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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Now displaying: January, 2018
Jan 31, 2018

Welcome to episode 74 of the Final Surge Podcast where we welcome back Hoka NAZ Elite Coach Ben Rosario who talks about what he has planned for the Boston Marathon. Ben has two elite runners, Kellyn Taylor and Scott Smith who will be competing in Boston. We are just over 10-weeks out from Boston and Ben is offering three new training plans that are specific to the Boston Marathon. These three plans are tailored to the level of runner you are. In addition to the training plans Ben will have a weekly blog post which talks about exactly how to execute the training plans for the upcoming week. Make sure you check out his plans on and follow along with his professional athletes as they prepare for the unique course that is Boston. 

You have two runners joining the great American field at the 2018 Boston Marathon, want to talk about them?

  • Kellyn Taylor off a top 10 finish in New York City
  • Scott Smith coming off a 2:12 PR in Frankfurt

With Boston you never know what the weather will be like, could be 40 and raining or 75 and sunny, but if the weather is not a factor Boston can be a fast course so is the intention to run a PR at Boston?

  • Net elevation drop can be fast
  • Course-specific work for the downhill
  • Although it is about racing more than time

If you look at the field, especially the women's side, it is an incredibly deep field. Was the goal for Kellyn to always run Boston? 

  • At first, she wasn't sure if she wanted to do a spring marathon
  • Once she decided she wanted to do a marathon, Boston was her choice
  • She is ready to handle the course as well as the level of competition

You make your logs available for all your athletes. But for Boston, you are going a step further with 10-weeks To Boston.

  • This is a plan for the last 10-weeks heading into Boston
  • Specifically prepared for being ready for that course
  • Hills to match the up and down of Boston
  • Train like the pros with three plans that are variations of what Kellyn and Scott are doing
  • Super advanced (120 miles a week), Advanced (75-100 miles a week), Intermediate (50-75 miles a week plan)

You have other plans available for the marathon too, how do these differ from those plans?

  • We have 5 other marathon plans on Final Surge, but these are based on what our athletes are doing specifically for the Boston course 

Can you tell us about the blogging you have planned for these 10 weeks?

  • Will be doing a weekly blog talking about what Scott and Kellyn are doing and how their training is going and second will be talking about the upcoming week, how to execute the workouts on your plan for this week and it will be like you are training with the pros

You have 10 weeks before Boston, what do some of the staple workouts look like during that time?

  • Each week they get closer to specific 
  • Start out mile and a half at marathon pace and gets long specific work as gets closer to race
  • 6 weeks out gets harder with tempos and hills
  • Weekends alternate long runs and longer marathon pace work

You have a document you include with your plans that talk about your terminology. Can you explain how you use the CV workouts in your plan?

  • This is 30-40 minute race pace
  • Faster than marathon pace, but not going to really hammer you
  • Because running so many miles in marathon training gives you some faster work without jeopardizing training

When you get to your long runs are most of them steady or are you working quality into your long runs?

  • Every other week
  • Some carb depleted steady runs
  • Some race pace specific work into your long runs  

There is a lot of specific work to Boston so runners who have never run Boston can be prepared. This weekly blog is going to be able to help a lot of athletes. We want to get on again before Boston to talk about this training some more. 

Jan 24, 2018

Welcome to episode 73 of the Final Surge Podcast. We have had some great runners on this podcast. Neely Spence Gracey, Nick Willis, Nick Symmonds, Dathan Ritzehein, Kim Conley and more, but maybe none has had a bigger influence on the running scene, especially the American running scene like today's guest. Today we welcome American mile record holder, Alan Webb. Alan retired from running in 2014 and has not been seen much around the running community since then, but that is about to change. Alan is part of a group starting a new coaching service called RunDoyen. We talk to Alan about the goals of the business and how you or anyone else can get personalized coaching from him and other professional runners. We also spend a little time talking about his training and the state of American middle distance running. Please remember to share this podcast on social media. 


Before we get to some questions about your career, let’s find out what you have been up to for the last three years. How is the truck repair business?

