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


 9/11. | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3:32

BE WARNED THIS CONTENT MAY BE DISTURBING. On this day, 17 years ago, my wife and I woke up in a hotel room just outside Los Angeles International Airport.  We spent the night there because that morning we were contracted to provide preseason assessments on the LA Kings Hockey Team.  We were preparing for a long day of testing at the El Segundo training facility that is shared between the LA Lakers and the  LA Kings. We had been there the previous two years before but this morning was going to be different. After taking a shower as I was getting dressed, I had turned on the TV to catch some morning news. That’s when I saw it.  It was so surreal, I thought it was some horror movie.  An American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center Tower.  As I was trying to wrap my head around what I just saw, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767–United Airlines Flight 175–appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center, and sliced into the South tower at about the 60th floor. Because of our commitments that day, we tried to set this horrific incident out of our minds and headed to the training facility to fulfill our responsibilities.  Once we arrived, we learned that a few of the athletes and a team talent scout were aboard one of the planes.  It was a somber morning, all of us were keenly aware of what had just happened but knew that we need to complete the days tasks.  There we’re fears that another attack may occur at the LA Airport which was less than a mile from us.  It was hard to decide the best course of action given what was transpiring over the course of the day.  We fought to try and keep the televisions off so that the athletes could focus, it was a losing battle.  We learned of the Pentagon attack and understandably we were all on edge unsure if we are at war or what was actually happening. My son who was home alone at 14 yrs of age assumed we were being invaded. Being alone was scared to death. Then the aftermath unfolded and we learned of all the carnage. I was very angry, Im still angry. All these years later and my son has served in the Army for the past 10 years, attached to a Spec Ops unit, he has been in and out of the thick of it ever since.  Today, I wanted to show my respect to those who have fallen and wanted to take this bit of time to help you remember.  I am a proud American and I will never forget. The audio you will now hear is actual audio taken from the 911 memorial site in New York.  I recorded last year.

 The Spartan World Championship – Dark Horse…Rebecca Hammond | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:52

What seemed like completely out of nowhere, Rebecca Hammond came on to the Spartan OCR Elite field and made people take notice.  Its almost unheard of for anyone to walk into the Spartan North American Championship course with only 2 prior events under her belt and cause a stir.  Yet, cause a stir she did.  Taking 2nd place among the most competitive pro’s in the sport, she now sets her sights on the Spartan World Championships and no one is laughing.  You’ll have to listen to this episode to believe your ears.  Dark Horse you say?  It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

 OCR Running Questions and Answers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:10

There never seems to be an end to the questions that hard working OCR athletes have regarding their training and racing, with the help of one of our friends Jennifer Herring, Coach Richard Diaz tries to offer his opinion and advice on these topics: * Heart rate seems to need a longer pre-race warm up, why? * How do I transition to a zero drop shoe? * Why do I have a hard time with my cadence? * What is enough aerobic training and what is too much? These and many more!  As a reward for posting the questions, we are going to award one of the people that asked the best question a free Virtual video gait analysis, you need to listen to find out who it is!

 Spartan 4-0, The Biggest OCR Team in the World | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:35

By now, everyone is aware that OCR is here to stay. Some thought it to be a fad, if that’s true, I know of over 13,000 dedicated athletes in one single group who might argue the point. What I believe to be true is that the everyday athletes and fitness enthusiasts who have been drinking the Kool Aid and making it out to races around the world are what makes the sport, not the gifted few who reside on the podium at the key races.  I asked Ameer Haroun, the director of all things Spartan 4dash0 on with me to share the story.  How he and his cadre were able to build a social media group and racing presence of over 13,000 members strong in less than 3 years.   If you love Spartan Races races and want to attach yourself to like minded people who share your enthusiasm, you need to hear this episode!

 OCR Racing Tips and Breaking News! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:05

Coach Diaz, who also happens to be the host of this podcast has asked VeeJay Jones  Elite Spartan Pro to return to share some insights on training. * Learn a few valuable tips on cutting precious time from your racing * Get a sneak peak into the infamous Tuesday Morning Training Sessions  * Learn how to get a ton of quality training done in less than an hour * Learn about a new online training plan is in the works guaranteed to bring your running skills to an incredible level next season Finally we’ll share some details regarding the 2019 Opening Season Super Clinic to be held on Coach Richard Diaz‘s home turf along with testing, evaluations and lecture time at The World Famous Secret Lab.  Along with this episode is a video of what happens in the Off site Training Lab that is not so secret!  #youcantwinifyourunlikeshit

 The 80/20 Triathlon Formula | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:10

My good friend Matt Fitzgerald is back with a new book The 80/20 Triathlon.  This training principal is a winning formula for most any endurance sport and I highly recommend that all of my listeners pay attention to this episode.  It works for OCR too!  Once you understand how important it is to partition your training with a high percentage of aerobic conditioning and when and how to apply intensity you’ll start to see progress in all aspects of your program. Ya gotta go slow to get fast!

