Podcast | Episode 93: Best of 2019

By Mario Fraioli |

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This week’s episode of the podcast is a “greatest hits” compilation of sorts to round out 2019.

I’ve gone through and culled clips from nine of the most impactful exchanges I’ve had over the past year with some of the top athletes, coaches, and personalities in the sport of running. Why only nine? One, putting constraints in place forces me to think more critically about the choices I’m making and two, three rows of three photos looked best in the cover art for the show.

I feel really fortunate that I get to have these deep and layered conversations each week—many of them have a profound effect on me and teach me something about running, coaching, or living a better life—that I then get to turn around and share with all of you on the podcast. In this episode you’ll hear from Colleen Quigley, Frank Gagliano, Terrence Mahon, Hillary Allen, Brad Stulberg, Stephanie Bruce, Steve Jones, Sally McRae, and Ken Rideout. These guests in particular stood out to me amongst the dozens that I sat down with in 2019. They all bring something different to the mic and I am confident that you’ll glean a valuable bit or insight or inspiration from each of them that will improve your life in some way.

If you’re a devout fan of the podcast, let this episode serve as a bit of a refresher course 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 episodes you may have missed while also letting it serve as a primer for what’s to come in 2020.

Whether you’ve listened to one episode of the podcast or all of them, thank you. I’m so glad to have you along for the ride and sharing in these experiences with me. (more…)

Podcast: Episode 89 with Jen Rhines

By Mario Fraioli |

“I think, for me, it’s just if I can help people along the way, that’s great. There isn’t any big thing that I hope to accomplish or be remembered for. A good friend of mine pointed out, ‘When you help someone, you don’t know the ripple effect of that.’ So, if I can help someone, and that helps them do something else that affects a large amount of people, I think I would be happy with that. I think it’s just having good intentions and helping whoever needs my help along the way.”

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It was a real pleasure to sit down with three-time Olympian Jen Rhines for this week’s episode of the podcast.

Jen is one of the most versatile and accomplished distance runners we’ve ever had in the United States. She made three-straight Olympic teams from 2000 through 2008 and competed in a different event at each one of them: the 10,000m in Sydney, the marathon in Athens, and the 5,000m in Beijing. Over the course of her 20+ year competitive career Jen qualified for 11 world championship teams and she won 5 national titles.

Today, the 45-year-old lives in San Diego with her husband—and past podcast guest—Terrence Mahon, and together they founded The Mission Athletics Club in 2018, one of the top post-collegiate training groups in the country.


Podcast: Episode 60 with Terrence Mahon

By Mario Fraioli |

“Watching from an athlete perspective, where all of a sudden he gets it, or she gets it, and you see that just click, and then it’s game time, I think that’s the biggest thing I get from an athlete. All these things you see as a coach, like ‘this athlete should be able to do this, or should be able hit these times, or do this performance,’ but it’s all nothing because it’s just you and me talking here and we know the science of it, and method, but the athlete is the one who has to believe in it and believe in themselves. It doesn’t matter how much you tell them how great they are, or whatever, until they get it. And watching that process happen, and how it happens differently with each athlete, is probably the most exciting part of coaching.”

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Really enjoyed sitting down with Terrence Mahon for this week’s episode of the podcast. Mahon, one of the best middle and long distance running coaches in the world, is currently the director and coach of the Mission Athletics Club in San Diego, which he co-founded last year with his wife, three-time Olympian Jen Rhines. Mahon was previously the coach of the BAA High Performance team in Boston, he was the distance coach for U.K. Athletics before that, and he was also the coach of Team Running USA/the Mammoth Track Club from 2004 to 2013, where he guided Deena Kastor to an American record of 2:19:36 in the marathon, Ryan Hall to his 59:43 AR in the half marathon, and developed eight Olympians during his tenure.

This was one of my favorite conversations. We talked about Mahon’s career as both an athlete and a coach. I learned more about Mission Athletics Club and what his objectives are with his new group. We discussed the trajectory of his coaching career, from his humble beginnings working with age-group runners at a running shop in Pennsylvania to becoming one of the most highly sought after coaches in the world. He also told me about his coaching influences and mentors, including the legendary Joe Vigil, Dan Pfaff, and others.

We got into the weeds of Mahon’s coaching philosophy and there are a ton of great takeaways: like the importance of really getting to know your athletes, being brutally honest with them, and being adaptable when it comes to setting goals. We talked about what he sees as his main responsibilities as a coach, how he keeps sharp and stays excited about the craft, what he learns from the athletes he works with, the idea of “coaching mastery” and what that means to him, and a heck of a lot more. (more…)