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.
World-Class Running is Still A Hobby for Keira D’Amato
Keira D’Amato is a world class runner who broke the American record in the 10 mile and clocked an incredible 2:22 at the Marathon Project this past December, but incredibly, she’s a full-time realtor and running is her side gig.
Keira, an unsponsored Realtor and mom of two from Virginia, unexpectedly placed 15th at the Olympic Marathon Trials last February, emerging onto the American running radar after a comeback mission that spanned over a decade.
Keira was a rising star at D1 American University, even beating future Olympians Molly Huddle and Amy Cragg. Then an ankle injury and subsequent surgery seemingly ended her running career for good.
Switching gears, Keira started working at her mom’s real estate company, started a family, and called herself a “hobby jogger.”
She started training hard again to fulfill her life-long dream of becoming an Olympian, continuing to get faster and faster even as the pandemic shut down the world and Tokyo postponed the Olympics.
In 2020, Keira got an unofficial Olympic standard in the 5K, ran a blisteringly fast 4:33 mile, and in November, Keira became the fastest American woman in the 10 mile. To cap off the year, Keira clocked a truly world-class time of 2:22 at the Marathon Project last December, coming in second place behind Sara Hall, a 12-minute improvement over her time at the trials.
As remarkable as all that is, running is still a hobby for Keira. She remains a professional realtor, not a professional runner. She talks to Coach Claire about running at an elite level while being a full-time realtor and mom, what 2020 was like for her, including the Marathon Project and her PRs, and how she trains for both speed and distance. As a bonus, this fun and inspiring episode even includes some corny mom jokes! Enjoy!
Questions Keira is asked:
4:14 What an amazing year 2020 turned out for you in running! After what you call a decade of "hobby jogging" you have emerged as one of the best American distance runners, breaking the American record in the 10 mile and clocking an incredible 2:22 at the Marathon Project in December. Can you talk about what last year was like for you?
5:43 It’s easy to think that you just came out of nowhere, but you ran Division I in college, you were coached by Matt Centrowitz, even beating out a few future Olympians in races back then. What were your plans for your running career back then?
7:06 I imagine it must be such a mind shift to think, “Okay, my life is headed in a certain direction,” and you get injured. “Well, my life is not going in that direction.” And then to get a second chance. Not many people get a second chance like you got.
9:39 You have become one of the distance moms. The field of American female distance runners right now is so deep, and most of them are moms which would be unheard of not that long ago. How do you feel that motherhood has intertwined with your running? Do you think there’s something to do with it that makes you a better runner?
11:34 When your kids were younger, did you do the running stroller thing?
12:46 Let’s talk about the Marathon Project last month. You had a massive PR and came in second place. What about your training said that “Hey, I can do this. I can get a sub-2:30. I can get close to 2:20.” What kind of workouts, what kind of things were going on in your mind that told you, “Yeah, I’m a contender?”
14:22 Did you have any thoughts of running out with Sara Hall and going for the American record at the time?
15:13 Not only did you kill it in the marathon but you got a new 5K PR and a mile PR this year. How does training for those shorter distances, or at least testing yourself at those shorter distances, how does that relate to your marathon, and what would you say to that 20-yr-old girl that you used to be that you’re p
Nathan Martin is Breaking Records and Stereotypes
Nathan Martin just broke a 41-year-old record at the Marathon Project held this past December. He finished in 2:11:05, making him the fastest US born Black marathoner of all time. He placed ninth, beating out Olympians and professionals with far deeper pedigrees.
In addition to being a super-fast runner, Nathan is also on a mission to give back and inspire others, especially the kids he coaches. Instead of leaving his high school coaching job to turn pro and join an elite training team, he decided to stay and continue training with his college coach Dante Ottolini at Spring Arbor University.
In this episode, Nathan discusses how he first started running, the tragic deaths of both of his parents, and his unlikely path to record-breaking running success. He also shares his thoughts on why there are comparatively few American born Black runners in long distance running and how he sees that changing in the future. Lastly, he talks about his next goal which involves hopefully setting a huge PR!
