Final Surge Podcast

In the Final Surge Podcast, we interview coaches, athletes authors, and endurance industry experts to help you train with a purpose.
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Dec 28, 2016

Welcome to the Final Surge podcast episode 26, and our final episode of 2016. Today we talk to Olympian Nick Willis. Nick has represented New Zealand in the 1500 in the last three Olympics and had podium finishes in 2008 and 2016. We talk to Nick about his Olympic race this year, how he schedules training blocks for his training and we talk to him about his new project he launched The Miler Method. Nick and his wife are running 6-week online boot camps to help you run faster. Nick is offering two free entries into upcoming boot camps to our listeners. Head over to iTunes, leave a review of the podcast and you will be entered. For more information on other ways to get entries, head to and look for details under Episode 26 and follow us on Twitter @FinalSurge.

We will have the drawing for both entries on January 6th. Entries are allowed until noon time EST on 1/6/17.

Nick Willis

2016 you qualified for your 3rd Olympics 1500 meters finals in a row. You got a Silver in 08, 9th in 2012 and then you made the finals this year. What was your thought process coming into the race, what was your race plan?

When you go into a mile race do you have a plan or is your plan going to depend on what others do?

Do you prefer a quick race with even splits or do you prefer a slower race that becomes a kickers race in the last 300?

You got a Silver in Beijing then 9th in London and then come back for a bronze in Rio. What were the biggest changes you made in training and approach between London and Rio to back on a podium at the Olympic finals?

So where did you train at altitude leading into the Olympics?

So let’s talk training. A miler is one of those events where you need endurance and speed. How do you balance your long run and strength work vs specific speed work?

Nick talks about the phases and training blocks he uses to train and keep adaptations.

When you move to the second block with more speed and race specific work what are you doing to keep up with the aerobic work and what do your long runs look like during this block?

You talk about these two blocks you use, are these blocks your only work or are you doing other work leading into these blocks during the off season?

You recently launched a new site Miler Method, what is your goal for this project?

When we are talking the 1500/mile, we usually think of high school, college, and the very elite professionals. While with the 5k or 10k there seem to be many more recreational and age group runners. So what type of clients are you getting for your program? Is your goal to get more people just working on their speed?

Are the boot camps done virtually or in person?

If you had a post-collegiate guy running a 15 minute 5k and a 30-year-old female running 22 min 5k in your program, how would their training be different from each other with Miler Method?

You mentioned running mechanics/efficiency and technique, how do you do this with them virtually when you are not there in person with them?

If you are getting 60 people at a time and individualizing every one’s workouts, how are you managing all those schedules?

So what are you learning from this? Working with all these people there must be something you are learning that you can implement in the future?

Do you have any great success stories from some of these athletes who maybe have never trained for a mile before?

What do you notice about these runners, is it they don’t train hard enough or often enough or what are you noticing they are deficient in when they come to you?

Here is a question that came in from Twitter:
If you are trying to find the event you are best at, how do you recommend people go about doing that?
The new year is coming up, what goals do you have for 2017?

How are you enjoying coaching, is this something you can see yourself continuing to do after you retire?

If someone wanted to get more information about Miler Method such as the cost, how would they reach you and get the information and why did you choose $72 for the cost?

If they are taking 6-weeks to become a faster miler, doesn’t that also help with their 10k or half marathon times too?

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - No Bugles No Drums
Current trainers you are wearing? - Adidas Supernova Glide 8
Favorite race? - Road Mile
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? -  Weet-Bix
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - I'm simple, just give me my shoes and shorts

Miler Method
Nick Willis on Twitter
Nick on Facebook

Final Surge Podcast Page
Final Surge on Twitter
Final Surge on Facebook

Dec 14, 2016

Episode 25 of the Final Surge podcast we talk to Nick Symmonds. Nick is a 6-time US National 800 meters champion, 2-time Olympian and won a silver medal in the 2013 World Championships in the 800. Nick is spending more time these days working on his new company Run Gum, but he tells us he is not done yet on his Oval Office. If you are not following us on Twitter we can be found @FinalSurge. Let us know your thoughts on the podcast or the Final Surge software.

For those who maybe have heard of you, but not heard your story, can you tell us how you got started in running when you were young?

You took a little different route out of high school and went D3, why did you choose that route?

After college, you got a contract with Nike?

My favorite race of all time to watch is the 1972 men's Olympic final for the 800 in which Dave Wottle won. I am sure you are familiar with it right? So with that in mind let’s talk 800 race strategy. It seems that the most common way to run an 800, and i believe the way you try to run it too, is running about 2 seconds faster on the first lap than the second. While for most other races, coaches usually push for a more even or negative split. In that 72 race Wottle runs his race, he ran an even 26 for every 200 split. He was like 4 second back at 200, was like 2 second back at the 400 and was still in last at the 500. So that race seems to lend to a move even split, so I want to hear your theory on the race strategy there?

Most of our podcast are with coaches or athletes who are working with 10k, marathon type runners. So with an 800 runner, I want to talk a little training. We have many high school and college coaches who I know listen to this podcast. If you had a chance to develop an 800 runner say starting as a freshman in high school and you could have them until they graduated college, what would the training look like?

Would you be more strength based with1600 and 3200 or 200 for speed work?

How would you have strength or plyo work set up?

A few numbers for you… 1:42.95, 3:34.55, 3.59.68… These are your PR's for 800, 15 and mile. But I am curious, what is your 5k PR time?

Now, what about that 5.19 PR in the beer mile. Are we going to see an attempt to go sub 5 there?

