This week I’m re-sharing a conversation that I had in 2018 with Deena Kastor, which we recorded at her kitchen table in Mammoth Lakes, California. I’m bringing this one back not only because I was in Mammoth Lakes this past weekend but because Deena just ran 2:45:12 at the Berlin Marathon—at the age of 49, no less!—to earn the Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Medal for completing all six Major marathons: Berlin, London, New York, Chicago, Boston, and Tokyo. I look back fondly at this chat from a few years ago, in which we covered a lot of topics, from the importance of surrounding yourself with a great team, both in running and in life, to using disappointment as a means to fuel the next big breakthrough. We also discussed how coach Joe Vigil influenced her and helped shape her life philosophy, how training for and racing cross-country “feeds her soul” and helps her become a better racer on the track and on the roads, and so much more.
I’m traveling this week and don’t have a new episode of the podcast for you but I want to take this opportunity to re-run one of my favorite conversations that I’ve ever had for the show. It’s with Diljeet Taylor, who is the head women’s cross-country coach and the Associate Director of Track and Field and field at BYU, which is one of the top collegiate programs in the country. We recorded this episode nearly two years ago when we were in the thick of the pandemic and it’s a great one to revisit or maybe check out for the first time. In this conversation, which is really a masterclass is coaching and team building, Coach Taylor talked to me about the culture she’s helped build at BYU, why gratitude is so important to the strength of that culture, the importance of investing in people and not performances, and so, so much more.
Ruben Sanca represented his home country of Cape Verde in the marathon at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea and the following year he competed in the 5000m at the Olympic Games in London. In fact, it was during those Olympics that I first spent some meaningful time with Ruben and got know him a little bit. Ruben has also finished in the top-25 of the Boston Marathon twice and still competes regularly on the New England road racing scene. In August, he and his five-year-old son Greyson broke the Guinness World Record for running a mile with a stroller, clocking a 4:32.2 at the High Street Mile in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
Brendan Leonard is an ultrarunner, writer, award-winning filmmaker, speaker, and creator of one of my favorite websites on the internet, Semi-Rad.com. On top of all that, he’s also a new dad, which we talked quite a bit about in this conversation. Brendan is someone whose work I’ve admired for quite a while now. He’s got an unmatched ability to tell stories, use humor, and share drawings that convey many of the things we all feel and experience as runners, and as human beings in general. In this conversation, we bounced all over the place, covering topics like ultrarunning, creativity, storytelling, self-employment, parenthood, where and how all these things overlap and intersect, and a lot more.
I’m excited to bring you the 7th installment of Common Ground, a monthly podcast co-hosted by me and Dinée Dorame of the Grounded Podcast. In this episode, we catch up on what we’ve both been up to of late personally, professionally, and athletically, we talk marathons, discuss music, and a whole lot more.
This week, I’m bringing back an incredible conversation I had a little over three years ago with Katie Arnold. Katie is mom, a heck of an ultrarunner, and a great writer, whose memoir, Running Home, really spoke to me on a number of levels. In it, we talked about “smile” and “flow” and why those words are important to her when she races, reverse goal-setting and how this strategy sets her up for success, and balancing competitive running with the rest of her life. We also discussed the importance of observation and paying attention, how death can wake us up to the powerful realization that everything is changing all the time, and how her book came to be and what she hopes readers take away from it.
Hills and Twos is a staple early season session for a number of top high school, collegiate, and professional programs that combines a set of short, hard hill repeats with a set of short, fast intervals. I’ve been doing some version of this workout since college, the Bowerman Track Club has their own take on it, and a couple of Georgetown runners even named their podcast after it.
The "Reverse Michigan" workout is an ascending ladder on the track—starting with a fast 400m, ending with a strong mile—interspersed with longer stretches of tempo running off the track between intervals. It's a great blend of speed and strength that can be beneficial to nearly any runner whether they're training for the mile, the marathon or anything in between.
Hill workouts should be an essential part of any runner’s training repertoire. They provide a lot of benefits for a relatively steep price: speed, strength, fitness, focus, challenge, and confidence all wrapped into a tidy package of uphill repeats.