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

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The All-New No Meat Athlete Shirts are Finally Here!



It’s here! The new look of No Meat Athlete has made its way to our shirts … but not without some drama.

Almost three months ago, along with a brief history of the running carrot, I announced that it was time for him to hang up his shoes.

He would be replaced by something new, something just slightly more serious and a tad bit tougher, to better convey what this plant-based athlete lifestyle and our No Meat Athlete movement is all about — on the shirts, website, and everything else.

Up until then, my wife and I had folded and shipped almost every shirt, all 25,000+ of them, by hand. But with the retirement of the running carrot, we decided it was finally time to pass that job off to someone who actually knows what they’re doing when it comes to managing inventory and fulfillment. (And you know what I mean if you ever waited months for a certain style and size of shirt to be back in stock. :))

And it’s a good thing we did …

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NMA Radio: The Complete Guide to Running Gear


For all the simplicity of running, there’s no shortage of gadgetry and gear to sift through.

Every season, you’re told to upgrade your clothing, your shoes, your electronics. It’s fun the first few times … but once you realize the cycle never stops, it’s tempting to throw your hands up and decide you’re going barefoot, shirtless, and gadget-free.

But surely, a few items deserve a place in your gear bag. So how do you know what’s really worth your money? Just as importantly, how do you figure out what will perform when need it to … and which gear will leave you chafed and cranky halfway through your run?

In today’s episode, we help you cut through the clutter, focusing on the few — dare we say essential — items of gear that are undoubtedly worth it. From head to toe, hydration to recovery, we share our thoughts on the running gear we couldn’t do without.

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

  • The running shoes we keep coming back to
  • The least cumbersome ways to carry your water and nutrition
  • Do you need fancy running electronics?
  • Tools for injury prevention and recovery
  • The most important piece of running clothing

Click the button below to listen now:

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NMA Radio: The Guilt-Free Running Slump

Young athlete woman tired or depressed

Every runner goes through slumps. Life gets busy, the weather gets hot (or cold), and whatever “running mojo” looks like to you, you’ve lost it.

I’m no different, and I’m in the midst of a slump now: the training I had planned for a fall marathon never really got off the ground, and my running for the past few months has been next to non-existent.

But something is different this time. This time, I don’t feel guilty about it.

Somehow (meditation, maybe?) I’m at peace with the slump. I’m not beating myself up for letting the marathon goal slip away. I can see this for what it is, without judgement, and in a strange way I feel free — with a newfound excitement about other types of training.

As it turns out, co-host Doug is dealing with a running slump of his own. Except he’s one week away from a 50K, and his training looks a lot different from mine.

In today’s episode, we talk about our slumps and how we’re embracing the lack of motivation instead of fighting it. If you’ve been in a slump recently, or you’re in one right now, this one is for you.

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

  • The end of a marathon comeback?
  • The “seasons” of motivation
  • How suffering through a race can foster new inspiration
  • The no-excuse apology
  • Coming to terms with your slump

Click the button below to listen now:

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NMA Radio: 7 New Listener Questions


Every day, we receive several personal questions from readers and listeners in the No Meat Athlete inbox. So many that over the past year, as other projects have required more time, I haven’t been able to keep up.

So now and then, we take some of the most common questions and answer them on the podcast. This time, we carefully selected seven of questions that come up time and time again — covering soy, peanuts, gluten, endurance, and more.

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

  • Incorporating raw ingredients into your meals … the easy way
  • Cutting through the confusion about soy
  • Should you avoid eating peanuts?
  • How to regain endurance after a running injury

Click the button below to listen now:

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No Willpower, No Problem! 9 Ideas to Help You Beat Food Cravings

There’s no sadder form of failure, to me, than giving into food cravings.

Imagine you want to change your diet. Deep down, this feels right for you, right now.

You do your research, and decide that it’s not only healthy, but ideal, to eat this way.

You do the work to get your spouse on board. They’re little hesitant, but supportive. Up for giving it a try, for you.

All the pieces are in place, and so you begin.

It all goes perfectly, until one day you hit a snag: you get out of work late, your car breaks down, you have an argument with a friend.

And visions of cheeseburgers start dancing in your head.

You’re not going to eat it, are you?

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NMA Radio: Our 100th Episode: A Look Back and Forward

Birthday candles number one hundred isolated on white background

Can you believe it? A hundred episodes! We’ve come a long way with No Meat Athlete Radio over the past few years, and with two new episodes every week for the past few months, it’s safe to say we’ve finally hit our stride.

To celebrate, in this episode co-host Doug and I take a behind-the-scenes look at the show. We talk about where we’ve struggled and what we’ve done well, the lessons we’ve learned from hosting a podcast for this long, and the new ideas and changes (and even the possibility of a live event!) that we’ve got planned for the next year.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a celebration without asking for a gift, right? If you’d like to help us out and shape the next year of NMA Radio content, we’d really appreciate it if you’d share your thoughts in this quick listener survey.

To the next 100!

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why we almost quit the podcast last year
  • Life on the other side of “the dip”
  • The top 5 episodes in NMA Radio history
  • What’s coming in the next year (including a live event?)

Click the button below to listen now:

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Why I Pushed ‘Too Far’ (and Will Never Regret It)

No U-Turn traffic sign in Bangkok, Thailand

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

Have you ever had one of those conversations that just sticks with you? Where someone makes a comment you can’t let go?

It happened to me last summer, the day after I ran a 50-mile ultramarathon. I was sitting in my 93-year-old grandmother’s house telling her about the race, and I’ll never forget her reaction.

It wasn’t one of joy or amazement.

It was sadness.

Not sadness about the race itself — I’m sure she was proud of my accomplishment — but sadness about what I was doing.

She looked right at me and said, “I’m just so worried you’re taking it too far and will regret this one day.”

That’s not something you want to hear from your grandmother after a big race. Especially when it was only a training race for the main event: a 100-miler just a month later.

But that’s the way most people look at ultrarunning, or endurance running in general. They respond to your long run miles with:

“Aren’t you taking this a little too far?”

“You know that’s bad for you, right?”

“What’s wrong with you, man?”

Beware the Status Quo

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