Sanjay Rawal is a New York City-based runner and filmmaker. At the time of this conversation in 2018 he had just released a film called 3100: Run and Become, which takes an intimate look at one of the most unique foot races on the planet, The Sri Chinmoy 3100-Mile Self-Transcendence Race. In this episode, we talked about the 3100 film, of course, but also about the idea of running as a spiritual practice throughout history, the connection between competition and spirituality, running as a cultural connector, and a lot more. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or recreational runner, a miler or an ultramarathoner, this conversation will change the way you look at running and the role it plays in your life.
Jon Green is the 26-year-old coach of Olympic marathon bronze medalist Molly Seidel. He is also the head coach of Atalanta NYC, a New York City-based nonprofit that employs and supports professional female runners that are training to achieve their goals while also serving as core mentors for its youth mentoring program. As an athlete, Jon was an All-American at Georgetown University and ran professionally for a brief period of time before turning his attention to coaching. In this conversation, we go deep into Jon’s background as an athlete, we talk about our shared Central Massachusetts roots, and then turn our attention to coaching, where we discuss working with Molly Seidel, of course, but also who has influenced his philosophy, how he views his role as a coach, where he has the most room to grow, and a lot more.
Sabrina Little is an amazing human being. She’s a wife a new mom, she’s a full-time professor of Philosophy and the Humanities at Morehead State University in Kentucky, she writes my favorite column for iRunFar called The Examined Run, and she’s also a heck of an ultrrunner in her own right.
This conversation centers around Brad Stulberg’s new book, The Practice of Groundedness, and we dive into topics that I think are relevant to many of us: the pursuit of high achievement that seems pervasive in our society today, the fallacy of “arriving” in life and how that gets the best of so many of us, what Brad calls heroic individualism or an ongoing game of one-upmanship against ourselves and others, the differences between real vulnerability and performative vulnerability, and a lot more.
Mario Mendoza is a five-time national champion on the trails, a four-time USATF trail runner of the year, he’s won races all over the globe, finished top-10 twice at world championships, set world records on the treadmill, and accomplished all kinds of things on the competitive side of the sport. Beyond that, however, he’s one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met, we really connected over this conversation, and have kept in close touch ever since.
Trying something a little different this week: I’m sharing a special crossover episode of the Grounded Podcast with Dinée Dorame featuring me as her guest. Dinée asked me questions no one has ever asked me in an interview before. We talked about my obsession with basketball, the early days of my journalism and coaching careers, diversity and inclusion in the running industry, and a lot more. I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope that you will too.
can go for a half-marathon. These workouts require a lot of focus while improving the physiological and psychological endurance you'll need to race well at longer distances. One of my favorite threshold workouts is a bunch of 1-kilometer repeats with a short rest (30-60 seconds) in between intervals. We start at half-marathon pace—better to start on the side of too slow than too fast—and get a little faster as the workout goes on without going too crazy.
My favorite workouts are pretty universal in nature, meaning you can go to them whether you're focusing on something as short as a 5K or as long as a marathon. The 3-2-1 Mile Cutdown session fits that bill.
This is a great “getting back into it” session that isn’t meant to be that tough. I still use today for that reason but I’ve also adapted it to serve a different purpose later in the season, which I describe in more detail here.