Final Surge Podcast

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






All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 4
Feb 15, 2019

Lisa Pozzoni is not out to coach elite-level runners, Lisa loves coaching new runners and helping them find join in running and finishing things they may have thought were impossible. 


:40 How is your typical coaching client different

2:01 How did you get started in running?

3:06 How did you get introduced to Chi Running?

4:55 You say you coach back of the pack runners, paint us an avatar of your typical clients

6:15 You have very active on Instagram and many of your photos are of groups and people having fun, how does that play a role?

7:23 Most of the runners you coach are new runners?

7:55 Most new runners don't think they need a coach

9:40 You do a lot of 'group selfies' so how often are your client's people you meet in person vs online coaching?

10:25 How are you using Final Surge?

11:25 In what way are these new runners usually finding you?

12:14 With a new runner what are your first steps in working with them?

13:31 What do your training programs look like?

14:23 Are you doing a large amount of ultra training as part of your coaching business?

15:38 How was the transition for you moving up to ultra distances?

16:46 What is the 212k Challenge?

18:03 How often do you work with them in person?

18:24 What advice do you have for a newer runner if they are wondering if they need a coach or not?

19:21 What advice do you have for people who may be back of pack runners with not getting discouraged?

21:20 Free e-book gift for new runners


Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - Born to Run
Current trainers you are wearing? - Altra
Favorite race? - Monument Valley 50k
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Craft Beer
Your favorite workout - Long runs on trail



Feb 8, 2019

Meg Mackenzie is an elite trail runner and all-around mountain athlete. She has spent the better part of the last 5 years racing around the world. She is passionate about the psychological side of training and racing and has used her own experience to guide her unique approach to coaching athletes.

James Montgomery is a passionate runner and all-around movement geek. He is passionate about endurance sport, athletic programming and strength, and conditioning. He has spent the better part of the last 15 years running and biking on the trails around Cape Town and has learned through trial and error how to build an athletic base, minimize injury risk and maximize athletic potential.


1:00 Background of Meg and James both from South Africa

2:37 How did you get started with coaching and The Running Project?

5:42 What is your general coaching philosophy?

8:35 Where do you start to determine if they psychological help in their training?

11:28 If someone is fit and ready to go, but does not have the race they wanted. Is there a general reason you find that people may not have the success in a race they wanted?

13:06 Besides the workout itself, what do you ask your clients to log in Final Surge?

14:20 You mentioned too much time in the gray zone. Are you talking about the 80/20 training philosophy? 

16:32 Are you training by paces or train by feel?

18:20 Differences between programming and coaching?

20:28 What ways do you work with movement and becoming a better athlete?

23:57 What was your movement exercise routine like today?

26:00 Was strength exercises the biggest difference to get you out of your injury rut?


Run Project on Instagram
Meg on Instagram
James on Instagram 





Jan 24, 2019

2018 was a very successful year for NAZ Elite athlete Scott Fauble. A seventh-place finish at the New York City Marathon and second American. He also wrote a book with his coach Ben Rosario called Inside The Marathon, which some are hailing as one of the best running books of all time.  Scott and Ben were in my the Phoenix Metro area recently for a book signing event which allowed me to sit down with them in person to talk to them about the book and what is next.


:45 NYC Results: 7th and introducing the book Inside The Marathon - When started writing it and what is in. The book is unique because it was written as the went not after

2:49 Interesting because it was written as you went along and not trying to use memory to recall. When you went back through it was there an ah-ha moment where you learned something maybe you didn't realize at the time?

5:14 Ben what were your thoughts when he came to you with the idea of the book?

6:32 When he was writing it did you see it day-to-day or only at the end?

8:14 It gives the average runner reading this insight on when you need to scrap workouts.

9:08 What was your daily process like recording this on paper?

11:00 This is like a very detailed running log, did you get more out of it than a normal running log you keep?

11:54 Ben did you learn anything about Scott that maybe you didn't realize before?

14:02 How can runners learn from how you structure races before your main race by reading the book?

15:57 Were the anxiety issues about performing for the race?

18:23 Do you feel you put extra pressure on yourself by writing a book?

19:15 You ended up 4 seconds behind Jared Ward, didn't you do some runs together before?

20:27 Ben what is next coming up next for NAZ Elite in far as marathons?

21:26 Will there be another book for when Scott runs Boston?

22:00 Did you self-publish this book?

22:55 What were the biggest struggles in self-publishing?

24:05 Scott what is your goal for Boston?

24:30 You have an internet feud with teammate Scott Smith, now that you beat him, is he now 'slow Scott'?

25:12 If you could have one last burrito where would you get it


Book Inside A Marathon
Scott Fauble Website
Scott on Twitter
Scott on Instagram
Scott's Final Surge Running Log
NAZ Elite Website
NAZ Elite on Twitter
NAZ Elite on Instagram
Inside A Marathon on Twitter
Inside A Marathon on Instagram
NAZ Elite Boston Marathon Training Plans





Jan 16, 2019

Boston is only 13 weeks away. How would you like to learn about running Boston from Meb, Greg McMillian and others for free? This week we talk to coach Greg McMillian about a series of 8 free webinars you can sign up for and learn from the best and most experienced people on Boston. You will learn how to run Boston, learn proper marathon nutrition and be ready on race day.  

1:00 Guest back on episode 35. Can you give an intro what McMillan running does

2:38 What are the biggest differences coaching elite Olympic quality athletes and age group runners?

3:57 We are 13 weeks out from Boston, what do you have planned for Boston?

5:30 Your webinars for Boston are free?

6:00 Where to sign up?

6:15 How many webinars will there be before Boston?

6:33 Are webinars training plans?

7:40 How do you prepare people for the weather variations?

8:58 What makes Boston unique for running?

10:32 Is running in a crowd in Boston be a thing or does it hurt you?

11:53 Boston is unique with hills, how do you get someone from Florida in a flat area prepared?

13:09 What is Meb’s involvement in your Boston webinar?

14:23 Will there be an opportunity to ask questions?