Last we saw you on the track you were pulling out of the Olympic trials because of an injury. How is the rehab going?

So can we plan on seeing you make another run for a world championship or Olympic team?

What is your recovery process like? How much cross training are you doing or what other activities?

When will see back on the track?

So you are in the process it seems of transitioning from an elite athlete to an en entrepreneur, can you tell us about Run Gum and what growing pains you may have had?

When my athletes come to me about fueling I hate to talk about anything like energy drinks because I am a big believer in eating real food, not sugar and junk. Is Run Gum looking to be a replacement?

How does Run Gum work? Would a marathoner bring one piece with them?

We talk about him publishing his 800 training log.

Did you say you are going to run a marathon in 2018?

Have you thought about which one that is going to be?

There is a lot of talk about caffeine benefits for marathoners and ultra runners but what about for shorter races?

I think what we have seen from you is you don’t always take the easy route. You seem to like challenges. How has that helped you in helping to launch a business?

What is next for the company, is it going to stop with gum or you have something else planned?

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Once a runner
Current trainers you are wearing? - Brooks Adrenaline
Favorite race? - Olympic Trials 2008
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - RunGum
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Half tights

Run Gum
Wottle 800 Race
Nick on Twitter
Run Gum on Twitter
His book Life Outside the Oval Office

Dec 7, 2016

We have a special treat for you today. Hall of Fame coach Joe Vigil joins us to talk training. If you enjoy the show we would appreciate you heading over to iTunes and taking a minute to rate and review our podcast. Those ratings are important when people are searching for podcast. Coach Vigil won 26 national titles in 33 years at Adams State and has coached several Olympians including Deena Kastor and Brenda Martinez. We discuss everything from VO2 Max and testing, what he learned from watching runners at Leadville to periodization.

Tell us how you got started in the running community and into coaching.

When you took over Adams State you won 26 national titles in 33 years. Adams state when you took over was not exactly a powerhouse so you had to build runners from the ground up. What do you think you were doing differently that other programs were not doing?

Thirst for learning what made you different?

In the book Born to Run you make an appearance. You are mentioned as a coach who thinks differently because you were showing up at 100-mile races to learn from ultra runners when other coaches were not. So what exactly did you learn from watching the athletes at the Leadville 100?

You mentioned running happy, is that something you can teach or is it something you have or not?

One thing you talk about is testing. Having a PhD. in exercise physiology, I know that testing is big for you. Many of our listeners are your are group runners you will see on the weekend in a local 5 or 10k. And we also have a lot of high school coaches. So for them, testing of VO2 or max lactate may not be something they can easily do. What recommendations would you have for them as far as testing and what they should get tested?

VO2 Max… You do the field test and find out what it is, where should they go from there to improve?

I have read that you said that our runners don’t run hard enough and long enough. Other coaches I have talked to said the problem with American runners is we run too hard. So what is your current position on this?

In 2001 yourself and Bob Larsen brought Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi to Mammoth Lakes to start the Mammoth Track Club, which was one of the most influential post-collegiate clubs in the country. How did that come about with Larsen?

These clubs are a lot more popular now with many new ones popping up and having success. What do you think the future of these clubs are and how have they changed over the last 15 years.

You have had Olympians such as Deena and Meb, and this year you had more mid-distance runners like Brenda and Borris in the Olympics. Obviously, the training for the marathon and 800/1500 are completely different. What is the greatest coaching challenge in working with athletes in such different disciplines?

What about strength work, what type of strength work did you do with your kids at Adam's State and how would it differs from what you do with a marathon runner?

Question from a listener: In your book, you have graphs in the marathon training section for weekly mileage. Your mileage chart looks very much like a roller coaster fluctuating from 60 to 80 to 70 to 100 to 80 to 120… Many training plans are much more steady in their mileage, do you still method or has it changed since you last published the book?

You have been around the running scene for several decades now. When it comes to training and performance, what is something that you think has changed your coaching style the most in the last decade?

Work harder, what does a week look like for a 5k runner

Book road to the top is hard to find, but I understand they can still be had through you, can you tell our listeners how to get a copy of one.

Running Summit Dec 17-18th in Dallas. Can you tell us about the event and What topics will you be discussing?

Tapering is one of the questions I get asked most about. When you were coaching at Adams state, did you find any differences in tapering with your male and female teams?

What advice would you have on tapering for our 5k listeners out there?

At the end of the last season, I asked the kids on my team what their favorite workout of the season is. And the majority of them said their favorite was the acceleration workout from 100 to 200. Can you walk the listeners through how it works, when it should be used and why?

When did you add in that workout to the season?

Method of Belke Field Test for VO2

Road to the Top by Joe Vigil mailing address
292 N Ceder Crest Dr
Green Valley AZ 85614

Running Summit

Tapering for endurance athletes by Joe Vigil

Nov 30, 2016

This week we have something different for you. This week is less about training and more about talking about one of the better running blogs out there, Salty Running. We will talk to Laura Pizmoht about her running career, why she started salty running and what is an important issue in women’s running that should be covered and talked about more. We hope that you enjoy this episode. Feel free to tweet us at Final Surge and let us know what you think and as always, don’t forget to rate us on iTunes.

I want to spend some time talking about your site Salty Runner and what you do there, but let’s start off getting to know you a little, can you tell is how you got your start in running?

So why did you start it, what was your inspiration?

Who is your avatar? For those who may know what that means, when you start a new blog you are supposed to think about your avatar, that person who you are writing for. What does your avatar look like?

What is one thing that you have learned about yourself or your running since you started the site?

