Podcast: Episode 186 with Ken Rideout


“I think that that’s one of the most important or significant traits that you can have—as a runner, an athlete, a human, a colleague, a dad, a husband—is to be dependable if nothing else. I know I can depend on myself. When I wake up on a race day and I’m like, ‘Man, I really don’t wanna do this, the weather stinks, I don’t feel like I’ve done enough,’ there’s like two voices in my head: that Alpha and Beta, and the Beta’s like, ‘Go back to bed dude, this is crazy. No one gives a crap about this. You’re the only one that cares.’ And then the Alpha’s like, ‘Oh, hell no. We made a commitment to ourselves to show up and show out and deliver the goods and win or die trying and lay it all on the line.’ And it works. Some days you think, ‘Today’s not my day for a race.’ Like I said, the Beta starts telling the Alpha, ‘It’s not our day, we’re not ready,’ and the Alpha’s just like, ‘Dude, we’re going through the routine, we’re warming up, we’re getting on the start line, and we’re going for it.’” 

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Ken Rideout is the most requested return guest in the history of the podcast. He first appeared on the show almost exactly two years ago on Episode 91 and before you listen to this conversation I recommend going back to check that one out if you haven’t already to get Ken’s backstory, which will help set the foundation for this second go-around. 

So who is this guy? In a lot of ways, Ken is a real average dude—he’s a husband and dad to four kids, he works full-time and then some, and like the rest of us he loves to run—but at the age of 50, he’s running faster than ever before and his approach to life is anything but average. This past year Ken won the Myrtle Beach Marathon in 2:30, he finished second in the 50-54 age group at the Abbott World Marathon Majors championship in London, running 2:29, a few weeks after that he won the Masters division at New York, running 2:33, and then he finished off his racing season with a 1:10 personal best in the half marathon in Nashville. I’ve had the pleasure of coaching Ken for a little over two years now and not only is he one of the most driven athletes I’ve ever coached, he’s just one of the best, biggest-hearted people I’ve ever met. 

We covered a lot in this conversation—and in it, Ken shares some personal details about his life that he hasn’t talked about publicly elsewhere before—but the main theme to come out of it has to do with the stories we tell ourselves, the inner dialogue many of us have every time we lace up our shoes, step on the starting line, or sometimes when we’re just trying get out of bed in the morning. Ken and I also talk about responsibility versus pressure, the importance of being dependable to yourself and others, cultivating confidence in everything you do, and a lot more.

Ken Rideout: Instagram | Twitter | Strava

the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter

Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava

This episode is brought to you by:

Tracksmith. Tracksmith crafts performance running apparel, inspiring publications, and distinct experiences that allow runners to indulge in the sport’s rich culture. Go to tracksmith.com/mario to check out some of my favorite apparel picks and use the code MARIO at checkout to get free shipping on your order while also helping support #LASAVESTRACK. 

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


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