Thank you to Matt Chittim and The Rambling Runner Podcast for sponsoring the newsletter this month. I’d also like to encourage you to subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify, if you’re interested in inspiring stories from amateur runners who are working hard to improve while balancing running with the rest of their lives. Matt started the show in July of 2017—“I didn’t have any demographic in mind when I started the show,” he admitted to me. “In fact, I didn’t expect anyone to listen.”—but it really took off in 2018, surpassing a million downloads, and is now frequently ranked as one of the top-200 sports podcasts by Apple Podcasts, while also having been featured in Shape, Men’s Health, and Inc. I started listening to the show last year after recognizing a name I knew (Tyler Underwood, who runs with my former club in San Diego) and have been subscribed ever since. A couple other episodes I’ve enjoyed include Brigitte Bradford, which I ended up going back and listening to after meeting her on the plane to Boston a few weeks ago, Natalie Mitchell, who I’ve interacted with via social media, and Nick Klastava, whose name I recognized because I’ve seen it appear close to mine in race results. I was also a recent guest on the show, which furthered my appreciation for Matt’s easygoing interview style and love of sharing runners’ stories. Check it out if you’re looking for inspiring conversations with amateur runners who are making it happen day in and day out.
Many thanks to PATH Projects for sponsoring the newsletter this month. PATH is a new U.S.-based running apparel company that designs and manufactures technically advanced running shorts, base liners, shirts and headwear that I’ve really been digging of late. In fact, I wore The Zion cap and Tahoe 3-inch base liners at CIM this past Sunday. PATH’s designs are minimalist without any big logos or bright colors—they’re just clothes that fit well, look good, and are super comfortable in a variety of situations. PATH uses a consumer direct model—their apparel is only available at pathprojects.com—which eliminates the retail mark-up and offers you phenomenal products at a great price. Want a hat like mine? Enter for a chance to win 1 of 10 PATH Projects hats at pathprojects.com/TMS. Get a bonus entry by following @pathprojects on Instagram. My thanks to PATH for their support of the morning shakeout!
I’m excited to introduce you to a new sponsor this month: COROS! COROS makes two new GPS running watches—the PACE and the APEX—and you won’t regret slapping either one of these performance-focused timepieces on your wrist. In fact, I’ve been using the PACE since late August and haven’t gone back to my old watch since. It has an impressive array of features including the fastest GPS signal acquisition of any watch on the market and a 25-hour battery life when in GPS mode. It’s lightweight with a super sleek form factor and the interface is intuitive, adaptable, and easy to use. The PACE has wrist-based heart rate, 4 customizable screens, a barometric altimeter for accurate elevation readings, and it comes in 3 different colors: black, blue, and red. (more…)
I’ve got a new sponsor to tell you about this month: Enda. Enda makes an awesome lightweight running shoe called the Iten that has cemented a spot in my rotation. I’ll share my thoughts—and get into the specs of the shoe—in a bit but here’s what I find super cool and unique about this company: their shoes are made in Kenya! Enda, co-founded in 2016 by Navalayo “Nava” Osembo and Weldon Kennedy, is “on a mission to bring Kenyan athletic excellence to runners everywhere and fuel economic development in Kenya.” (I recently had a chat with Osembo to learn a bit more about the company, how it came to be, its influences, biggest challenges, and goals for the future, which you can read here.) In short: Enda makes a great product that supports a worthy cause. As Osembo told me in an interview, “We’re the most socially conscious shoe on the market. We give a percentage of our revenues, not profit, to projects in Kenya that support local communities. Our customers get a chance to vote on which project we should support, hence giving them a chance to see the impact that their purchase is making in Kenya.” The shoe itself, which sells for a very reasonable $100, has a 4mm heel-toe drop and weighs in at just under 8 ounces for men and women. I’ve found it to be perfect for quicker runs and workouts with enough cushion and support for the occasional long run. It fits snug but true to size—with a roomy enough toe box to accommodate even my fat forefoot— and just lets your foot do what it wants to do. If you purchase a pair of Itens on endasportswear.com, you’ll get a free handmade beaded Kenyan bracelet with the word “SHAKEOUT” on it (see what it looks like right here). To get the SHAKEOUT bracelet with your order, add it to your cart at this link, then add a pair of Itens to the cart, use the code “AMSHAKEOUT” when you check out, and you’ll get the bracelet for free. I’m proud to be partnering with Enda for the month of October and hope you consider giving the Iten a try!
