Running podcast to motivate and help runners of every level, speed, and age run their best. Claire Bartholic interviews running influencers, scientists, psychologists, nutritionists, and everyday runners with inspiring stories.
The Relatable, Rambling Runner: Matt Chittim
The Relatable, Rambling Runner - Matt Chittim Most running podcasts focus on professional runners. Matt Chittim’s Rambling Runner podcast focuses on dedicated amateur runners who are working hard at the sport while also balancing running with the rest of their lives.
That’s not to say Matt ignores the elites. He also covers the other end of the spectrum with his Road to the Trials podcast which follows the training, racing, and experiences of some of America’s best runners as they prepared for the Olympic Trials.
As an athlete, Matt is a former college basketball player and coach. He started running at a young age with an occasional 5k or track season but most of his running was at the service of getting fit for other sports. After college Matt started taking running more seriously and eventually became fully invested in the running community.
Matt is currently working through a year-long journey called Mastering 40 in which he is hoping to break 40:00 in the 10k after turning 40 years old. He talks to Coach Claire about his training ups and downs and what motivated him to set this “stretch goal.”
Matt also talks about how his Ramblin Runner podcast got started, his most memorable interview, and what he thinks the differences are between professional and amateur runners. He is a natural storyteller who brings a unique perspective to the running community!
Questions Matt is asked:
3:50 Most of us know you from your popular running podcast Rambling Runner. Can we go back to the beginning of how it all got started and how it's going now?
8:10 What do you attribute the growth of your podcast to?
9:32 What have been some of your most memorable interviews?
11:05 Who is still on your list of dream interviews?
13:28 You’ve got another show, Road to the Trials, which obviously interviews the best of the best, the elite Americans who are gunning for the Olympic Trials, so you have interviewed your share of elites and you’ve interviewed your share of just recreational runners. What would you say is the difference between the two?
15:54 PTs probably love working with professional runners because they do what they’re told more than amateur runners do.
18:38 You have a new series within your podcast called Mastering 40 that you started last August, dedicated to chronicling your journey of breaking 40 minutes in the 10k. Let's talk about that and what you are doing to prepare.
21:29 How’s your Mastering 40 goal going?
22:21 How did you injure your knee and how did it affect your training goal?
23:07 Do you have a date for your goal? When’s the time trial?
24:26 What kind of races are you looking for to prepare for your time trial?
25:19 What are all the other things you’re doing? What's training like? Nutrition, sleep, all that good stuff, etc? How are you doing in those areas?
29:28 Another project of yours is Road to the Trials. Can you talk about that and who you bring on the show?
32:33 We could talk about how great such and such race was but you really learn so much more when everything falls apart.
36:54 What's next for you? What happens when you break 40?
Questions I ask everyone:
40:01 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give?
40:46 What is the greatest gift running has given you?
41:00 Where can listeners connect with you?
Quotes by Matt:
“I started the Rambling Runner podcast with the idea of there’s a lot of running podcasts out there that I really liked and the vast majority of them were talking to professional runners... and I was like, ‘All right, no one’s talking to amateur runners. Let’s do that.’”
“Professional athletes in any sport are incredibly gifted athletes, and I think that the thing that’s e
How Much Protein a Runner Really Needs: Dr. Robert Wolfe
As runners, we think about how to fuel properly. That includes carbohydrate and protein, but what about essential amino acids? How do they help us optimize our nutrition to become the best runners we can be?
Dr. Robert Wolfe, Ph.D, is here to talk as both a scientist and a runner. As the director of the Center for Translational Research on Aging and Longevity at the University of Arkansas, he focuses his research on the regulation of muscle metabolism. His research publications have been cited an impressive 75,000+ times, and he shares how amino acids might be able to help your performance and recovery.
Dr. Wolfe has also been running for 60 years and has run an amazing 62 marathons under 2:30 in his lifetime! Coach Claire talks to him about his running career, how to stay young and healthy, what happens in the body when we run, and how our food can help us before, during, and after the run.
Dr. Wolfe also shares his thoughts on the importance of keeping a consistent exercise routine as we age, so there’s definitely a lot of great food for thought in this episode!
Dr. Wolfe’s undergraduate studies were at the University of California, Berkeley, and he completed his Ph.D. degree at UC Santa Barbara’s Institute of Environmental Stress. Dr. Wolfe served as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School for nine years. Prior to accepting his current position in 2006, he was at the UT Medical Branch at Galveston, where he held the John H. Sealy Distinguished Chair in Clinical Research and was Chief of the Metabolism Unit at Shriners Burns Hospital.
