The Natural Running Network show

The Natural Running Network

Summary: Running is the most popular recreational activity in the world. More people run to achieve fitness than any other medium of exercise. Unfortunately, over 70% of the running community is injured due to improper training and running form. The Natural Running Network addresses these issues and provides highly relevant tips to help runners stay healthy. We also interview luminaries from the endurance world including but not limited to Obstacle Course Racing, Triathletes, Ultra-Marathon runners, Obstacle racers cyclists and all the support systems and professionals tied to these sports.

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  • Artist: Richard Diaz
  • Copyright: Copyright 2013-2015 Diaz Human Performance LLC


 Questions and Answers for OCR and Endurance Athletes | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:25:15

Join Coach Diaz The Natural Running Networks new Co-Host Leah Duhon “Princess Leah” a highly talented Ninja and OCR athlete in her own right. This episode was open to the audience, Questions and Answers for OCR and Endurance Athletes from those who had questions regarding a variety of topics related to racing and training. We hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to help stimulate more content!

 THE LA SPEED PROJECT – RUN FROM LA TO VEGAS | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:44

The Relay event with one rule… Get to Vegas on foot faster than everyone else! The LA Speed Project was the brain child of Blue Benadum and a few of his friends. The conversation went a little like this: “What do you say we do a relay to Vegas? Ok, as long as we do it as fast as possible.” So it began back in 2012. Blue’s wife lead a team of 5 girls in 2019 who set a record of 37 hours over the 307 miles. A record that has yet to be broken. This interview is with both Cassidy Benadum and husband Blue, the eve before Cassidy and crew “GIRLAB” set out for Vegas. Ya gotta listen to the the podcast to get the details. The conversation turned towards the benefits of “Flow” training and the new and upcoming GURU Running App soon to be released.

 What is Training The Dark Side? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:45

Yes, I have been interviewed on the topic of Training The Dark Side before. However, this explanation, in my opinion is the most comprehensive view and rationale for why this training is so effective. Blue Benadum is an elite Marathon runner. He has embraced the concepts of Flow training and in fact, he has decided to use these concepts as the recommended approach to training for his new project “GURU” a new and exciting training app that is now in beta and soon to be released. As a matter of fact, this conversation was intended expressly for the app and for those who will take on the concepts of What Training The Dark Side is. It was such a powerful explanation I felt compared to share it here.

 How to get to the Boston Marathon | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:23

The Boston Marathon is arguably the most prestigious running event in the United States and possibly the world. Qualifying for Boston is no easy task. I have a conversation with a friend Blue Benadum a highly successful runner who has run Boston 6 times and set a personal best of 2:23 at this event. He has also run the Lake Tahoe triple (3 marathons in three consecutive days) and won twice, all of which clocked in beneath 3:00. In this conversation we discuss “How to Get to the Boston Marathon.” It may not go in the direction you assumed but it is certainly something you should hear no matter where your running takes you. If you’re interested in more in depth advice on your running, check out this video and more: While on the subject, two great reads recently released by Coach Diaz, Training the Dark Side and The 20 week Marathon Training guide can be found on the website . Maybe you’re not trying to get to Boston, maybe you want to run your first marathon. Don’t be intimidated by this conversation! This information is actually better suited to new runners than those who have run multiple marathons! It could be that you don’t even like to run because all it does is cause you pain! Nothing is worse than re-occuring injuries that are directly related to your attempts to run. The Host and guest of this particular podcast have spent over a decade advising and coaching people just like you to successful, enjoyable running!

 Interview with Nicole Mericle OCR Pro | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:49

I wanted to have a candid conversation with Nicole Mericle, not so much about her recent win at The Jacksonville Spartan Race which was spectacular by the way. My interest is in her new formation of The Dream Team and The OCR Women’s Development Team. This is a first in the sport and I for one think she is onto something. Listen for the details!

 Introducing Hildervat – the new OCR series | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:37:40

As we all hope, we’re rounding the turn on this insidious pandemic and the summer to fall seasons busting at the seams with races clamoring to occupy what few weekends left for the 2021 season.  Through all of this turmoil, it appears that another event producer is emerging on the obstacle course racing scene.  HILDERVAT so named from Viking lineage, loosely translated to battle on water.  Hildervat is putting on some interesting events on the beaches of Northern Florida.  I caught up with the event producer to have him share his vision and the details of his upcoming event.  I found his project not only entertaining, it is also tremendous news for those athletes who compete for cash in the style of competition they love.  Ya, gotta listen to get the whole story!

 Training The Dark Side Review, Does it Work? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:43

Training the Dark Side – Does it really work? A revolutionary approach to training that has shown to be highly effective for a variety of athletic pursuits. Richard Diaz, author and host of this podcast, decided to reach our to Larry Caldwell an enthusiastic Spartan Race competitor who has taken on the project to see if the program really works. This conversation is an unvarnished review of his experience. Along with this training system there is a supplemental 30 day training plan which he is following verbatim. Listen in to hear what he thinks only 9 days in. If you would like to try this training plan yourself, here is the link to purchase your copies:

 Adrian Bijanda – OCR World Championships | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:05

OCW World Championships in 2021, is it going to happen? Who better to share these goings on then the founder of OCRW himself, Adrian Bijanda. It’s no secret that 2020 was a bust for virtually every type of mass gathering all over the world, Obstacle Course Racing was no exception. Leading into 2021 with hope and a solid game plan, OCRW is scheduled for late September and Adrian promises that with the lay off, they had nothing to do but plan for the most epic event in their history! If you plan to race in 2021, the OCRWC is a must do on your training and racing calendar! * Who do you think will win the 15k event for the men or women’s elite field?* What about the 3k race? Will we see an epic battle between Veejay Jones and Jon Albon?* Who will cross the pond to challenge Lindsey, Nicole or maybe even Faye? You’ll need to listen to get the inside scoop!

