the morning shakeout podcast show

the morning shakeout podcast

Summary: Mario Fraioli talks with athletes, coaches, artists, business people, and various other achievers with an interesting story to learn more about who they are and how they got to their current place in life, while also uncovering hidden truths and imparting a little wisdom from their experiences.

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 Episode 9 | Rich Roll | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:59:02

"When I was 31, that was when I was in rehab. I had a career in the dark belly of alcoholism and at 31 I got sober in a treatment center in Oregon for 100 days, so I think if I had to characterize myself at 31, I was very confused. I was really unsure about who I was and what I wanted to do with myself. I was a pretty broken individual at that point of my life. And up to that point I thought I had been making good decisions but essentially my best thinking had me in this mental institution, for a lack of a better phrase. So I don't think that I had very much clarity on myself or what made me function and what led me to that dark place. The last 20 years have been about trying to answer that question for myself and also trying to learn from tools that were first introduced me during that experience and build on them and compound them to progressively continue to grow, not just emotionally, but mentally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually." Incredibly honored to welcome Rich Roll to the podcast. The 51-year-old is a husband, father, and champion ultra-endurance athlete, in addition to being a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and host of a top-ranked podcast. But life hasn't always been so grand. At 31 years old, Rich found himself committed to a treatment center in Oregon, battling an alcohol addiction that had consumed his life. After achieving sobriety in his early 30s, Rich's addictive personality led him down a path of workaholism and 80-hour weeks as a lawyer, an unhealthy lifestyle fueled by fast food that ultimately proved to be unsustainable. It all came to a head when one night when, while walking up the stairs, he became out of breath and feared something was seriously wrong with his health. The next day he embarked on a weeklong juice cleanse that led him to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, a way of living he still practices and advocates for today through writing, speaking and the podcast that bares his name. Not long after radically changing his diet, Rich—a former collegiate swimmer at Stanford—started running and swimming again. He eventually found his way into ultra-endurance sports, where he established himself as a top competitor, finishing the Epic 5—five Iron-distance triathlons in less than a week—in 2010 and placing as a top finisher at the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii multiple times.  In this episode, we talk through the various chapters of Rich's story, digging into his journey to becoming a plant-powered ultra endurance athlete and wellness advocate, learning how he got there and the struggles he's faced along the way, and understanding why he is so open and honest about sharing his experiences. We discuss his best-selling memoir Finding Ultra, which has been recently updated and will soon be available at booksellers everywhere, as well as The Plantpower Way and The Plantpower Way: Italia, two books chock full of plant-based recipes and lifestyle guidance that he tag-teamed on with his wife, Julie Piatt. Finally, we also dig into his relationship with racing and how it's evolved through the years, discuss the effect his writing, speaking, and podcasting has had on other people, learn more about the three things he tries to practice on a daily basis, and much, much more.  "All of this is an act of service," Rich told me during our conversation. "It's my profession and I need to make a living and all that kind of stuff, but ultimately what really drives me and what's behind all of this is trying to be of service both in the world of recovery and outside the world of recovery with respect to the world at large."  Complete show notes here: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:

 Episode 8 | Lou Serafini | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:57:10

“Running is all relative, you know? Everyone has their own goals and is trying to accomplish their own thing, whether it’s to break 4 in the mile, or to qualify for Boston, or just to simply finish their first marathon. Those runners gave me more support than I’ve ever gotten in my life. Having 30 people show up to a random hill workout on a Wednesday night and ask me about my training and what I’m training for and what I’m doing, and having that many random people interested, definitely got me motivated to train hard. And then hearing about their successes, and having people come to me and say that they PR’d in the 5K by two minutes or something like that, or that they were training for their first marathon, really inspired me to kind of take it to the next level.” Super excited to welcome Lou Serafini to the podcast. Two weekends ago, Serafini became the 514th American to break 4 minutes in the mile, running 3:59.33 at the Boston University Last Chance meet. The self-described blue-collar runner works full-time as the community manager at Boston-based Tracksmith and has established himself as one of the most recognizable figures on the local scene. The 26-year-old Serafini isn’t just known for his wheels, however; he has an infectious enthusiasm for the sport and has demonstrated an uncanny knack for connecting with runners of all levels. In this episode we discuss his most recent breakthrough and why he decided to get back on the track this past winter after pursuing the marathon for a few years post collegiately. We also get into the reasons why his relationship with running soured toward the end of his college career, what helped rekindle it, and how adopting a more relaxed approach toward training and racing has helped take his performances to the next level. “I think it’s really frustrating for a lot of people when they feel like they’re doing all that they can and they’re not seeing the times come down,” Serafini told me. “As runners, we’ve all been there, where you hit that plateau, and it’s frustrating, and you don’t know why. And for me, this indoor season, it’s been about kind of taking a step back from all of that and just having a really relaxed attitude toward everything, and just having fun with it.” We also talk about experimenting with high-mileage training, being coached by Randy Thomas after coaching himself to a marathon personal best of 2:17, the competitive running scene in Boston, which Serafini and friends half-jokingly call “The New Flagstaff,” how he got into running, dropping out of the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon, the importance of connecting with and being more relatable to the average runner, and much, much more. Complete show notes: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:

