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: April, 2018
Apr 26, 2018

Welcome to episode 82 of the Final Surge podcast with our guest this week Zach Cole. Zach has built a new website called which is helping connect runners to running locations and groups. It is a great way to find a group to run with when you travel, or maybe just to discover new running areas in your city. 


You launched a new site called hop and I want to dig into it, but before we do that we like to introduce our listeners to our guests find out a little about who you are, if you could tell our listeners how you got started with running?

  • College basketball player
  • Started running with a morning group after college
  • Continued to train 
  • Joined track team

You talk about how you started running with a few groups, HopDash your new site is about running with groups, so can you give us a background on the site?

  • Discover running groups in your city or places you visit
  • Traveled a lot and always looking for running clubs could join for a workout
  • Running is more exciting when you can connect with people while doing it

Do you find that groups are comprised of similar runners or are most groups varied in who is running with them?

  • Most groups have good variety
  • Most have some new runners and some more advanced


When I look at your HopDash and I click on one of the cities, let’s say Boston, on the right I see interesting places to run and then on the bottom I see a calendar and each day has a different set of runs and each of those runs dots in the upper corner, one green, two yellow, three orange dots what do those mean?

  • Can be confusing, reworking that
  • Intent to show how easy or difficult a given workout may be
  • Assigning the difficulty is difficult because most groups have a wide variety on the same day

How does it work, who updates the workouts?

  • There is an input field where clubs can create their team and workouts
  • Using a Google Sheets API
  • Will be making it more scaleable in the future

The interesting places to run, are they user-generated too?

  • First few cities built from experience
  • Now users submitting tips and ideas to be included
  • As it builds out will make it searchable with filters

How do I know if the group I am looking at is more casual vs more serious?

  • When you read the descriptions of the clubs and workouts it gives you a lot of information on what to expect on that run
  • External link to running clubs website to learn more about them

You are relying on user feedback and people entering their information, so how do you see this growing?

  • Contribute link at top of website
  • Can add city and club and workouts
  • Several cities being worked on right now 

Who are some of the interesting people you have met while traveling?

  • Ran in Vancouver with a group there
  • In Boston last year ran with The November Project
  • TrackSmith Group in Boston
  • In NY this winter ran in the 'Bomb Cyclone' had classic NY character

What is the hardest or most memorable place you ran?

  • Last fall ran in Mammoth with Mammoth Track Club on a track at 7k feet
  • Half marathon run up to 9k feet and swam in a freezing lake
  • Tim Tollefson showed another trail run that was incredible
  • Auburn CA during Western States and a trail run it was over 100 degrees, no shade, 2k feet of gain was the hardest run 

We see training professional groups forming around the country, but also we see many local training groups and running communities. Why do you think these are growing?

  • Something powerful in training with a group
  • A routine helps grow individual and group success
  • Fun to have other people to cheer for and be cheered on
  • Investing in other people's success helps all involved
  • Success keeps people going


Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Once a Runner
Current trainers you are wearing? - Challenger 3's
Favorite race? - Santa Cruz to Capitola Wharf
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Burger and Beer
Your favorite workout - 1600 repeats

How to connect with you?
- Hopdash
- Zach on Twitter

Apr 13, 2018

Welcome to episode 81 of the Final Surge podcast where today we welcome back Neely Spence Gracey to the podcast to talk about Boston. Boston is less than a week away and we talk to Neely about what a first-time runner should consider when heading to Boston and we take a look at some of the top names on the men's and women's race. We even get Neely to predict the winners of both races. Neely uses the Final Surge platform in her coaching, if you are interested in getting coached by Neely head over to


You were the top American Women at Boston in 2016, you want to explain why you are not running this year?

  • Pregnant 
  • Due August 4th
  • Boy

How will the weather affect the race?

  • It can change the morning of the race, so be prepared for it to change last minute

If it is a little rainy like they are predicting, are those good conditions for a good fast race?

  • Personally, I would like it
  • The wind will be a bigger factor

What should first-time runners know about the course?

  • Look up Boston Marathon Preview video 
  • Need to track pace and be ok with being off at times, take the average not the moment pace
  • Easy to get caught up and go to fast in the first few miles
  • Use first 3 miles as a warmup run

Men's Elite Marathon

Is there someone you think can knock off the defending champ Geoffrey Kirui?

  • Anything can happen on marathon day
  • Can never predict, but a good chance he won't win

Last year Galen Rupp was runner-up and came back and won Chicago, what do you think the chance is of him winning and running a fast time?

  • Galen is a racer, he will let others do the work early and take over late
  • Kirui may push the pace early or he may be the one who waits for Rupp to make a move
  • Don't count out Lelisa Desisa or 2016 winner Lemi Berhanu

Who will win the men's race?  Lesisa Desisa

On the women's side, this is a really deep field. How will this play out?

  • This race is going to be exciting
  • I think Molly Huddle will perform big
  • Desi and Shalane have more experience

One of the wild cards is Jordan Hasay, how do you see her playing a factor?

  • She is back and knows what to expect
  • She is used to the big spotlight
  • She has had 2 really good marathons
  • She is young and has been doing impressive things
  • She is a wildcard

We have some veterans with experience in Deena Kastor and Kellyn Taylor, can one of these vets step up and surprise people?

  • Deena is back and you can never count her out
  • Kellyn has been chipping away at her goals and making performance gains each year. She has stayed healthy the last year and coming off a good fall season

Flanagan is coming off of NYC, can she repeat that at Boston?

  • You always need to get a little lucky on race day
  • She will be ready to race

Edna Kiplagat is the defending champ, is she going to be hard to knock off?

  • She knows what she needs to do to win and will make them work

Who is someone we need to keep an eye on in the women's race?

  • Serena Burla
  • She races a lot overseas
  • Running fast in the last year
  • Her first big race since cancer surgery 

Who will win the women's race? Kiplagat 

What other advice do you have for runners to enjoy the weekend?

  • Spend time to enjoy the experience
  • They treat everyone like royalty
  • Maximize the weekend
Neely on Twitter
Neely on Instagram