15:10 How will the 8 be spaced out?

15:50 Is there value in this free webinar for people who run marathons but not Boston?

16:48 What will be covered in the nutrition segments

17:28 You say your Boston plans have been updated, what is new?

18:45 When is the first webinar?

19:05 You can listen to webinars later if missed them


McMillan Boston webinars
Boston Training Plans
Greg on episode 35
Greg’s Book You (Only Faster)
Greg on Twitter

Jan 10, 2019

Brad Hudson has had many phases to his successful coaching career. In today's episode, we talk to Brad about what he and his star athlete Allie Kieffer are up to in the desert of Arizona. If you have not seen our latest announcement on social media, Final Surge now has Garmin Connect IQ support. Head over to for more details.

Topics covered:

:40 Coaching change and moving to Phoenix Arizona area

2:22 Why did you want to move to sea level

3:32 Wouldn't live at altitude and train at sea level be the best?

5:18 Why Phoenix?

8:30 Altitude training

9:10 What is your history with Allie and you coaching her?

11:06 How does the relationship work when developing training?

13:05 What are you changing with training and why?

15:14 When you say more speed work, most may thing track work, but you are talking more about 10k work?

17:02 10-day schedule rundown

17:54 Example of a workout 2-months out 

19:55 Are you still selling your Blackbook of workouts?

20:15 What is next for Allie?

20:32 Going into the next Olympic cycle where do you see her competing?

21:12 Is there another marathon on the schedule?    

Brad Hudson FS Podcast Episode 2
Brad's Black Book of Workouts
Brad and Allie Dreamwork Youtube series 

Jan 3, 2019

How do you start or grow a coaching business? It is now January 2019 and one of your goals for 2019 may be to start or grow a coaching business. We are joined by Coach Kyle Kranz who has grown his business significantly over the last few years. We had him on in episode 17 and now he is back to talk specifically about how to grow a business. We talk about specific strategies you can implement today. 


Topics covered:

2:35 I want to be a coach where do I start

6:00 At what point do you say I have enough knowledge to take on clients

7:45 What are some of the free resources a running coach can tap into including marketing

12:02 Giving to receive - Jab Jab Jab Right Hook

13:10 Other resources for those who may not have social media background - Personal Trainer Development Center

13:38 Challenges you face as the business grows

16:44 Tools started using once you had a budget

17:46 How do you deal with the challenges of those remote clients - Final Surge

19:30 Channels used in communicating with athletes

21:24 What type of feedback should coaches be looking for

23:04 Challenges early with over analyzing 

24:15 First business and taxes

25:38 Actionable item someone can do right now


You can find Kyle online in the following places:

Kyle on Twitter

Kyle on YouTube

Previous Episode with Kyle 

Dec 21, 2018

Our two most downloaded podcast of all time are Joe Vigil and Tinman. Tinman was in the Phoenix area for a couple days, my home area, so I arranged to get together with him. We agreed to sit down to record a podcast. As I was setting up we were talking about my high school team's season and he went to tell me a story about how to quickly heal sprained ankles, 40 minutes later we were still going but had not officially started the podcast yet. I wish we had, one thing you get from talking to Tom is a mixture of absolute passion for running and incredible knowledge of the science and why. So 40 minutes in I hit the record button and we picked up where we were in the discussion. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

1:30 We need to work on our skills as endurance athletes, how?

  • Learn from sprint coaches
  • Learn from youtube
  • Take sprint mechanic classes and education

2:52 How much time do you work with your athletes on skills?

  • Talk about knee drive and arm position often
  • Assign training like hill repeats
  • Sam Parsons had no power, huge drops when developed power

4:20 Types of hill repeats

  • 30 seconds
  • mile pace effort, the effort is key
  • 1-2x a week but never get away from it year round

5:15 What about if you live in Florida and have no hills

  • Drive to hills
  • Stadium Steps
  • Pull sleds, not too much weight and do technically sound

6:36 Injury prevention

  • This helps minimalize injuries, can never escape
  • Don't overcook with workouts
  • Slow on easy days

7:34 Keep the ball rolling

  • Don't do anything to disrupt training
  • Post run nutrition
  • Dynamic flexibility
  • Hill work
  • Sleep
  • Slow on easy days
  • Sleep not texting in bed
  • Like a snowball, keep it rolling

10:40 What does it mean to you, when we talk about non-elite runners and easy/hard days

  • Modulate days
  • Easy days are easy, 2:00 or 2:300 or more slower than current 5k pace
  • Cant execute when fatigued

12:18 Walking through a week

  • Talking about a cross-country week with a weekly race
  • Monday long run with striders
  • Tuesday easy run
  • Wednesday key workout
  • Thursday easy run
  • Friday pre-meet work with striders
  • Saturday race with a good amount of distance after

13:49 Do you do that year around?

  • One long run and 2 quality days a week, race counts as a quality day

14:31 How hard are you going on the quality days

  • If not sure use CV reps, hill reps and striders
  • Drew did zero of the 8, 10 or 12x400 type workouts in high school, none
  • You don't need to go real hard if you are doing plenty of 600, 800, 1000 CV's
  • Lots of talk on muscle fibers

23:37 If CV is so great, should you be doing them a few times a week during non-race season

  • Dose-response rate, you get almost all you need from one workout a week
  • Run 1600 or 800 have them do CV work after the run

26:40 Brogan Austin was recently on our podcast off his national championship, how is training different with a marathoner?