How many writers do you currently have?

The writers all have unique names like cayenne, salty, ginger, where did those names come from?

Your writers have weekly running logs, how do those play?

You are constantly updating, many times there are a couple posts a day. How much time are you actually putting into the site?

You have a variety of posts on many topics, what has been the most popular post?
How to poop and pee when there is nowhere to go.
Why average runners should care about elites.

Are these races reaching out to you to come cover them?

Here is how great your site is. I have been reading it often for about a year now. It wasn’t until I started getting ready for this interview that I noticed it was all about women’s running issues. So while you are writing for women, it is a site that most men listening to this podcast should have in their reader list.

What is a women’s issue in running that you think more non-elite runners need to be aware of?

Runners World article about women harassed during runs.

For a long time, our sport was very male dominant. And at least in the US, you would turn on the TV and watch a race and it seemed they covered the men’s races more than the women. It seems to me over the last couple of years that the US women distance runners are starting to get a little more of that well-earned recognition they deserve. Are you seeing that?

What can we look forward to on your site, anything coming up in the near future?

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - The Silance of Great Distance
Current trainers you are wearing? - Brooks Ravenna
Favorite race? - Johnnycake Jog
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Whatever I can get
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Running Stroller


Nov 23, 2016

Welcome to episode 22 of the final surge podcast where today we talk to Alex Hutchinson, the sweat science writer for Runners World and a go-to resource for the latest in exercise science. We will talk about everything from hydration, training methods. running cadence and beet farms. Please take a minute when you are done and rate us on iTunes.


Let's start out by talking about you, how did you get your start in running and how did it lead you to where you are today.

You did a couple of columns this year on running cadence. We have all heard you want to be at 180 steps per minute, but as you pointed out steps per changes with speed. So for a mid-pack runner who is not elite, is cadence something they should even look at?

Is there anything showing if you do intentionally change your running form it could lead to other injuries, or is there a way that is recommended to work on the change?

Along with cadence is foot placement. Many say land under your body, but I think that video has shown that under your body really is closer to about a foot out in front for professionals. What is the scientific evidence on where your foot should land and how it should land?

Is there anything that can or should be done to change this for age group runners who are not elite runners to help reduce injuries or does actually changing it cause more injuries that not.

What is the latest research show with training? How much research have you read about effective ways to trains? Such as the 80/20 rule or training the extremes more often?

Most coaches have seen a 800-1600 even 5k runners college runner hit a plateau for a while in their career. How much research have you seen about hitting plateaus and what type of activities endurance athletes need to do to break through.

One of your studies you highlighted a while back I read was interesting about strength training. I believe it showed that running economy was definitely enhanced by strength training if it was done consistently. Can you talk about what types of strength training exercises may have the best results for endurance athletes?

Your book cardio or weights, can you tell us why you wrote the book and what endurance athletes could get out of it?

With hydration, is the ere any real science on how much someone should drink during the day, not talking about during a marathon or something, but during the course of a normal day with training?

You mentioned beets in your last answer. You talk about beets and beet juice a lot. Are you an investor in a beet farm? What are the real benefits of beets?

Another topic you have addressed is the 2 hour marathon. We have not seen a lot of progress in the last two years here. On the women’s side the world record is 2:15:25 by Paula Radcliffe, but we have only seen 3 women go under 2:21 in 2016, and none break 2:19:40. So what is more likely to happen first a man breaking 2 or a women breaking 2:15?

If you could give one piece of advice to college or high school coaches of distance runners, one thing they may really want to change or look at differently than they may currently be doing, what would it be?

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Once a Runner
Current trainers you are wearing? - New Balance 1400
Favorite race? - Bum Run 5k
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Pasta
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Watch, non-gps

Sweat Science blog
On Twitter
Book Cardio or Weights

Nov 17, 2016

Episode 21 of Final Surge Podcast with our guest Coach and Dr Richard Hansen of the Roots Running Project. Richie is a chiropractor specializing in sports medicine and more specifically runners, and is a coach of an up and comping post collegiate team who’s runners include The Noah Droddy. I think you are going to really enjoy this. We start out talking about his coaching experiences, Noah and then turn to injuries, strength videos and pool walking. If you enjoy this episode please take a moment to rate us on iTunes and send a thank you tweet to Dr Hansen. Now onto the show.

I want to break this up into a couple of parts first talking about your coaching and post collegiate groups and then talking about your other life as a highly respected chiropractor specializing in running related injuries.

First let's' find out how you got here. Can you tell us about how you got your start in running early on?

Was it your goal when you moved to Boulder to get into coaching?

We have seen a resurgence of American distance runners over the last decade. How much do you see the explosion of post collegiate running groups playing a part in that.

When someone is thinking about joining post collegiate group, there are two groups first is the elite runners the first team all Americans in cross and then there are the larger group of very good college runners, but not elite, who want to see how much they can continue to improve. For that second group who should consider continuing on training on their own vs. looking for a group like yours?

Probably your best known runner is Noah Droddy. Of course he is known as that guy with the long hair and mustache in the 10k at the Olympic trials who became an internet sensation but really the thing even more impressive than his hair, I understand he went from a 14:30 5k runner to running 14:10 splits in the 10k. What did you guys do different to see that dramatic improvement?

You know you have made an impact when people are dressing up as you for halloween as we saw on Twitter. Is he as big of a character in real life as he comes across?

Hows his racing been going since the Trials?

