Strength Training’?

27:07 When selecting a Strength Coach, how important is it that they have a running background?

29:45 What can you tell us about the Saucony Stride Lab for those who may not have access to a running lab?

34:20 Why did you choose to work with Saucony?

35:18 Were you part of the design team for the Saucony Freedoms?

35:41 (Listener Question) If you’re running in a heavier / bulkier shoe, is there an injury risk to doing the workouts or races in a lighter shoe if you train in the heavier shoe?

39:34 Can we trust our GPS / wearable tech with our biomechanics or are they inaccurate?

40:29 When it comes to imbalances or weaknesses, is it an issue if one part, or side, of your body is stronger than the other?

43:25 If you do all the form trainings we discussed, you’re prolonging the amount of time your body is able to hold good form when running?

44:21 Should people who sit all day at work and run after work stretch between working and running?

49:25 How often do you recommend that runners should perform foam rolling / mobility / soft-tissue work? Every Day?

55:00 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Jay:

“There’s still the folks out there saying ‘Running is going to kill you and you need to stop’.”

“I don’t like being the person paving the way; I like being the person helping people.”

“ ‘What’s the ONE thing to do?” and the reality is that life isn’t that simple, right? If it was, then nobody would have problems.”

“There is very good research out there to show that running does NOT make you strong. Running efficiency DOES impr

You’re Stronger Than You Think- Hannah Smith  

For someone in their late 20’s to feel lucky that they were diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, they would have to be a very special individual. 

Hannah Smith is just that: very special, indeed. 

Her story isn’t just one of survival; it’s an inspirational journey of using what many of us might consider a nightmarish situation to then fully live life and recognize the beauty and wonder that exists all around us.

In this episode, Hannah shares her incredible journey and outlook with us. 

From her life before her diagnosis, through the treatment and recovery, having to adjust to a new ‘normal’, and ultimately achieving goal after goal, not just in regards to competing in races and triathlons, but in all areas of her life.

Her experience, attitude and advice are not helpful only to those with significant health challenges, but also to any of us who may get so caught up in our busy lives that we lose sight of what is truly important. 

She shows us all that living isn’t just about surviving, but it is really about Sur-Thriving.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: What is it like to not know when you’re hungry so that you remember to eat? How absolutely important attitude is in order to live a full life. Who was Hannah’s inspiration? How she managed the emotional cycles of difficult chemo rounds. Her experience with managing self-expectations. How she fends off external negativity. Questions Hannah is asked:

4:52 How did fitness initially fit into your life?

6:57 What happened? 

10:36 How did that make you feel to be diagnosed at such a young age?

14:15 At what point after the diagnosis did you refocus on health and fitness?

15:23 What are some examples of cancer fighting foods you now focus on eating?

16:07 How and when did you approach building fitness back into your life?

19:07 Post-surgery, what are some of the funny things that happened and what do you miss?

24:20 How has your sense of humor helped your state of mind?

27:20 Did people try to coddle you as you worked towards your fitness goals, and if so, how did you handle that?

30:17 How would you advise families of patients regarding getting medical clearance to train?

34:35 To what do you credit your improved running times when you started competing again?

39:53 Have you embraced challenges your whole life or only since your diagnosis?

43:05 Do you live a more fulfilling life because you focus more on things you want to do vs. things you feel purely obligated to do?

46:00 Is there a reason for you that running and triathlons mean so much to you?

49:02 What would you like to say to someone who may be going through a similar situation?

54:01 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Hannah:

“You can either be bitter and twisted and angry at the situation or you can make the best of whatever time you’ve got left, because at the end of the day, you’re gonna die anyway.”

“I did come, eventually, to the understanding with my family that (my training) wasn’t anything that I wasn’t allowed to do and that my surgeon (had cleared it).”

“I carry a donor card, but I do feel like when I am gone and they cut me open, there’s just going to be an IOU.”

“Ultimately the biggest goal for me is to be as fit and healthy and the best person I can be.”

“Dream big. And if you hit somewhere in the middle, that’ll be alright.”