  • We never ran a marathon pace workout
  • More fast/intermediate CV speed is better
  • Challenge is the pounding of the distance
  • Cruising speed is more important, 10k/10 mile type pace

29:24 We have a lot of marathon and ultra listeners would their CV work volume be different

  • Build up to 20-24 minutes in reps is all you need
  • No isolation training, there is only one energy system
  • Integrate the different speeds into workouts
  • Kids should participate in other sports, but some kids don't like the other sports

36:24 What is the future of Tinman Elite

  • Focused on Olympics, already have 3 qualifiers
  • Will have everything from 800-marathon in the trials
  • Will add females at some point
  • We are team, but we are family

43:50 Stryd Power Meter

  • Measures lots of components of your stride
  • Verticle Oscillation is interesting to watch
  • Helps you identify issues
  • Analyzing races

Previous Episode with Tom
Recent episode with Brogan Austin
Tinman Elite Website
Tinman Elite Twitter
Tinman Elite Instagram
Final Surge Instagram
Final Surge Twitter
Final Surge Facebook
Stryd Power Meter



Dec 14, 2018

The Hopi Indians have a long history and relationship with running. We talk to Professor Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert the Director of American Indian Studies and Professor of History at the University of Illinois. Matthew was involved in the making of the movie Beyond the Mesas and has a book called Hopi Runners: Crossing the terrain between the Indians and the Americans.


  • Grew up in Flagstaff Arizona
  • Part of the Hopi Indian tribe
  • Did Phd research on Hopi tribe
  • Professor of Indian Studies and History

Hopi high school boys had won 27-state titles in a row and first or second the last 29 years in a row.

Success is telling of their long history of Hopi running

Hopi History

  • How long do we run, to the fence and back
  • Distance runners in western perspective is distance/time Hopi running was going out and coming back
  • Running is the Hopi trustworthy mode of transportation
  • Family members pass down the tradition of running and spiritual aspect

Hopi Runners Book 
Beyond The Mesas Blog
Beyond The Mesas Twitter
Hopi ESPN Segment

Dec 5, 2018

When people were projecting the winners of the Californian International Marathon, which served this year as the USATF Marathon Championship Race, Brogan Austin was not the most mentioned name. Not even close. After his win the message boards lit up, who is this guy, he must be a doper. Turns out he is not a doper but another Tom 'Tinman' Schwartz trained athlete who has been working hard for his moment. And we caught up with him to talk about his win.


  • Dad ran to lose weight and would run with him as young as 5 years old
  • 1-mile route would run and kept running
  • Tried football in 7-8th grade and was too small
  • Made varsity as Freshman in high school and progressed from there
  • Senior year took on another coach and went from 30 to 70 miles a week
  • Ran at Drake but overtrained by working more on side
  • After college ran but cut way back

Tinman connection

  • Saw success the Tinmen Elite crew were having and wanted to start working with Tom
  • Started working with Tom in July 2018
  • Tom proved you don't need to outwork everyone
  • An approach of one day at a time and keeping the ball rolling
  • All workouts are reasonable, feel you could do more at end of a workout
  • Questioned if it was too easy
  • Never once did we do marathon pace specific running


  • Used to do 3 staple workouts, 6-8 mile tempo a 5:00, mile repeats at half marathon pace, 800 repeats at 5k pace. Was only done one of those a week and Saturday long run as a progression
  • Ran 12 miles almost every day
  • Tom had mix workouts, one we did every 2-3 weeks with 10k pace, then hills, then 800-1600 pace
  • Noticed each time did that workout felt progress
  • Ran 62:39 in half marathon and knew he was fit
  • Workouts are easy to recover from

Expectations Going In

  • Had expectations that could win
  • 1/2 marathon gave me confidence
  • Tinman said could win it
  • Consistently doing 90 miles a week with a few longer weeks here and there
  • Longest runs 2:20 minutes
  • No marathon pace work had me worried, but Tom said at 21-miles you will be stronger than everyone
  • Never had a workout could not do because was fatigued


  • When Matt Llano opened the lead had to force himself to not go with him, plan was to go 66
  • Mid-race started doubting training
  • After mile 20 was told Matt was 2 miles ahead so focused on the pack for second
  • With 5k to go tried to make move and was surprised legs responded even though tired
  • Started reeling in Matt, could see lead vehicles
  • Caught him with 500m to go and surged past making strong move

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - Born to Run
Current trainers you are wearing? - Nike Air Pegasus
Favorite race? - Drake Relays
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Buritto
Your favorite workout - Long Run

Previous interview with Tinman
Brogan's sponsor Rabbit
Instagram:  @brogan.austin
Facebook: Brogan Austin
Twitter: @brogan_austin

Nov 29, 2018

Jordan Gusman is the latest member of the Tinman Elite training group and on Episode 104 we catch up with him in Colorado before he heads home to Austrillia to race in their 10k National Champs. We get to know about youth running down under and how his training has changes since joining the team.


  • Kind growing up had bad asthma
  • Moved to countryside for health
  • Played variety of sports
  • Liked soccer running was better option
  • 14-15 got serious about running
  • After high school junior's 

Was breaking 4-minute mile as big of a thing in Australia?

  • Great story about how he broke 4-minutes for the first time

What about a time you underperformed?

  • Tend to get sick a lot
  • Overthink it before major meets

Relationship with Tinman Elite

  • Last month been here in Colorado training with them
  • Heading home to Austrillia for a few races and Christmas and will decide if train here or home
  • We run together twice a day almost every day makes it fun
  • Good mix of guys keep it fun

What have you learned from Tom since joined team?

  • Unlike anything I have done before
  • Every workout seems to have a mix of all systems
  • Still learning how to train
  • CV- Pace can hold for 30 minutes, longest rep is about a mile
  • Don't workout a goal pace, but pace can run today
  • Volume is down too
  • A lot of qualiy in the less miles

The Final Surge… 5 questions in under 1 minute

Favorite endurance/running book? – Perfect Mile
Current trainers you are wearing? – Adidas Solar Glide
Favorite race? – 5k
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? – Peanut butter toast and coffee
Your favorite workout – Mile Reps


Previous Podcast with Tom Tinman Schwartz
Previous Podcast with Sam Parsons

Jordan on Instagram
Jordan on Twitter

Stanley the dog Instagram
Tinman Group on Twitter
Tinman Group on Instagram
Tinman Website

Nov 15, 2018

Today we welcome Chris Chavez the founder of Citius Mag and the Citius Mag Podcast where we find out how he developed his passion for track and field which lead to the Citius Mag website. 