 Young Guns Part II – Interview with Elite OCR Pro Cali Schweikhart | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 40:25

Some months ago I did a podcast with what I referred to as the “Young Gun”, VeeJay Jones, the youngest athlete to win an Elite Spartan Race.  As a coach, I saw him as the future of the sport, worth nurturing and certainly a prospect for greatness in the sport.  However, he is not alone in his quest for the podium.  Young Cali Schweikhart has been making her self known and respected among the elite ranks in the Spartan Race series and if I don’t miss my guess, also not far off from being an “A” tier competitor.  I was pleased to have Cali on as a featured guest to share her experience thus far in this new sport and how we worked together to bring her into the lime light.  This is worth a listen for anyone that is wondering what it takes to achieve the level of performance that Cali has invested in her future. Cali is evidence of the importance in honing running skill to succeed.

 TMX Championship Preview with Hunter McIntyre and Beni Gifford | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 27:21

You couldn’t make this up if you wanted to!  Aside from Hunter McIntyre being the reigning TMX Champ and crowd favorite for the upcoming TMX Championship on June 8th 2018. Hunter and his newly appointed wing man Beni Gifford are a couple of cartoon characters. Listen in to here Hunter explain why no one in the world is likely to beat him and how he and Beni have been training their asses off at altitude in Utah in preparation for what they predict is a podium sweep.  You’ll also learn about the post race lake side party they are planning that unfortunately, I (Richard Diaz) will miss.  You will also gain some insight into Hunters racing plans once the TMX series concludes and Beni’s pole dancing career begins… you have to listen to get the details!

 Another OCR Question and Answer Episode | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:02:39

Its been awhile since last I posted an episode and whenever we are short on content, we put it out to the followers to provide some stimulating questions regarding OCR training and racing. In this episode, I asked one of my East Coast friends and colleagues Kristen Swan Kurtz to give me a hand with the heavy lifting and she graciously stepped up!  We’ll discuss what to do with up and down hill running,  getting a proper warm up, dealing with injuries and my favorite; what to do when the doctor tells you to give up running!  Special shout out to the Spartan 4.0 community for providing the questions we covered and our apologies if we didn’t get to your questions, time is limited and we took most of these questions at random.  

 A Visit to The Secret Lab | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:35

Not everyone has a chance to visit Coach Diaz at his “Infamous Secret Lab” those who do generally end up performing beyond expectation.  I thought it might be fun to have one of my clients share his experience and allow you to not only hear his thoughts on the visit but see what went down with the associated video clip that accompanies this episode.  Of course, the only way you’ll see it is if you visit the home site of this podcast:

 Making the Transition from Heel Striking to Forefoot Running | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:07:17

It’s a pretty well known fact in most running circles that heel striking and over striding leads to injury. Many runners have made the shift to forefoot running and in doing so have migrated to zero drop shoes.  Unfortunately for many, this transition has not come easy and has lead to a variety of new problems such as debilitating calf and achilles soreness. Coach Richard Diaz addresses these concerns, and offers some advice on how best to approach this transition and sheds light on the likely culprits that lead to these problems, what to do when these problems arise along with an opinion on the decision regarding zeros drop as a shoe selection.  Is zero drop right for you? How long should this transition in running style take?  When obstacle course racing, should you train in one style of shoe and race in another? These answers and more in this episode.

 What are you doing with your Athletic kids? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:38

We decided to take more questions on training was we often do, our favorite this time relates to our children in sports.  Are we doing the right things to encourage their enjoyment, desire to compete? Are we trying to live through our kids and causing more harm than good?  Coach Diaz has had years of experience in this arena and shares his insights. He also touches on his preferred shoe selection for racing OCR, heart rate training and how to fit it all in if you have a life and a 40 hour work week.  As a bonus, we share what it will take to get you a date with Zoe!

 Interview with Brian Carney founder of The Bone Frog Challenge | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:38

The Bone Frog Challenge Race series aere obstacle course races designed and directed by Navy Seals.  These obstacle course races are gaining widespread popularity on the eastern seaboard due to their quality and unique challenges many drawn from Navy Seal Training.  Richard Diaz has invited Brian Carney, former Navy Seal and founder of the Bone Frog Organization to share what makes these events so unique.

 Why 180 Strides per Minute? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:39

Stride frequency seems to be the most controversial and perplexing component of running mechanics. There are those that resist the theory of 180 spm being an ideal cadence and its the cause of many arguments.  I however feel that most people that struggle with this approach have pieces of the puzzle missing.  In this podcast Coach Richard Diaz attempts to shed some light on why he feels so strongly that finding this cadence is the key in correcting so many running related injuries.  If you are participating in Spartan Races, Tough Mudder, Bone Frog or Savage Race,  I think this podcast may provide some food for thought.

 Spartan San Jose and Tough Mudder TMX Weekend Recap | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:05

Back to back OCR events 100 miles apart and I hit them both to show support for a few of my athletes in Veejay Jones and Hunter McIntyre. I invited a few talented athletes in Mike Ferguson and Race course expert Steve Hammond on the show to share their views on the weekends competition. The Rock Stars this weekend were Rea Kobal, Ryan Woods and Hunter McIntyre.  Tune in to get our views on two distinctly different challenges.


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