“Strangely enough, my experience with cancer was probably one of the best experiences of my life. My life is infinitely better after my diagnosis than before, simply because I now look at things and think, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ ”

“Your brain is the only intelligent part of your body. If you give up mentally, what chance does any other part of your body have?”

“You’re stronger than you know.”

“Find what you LOVE to do and build your life around that.”

Mentioned in this podcast: 

Do Today Well - Blog

Chrissie Wellington: A Life Without Limits

The Brownlee Brothers - Swim, Bike, Run: Our Triathlon Story

80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald

3 Simple Ways to Determine if You are Running Easy Enough: Matt Fitzgerald

Garmin Fenix

STOP Looking at Your GPS Watch to Run Faster (& enjoy it more too!)

Follow Hannah:

Follow Hannah on Instagram

GutlessIrongirl Website

We really hop

Gretchen Rubin-There is No Finish Line to your Goals: You Deserve More  

Haven’t we all, at one time or another, struggled with getting new activities to become more permanent?

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and fellow Podcaster, shares her research with us on how to create lasting habits.

And because no single strategy works for everyone, she dove deeper into different personality types and how they can use their inherent predispositions to their advantage.

She also discussed the challenges different personalities traits have so we can be aware of avoiding potential roadblocks.

In her studies, she identified 4 general personality types: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels.

A link to her quiz is included below so you can learn how you may be able to make long-term positive changes in your own life.

She also touches on simple strategies we can all add into our daily routines to be happier people, how to avoid getting off track once the rush of completing a major goal wears off, and shares examples she has come across with other runners that are extremely helpful.

Many of us are still in a New Year, New You mindset and this episode provides powerful ideas to make sure that we stay on track with the goals we have set for ourselves, not just in the near-term, but for as long as we really want.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: How our different personality traits determine how they form habits. Why we should use ‘milestones’ vs. ‘finish lines’ to maintain habits indefinitely. Why it’s important to protect key activities in our schedules and how to do it. Why and how we should use self-reflection of our prior experiences to realize what worked well, or didn’t, in our past. How we can proactively stave off ‘Runner’s Blues’ after accomplishing a big goal or avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder. Questions Gretchen is asked:

4:19 Why should people focus on personal improvement?

5:36 What are some examples of easy, significant changes someone can make?

8:34 What are the 4 Tendencies you refer to in your books?

11:33 Besides Upholders, how can runners who fall into the other Tendencies work with their strengths to achieve their running goals?

18:08 Are there any dangers with being an Upholder that they should look out for?

20:30 How does social media play into these different Tendencies?

24:31 What is the Danger Of A Finish Line?

27:25 What would you suggest to help people avoid Finish Line Dangers?

30:00 Could you swap related activities for specific activities during a recovery period?

31:26 How do you stay mentally engaged when your fastest running days are behind you?

33:47 Do people need to take a temporary clean break without a goal or does it vary by Tendency?

36:24 What if people still feel something is missing after achieving a goal, even if they have replaced the key activities related to that goal?

37:55 What advice do you have to help people avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder?

41:38 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Gretchen:

If there’s something that you could do pretty easily that’s going to give you a big happiness boost, wouldn’t you want to do that?

(Regarding Questioners): They tend to love data and reporting, so things like monitoring how far they’re going or what their time is, keeping records. Really figure it out, whatever it would take to make that decision because while you’re  not sure it’s going to block your way because you’re going to be sort of stuck... but once you decide then you can do it.

(Regarding Obligers): If you’re an obliger you need ‘Outer Accountability’, you could work out with a trainer, you could join a running group where people are going to be annoyed if you don’t show up.

(Regarding Rebels): They can do anything the WANT to do. The idea of a structured schedule, something that is very appealing to an Upholder, it’s a big turn-off for a Rebel.

(Regarding Upholders): Upholders sometimes suffer from ‘tightening’ and this is when the ‘rules’ get tighter and tighter… Sometimes it can feel choking. If you feel like it’s sort of over-mastering you, you want to be aware that this is a phenomenon that Upholders can experience and you want to stay in control of it.