Let’s switch gears a little…

Now you have coached everything from high school to olympic trials qualifiers, and your primary profession is as a chiropractor at high altitude spine and sports. So let's get into injuries. I want to break this down into segments. Let's start with high school runners. We have a lot of high school coaches who listen to this. In high school, as you know from your coaching days, a team usually has everything from a new runner who does other sports but not track to those who has never run before to those going for state. What are the most common injuries and causes you see high school boys and girls.

With shin splints you will often have a coach send the athlete into the school trainer and the trainer will say ice and roll it out a little. They are obviously treating the symptoms not the cause. What is the most common causes?

When you coached high school athletes, were there any extensive warm up and cool down routines and did you design them around injury prevention?

You showed me a tape job last summer for relieving shin splints for runners. Do you have a video online anywhere so others can see it?

Now this runner, they go off to college, and likely have a more extensive strength routine there than they did in high school. When you get a runner out of college joining your club what are you seeing as deficiencies that are leading to injuries?

There are a lot of videos online and on youtube. are there any hip/strength routines that are maybe online that you recommend? (See resources below)

When one of my runners gets an injury I always send them to two local guys here who I know, know runners. Sometimes they don't take my advice and will go see a Physical therapist who often times honestly don't really help them much. So the question is When someone in our audience, who doesn't live in Boulder has an injury they want checked out, tell us how they can go about finding a someone who should be able to help get them back running.

One thing you got me doing was pool walking after a run. Can you talk about why you are such a fan?

Now someone is out with a running group for a long run, gets back to the car has to drive home for 20 to 25 minutes, and will often stop for a coffee on the way home… is that still a good thing for them to get into the pool 30-40 minutes later after they are done their run?

If someone wanted to reach out to you, you have your roots running podcast they can listen to… how else can they reach you?


Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Once a runner and Road to the Top
Current trainers you are wearing? - Brooks Launch and Nike Lunar 3
Favorite race? - Half marathon and Payton Jordan Track Festival
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Italian Soda and Fish Tacos
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Pool or compression sleeves

Resources in this episode
Richard Hansen on Core
Jay Johnson Videos
Gray Cook
Mike Young
Jim Radcliffe hip mobility

Hansen Links:
Roots Running Sessions Podcast
Roots Running site
Roots Running Twitter
Dr Hansen Twitter
Dr Hansen High Altitude Clinic

Nov 9, 2016

Welcome to episode 20 of the final surge podcast with world record holder Cal Neff. Cal is a Dad, a runner and a coach who this year set the world record for the half-marathon and marathon while pushing a stroller. We talk about what happens on those runs and how he adjusts his training. As we reach episode 20 the Final Surge team would like to thank you. We are over 10,000 downloads and growing. Please take a moment to rate us on iTunes, and send us a message on Twitter or Facebook and let us know what you like most about the show and what you would like to see changed. Now on to our interview with Cal.

So how did you get started running when you were young?

In early February of 2016 you won the Katy Half Marathon in 1:11:27, while pushing a stroller and setting the new Guinness Book of world records for a half marathon. How dod you get started pushing a stroller while running?

How old are your daughters that you push?

So when you set the record in the Katy half marathon what made you think about going for the record?

I was watching some of the  video you did from the Katy half, it looked like you were streaming over periscope?

Do you often run with the cameras/phone?

Everyone listening to this with kids has been in that situation where you are stuck in traffic and the baby is in back in the car seat screaming. I know it can wear on you after a while. I noticed at one point with about 5k to go Holly started getting a little fussy… so how do you balance going for a record and hearing your baby cry?

How is running with stroller different, do you need to adjust form or anything?

How about training, do you train any different and how often do you run with a stroller during the week?

Any advice on stroller shopping what to look for?

You just set the world record for marathon pushing a stroller too, can you tell us about that race?

So your daughter is 4-years old now, the age you start running. Is she doing some running now too?

So you have a professional career, you are a husband, a dad, a coach, how do you find the time to do the training needed to run?

So you are coaching now too correct?

What type of athletes are you coaching?

How are you using Final Surge in your coaching?

A couple of questions from Twitter:

With all the miles you log, what supplements do you use for quick recovery?

I would think there is probably some extra strain on the body, What are some of the strength exercises you do for you hips and core to keep them lose to prevent injury

How many miles does he run every month in your training?

Every runner has their self-talk? What about kid talk, what good kid talk stories do you have?

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Lore of Running
Current trainers you are wearing? - Altra Torin 2.5
Favorite race? - Toronto Marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Chocolate Milk
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Stroller Thule Glide.

@calneff website



Nov 2, 2016

Dathan Ritzenhein is one of the most successful American distance runners of all time with three Olympic appearances. Today we get to talk to Dathan about his recent great run against Mo Farah at the Great North 1/2, his upcoming NYC Marathon appearance and how he has prepared for it. We talk training, nutrition, and fat burning as well as what he is doing differently to stay healthy. 

Dathan, thank for joining us today, can you tell our listeners how you got started in running when you were a kid?

You have been training for the NYC Marathon and recently ran the Great North 1/2 Marathon. You ran a 60:12, just 12 seconds off your PR and finishing a very strong second to Mo Farah. It sounds like you are running the best you have in 6-7 years and you must be healthy, how is your training going for NYC?

Can you give us an example of what the week looks like for you leading up to a marathon?

We have a great field coming up for the NYC marathon, they are offering $100,000 in American only price money. How much does that American only price money play in getting such a strong field?

Is there one person, besides yourself obviously that American running fans should really be watching out for?

Some people have been able to excel while being self-coached, while others never were able to find a great long-term groove. How is the self-coaching going for you?

