Rank #1: 015: Ben Greenfield, Coach Al, and Dr. Strecker Take On Minimalist Running Shoes (Podcast)
Hi Everyone! Here’s a simple but often overlooked fact: Each one of us is unique. We each have a unique history and lifestyle. As runners, we all have unique foot mechanics, unique training and racing histories, and unique running goals for the future. Why is it then that so many experts in the running world […]
Nov 07 2013
Rank #2: 055: Visiting with Troy Anderson of Anderson Training Systems [Podcast]
"Outlaw" Kettlebell coach, Troy Anderson
Today I am pleased to welcome Troy M. Anderson of Anderson Training Systems as a guest on our podcast.
Troy is an RKC Kettlebell Instructor, a DVRT Master Instructor, and most importantly perhaps, is a self described "farm kid driven to spread the good word of the ACCESSIBILITY of kettlebells, sandbags, bodyweight training, and UN-Apologetic Living."
Because I'm a believer in the value of the kettlebell as an awesome training tool to get stronger AND improve movement quality, and because I've had the opportunity to see some of the great work Troy is doing out in his training space in Tempe, Arizona and also online, I thought it would be beneficial to bring him onto the podcast and have him share some of his insights with all of you.
Among the topics we discuss:
- Strength Training: A plethora of strength related info, such as his philosophy, his favorite training tools and toys, and some of the valuable and hard earned lessons he's learned along the way.
- Getting leaner: What works and what doesn't to really drop unwanted body fat.
- Why he looks at training with the kettlebell a bit differently than most trainers (and the benefits which can be gained by taking a different approach).
- What you can learn from his experience as someone who lifted very heavy weights at one time (the day he lifted the most weight ever, was also the last day he tried to).
- His passion for making the "bell" and other tools like the sandbag, "accessible" for every person, regardless of age, size, or talent!
If you'd like to read more:
- Check out Troy's website, Alpha Kettlebell , which features a ton of interesting kettlebell workouts.
- Troy recently published an interesting article on the Dragon Door website called Swing 2.0: An Athletic and Accessible Approach.
I'd like to convey my sincerest thanks to Troy for joining me today. Even though most of you reading this are endurance athletes who sometimes can find yourself shying away from big strong dudes like Troy, I know you will learn a great deal, so tune in and enjoy! Happy Trails everyone!
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Mar 10 2015
Rank #3: 054: Presenting The Trail Running Film Festival [Podcast]
Click on the image to see all of the upcoming dates for the Spring 2015 East Coast tour!
In today's Episode 54, we are psyched to welcome race director and trail running junkie, James Varner of Rainshadow Running and The Trail Running Film Festival. Also joining us is our own ultra runner extraordinaire and coach, Debbie Livingston.
The Trail Running Film Festival is coming to the east coast this spring, highlighted by a local showing on Wednesday, March 4th, in Hartford, Conn. (For tickets to this show and others, as well as more information, go here).
In our conversation with James, we talk about...
- How the Trail Running Film Festival got started and how the events are structured. (Can you say lots of community, food, fun, and a little beer too? Woo!)
- Rainshadow Races: Where and what they're all about. As their motto says, "why run anywhere else?"
- A little bit of history of trail films, and why James and Rainshadow (as well as those of us at Pursuit) are so passionate about sharing these films and bringing them to the world for all to enjoy.
- Which specific films are featured in the Trail Running Film Festival, as well as additional dates and locations.
- Practical tips and tricks for those of you who might be new to trail running or would like to learn more and enjoy it more!
- Our upcoming Pursuit Athletic Performance Cedar Lake Trail Running Camp and Retreat, from Friday, May 29 to Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Come join us!)
**James ALSO did a podcast with the Ultrarunnerpodcast back in 2014 where he talks about the film festival and other cool topics. To listen to that interview, go here.
**To check out the Trail Running Film Festival on Facebook, go here.
And finally, to learn more about all of the great events in the Pacific Northwest put on by Rainshadow Running, go here.
Safe and happy trails everyone!