  • Business has been great

There is a new site and Twitter account popping up called RunDoyen. It has listed yourself, Tara Welling, Ryan Vail, Aaron Braun, Jessica Tonn and more. A tweet said you are launching a new concept that reinvents the way the running community connects. Can you tell us what this project is?

  • Coaching site, schedule time with one of the coaches
  • Video chat
  • Final Surge training logs
  • Message board system
  • Access to professional runners

Will it be a monthly membership service?

  • Purchase Time
  • Purchase Training Plans
  • No monthly fee, packages that are over the course of a training block

What type of training plans are you offering?

  • Mile to marathon
  • Not limiting to one distance, offering variety

If someone is interested in working with you in a mile program, what is the timeframe?

  • Customized to individual
  • Would prefer more time 2-3-6 months to develop
  • Looking to build relationships long-term

What was it about this idea that got you excited to get involved in it?

  • Easy to use packaged online system
  • Can help people around world to work with different people

What else can people expect?

  • Drills, strength training, other things integrated into the training plan
  • Communication between athlete and coach on daily basis
  • Athlete tells us what is going on so we can make adjustments

What type of feedback are you looking for with communications from your clients?

  • What actually got done
  • How you are feeling, how run went
  • Any questions they have for the coaches
  • Video appointments for communications too

Are nutrition and physical therapist you have listed on site included?

  • Different packages
  • Can schedule time with other specialists

These are well-known professionals, what type of client you will be working with?

  • We are all looking for variety
  • More geared towards non-professionals
  • People looking to improve

We know your work ethic and how hard you hit it on your workout days. What is your coaching philosophy?

  • There are times you need to hit it hard, but also time for recovery
  • Recovery balance is important
  • Recovery helps keep you healthy

Will you personally be working with someone who wants to run a longer distance like a marathon?

  • Yes, looking forward to it

When you ran you were known as someone who liked to hit the weight room and hit workouts hard. Was that something specific to Alan Webb or would you incorporate this into your athletes you are working with too?

  • That was specific to me
  • More important for me as a miler than a marathon runner
  • Strength training is important, but specific to athlete
  • Amount/intensity needs to adjust to event/athlete

We had Jonathan Marcus on recently and talked about some of your workouts, will be dusting off your training logs to bring some of those back?

  • Some of it for sure
  • Will be adapted to the athlete/event
  • Some of the basic workouts are great, fun, tough

One of the workouts was a shorter 100's do you remember what your paces were?

  • 400-800 goal race pace
  • Really fast going hard
  • Hardened to faster pace to take edge off the mile

Do you have all your old running logs?

  • Lost some, but have many of them 
  • A few high school years have a few lost
  • Have quite a bit

It has been three years since you retired if you could paint a picture of what that time has looked like?

  • Tore ALC so personal running has taken a dive
  • 2 and 5 year old are handfuls, but going great
  • Wife Julia getting ready to run her first marathon

Do you have any running goals for the future?

  • Would love to run a marathon
  • Would be just to get through it
  • Nick Symmonds is my inspiration
  • Have to get ACL fixed first

You are arguably the greatest US middle distance runner of all time. So when you looked at retiring, why truck repair?

  • Good growth market
  • Enjoyed learning a new skill and been fun

I want to ask you about the mile. When Steve Scott set it, it stood for 25 years before you broke it in 2007. And now it has been another decade and no one has touched it. Why do you think this has been so hard to break?

  • It is a fast time
  • Have to be on and everything go right
  • To stay at the level is difficult, tough to get there

You ran 3:46, that is a well respected time. Is American middle distance running progressing the way it should be?

  • Yes, we are progressing the right direction
  • We are getting medals in major championship races
  • We are seeing on a consistent basis success in big races
  • Big pipeline coming up
  • High School runners are now breaking 4 minutes on a regular basis

What do you think has been the biggest reason for the resurgence?

  • Internet makes it easier to be a track fan

What advice do you have for young high school runners?

  • Persevere and don't worry about people running faster
  • Different runners develop at different ages

You had times in your career that you were plagued by injuries. Looking back at it now is there anything you think you would have done differently?