Nathan Martin was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois and raised in Three Rivers, Michigan. He started running Cross Country in Middle School after doing well in the gym class fitness test. He quickly discovered he had talent, and with the encouragement of others, kept with it. He was able to excel at the high school level, breaking three different school records and finishing runner-up at the MHSAA D2 state finals in the mile.
At Spring Arbor University, Nathan majored in Recreation and Leisure Management with a minor in Computer Science. As a freshman, he came in underdeveloped as far as training goes. However, after a couple of years of hard work, his potential started to show. By the end of senior year, he became a National Champion in three different events and set the NAIA Marathon record.
Post college Nathan continued pursuing running to see how far his talents could take him, which ultimately led to an incredible opportunity to coach at the MHSAA D1 level, as well as substitute teaching in Jackson County. At first it was just a way to keep a flexible schedule, but he quickly fell in love with it and his and his coach’s new focus became how to make everything work together, which inspired them to create the Great Lakes Running Club.
Through this process, Nathan was still making huge gains in running, most notably the 2019 20k Championships where he finished runner up, and now, his finish at the 2020 Marathon Project where he finished 9th with a 2:11:05 putting him 49th on the all-time US Marathoner list and breaking a 41-year-old record set by Herman Atkins, making Nathan the fastest US Born Black Marathoner.
Questions Nathan is asked:
3:20 You made history at the Marathon Project on December 20th, by becoming the fastest US born Black man to run a marathon in 2:11:05, breaking a more than 40-year-old record. What does that feel like and did you even know about the record before the race?
4:16 Can you give us a recap of the race in Arizona, how it went, what your strategy was, all the details?
5:36 There’s two sets of pace groups in that race, the 2:09 group and the 2:11 group. What made you not want to go ahead with the 2:09 group?
7:35 Easing up on your pace a little instead of staying with the 2:09 group left you out in no-man’s land for a little while, didn’t it?
8:22 You ended up in ninth place, which is obviously very impressive on such a fast course where so many guys went 2:09, so congratulations for that. It must have felt amazing to have such a PR and to crack the top 10.
9:28 I’d love to hear a little bit more about your back story. How did you first get into running and did you like it immediately?
11:15 You ran through high school and you ran in college, and you worked with a coach that certainly changed your life. Can you tell us a little bit about your coach a
Running to Lose Weight? Here's How Much You Need: Kyle Flack - 2021-01-06
Happy New Year! Did you resolve to lose weight this year? Running burns a ton of calories so it should be a great way to melt off the pounds, right? Well, maybe not. Dr. Kyle Flack, a weight-loss researcher from the University of Kentucky, conducts studies on how the body responds to exercise and how much you really need to work out to work off those extra pounds, and it turns out you need to work out a lot more than the current recommendations suggest.
Dr. Flack was recently featured in a New York Times article on exercising to lose weight and he shares his research results and provides insights on why weight loss isn’t as simple as burning more calories than you take in. He explains how body chemistry can seemingly work against us, thwarting significant weight loss, especially for fitter people, and why it’s not uncommon for people to actually gain weight while training for a marathon.
Through his studies, Dr. Flack has found that people overcompensate for the calories they’ve burned pretty consistently, and he shares what the average calorie overcompensation amount is and how much exercise time is required to overcome it to really drop pounds. He also talks about how long it takes to make exercise a habit, he compares strength training to aerobic exercise for weight loss potential, and also reveals whether it’s possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. If your goal is to lose or maintain your weight through your running, this is definitely a must-listen-to episode!
Kyle Flack grew up in a small town in Vermont where, as a 4-year starter on the varsity football team, earned All-State honors twice and won two state championships. He left to play college football at Ferrum College in Southwest Virginia, earning a BS in health sciences 4 years later. He continued his education at Virginia Tech in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, where he earned his PhD in 2014.