How has your training changed since you left Oregon and started training on your own again?

Do you think less high-end speed stuff has helped you stay healthier?

You are dong some coaching yourself now?

You have literally had some of the best coaches int he world From Wetmore to Brad Hudson and then Salazar. What did you learn from them that you use in your coaching now?

Some questions we got from Twitter: For a podium finish you need a great finish. What did you do differently with the Great North race to ensure a great finish.

Do you do any specific marathon training to work on being more efficient burning fat?

Not that you are old, but as you get older you need to focus more on the process and nutrition than a college kid does. What changes have you made to your nutrition over the years?

Over the years as you run into injuries, what have you done to stay in shape while injured?

How often are you in the gym during the week?

Are we going to see you on track again or do you plan on focusing on the roads from here on out?

Any predictions for NYC?

How about on the women’s side of NYC. Molly, Kim and Neely representing America, how do you think they are going to do?


Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute

Favorite running book? - Running with the Buffalos
Current trainers you are wearing? - Nike Vomero
Favorite race? - Marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Burger
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - R-3 Roller from Roll Recovery

Dathan on Twitter



Oct 26, 2016

Welcome to Episode 18 of the Final Surge Podcast. Our guest today is Steve Magness. Steve is a former high school prodigy, the author of the well respected book Science of Running and a coach at the University of Houston and to several professional runners. We talk about everything from training the extremes, race strategy, breaking through plateaus, tapering and psychology or racing.

Most of our listeners probably know who you are, but let’s give any who may not know your background. Can you tell us about how you got started running?

You made that huge jump your senior year can you tell us about that and what changes you made to have that breakthrough?

What was your training like your first three years of high school?

Your book the Science of Running is one of those books that I think every coach, no matter how experienced should have on their books shelf. But I understand you are working on a new book, what can we expect from that one.

You took over coaching at your alma mater University of Houston a few years ago. As a college coach, who is getting in high school runners, what are you noticing about the high school athletes you get as far as their training and what they may be lacking?

You have a kid who has plateaued, say a 4:30 miler. When he hits a level where he is not improving any longer, this is when you need to change a stress?

When you have a group of 30-50 kids sometimes that balance is hard. What advice would you have for coaches with larger programs on what they should be looking for in each runner to see if they training needs to be changed up for some kids.

There is a debate among some in the high school distance ranks. The old volume vs intensity. One argument is they are young so work on their speed development and the other camp is they should be working on their aerobic capacity and leave the speed for the next level. Of course, the truth as always is probably somewhere in the middle. But I think both camps work on both, the intensity camp may be more of a 35 mile a week program with 2-3 days of really intense work while the volume camp may be more 50-55 miles a week with a lot more tempo work, but what advice would you have for high school runners and coaches?

Let’s look at a week for a high school kid, how would you structure a week of workouts?

This is another question from a high school coach. Actually, the same question came in from two coaches. He is getting ready to start prepping for his qualifying and state meet. They would like to know what percentage of volume do  you cut back. When do you start that? When does you have your last, hardest workout of the season?

You have a podcast Magness and Marcus, which as a coach is my favorite podcast because there is some talk about training, but a lot of talk about actually coaching. I'm curious, how much time do you guys spend talking coaching outside that podcast?

When you are working with your mid pack cross country runners, you are not talking to them about strategies to win a race, so what coaching advice are you giving them on a race plan, what does that conversation look like?

You have been coaching for a few years now at a very high level. If you could go back and give advice to yourself when you started coaching high school, what advice would you give a younger Steve?

Recommended Reads from Steve 

One of your athletes, and one of our favorite Final Surge runners Neely Spence Gracey is going to be running the NYC marathon here shortly, how is her training looking? Episode 9 LINK

A question from twitter, we have a listener who has been putting in great training over the last year with great training runs. But on race day they are having sub-par performances in the 10k-Marathon races. Occasionally will have a good race so their fitness level is there, they are just not racing well. I know it could be a lot of things, but can you give this runner some general areas to look into to racing better?

Another question from twitter, when you are looking at recruits, what are you looking for in an athlete?
Favorite running book? - Once a runner
Current trainers you are wearing? - Asics
Favorite race? - 1/2 Marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Chocolate Milk
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Timex non-GPS watch

Steve's website
Steve on Twitter

Oct 19, 2016

How did you get your start in running?

What was the main driving force that got you into running as much as you have?

How long was it before you did your first ultra marathon race?

How did you make the transition into charging the first person from giving advice for free?

I watched a video of yours and you made an interesting observation. New tennis players, new golfers etc will often hire a coach to learn good habits early, but new runners tend to now hire coaches.

Are all your clients online?

What type of clients do you take on, what does a typical client of yours look like, how long have they been running, what happened to make them want to look for a coach?

You are doing some interesting stuff online, you are very active, is that where you are doing all your marketing?

What can a client expect and what type of guidance do you provide for strength work?

How often do you have your athletes run?

With newer runners of course, we always face injuries, what are the most common injuries you see with your runners?

You mentioned you use Final Surge. how do you use Final Surge in your coaching

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? -
Current trainers you are wearing? -
Favorite race? -
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? -
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? -

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>
<a href="" target="_blank">Kyle on Twitter</a>
<a href="" target="_blank">Kyle on Youtube</a>

Oct 12, 2016

On episode  17 we talk to Mario Fraioli of Ekiden Coaching. Mario is a competitive runner, former editor at Competitor Magazine and recently got involved in an online coaching service called Ekiden. 

How did you get your start in running?