Dr. Wolfe has received a number of awards and invited lectureships in recognition of his work. He received the Herman Award from the American Society of Clinical Nutrition for his career contributions. He has published over 452 peer-reviewed research articles, 126 review articles, three books, including the major reference source in the field of stable isotope tracer methodology and has 5 patents. His papers have been cited 50,663 times (h index= 122), and 16,423 (h index =65) since 2011. Dr. Wolfe has been funded continuously by the NIH for his entire career and frequently held two NIH grants per year as Pl.
The focus of Dr. Wolfe’s research is on the regulation of muscle metabolism, particularly as affected by aging and stressors such as injury, sepsis and cancer. His research has been performed largely in human patients and normal volunteers. Dr. Wolfe has developed models using stable isotopes to quantify a variety of metabolic processes in human subjects including the oxidation and production of fatty acids, various aspects of carbohydrate metabolism, and the rates of muscle protein synthesis, breakdown, and the transport of amino acids between blood and muscle tissue. Dr. Wolfe is the Director of the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity at the Reynolds Institute on Aging.
Questions Bob is asked:
3:33 Before we talk about the science of exercise metabolism, I want to hear about your running journey. You’ve been a runner for over 50 years with 62 marathons under 2:30. Can you tell us a little bit about what your story is and how you started?
5:15 I can’t imagine that every single run was super fun, so I would love to talk about what your training was like, how you trained for marathons and what are the key ingredients in the recipe for a marathon?
8:06 How old were you when you did your last sub-2:30 marathon?
8:59 As far as fueling goes, what does an endurance athlete need before, during, and after exercise?
12:09 What are amino acids? What are the different kinds (essential, branched chain, etc)? And how are they used in the body?
14:56 When we’re eating enough dietary protein, does that mean we are automatically eating enough of the essential amino acids that we need?
16:53 What is the
How Your Running Mental Battle Can Make You Better: Dr Jacob Cooper
If you’re listening to this while running, how’s your run going? Hopefully it’s a beautiful day and your run feels fantastic. But what if it’s not? What if your run feels hard, so hard you just want to quit? How do you motivate yourself to keep running? And how do you use these mental challenges both in running and in the rest of your life to become stronger? Dr. Jacob Cooper has the answers.
Jacob breaks down exactly what you need to do and exactly when you need to do it, to convert your self-talk that’s telling you to quit, to an ally that lets the real you triumph. So if you want to perform better at running, or really at anything in life that's challenging, keep listening and be ready to apply Dr Cooper's techniques.
Jacob is a clinical sport psychologist who serves as the director of sport psychology at Appalachian State University in Western North Carolina. A former college athlete himself, he has worked with professional and amateur athletes, Olympians, and Paralympians. He has an extensive background in mental health and how it ties to performance. Jacob has developed a style of working with athletes that focuses on them holistically, with the goal of performance optimization in the pursuit of excellence.
Jacob Cooper Ph.D. - Full Bio
Dr. Cooper is a clinical sport psychologist who serves as the director of sport psychology at Appalachian State University in addition to his own private practice serving professional and amateur athletes. He is a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic athlete mental health registry, which consists of a selected group of specialized sports psychologists who are thoroughly vetted by the USOPC and then made available to current U.S. Olympians & Paralympians.
As a former collegiate offensive lineman turned amateur triathlete and runner (Hello Clydesdale Division!), Jacob has worked with athletes at the Olympic, Professional, and Division-1 level over the course of his career. As a sport psychologist, Dr. Cooper brings an extensive background in mental health and performance enhancement. To this end, he has developed a style of working with athletes that focuses on them holistically, across the spectrum of future-oriented performance optimization, current personal barriers/stressors, as well as more significant mental health issues that can inevitably show up in the pursuit of excellence.
As a doctoral student at Boston University, he completed clinical practicums within a variety of settings, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Federal Bureau of Prisons system (BOP) along with multiple D1 college sport medicine teams as a performance consultant. Additionally, he has published scholarly articles and cultivated a unique approach to working with athletes and teams that integrates the latest research, evidence-based strategies, and technology to help them reach their goals.
In addition to high performance populations, he has a unique background and training in the areas of rural mental health, trauma recovery, serving low help-seeking populations, and military psychology. He has provided performance optimization for military personnel prior to their deployments as well as counseling for veterans transitioning back to civilian life throughout Western North Carolina, Indiana, and Boston.
Dr. Jacob Cooper- Ph.D. Clinical Sport Psychologist.