  • Grew up Yankess fan dreamed of being a baseball player
  • Didn't play sports as a kid until 7th grade
  • Tried out for high school baseball team, cut early
  • Focussed on sports writing instead
  • One friend convinced him to join the track team as a sprinter
  • Wasn't great started out with breaking 30 seconds in 200 as a goal
  • In college decided to stay in shape by starting to run some 5ks
  • 2013 was the first marathon

Where did the passion for Citius come from

  • 2012 I became interested when stumbled upon Flotrack live stream
  • Started reading about athletes and watching old races on Youtube
  • Volunteered in 2012 for Flotrack
  • Started writing at track meets on weekends and traveling
  • Was helping with ESPN on running
  • When graduated got an offer from ESPN an Sports Illustrated
  • Took the SI opportunity to

Where is Citius going from here?

  • Challenge is the time
  • Core group of 5-6 writers but not our full-time job
  • We are trying to keep it growing, but also balancing everything

Podcast discussion

  • How are your legs feeling?
  • Crazy how that has become a thing
  • Now seeing other athletes using it
  • 1/2 court shot for 25 million
  • The most insulting thing you read about yourself on Let's Run

Final Surge Round
Favorite Book - Born To Run
Current Trainers - Nike Peg Turbo
Favorite Race - NYC Marathon
Favorite Recovery Meal/Drink - Chocolate Milk and breakfast foods
Favorite  Workout - K repeats


Citius Mag Podcasts
Citius Mag Website
Chris on Instagram
Chris on Twitter
Final Surge on Instagram
Final Surge on Twitter

Nov 9, 2018

Last week we had our first husband-wife coaching team on the podcast and this week we follow it up with professional triathletes and owners of GK Endurance Guy Crawford and his wife Kate Bevilaqua.  Guy and Kate share their journey to a professional athlete and talk about their coaching program. 



  • Kate grew up playing netball
  • Phys Ed Teacher and cousin talked her into doing a triathlon
  • Guy is from New Zeland and was outdoor a lot playing rugby and other sports like BMX
  • Late teens picked up triathlons, was swimming a lot

Guy was working for BlueSeventy and continued training and started getting results so went professional

Kate was enjoying short courses and coach convinced her to do a longer one and had great results

First Coach

  • Guy - When started working for BlueSeventy
  • Kate - First few years was with a local club, but when started thinking about longer distances got a coach

Who should get a coach or when?

  • When you have a goal you want to reach
  • Helps prevent overtraining and undertraining
  • Athletes go hard too often


  • Consultation we see what their lifestyle is like
  • How many hours can they do, what their diet is like
  • We each coach our own athletes
  • Core of our clients is half Ironman business executive


  • Half/Ironman 10-12 weeks is specifics before that is base conditioning
  • 4 months out doing 3 bikes/run/swims a week with aerobic, threshold and recovery in there
  • 6 weeks out more specific workouts
  • For runs, some use power, some heart rates and some just by feel

Final Surge Round
Favorite Book - A life without limits/Lore of funning
Current Trainers - Mizuno/Mizuno Wave Rider
Favorite Race - 70.3
Favorite Recovery Meal/Drink - Chocolate Milk/IPA
Favorite  Workout - Trail Long Run/Track Session


GK Endurance
GK Endurance on Instagram
GuyCrawford on Instagram
Kate Bevilaqua on Instagram
Final Surge On Instagram

Nov 1, 2018

This podcast we had on Steve Palladino who is an expert in training runners with power meters.


Pallidino Power Project Facebook Group

Steve’s Coaching Page

Stryd Power Meter

Links to external sites may contain affiliate links. Thanks for using them and supporting our podcast.


Oct 18, 2018

Today we have our first husband and wife team on the podcast together. In Episode 101 we talk to Caitlin and Drew Sapp who own a company called Crew Racing. Drew is a full-time triathlon coach and Caitlin a physical therapist and they have found a niche working with athletes coming back from injuries. They have also recently launched a new Crew Racing Podcast which we discuss. 

How did you get involved in athletics and meet?

  • Met at a triathlon 
  • Caitlin needed a swim coach and Drew won that that
  • Drew was a triathlete in college after being a swimmer
  • Caitlin grew up playing basketball and in college started running
  • 2009 did first triathlon, first Ironman in 2011

Background on Crew Racing

  • 2014 a lot of people were asking both for help
  • Drew full-time coach, Caitlin full-time physical therapist, and works in business

Niche in people with injuries

  • Drew had ACL reconstruction that failed 
  • Several people started coming to them with injuries
  • Trying to give back to athletes 
  • Something missing in endurance rehab because Caitlin would always see them come back with the same injuries

Key for rehab so they are not back to see you

  • Making short and long-term goals on how not to get back
  • Focus on long-term results

Are most of your clients local or internet?

  • Many local and some online
  • Can connect with remote athletes using Final Surge

What about an athlete who comes to you and is not injured, but is coming to you because they don't want to get injured:

  • Back off on over-training
  • Strength training and plyometrics
  • Core work for stabilizer 

Drew Injury

  • ACL in college playing football
  • Again while training in 2016 
  • Had a good team trusted
  • Never wanted to go through surgery again so listened to them
  • While rehabbing view himself as a physical therapy patient, not a triathlete 
  • Conditioning will come back, take the time to rehab

Caitlin and Drew Sapp own operate Crew Racing, which is a multisport coaching group that started in 2014. Caitlin is a physical therapist that specializes in sports orthopedics and I am full-time triathlon coach.

How does someone who needs a good Physical Therapist find one?

  • Key is finding someone who understands athletes 
  • Reach out to local coaches they will know
  • Ask their background in sport

Biggest challenge Drew faced in rehab?

  • Happened right before the wedding
  • Slow progression started coming back 1-minute slow jog 5-minute walk
  • Patient 

Are athletes quick to address problems or do they put it off?

  • Both, both sides of extremes
  • With experience, you learn and shouldn't put off too long

I noticed on your site you also do runners self-defense classes

  • There were issues in our area 

What type of athletes you work with the most?