  • Would have added in more recovery
  • Would have been a little more conservative in workouts
  • Better perspective

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Perfect Mile
Current trainers you are wearing? - Nike Structure Triax
Favorite race? - American Mile Record
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Spaghetti 
Your favorite workout - 800's, 8x800

RunDoyen on Twitter
RunDoyen Website
Alan Webb on Twitter
Alan Webb American record mile race

Jan 17, 2018

Welcome to episode 72 of the Final Surge podcast where today we welcome runner and coach Jacob Puzey. Jacob and I have a great conversation about his early running career and how those experiences and the coaches he worked with influenced who he is today and how he coaches. Jacob was the top Canadian male in Boston in 2017, is the 2016 and 2017 Canadian Road 50K National Champion and has a great coaching resume. Jacob's business Peak Run Performance is teaming up with Final Surge in the coming weeks to offer new coaching services in several languages, so watch out for that.  


Could you give our listeners your background on how you started running back in the day?

  • Middle school basketball player
  • Did not come naturally had to work at it
  • 10th grade started running year round

How did the high school career and running career after high school go?

  • Qualified for Oregon XC State Meet as a senior
  • Tough Oregon high school area
  • Ran against a lot of future D1 college runners
  • Ran for a Junior College who was defending national JC champion
  • 2 National Championships for JC

When did you make the transition into coaching?

  • Took 2 years off after junior college
  • Started training for marathon
  • Developed a love for it again
  • Went back to finish college and did some youth coaching at middle school and high school

You have coached high school runners and ultra runners. What are the foundational principles you take in your coaching philosophy that would be applicable to all runners?

  • Stamina, speed strength, need to work on all of them
  • Nutrition and skills would be emphasized by event

I know from your bio you took over some high school programs that did not have a history of success and you created state championship programs. What did you do to turn around and build those programs?

  • Did not try to make wholesale changes
  • Go in and listen and learn about cultures of team
  • Winning traditions in other sports so was easier
  • Get them to buy into potential in that sport
  • Competed against the great teams

All coaches have influences that have an impact on them as coaches. Who are some of the influences who have impacted your coaching philosophy?

  • Middle school, high school coaches, college coaches
  • Learned different training philosophies from hs/college coaches
  •  Greg McMillian, Joe Vigil

What does the typical athlete you are coaching these days look like, what is their experience level and distances they are training for?

  • From Millenials waiting tables to executive empty nesters
  • All distances
  • Coached people who raced on all 7 continents last year

You are going to be releasing some coaching very soon on Final Surge, how is it you ended up on Final Surge as your coaching platform?

  • While living in Flagstaff ran with some NAZ Elite Guys
  • Heard about NAZ Blogs
  • Worked for Greg McMillian
  • Did not look at it until was ready to launch something
  • Liked easy syncs
  • Right vision behind company

((((30))))What can people expect to find in your packages?

  • Multiple languages
  • Speak the same language as athlete
  • Every coach speaks at least two languages
  • Tailored training plans and 1-0n-1 coaching

How many coaches do you have?

  • 4 with a nutritionist
  • Coaches have experience in several countries to understand unique differences

You have 4 coaches that work on your team, what events do you focus on?

  • All surfaces, all distances, all disciplines
  • Road and trails
  • Stage races
  • Tailor training to person

There are many tools runners use. GPS watches, heart rate monitors, HRV readings, Power Meters. What type of technology do you use?

  • All of it and as little as possible
  • Trail and ultra a lot of metrics thrown out the window
  • Run by feel
  • Like that they are available in Final Surge

You have a lot of running accomplishments, you were the top Canadian male in Boston this year and a lot of success in Ultras. One of your accomplishments is the 50-mile treadmill record you set. When I saw the video this was the first time I had heard of you. How hard was that to run on a treadmill for 5 hours?

  • Was easier than thought
  • Started just below world record pace but found himself going faster
  • Was originally thinking of going for 50k record
  • Didn't expect it to be an hour quicker

Do you use a treadmill often?

  • Yes, in Calgary it is cold
  • Wear microspikes 4-6 months a year when outside
  • Boston training did a lot of treadmill miles
  • When need good footing will use treadmill when cold

You ran the TransRockies with your brother, for those who do not know what the TransRockies is can you tell them and what it was like doing with your brother?