Director of Sport Psychology Services at Appalachian State University
Licensed Clinical Psychologist & Health Service Provider (HSP)
U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Sport Psychology Registry Member
B.A.- (Psychology) Taylor University (Indiana)- 4 year scholarship athlete & team captain (Football)
Dual Masters Degree- Ball State University (Indiana)
M.S.- Sport and Performance Psychology
M.A.- Clinical Psychology
PhD- Counseling Psychology (Sport and Performance T
What All Runners With Kidneys Need to Hear: Dr Sherry Mansour and Dr F Perry Wilson
How many marathon runners have acute kidney damage after they cross the finish line? According to a Yale University study, the answer is a shocking 55%. So if you’ve ever run a marathon, the odds are slightly better than 50% that this has happened to you.
But don’t worry. The damage tends to be temporary, resolving itself after a few days. So we heal, get stronger, and move on. But what if something goes wrong?
Dr. Sherry Mansour and Dr. F. Perry Wilson are kidney doctors or nephrologists at Yale, and they share their expertise on running and your kidneys. Dr. Mansour actually led the research on marathon runners and kidney research. They talk to Coach Claire about who is susceptible to acute kidney damage from running, what we can do about it, and what we still need to learn.
They also discuss ibuprofen which can cause kidney issues, and how it can be used safely by runners. They also delve into kidney stones. If you’ve ever had one, you know they are extremely painful. They cover how to minimize the risk of kidney stones and what precautions kidney stone sufferers need to take when running long distances.
If you are a runner with kidneys, this is one conversation you don't want to miss!
Dr. Sherry Mansour grew up and attended medical school in New York. She graduated in 2010 and received the Highest Academic Achievement Award. She was elected valedictorian of her class and was also inducted into the Psi Sigma Alpha National Osteopathic Scholastic Honor Society. She went on to complete residency training in Internal Medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center, where she was chosen as chief medical resident. She was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Stony Brook Chapter in 2012. She then joined Yale New Haven Hospital in 2014 as a Clinical Research Nephrology fellow. She also completed her Master of Science from the Yale School of Public Health in 2019 with a focus on Chronic Disease Epidemiology. Since her arrival at Yale, Dr. Mansour has been working on identifying novel repair biomarkers in blood and urine to better predict long-term kidney and heart disease outcomes after AKI, and improve overall patient care. Her K-23 proposal is focused on understanding the role of a vessel repair pathway, known as the Angiopoietin pathway, in graft outcomes after deceased donor kidney transplantation.
A link to Dr. Mansour’s full biography including links to her research and publications is:
Yale Medicine Profile - Dr Sherry Mansour
Dr. Wilson grew up in Connecticut, before attending Harvard College where he graduated with honors in biochemistry. He then attended medical school at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, before completing his internship, residency, and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012, he received a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology, which has informed his research ever since. At Yale since 2014, his goal is using patient-level data and advanced analytics to personalize medicine to each individual patient. He is the creator of the popular online course "Understanding Medical Research: Your Facebook Friend Is Wrong" on the Coursera platform.
A link to Dr. Mansour’s full biography including links to his research and publications is:
Yale Medicine Profile - Dr F Perry Wilson
Questions Dr. Mansour and Dr. Wilson are asked:
6:33 Dr Mansour, you did a study a couple years ago at Yale that studied the effects of marathon running on the kidneys. Can you explain how the study was conducted and what you found?
7:50 So marathon runners have markers like people in the ICU. That sounds horrible. Should we be worried?
8:31 Why do runners suffer from Acute Kidney Injury? Is it unique to running? Do swimmers suffer from this too?
9:23 Sherry, you said that you just run for fitness, so I assumed you would be a m
Limits are An Illusion: Alex Hutchinson
When you’re running hard, pushing yourself to extremes, which do you think is the more limiting factor, your body or your brain? Alex Hutchinson has done extensive research on exactly that question.
The Toronto-based author and journalist focuses on the science of endurance and fitness. You may know him from his book ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance or from Outside magazine where he’s a contributing editor and writes the Sweat Science column.
Alex believes that our limits are elastic, stretchable, and as of yet, undefined. He and Coach Claire discuss those limits, and also tackle hydration, fueling, carbohydrates, strength training, aging and more. And just for fun, they also get into the science of why Coach Claire loves an out-and-back course way more than a loop!
Alex also writes the Jockology column for The Globe and Mail, and his writing has appeared in Canadian Running magazine, Popular Mechanics (where he earned a National Magazine Award for his energy reporting), the New York Times, and he was a Runner’s World columnist from 2012 to 2017.
Prior to ENDURE, Alex wrote a practical guide to the science of fitness called Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise, which was published in 2011. He is also the author of the 2009 book, Big Ideas: 100 Modern Inventions That Have Transformed Our World.
