On Bouncing Back

On the night of June 29th, I packed my suitcase for what was supposed to be just 10 days in Italy.

We would be spending some time with family before and after the trip, but we could do laundry there. So I needed only 10 days’ worth of clothes, my running shoes, my Kindle, and my computer. My wife, Erin, packed her suitcase and our kids’ similarly.

What we never could have guessed was that come October — more than three months after we left home — we’d still be living out of those same suitcases. Or that that night at the end of June would be the last we’d ever spend in our house.

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NMA Radio: How to Run Farther

Marathon running

Last week’s episode of No Meat Athlete Radio was all about running faster. This week we’re exploring the other big improvement runners desire: running farther.

Let’s face it, a new distance is intimidating. Each new mile is uncharted territory.

Do you need to eat or drink more while on the run? How do you keep from getting bored? And how on Earth do you make time for all the training?

In today’s episode, we answer those common questions and a whole lot more to help you run farther than you’ve ever run before.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • Can you train to run faster and farther at the same time?
  • The first step in increasing distance (which has nothing to do with distance)
  • How to approach nutrition and hydration
  • Boredom and mental fatigue while running
  • Why you should consider taking walk breaks

Click the button below to listen now:

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7 Running Workouts to Build Strength and Endurance

Pronto a correre

This post was written by Doug Hay of Rock Creek Runner.

When did running get so complicated?

I ask myself that all the time, usually when frustrated by a tough workout on my training plan or a confusing training concept.

Running is such a simple act — exactly what drew me to it in the first place — until you complicate it with drills, exercises, and complex workouts.

Of course, it probably comes as no surprise that the workouts on your training plan aren’t there just to piss you off. They’re included to help you run stronger, faster, and for longer distances.

Unfortunately that doesn’t make it any less complicated, so today I’m going to break down seven common running workouts, and share a few examples of how you can put them into practice with your training.

The Importance of Variety

Before we start wading through the details, let’s first talk about variety. More specifically, why variety in your training is so important.

There’s a little running phenomenon I like to call “Single Speed Running,” where a runner logs nearly all of his or her miles at the exact same effort. Day after day. That speed is usually around 75 percent of max effort — not fast enough to really make your body work hard and adapt, but too fast to build much endurance or count as a “recovery” run.

Sound familiar?

Chances are it does, since that’s exactly what most runners do.

Not only does Single Speed Running keep you from getting stronger; it also significantly increases the risk of injury: our bodies need variety.

We need uber slow runs just as much as we need Lightning Bolt style sprints. The variety works the cardiovascular system and muscles in different ways, and makes room for both strength-building and recovery.

By understanding the importance of each workout, you’re more likely to begin incorporating a variety into your training, and in return, reaping the benefits.

But first, those workouts need to become less daunting and confusing … the goal of this post.

7 Common Running Workouts, Explained

Below you’ll find a description of seven most common running workouts for endurance runners. With each explanation, I’ve also included one or two examples of how to put the workout to use.

Let’s start with the easiest:

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NMA Radio: How to Run Faster

Two men running

When it comes to running, there are two areas where most people want to improve. They want to either:

  1. Run faster
  2. Run further

And sometimes both.

Today on NMA Radio, we focus on the first one … how to become a faster runner.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. Running faster requires a lot of work (and sometimes pain) but the process itself is fairly straightforward.

I know, because after I crossed the finish line of my first marathon over 100 minutes slower than my goal, I was forced to reevaluate my training and focus on speed.

And you know what? Eventually I reached that goal time and qualified for the Boston Marathon.

In today’s episode, we share our running philosophies for running faster, how we improved on our own times, and the workouts you should include in your training if your goal is to get faster.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • The big mistake most runners make
  • Variety … how important is it, really?
  • How Matt finally became injury free
  • Speed work for the track-hater
  • Our favorite workouts for faster running

Click the button below to listen now:

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NMA Radio: Sid Garza-Hillman on Meal Planning, Ultrarunning, and Why We Shouldn’t Take Showers


Last week, author and nutritionist Sid Garza-Hillman was in Asheville to work with me on a new project (more on that in today’s episode).

