In episode 11 we talk to coach James McKirdy of McKirdy Trained. James has built an amazing business in just a year starting from scratch and building up to over 100 clients and hiring other coaches to help him. McKirdy Trained coaches athletes who are brand new and never run before all the way up to Olympic Qualifiers. Now on to the show.
How did you get your start in running?
How did you transition to coaching?
So was your current coaching business McKirdy Trained the business you started 14 years ago or is that more recently?
I understand you coach everything from Olympic qualifiers to those who cannot run 5 mins. So what are you looking for in new clients?
What makes McKirdy trained special and different amongst the other programs out there?
Coaching large numbers and some internet clients I’m guessing one of the hardest parts can be communications and feedback. How are you using final surge to help with that?
Let’s take an average runner. What can an average runner who contacts you look to see within their own running after they have been working with you?
What does a day look like under your training such as warmup, core strength, cool downs, strides etc?
After someone has a good base and has been working with you for a while, what does a week look like as far as run structures?
What have been some of the biggest success stories you've seen recently as far as performance improvements?
James talks about the problem with so many programs out there and combing programs without a real structure you get while working with a coach.
With the client you mentioned before, those were huge improvements from a 52-year old. Did you focus on pacing and diet or what did you focus on to get those results?
On any given Saturday we can see thousands of runners at local 5k’s. What can these every day recreational runners get from a running coach?
You have huge growth in the last year, how did you grow your business so much in the last year to go from zero to over 100 clients in under a year?
Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Marathon Man Bill Rogers
Current trainers you are wearing? - Asics Kayano
Favorite race? - Philly Broadstreet 10 mile
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - First Endurance Ultragen Chocolate
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Cold Roller
Welcome to episode 9 of the final surge podcast. This week it is our pleasure to talk to professional runner and coach Neely Spence Gracey. Neely recently made her marathon debut and finished as the top American women in Boston. We talk about her recent coaching change, her coaching career and how she is using Final Surge to help grow her business. We also find out what she has planned for 2020.
1:10 Our first question that we always start with our guests is always how did you get your start in running? - Interesting fact, Neely was born while her father Steve Spence was running the Boston Marathon.
2: 25 You were a successful high school runner and probably could have run at just about any college, why did you decide to go to a D2 school over a D1? - Neely stayed close to home at Shippensburg University.
4:05 If you were sitting down with a classroom full of high school runners, who are deciding where to run in college, what advice would you have for them? - Neely thinks a visit to the school is important.
4:55 We know being a professional runner is not always the most lucrative career, so when you finished your college running career what was the decision process like when you decided to become a professional runner? - Neely had a unique experience by growing up around professional runners.
7:10 About a year ago you made the switch to start working with Coach Steve Magness, how is that transition going? - Neely has a unique situation where her husband works with Magness.
8:15 Most of our listeners probably know Steve from his book Science of Running. How has the training changed under Steve? - Variety in workouts is one of the biggest changes that Neely has experienced under Magness.
10:50 What is your weekly mileage and how long is your long run now? - Neely has topped out at just over 100 miles. This has changed in the last year as she has moved to marathon training.
11:35 This year you decided to make your marathon debut at the Boston Marathon where you were the top American women over running at the Olympic trials. What went into that decision? - This was not Neely’s original plan. Her original plan was to run the Trials, but things do not always go as planned.
A couple of questions from Twitter
13:25 Do you have any specific events in mind for 2020 Olympic cycle? - Neely hopes to be competing for a spot on the 2020 Olympic Team.
15:25 Do you run with strider and if so how far? - Strider is her dog who is a little over a year old.
16:50 You recently started coaching how is that going? - Neely currently has 35 clients.
18:00 Are you coaching people face to face or are you doing more internet coaching?
18:10 How are you using Final Surge in your training and your coaching? - Neely has been almost able to double her business because of the use of Final Surge.
19:30 Do you accept anyone or are you looking for a certain type of person and how would someone know if they are a good fit to work with you? - The one common factor for Neely’s clients is they are highly motivated.
20:40 If someone wanted to reach out to you and find out about your coaching services how could they best reach you?
21:20 So what is next, any fall or spring marathons coming up?
Not mentioned in this interview, but since the interview was recorded, Neely has announced she will be part of a star-studded NYC marathon program in November.