 Why Every Athletes Need CBD | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:01

Everywhere you turn these days you’ll find CBD for sale the acronym for “cannabidiol”. CBD is the active ingredient derived from a cannabis plant, yes, Marijuana .  Over the past half decade, marijuana dispensaries have cropped up all over the country. The medicinal benefits prove to reduce stress, improve sleep, reduce inflammation and pain associated with over-exercise.  we explain when to take it, what to expect and why it really works? As an endurance coach and clinician over half of my business circles back to exercise related injuries.  I’ve learned long ago, if I can’t keep my athletes out of the pain cave, how the hell can I train?  Jay O’Hare, founder of Venga Endurance explains what you need to know before you invest in CBD.   Full disclosure, I am bias towards Venga Endurance for all of the reasons we’ll share.  If after watching this clip you decide  you want to experience these benefits. Visit and use my promo code to get your discount! Diazhp10. 

 Are Trails better than Road for Runners? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:15

There is much controversy that surrounds the choice of running shoes and how they may or may not protect you from injury. Some say they won’t run on pavement because it hurts their knees or gives them shin splints. In this interview, I speak with Dr Emily Splichal a world renowned board certified Podiatrist and founder of Evidence Based Fitness to debunk some of the confusion surrounding the topic.

 Lauren Fisher and Jenn Ryan visit The Secret Lab | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:20

Two of the Fittest Women in the World Some may argue, that the fittest athletes on the planet are CrossFit athletes.  I am not going to argue for or against the prospect.  What I will defend is that Lauren Fisher and Jen Ryann have shown the world on many occasion that they belong on the short list!  Lauren, a seven time Crossfit Games competitor and member of the 3rd fittest Crossfit team in the world and Jenn Ryan the 2019 age group champion at the Crossfit Games in 2019  work hard to earn those accolades.  In this interview, held at The Secret Lab we discuss their visit, what they had learned and what they will take away from spending half of the day with me.  Putting these ladies to task and revealing their potential was eye opening for us all. The two ladies operate a virtual training program exclusively for women, you can find them at:

 Virtual Racing with OCR Stars | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:39

Things suck these days if you yearn to compete.  The Corona Virus has everyone around the world in lock down mode.  Finding an outlet for your competitive drive has been a challenge onto itself this entire year.  With so many race companies struggling to stay afloat, not many have given a care for the athletes, whom many, have already struggled to eek out a living from the sports they love.  Enter Hunter McIntyre, an early adopter in the OCR profession.  Aside from the beat downs he’s handed out, the sport has not been kind to him.  Becoming a world champion in multiple disciplines only to have the sports who paid him, ultimately failed him.  What’s an athlete to do?  Answer… produce his own competition with the focus on giving competitive athletes in the sport a fighting chance to earn a decent purse IF they can win the competition set forth.  Enter – OCR Stars a competition developed by one of the top OCR athletes in the world for athletes.  If I have just perked your interest, be sure to listen to an unfiltered conversation between long time friend and coach Richard Diaz and Hunter McIntyre. Visit:

 Breathing - Best practices for performance | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:05

Breathing – Best practices for performance! Everyone has at one time or another, pondered the idea: What would be the best way to breathe while running?  There are so many opinions on the subject, it’s no wonder so many are confused.  Veejay Jones – Elite OCR athlete and I (Richard Diaz) thought it would be entertaining to discuss some of the popular theories on the subject and offer up our own opinions.  Are you a chest breather? Have you ever heard of diaphragmatic breathing?  Do you get cramps in your sides when you red line in competition?  It may very well be that the way you breathe is holding you back from your next best performance!  Is breathing exclusively through your nose a good idea? How about hypoxic training, simply holding your breath? Ever heard of the Wim Hof Method?We had some fun with this one.  Listen in and you may even learn how long Tom Cruise can hold his breath!

 OCR Performance Professionals | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:22

Coach Diaz and Elite OCR Athlete Veejay Jones share details of their OCR Performance Project a virtual group training program for aspiring Spartan competitors.  Aside from this, Coach Diaz also shares some insights into his freshly released book- TRAINING THE DARK SIDE. This book is a great read for any endurance athlete hoping to better understand RUNNING FORM and TRAINING THE ENERGY SYSTEM to develop unstoppable ENDURANCE and through an incredibly unique approach. We’re going to have some fun doing it! To see us LIVE visit this link! Be sure and subscribe to the YouTube channel while you’re there! Lots of great content. To learn more about the OCR Performance Project, visit this link:

 TIPS ON HOME EXERCISE WHILE YOU… HUNKER DOWN! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:03:03

Veejay Jones (pro obstacle course athlete) and I Richard Diaz (his coach). Discuss current affairs, home exercise options and what's the best treadmill to buy for your budget.


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