Hitting a goal is a great way to hit a goal; it’s not a great way to keep a habit, because habits are usually things that we want to do indefinitely. It’s more helpful to think of a milestone. It’s a 30-day Yoga Challenge, but what are you doing on Day 34?

To be happy you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, feeling right in an atmosphere of growth.



You Need to Build Your Ability to Train Before You Can Train- Rob Wilby  

What if triathlons (or 70.3’s) weren’t as intimidating as they may appear?

What if, as a successful long distance runner, you already possessed a unique advantage over athletes in the other disciplines?

And what if, you could become a successful triathlete, or even just improve your running, without a significant increase in training hours by training more efficiently?

Rob Wilby is a professional triathlon coach based in England, where he is head coach at both Team Oxygenaddict and Knutsford Triathlon Club.

He specialises in helping age group triathletes rapidly improve, by focussing on maximising the effectiveness of training time and addressing their biggest performance limiters.

Over the last 20 years, he has helped hundreds of athletes exceed their expectations, from completing their first triathlon through to qualifying for the World Championships.

Rob provides great insight on the world of triathlons and 70.3’s and breaks down some perceived resistances that may prevent runners from entering these events.

He’s a fellow podcaster and has wonderful tips on training, coaching and having a successful mindset to enjoy what may be a new experience for runners.

If you’ve ever wanted to pursue a triathlon, but felt intimidated, Rob has great advice to help you get started. If you have never even considered triathlons, Rob’s training perspective can help you increase your running performance by leveraging cross-discipline training.


Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: Why runners have a unique advantage over swimmers and cyclists in triathlons. How inclusive triathlons are for newcomers. Maintaining Training / Life balance. Equipment recommendations. Benefits of training in multiple disciplines. Swim form analysis and tips. Questions Rob is asked:

3:55 What is team Oxygenaddict?

5:55 How did you end up giving yourself a year to get ready for your first triathlon as opposed to waiting until the last minute?

8:19 Where did the name “Oxygenaddict” come from?

9:30 What are the brand advertising limitations for triathlon kits?

11:30 What’s your backstory?

17:59 What’s the percentage of people transitioning to triathlons are runners and what would you say to someone considering a transition to let them know they have support from the rest of the triathlon community?

22:48 What would you say about the difference between just running vs. running right after cycling?

25:20 Do you see triathletes of all levels (especially novices) competing?

28:11 What would you say to people who are 4-5 hour marathoners; is there an opportunity for them in the world of triathlon?

29:53 Do you have to like all 3 disciplines?

33:23 Do triathletes typically have 3 separate coaches for each discipline?

35:31 How does one train for a triathlon without it completely taking over their life?

40:57 As a coach, do you worry about recreational / mid-pack athletes burning out from overtraining?

43:36 What is your swim analysis?

48:21 Is there a general best swim form or are there a variety of good forms?

49:57 Do you breathe one side or both?

51:42 Any additional swim-form tips?

53:15 Is it more likely that a fit runner who thinks they’re not a good swimmer has bad form than that they’re not fit enough?

54:48 What about open-water swimming vs. indoor pool?

57:05 Good brands of entry-level bikes and wetsuits?

58:46 What is your podcast about?

1:02:52 Final Kick Round

Quotes by Rob:

“I’ve never come across anybody who’s elitist or snobbish at all at any of the events that I’ve been to.”

“Without a doubt, the people who make the strongest athletes in triathlon come from a running background.”

“You’ll see a massive variety of people at these events.”

“(By training for a triathlon)’ve consistently run for 12 weeks without getting injured, you’ve done all this hard work on the bike without getting injured, your body’s had a different stimulus without getting injured, and all of a sudden the result of that is, it turns out, you’ve got out of your own way and you’ve developed a different way of training  that’s going to allow you to get even faster on the run.”

“You can let the sport take up as much of your life or as little of your life as you like.”

“I’m probably doing about half the training I was before, and I’m still getting 99% of the benefit of it. So, almost I wondered how little training I could do and still be fit for racing.”

“You need to build your ability to train before you can train.”

