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: February, 2018
Feb 28, 2018

Welcome to episode 77 of the Final Surge Podcast where we welcome professional runner Kellyn Taylor and her coach Ben Rosario. Kellyn is coming off her top 10 finish at the New York City Marathon last November is one of the many amazing Americans in the Boston Marathon in April. We talk to Kellyn and her coach about the training to date and what to expect in Boston.  They share with us what the workouts look like, what Boston specific work they are doing and get into details about the hills and why they chose Boston for the spring marathon. Make sure you check out Ben's 10-weeks to Boston Blog and follow Kellyn online.


How did you get started in running?

  • Ran in middle school
  • High School moved to running all year and became state champion
  • Went to a Jr College then Witchita State

You ran a great race at NYC, at what point did you decide Boston was going to be your next race?

  • After NYC decided was not going to do a spring marathon
  • Changed mind shortly after

How is your training going, where are you with it?

  • December until a few weeks ago did base phase
  • Now in the second week of specific marathon training

Ben, you have been blogging about the training, can you tell us what the weeks are looking like right now?

  • In the second week, bumping mileage up to peak mileage which will be 6-5-4 and three weeks out
  • Long steady marathon efforts are the bread and butter

Arnold on Twitter asked about the mental aspect of running when you decide you did not want to do a marathon right after NYC was it more for mental reasons or physical?

  • Mental is part of it

Ben, when you are coaching elite runners like this, how much do you talk about the mental aspect of racing?

  • Try to focus one week at a time
  • Want it to be that you are so fit when it comes time to race you are just confident
  • They have been through it so many times they know what to expect
  • Boston weather so unpredictable cannot plan and just get fit

One thing Ben has been talking about on the blog is how different Boston is. What has been different about the Boston preparation?

  • Hammering downhills
  • Yesterday 22 miles and probably 19 of them were downhill
  • Milage is higher than it has ever been
  • Paces have been faster

Listeners love to hear about mileage, what is your mileage at right now?

  • 118 right now, will be 130 at peak
  • This 118 is about what the peak was going into NYC

Besides the training, is there anything different in your other preparation to get ready for Boston?

  • Yes, told Ben I would do things right
  • Usually don't eat right, core, prehab, rehab, naps, trying to focus on that stuff more

When you were training for NYC you were training with Steph Bruce, she is doing London this time so are you still training with her or are you doing different workouts? 

  • We do some stuff together, but we are doing a lot of different workouts

Ben, is this something that was strategic or do you let them decide what marathons they are doing and just guide them?

  • Kellyn handles downhills and miles well so Boston made sense
  • Steph has run Boston once before and did not go great so she does not have great mojo there. She is more of a finding a good pace and locking in so London made more sense

You and Scott Smith were up in Boston and run parts of the course, what were your thoughts?

  • Valuable experience
  • Didn't realize how downhill it was
  • Got to do every mile of the course at least once, huge advantage
  • Now know what to train for specifically

You and Scott have done three of the same races so far, does it help having Scott Smith there to do the workouts with someone?

  • Helps a lot
  • Nice to have someone to talk to about the workouts

What is a hard workout you have done recently?

  • Recently had 3 races back to back and those were hard
  • 30x400 with the wind in the face on hills was tough
  • (Ben) Our long runs have spice which they don't often think of as workouts, the first day of 8-week we did a 22-mile hilly long run that was difficult up and down. First Boston specific run. Ran 6:20 pace for 22 miles at 4500 feet.

Do you like running hills or would you rather have a flat course?

  • Not as fast as some women, not a 2:19 marathoner yet
  • Hills help even playing field
  • Built to handle them well
  • I do like them

You have done quite a few marathons and have experience, Jonathan from Twitter asked what your diet is like leading into the race?

  • Going into NYC for the last two weeks took dairy out and eats gluten-free
  • Meat, veggie, and rice are staples. 

Ben: Going back to the Boston question, seeing it helps the athlete to see it and helps me to sculpt the workouts better. We are doing these hills not to survive Boston but to thrive on the Boston course. 

If you are doing 110 miles a week, how much of that is specifically downhill so you can get used to it?

  • 4 easy runs a week
  • Maybe 40-45 miles of the 110 would be downhill

Another question we got was about easy runs, what does an easy run look like?