Did you run in college and post collegiately too?

Many of our listeners probably know you from Competitor Magazine. When did you make your transition there?

You recently launched your own coaching company, can you tell us how that came about?

Where did the name Ekiden come from?

You personally have worked with some great coaches in your lifetime. What have you learned form them that you hope to bring to your clients?

When you coach virtually, communications is the hardest part. How does your system overcome those struggles?

Do you have a certain clientele that you are trying to attract?

I was looking at the site and I noticed these blue dots… kind of interesting how you are using that as a visual cue, can you explain the blue dots?

What type of plans/levels of coaching do you offer?

How many coaches do you have on the team right now?

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Once a runner
Current trainers you are wearing? - Brooks Launch
Favorite race? - Boston Marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Burger, fries and beer
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Hat

Mario's website
Mario on Twitter
Ekiden Coaching
Morning Shakeout

Sep 28, 2016

We have a great interview for you today. Imagine this story, someone who never ran until after college, ran their first race, a marathon in 4 hours and 37 minutes, then just six years later they run an Olympic qualifier and are headed to Rio to run in the Olympics. This is not a hollywood movie script, this is the story of Ariana Holborn. Now on to the show.

Had a chance to meet you and hear your story can you tell us about your long high school running career?

You just ran in the Rio Olympics, so if you did not run in high school, how did you get your start?

So your very first race ever was a marathon? Which one?

So what did your running career look like after that first marathon, you obviously caught the bug.

2008 you run your first race and run a 4:37 marathon, then one year later you run a BQ? What was your training like?

You went from 0 to 70 miles in a year, did you encounter any injuries?

In 2010 you join John Reich's team, where did you go from there?

Then in 2014 at US Marathon Championships you were 4th?

How did your training change as you were getting ready to run an Olympic qualifier?

What type of mileage are you doing when you prepare for a marathon?

Coming into 2016 what was your thought process when deciding to run for Latvia for the Olympics?

For their marathon team do they select or do trials?

So you headed to Rio for your first Olympics, what was it like walking in the opening ceremonies?

How did the race in Rio go for you?

How long did you end up staying in Rio and did you get a chance to see any other events?

So what was your training like the week down in Brazil?

Your team gives back a lot to the local running community. What advice would you have to young runners just starting out?

So what is next on the agenda for you?

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Running within
Current trainers you are wearing? - Brooks Ravena
Favorite race? -  Valmiera Marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Generation Ucan Chocolate 
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Garmin

Ariana's website

Sonoran Distance Project Team

Ariana on Twitter

Sep 21, 2016

Zach is an ultra marathon runner and a coach at Zach Bitter Running. Zach has held the 100 mile American record and the 12 hour work record. In this episode we talk about how a runner can make the jump to ultra distances and find out what it is like running on a track for over 400 laps.

How did you get your start in running, I am guessing your first run wasn’t an ultra. So let’s start with the really early days. Did you start running in high school, jr high, where does the story begin?

What was your high school career like, what type of 5k times were you doing

So let’s start out talking about how someone can make the transition from someone who maybe is not an elite runner, but has a few 1/2’s and a few marathons under their belt and wants to make that jump to an ultra. What advice would you have for a runner. Should they start with shorter races like a 50 miler before they jump to a 100 miler?

So if someone is running 40-50 miles a week what can they look up for a build up time and what type of volume do you think they need to get to before they toe a starting line?

You have someone looking to train and do their first 50-miler, what sort of long run do they need to do before you know they are ready to tackle that?

What does a week look like for this person trying to build up for the first time?

Now they are spending almost a full day on their feet running, they probably need to be eating and fueling different than they ever have before. What do you recommend as far as learning to fuel for an ultra?

Where do you follow on the scale, are you more of a Paleo low carb guy or more higher carbs?

You mentioned 150 mile week, is that kind of an average week for you?

To simulate the long runs many ultra runners will do two long runs on back to back days, is this something you implement?

If you have two long runs back to back how much time are you spending running on those two days?

So I am curious, when out running that long, do you listen to anything, music, audiobooks, podcast, anything like that?

So you got the 100 mile American record and 12 hour world record in my back yard running at the Desert Solstice. So just to give our listeners an idea, that is 402 laps on the track. I can imagine some thing like hydration, food, restrooms, medical needs all being right there are great, but at the same time 402 laps. What is that like and how do you enjoy it compared to hills?

What would you rather do, a trail or a track race?

Karl Meltzer is out there on the Appalachian Trail trying to break the record, would you ever have any interest in anything that long?

You have a package of training plans available on Final Surge, can you give listeners an idea of what is included in those plans?

Link to his training plans

How are you using Final Surge in your coaching?

We talk about the Strava and Garmin connect features.

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Born to Run
Current trainers you are wearing? - Altra One 2.5
Favorite race? - World 100k
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Eggs and Bacon
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Drymax ultra thin socks

how can they follow you online or reach you if they are interested in getting coaching info from you

Facebook Athlete Profile 
His website

Sep 14, 2016

On Episode 14 we have Christ Newport of Everyday Athlete Matters. Chris is a triathlete, coach, and  a registered dietician. We are going to talk about fueling, recovery, and hydration.

How did you get your start in running and endurance sports?

You went through Team In Training as a coach or participant?

So what type of athletes are you training? What is the demographic of your athlete?

You do a lot with sports nutrition. What are the biggest mistakes you see endurance athlete make?

Great breakdown on hydration, but if you had someone who could not afford to get tested, what general hydration advice would you have?