“(Runners are) already aerobically very fit, and the reason they can’t swim quickly is because of a skill-based problem not because of a fitness based problem.”

“The key to swimming better is to improve your technique. Practice good technique and get fit as a

Lanni Marchant-Your Body is Your Equipment: You Need to Fuel Your Engine  

What makes elite runners so good at running? Are they superhuman, and just have the talent to be able to leave us all in their dust?

Actually, no!

Even though most elite runners struggle with revealing their weaknesses in fear of losing sponsors or upsetting the selection committees, today we are talking to a runner who does not mind sharing her struggles and does not mind speaking the truth, even if it makes some waves in the process.

Lanni Marchant is the Canadian record holder in the half marathon and marathon with her 1:10:47 and 2:28:00 PRs. She competed in both the 10,000m and marathon in the Rio Olympics, which you will hear about the drama involved in that scenario during this interview.

However, despite Lanni's success as a runner, she wants her legacy to be more than just her running. Lanni is doing all she can to help women rights, including speaking in front of Parliament on the topic, and showing the world once and for all, that there is no one best body type and weight for a runner. 

Lanni spent most of her college career on crutches because she felt she needed to be skinny to run fast, but now she has a message for runners everywhere to get your head on straight, or you are throwing away your running!

Lanni is refreshingly honest, and I am sure you are going to enjoy this episode for her relatability and what she is doing for our sport.

Questions Lanni is Asked

4:00 You decided to go to University in the US, what was it that pulled you away from Canada?

5:10 What lessons were you taught about going to school in the US when you were still in high school in Canada

7:35 You struggled your way through your freshman year, why do you think so many runners struggle in that first year?

10:00 There were some remarks made to other people about being healthy, was it that about being leaner or heavier?

10:45 How did those remarks affect you?

12:30 What do you think, now that you have a good relationship with food, can be done to change the perspective?

20:00 How do you stop yourself from comparing when you are standing on the start line?

23:45 You mentioned your weight fluctuates throughout the year, what would you like to say to anyone who looks at pictures of you from Rio, and thinks WOW! I am never going to look like that.

27:20 A lot of words (such as muscular), women see as negative, do you have any thoughts on how we can change the thinking?

32:30 What made you decide to go in front of parliament to take a stand for women rights?

35:30 What would be your suggestion to men and women listening of how we can be good role models and stop the sexist comments?

39:00 Do you see women doing it to ourselves by putting each other down instead of working together?

44:00 Tell us about the double double debacle, and how is it different to qualifying for the Olympics in Canada and Great Britain

48:30 Did that affect you mentally, knowing that you did not know what you were doing. How did that affect your Olympic experience?

53:00 Where do you go from here? Running wise and career wise?

55:10 When you said you like to indulge after a big race, what do the first few days after New York look like for you?

1:00:00 Final Kick Round

Quotes from Lanni

I spent my entire college career doing what most NCAA females do, trying not to eat, eat very little, trying to cross training and overtrain, and offset what I did eat. You name the eating disorder trick, I did it.

I eat chocolate everyday…

In my off season, I might have a beer most nights, during season, I might limit it to weekends.

We need to embrace the builds and the bodies that we have, understand that you can train it and tweak it to fit within your sport and within the goals you want.

If we change that conversation for women in sport, then there’s not going to be the same insecurities for girls and there’ll be less pressure for girls to look a certain way and do stupid things to look that way.

I am not restrictive, but I have to recognize that I need to be making sure every calorie, piece of food and beverage I put into my body is servicing my body, so when I get to Rio, I am able to compete and be my best Lanni.

...A part of me regrets not getting my head on straight sooner, because who knows what I could have been doing in my 20’s had I not been just wasting away and wasting my time and wasting my talents trying to fit into other people’s definitions of what a runner should look like or what a runner should be. And those are years I’ll never get back.

If you look at any picture of an elite athlete in any sport, its not sustainable for us to look like that. You try to dial it in for maybe 4-6 weeks, where it is really important.

