Get In The Passenger’s Seat

By Mario Fraioli

Admittedly, I don’t pay much attention to collegiate cross-country and track all that much these days, but I’ve been following the career of Northern Arizona head coach (and fellow Central Massachusetts native) Mike Smith since the mid-1990s when he was a standout runner for Wachusett Regional High School, and NAU’s recent repeat victory at the NCAA Cross Country Championships caught my attention, sending me down a deep rabbit hole of podcasts and other interviews he’s taken part in of late. (more…)

Podcast: Episode 2 with Tim Ritchie

By Mario Fraioli

Photo courtesy of Sean Dulaney/Cal International Marathon.

“I just tried to be the best I could be in the situation I was in—and as that expanded and grew, and as the competition expanded and grew, so did my goals.”

Newly minted U.S. marathon champion Tim Ritchie comes on the podcast to discuss growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts (00:32), how he went from a running a 4:34 high school mile in 2005 to winning a national title two weekends ago (1:20), and what he’s learned from coaching both collegiate and age-group athletes (22:30).

“I’ve learned that the gap between elite and collegiate runners and people who are just trying to run a PB at their local 5K is not as big as people think it is,” Ritchie told me. “I’ve learned that when you can get an athlete to be passionate about running, to be passionate about their health and fitness, to be excited about getting out the door, to enjoy the sport, it’s just a natural thing that that leads into formalized training and goal setting and all of that. It’s just been cool for me to see the things that I’m feeling when I’m on the start line of a race is the same thing that an athlete of mine who is trying to run a 25-minute 5K is feeling. And that was something that I maybe wasn’t expecting but something that I’ve been really impressed by when it comes to my individual athletes.”

In this episode, the 30-year-old resident of New Haven, Connecticut also explains why he stinks at social media (25:35), the changes he made to his training and nutrition that helped him finish the final 10K of CIM stronger than his previous two marathons (32:05), the importance of developing athleticism as a runner (45:55), what he’s been up to since his big win (47:50), and much, much more. (more…)

Reports of Marathoning’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

By Mario Fraioli

Just a bunch of regular dudes helping one another run really fast at CIM this past Sunday.

I was in Sacramento this past weekend for the Cal International Marathon, which this year and next doubles as the national championship, and left on Sunday awed, impressed, and inspired by the performances I witnessed (so much so, in fact, that yesterday I forked over 100 bucks and registered for next year’s race). The fields, course and conditions were about as close to ideal as you can get for a marathon—incredible depth at nearly every pace, an honest layout that gives back whatever it takes, and a windless, dry morning with temps that didn’t exceed 54 degrees or so. Of course, this means that it will probably be wet, windy and miserably cold when I run it next year, but my stoke will be just as high. CIM is a well-organized event with good energy and an awesome vibe to it. (more…)

Podcast: Episode 1 with Scott Fauble

By Mario Fraioli

“That understanding—that you have to create your own value—is something that was weird to me at first, because I thought that I had value, but I didn’t. I was a 28:40 [10K] guy out of college, and had been All-American a few times, but there’s like 40 guys who do that every single year, so why would anyone take an extra interest in me? So that would be my advice to anyone who is trying to be a professional runner: really sit down and really think about where your niche is, and look at people who have created their own niches…because there are only so many spots on an Olympic team or a world team or a podium, you know?”

Burrito connoisseur and 2:12 marathoner Scott Fauble comes on the podcast to discuss the movement he’s trying to create around his favorite food (1:20), the business of being a professional runner (9:00), the launch of a new project he’s calling “Off Course” and the parallels between running and writing (25:45), training for, racing, and recovering from his first marathon (39:35), and so much more. (more…)

Sponsor Special: Save 25% on UCAN Products!

By Mario Fraioli

Many thanks to Generation UCAN for sponsoring the newsletter through the end of the year and offering this amazing deal to readers of the morning shakeout: Receive a 25-percent discount AND free shipping on all products through Sunday, December 3, 2017 when you shop at this link. Alternatively, you can use the code SHAKEOUT when you check out of their online store and receive the same discount. This is UCAN’s biggest sale of the year and you should totally take advantage of it to load up on your favorite drink mixes or snack bars. I use UCAN’s SuperStarch drink mix (plain and tropical orange FTW!) before my long runs, big workouts and races, and can’t recommend it enough for steady, long-lasting energy.

Reclaim Your Focus

By Mario Fraioli

Two books that have had a huge influence on how I approach my work are Rework and Remote from Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of Basecamp (formerly 37 Signals), a successful software company based in Chicago. These books are worth the read if you’re someone who’s working remotely, thinking about working remotely, starting a business, or considering going to work for yourself. I like these guys’ pragmatic approach to doing business and getting sh*t done effectively and efficiently. Along those lines, this interview with Fried recently popped up in my Twitter feed and I liked one of his simple tips for staying focused while working. (more…)



Mario Fraioli
Mario Fraioli is a writer and running coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area.