There is a common formula for hydration, take body weight in pounds, divide in half and that is a general amount of ounces you should be drinking a day. Do you teach that formula?

You say you work with everyday athletes so are there differences for what a housewife who loves to run and is trying to run a slightly better 5k should be eating and how they should be eating compared to what someone training for a 10-hour ironman or a 3-hour marathon should be doing?

Do you have any thoughts on carb loading vs fat burning for varying distances such as 5k and marathon?

For fat burning, what do you recommend people do to enhance their fat burning ability?

Let’s talk pre-exercise eating on training days. The housewife wakes up at 5am to get in her 45-minute run, what should she be eating before her run?

What about post race. I tell my high school kids that milk is always great because it has both whey and casein, what do you recommend for recovery post-workout?

I noticed on your website you do Sweat and metabolic testing. Can you tell us how that is and what you are finding out about athletes your testing?

With people you are testing are you finding out any common findings such as are you finding most people are taking in to many carbs or anything like that?

You mentioned everyday athlete, are any of them internet only clients or are you meeting them all in person?

How are you using final surge with your clients and what are you tracking with them?

If someone wants to reach you and find out more about you and your services, how can they get a hold of you.


Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute

Favorite running book? 

Current trainers you are wearing? 

Favorite race? 

Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - 

Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes?

Sep 7, 2016

On episode 13 of the final surge podcast we talk to Mike Caldwell, the coach of the Asics Greenville Track Club Elite. One of the reasons we have seen a resurgence in American distance running over the last few years is the emergence of post-college Olympic developmental teams like GTC-Elite. We talk to Coach Caldwell about how he got started with the GTC and he discusses why he would rather some of his athletes did not wear a GPS watch during recovery runs. Now on to the show.

How did you get your start in running?

After college did you make your transition straight into coaching or what did you do post-collegiately? - He did some training with Frank Shorter and the Florida Track Club.

How did you get your start coaching elite athletes after that?

Currently, you catch the Asics Greenville Track Club GTC-Elite, how did that come about? 

As a college coach at Furman what were you finding from the athletes coming in after their high school career. Did you find them mostly overtrained, undertrained or what?

When you get collegiate runners who join your team what are you finding? Do you find they are overtrained, undertrained aerobically or anything like that?

How about with college runners? A high school coaches job is developing runners, but a college coach really needs to be competitive at conference championships. So do you think we are seeing a lot of over training or over racing with college kids these days?

We talk recovery days and how to make sure you are recovered and the importance.

What are you doing for general strength for your athletes?

You mentioned when a new athlete comes in you interview them like the recruiting process. What are you looking for as far as someone who would be a good fit for the team?

I notice that one of your parnters/sponsors is Elliptigo. I am really interested in hearing how you are using that and how you and the athletes are liking it?

I know that you started using Final Surge for your team a few months ago and wondering what benefits you are getting from it?  - He talks about it as a communication tool with his athletes.

The fall racing season is coming up. What can we be watching for from your team?


Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute

Favorite running book? - Best Efforts, Once a Runner, Science of Running

Current trainers you are wearing? Asics Gel-Nimbus

Favorite race? - Peachtree

Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Chocolate Milk

Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Soleus Watch

Aug 31, 2016

Today we have a treat for you training enthusiast. Many of you may not know Coach Tom Schwartz, but a lot of you who read message boards know the poster Tinman who has some of the most read threads on training on the web.

Tom also is the coach of some of the best youth runners in the world including Drew Hunter who this past year broke the 4-minute mile on more than one occasion as a high school senior and 12-year old sensation Grace Ping who ran a 16:44 5k.

Tinman and I talk about how he would structure a new high school program and build up a runner if he had the program. We talk about the difference between tempo and CV runs, how he would structure a week and when would he add in spadework. Then we talk about Drew Hunter turning pro and he has a message for the youth runners in this country. Get your notebook and pen and ready, now on to the show.

1:10 How did you get your start in the running community - Schwartz took over coaching early in his high school career.

6:15 You have written some of the greatest training posts on Let’s Run. Here is the scenario. A new local high school comes to you and says we are starting a XC program, and we want you to be the coach, and you accept. What does that first year look like as far as training to build new runners? - His number one philosophy is getting your kids up to running of one hour a day and a long run of 90 minutes.

8:55 How soon after you got them running would you start working in tempo runs, and CV runs? Can you describe to our listeners the difference between what you call a CV run, and other coaches would call a tempo run? He also talks about the difference between endurance and stamina.

11:00 Once you have a good month base going with these new runners, what does a typical week look like with you?

14:10 If you have a CV day, tempo day, long run, that leaves you probably three other days of steady or recovery running, what kind of paces do you prescribe for those days?

16:10 So let’s say there is a 17:30 5k runner, he is running about 5:30/mi race pace. Are you saying on those recovery days he should be above 7:30? And is there a limit where he starts going to slow and doesn’t start getting any benefit.  - Talks about Grace Ping, the well known 12-year old who ran 16:44 for 5k.

20:42 You have stated there are dozens of kids in America who are running 9:10 who should be running 8:40 if they were trained right. Is that what you think they are doing wrong is training too hard?

22:37 So up until now we have not run faster than 10k pace with the exception of our races. So with a high school team that has their state meet the first week of November, when do you add in faster workouts? He starts his sharpening work about four weeks out. One workout example he gave for this would be doing your CV/Tempo workout and finishing with an 800 time trial.

23:57 How often would your team race?

24:20 You have interesting research on the 1600 which shows it is 82% aerobic, but after just 30 seconds it is 50/50 and after 90 seconds you are already at 93% aerobic so how should this effect our aerobic vs. anaerobic training for a 1600m runner?