  • 10 miles in the am and 4-6 in the afternoon
  • More of a general feeling than a pace
  • Pace on these runs do not make or break your training

What are your goals for Boston?

  • Always have specific goals
  • I make big goals
  • Going to Boston my A goal is to be top-3 and on the podium

Ben, can you talk about what is going on with the 10-weeks to Boston blog at this time?

  • Had written plans for public
  • Each week I talk about what Scott and Kellyn are doing and what to expect in the next week
  • All the tips I can think of to get you ready for the Boston Course

Kellyn what Hoka's are you using for training and 



Kellyn on Twitter
Ben on Twitter
Final Surge on Twitter
NAZ Elite Logs
Coach Ben's 10-weeks to Boston

Feb 21, 2018

Welcome to episode 77 of the Final Surge podcast where we talk to coach Steve Palladino on Power meters for runners. Back in episode 61 we addressed power with Jim Vance, today we take another look at it and dive deeper into the numbers and success stories. If you want to get even more information make sure you check out Steve's power Facebook group which you can find in the show notes. 


Can you tell us about your background and how you got involved in running

  • Ran in middle/high school (4:27 mile)
  • Ran in Jr College then U California David
  • Post-collegiate ran 2:16 at Boston in 1979 and ran for Adidas
  • Then became podiatrist 
  • Started running again late 30's
  • In 40's started competitive cycling and was an early adapter to power meters for bikes

A lot of questions still on power for running, why are you such a fan of running with power?

  • Power is an output, closest measure of what is going on metabolically to produce our movement
  • Power will show similar effort on track, on roads or even on a dirt hilly trail
  • Can take a workout easily off the track with power and will get same workout effects 

You mentioned perceived exertion. Alex Hutchinson did a piece recently in Outside Magazine that I thought was very fair taking a look at some of the issues he has with power for running. I have been using a Stryd power meter myself recently and have become a fan, but he has some good points. So why do we need a power meter when we have RPE?

  • Power calibrates RPE and RPE modulates power.
  • There are days when your RPE are a little off and power will help you recalibrate RPE on those days. 
  • They fine-tune each other

If you look at Galen Rupp or Alan Webb or Kellyn Taylor these are professional runners who are having a lot of success in their sport and not needing power, so what does this really solve, what is missing?

  • Coaches have had success and a lot is on the track so when on track pace works well
  • Power you can take it off the track onto a trail or road and do similar workout
  • Elites just have not identified it yet and it is starting to make some inroads
  • Just like cycling started out as a fringe thing, now all elites use it

With triathlons I can see coming off the bike your legs are tired and running with power may be able to inform how you are feeling. But for someone who is just running an open 10k on fresh legs is power that important?

  • Triathletes will benefit from the data, but variable is what type of power can you produce after a bike ride
  • Fresh 10k power can be very beneficial for pacing and to keep you where you need to be for a whole race
  • Elites are racing athletes where age groupers are more racing for a time so different benefits

We recently added your power Zones to our Final surge platform, Can you talk about how you use zones?

  • Added more than Stryd has
  • Looked at a lot of races so has been able to adjust and finer tune power zones
  • Upper-end zones have more than other systems based on race ranges and information

To get your zones you need FTP or your functional threshold power, how do you get that base number?

  • There are several ways to estimate
  • Critical Power Test - 3 minute and 9-minute test
  • Recent 5k-10k race
  • Comes out to about lactate threshold power 

A key number is running that you like to focus on is running effectiveness, and I know this is something we are looking at adding to our system, what is running effectiveness?

  • How effective you are at converting power to speed
  • Important metric 

Let’s give an example of how this can change. Let’s say you have a runner who’s running FTP is 350 at 8:00 pace and you train for a few weeks and now you get an FTP of 350 but at 7:45 pace, does that mean the running effectiveness has changed?

  • Yes, getting more speed at same power
  • Slow moving metric, but can get improvement

What can I do to improve my running effectiveness?

  • Somethings we know and some are still unknown
  • Leg Spring Stiffness - by weight training/plyos/hills
  • Form issues can be improved, horizontal power issues
  • Improve running economy

You mentioned running spring stiffness and vertical oscillation, and there are a lot of numbers that power looks at. So I finish a run and log in to look at my Stryd numbers? What should I be really tracking and looking at? Is it my Run Stress Score, or running effectiveness or leg stiffness or what do I need to focus on?