Upon beginning grad school, Kyle also turned over a new leaf in terms of his exercise routine, going from 280-pound power-lifting football player (who got winded walking upstairs) to a runner. He devoted an entire winter and spring to this newfound training, lost 40 pounds, and completed his first marathon, Vermont City Marathon in 2008.
From there he was addicted, running two marathons each year for the next 5 years throughout grad school and dropping another 30 pounds. Each marathon was a new learning experience, a new opportunity to get better, and always ended with the goal or running the next marathon faster!
After grad school, and after finally reaching that sub-3:30 goal (he did the Marshall University Marathon in 3:27) Kyle shifted his attention to triathlons, which he has been at since 2014. Kyle completed a Post-Doctoral research fellowship with the USDA in Grand Forks North Dakota from 2014 to 2017 and has since been an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition since 2017. Kyle is an RD (registered dietitian) and primarily focused on researching weight loss physiology, how exercise may affect eating behaviors, and how exercise can be more appropriately used for weight control.
Questions Kyle is asked:
4:52 You are a researcher at the University of Kentucky specializing in how exercise affects eating and weight loss. And you don't just study it, you used running to lose weight yourself. Can you share your experience?
7:27 You were already an athlete with football so it wasn’t like you were obese or overweight and just wanted to lose weight by running?
7:58 Let’s get into some weight loss science. It seems that weight loss should be easy. It’s "calories in and calories out." What makes it more complicated than that?
10:00 When you lose weight, you’re obviously lighter so there’s less of you to move
Walk to Become a Faster Runner: Jeff Galloway - 2020-12-30
At age 75, legendary coach and Olympian Jeff Galloway is almost as famous for walking as he is for running. Jeff says his run-walk-run method of training enables people to run longer and faster with much less risk of injury, and his half a million followers agree.
In this episode, Jeff talks about how he developed his walk/run technique and how everyone from absolute beginners to the fastest runners can benefit from it. He also shares with Coach Claire how he’s getting more steps in while working from home, how runners can stay motivated during the pandemic, what his Magic Mile is and how to use it for training, and what he’s doing at age 75 to ensure he can keep running until age 100 and beyond.
Not only is there a lot to be learned from Jeff in this interview, but he also has a new book out called Galloway’s 5K/10K Running, Training for Runners & Walkers. The book describes Jeff’s Run Walk Run method and how it can be used to reduce aches and pains and fatigue while improving race times. It includes training plans, easy-to-read advice on medical checkups, nutrition for runners, fat-burning workouts, choosing the right running shoes, how to stay motivated, and a race day checklist. The book is definitely a great tool for runners at any level!
Jeff worked his way from being an average teenage runner to an Olympian. His book Galloway’s Book on Running is the best selling running book in North America. He also wrote columns for Runner's World for 20-plus years, he’s an international running and fitness speaker, and as a coach, has helped 400,000-plus average people train for their goals. His Run Walk Run marathon training program boasts an impressive 98% success rate.
Questions Jeff is asked:
3:35 At this point in your career, you are almost as famous for walking as you are for running! Can you talk about what you love about walking in general and its benefits for runners?
9:09 How would you recommend all of us who are working from home get more transition time between sitting at our computers and running and get more steps in? How do we get our work done and still get in all our steps?
10:51 Maybe because we’re all stuck at home and the gyms are closed, I see more people in my neighborhood than ever out walking, out running, out doing things, people you’d never see before. So what advice would you give to someone just starting out?
14:58 Should runners of all levels use walking in their training and racing? What’s your opinion on intermediate-to-advanced runners?
16:12 I’m a steady runner. I run even splits no matter what, and in the last marathon that I was in, there was somebody next to me who was leapfrogging me. And he was running super fast and then he would walk, and then I’d pass him, and he’d run super fast and then he would walk. And this is at a sub-three-hour marathon pace, and so I was just like, “That is pretty impressive to see someone doing that,” because in order to get to the finish line in the same time as me, his run section would have to be significantly faster to make up for the walking. So I thought that was very interesting.
17:32 Is there a proper technique to walking or can you just go out and walk like you always do?
