Podcast: Episode 183 with Alex Varner


“It’s hard to look back and see what resulted despite your best efforts. You know, sh*t doesn’t go the way you want it to all the time. You can’t do anything about that. OK, you can feel down—that’s natural—but if you can look back and say, ‘I did my best,’ you shouldn’t have any regrets around that. If you have strong regrets around it, it probably means you weren’t doing your best. There are screw-ups, that happens—that’s being human and living—but if you can forgive yourself for those and overall [say] I put my best for forward, what else can you ask for? What else can you do? That’s all you can do.” 

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It’s both a privilege and a pleasure to share this week’s episode with you. It’s with my friend and sometimes training partner, Alex Varner, and we recently sat down at his kitchen table to continue a conversation that started a few months ago on some runs together about moving on from the sport of running, or at least reevaluating our relationship with it. Alex has been running competitively since high school and has done some pretty amazing things in the sport: he’s won a national title in the 50K, he’s been top 10 at Western States, he’s won and broke the course record at Lake Sonoma, he’s put up the fastest time at the Dipsea Race a record 9 times, he’s run a 2:21 marathon, and he’s also won the Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh, NC. After 20+ years of being a competitive athlete, Alex’s relationship to the sport is in an interesting place and we spent this entire episode talking about identity, motivation, letting go, and a lot more. 

Alex Varner: Instagram | Twitter | Strava

the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter

Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava

This episode is brought to you by:

— New Balance. The Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is an absolute workhorse and it’s been my go-to trainer for most of my non-workout runs in 2021. It’s got great cushioning underfoot that’s protective but not too soft, providing a responsive ride that I really enjoy and appreciate. Check it out at newbalance.com and consider adding a pair to your rotation today.

— Recover Athletics. Recover Athletics has worked with the world’s best sports physicians and Olympians like Meb Keflezighi to design an app that makes prehab fun and easy. In 90 seconds, the app will customize a program for your body and your training with different resistance exercises, plyometrics, and mobility work. No pills, no potions, no BS, just 100% evidence based exercises that are easy to follow on your iPhone or iPad. It’s available only in the iOS app store right now by searching “Recover Athletics” or at this link.

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

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