  • Busy professionals
  • Couples

Been using Final Surge since 2014 in what ways are you using it?

  • Calendar is great
  • Comments more important than anything else
  • New app


Crew Racing Website
Caitlin on Instagram
Drew on Instagram
Crew Racing Triathlon Podcast
Final Surge On Instagram

Oct 11, 2018

He was one of the top-ranked triathletes in the world and holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest hole of golf ever played over 500 years. So what drives Brad Kearns to always push himself to be better? In episode 100 of the Final Surge Podcast, we talk to author, podcaster, coach and world record holder Brad Kearns about everything from his early Ironman days competing against Mark Allen and Dave Scott as well as why we may not be improving as much as we should be since then.  He spends a lot of time talking about stress and recovery. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast at and follow us on our new Instagram account at final.surge


Early Days:

  • Ran in high school and college
  • Injured so much in college got discouraged
  • Awakening to a better way
  • Turned to triathlon 
  • Was a new sport without coaches
  • Figured it out by feel
  • End of the first season was able to compete with world best
  • Started winning and getting sponsors and forced him to change training 
  • Struggled, overtrained and forced things to happen 

What happens when someone is going for that BQ qualifier they have been training for months and before the race, things are not going well because they may be overtrained, should they still race and give it a shot?

  • What is your purpose? 
  • Know why you are doing it, should you go to a starting line with 101-degree temp?
  • If not fully prepared go there and hand out water instead of competing when you shouldn't be

What about getting to the start line healthy?

  • Rest and recovery
  • Work and training are both stresses 
  • Cut workout short if not feeling it

You have athletes that are super busy, what do you teach them about getting ready when busy?

  • Aerobic training or MAF 180-age beats per minute
  • Teaches you to burn fat not glucose 

Many say, but if MAF was the best style professionals would be doing it

  • Look at training logs and they are

What else can you do to become a better fat burner 

  • Noakes has changed course on recommendations 
  • FASTER Study 
  • Elite athletes can get away with more
  • Some carry excess body fat

Why haven't we improved much since Mark Allen?

  • They were amazing athletes and it is hard to improve on that
  • MEAN finishing time can improve if we improve training with more aerobic
  • If carrying excess body fat as an athlete need to work on that
  • Slow down on runs and cut out refined grains and sugars 

Speed Golf

  • Fringe sport strokes + minutes 78 plus 47 minutes = 128 score
  • World record the fastest hole over 500 yards (video)
  • Played the whole hole with 3-wood


Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - 4-minute mile Roger Bannister
Current trainers you are wearing? - Vibram 5-fingers
Favorite race? - World Cup Triathlon stop in Mexico
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Salad
Your favorite workout - Track 4x100 all out

Get Over Yourself Podcast
Courses including 21-day reset
Golf Speed Record
Brad Kearns Twitter
Brad Kearns Instagram


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

Aug 30, 2018

How do you improve on a top 3 American place at the Chicago Marathon? We talk to NAZ Elite runner Aaron Braun about exactly that. Aaron was the leader of the 2017 Chicago Marathon at about 25k, we talk to him about what was going through his mind then. Aaron will be blogging about his 2018 training on Final Surge. Make sure you check the show notes to view the blog.

How did you get your start in running?

  • Active kid played soccer and football
  • Elementary School got 2nd place in a citywide mile race
  • Once I got into high school loved the team aspect of cross country
  • Recruited by a few D1 schools
  • Ended up at Adams State - D2 school

When did it change and you became a fan of running?

  • Mostly in college

When did you decide it possible to run as a professional?

  • My third year, but the sophomore year of running I was second at Nationals
  • Coaches planted a seed it is possible

How did you get connected with NAZ Elite and Coach Ben Rosario

  • When I was training in Flagstaff earlier we became friends
  • As he started his team we stayed in touch
  • 2016 I called him about joining the team

Was Ben's passion for a marathon a factor in choosing a team?

  • That was one of the big factors
  • We wanted to get back to Flagstaff was another factor
  • Had maxed potential at shorter races so wanted to maximize the marathon

When did your thought of retirement come in?

  • 2015 and 2016 I was injured a lot and the thought entered my mind
  • On July 4th in 2016, I did a 5k in Fort Collins and surprised myself how well I did
  • Decided to give running one more chance

You have the Chicago Marathon coming up that you blogging about on Final Surge. Last year you found yourself at the front of the pack halfway. Was that the plan?

  • No pacemakers so we thought it was a possibility
  • Was surprised how long it lasted
  • The plan was to run an even pace and get locked in

What is your goal for Chicago this year?

  • Want to improve placement and time

You can set a goal for a major race, but anything can happen. It is hard to keep improving each race. What advice do you have for age group runners who may be having a hard time dealing with not hitting PR's?

  • I had that problem early in my college career
  • Was hard when I did not PR in a season
  • Now I can look at a race and say did I give my best effort I could today based on how I was feeling

When did you start your buildup for Chicago

  • July 8th was last race of the summer
  • Took a week off and jumped back into training

What races do you have planned between now and Chicago

  • US 20k Championships

I noticed from your training log you recently did a 4-mile tempo run on the track. How often do you do those on the track vs roads or trails?

  • Very rarely
  • Was alternating 800's so pacing was easier

What has been your toughest workout this cycle?

  • 2x1mile at 4:50 with 3min rest then ten mile run alternating paces, then 2 more miles at 4:50, but ran 4:42 and 4:46

When you are doing a marathon training cycle is there a workout you like to do that gives you a gauge of your fitness level compared to the prior training cycle?

  • We use the long steady state as a barometer the last few miles we ignore pace and go by feel so we get a good gauge of our fitness based on that effort

What can the readers expect from your Chicago Marathon blogging?