Alex started out as a physicist, with a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, followed by a few years as a postdoctoral researcher with the U.S. National Security Agency, working on quantum computing and nanomechanics. During that time, he competed as a middle- and long-distance runner for the Canadian national team, mostly as a miler but also dabbling in cross-country and even a bit of mountain running. He still runs most days, enjoys the rigors of hard training, and occasionally races, but hates to think of how he’d do on an undergraduate physics exam!
Alex’s best-selling book Endure has a forward written by Malcolm Gladwell, another famous Canadian runner and writer, and the updated version is now out in paperback.
Questions Alex is asked:
3:34 You are an author and a journalist, but you really seem like a scientist at heart. How did you get into writing about fitness and endurance sports?
5:22 What fascinates you most about how the body works when exercising?
6:10 Your book Endure, if you could really sum it up, I would say that it is trying to discover whether it’s the body or the brain that’s mostly the limiting factor when you’re trying to go to extremes but it’s clear that it’s a mix of the two. You can’t say, “Oh, it’s just the brain” or “It’s just the body.” Can you talk a little bit more about how they’re interrelated and what we are finding out?
7:41 Tim Noakes is a South African scientist that has been very controversial. He’s written a lot of things that turned out to be totally true and then he’s written a bunch of things that maybe people have not found to be true. Can you talk a little bit about the controversy, both the good and bad things that Tim Noakes has contributed?
10:35 I would love to distill the lessons that you’ve learned so far about things that can help runners do better. The two main topics I would love to get into are hydration and fueling. Let’s talk about hydration specifically for the marathon. Hydration needs are different for every type of body. Are there any rules of thumb that recreational runners should think about when coming up with a hydration plan for the marathon?
15:25 ‘Drink to thirst’ is starting to become more popular but there are some populations that their thirst isn’t reliable. I’ve heard that as you age, your sense of thirst is not
Track Club Babe Kim Clark Is Running for Good
Kim Clark’s 110,000 Instagram followers know her as Track Club Babe. Kim microblogs daily offering inspiration, encouragement, and rock-solid training advice learned over years of running. Fun note: The Run to the Top was the very first running podcast she listened to!
Kim ran her first marathon in high school. It was a six-hour disaster but she survived. Years later, in her late 20s, Kim decided to train seriously for another marathon and record her journey. Today she has a 3:11 PR and a massive following of runners.
Kim is a former human rights lawyer turned commercial real estate agent in her hometown of San Diego, CA, who creates her social content each evening. She’s done a ton of research throughout her running career and has of course had her ups and downs and is happy to teach and share her positivity with her online community.
In this episode, Kim shares her story along with some great running knowledge including what she eats to fuel and recover, training mistakes she’s made, over-training, and her thoughts on weight loss as it pertains to runners. Enjoy listening to running influencer @trackclubbabe!
Questions Kim is asked:
3:42 When I invited you to be on the show, you said the sweetest thing about how this was a full circle moment for you. Can you explain?
4:49 You chopped almost three hours off your marathon time. Tell us about your journey.
7:59 What made you want to start a blog and give yourself the nickname Track Club Babe?
9:45 What were some of your early training mistakes?
12:57 What do you eat now before running?
14:08 You have a really big following on Instagram and you give training advice and things that work for you that people just absolutely eat up. What do you get asked about the most?
15:34 Your running journey hasn’t exactly been perfectly smooth so I would love to hear about some of the times you’ve had plateaus and you broke through them.
20:14 Results are addictive when you get big PRs. You just think, “Well, if I just do a little bit more… “ But clearly there’s a breaking point.
26:26 One post of yours I noticed recently was about weight loss to get faster. Can we talk about this?
30:37 I think it’s super helpful to spread that message that thinner is not faster so I’m really glad we’re talking about that.
32:57 Let’s talk about food. What’s your favorite recovery food? What do you like to fuel up on when you’re in marathon training?
33:53 With your Instagram following being so big and working on your blog, are you still working as a full-time realtor as well?
35:25 What’s it like during COVID with no races for you?
37:01 How did you get through all the mental baggage of taking time off from running?
39:11 What’s next for you?
Questions I ask everyone:
42:36 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give?
43:20 What is the greatest gift running has given you?
43:55 Where can listeners connect with you?
Quotes by Kim:
“We all love to run and no matter why you’re running, whether it’s just for the joy of it or competitively, it makes it more fun when it feels a little bit more effortless and you can go a little bit longer and a little bit faster, and it just makes it more fun.”
“I think the internet’s an awesome place for just teaching you so much, and then just being connected with so many runners around the world helps so much to read from their experiences, learn from them.”
“I figured out how to qualify for Boston and I figured out training for me. The key for every person is just figuring out what is going to connect for you and your body and for where you’re at.”
“There’s so many things that you can be doing that have nothing to do with weight that