Rapid Fire… 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book or blog - Lauren Fleshman
Current trainers you are wearing - Adidas Energy Boost
Favorite race or race distance - Bolder Boulder
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink - Egg sandwich on a bagel
Your favorite piece of running equipment not your shoes - Sunglasses
In Episode 8 of the Final Surge Podcast, we talk to Iowa State Runner Nathan Rodriguez. Nathan was a multiple-time state champion runner in high school and is now one of the top runners at Iowa State in his sophomore year.
We talk to Nathan about what the recruiting process was like when he made his decision to run for Iowa State and what was the biggest factor in deciding which school to run at.
Nathan then shares some advice he would give to incoming high school freshman and then juniors and seniors who are thinking they want to run in college.
:50 First question I always ask, how did you get your start in running.
1:35 You had many great moments in high school including a state championship as an individual and team in cross country and several on the track. So what was the greatest moment to you of your high school career?
4:20 Now that you have a little experience of running in college for a few years and you can look back at it. What do you think is the most important thing you did in your high school career that set you up for success.
6:35 Sounds like you had a good aerobic base from high school, what type of milage were you doing in high school?
8:30 When did you start thinking about a college choice and what was the recruiting process like for you?
9:55 What were you looking for in a school? Location? Tradition? Coach?
11:05 At what point in the process did you narrow it down and decide on Iowa State?
12:40 There are paid recruiting services out there, did you ever use any of them?
14:00 The first time you had contact with Iowa State, did you reach out to them, or did they reach out to you?
15:10 If your high school coaches invited you back to talk to the incoming high school freshman, what advice would you have for them who wanted to maybe run in college some day?
16:50 What advice do you have to high schoolers who are coming into their junior and senior years and really thinking about colleges?
:40 Can you tell us how you got your start in running?
2:00 You now run a very popular website and coaching service called Strength Running … How did you make a transition into coaching?
3:20 Every coach I have talked to so far on this podcast has talked about the importance of consistency. And running injury free may be the most important factor in running consistently. What do you think is the key to staying injury free?
6:45 So let’s start with a new runner. Maybe they just did a coach to 5k. They are still 30lbs overweight, but they finished their first 5k and have caught the running bug. What would you tell this runner they need to do to stay healthy?
9:05 You mention dynamic workouts and warmups, do you have any resources or can you lay out what that would look like?
Mattock Dynamic Warm-up he mentioned
Jason’s IT Band Routine
Jason’s standard core routine
11:30 You are working with a runner who has a little experience, complete a couple of 5ks, but wants to really get serious and maybe try moving up to a marathon. How does your strength routine differ with more experience?
13:10 A lot of lower leg injuries that are common to runners are shins, knees, feet, do you find that those are often the cause of the problem or is something else in the chain the real cause?
15:10 A question from Matt Axlerod on Twitter… How many days per week to do core work and when to exercise hips/glutes?
17:00 Have you ever thought of moving your core work to pre-run instead of post?
19:30 You have a book Running for Health and Happiness, what inspired you to write a book?
Where can people find out more about you and your training programs?
Tomahawk Medicine Ball Workout
Imagine if I wrote a movie about a kid who was a successful high school runner and soccer player who received a scholarship to run at a major D1 university. Before he even made it to the first college practice, he was told that his career was over become a heart issue. Then seven years later, on a bet, enters a triathlon against doctors advice and becomes hooked and would transition into leaving a successful law firm to become a professional triathlete. I would either get have a Hollywood blockbuster, or I would get laughed at for being too unbelievable. Today, we bring you the story of Justin Park, who did all of this. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did.
You can find out more about Justin at FinalSurge.com/Podcast
Luke Humphrey (Twitter) is a professional runner with the Hanson-Brooks Running team and the owner and head coach of Hanson Coaching Services. In this interview we talk to the Coach about how he got into running, what advice he has for busy athletes and his take on the state of the U.S. men's marathon scene.
:45 How did you get your start in running?
2:40 What advice do you have for college runners who want to run post-collegiately?
5:25 What made you decide to transition from a professional runner to the owner and head coach at Hanson Coaching Services?
7:05 You have recently launched a new coaching site, Hanson Coaching Services, can you tell us about the new site and who the site and training is geared towards?
