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: September, 2018
Sep 27, 2018

Endurance Nation coaches over 600 athletes. Today we talk to founder Patrick McCrann about his online community which has helped 16 people qualify for Kona World Championships this year. We talk about the community, his use of Stryd Power Meters and more. 

How did you get started?


  • Rower at BU in early to mid 90's
  • Left school to join Peace Corps and took up running while in Asia
  • Brother did Ironman and lead me to try it and first Ironman in 2001

What type of early success did you have when you started Ironmans

  • 10:43 in first Ironman Florida
  • Became harder after the first one because started overthinking

Did you qualify early for Kona?

  • 5 years and 8 Ironman races before qualified
  • Took a while to figure out the execution 
  • Doing Kona again this year
  • 9th Kona

What did you do with your training that made the difference to qualify?

  • Building a schedule where could be consistent with training
  • Learning from the training log

How do you balance the time between training time and family?

  • Wife supportive and also trains
  • Build a training space in the garage 
  • Flexibility with a training plan to adjust

2001 you did your first Ironman, 2006 was your first Kona, when did you start coaching?

  • 2004 friends asked me for help
  • Early on started having success and created own company
  • 2007 turned it into Endurance Nation

What is Endurance Nation?

  • Team of self-coached athletes
  • We give you keys to all the training plans and resources
  • A community that shares ideas, successes, and failures 
  • 500-650 athletes at any given time

Athletes spread out throughout the world, yet you talk about community a lot, how does that work?

  • Forums - 10 years old with huge amounts of info 
  • Social wall like a Facebook group

Is your community for someone more experienced or new athlete?

  • For anyone looking to get better
  • Save time to reach goals

How much are you using Power Meters?

  • Been using Stryd's for a whlie
  • Good number to watch that gives instant feedback

What do you mean by run durability?

  • Running most injury prone
  • Run less per day but run more days per week to get the volume you desire

Many athletes are getting into their final weeks before their big fall race, what do you work on to get them ready for their race and tapering?

  • Race preparation workouts
  • Tapering is more personal per each runner 
  • Rest a little on the early side a few weeks out

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - Eat and Run
Current trainers you are wearing? - Hoka One One Clifton 4
Favorite race? - Boston and trail races
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Ascent Protein
Your favorite workout - Long Run

Endurance Nation Facebook
Endurance Nation Instagram
Endurance Nation Website
Stryd Power Meter

Sep 20, 2018

In 2012 ESPN called today’s guest the greatest endurance athlete of all time. Today we welcome Mark Allen to the Final Surge Podcast. Mark has been coaching online since 2001 and recently moved his training platform over to Final Surge. We talk about how he got into triathlons and what it was like in 1989 to break through and finally win his first Kona race.


How did you get started with endurance athletics

  • 1968 Watching Olympics
  • Fascinated with distance swim
  • Joined the local swim team
  • After college thought would be done with athletics then saw Ironman

When was your first Ironman?

  • October 1982 Dave Scott was in the race
  • Came out of the water right behind Scott
  • Halfway through bike was still with him
  • Derailer broke and was forced out of the race

What was your relationship with Dave Scott like?

  • Intense rivalry
  • Healthy rivalry where we respected each other as people and athletes

1989 things really started clicking for you, what changed in 1989 that made you so dominant?

  • Was 0-6 in Ironman but knew had not had my best race there
  • In 1989 focused on solid swim, bike and run not focus on a win
  • Started training longer days
  • Instead of trying to pull away early I waited until later
  • Mind went quiet in the race and things changed
  • Just enjoyed the moment and each mile started getting better late in the race

Do you contribute the success of that 1989 race to the mindset change or the training longer?

  • Combination of both
  • Wasn't any one thing, was a bunch of small things

Do you feel the changes that you made came from your experience or did coaches help you identify where you needed to make changes?

  • Almost completely self-coached
  • Were no triathlon coaches, had running, swim and bike advisors

How did you make the transition into triathlon coaching?