  • 6 Day stage race
  • 8500-12k feet elevation
  • If run at team you all need to be within 2-minutes of each other


Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Once a Runner
Current trainers you are wearing? - Altra Paradigm
Favorite race? - 50k-50miles (3-6 hours)
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Steak, salted chocolate covered almonds
Your favorite workout - Georgetown 400's

Instagram PeakRunPerformance
Twitter @teampeakrun
Twitter @JacobPuzey

Jan 10, 2018

Last summer in episode 56 of the podcast we had on Jonathan Beverly who is a writer at Runner's World and an author of a few running books. He has a new book out called Run Strong Stay Healthy. This book is a great resource for any runner who is interesting in making running a lifetime habit. Most runners end up quitting the sport, but there are several who make it a lifetime habit. Jonathan found 9 keys to focus on to make running a part of your life for life. We talk to Jonathan about those keys and what you can do to stay running. 


We had you on episode 56 to talk about your book Your Best Stride, and now you have a new book out called Run Strong Stay Hungry, can you tell the listeners what this book is about?

  • Keep running for life
  • Care about your running and performance

How did you collect the data for this book?

  • Started with people knew who had been running for a lifetime
  • Started young and running as masters

Why do people stop running?

  • Injuries 
  • Life changes
  • No longer competitive or PR's

I personally stopped a few times either for injuries or life changes but kept coming back.  How many stories do you run into like mine where people fall away from it in different seasons of their life and then come back to it?

  • Several stories, but several wish they could, but don't for several reasons

When looking at why people quit running, Do you find it different between mid-pack runners vs elite runners?

  • Mid-packers have an advantage over elites
  • Non-elites our competition is relative vs. elites ran to win

When you started thinking about the idea for this book and researching, was there anything that you discovered that really shocked you?

  • Most of the people who continue running tend to run by feel, expected they would be more discipline

You mentioned key 3. In the book, you list the 9 keys to stay in the race. Do you find one of these 9 to be a key component that everything points back to?

  • Most who ran for life fell into most of the key areas
  • Those who do have a plan are willing to use it as a rough guide
  • Run by feel helps make you a student of the sport

One of the keys you have is making it a habit, with the New Year there are people who start the year with a run streaks, do you find streaks helpful or not?

  • Both
  • Most are anti-streaks
  • Habits are built when it becomes regular
  • Not am I going to run today, when am I going to run

What advice do you have for making it a habit?

  • Learn to enjoy a run alone
  • Getting anything in is better than nothing
  • Never a bad idea to go for a 30-minute run

Do these lifetime runners work a social aspect into their routine?

  • Yes, most occasionally enjoyed a run with other people
  • Connections to sport with other runners

When I was younger racing and the competition kept me interested. Now it is running with friends and helping others with coaching that keeps me interested. The big difference now is I am very much a student of the sport. I go to clinics, I read constantly and I am always trying to learn more. Can you talk about how being a student of the sport can have an impact?

  • Learn about the sport and training
  • To run by feel you need to be a student of the sport
  • Being a student adds to the interest

Let’s look at technology. there are things like GPS watches and Starva. I could imagine in some ways this may hurt long-term participation but it could also help it by connecting you with others in your community and creating introductions. How do these new technologies have an impact?

  • Community aspect is great
  • Comparing yourself can hurt

You are a high school coach yourself. How did writing this book change you, do you do anything different in your coaching now?

  • Can work to become better
  • Reward and praise progress over results

There are some aspects of this book that can help you stay healthy, what are some of the keys you learned?

  • Trust your body, trust yourself
  • In tune with their bodies

Jonathan on Twitter
Your Best Stride
Run Strong Stay Hungry

Jan 3, 2018

Welcome to episode 70 of the Final Surge Podcast, our first release of 2018. Today we welcome back coach Jonathan Marcus of High Performance West who is also the co-host of the On Coaching Podcast. In this episode, we find out what Jonathan is up to since our first visit over a year ago and take some questions our listeners sent in. Remember if you like the podcast please share it with a friend or on Facebook or FinalSurge where we can be found @FinalSurge.


