Of Runners and People Who Run

By Mario Fraioli

Runners across the internet got all up in arms a few days ago over this Bloomberg article and its click-baity headline, “Brooks Needs Runners Who Hate To Run.”

It’s a weird piece with some odd quotes from the company’s CEO, Jim Weber. “Running’s not really a sport,” Weber told Claire Suddath. Message board posters were calling for Weber’s head afterward, and Deadspin’s Dennis Young wrote that the company is “apparently on a quest to destroy itself.”

But is it? (more…)

Third Time’s The Charm?

By Mario Fraioli

As of this writing (January 1, 2018) I’m a little more than 12 hours removed from my weeklong social media sabbatical and I’m still processing—and implementing—the takeaways from this most recent experience. This was my third time going on such a break and it may end up being the most impactful. Time will tell, of course. (more…)

What I’m Digging This Week:

By Mario Fraioli

Tracksmith’s No Days Off campaign. This is year three (or maybe four, I can’t remember) of NDO and I love everything it stands for: A commitment to consistency, patience, and purposeful, process-driven training. This message had a huge influence on me in 2017 and helped me log one of my most consistent years of running in a long time. It also served as inspiration for my #allin2018 initiative I wrote about a couple weeks ago. Now, I personally don’t take No Days Off literally but I do take the spirit of the campaign seriously, meaning that every day—even a rest day—has purpose behind it, forces me learn something about myself, and brings me one step closer toward my goals.

Ted Talks Daily. I recently discovered—and am really digging—these short-form episodes from TED. These archived excerpts cover a wide range of topics and are refreshingly poignant. A few recent favorites include writer Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Your Elusive, Creative Genius,” Robert Waldinger’s “What Makes A Good Life?” and Luvvie Ajayi’s “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

+ Overcast.fm. A few months ago I just couldn’t take the Apple Podcasts app anymore so I took to Twitter and solicited suggestions for a new podcast player. The overwhelming winner was Overcast and I couldn’t be happier with the move. Overcast is free (there are small, unobtrusive ads at the bottom of your screen), it syncs across all your devices, allows you to create better playlists, has some cool features like Smart Speed and Voice Boost, and is just generally easier to use in every way. It was made by Marco Arment, who created (and eventually sold) Instapaper, which is my go-to offline reading app.

+ The @firstrun Instagram feed. To be fair, I’ve been digging it for quite a while now but Knox Robinson and crew’s recent excursion to the high-altitude environs of Mexico caught my attention recently and is worth trying to better understand. Great storytelling around an interesting adventure that falls under the ambiguous umbrella known as running culture. “At its apex in the first millennium AD Teotihuacan was the largest city in the hemisphere and the sixth largest city in the world,” Robinson writes, “as you’re recovering from the run and the brain slowly by slowly comes back to itself, it’s impossible not to consider that if indeed we were made to be runners—as running was an essential part of the human toolkit that precipitated our exodus from southern Africa however long ago—then every run is part of a continuum reaching way back to our origins as a species: a conversation on who we were then, who we imagine ourselves to be today and where we might head, together, tomorrow.” (Bonus: Read my “Going Long” interview with Robinson from last January if you haven’t already.)

+ Buffer. I just started using this service to schedule Tweets and I think it’s going to save me a lot of time—and attention—moving forward. Best part? It does everything I need it to do for free.

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January 2018 Sponsor: Final Surge

By Mario Fraioli

My thanks to Final Surge for sponsoring the newsletter these next couple of weeks. I’m really fired up about this partnership because I’ve been using the platform since June of last year to run my coaching business (and plan my own training), and really can’t say enough good things about it. The Final Surge coaching tools and training log have been a game-changer for both me and my athletes, delivering a much improved user experience from the piecemeal system I used previously, streamlining communication into one easy-to-navigate portal and making my workflow far more efficient and effective. It syncs with Garmin, Strava and various other tracking platforms to import all the data you’d ever need to analyze. I use the platform to coach and communicate with 20-25 individual athletes throughout the year and even managed a 40-person trail running program with it this past fall. There’s a native mobile app for both iOS and Android that makes on-the-go check-ins and communication easy and seamless. Final Surge is super affordable for coaches (packages start at $9.95/month) and it’s totally free for athletes. No setup fees or up-charges for “premium” features—it’s all included. Sign up for a free-7-day coaching trial today and check it out for yourself!

My 8 Recommended Reads of 2017

By Mario Fraioli

A whole lotta books ended up on my desk in 2017. Some of them got read cover-to-cover, dog-eared and marked up considerably, others were skimmed through and tagged for revisiting, and the rest, well, they’ll most likely get donated to Goodwill the next time I clean out my office. Here are a select few (in no particular order) that will have a permanent home on my bookshelf for years to come:


Social Media Sabbatical 2017

By Mario Fraioli

Is spending time on social media bad for us? One former Facebook executive says it’s “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” while Facebook itself is offering new features to “help support people’s well-being” rather than encouraging people to curb their use of the platform.

Of course, it’s not in Facebook’s (or any social media company’s) best business interests to tell its users to step away from the service for a while so they can reset and re-examine their relationship with it, but I’m happy to do so: Join me on weeklong social-media sabbatical beginning on Christmas Day, December 25, and lasting through the end of 2017. (more…)



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