  • What I am doing and the thinking of why we are doing what we are doing
  • Feedback on workouts and how I was feeling
  • Updated weekly


Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute

Favorite endurance/running book? - Matt Fitzgerald How Bad Do You Want It
Current trainers you are wearing? - Hoka Clifton, Mach and Challenger
Favorite race? - Bolder Boulder 10k
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Egg Sandwich and milkshake
Your favorite workout - 4x400 max effort with long recovery


Aaron Braun blogging about Chicago
Aaron Braun on Twitter
Aaron Braun on Instagram
Final Surge on Twitter


Aug 23, 2018

Matt Fitzgerald has had some challenging goals, but this may be the most challenging yet. Today we talk to Matt Fitzgerald about his quest to qualify for Kona after not having done an Ironman in over a decade and also about his new book which is the 80/20 Triathlon.

Last time we talked to you, you had just finished your Running Bum challenge and you were working on a book, when is that coming out?

  • 2020

Your latest challenge is called Kona or Bust, can you tell is about that?

  • Unfinished business
  • Marathon was about breaking 2:40
  • I was 23 seconds short of qualifying for Kona in my one Ironman 
  • 23 seconds were there, I could have got them

You never did another Ironman?

  • I have registered for some, but never made it to the start line
  • Injuries always come up
  • Starting to have some now
  • I have 9 more months to get ready so not rushing it

Your goal is to qualify for Kona, where are you going to need to be?

  • Doing Ironman Santa Rosa
  • Mens 45-49 age group
  • Last year was under 9:30 for the win of my age group
  • Depends on who shows up and how many in the age group
  • If I don't make it this time I will try again next year

How did you pick your race?

  • Looking to stay close to home
  • Didn't want to play a game, just knew I needed to be fit
  • Not many who can run a 2:39 marathon so I know if I can stay healthy I have a shot

Is your goal to qualify for Kona or are you looking to be competitive in Kona and compete?

  • 1998 was the first year I was at Kona to report on it
  • I was exhausted spending the day on that course
  • I swore I would never do Kona
  • It is more about qualifying as I am not awesome in heat
  • I would do the race, but with lower expectations

When you were doing the Running Bum challenge you built up to 90 miles a week, are you close to that still?

  • No, I knew the biggest mistake I could make was to keep that going
  • Smart thing was to take a step back
  • I am better not running every day that is why triathlon was so attractive

When is the last time you really trained in the pool and on the bike?

  • 2009 after the Boston Marathon was training seriously for triathlon

What was it like getting in the pool for the first time after a decade?

  • Dreadful
  • I am comfortable with water but was not training
  • Swimming so technique dependent 

The new book is your 80/20 Triathlon, what brought about this book?

  • When we mimic the training of pro's and their 80/20 we get best results
  • I wrote 80/20 running in 2014
  • Triathlons asked for a version

Is 80/20 still optimal in the pool where the impact on the body is less?

  • Swimmers, even short sprint swimmers, train at high volume and 80/20 is relevant
  • Cannot train at all high intensity because will fry yourself 

You mentioned getting stuck in the grey zone rut, want to talk about a few ways that happen?

  • This book is different than the 80/20 running
  • I put in a list of why people get caught in the rut
  • Less genetically gifted athletes our ranges are a lot smaller
  • There are 8 reasons in the book, the biggest may be the natural pace compromise 

One of the things I loved about this book is you give plans but you also it teaches you how to build plans. One you talk a lot about your zones. You talk about power meters, do you use a Stryd Power Meter?

  • It is legit, I have used it
  • I have not made it a regular part of my training, but it is a useful tool
  • Makes my job easier with some athletes I coach

Have you found since you worked with the NAZ group that you do more strength/stretching?

  • Yes I took that with me



Kona or Bust



Training Plans

Stryd Power Meter

Aug 16, 2018

This week we look at what may be the hottest thing in professional team endurance racing, the Major League Triathlon series. Welcome to episode 93 of the Final Surge Podcast. This week Daniel Cassidy the founder of the Major League Triathlon series joins us to talk about how he got the idea for creating a professional triathlon series and where he sees the growth in the future. If you enjoy this episode please head over to iTunes and rate and review the podcast and please don't forget to subscribe to the show. 

 How did you get your start in endurance athletics?

  • Started racing triathlons as a senior in high school
  • Played hockey and baseball until an injury
  • Swam/biked to rehab knee and became good

Tell us what the Major League Triathlon is?

  • As competing girlfriend was frustrated with how long it took as a spectator 
  • Saw need to take friends and family members into consideration 
  • Wanted to make it more exciting to people and grow the sport of triathlon

How does it work?

  • Mixed team relay
  • 2 men and 2 women per team
  • 300m swim, 4-mile bike, 1-mile run and tag to teammate
  • One hour and 20 minutes or less
  • One square mile or less footprint
  • Have 9 teams

So longest leg is on the bike and 4 miles, is this looped or an out and back?

  • Loop all courses 4-6 loops on bike and 3 on the run

You mentioned 9 teams, how does the season work, is there a playoff? 

  • Point system from each race
  • Last race counts for 1.5x typical points

Do you have other people participating or just professionals?

  • Started to do some other races throughout the weekend
  • Playing with other ideas to get other people involved

Is the shorter distance also done to get new people involved as it doesn't seem as intimidating?

  • Want to give racers a chance to race more
  • Shorter translate into making it easier to watch
  • Want to grow exposure for triathlon 

Like any sport, it's who is involved that makes it work or not. How has the reception been from professionals? 

  • Just about everyone who has a shot at 2020 is involved
  • Every athlete involved has a shot at making the 2020 Olympics team
  • Athletes racing love it which is causing more people to reach out

With the short races and team aspect I would think this would be attractive to TV, have you been talking to any of them?

  • Yes we have had conversations with television networks
  • It is in our future

Have you thought about doing other distances?

  • We likely won't change the distance
  • We are working on super sprint individual races

How about the weekend, is this just race day or do you have expos and exhibits?

  • Focus on race day
  • Do have expo and live music
  • Beer gardens and food trucks
  • Kid zones

How do you decide where you are doing them?

  • We have Atlantic City, Colorado, Tempe and Charlotte
  • Plan on staying in those locations but adding on other locations 

Do you think triathlons are growing as a sport or do you think it has been stagnant? 