What is going on with High Performance West?

  • Goal January 5th Full Launch
  • Workout of the day
  • Story/thought of the day
  • Will continue doing daily post with workout and story of the day
  • Have over 5,000 workouts written down to pick from

You recently had a workout from Nick Symmonds. Jerry and Alberto Salazar are two of greatest coaches around and you have stated they are influences on you.  They are big believers in lots of high-end aerobic development, but Nick's workout was anything but. Talk a little his workout and what you took from it?

  • Very fast, 400m and faster pace
  • Have to be cautious and keep people healthy too
  • Learn from your mentors, but find your own flavor and thoughts

What advice do you have for coaches who read your site and the workouts of the day and how they should employ them?

  • Designed to make you think
  • Give you the why and how they did it
  • Context of how it fit in
  • Purpose is to get you thinking and growing

What is your other project Coaching With Craft

  • Goal is short 5-minute videos
  • Contribute to the community of coaches

We wanted to open it up to some of our listeners and we gathered questions from them so let's get into them.

I have heard you talk about doing workouts in a way so that after the hard effort you clear lactate with more aerobic running. I have also heard you say that most of what we know about lactate acid is a myth from the 80’s. What do we know and what should we keep in mind? I do mostly 5k-10k road races with 1 track workout a week.

  • Common interpretation lactate acid is a wall/barrier
  • Lactate is a fuel source 
  • We get to a tipping point where we cannot keep up and acidosis happens
  • Acidosis turns the muscles off
  • Lactate Flush: Since we can buffer, if we give it enough of a buffer then can turn it around to be fuel
  • 400s at 2k pace with 60 seconds rest. At a point, you will be cooked, but what you can do is flushes at 1/2 marathon to marathon pace for 200m, then easy 200, after about 3-4 of them lactate will reset to a point where using lactate as fuel.

Father of a runner who took over the school's indoor track distance team after they were left coachless had a few questions:

What should the warmups-drills-exercises look like?

  • Keep it fun
  • Jay Johnson Lunge Matrix videos
  • Good team bonding time
  • Good to have drill set A/B
  • Observe and watch

You mentioned minimum effective dose often, when do you know when that has been reached?

  • Make sure there is enough left they can do what they need to do tomorrow
  • Watch over time what they can handle

I am a 33-year-old runner who has been running for 3 years. I started for weight loss and fell in love with the sport. I just broke 20 minutes in the 5k which has been a goal for a year. You talk about looking at the canvass and seeing what is missing. That is what I should be working on. How do you know what that thing is?

  • You don't know what you don't know
  • What problems do you need to find a solution to
  • The problems that arise formulate the questions

I have been coaching xc/indoor/outdoor distance for 4 years. I have done a good job developing 1&2 mile runners on the track, but very little luck with developing 800 runners.  I don’t have any of those “jump out of the gym” athletes that you talk about. What types of workouts can I add and when should I add them in?

  • I had the same problem until a few weeks ago
  • Added speed work starting day 1
  • Prperation work/ lifting/ gym work
  • Quick stairs/ Power stairs
  • Plyos

In one of your podcast, you said Alan Webb did not go to altitude but was getting similar results from his lifting. Can you explain this?

  • His cardio was great
  • Hormonal release from lifting similar to performance drugs

One thing you talk about a lot is, after a workout or rep, you ask your runner to walk you through it. It is easy to talk about what happens on a bad rep, but what about ones that are “fine”? Do you dig deeper or take fine as an answer?

  • Depends on the session
  • All about the psychology of what is going on
  • Are they engaged or on auto-pilot

Recently you have talked about how you are spending more time on form and mechanics. Can you talk to us about what you have learned, what you focus on and where should we be going to help educate ourselves on this?

  • Form/mechanics have become more of a focus
  • As a younger coach was more about getting the work in, do more
  • When I hit a roadblock I had to look at different strategies
  • Easier to control from top/arms down
  • Arms like slingshots at acute angle
  • Transitions down to legs

High Performance West
Jonathan Marcus on Twitter
Marcus from Episode 40