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Feb 22 2015
Rank #4: 051: Talent, Training and Exploding Your Potential [Podcast]
Where does talent, in all its many forms, come from? Are we born with our own unique talents or can we develop them over time? And if we can “grow” and develop talent, how does that happen? Thinking about it a bit differently, does intelligence measured through aptitude tests always correlate with success? Certainly, we […]
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Aug 13 2014
Rank #5: 014: Injuries in Student Athletes and Strategies for Prevention (Podcast)
Today, Dr. Kurt Strecker sits down with orthopaedic surgeon Steven Wei, MD to talk about the most common injuries in student athletes from middle schoolers through collegiate competitors. They identifyat-risk athletes, discuss strategies for prevention, and touch on the current thinking with regard to concussions. Dr. Steven Wei is certified by the American Board of […]
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Nov 01 2013
Rank #6: 013: Off-Season Training: System Reboot to Prepare For Your Best Season EVER! (Podcast)
Coach Al and Dr. Kurt Strecker here to encourage you to do a system reboot to prepare for your best racing ever! How to do a full system reboot, you may ask? Through specific, precise, and directed off-season training. In this podcast we explain why the keys to your race results--and your ability to stay […]
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Oct 21 2013
Rank #7: 047: An Interview With Dr. Kevin Kirby, DPM [Podcast]
Today we're pleased to have Dr. Kevin Kirby, DPM as a guest on our podcast. Dr. Kirby has been a practicing podiatrist since graduating from the California College of Podiatric Medicine in 1983. Dr. Kirby has authored or co-authored 26 articles in peer-reviewed journals, has authored or co-authored five book chapters, and has […]
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Jul 15 2014
Rank #8: 044: More Listener Questions: Comparing Ourselves To Others; The Psychology Of Suffering [Podcast]
In today's podcast, I jump right into some great questions posed to us by some listeners. As we've said before, we really appreciate it when you contact us and ask great questions - keep them coming! Comparing Ourselves to Others: We all know and understand that each of us is, and will always be, […]
Jun 19 2014
Rank #9: 038: Supplementing With Amino Acids: A Smart Choice? [Podcast]
Today we sit down with the Director of Business Development for Vitality Sciences, LLC, a leading company in the production of supplements for athletes, to discuss one of the hottest topics in endurance sports nutrition today: supplementing with Amino Acids to enhance energy and recovery, before, during, and after training. For those of you […]
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May 08 2014
Rank #10: 032: The Two Most Common Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make! [Podcast]
What’s that old saying about the definition of insanity? To keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? When it comes to THESE two “most common” mistakes, get in line if you’re among the folks who routinely make them, yet also expect to reach your potential or get better […]
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Mar 21 2014
Rank #11: 023: Dr. Diane Hindman, PhD On Fitness Facts and Fallacies — Training, Weight Loss, Diet, Supplements, and More (Podcast)
Hey Everyone! I had a GREAT podcast session with inspirational speaker and spiritual entrepreneur Dr. Diane Hindman, PhD. On all things involving natural health, wellness, green living, nutrition, and fitness, Diane knows her stuff -- to say the least. She holds a PhD in Exercise Physiology and has more than 15 years of clinical experience […]
Jan 16 2014
Rank #12: 022: Coach Al Demystefies Heart Rate Training (Podcast)
In this podcast, Coach Al demystifies heart rate training. He answers some common questions, talks about ways to calculate max HR, explains heart rate as a reflection of work (but not a measure of work), and describes the most effective ways and best applications to use heart rate in training. Got questions? Post in the […]
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Jan 10 2014
Rank #13: 018: The Secret To Running Technique No One Is Telling You (Podcast)
Hey Everyone! Want to know the secret to running technique no one is telling you? (Hint: It has nothing to do with shoes or drills.) When it comes to running, we tend to put the cart before the horse. Browse the web and you're sure to find plenty of coaches and trainers eager to help […]
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Nov 27 2013
Rank #14: 060: MORE on Mindsets for Optimal Performance with Stanford Researcher, Omid Fotuhi [Podcast]
Dr. Omid Fotuhi
Hey everyone! Coach Al here.
Today I am once again honored and pleased to welcome back onto the podcast, Dr. Omid Fotuhi, runner, triathlete, and project manager for the Stanford University Interventions Lab. It has been almost a year since we last had Omid on the podcast; I've personally been anxious to get him back on so we all could continue to learn from him and his research team.
In Part 1 of our chat (Part 2 coming soon), we discussed what he's learned about how we all can better use the power of our mind to explode our potential! Such as...
- The important interplay between our own belief systems and effective goal setting.
- The three types of goals / goal setting, and how they work individually and collectively to empower us to greater achievement and self actualization.
- Fixed and growth mindsets: Which is more likely to lead to reaching one's potential?
- The most effective strategies for reaching beyond our fears and achieving more than we ever thought we could!