  • Won Ironman in 95 and started to think about what was next
  • In 96 knew it would be last Ironman and someone asked to be coached
  • Other athletes heard and coaching started to grow
  • The time it takes to develop plan was a lot
  • 2001 launched the first edition of online coaching to save time
  • Started earlier this year with Final Surge
  • Took this long to get it where I want it to be

What makes your training platform unique

  • Great mix of science and experience
  • A gap between what science knows and what we get to experience in the real world
  • So much personal experience seeing what works over a long time frame

There are all types of people looking to do triathlons, everything from a hobby jogger looking to do their first local triathlon up to those looking to qualify for Kona. What is your target audience?

  • Service is for anyone, have helped many first time athletes
  • Most are 70.3 or full Ironman competitors
  • Many have experience in running or biking and looking to do something different

When someone signs up, what can they expect to see as far as plans?

  • No templates
  • Everything based on what you input for information
  • We have racing and maintenance plans
  • Can choose between 8, 11 or 14 workouts a week
  • Includes strength training
  • You control days you do your workouts and you can move things around

If someone has questions inside the platform what are their options?

  • Social wall can ask for help
  • Can message me directly through the platform with questions  you have


Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - Fit Soul Fit Body
Current trainers you are wearing? - Salming 
Favorite race? - Ironman Hawaii 
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - BBQ fish on a toasted bun with mayo and avocado 
Your favorite workout - 3-4 day stage ride


Mark Allen Training Plans 
Mark Allen Coaching Blog
Mark Allen on Instagram

Sep 13, 2018

Parker Stinson is one of the top young American distance runners around and is known for his aggressiveness. In episode 97 we talk to Parker about his first marathon and how he went for it and hear about how that plan blew up on him. Parker shares with us what the game plan is for the Chicago Marathon. We have some amazing world class athletes and coaches scheduled over the next few weeks, so make sure you hit subscribe on your favorite podcasting app so you don't miss any of the action. 


How did you get started running when you were young?

  • 11-12 years old father and sister were training
  • AAU Nationals vs Club Soccer and Hockey
  • Went to Oregon

Why did you choose Oregon?

  • I just wanted a scholarship to any school
  • Went to 2008 Trials at Oregon and never saw anyone care about track like that
  • Junior year won State and made US Juniors team and Oregon became a possibility

Oregon is a tough environment. You are expected to win Pac-12 and compete at nationals. Did that help you get ready for a professional career?

  • You need to score at the conference meet and get to nationals or hey will find someone who will 
  • Made me tough and taught me to get better and be prepared

You said when considering Oregon you thought it was a good place for a professional runner. Did you identify early that you wanted to be a professional runner?

  • I never knew what it meant, but yes was what I was working for
  • Towards the end of college, options became real and understood it

Often times a 26-year old is still focusing on the track, but you have moved to the marathon. Are you done with the track now?

  • Focusing on the marathon, but not done with track
  • I want to work on track to focusing on things like the 10k

What was the worst race experience you ever had?

  • Junior year in Oregon running great 3rd a Pac-12
  • Went to NCAA's and felt strung out before the race
  • Nationals finished 240th out of 244

What did you learn from that experience?

  • Started working with a sports psychologist 
  • Realized I had some allergies issues that lead to panic attacks

Why Colorado to live and train?

  • I signed with Sacouny 
  • Had Achilles surgery where could not run 
  • Was looking for a change of scenery
  • Knew Brad Hudson 

Brad is best known for his marathon training was CIM your idea or his?

  • Wasn't my idea
  • Was a good idea to get the ball rolling towards i
  • We were planning on running Houston but felt ready earlier

During CIM Twitter was blowing up on your race and how you were going for it, can you walk us through that ace?

  • Ran like training: No fear
  • I had no plan to be alone, but they did not come with me
  • I kept telling myself I was going too fast but splits stayed consistent
  • Mile 12 started having a little pain in the calf
  • Mile 18-19 I was still shocked was running so fast and decided to slow down a little
  • Then it hit me the last couple of miles and was passed at mile 23
  • Finished at 7:00/mile pace

The next day what your conversation with the coach like?

  • We knew we were going to run hard and not care what anything else thinks
  • Disappointed because I could have pulled it off, but understood 

What is the goal for Chicago?