  • Don't want paralysis by analysis 
  • Look at power and power to weight
  • Running effectiveness
  • Leg Spring Stiffness
  • Horizontal Power
  • Those are the main ones, others are secondary and help break down the above primary numbers

If someone is looking at this and wants to try it, most plans they are following on the internet are not power plans. How can they look at a workout and modify it for power?

  • If you know your power zones and reference them can translate
  • Turn distances into durations
  • Easier to take those off track and onto other surfaces

You mentioned coaching high school athletes and that you have been using power with your high school kids, can you talk about how that has been going with them?

  • Not every kid, but one from each group of similar ability
  • Training load can be monitored easier to make sure stays where it needs to be


You have trained some athletes to amazing big PR stories using power. Can you tell us about one or two of those as a demonstration of how power really helped?

How can things like snow effect power?

  • Power doesn't change but running effectiveness/pace changes

Where do you think this goes from here? What needs to happen for it to make a big breakthrough like power for bikes have?

  • Seeing success over and over
  • So many metrics need to focus on simplification
  • Success stories getting shared

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Lore of Running
Current trainers you are wearing? - Hoka Stinson
Favorite race? - Boston Marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Burrito
Your favorite workout - Long Run with spice

Pallidino Power Project Facebook Group


Feb 14, 2018

Welcome to episode 76 of the Final Surge Podcast where we welcome Chi Running founder Danny Dreyer. Danny is a competitive ultra runner who found a better way to move when he started doing Tai Chi. Danny wrote the book Chi Running which is hugely successful and we talk about his journey into Chi Running. Final Surge has started offering Chi Running Plans and you can check them out under our training plans section at 


How did you get started in running?

  • Grew Up in Boulder and started in 1971
  • Decided to do an ultra, trained over 3 years
  • Ran man ultra races
  • Moved to San Fran started learning Tai Chi

What was it you learned about Tai Chi that you decided this could help with running

  • Moved with body around central axis
  • Arms and legs got in sync with each other 
  • Watched those who passed during races and they had relaxed forward leans
  • Move from center

If you were speaking to everyday runners what the biggest difference is between what they are doing and Chi Running, what would it be?

  • You lose structure/posture and muscles work harder
  • Be smart, forward fall

You started off the answer talking about posture, paint a picture for us, what is good posture?

  • Stand up aligned tall
  • Shoulders over pelvis and pelvis over ankles

Many specialists say power should come from your glutes, do you think what an everyday runner does is different than elite runners?

  • Should not be using glutes or legs for power
  • Use gravity
  • Western runners are too upright and reach and pull
  • Kenyans have a forward fall
  • Use glutes only proportionately
  • Uses every muscle in body in proportion to size
  • Look at running injuries, most are from knee down
  • Need to use core more

There are three phases of the stance you talk about, can you explain those?

  • Propulsion is where body ahead of feet falling forward
  • Just pick up feet to keep up with body
  • Mid-stride is the flight phase where you leave the ground
  • Landing phase is the biggest deal 
  • Don't want to reach leg out as impact is coming 
  • Injuries are usually too much impact or overuse
  • When land foot under knee or behind it
  • Tai Chi relies on opponent to defeat themselves, here

Do you make wholesale changes all at once or is it in phases?

  • Every focus will help, but you learn them one at a time
  • Need to practice a lot, technique drills

The original book came out in 2004, how has the program changed since then?

  • Has exploded to the point where we have over 200 instructors
  • More aware of the program


One thing you talk about is race-specific training, how what is race-specific training in terms of Chi?

  • Need to learn how a course will have an impact on you and train to the course
  • Find out what is on the course, where it is on the course and train to the course
  • Have practiced the course so you know what it feels like and how you need to change your strategy

This week we started offering your training plans on Final Surge, can you tell us what to expect in those?