  • In the US has leveled off some
  • Need to attract the younger audience

To last, it needs to be profitable which means you need a product which is athletes people want to see as well as sponsors. What are you doing to make it attractive to sponsors?

  • Amplifying reach with online streaming
  • 8,000 people at an event are good, but nothing like big sports games so online is important
  • Engagement rates and views are growing

When a family or friend of a professional triathlete goes to a race they have hours to spend, how did this play into your planning?

  • Community event with food trucks
  • Want vendors to be interactive not just products
  • Music

What races are left this season?

  • Sept 22nd, Tempe AZ
  • Oct 6th, Charlotte for Championship 

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Pass
Current trainers you are wearing? - APL
Favorite race? - 70.3 San Juan 
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Chipotle
Your favorite workout - Hour and a half long run




Aug 8, 2018

Why would a professional triathlete decide to take on a Fastest Known Time 5-day challenge of the Long Trail in Vermont? We had Alyssa Godesky on to talk about why she did it and to talk about the challenges she faced. As a professional triathlete and an ultra-marathon runner, Alyssa was no stranger to pain, but the pain of covering 273 miles and over 63,000 feet of elevation is something different. 

How did you get your start in athletics?

  • Did not do a college sport, played soccer competitively through high school
  • At Naval Academy joined Navy Marathon Team - Ran JFK 50-mile to qualify for the team
  • Transferred schools and started trail running
  • Moved to Baltimore after school and joined Baltimore Running Crew group
  • Tried triathlons and stayed with them

You race many triathlons and ultra races. How do you train for both of these at the same time and remain competitive?

  • Had years of base miles with ultra racing that can build on
  • Ironman training is harder effort training and running more endurance easy miles

What is the difference between Ironman and long Ultra on your body?

  • Early on Ironman was just finishing
  • Now impact is comparable because goes hard in swim and bike

When did you get to the point about leaving your career to pursue triathlons as a professional athlete?

  • 2009 started thinking about it
  • Started working with Hillary Biscay in 2011
  • Started getting serious about the idea in 2013
  • Jan 1, 2014, officially left the job to train and coach

What did parents and friends think of leaving a good job to go after this dream?

  • They were worried but supportive

Let’s talk about your latest adventure and your quest for a fastest known time on the Long Trail in Vermont. You just spent 5 days conquering the trail, before we get to the how, let’s star with they why?

  • Always looking for challenges
  • Was on the bucket list and wanted to get it done before the end of career
  • Always fascinated with records
  • 2011 became aware of the FKT's
  • Scouted pars of the trail in October and had doubts

How long is the trail?

  • 273 miles plus need to hike in and out so longer

Why specifically the Long Train in Vermont? 

  • Out west more elevation but east coast are more rugged so wanted to do east coast
  • Vermont in summer sounded good

What is the terrain like on the trail? 

  • Almost all single track
  • No switchbacks, straight up and down mountains
  • Elevation gain about 63,000 feet total
  • The first two days had longer climbs

What is the key to a long effort like this, are you paying attention to heart rate, pace, just how you feel?

  • How you feel
  • Much of the training was hiking
  • Trying to stay relaxed and upright

How much sleeping did you get?

  • First day 4 hours, about 17 hours total over 5 days

Anything you did to be prepared for sleep deprivation? 

  • Not really much you can do
  • More important to train self to sleep anywhere, anytime

What was the biggest struggle you had on this FKT?

  • The last day
  • Weather had made trails towards end slippery and on top of lack of sleep made it hard

Would you do another one of these again?

  • Yes, this one was supported, next time maybe do a solo

You also have your own podcast, IronWomen, what types of guests and topics do you have?

  • Started to give a voice to professional female triathletes and what they are doing
  • Third season

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Pursuit of Endurance 
Current trainers you are wearing? - Brooks Ghost 3
Favorite race? - Ironman Wisconsin
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Rehab 3:1 FTC
Your favorite workout - Hill Repeats





FKT Site -


Aug 2, 2018

Are you struggling to get the most out of your racing? In episode 91 of the Final Surge Podcast we talk with Shannon Thompson a sports psychology and mental performance expert at Hypo2Sport in Flagstaff where she works with professional runners and the 2x defending national cross country championship team from NAU. Shannon is going to tell you how to break down your race and get the most out of it mentally.


How did you get involved in the psychology field?

  • 3-day eventing athlete and coach
  • Rode professionally for 12 years and coached for 10
  • Could see the role the mind played in performance and training

Your running career?

  • Parents were road races and marathoners
  • Ran some as a rider
  • Got a boyfriend who was an ultrarunner

At the 2-hour marathon attempt, they asked Kipchoge how his training was going to be different. He replied it wasn’t going to be, his mind was going to be. We also know from Dovid Goggins and Navy Seal Training that when your body is done and you do a test of our muscles it shows there is plenty of glycogen left to keep going. So everyone fails before their body really does. What is it that makes some be able to push more than others?

  • Central governor theory 
  • Stress

We have known about the central governor since noakes wrote about it in, so we have had time to study it, What have we learned about if we can change our relationship with the central governor?

  • Study with faces flashed positive and negative
  • Study where coaches gave them false positive feedback
  • Mental performance plan

Let's take that false positive. If someone is struggling in a race is there anything that can be said to change it or is the athlete's performance or is it they are just having a bad day?

  • Tone matters
  • Task oriented
  • Don't freak out
  • Energy matters - Stand and speak with purpose
  • You can catch those three guys

Let’s talk about race plans and the mental game. Running is different than team sports. In most team sports, baseball, football, or even individual sports like tennis or golf you do your play or movement and then have time to think. Running or triathlon you are going and you keep going for several minutes or hours. So I would think the mental game is different. How do you come up with a mental gameplan for endurance athletes?

  • Divide into 1/3 or 1/4
  • Each section a word or focus point
  • Needs to be worked on in practice

Can have two runners on a college team who workout and live and eat together, but on race day one outperformes the other. How much of that difference could be mental?