- And much more!
Thanks everyone for joining us and tuning in, we appreciate it. I am already looking forward to sharing Part 2 of our discussion soon!
Jun 11 2016
Rank #15: 059: “Slipped Away,” with Special Guests Jean Mellano and Ron Hurtado [Podcast]
I'm honored to have two special guests on the podcast today: Jean Mellano, author of the memoir Slipped Away, and veteran, founding member, and executive director of the Airborne TriTeam, Ron Hurtado.
Some background: I first met Steve Tarpinian in 1996 after deciding to attend his "Swim Power" clinic at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Long Island, NY.
I was hoping to learn how to overcome my fear of the water and how to swim. If you're thinking that's not exactly an easy task for a 36-year-old having experienced a near drowning as a 10-year-old kid, you'd be right.
I arrived as a anxious newbie, wondering what the day would bring. When I left at the end of the day, I had made a friend for life and also come to know one of the best teachers, coaches and men I'll ever know.
Sadly, on March 15, 2015, that great teacher, coach, mentor...lost his war on depression, and took his own life.
Fast forward a short time later, Steve's soulmate and partner of 35 years, Jean Mellano, after reading all of the heartfelt remembrences of Steve on the popular Slowtwitch.com forum, decided to write a memoir to honor Steve's legacy and bring more awareness to mental illness, specifically depression. She titled it Slipped Away.
In Jean's words,"there is still so much stigma and embarassment attached to depression, which further adds to the suffering of those afflicted. Mental illness is where Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, and cancer were many years ago in terms of no one wanting to talk about it."
In today's podcast, Ron, Jean and I discuss many things including Steve's legacy, such as:
- Why and how the book, Slipped Away, came to be.
- Project9line, a Long Island based non-profit organization that supports veterans suffering from PTSD and depression, and which receives the majority of the proceeds from the sale of the book.
- The Airborne TriTeam, another Long Island based non-profit organization started by Ron, specifically created for mentally and physically challenged war veterans. The team has a unique and strong connection to Steve and his legacy.
- What we can all do to help those suffering from PTSD and other forms of mental illness.
Depression is like an iceberg...
In Jean's words: "To many people who knew him, Steve had it all and appeared to be on top of the world. Hindsight is 20/20; we now know things weren't always as they seemed. In many instances, people who suffer from depression and mental illness hide it very well. If someone close to you has a pattern of "going dark" (not returning phone calls or emails, etc.), it could be more than just them being busy or forgetful. When this happens too often, perhaps a little more compassion and understanding for that person may be in order."
Jean believes Steve's true legacy and how he should be remembered isn't as a great coach, race-director or athlete who took his own life, but rather, as a human being who did his very best to make people feel good about themselves and who inspired them to accomplish things they never thought they could do. I couldn't agree more.
Thank you Jean and Ron, and everyone who joined to listen in to this podcast.
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Jun 06 2016
Rank #16: 058: Mindsets for Optimal Performance with Stanford Researcher, Omid Fotuhi [Podcast]
Dr. Omid Fotuhi
Today I am really psyched to welcome onto the podcast, Dr. Omid Fotuhi, triathlete and project manager for the Stanford University Interventions Lab. I truly believe the topics we discuss on the podcast today will have a profound impact on anyone listening in. The group of researchers led by Dr. Fotuhi are doing absolutely state-of-the-art research on mindset and performance!
Dr. Fotuhi and his colleagues at the Interventions Lab describe their research as "focused on identifying psychological barriers that impede performance and well-being, and leveraging those insights to create theory-driven interventions that target those barriers." Here's a link to a short video that provides a brief look at the work they do.
In this podcast, Dr. Fotuhi shares his experience and research on topics such as:
- What are some of the most common patterns of beliefs and thoughts that we all have, and how do those correlate with our performance?
- Do seemingly inconsequential events have an impact on how we see ourselves and therefore how we perform in races?
- How is our own motivation to train and race to our ultimate potential impacted by how we see ourselves and the world?
- Having a fixed or growth mindset: Which is more likely to lead to reaching one's potential?
- What can we do to improve our ability to persist in the face of adversity, to experience less negativity and perform better at our races?
- And much more!
I personally found our discussion incredibly valuable, especially from a coaching perspective. I learned a lot and encourage everyone to listen in. This is powerful stuff!