...both (genders) could benefit from the conversation being about our ‘machines’ and what we’re doing with them.<

There is No Finish Line: Commit to Continuous Growth- Josh Trent  

The journey of losing weight is not easy.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight in the past knows that all too well, but our guest today not only shares his struggles with using food as comfort to process his emotions, but how he finally broke free of using food as a form of self medication.

Josh Trent, of Wellness Force Radio has fantastic advice for us all on how to grow to love our bodies from a place of abundance and trust, rather than a place of anger (like so many of us do).

Every human being goes through stages, and although therapy has been shunned in the past, Josh has some great insights on why it is so important, and can help us upgrade our old software to deal with our issues once and for all/.

Josh talks about having a why, the reason you are willing to put in all the hours for your training, and that why should be bigger than you. Having a why that makes you cry will give you energy to pull from when life stacks roadblocks in front of you. We only have control over our experiences, and we need to make sure that our behaviors are in alignment with our goals.

Josh challenges us all to set a new fear PR, something that is terrifying, but will help us to feel more alive than ever before.

If you are ready to make 2017 your best year ever, this is an episode to inspire you to do just that.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: Why Josh felt like he wasn't running towards pleasure, but instead, away from pain The difference between YouStress and Distress Why the first 5 minutes of your day are the most important, are you eating mental junk food? Why voicing the thoughts that are going through your head will take the power out of them How to use habit formation to reach your goals Why having a community will help you to replace the negative thoughts in your mind Questions Josh is asked:

4:15 Where did your journey start?

8:15 What was it about the moment with the red cup that made something switch in your mind?

9:25 We often think of drugs as pills, but tell us how food or exercise can be that addiction or way of coping with our feelings

12:30 You lost 75lbs, but we are in a world of perfection, so we struggle to find peace with ourselves, how did you learn to do this while you were going through this journey?

15:00 What can people recognize within themselves, where they can realize they are in a place of anger, and how can they move to a place of love?

16:00 Tell us about some of strategies to get out of a negative mindset

20:00 How long did it take you to spin your mental perspective to where you were confident in who you were?

22:20 How did you get to a place to where you did not see vulnerability as a weakness or something to be embarrassed about?

25:15 Why do you encourage people to face their frustrations and be vulnerable?

26:25 How can we make sure we make a behavior change rather than a New Years Resolution?

32:20 Let's use an example of a runner, and how they can make good choices to be ready for their big race coming up

36:20 What about people with families who believe it is not realistic to put themselves first, what would you like to say to them?

39:30 Describe just how much our negative thoughts affect us during races, and how can we take the steps to overcome those negative thoughts in a race?

41:30 How do you practice going against the negative thoughts in the moment?

48:00 You always ask your guests for what their definition of wellness is, what is yours?

49:30 Is it possible to fill up all three cups to have balance in our lives?

51:30 What themes come up over and over on your podcast interviews, that you would like to tell people today?

53:00 What are examples of some "why's" that will help people achieve their goals?

56:35 The Final Kick Round!

Jared Ward- We Are All Just Trying to Be the Best We Can Be  

My guest today is statistics professor and humble Olympian Jared Ward.

He’s one of the best pacers in the world, and on today’s podcast we’re going to find out how we can start training to pace our races as perfectly as he does.

Jared wrote his Master’s thesis on pacing, and he’s sharing some of his insider information, tips, and tricks for how we can start managing our perfect pace.

One of his biggest pieces of advice is how he uses each running season to improve and learn new techniques.

As runners, we know that with every race we are testing our limits and learning something new about ourselves, and Jared’s got this learning down to a science.

So get excited!

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: The rewards of marathon training Jared’s trick for getting into the zone Jared’s thesis on how to have successful pacing What it’s like to qualify for an Olympic team How to run well in hotter temperatures Questions Jared is asked:

3:15 What excites you about marathons?

4:10 Tell us about your success and your background as a runner

5:14 What’s your experience with running marathons?

8:23 What made you to decide to keep teaching instead of running full-time?

9:46 Can you handle the idea of just being a runner?

11:52 How has life changed for you as a running celebrity?