Considering he’s been one of our most popular NMA Radio guests to date, Doug and I couldn’t resist bringing him back on the show, and today’s conversation with Sid did not disappoint.

Sid’s natural approach to food, fitness, and life is contagious, and his small step philosophy makes big changes seem possible.

In today’s episode, we catch up with Sid on what he’s been up to, his recent ultramarathon, and why he quit showering. Yes, Sid Garza-Hillman quit showering.

We also discuss the value of meal planning, variety in our diets, and the mindset you need to start eating more healthily.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • Sid’s first ultramarathon, and why he’s now directing one himself
  • What we’ve have been up to in Asheville the past few days
  • Are meal plans actually helpful?
  • Pros and cons of eating the same meals every single week
  • The healthy-eating mindset
  • Why Sid no longer takes showers
  • A natural cure for jet lag

Click the button below to listen now:

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NMA Radio: The Best Resources for Running Motivation and Training

Runner looking at sport or smart watch checking pulse or gps

Part 2 of the great No Meat Athlete Radio Resource Guide has arrived, and this time we’re talking all about running.

There’s a never-ending stream of running books and advice, but how do you which are right for you? And which resources are really worth your time and money?

In today’s episode, we try to answer those questions by sharing the books, movies, podcasts, and guides we use to keep ourselves motivated and training strong.

As with part 1, you can find the full list of resources in the show notes below. And be sure to check out the brand new Marathon Roadmap 2.0, before the special bonuses disappear.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • Motivational resources … guaranteed to get you out the door
  • Training books for new runners
  • The guide that helped Matt qualify for Boston
  • Where to look if you want to run an ultramarathon

Click the button below to listen now:

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NMA Radio: The Best Resources for New Vegans


As a vegan or vegetarian, it’s easy to feel like an outsider, like you’re going at it alone. But here’s the thing … you’re not.

There’s a massive community, No Meat Athlete included, and countless resources at your fingertips.

Today’s episode is part 1 of a two-part resource guide series, and we kick it off by sharing some of our favorite resources for new vegetarians and vegans. We cover our favorite tools to get you motivated, educated, and inspired, plus a number of avenues for tapping into the growing community online and in the real world.

Don’t have time to listen to the episode? Check out the list of resources below.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:

  • Eye-opening vegan documentaries
  • Podcasts worthy of your subscription
  • Our favorite books about plant-based nutrition
  • Go-to vegan cookbooks
  • Simple (and free) ways to engage with the community
  • The websites and apps that will make your life easier

Click the button below to listen now:

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NMA Radio: When to Quit (And When to Keep Going)


If there’s one truth about running an ultramarathon (or chasing any big dream, for that matter), it’s that there’s an inevitable point when it’s not fun. That point when you start questioning your decision to do it in the first place.

Usually, if you’ve made it through the training cycle and to the starting line, you’re determined to push through that pain and discomfort to reach that finish line. But what if come race day, you’re not feeling the motivation that’s supposed to push you through?

In that case, is there a point where it’s okay to say that enough’s enough, and call it a day?

That’s the question I asked myself for hours during last week’s Steep Canyon 50K.

I spent the majority of the race in pain, tired, and most importantly, not having fun. Should I listen to my head and stop running, even though I know I have the physical strength to keep going … or should I suck it up and finish what I started?

In today’s episode, Matt and I explore this question, and talk about the lessons others chasing big goals (and ones that sometimes aren’t fun) can take from my experience.

Here’s just some of what we talk about in this episode:
  • The highs and lows of Doug’s most recent 50k
  • Questioning your “why”
  • Accountability as a training tool
  • The absolute best time to call it quits

Click the button below to listen now:

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