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Jun 13 2015
Rank #17: 057: All Things Trail Running with Ethan Veneklasen and Deborah Livingston [Podcast]
UltraRunnerPodcast co-host, Ethan Veneklasen
Deb and Coach Al, at their Cedar Lake Trail Camp and Retreat this past weekend!
Today I am excited to welcome Ethan Veneklasen and Debbie Livingston to the podcast. Without a doubt, this was one of my favorite podcasts to date!
I had the opportunity to connect with Ethan after this year's Miwok 100k. All three of us were there to race. Miwok is one of those old classic races in the ultra-running world. Held on May 2nd in the Marin Headlands outside of San Francisco, Debbie and Ethan ran a little bit of the course together that day.
Ethan is one of those great guys who seems to know everyone in the ultra-running world! Besides being a co-host of the ever popular ultra runner podcast (over 150k downloads per month!), he's also a Hoka One One and VFuel ambassador.
As for "Deb," anyone who listens to this podcast knows who she is. Mom and wife, elite ultra-runner, coach, yoga teacher and steward of all things mother-nature and the environment, she was last on the podcast with me when we visited with James Varner and the Trail Running Film Festival back in February.
In June of last year, I did an interview with Debbie for the podcast. It's a fantastic chat where she shares some of her secrets to success, as well as discussing those things (like trail running, ultra-running, caring for the environment, her family) that are most important to her! She's one of the best!
In this podcast, we have a really informative and fun discussion on topics such as:
- How far the unique sport of ultra-running has come in such a short period of time.
- Why they feel trail running is special, unique, and so very different from road running.
- Their "story" and some of the important things that have changed their lives and brought them to this point in time. Ethan has a unique one - you can read more about it here.
- Miwok 100k: This was Ethan's 2nd try, after a DNF last year. Debbie ended up as 4th woman! What makes this race so amazing and special?!
- Tips for those who want to get started in the sport. You CAN do it!
- And much more!
I'd like both of them for joining me today. I sincerely hope you enjoy the chat and are inspired to get out there and hit the trails! All the best!
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Jun 02 2015
Rank #18: 056: Visiting with Podiatrist Rebecca Rushton [Podcast]
Rebecca Rushton, BSc, author of the Advanced Guide to Blister Prevention
Today I am pleased to welcome podiatrist Rebecca Rushton of Esperance Podiatry in Esperance, Australia, to the podcast. Without a doubt, Rebecca is one of the world's foremost experts on blisters!
Now if you've never struggled with a blister, then the information she has to share might not seem all that important. I believe however, that at some point in the future, each and every runner or endurance athlete will experience a blister, and probably at the worst possible time. What we can all learn from Rebecca could make the difference between a painful struggle to the finish line, or busting a new PR with a smile.
Some of the things we discuss in this podcast:
- What are the most pervasive myths surrounding blisters? There are plenty!
- What's the difference between rubbing and shearing and why does it matter?
- Are certain folks more prone to blisters?
- What about shoe fit and lacing options?
- Do lubricants like vaseline or powders work to reduce blister risk, or are you actually making things worse by using them? (Hint: I unfortunately discovered this during my last race, a 50 mile trail race in Florida a little over two weeks ago! Not good).
- And much more!
Rebecca has created a terrific FREE online resource called The Advanced Guide to Blister Prevention. If you want one single resource that will be your go-to for all things blisters, this is definitely it.
For more resources from Rebecca on how to take the mystery out of blisters, go to her website.
I'd like to thank Rebecca for joining me today. I sincerely hope this short 25 minute podcast makes a difference for someone out there who, at some point in the future will be able to avoid a blister, rather than struggle with one. Happy Trails everyone!
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Apr 22 2015
Rank #19: 012: Owen Anderson, PhD and Coach Al: The Latest Science On How To Run Faster and Stay Injury Free (Podcast)
Hi Everyone! I had the immense pleasure of sitting down with Owen Anderson, Ph D to discuss all things running! Owen is one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject as many of you know. As the long-time editor and writer of Running Research News, contributor to many running publications including Runners World, […]
Oct 17 2013
Rank #20: 011: Kona Through the Eyes of a Champion–Lisbeth Kenyon (Podcast)
Pursuit Athletic Performance triathlete Lisbeth Kenyon joins us live from Alii Drive as she gets ready to take on her 7th Kona this Saturday, October 12. For those of you who don't know, Lisbeth is an Ironman Age Group World Champion in the 40-44 and 45-49 categories, and she holds the record in the […]
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Oct 10 2013