Running on Vacation – is it worth it?

Right as this episode goes live, I’ll be landing in Rome, Italy, where my wife Erin and I are taking part in a vegan tour. With red wine, fresh vegetables, and beautiful countryside, it’s guaranteed to be a blast.

But this week also marks Week 2 of my official marathon training plan. So it begs the question:

Should I be running while on vacation?

If you’re a regular listener to the podcast, it should come as no surprise that NMA Radio co-host Doug and I approach this answer differently. He loves running, and would do it all the time … including on vacation.

I, on the other hand, don’t. And I prefer my vacations free of stresses like a running routine.

In today’s episode, Doug and I debate our different point of views, and discuss the pros and cons of keeping up a vacation running routine. Doug also shares his tips for planning a running trip … the vacation he looks forward to most each summer.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The affects of inconsistency on your running routine
  • Tips for running in a new city
  • Why a mental break from running may help your training
  • Can you take an extended break during a training plan?
  • How to plan an epic running vacation

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12 Cheap, Healthy Meals that Taste Way Better Than They Should

It’s frustrating to think about how much cheaper it is to eat junk food than it is to eat healthily, but don’t lower your standards for how you eat just yet.

Earlier this week I published a post about the best value health foods you can buy, a ranking of the nutrient-dense foods that give you the most nutritional bang for your buck.

Continuing on that theme, today we’re talking about cheap, healthy meals.

For those times when I’m in a hurry, I keep a list of meals that are fast and healthy, so that I can run into a store on the way home, grab something, and have a meal on the table in just a few minutes.

But when I was looking at that list recently, I noticed that most of these meals were also cheap. Cheap, healthy, and quick … not a bad list of qualities for a meal.

The twelve meals in this post aren’t exactly that list — a few of them take too long to be on my “in a pinch” list. But one thing they all are is cheap, coming in at just a few dollars per serving.

So here goes. My favorite cheap, healthy meals … and I hope you’ll use this list to start compiling your own, so that you’re never again tempted to go to the dark side just to save a few bucks.

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The Non-Running-Geek’s Guide to Running Form

The marathon.. speed

As young children, we were all runners: chasing friends on the playground, screaming through sprinklers, and sprinting down the first base line in tee-ball.

And we ran with pretty darn good form, too — without having to think about it.

Does this mean that we don’t need to worry about form now?

Of course not … but it doesn’t mean we need to obsess over it, either. Instead, the basics of running form can be understood with just a few simple keys: keys that help us, as adults, to run like we did when we were kids.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The single most important ingredient of proper running form
  • What minimalism can teach you about form
  • Your optimal running cadence, and how to get there
  • Why form adjustments will slow your pace
  • Does shoe choice affect your stride?

Click the button below to listen now:

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Can You Still Eat Ultra-Healthy on a Budget?

We all want to eat healthy foods — plant-based, organic, non-GMO, and whole, whenever possible.

Whenever possible.

For me and many others, that translates as “when we can afford to do so.” After all, a healthy diet can cost three times more than an unhealthy one, and my family (and I bet yours) has got the grocery bills to prove it.

But are we supposed to just settle? That’s a hard choice to make, especially when it’s not just your health, but your kids’ health that’s at stake.

Today, I hope to make that choice just a little bit easier for you. Not by answering the “Is it worth it to buy healthy foods?” question — that’s up to you — but instead providing some objective guidance as to which healthy foods are the most worth your hard-earned money.

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NMA Radio’s Worst Habits, Revealed!


When you read someone’s blog or listen to their podcast, it’s easy to assume they’ve got it all together.

If it’s a podcast about habits, the guy behind the mic must be able to change anything at the drop of a hat, right? If it’s a running blogger, she must never go through slumps, happily logging her miles every day, coming up with brilliant insights to write about all the while.

The truth is that none of those people are perfect … we just like to pretend that they are.

In today’s episode, NMA Radio co-host Doug and I spill the beans about the areas where we falter. You know, just to make absolutely certain nobody thinks we’re perfect. (Because come on, admit it, you know you did.)

What started out as a list of three areas where we each struggle turned into a lot more — I hope you enjoy it, and that laughing with us at our shortcomings helps you to poke fun at your own.

I mean, unless you are perfect … in which case you should start a podcast. :)

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Consistency … or lack-thereof
  • Doug’s favorite ways to waste time online
  • How to be disciplined even when you’re not having fun
  • Do unhealthy foods ever get less tempting?
  • Why improvement never stops

Click the button below to listen now:

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The Surprising Secret to Achieving Your Race Goals Sooner

Everyone knows you’ve got to pace yourself in a marathon.

Go out too hard, and you’re toast before the race is half over. And you won’t just lose a few minutes, either: starting too fast can turn race day into an utter disaster.

This is exactly what happened to me during my first marathon. My friends and I took off at Boston-qualifying pace, aiming for a 3:10:59 that we truly had no business attempting.

By mile 18, we crashed. And instead of a 3:10 or even a 4 hour marathon, it took us 4 hours and 53 minutes. Over 100 minutes slower than the time we had naively set out to run when we signed up on a whim six months earlier.

But what if I told you this same concept of pacing should apply not just on race day, but to your entire next few years of running?

Don’t make the mistake I did …

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6 Rules to Follow for Your First Trail Run


There’s no way around it: trail running is intimidating.

You could get lost or hurt. You have to deal with uneven footing and steep climbs. It’s dirty, wet, and exposed.

But for NMA Radio co-host Doug, trail running is the only reason he’s still running, period.

And all that scary stuff? It’s much less of an issue than most beginners think.

Doug runs almost exclusively on mountain trails, is the author of the Trail Runner’s System, and gets more pleasure from playing in the woods than anyone I know. In today’s episode, I ask Doug to share the 6 most important rules new trail runners should follow to stay safe and easily transition from the roads to the trails.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How to pace your trail run
  • Is trail running more dangerous than road running?
  • Bears and snakes … how to deal with wildlife encounters
  • Why it’s acceptable to walk during your run
  • Trail running gear vs. road running gear

Click the button below to listen now:


If you’re a fan of NMA Radio (and you like all these new episodes we’re making!), we’d greatly appreciate it if you’d leave us a rating and review on iTunes. Thank you!

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Frustrated with Your Inability to Change? How a Simple Shift in Focus Can Make All the Difference

Imagine that a change you want to make is a thousand-pound boulder you’ve got to move.

You push with all your weight against it, and it doesn’t budge. Not an inch.

So you take a break, and try again.

It still doesn’t move. Try again; same result.

Eventually, you realize the boulder is not going to move, and you give up, feeling defeated and powerless.

Until you remember what Archimedes said: “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

It turns out that focusing on the lever, not the boulder, makes all the difference when it comes to making a real change in your life. But how exactly do you make this shift?

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