18:43 The walk in the run/walk method is not just a stroll; this is a walk with purpose?
19:42 Let's talk about the Magic Mile. What is so magic about it and how do you use it for training?
22:03 So you just go out, you run a mile as fast as you can, and then you pop it into a calculator. Is that it for the Magic Mile?
23:53 When I use the Magic Mile calculator on your site, my predicted marathon time is far slower than what I actually could run for the marathon. Can you explain this?
25:21 My Magic Mile calculator result could just mean that I’m bad at short distances and better at lo
Elevating American Distance Running: Ben Rosario - 2020-12-23
Elevating American Distance Running: Ben Rosario
Ben Rosario is the head coach of the HOKA Northern Arizona Elite. His athletes have been wildly successful in recent years, with the most notable being Aliphine Tuliamuk's win at the 2020 US Olympic Trials. His athletes Stephanie Bruce and Kellyn Taylor also finished in the top ten of that race, and on the men's side, Scott Fauble, a 2:09 marathoner, came in 12th.
In this episode, Coach Claire talks to Ben about the Olympic Marathon Trials, focusing on how well his female athletes did, how HOKA NAZ treats female athletes, especially in light of the Nike Oregon Project, and why he thinks so many female runners are still posting PRs well into their 30s. Ben also shares some great coaching advice, his training philosophy, and his insight into why so many world records have been posted during COVID.
At the time of this recording, Ben was preparing for The Marathon Project held on December 20. Coach Claire asks Ben for his predictions and will post the results here in the show notes following the race.
Like many coaches, Ben started out as an accomplished runner himself as a member of the Hansons Brooks team and he competed in the Olympic Trials twice before turning to coaching full time.
In his six+ years with Northern Arizona Elite, Ben’s athletes have won U.S. National Titles in cross country and on the roads at 10k, the half marathon and the 25k, as well as New Zealand National Titles on the track and the roads.
HOKA NAZ Elite athletes have recorded 8 top-10 finishes at World Marathon Majors.The team has been represented at the World Cross Country Championships, the World Half Marathon Championships, and at the World Track and Field Championships.
His athletes have also competed at the European Athletics Championships, the Great Edinburgh International XC Meet, the NACAC Cross Country Championships, the NACAC Track Championships, the Pan American Cup Cross Country Meet and the Pan American Games.
In 2016, the team produced two sixth-place finishes at the Olympic Trials Marathon and two fourth-place finishes in the 10,000 meters at the Olympic Track and Field Trials. At the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, four HOKA NAZ Elite athletes posted top 20 finishes, including three in the top eight in the women’s race led by Aliphine Tuliamuk–the Trials Champion.
Questions Ben is asked:
4:19 2020 has been pretty crazy for everyone in the world but specifically for the team that you lead, Northern Arizona Elite. Let's go back in time to February when you were getting ready for the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. Can you take us back there and recap what you were thinking?
5:10 Atlanta is a pretty tough course with all the hills. Obviously that was not a problem for at least your female athletes.
5:28 Your athlete, Aliphine Tuliamuk, won the women's race and was planning to head to Tokyo when the world shut down. What was that like as her coach?
6:41 I would love to talk to you about Aliphine Tuliamuk’s recent announcement that she is pregnant and due in January. As her coach, I’m sure she came to you and said, “Hey, Ben, this is what I’m going to do.” What was that conversation like?
7:26 How tough was it keeping Aliphine’s pregnancy a secret?
8:33 You are quite experienced in elite mom runners. Several women on your team are moms and are still just killing it. I would love to talk about Kellyn Taylor, Stephanie Bruce. I would love to talk about Stephanie for a minute. She is almost 37 years old and still getting PRs in the 10K. How is that possible?
10:14 It didn’t used to be so long ago that mid-30s was old for a runner but now that’s not the case, and I think maybe it has something to do with belief, too, seeing all these new great examples.
11:06 I want to keep going back to the women bec
Nike's Win-At-All-Costs Culture : Matt Hart - 2020-12-15
Is Nike too big to fail?