15:20 What inspired you to write your Master’s thesis on pacing?

18:08 What did you find out about successful pacing?

23:40 Do you have any pacing tips for runners?

27:35 Do you use a watch when running?

29:22 Do you ever have moments of doubt while running?

33:20 What do you tell yourself when you’re hurting while running?

36:35 How epic it did feel to cross the finish line at the Olympic qualifiers?

37:31 What was the Rio Marathon like?

40:09 Does your Olympic experience influence how you feel about your race abilities?

41:00 How did you train for your Olympic qualifier?

43:10 How can you run so well in the heat?

46:06 What’s your advice for high temperature runners?

48:30 What shoes do you train and race in?

51:00 Are you more or less sore after your races?

52:05 How do you manage to keep your family a priority?

55:05 What it’s like having a massage therapist for a wife?

55:42 What do you have planned for the future?

58:27 The Final Kick Round!

Quotes by Jared:

“I’ve mostly been blessed to never have a season in running that hasn’t been better than the season before.”

“I fell in love with the marathon before I raced it. I loved the training.”

“Trying to harness the trick of getting into the zone and racing so something magical can happen.”

“A marathon is more a race of me vs. me more than me vs. the people around me.”

“It’s more about maintaining a consistent metabolic rate than it is about maintaining a consistent pace.”

“Your body is always going to be your best gauge.”

“It’s just so critical to get in as much hydration as possible.”

“Never cash out long-term success for short-term success.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Jared Ward Running Co

Runners Connect Temperature and Pace Calculator

Saucony Type A (Jared's racing shoe) women's version (Use coupon code TINA for 10% off at

Saucony Kinvara (Jared's training shoe) women's version

Saucony Zealot (Jared's training shoe) women's version

Saucony Triumph (Jared's shoe for tired/sore days) women's version

Saucony Life on the Run Men's clothing and Women's clothing

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Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

If more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, it means I can reach out to and get through to the top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!


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Run to the Top Christmas Special- Interview with Tina Muir  

Happy Holidays!

Today’s episode is a special treat – consider it an early Christmas present because I’m my very own guest today!

I’ve brought on my good friend and fellow marathoner Sarah Crouch to play hostess with the mostess and ask me the hard questions on today’s special podcast.

I just finished the Californian International Marathon with a brand new personal record, and Sarah asks me all about how it feels to be both proud and disappointed in my finishing time.

I’ve been lucky enough to have run each of my marathons faster than the one before, but my perfectionist lifestyle always expects more.

I know a lot of you can relate to the fact that we runners hold ourselves to such high standards.

I’m guilty of not giving myself enough credit where it’s due, but that doesn’t mean I’m always beating myself up either.

I’m going to share how I stay motivated, how I train, and what I do to keep myself positive and healthy when my perfectionist attitude tries to come out.

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today: Tina’s record-making experience at CIM How celebrity can change your running career What motivates Tina to stay positive Which boy band is (and always has been) Tina’s favorite Tina’s favorite episode of Run to the Top Tina answers fan questions! Questions Tina is asked:

1:35 Can you recap your California International Marathon?

4:05 Will you be able to settle for small successes?

4:50 Was this marathon your personal best so far?

6:00 Who is your motivation?

6:50 What was the hardest thing at CIM?

9:07 How did your pace feel at CIM?

10:30 How do you keep your confidence up?

12:00 How do you feel a week and/or a day before a big race?

14:37 How do you shape your identity outside of your race times?

16:06 What thing sticks out for you most about race time?

19:55 Who are you outside of running?

22:50 What’s Tina’s Backstreet Boys story?

24:28 How has celebrity affected your running and your life?

26:20 How do you maintain your positivity?

29:20 Would your running performance be different if you didn’t have this podcast?

30:50 What has been your favorite interview on the podcast?

31:41 Have you made it yet in your running career?

35:20 What were your teenage running exploits?

36:26 What moment changed your mind about running?

36:50 Why are British youths pushed so hard to run so young?

37:50 What was your partying lifestyle like?

40:00 What’s it like to train with Sarah?

