“Most of my life was spent chasing times, mainly because I ran really fast in high school—a 4:01 as you mentioned—and when you un 4:01, you know, it’s always in your head that, ‘Oh man, there’s a second and change that I can get out of my body to get in that elusive, venerated sub-4 club,’ so you think and you obsess over times and I certainly did to an unhealthy degree in my college and a little bit in my post-college life as well. So I think coming to terms with, and realizing and recognizing that that doesn’t really matter anymore, was something that was incredibly freeing for myself.”
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Steve Magness wears many hats in the worlds of running and performance. He’s been the head cross-country coach and assistant track coach at the University of Houston since 2012 and he’s also worked with numerous professional athletes at the Olympic and world championship level. He’s the coauthor of Peak Performance and The Passion Paradox, both of which he wrote with former podcast guest Brad Stulberg, and he’s also the author of The Science of Running. Steve also co-hosts two podcasts, On Coaching, which dives deep into the art and science of training and coaching for runners, and The Growth Equation, a weekly no-bullshit discussion on well-being and performance. As an athlete in the early 2000s, Steve was one of the top scholastic runners in the country, running 4:01 in the mile—which, at the time, was the 6th fastest high school mile in U.S. history.
This was an awesome conversation and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did taking part in it. Steve told me about how he spends and splits his time amongst his various interests and pursuits, what his relationship with running looks like these days, and how he’s channeled his competitive instincts throughout his life. We discussed how the past year has challenged him as a coach, the lack of checks and balances in the sport of track and field, and why he believes the sport has a long way to go before it can be considered truly “professional.” We also talked about what spurred his interest in coaching, how his time at The Oregon Project affected his outlook and trajectory as a coach, and a lot more.
Steve Magness: Website | The Growth Equation | Twitter | Instagram
the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter
Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava
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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.