Podcast | Episode 141: Best of 2020

By Mario Fraioli |

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This week’s episode of the podcast—the last one for 2020—is a “best of” compilation of highlights from 12 of the most impactful conversations I’ve had over the past 12 months. To provide a little context: I put out 47 episodes of the podcast in 2020—totaling almost 100 hours of conversation—and picking out soundbites from only a dozen of them to highlight here was really freaking hard. I literally have notebooks full of stuff that I’ve learned from every single guest and I simply cannot express enough gratitude for all that they’ve shared with me and, in turn, all of you.

In this episode you’ll hear from six women and six men whose stories, experiences, wisdom, and insight really stood out to me. They are, in order of episode release date: Fernando Cabada, Laura Schmitt, Nate Jenkins, Mike Smith, Mary Cain, Karen Boen, Faith E. Briggs, Mike Rouse, Brenda Martinez, Kilian Jornet, Diljeet Taylor, and Knox Robinson. These weren’t necessarily the most downloaded episodes but I promise you each of these guests will move you in some way by either teaching you something new, providing an important insight, or getting you to reflect upon and perhaps even re-examine some aspect of your own life.

If you’re a devoted fan of the podcast, it’s my hope that this second annual “best of” episode serves as a bit of a refresher or maybe a reminder to revisit an old episode or two. For those of you who are newer listeners to the show, welcome. Use this episode as a nudge to check out some of the conversations you may have missed while also letting it serve as a primer for what’s to come in 2021.

Whether you tune in to every episode of the podcast or only listen every once in a while, I just want to say: thank you. I’m tremendously grateful for your interest and support. I’m a little over three years into this podcast journey and the impact it’s had on my life and many of you who listen regularly is immeasurable. I’m so glad to have all of you along for the ride and sharing in these experiences with me.

There is no sponsor for this week’s show but if you’d like to support my work directly, you can become a member on Patreon at themorningshakeout.com/support, where, for as little as a buck a week you can help keep the morning shakeout sustainable and also gain access to some exclusive content like The Weekly Rundown, my Patreon only podcast that I co-host with my friend Billy Yang, the occasional “emergency pod,” and other perks that pop up from time to time. A big thank you to all of you who are already members—your support means so much to me and I cannot thank you enough for it.


2 Million Downloads (and Counting)!

By Mario Fraioli |

Sometime last week the morning shakeout podcast surpassed 2 million total downloads. It’s only a number, but it’s pretty incredible that it was only 11 months ago when we crossed the 1 million mark. A huge thank you to everyone who has tuned in to the show, shared an episode with a friend, posted a review, and/or offered feedback—it really means a lot to me and I’m forever grateful for your continued interest and support.

Here are the 10 most-listened-to conversations since we hit a million in case you missed one the first time around or would like to revisit a few:

  1. 1. Episode #76 – Amelia Boone and Brad Stulberg
  2. 2. Episode #80 – Sally McRae
  3. 3. Episode #96 – Greg McMillan
  4. 4. Episode #92 – Peter Bromka
  5. 5. Episode #97 – CJ Albertson
  6. 6. Episode #77 – Jason Koop
  7. 7. Episode #95 – Fernando Cabada
  8. 8. Episode #94 – Greg Billington
  9. 9. Episode #99 – Lindsay Flanagan
  10. 10. Episode #108 – Nate Jenkins

Which episode was your favorite? And who would you like to hear from in the fall?

Podcast: Episode 108 with Nate Jenkins

By Mario Fraioli |

“I honestly was hobbling in and with each mile that went by I’m like, ‘I’m still in the top-10. That’s Uta Pippig who’s cheering on the side of the road over there. I just passed a hobbled Abdi Abdirahman—he’s a 2:08 marathoner. And that guy up in front of me is Meb Keflezighi.’ I remember catching Meb with 800 meters to go and Meb went right back by me, and I had a moment of ‘Oh, the dream was too much.’ And then I said, ‘No, you’re gonna hobble back by him because this is the home stretch of the Olympic Trials and he’s the reigning Olympic silver medalist and that’s the sort of thing you pray for when you’re a kid—to go back and forth with the Olympic silver medalist in the home stretch of the Olympic Trials, what more could you want?’ So I think that was a big part of it, is just that perspective.”

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This week’s episode is a special one for me. I sat down and had a fairly long conversation with my college rival, Nate Jenkins, one of the toughest competitors I’ve ever known and someone I raced against regularly in the early 2000s when I was at Stonehill College and he was running for UMass Lowell.

Nate was not a big star in college—he was never an All-American or anything like that—but after school he went on to do some pretty amazing things in the sport, like finishing an incredible 7th place at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in the fall of 2007, running a personal best of 2:14:56 in that race, and then representing the United States in the marathon at the World Championships in 2009.

I loved this conversation and I hope you will too. In it, Nate recounts a few epic stories, including the NCAA cross-country regional championship in 2003, where he beat me by two seconds in one of the most exciting races either of us has ever run. He told me how he knew he wanted competitive running to be a lifelong pursuit all the way back when he was in junior high school. Nate explained why he’s a tough athlete to coach and a tough human being to be around in general. He talked about self-experimenting with training after college, going from a pure Arthur Lydiard approach to a Renato Canova-style marathon program and what about that led to his big breakthroughs. We got into Nate’s personality a bit and how it changes when he steps to the starting line on race day. Nate also recounts his experience at the Olympic Trials back in the fall of 2007 where he finished 7th “limping as hard as I could” the last 4 miles. Along that line, Nate talks about runners dystonia, the injury that ended his professional career; we also got into what his relationship with running, training, and competition looks like right now; Nate even turned the tables on me and asked a couple questions he’s been holding onto for a while, and a lot more.