9:30 The Hanson Training system is a very well know and respected program inside the marathon and distance community. What made you decide to write a book about it?
10:45 Could you tell a new runner who has maybe not heard about what Keith and Kevin Hanson teach what makes your program training different?
12:00 As marathoning becomes more popular, more and more new first timers are turning to the challenge of running the marathon. For a new runner, who may be looking to finish a marathon to help raise money for their favorite charity, what advice would you have for them for going to from maybe 20-25 miles a week to a 26.2 in one session?
13:45 What type of weekly progression for the long run do you recommend for that 20-25 mile week runner?
16:25 Many of these recreational runners may have a spouse and three kids. They have work meetings in the morning, they have kids baseball games at night and just live busy lives. What advice do you have for someone who is finding a hard time creating the time to train to structure a weekly plan?
20:20 That runner is now running five days a week, of course, mileage will differ, but what would a typical training week look like on five days a week?
21:40 Looking at the U.S. Marathon scene, on the guys side, we have not seen a U.S. man go below 2:08 since Ritzenhein did it in 2012. Where do you see the future of the US Men’s team marathon runners in the next few years?
23:05 Of course Hanson-Brooks has Des Linden who will be running the Olympic marathon on the women’s side, how is she looking?
23:45A question that came in from Twitter, follow us @FinalSurge, have you thought about writing a book for a 5k runner and what differences would a book for a 5k training method have that is different than what is you your book.
25:40 A second question that came in, How would you modify the basic plan to have only two SOS sessions per week (master/veteran asking)? And maybe we need to explain what an SOS (Something of Substance) day is.
28:35 Can you let us know how you are using Final Surge to help your coaching clients?
29:55 You have made training plans available to purchase through Final Surge, who are those plans geared towards more of a beginner or an experienced runner.
We talk to Ben about how he got his strat in running and talked to Ben about what his high school running career was like.
With Ben having run at a D-II school we talked about how high school kids who may not be good enough to run at a D-I school should not give up their running dreams.
Ben goes into depth about the possibilities that D-II and D-III schools offer for runners. His advice about finding the right fit for you after high school is pure gold for any high school distance runner.
We then talked about how Ben made the transition into coaching after being a runner for the Hanson Brook's distance project.
We discussed how his Northern Arizona Elite team ended up in a deal with the Hoka running company.
Ben spends a lot of time explaining exactly how his current squad got together to form one of the top teams in the world.
We spend a few minutes talking about the unique uniforms for Hoka NAZ-Elite.
We talk about the marathon Olympic Trials where NAZ-Elite had a top 6 finisher on both the men and women's side. We also discuss the deep NAZ-Elite 5k and 10k teams in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials where 3 of the 24 runners on both sexes are NAZ-Elite members.
Ben discusses why he believes there is an advantage to running as a group when training as an elite athlete.
We also discuss the overall healthy of the potential U.S. Olympics Team where Ben believes we have medal opportunities from the 800m through the 10k.
Final Surge announced Northern Arizona Elite as a partner just recently. We discuss how NAZ started using Final Surge.
We talked about how he has been using Final Surge with his team and how his favorite part is you can tell it is made by runners, for runners.
NAZ-Elite is making all their running logs available online at FinalSurge.com/NAZElite. Any coach, using Final Surge or any other log should have their athletes look at the NAZ logs to see the types of information that are being included in logs.
NAZ-Elite's mission statement is "Train hard, race fearlessly and share every part of our journey with our fans." That is why they completely open up their training logs.
We then discussed a recent Scott Smith log entry which ended included:
Run - Easy Run + drills/strides/plyos
Normal drills. 8 x 150 meter hard but smooth strides. Plyos= 2 x all single leg exercises. 1x all squat jumps/bounds.
Ben has a theory that he doesn't want to be just runners, he wants to be athletic. The biggest thing he works on is getting off the ground as quick as possible as many times as possible which is why they do explosive plyo work.
This question came in from Twitter… Coach, you have a lot going on in your life right now with the team, writing, family, any time management tips you have for busy athletes?
— Doug Petrick (@DougPetrick1) June 18, 2016
Ben has agreed to give one listener a signed copy of his HS XC book Tradition, Class Pride; you can find out details on that give-a-way at Finalsurge.com/promo.