  • Break 2:11
  • I feel like im in better shape than that right now
  • I want to execute a good race
  • I need a good marathon mark on the boards

We recently talked to Aaron Braun about his Chicago, do you ever plan to run together with someone like that?

  • If the 2:05 guys go that fast we could have our own separate race
  • Would love to have a couple Americans break 2:11
  • Problem is some are more laid back and I am more aggressive

How has your training been going to date?

  • Amazing, way better than the lead up to CIM
  • Been working on a video series
  • 35k at 5:12 pace in Boulder workout
  • I am fit enough, just don't want to get hurt or overdue it now

What has changed a lot in your workouts now that you are a marathon runner?

  • Fueling has been huge
  • Longer fast runs
  • Gone from 7-day calendar to 10-day calendar with more rest 

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - Running with the Buffaloes
Current trainers you are wearing? - Sacounty Triump iso 4
Favorite race? - 1/2 marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Smoothie with extra protien 
Your favorite workout - Long Fast Runs

Parker Stinson on Instagram
Parker Stinson on Twitter
Parker Stinson Endure

Sep 6, 2018

What happens when an endurance junkie sees a problem? A new company is formed, at least that is how Orange Mud came about. Today on episode 96 of the Final Surge podcast we talk to Josh Sprague about his endurance career and how that lead him to redesign water packs with his company Orange Mud.  

We want to spend some time talking about your company Orange Mud, but before we get into that can you tell us how you first got your start in endurance athletics?

  • Adventure racing
  • Noticed ways to make hydration easier

Adventure racing, you don't hear about that as much any more, do you think it is because of the rise in obstacle races?

  • Cost, organization
  • The barrier to entry was higher with adventure
  • Ultra racing is easier to organize
  • Was expensive

What's the most interesting adventure race you ever did?

  • Calico Yosemite Race 

What endurance athletics are you focusing on these days?

  • Ultra-running
  • Endurance mountain bike races
  • Gravel biking
  • Leadville 

You have done a lot of different endurance events, where did this love for endurance sports come from?

  • Country boy in Kansas
  • Everyone was a long distance call so always was playing outside
  • Learned to explore 

You own a successful start-up company, you have a family, how do you find a time to get it all done, do you have any time management secrets or tips?

  • I told my wife I would only do my main training during the workday 
  • I avoid training on the weekends unless riding with kids

Let’s talk about Orange Mud. You are probably known best for your hydration packs obviously, but also wraps, clothing and even awesome looking vintage trucker caps on your website. How did you get your start?

  • Backpacks were one side
  • Clothing was me wanting better clothing
  • Trucker caps were really successful
  • We focused on quality 

What is with the name Orange Mud?

  • My middle name is Clay and always liked it
  • Played with a bunch of Clay names and purchased a lot of domains
  • Clay is a mud and that name just worked better

What was your first product?

  • Hydtraquiver bottle carrier

Can you walk us through how that came about?

  • I noticed upper back didn't move when ran, so focused on that area
  • I wanted a place for a bottle and cash, keys and phone
  • A place for nutrition quick access area

How many variations before you came up with one before you thought it was ready?

  • The first product was 18
  • Most of the early products were 17-23 variations before I was happy with it

At what point did you realize this was a great product and you thought you could bring it to the masses?

  • Started in spring 2012, fall of 2012 we went to market with a functional and durable product
  • 10 months in we launched with an Indiegogo campaign

What makes the Orange Mud different than other packs?

  • We put the bottle on the center of the back 
  • We use a regular bottle so you can use almost any bottle you want
  • Our packs are smaller and more stable than others

How hard was it to break into retail, it is a tough business dominated by big brands?

  • Big brands have the name, we focus on specialty stores, not big-box locations
  • Specialty stores often carry the same as big-box locations
  • We make it in the USA

What is next, what new products do you have coming out

  • Working on a new handheld 
  • High-performance rain jacket/pants

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - Endurance - Shackelton
Current trainers you are wearing? - On Running
Favorite race? - The Hawk in Kansas
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Infinite Nutrition Repair Fruit Punch
Your favorite workout - Anything on a mountain bike

Orange Mud on Instagram
Orange Mud on Twitter
Orange Mud Website