26:20 Something that many people are going to have on their mind is one of your star pupils Drew Hunter. It is well known that you took over the coaching of Footlocker Champion and sub 4-minute miler Drew Hunter a few years ago, how did that come about?

29:18 You were coaching Drew from across the country, and we understand that you used Final Surge to help with that coaching, how did that process work?

31:48 This summer Drew decided to turn pro and continue working with you instead of running at Oregon, what went into that process? - We discuss the problem with being shuffled among coaches as you grow up.

36:45 You have a great website which I recommend anyone listening goes to check it out. ON there you have some great training calculators and also slide presentations you make available under the blog.

37:10 What type of message do you have for young American distance runners

Here is the thread we reference with more training information.

Aug 24, 2016

In episode 10 we get ready for the start of track at the Olympics by talking to coach Drew Wartenburg of the NorCal Distance Project. Drew coaches Kate Grace who will be running the 800 and Kim Conley who will be running the 5k in Rio. We talk about their training, race strategies, how they use Final Surge in their training and answer some questions from Twitter.

:45 How did you get your start in running?

3:40 When you started coaching what level was that at?

4:40 Then in 2014 you started the NorCal Distance Project?

5:42 You had a pretty good showing in the Olympic trials. Let’s start by talking about what Kate Grace did in the 800. What a great story this was. She ran controlled early and qualified 8th in the first round. Then in the second round, 8 make finals, and she was 6th. And then saving her best for last I believe she ran a PR in the 800?

7:25 What was the thought process on focusing on the 800 and tell us what you two were thinking going into the finals? They talked about staying safe, which if you saw the race was a wise decision.

10:00 The first lap went out quick in the finals, about a 57 first lap. Was this what you expected?

10:45 Part of being a great runner is not only being fast, but running smart. Kate seemed to do a great job kind of staying towards the back of the pack to the inside, then with about 130 left Kate really started moving, what was your thought at that point?

12:50 Drew talks about Kate’s celebration moment, or lack there of.

13:55 You talked about that hand on the knees moment, you see that at the end of most of these races, but Kate finished with a look on her face like she was ready to do it again. - Drew talks about how they prepared for that moment.

15:32 We talk 800 racing strategy. I would love to get your thoughts. Most 800 races seem to go out the first lap about 2 seconds faster than the second lap. One of my favorites races ever is the 1972 Olympics won by American Dave Wottle. The first lap, the two Kenyas are out front and Wottle was like 2 second behind 200 meters into the race. Bottle is not only in last, but a good amount behind the leader. Then Kenyans run a 52 first lap, and a 54 second lap. Just like most 800s. Wottle runs about a 53.2/52.5 I believe, almost even, slight negative split by a half second and wins in a dramatic come from behind situation. Do you think that runners could do a better job by backing off a little in the first lap or do you think they need to go?

19:15 Another athlete you had make the team is Kim Conley in the 5k. She was one of the favorites in the 10k, but then, there was a shoe incident were she lost a shoe in the race. Can you tell is what your thought process was as you were watching it?

22:40 Was it her decision to drop in the 10k or did you tell her to pull out?

24:40 In the 5k there was a group of 6 girls with 400 to go including Huddle, Houlihan, Mackey, Infeld and Kim, who are all known to have great finishes. At about 300 left things were starting to spread out, how were you feeling about her chances at that time?

27:10 When preparing for the US Trials you really need to be at your best to make the team and peak at the right time. So how hard is to hold that peak for another 6-7 weeks until the Olympics starts?

29:40 Have you talked to them about what their goals are now that they are in the Olympics?

30:50 It was recently announced that Kim is making her marathon debut in NYC in November. How are you balancing the training between the 5k now and marathon debut soon?

Questions from Twitter:

34:05 First question from @DougPetrick1 - Other than the number of reps & pace, how different are your workouts for runners that do similar events?

36:30 Do you use any lactate threshold measuring devices in your training and if so do you have any recommendations?

38:10 You are using Final Surge for your training with your athletes, how is that working for you and what do you like most about it?

41:37 Rapid fire, 5 questions in under a minute ready

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book or blog? - Life at These Speeds by Jeremy Jackson
Current trainers you are wearing? - New Balance 880’s
Favorite race? - The next one on the schedule
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Chocolate milk followed by a good burger
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - A good running hat


Drew on Twitter

Aug 17, 2016

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

Reach James McKirdy
On Twitter
ON Facebook
On Instagram

Aug 3, 2016

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.

Neely and Strider - Photo by David Bracetty.

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.


Neely with Strider, and her sunglasses
Neely with Strider, and her sunglasses

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

You can find Neely at 




Jul 27, 2016

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?

Connect with Nathan on Twitter
Follow Final Surge on Twitter
Follow Final Surge on Facebook

Jul 20, 2016

Jason Fitzgerald runs a very successful site called Strength Running. Jason has developed a reputation as an expert in strength training with his coaching of runners.

: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?

Also mentioned
Tomahawk Medicine Ball Workout 

Jul 13, 2016

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

Jul 6, 2016

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. 


Jun 29, 2016

For our fourth podcast, we talk to former elite runner Ben Rosario, who now spends his time coaching the Northern Arizona Elite Hoka Team.

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.

HOKA NAZ-Elite Uniforms

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 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?


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

You can get a copy of that book at Ben can be found in the following places:

Ben On Twitter
NAZ Elite on Twitter
NAZ Elite Training Programs

Jun 22, 2016

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

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