It’s Been a Long December

By Mario Fraioli |

It’s been a strange year by all accounts and running is certainly no exception. Races big and small have been cancelled or postponed in recent months, despite that fact, national and world records have fallen, new stars have emerged, Kilian Jornet raced a road 10K, and Eliud Kipchoge finished eighth in a marathon. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, this past weekend we had professionals racing outdoor track in December to chase Olympic standards, Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie took 29 seconds off the half-marathon world record, becoming the first man in history to break 58 minutes while leading three other men under that mark, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, the world-record holder for 1500m, blitzed a 1:05:18 in her half-marathon debut, Emily Sisson ran 1:07:26 to miss the American record by a second, and to top it all off, Aliphine Tuliamuk, who won the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in late February, announced on Sunday that she was pregnant and expecting her first child next month. I think that covers most of the recent major headlines, a couple of which I’ll comment further on here: (more…)

2 Million Downloads (and Counting)!

By Mario Fraioli |

Sometime last week the morning shakeout podcast surpassed 2 million total downloads. It’s only a number, but it’s pretty incredible that it was only 11 months ago when we crossed the 1 million mark. A huge thank you to everyone who has tuned in to the show, shared an episode with a friend, posted a review, and/or offered feedback—it really means a lot to me and I’m forever grateful for your continued interest and support.

Here are the 10 most-listened-to conversations since we hit a million in case you missed one the first time around or would like to revisit a few:

  1. 1. Episode #76 – Amelia Boone and Brad Stulberg
  2. 2. Episode #80 – Sally McRae
  3. 3. Episode #96 – Greg McMillan
  4. 4. Episode #92 – Peter Bromka
  5. 5. Episode #97 – CJ Albertson
  6. 6. Episode #77 – Jason Koop
  7. 7. Episode #95 – Fernando Cabada
  8. 8. Episode #94 – Greg Billington
  9. 9. Episode #99 – Lindsay Flanagan
  10. 10. Episode #108 – Nate Jenkins

Which episode was your favorite? And who would you like to hear from in the fall?

Keep The Momentum Going

By Mario Fraioli |

A word that I’ve seen popping up a lot lately in regard to the anti-racism movement is momentum. I used it in my intro to Issue 239 of the newsletter, Kamilah Journét talked about it in last week’s episode of the podcast, and American sprinter Tommie Smith, who silently protested racial inequality by raising his fist in the air on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympic Games along with his teammate John Carlos, mentioned it in this rare interview he gave to Ken Belson of The New York Times.

In a car or anything you have that’s going to get moving, the most momentum it takes is to start, to start the movement. Once the momentum is started, I’m hoping it continues, and it has to continue not in the streets, because it’s already set a foundation, it has to go into the jurisdiction to get to the jurisprudence to get to the White House. We have steps to go. We just can’t stop with walking the streets because they will only go as far as the streets. We have to do it through the paperwork.

Do The Work That’s In Front Of You

By Mario Fraioli |

Do the work that’s in front of you. The writer Austin Kleon shared this novel advice in a recent blog post:

What I really crave, more than anything, is a continuity to my days. Not an accumulation, the sense that they’re adding up to anything, not necessarily, just a continuity. The sense that one day leads into another leads into another leads into another on and on and on. That they make some kind of chain.

He wasn’t talking about running or training but of course he could have been and everything he wrote would still hold true. A lot of runners (and coaches) put too much emphasis on accumulating something, e.g., the number of miles they *need* to hit for the week, or sketching out the perfect block of training leading up to a race, or thinking that doing X, and then Y, and then Z in a marathon buildup is going to add up to some predetermined result. And what happens? More often than not, we end up stressing over a crappy workout or worry about a missed long run and think it’s all gone to shit. Take Kleon’s advice: Take care of business today and just do the work that’s in front of you. Worry about tomorrow’s assignment tomorrow. If something goes wrong along the way, don’t panic. Adjust and adapt. In other words: Just keep the ball rolling.

Racing Advice You Can Apply To The Rest of Your Life (And Vice Versa)

By Mario Fraioli |

These next few weeks and months are going to be hard—like, really hard. But in a lot of ways, the situation we find ourselves in right now isn’t much different than the circumstances we encounter during a tough race. Here’s some racing advice you can apply to the rest of your life (or vice versa): (more…)

Big Apple Love

By Mario Fraioli |

Photo: Justin Britton

My first New York City Marathon experience was a special one, a reminder that running really can bring out the best of humanity: tens of thousands of runners from different backgrounds coming together to face a common—yet uniquely personal—challenge, crowds generating excitement and offering up encouragement along the way, strangers selflessly helping others get to finish line. This is what our sport is all about.

Read more from Issue #208.


I want to be like John Olson when I grow up.

By Mario Fraioli |

The 97-year-old lobsterman from Maine is still working—not as much as he used to years ago, but he’s the captain of his ship and manning a couple hundred traps, not because he has to, but because it’s what makes him feel the most alive. I love reading about folks like Olson, who never really embrace the concept of retirement because their life’s work is more than just a job. These stories inspire me as I navigate my own journey through life, work, and where the two intersect. I hope to be coaching at least a few athletes and sharing stories about running as long as I’m alive. Sure, some day I’ll coach quite a few less people than I do now and maybe eventually the newsletter and podcast won’t be a weekly thing (and/or they’ll take on different forms) but I can’t imagine not doing what I do to some degree as long as I’m physically and mentally able. To echo Olson, “I never loafed,” he admits. “Sure I’ve earned it. But hey, I don’t want to.”

Check out the complete morning shakeout issue #202.

1 Million Downloads and Counting

By Mario Fraioli |

Sometime in the past week the morning shakeout podcast surpassed 1 million total downloads. I know it’s just a number, but I’ve never hit a million anything in my life. THANK YOU to everyone who has listened in, offered feedback, and/or shared an episode(s) with others. It truly means a lot to me.

Check out the top ten episodes below in case you missed one or just want to revisit some amazing conversations:

  1. 1. Episode #7 – Shalane Flanagan
  2. 2. Episode #55 – Ryan Hall
  3. 3. Episode #27 – Kara Goucher
  4. 4. Episode #40 – Des Linden
  5. 5. Episode #45 – Colleen Quigley
  6. 6. Episode #62 – Scott Fauble
  7. 7. Episode #52 – Stephanie Bruce
  8. 8. Episode #67 – Gwen Jorgensen
  9. 9. Episode #53 – Brad Stulberg
  10. 10. Episode #64 – Frank Gagliano

What’s been your favorite episode? Who do you want to see on the podcast in the future? Here’s to the next million!

Embrace Change

By Mario Fraioli |

Backyard trail fun with good friends Billy Yang and Brett Rivers in early March.

Whether in life or running, change is hard. It’s especially uncomfortable when it breaks from years of tradition (i.e. the Boston Marathon men’s professional field start time this past April). And when it happens, not everyone is going to like it. But sometimes change is necessary, perhaps even overdue…

From the morning shakeout issue #176.