  • Many things we do not know, we need to get to know the people involved
  • We don't try to compare athletes to each other

If you are sitting down with that runner who is struggling, what type of questions do you ask them to gauge if it is a mental block?

  • Explore past races when they were their best
  • Find patterns

Can you give us an example of how you break down your races into 1/3s?

  • We talk about things we need to do daily, the night before a race, the day of a race, warm ups etc
  • First 1/3 is usually about patience 
  • Second 1/3 is gratitude or love 
  • Final 1/3 something about them being tough self

I Heard you at the NAU camp a couple of weeks ago. You had a great story about love and how love can have an impact.  Can you share that story with our listeners?

  • Noticed from interviewing runners their best race stories usually involve love

What are some common traits you see between those who excel and those who struggle?

  • Excel - Seek out advice, humble, inclusive, more relaxed
  • They love the process 

We know you work with college and professional athletes. What do you notice the difference in ages and how things change?

  • HS athletes are harder on themselves 

We hear a lot about positive thinking. We all know this is important. But let’s look at just this last year’s Boston Marathon. Desi’s self-talk early was I don't feel good. I am going to try to help Flanagan my Olympic Team member, so her self-talk didn't seem to be great. Yet she went on to win. So what do you think happened there?

  • The desire to help her friend gave her purpose

Is there much research that shows a correlation between stress and physical ailments? 

  • Not the level of stress that impacts their health, it is the belief about their stress
  • If you believe stress is going to have an impact vs a challenge you are looking forward to, it will have a bigger impact

Books recommend?

  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly
  • The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler
  • Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal
  • Psyching for Sports by Terry Orlick
  • Mans Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  • Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön
  • Talent Code and Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

One thing we hear a lot about these days is mindfulness can you talk about how you use and teach it?

  • Corework for brain
  • If the core is strong you stay more stable
  • Quiets noise in the brain
  • Increase brains ability to pay attention 

Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Momentum 
Current trainers you are wearing? - Nike React
Favorite race? - Sun Run 10k
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Dense and sweet like fudge or icing
Your favorite workout - Technical downhill







Jul 26, 2018

Today we welcome professional runner Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beast Team. Garrett was a 9-time All-American at Standford before turning professional. Garrett won the 2014 and 2015 Edinburgh Cross Country short course races before beating Mo Farah in the world championships in 2016. We catch up with Garrett about what his plans are for the future and talk to him about a time he almost took out a rabbit in a race. 

How did you get your start in running?

  • Running across the gym in kindergarten and lead to stitches in forehead
  • Was always outdoor and active growing up
  • Middle school my father pushed me away from football so tried cross country running

You ran for a great program in high school did that help keep you interested?

  • Was exposed to high school team while in middle school

There are many successful runners who came out of Minnesota and many of them seemed to spend a lot of time cross country skiing in the winter, did you do much skiing?

  • Did almost all skiing in winter
  • Does keep up fitness, but grow upper body mass and lose a little in the legs

You had a great career at Stanford and I’ve heard in your college career your coach had some interesting ways to work on overspeed work?

  • Used a Vespa and attacked long bungee cord on the back and around our waist and would pull you around the track 
  • Seems crazy now, but made us run fast from 100-400 meters 

When did you know that you wanted to try your hand at professional running?

  • Didn't even realize it was a thing until I was in college
  • Junior year started thinking how it could happen
  • Junior year went and did a few races in Europe which exposed me to it

What was it like running in Europe, how was it different?

  • Meets are like 10-hours in college while over there it is more of a spectator event and entertainment so meets are just a few hours
  • Really physical 

Sounds like there is a model of how to make track and field a success with the public, why don't you think we do this in the US?

  • Trying, some races do, some mile races 
  • College meets too long
  • Track Town did a great job with this too

First time you broke 4 minutes in the mile?

  • At U of Washington. My brother was running at the Junior Cross Country Championships at the same time in Boulder. I was super excited and at the same time my brother was running and won the US Junior race.

You are now running with Danny Mackey and Brooks Beast Team, how did that connection happen?

  • Was running with friends, but they started joining other teams so ended up doing a lot of solo time
  • Liked the resources they had available, much like a college team

Early in your career, you focused more on the 1500, then you started with some 5ks but this year you ran a good 10k at the Payton Jordan. Where do you see yourself focusing going forward?

  • Getting more used to the longer grinding workouts/runs
  • Still, enjoy the 1500, but I am turning into more of a 5/10k guy
  • Still unfinished busienss in the 5k and just starting with the 10k

You have had a lot of success running longer distances in cross country, how different is it racing those bad weather cross contry races vs a controlled track race?

  • XC you need to change your efforts a lot more like a fartlek
  • XC races go by a lot quicker, different things to think about
  • Track try to turn off brain

If money and everything were the same would you make a living on the track, roads or xc course?

  • Cross Country
  • Love the team aspect even on national teams

You have mentioned a few times about the mental aspect of of racing, how much time do you spend working on your mental game?

  • The mental game is huge
  • Need to work on it in practice
  • Being confident in training goes along with it

Not sure how much you pay attention to Let’s Run, but One of the posts from January this year asked who is most jacked Chris Solinsky vs. Garrett Heath vs. Ben True. So how much do you lift and work on strength?

  • We did not lift in college hardly at all
  • Most of that came from cross country skiing and trying to get rid of some of that upper body weight
  • With Brooks and I spend 45 mins 2x a week, but more minimalist lifting than others on the team

One thing a lot of casual observers of our sport may not realize is when you run for a team, it is not like running for a professional football or baseball team with a huge salary. What is that relationship like with your sponsors?

  • Spend a lot of time in Brooks office
  • Coming out of college was blind to how it worked
  • Talked to a lot of agents in the day right after finished NCAA
  • The problem was it was in 2009 downturn was not any money
  • Really tough sport because the market is limited
  • Also, run for Roka Sunglasses

Final Surge round, 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Running with the Buffaloes 
Current trainers you are wearing? - Brooks Glycerin 
Favorite race? – Edinburgh Cross Country 
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? – Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Your favorite workout – Long Tempos



1 « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 8