I’m excited to introduce a brand new sponsor this month: SOAR, a performance running apparel brand based in the UK that came on my radar a few months back when their marketing team reached out to me about sponsoring the newsletter. After an initial chat and learning more about the brand, its origins, and its objectives, they sent me a kit and I immediately knew this was a company that aligned with my own interests and values: high-quality products and a beautiful aesthetic that fits great, performs well, and celebrates anyone who considers “runner” to be part of his or her identity. I’ve been running in SOAR’s X-Line Tempo Top and the Race Shorts 2.0 (check out the respective designer’s notes here and here) they sent to me and will soon pick up a few more items for fall marathon training as part of this sweet deal they’re offering exclusively to subscribers of the morning shakeout: 25% (yes 2-5) off your order using the code “MorningShakeout25” at checkout AND free shipping for all North American orders through the end of this month. Note: 25% off does not apply in conjunction with any existing offers, e.g. sales, bundles, etc., and free shipping will be automatically applied at checkout you select your country from the dropdown menu. This is an incredible offer—it applies to the men’s collection as well as the women’s line—and I think you’d be silly not to take advantage of it if your running wardrobe is in need of a refresh or you’re interested in trying some stylish running apparel that performs as good as it looks.
New month, familiar sponsor: Generation UCAN. I’m grateful for this brand’s continued support of the morning shakeout. I’ve been using UCAN’s SuperStarch drink mix (Tropical Orange FTW!) before my long runs, big workouts and races for the past three years, and can’t recommend it enough for quality calories and long-lasting energy. But don’t just take my word for it—try some for yourself! Through the end of the month you can take advantage of a special “morning shakeout sample pack“—which includes one packet of UCAN SuperStarch Drink Mix (Cocoa), one packet of UCAN Protein Drink Mix (Vanilla Cream) and one UCAN Snack Bar (Chocolate)—for less than 5 bucks (which includes free shipping for U.S. customers!). Get some now as you dial in your fueling strategy for the fall racing season!
Looking for a marathon to fill your fall racing schedule? Or maybe a half? How ’bout an 8K? Join me in Richmond, Virginia on November 10, 2018! I’ll be racing the Markel Richmond Half Marathon as part of the Anthem Richmond Marathon weekend and hosting all kinds of other fun events while I’m there, including a morning shakeout run the day before the race, a Q&A at the expo, and maybe even a live broadcast of the podcast.
You can sign up for one of the three race options at this link. Use the discount code ‘morningshakeout’ when you register to save $10 on your entry fee. Tweet at me to let me know if you’re going to be there!
Many thanks to this month’s sponsor: McKirdy Trained. Now, some of you might be wondering why I would promote another coach/coaching company and the answer is simple: I believe in the power of coaching to reach your running goals. I’ve been referring athletes to McKirdy Trained for over a year now as my own roster has reached capacity. Why? The crew at McKirdy Trained provides great coaching at a reasonable cost. Check out the available options right here. Founded by fellow New England native James McKirdy, McKirdy Trained has helped hundreds of athletes complete a distance for the first time, set personal bests, qualify for Boston, reach the Olympic Trials, and much more. Take a peek at their Instagram feed for numerous testimonials—Natalie going from a 4:15 marathon to 2:55, Stephen going from 3:36 to 3:05, Ebony breaking 2 hours in the half marathon for the first time and setting a 10-minute PR with a 1:50:55, to name a few—and have a look at their experienced roster of coaches. As you start thinking about your fall race goals, whether it’s a 5K, a marathon, or something else altogether, consider bringing a McKirdy Trained coach to help you get there. Speaking from my own 14 years of experience working with athletes of all ability levels, and why McKirdy Trained gets my endorsement, is that coaching is much more than a static training schedule: it’s a dynamic relationship that can pay dividends on and off the race course.
Many thanks to Tracksmith for partnering with me to help bring you the morning shakeout this month. Tracksmith celebrates the history, culture, and competitive spirit of our great sport by creating high quality clothing, compelling content, and authentic on-the-ground experiences (if you’ve ever been to the Trackhouse on Boston Marathon weekend—or for any of their free group workouts throughout the week, for that matter—you know what I mean) for runners everywhere. Their mission to “celebrate, support and add to running’s distinct culture” in everything that they do aligns with my own objectives an an athlete, coach, and writer/podcast host. I’ve rocked a Tracksmith Twilight tank at the last two Boston Marathons and I’ve got a drawer full of their gear that I train and race in on the regular. In fact, check out this special collection of “Mario’s Picks” for a few of my favorite pieces of Tracksmith apparel (n.b. I LIVED in the Twilight long sleeve this spring—super lightweight, great fit, subtle design) and add some classic style to your running wardrobe. I’m super appreciative of Tracksmith’s support, which helps me bring the morning shakeout to you without cost and also affords me the opportunity to put more time and resources into it.
Many thanks to Precision Hydration for sponsoring the newsletter this month. I’m super excited about this partnership as PH products have become an integral part of my preparation for this year’s Boston Marathon. My wife has also been using PH’s drink mixes and tablets in her triathlon training and racing since 2016, which is how I first became familiar with the brand. (more…)