Matt Hart is a freelance journalist whose new book Win at all Costs investigates Nike’s Oregon Project, diving into its culture of cheating, lying, and misogyny. The book is a page-turning sports thriller reminiscent of a Shakespearean drama with one of the top coaches in the world felled by hubris.
Coach Claire talks to Matt about the rise and fall of former coach Alberto Salazar, if he is indeed a villain through and through, the win-at-all-costs mindset of sports today, how young athletes are affected, the women at Nike, if Nike has some redeeming qualities as an organization, and if most people even care about any of this. It’s a fascinating discussion that is sure to appeal to true crime fans!
Matt Hart’s writing covers sports science, human-powered adventure and exploration, performance-enhancing drugs, nutrition, and evolution. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, and Men’s Journal magazine, among others. His reporting on the investigations into Salazar appeared on the front page, above the fold, of The New York Times in May 2017. In addition to his access to the Gouchers, other sources for the book include former Nike employees, athletes, and coaches; famed sports-scientist and Oregon Project whistleblower Steve Magness; and Olympic marathon gold medalist Frank Shorter, among many others.
About Matt’s Book WIN AT ALL COSTS:
In May 2017, journalist Matt Hart received a USB drive containing a single file—a 4.7-megabyte PDF named “Tic Toc, Tic Toc. . . .” He quickly realized he was in possession of a stolen report prepared a year earlier by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). It was part of an investigation into legendary running coach Alberto Salazar, a Houston-based endocrinologist named Dr. Jeffrey Brown, and the cheating by Nike-sponsored runners. The file began Hart’s reporting on the Nike Oregon Project and led him to uncover a win-at-all-costs culture of greed, corporate malfeasance, and abuse.
WIN AT ALL COSTS is an explosive and revealing narrative depicting the deception and performance-enhancing drug use at the Nike Oregon Project. Hart writes richly detailed portraits of athletes Kara and Adam Goucher, Galen Rupp, and Mo Farah, as well as the coaches and doctors at the root of the cheating. The book recounts how the secretive program began to unravel when Steve Magness, an assistant coach to Salazar broke the code of silence by alerting USADA. He was followed by Olympians Adam and Kara Goucher who, risking their prosperous careers, became whistleblowers on their former Nike running family at headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
Combining sports drama and corporate exposé, WIN AT ALL COSTS uncovers a relentless culture of deceit and drug misuse at Nike; as well as abuse of power, gender discrimination, medical malpractice, and systemic cheating at the highest levels of professional athletics. The book is also a cautionary tale about the excess of greed, corporate malfeasance, and the pushing of athletic boundaries. Deeply researched, unsettling, and ultimately entertaining, WIN AT ALL COSTS will astonish readers by the extremes that coaches and athletes will go to achieve athletic greatness—no matter the cost.
Questions Matt is asked:
3:20 On your website, you say that humans learn through storytelling. What made you want to tell the story of Nike and its infamous coach, Alberto Salazar?
4:28 Your new book, Win At All Costs, is a fascinating deep dive into the world of Nike, from its scrappy, rebel beginnings to the behemoth brand that it is today. Essentially, it's a "David becomes Goliath" story. How would you describe the changes that the company went through from its humble beginnings to today?
6:33 Let's talk about Alberto Salazar. When he started ou
Customer ReviewsSee All
Lovely running podcast
This was a great podcast to listen to while I was unmotivated to run, I’m glad it came up on my Spotify when it did! The only thing for me, is that I cannot always relate to the topics because it often bases it’s discussions on ultra running, which I do not do! But overall great talks and topics when you need some extra encouragement or a distraction during an otherwise boring treadmill run! (:
Great Pod Cast with Matt Fitzgerald on Nov 11 2020
Fantastic podcast with Matt Fitzgerald in November. I just bought the book but didn't know about the podcast until today, but I have been an avid reader/follower of Matt. This podcast was excellent and I'm even more excited about delving into the book.
I love this podcast. Always super informative and inspiring!