 Episode 7 | Shalane Flanagan | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:55:54

“It’s addicting to have a great performance. You always want another one. That’s why I considered stopping after New York because it was like, ‘How can I top this?’ And then only thing that can top this or be on the same level, is winning in Boston because of what the people and the city mean to me. There’s just as much fire but I definitely feel at peace, which is actually a good thing. I feel very calm and calculated with my approach and I feel very confident that I know how to get the most out of myself now.” Absolutely thrilled to welcome four-time Olympian and reigning New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan to the podcast. She joined me last week from her altitude training base in Woodland Park, Colorado and we covered a wide range of subjects, from her preparation for April’s Boston Marathon, which has included training with Olympic triathlon gold medalist turned aspiring marathoner Gwen Jorgensen (“This woman is a beast,” Flanagan said of Jorgensen. “She is all-in and wants to be really great.”), to how coach Jerry Schumacher has modified recent marathon buildups for herself and teammate Amy Cragg, what’s different for her going into Boston this time around after winning last fall in New York, as well as why—and how—she convinced her coach to bring more women into the Bowerman Track Club training group a few years ago. “It feels good to look around in our training environment and be like, ‘Man, there’s a lot of badass women here,’” the 36-year-old Flanagan told me. “We’ve got just so much talent and hard work. I take so much confidence [from them] and I get the swagger when they perform well. It makes me feel so good. There are times they perform well and it feels way better than anything I’ve personally achieved. No matter what, whoever’s competing, I get this sense of fulfillment, and it keeps me motivated to keep going.” Flanagan and I also talked in depth about her New York City win, including what she was thinking and experiencing during the final few miles of the race, why breaking the tape in Central Park was so validating for her, as well as the different ways in which the historic victory has changed her life. “I wasn’t going to earn the title of New York City marathon champion ten years later,” Flanagan recounted. “I was going to earn it and own it in that moment and it could never be taken away. I just felt so validated that I kept pursuing the dream because it seemed really dark and dismal at times. And I think that was a huge component of my celebration that I finally freaking did it.” We got into how she’s approaching the remainder of her career, what’s helped her to stay relatively injury free and allowed her to perform at a high level for so long, the importance of relating to other runners, and how she navigates those moments when it’s hard to muster the motivation to get out the door and train. “I think it’s important to show that not every day is a picnic,” she admitted, “but of course I went for a run and I got it done and at various moments I was just chanting “Boston!” to myself because that’s the only reason while I’m out there doing it, because I want to have a chance on April 16. And so, it’s worth it, but for sure, there’s days where you’re just like, ‘Why am I doing this?’” Finally, we discussed how running gave her confidence as a young girl and fueled her competitiveness, what’s exciting her right now in the world of professional running, and why getting injured before Boston last year was a blessing in disguise. Flanagan also talks what she’d like her legacy to be, reveals what she’s got lined up for when she eventually does hang up her racing flats, and a lot more. Complete show notes: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:

 Episode 6 | Dathan Ritzenhein | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:04:31

“I’m happy with what I did on the track, what I did at shorter distances. I’m good with that. I’m good with who I am, with where I’ve been, all of those things, mistakes I’ve made along the way—I’m OK with that. In the marathon though, I just know that my back is against the wall and I feel like I still have something to prove to myself still. These last two marathons aren’t going to define what I’ve done—the rest of my career, I’m happy with that, I can put that in my back pocket—but I want to make that fourth Olympic team.” Three-time Olympian and former American 5,000m American record holder Dathan Ritzenhein comes on the podcast to discuss a wide range of topics, including the upcoming Boston Marathon, training with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, the changes he’s made to his training in order to stay healthy at 35 years of age, and why he’s still competing despite dozens of injuries over the years, including 15 stress fractures, three surgeries, a ruptured plantar fascia, and myriad other issues. “I’ve been doing this twice a day since I was 13 or 14, and so not that it’s all I know, but it’s what I know,” he told me. “I have plans post-running but I still genuinely enjoy training and I think that’s one thing a lot of people get sick of—they get sick of training. They like the lifestyle, they like running, they like going to races, and I love all those things too, but I like the challenge and I like the way I feel when I train. It’s just a passion—if you don’t have it, it won’t matter and when it’s gone, I’ll probably know pretty quick. But I still have it, I still have goals, and when you have goals and you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s not a job. It’s not hard.” Also in this conversation, Ritzenhein and I discuss the arc of his career, including training hard from a young age and how that may have contributed to his many injuries over the years, what he would change as a young athlete knowing what he knows now, the deepest he’s ever dug in a race, and the importance of having a solid support system when he’s training hard. “The ability is there and I know it,” Ritzenhein says. “A lot of the time I feel as good as ever…and I’m not going to be making the same mistakes I made in 2016 and think that I can do it on my own. I have to have this team to help me get there. And that’s part of the reason [I signed with Hansons-Brooks] and why I’m so focused on [Boston] right now. Finally, we also cover the memorable summer of 2009 when he finished sixth at world championships in the 10,000m, broke the American record in the 5,000m, and ran 60-flat to finish third in the world half-marathon championships, the complexities of training for and racing the marathon, what he’s learned coaching other athletes, and a heck of a lot more. Complete show notes here: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:

 Episode 5 | Nick Symmonds | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:54:35

"I'm a gamer. And anyone who trained with me in my 12-year [professional] career would laugh when I say that I'm really bad in workouts. Because they used to say, 'I would kick your ass every single Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but I can't beat you in a race.' And it's true. I was really lazy in workouts but when it came time to race, especially if something mattered, I just could take it to that next level. Some sports psychologists would argue that that was my secret weapon—that I only dug deep maybe four or five times a season. I could give you a 90-percent effort, maybe even a 95-percent effort, but I really only dug deep the few times that it actually mattered, and that saved me both mentally and physically, and allowed me to have a much longer career." Two-time Olympian, six-time national champion, and 2013 world championships 800m silver medalist Nick Symmonds comes on the podcast for a candid conversation covering a wide range of topics. We discuss his retirement from track and field, his recent foray into marathon training and racing, and the similarities and differences that exist between the two pursuits. We also talk about entrepreneurship, the origin and mission of his company, Run Gum, reflect on his progression from decent college runner to world-class athlete, and dive into how he has dealt with pressure and overcoming nerves throughout his career. "The one commonality was that on both the 800m start line and on the marathon start line, the thought is, 'this is gonna hurt really bad.' And they do, in different ways, but they both really really hurt and there's no way around that," explains Symmonds. "But there's another aspect on the 800m start line that was, 'this matters.' That was extremely important for my career, my family. There's sometimes potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. It matters—it's really important that you have a good showing. In the marathon, I was just doing it for myself. I wasn't doing it for sponsors or for money or for anybody else. I wanted to go prove to myself that I could run 26.2 miles. So it was a lot less pressure and pressure equals nerves in those kinds of situations. It was just fun." Also in this episode, Symmonds and I get into the sponsorship and marketing side of the sport, we attempt to unpack the antiquated ways of governing bodies, and talk about who—and what—is exciting him in running these days. Additionally, we look back at his relationship with coaches Frank Gagliano, Mark Rowland, and Danny Mackey, what he learned from each of them, how he'd like to be remembered as both an athlete and a person, and much, much more. Complete show notes here: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered directly to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:

 Episode 4 | Amelia Boone | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:53:00

“You are so much more than just your race results. When I think about people that I know in the obstacle racing world, in the ultra world, I don’t remember where they finished in races. It doesn’t really matter to me. It’s being involved and engaged in the community [that matters most].” From late 2011 through the early part of 2016, there was virtually no stopping Amelia Boone. She tore up the obstacle-racing scene, winning the Spartan Race World Championship in 2013 and the World’s Toughest Mudder, a.k.a. “the most extreme, insane, imposing, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping 24-hour obstacle course challenge on the planet,” three times—one of those triumphs just eight weeks after knee surgery. In 2015, she started experimenting on obstacle-free trails, finishing third in her first ultramarathon at the Georgia Death Race. The following year, she finished second at the Sean O’Brien 100K, qualifying for the Western States 100. If an event involved some combination of dirt and prolonged suffering, Boone seemed to excel at it. But her streak of podium finishes soon snapped. Literally. Not long after punching her Golden Ticket to Western States, Boone suffered a stress fracture of her femur, forcing her to forfeit her place on the start line in Squaw. But that was far from the end of it. A few months later, Boone was injured again, this time with a stress fracture in her sacrum. After starting the year on such a high note, Boone felt like she was in a hole with no clear way out. “The process of acceptance was really hard and that feeling of kind of losing your identity,” the 34-year-old Boone recently told me. “And I think anyone who’s been sidelined with anything for a really long time, you start to really feel that. And I remember just being really angry at first. When I saw people running down the road, I wanted to throw things at them because I was so jealous.” In this episode of the morning shakeout podcast, Boone and I cover a wide range of topics, ranging from how she got her start in obstacle racing and ultrarunning, to how she’s dealt with injuries and setback, both physically and psychologically, and how she juggles her day job working full-time as an attorney for Apple with training and racing at a high level. We also talk about her affinity for Pop Tarts and professional wrestling (“If I could go back and do it all over again, I would have been a professional wrestler,” she says half-jokingly), the value of strength training and rest days for ultrarunners, and the challenges of being a sponsored endurance athlete. 
 Oh yeah, and we discuss her return to ultramarathon racing at this weekend’s Sean O’Brien 100K, where she’ll be a part of a deep women’s field—and much, much more. “What I’ve kind of realized beyond all this is yes, I signed up for Sean O’Brien to hopefully get a Golden Ticket to go back to Western States but as I get closer, the more and more I realize that if that happens, great; but you know what, the day to day, and the training, and everything that I’ve put into it, I’m just happy to be out there and racing,” says Boone. “So for me, this entire training block, and coming back to Sean O’Brien, is having trust and faith again in my body and just the ability to be out there and do that, because at points I was just throwing my hands up in the air and being like, ‘Maybe I’m just not meant for this, you know?’” Complete show notes here: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered directly to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:

 Episode 3 | Des Linden | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:49:43

“I’m comfortable saying I’m a marathoner and everything feeds into the next marathon and making sure that’s great. So if that means being a little out of shape for some summer racing or some off-season racing, that’s OK. I think you kind of check your ego when it comes to that stuff and know that it’s playing into the bigger picture.” Two-time Olympian Des Linden comes on the podcast and discusses a wide range of topics including her pre-run coffee habits, how she pulled herself out of a slump last fall, what it’s like to live with a triathlete, how she’s approaching this year’s Boston Marathon, and the importance of being open and honest about her journey as an athlete. “For me personally, it’s sharing the entire experience. I didn’t have to tell people that I was in a slump this fall or unmotivated or just didn’t want to get out the door. But I think it’s valuable and I think everyone goes through that—the person who’s finishing last and the pros too—it’s pretty universal and I think there’s a lot of experiences like that,” Linden told me. “There’s those days where you don’t want to go out and run and there’s those days where you just feel great and you share the entire experience and I think it will connect with more people. I think it’s just talking about all of it because it is just a very universal sport—good days, bad days, injuries, the whole thing—and so the more you can share with people, the more they’ll realize beyond the pace, everything is pretty similar. It’s right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, repeat, and that’s all the way across the board, so there’s gotta be some things we can connect on. It’s just finding the ones that resonate.” Also in this episode, the 34-year-old native of Chula Vista, Calif., talks about training under Keith and Kevin Hanson as a member of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project for the past 12 years, the state of competitive running in the U.S., the distant appeal of ultrarunning, how she views her job as a professional athlete, what she’d like to accomplish before she’s done competing, the toughest athlete she’s ever raced against, and so much more. Complete show notes here: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered directly to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:

 Episode 2 | Tim Ritchie | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:52:13

“I just tried to be the best I could be in the situation I was in—and as that expanded and grew, and as the competition expanded and grew, so did my goals.” Newly minted U.S. marathon champion Tim Ritchie comes on the podcast to discuss growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts, how he went from being an average high school runner to winning a national title as a professional, the importance of developing athleticism as a runner, and what he’s learned from coaching both collegiate and age-group athletes in recent years. In this episode, the 30-year-old resident of New Haven, Connecticut also explains why he stinks at social media, the changes he made to his training and nutrition that helped him finish the final 10K of CIM stronger than his previous two marathons, what he’s been up to since his big win, and much, much more. We covered a lot of ground in this conversation and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did taking part in it. Complete show notes here: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered directly to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:

 Episode 1 | Scott Fauble | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:01:49

“That understanding—that you have to create your own value—is something that was weird to me at first, because I thought that I had value, but I didn’t. I was a 28:40 [10K] guy out of college, and had been All-American a few times, but there’s like 40 guys who do that every single year, so why would anyone take an extra interest in me? So that would be my advice to anyone who is trying to be a professional runner: really sit down and really think about where your niche is, and look at people who have created their own niches...because there are only so many spots on an Olympic team or a world team or a podium, you know?” Burrito connoisseur and 2:12 marathoner Scott Fauble comes on the podcast to discuss the movement he's trying to create around his favorite food (1:20), the business of being a professional runner (9:00), the launch of a new project he's calling "Off Course,” (25:45), training for, racing, and recovering from his first marathon (39:35), and so much more. Complete show notes here: Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered directly to your inbox every Tuesday morning: Support the morning shakeout on Patreon:


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