Podcast: Episode 150 with Jenna Wrieden


“I think I just learned over time that I have to be able to trust my own instincts and portray whatever I’m saying to an athlete with complete confidence and with complete backing of the head coach because you never want to diverge. And I know sometimes young coaches, they’re so excited to coach, they want to do everything they can that is within themselves to start coaching but you have to remember [that] you have to back your head coach because you’re backing the culture and you’re backing what they’ve created and I think it’s really important to be a really good sidekick even though you’ve got bigger goals than that. You’ve got to kind of fall in line with that culture and really cultivate it and have confidence in doing that, and over time then you get to come up with your own pillars or your own culture, but it takes years and years and years to do that, I think.” 

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Jenna Wrieden is the assistant coach at HOKA Northern Arizona Elite, where she’s been on staff since January. Prior to moving to Flagstaff to work alongside Ben Rosario and crew, she coached in the collegiate ranks since 2006, most recently as an assistant at Louisville, where over the course of 4-1/2 years she worked with several All-Americans. As an athlete, Jenna ran at Arizona State, where she was teammates with Des Linden and Amy Cragg, and—fun fact—in 2014 she set a world record for the fastest half marathon ever run on a treadmill. 

I always enjoy talking to fellow coaches and this conversation was no exception. We talked about Jenna’s new role, how it came to be, and what the transition has been like so far from the collegiate to the professional ranks. Jenna also told me about how she got her start in the sport and what spurred her pursue coaching after college, how her own relationship with running has evolved over the years, and a lot more.

Jenna Wrieden: Instagram | Twitter

the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter

Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava

This episode is brought to you by:

— New Balance. I was recently able to get my hands on a pair of the new Fresh Foam 1080v11 and I was shocked to love them even more than I did last year’s v10 model. New Balance claims the 1080 offers the ultimate ride, and I’d have to agree. It’s the best fitting shoe I own and the Fresh Foam X cushioning feels super comfortable underneath my feet. It’s lightweight and flexible, but also responsive and durable—basically the perfect trainer to log most of your miles in, which is what I do. I wear it on most of my non-workout days and for long runs too. The 1080 v11 is available in both men’s and women’s sizes on newbalance.com or at your local run specialty retail store.

— Girls on the Run has been inspiring girls to know and activate their limitless potential and boldly pursue their dreams. On Thursday, March 25 at 7 PM EST—just a few weeks from now—you are invited to join an exciting 25th Birthday virtual event celebrating the inherent power and courage of girls. Join me and RSVP today at gotr.gives/TMS. The event is free to attend, but donations can be made and special add-on packages are available for purchase such as a copy of Hoda’s newest book and a pair of GOODR sunglasses customized for Girls on the Run.

Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.

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