44:26 When is your next marathon?

46:11 How do you approach personal goal setting?

48:15 How do you keep your confidence up during a race?

49:18 How did you feel when you saw your new personal record time?

53:10 What do you eat the day before a marathon?

54:54 What is your first craving after a marathon?

57:20 Rapid-fire round!

59:57 The Final Kick Round!

Quotes by Tina:

“I’m learning…that a PR is still a PR.”

“Why can’t I be a normal person who just sits and watches Netflix?”

“I like to think I’m a good person who puts others first.”

“I try and share my true feelings even it makes me look a bit stupid.”

“I’ll stop drinking, but instead I’m gonna drink Red Bull.”

“That is my next big goal - to run for England in the Commonwealth Games.”

“I was angry at myself for not giving my very best.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel


Tina's Blog

Sarah Crouch

Cranberry Bliss Bars 

Tina's Freakshake

Phoebe Wright

Phoebe Wright Podcast Episode

Tina's favorite running shoe: Saucony Ride (use coupon code TINA for 10% off)

Matt Fitzgerald

Sarah Crouch Instagram

Tina Instagram

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

If more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, it means I can reach out to and get through to the top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjo

Dr. Jordan Santos-Concejero- The Research is Clear: Strength Training is the Best Way to Improve Running Economy  

If you love the science behind running, this is the episode for you!

I’ve brought Jordan Santos-Concejero on the podcast today to discuss a little bit of his research on the physiology and the biomechanics behind the art of running.

Dr. Santos started out as a professional runner, but trying to keep up with competitive running and work on his PhD at the same time became a bit much.

Besides, he was much more interested in the research behind what makes a good runner truly great. He’s spent a majority of his research career studying Kenyan runners and their successes.

He breaks down genetics and human evolution and then combines them with modern training in order to uncover what makes professional runners so successful.

If you’ve ever had any questions about your stride, your strike, or even your genetic disposition for physical fitness, tune in now!

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

Finding the balance between diet, rest, and training hard
Why strength training is so important for runners
Dr. Santos’ research on ground contact time, cadence, and striking
All of the different factors that influence running economy
The touchy subject of genetic doping
Questions Jordan is asked:

3:45 What was your international running career like?

5:05 How did your dad inspire you to run?

5:26 Do you have any advice for new runners?

6:20 What was the highlight of your running career?

7:06 How long did it take you to balance training hard with resting right?

7:52 Why did you decide to retire from running?

8:48 Do you still run for fun?

9:55 Did you always know you wanted to study running academically?

12:20 When did running economy come into your research?

13:18 Are you an economical runner?

14:07 Why should runners focus on strength training?

15:15 What kind of strength training should runners do?

16:06 How often should we go to the gym?

18:03 Why did you focus your research on Kenyan runners?

19:40 Can you share some of your findings with us?

21:30 What is the ground contact time you study?

23:16 What are your theories on efficient ground contact times?

25:07 Do you see people moving to Kenya for training?

26:43 How can European runners imitate Kenyan training?

27:31 Do you see people messing with genetics in the future to be better runners?

29:55 How is your research working against genetic doping?

32:11 What is your research on running cadence and stride?

35:40 Did you find any differences in running cadence with different types of runners?

36:50 Should we just stick with the stride that is comfortable for us?

37:53 What is your research on striking?

39:45 Can we change heel striking to forefoot striking?

40:40 The pros and cons of barefoot running

42:30 How does it feel to be a researcher?

43:50 Where do you see your research going in the future?

47:12 The Final Kick Round!

Quotes by Jordan:

“Training hard is important, but actually it’s more important to get enough rest.”

“I can’t run for fun, I can only run for performance.”

“Strength training is a key training to improve your performance…and reduce risk of injury.”

“Short ground contact time will improve running performance. You can improve your ground contact time by improving your stiffness with strength training.”

“If you don’t do physical activity when you are a kid, some of the physical adaption that [Kenyans] have, you will never get.”

“If you try to change your running cadence consciously, your running economy will be worse.”

“The most economical runners strike on their forefoot.”

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