You can get a copy of that book at traditionclasspride.com. Ben can be found in the following places:
Former Boston Marathon Champ and longtime Runner's World editor Amby Burfoot joined us for a great talk about his half-century in running and his new book, First Ladies of Running.
Amby got his start in running when he was a sophomore in high school. Amby has run over 110,000 miles in his career, which is equivalent to running around the equator more than four times. With all those miles he has had very few injuries. Amby talks to us about why the mind is so important to our running as we get older.
Amby is now more involved and concerned with the overall general health of society these days. Amby talks about the irony of us becoming a more obese society in the middle of a fitness revolution which we have gone through.
Being so plugged into the sport first as a winner of the Boston Marathon, then the last what 38 years at Runners World, Amby has had a front-row seat to the evolution of training. We talk about training secrets and just like the two coaches we have had on before Amby, it seems to come down to hard and consistent work?
We like to open up questions on Twitter to our followers, and one question that Angela wanted us to ask was What Running Myths would you like to get rid of once and for all?
Amby Burfoot has recently released his sixth book, First Ladies of Running. We talk about some of the early women running legends including Joan Benoit, Kathrine Switzer, and the first women to run Boston, Bobbi Gibb.
Amby also talks about an entertaining story he discovered when he was writing the book from Grace Butcher, a farm girl from Ohio.
Amby talks in depth on why he included Ophrah Winfrey in his book on the first ladies of running.
We also talk about the future of women's running and how the Internet has greatly affected the time high school girls scene.
We finish the interview with some stories about the early days of New England road races in the 60's and early 70's.
You can get a copy of Amby's book here, and we will be giving away a signed copy, you can find out details at FinalSurge.com/promo
Coach Brad Hudson starts out by telling us about how he got started in running. Being an average soccer player he tried running one day and a cross country coach recognized his talent quickly. Hudson was fortunate enough to be coached early by a young Mark Wetmore. In high school, Hudson would have some weeks where he was running 140 miles in a week.
We talk about how Hudson made the transition into coaching from being a runner himself and selling shoes.
The Hudson Elite team is making some noise with recent successes in the running community. They have a unique group of runners. We talk about how the runners he coaches are developmental athletes with jobs and school and life trying to train and get better.
All of Hudson’s athletes do coaching and use Final Surge as part of their coaching program. You can find out more about his coaching programs at HudsonElite.com. Proceeds from the athletes coaching mostly go to the club to help support the athletes.
Everyone Hudson coaches, and every coach that works for Hudson Elite uses Final Surge. One of the reasons Hudson likes Final Surge so much is because it is simple to use, but has all the features he needs.
One book Hudson wrote with Matt Fitzgerald is Run Fast. Now he has released a new book The Little Black Book Redux. We talk about what is new in this book and what makes them so different. The Black Book Redux is all the workouts he has picked up over his running and coaching career. The new book has over 200 elite workouts. The book can be found at CoachHudson.com
We discuss how even though these are elite runners workouts, which any athlete can take them and adapt them for themselves. The book covers everything from 800 meters through the marathon.
We talk about what advice Hudson would have to a college runner who wants to continue running post-collegiate.
Not every elite runner starts out as an elite runner out of college. Many starts as a developmental athlete and Hudson gives us an example of what a typical day of a developmental runner looks like.
Hudson shares with us some of the things he is working on to help keep his runners healthy and running consistently as consistency is the most important thing in distance running.
Hudson stresses how he does not mess with runners form but works on making them more efficient with drills and strength exercises.
A couple of questions that came in from Twitter.
How many times a year should non-elite runners take a break from hard training and focus more on a traditional base phase
Second question form Twitter, how long after a goal race (not a marathon) can you re-race while maintaining specific endurance benefits.
In episode one of the Final Surge podcast, we talk with Coach Jay Johnson about how he became a coach, common running injuries and his upcoming book on marathon training for busy people.
Jay has a great podcast called the Run Faster Podcast.
Jay is always sharing information and advice on his website, and make sure you sign up for his email list too!
Jay has an amazing youtube channel where he shows you many SAM (Strength and Mobility) drills including the lunge matrix which we talk about in this episode.
And if you are a high school runner or coach, make sure you check out his Boulder Running Camps, one of, if not the top high school running camps in the country.