  • Everything divided into phases
  • Technique early
  • Move into conditioning phase
  • Learn how to fuel on long runs
  • 5k, 10k, 1/2 and full marathon


Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - Gordon Perry Run Fast and Injury Free
Current trainers you are wearing? - Altra Lone Peak
Favorite race? - Headlands 50k
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? -  Cocoa Tropic
Your favorite workout - Hill Intervals on trails 


Chi Running Training Plans

Chi Running Website

Feb 7, 2018

Welcome to episode 75 of the Final Surge Podcast where we welcome back Dr. Jay Dicharry. Jay is the author of a must-have book for any coach, Anatomy for Runners. Jay has a follow-up book he has just released called Running Rewired. We have all heard of the book Born to Run, but are we born to run or is it something that we adapt to over time. Jay discusses that as well as how deliberate practice can make you more efficient. Make sure you check out Jay's book Running Rewired which you can find on his website An Athlete's Body.


We had you on episode 49 of the Final Surge podcast so welcome back. On episode 49 we talked a lot about your book must own book Anatomy For Runners. You have a new book out called Running Rewired. I am more of a wi-fi guy so what do you mean about runners getting rewired?

  • Get past running requires amazing flexibility or strength 
  • How your nervous system impacts how you move

If someone read your book Anatomy for Runners, why should they read this too, what would they get Running Rewired too?

  • Anatomy for Runners fits into a space with more scientific background
  • Was for intelligent and in the know runners and coaches
  • Was good for clinicians
  • Rewired more for everyday runner
  • Rewired from ground zero to increase capacity

Are we naturally wired to run, like if I took a 4-year-old and said run, are they wired correctly or do we need to learn it?

  • Young kids learn to play and are more dynamic
  • Problem not sitting, but that we do one thing all the time then expect to move differently when we put on our shoes
  • We are not born to run, we adapt to run
  • Takes cultivating of how we move

You talk about deliberate practice in the book. How do we know if we need to work on getting rewired and if we do how do we know we are doing the right things to get there?

  • Not about volume of practice
  • Practice has two types specific and deliberate
    • Specific putting on shoes and doing more of it
    • Deliberate says these are the skills you need, let's refine them with a plan 
  • Not about running more, but running with quality
  • Everyone I have ever seen needs more deliberate practice

You mentioned everyone needs to get better, so how do we know what we need to work on?

  • Roadblocks in books that test you
  • Some motions will be less skilled at

In episode 49 we dug into your clinic and your clients. In your clinic, you don't have just elite runners, but you have many average age group runners coming in. So you see a wide variety of situations. With seeing so many people over the years are there certain things you see usually see that you can quickly narrow it down to what the issues are without even seeing the athlete. So like if a runner came in and said I have shin splints or i have pain on the outside of my knee probably from IT band, could you give them 1-2 things to work on or is it too specific to each person?

  • I have a lot of lab data that identifies what causes overuse injuries, usually a few paths

If I took 5 mid pack runners and 5 elite runners and did a video on them, could you tell just by their gate which were the elites? And if so what about the gate is different?

  • Elites are blessed with great genes from their parents
  • As far as form can be both
  • Yes form matters, but capacity important too

One thing you talk about in the book was core exercise. If I do a lot of planks, L-ups, V-ups and those type of core exercise can you explain why they may not be the best?

  • Running is dynamic and not static
  • Holding the body stable like a plank does not help much
  • Get people moving in positions that challenge without putting stress on joints
  • Spend more time doing more dynamic movements for core
  • Coaches your core routines are killing your runners
  • Building skills as body twists while running

What does training core with rotation look like?

  • Lay on back with knees and legs up like sitting in chair, grab med ball and hold up
  • Rotation is important while running, twisting forces

If a runner or coach said this was all great information, but I have 15-20 minutes to spend with my team before they start running, what should we focus on, how would you guide them on the biggest bang for the buck?

  • Skills and performance workouts in book
  • Skills building muscle memory, lots of bang for buck to rewire central nervous system
  • Identify roadblocks with tests then fix the ones that need working on

One of the things you talked about in the book was pelvis tilt and correcting it by using the stomach muscles to pull up on the front of the pelvis, this is how I was taught so can you talk about why this is wrong and what people should be doing for pelvis tilt?

  • Shortens step
  • Can analogy for strength
  • If lose core position crumbles can

One issue that gets talked about is knee dominate vs hip dominant or pushing vs pulling, what does this look like for a runner?

  • Can look at squatting patterns, squat knee forward position overstride
  • To quad dominant
  • Overstride pushes loads and increases stress per stride
  • Want to move to hip or glute dominant

Running Rewired
An Athletes Body