The Morning Shakeout

The Internet is a crowded place.  Depending on your interests, there is a myriad of topics and themes to choose from.  The running space is no different.  I Googled “running-related podcasts” and came up with a list of 19 compiled by Run to the Finish.  There’s only so much time and attention in the day and week.  So, how to choose? Recently, Kevin, a member of my running club, suggested I listen to an interview with Pete Magill on The Morning Shakeout,  a weekly podcast hosted by Mario Fraioli since December 2017.  Kevin knew as a coach I recommend Magill’s book, Build Your Running Body.  After listening to Mario’s conversation with Pete, I scrolled through the archive and saw and listened to conversations with Alex Hutchinson, author of Endure, George Hirsch, founder of the New York City Marathon and former editor of Runner’s World, Amby Burfoot, and Bill Rodgers.  It didn’t take long to conclude TMS was a mother-lode of great stories about everything running on roads and trails.  Now 40, Mario has spent most of his adult life involved with the sport.  Through writing, editing, coaching, his own running, and an outgoing personality that enables him to easily connect with folks, he has a deep e-rolodex to draw on.   TMS now has an archive … Continue reading

Reflections on Grete Waitz

I happened to take World Class off my shelf this morning and started reading and looking at the pictures.  This is the life story of Grete Waitz through 1986, as well as a training guide.  Waitz trained at a serious level through 1990 when she won her last NYC Marathon, a race she won an amazing nine times!  Her last marathon was in 1992 when she ran NYC with Fred Lebow after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Waitz’s story is compelling.  She had running talent early on, focusing on 800M to 3,000M distances.  She had to overcome parental and societal resistance to girls and women running competitively but persevered and in 1975-6 held the world record in the 3,000.  Then in 1978 her husband Jack talked her into running the NYC Marathon on a long run of 12 miles!  Grete was skeptical but the Marathon paid airfare and hotel for Jack and Grete to come over.  She has often recounted that foray into marathon running: the first 18 miles seeming like a jog followed by eight miles of pain and torture.  She yelled with anger at Jack at the finish line saying she would never do this again!  Of … Continue reading

Play On!

Play On by Jeff Bercovici, just released, is a great read about how older professional athletes in various sports are flattening, and even bending back the aging curve. It’s loaded with insights about things master’s runners care about. Bercovici starts with an account of how Meb Keflezighi won the 2014 Boston Marathon, which is particularly relevant since it also speaks to the bizarre conditions of the 2018 race.   In 2014, Meb was a clear underdog against one of the strongest fields ever assembled for Boston. He wanted to run a steady pace, which resulted in him taking the lead after nine miles as others were taking stock of each other and thinking Meb would come back to them. He extended his lead to over a minute in the Newton Hills. When at mile 22 it became clear Meb was for real, two Kenyan runners, Wilson Chebet and Frankline Chepkwony, went on a tear to catch him, cutting their pace by 20 seconds a mile. The margin evaporated to six seconds at mile 25 and it looked like Meb was toast. But it turned out the chasers had gone into anaerobic debt to catch him while Meb was still within his … Continue reading