It’s the eve of my final 20 mile training run for this Boston Qualifying attempt. I was telling Chap today that I’m on the front end of the crazy taper antics where runners start to panic (mild at first) that their training time is running out. I know that in the next three weeks there’s not a lot I can do to really improve my conditioning a substantial amount. There is a lot I can do to undo my training though. So these next three weeks will be very cautious, and like I outlined earlier this week, a little rigorously routined. This is me trying to find any way besides running that I could improve a little – nutrition, sleep, recovery, mentality, etc. So, here I am on a Saturday night at 8pm already ready for bed.
I have recently been introduced to the world of podcasts. And what an overwhelming world it is! I’ve been enjoying some episodes in the middle hours of long runs (usually running related), as background noise while I clean or cook, and as an alternative to music in the car. I usually find that I like to listen to something related to what I’m doing at the moment. Except when I’m walking Miley or driving – that’s when I go rogue and pick episodes at random.
These podcast pick posts will mostly be for me, so that I have a record of podcasts that I enjoyed to reference down the road. I hope that maybe it’s helpful for some of you to find episodes that you might like, without drowning in the seemingly millions of episodes out there. Seriously, I think my eyes went cross one night when I was scrolling and scrolling through categories and top ranked and recommended podcasts.
It’s still completely overwhelming to me so I would love to hear how you “do” podcasts. I’ve had several dozen recommended to me and that’s usually where I start. I subscribe to the ones I really like. Sometimes when I have downtime I browse the top hits (as mentioned above) or search particular key words. Do you subscribe? Do you go in order of the episodes or search for topics you like? How often do you listen? Is there a time when you always listen or don’t listen? Tell me more!
Here are the episodes I loved this week! I promise to never even mention ones that don’t interest me at all so you don’t waste the same precious time. Here’s what I listened to and loved this week:
- This American Life Episode 589: Tell Me I’m Fat. IF YOU LISTEN TO THIS ONE, I WANT TO HAVE AN ADULT DISCUSSION ABOUT IT WITH YOU – LET ME KNOW. (yes, I’m yelling because I want to make sure you hear that) I listened to this episode fiddling around the house and taking an epsom salt bath after a tough run one day. I downloaded it because the title and description intrigued me, both as someone who has lost weight before, and as someone who works with fat people. So many brilliant points that I agree with were addressed in this podcast. The first part of the podcasts interviews two different fat women – one who accepts herself as she is (not in an instant though of course, through very much painful emotional acceptance) and one who loses the weight but still has the baggage of it hanging on her. Both perspectives are so interesting and critical to understand. And, let me say this loud and clear for everyone to hear: BEING FAT/OVERWEIGHT/OBESE (yes, even) DOES NOT ALWAYS CORRELATE TO POOR HEALTH/LAZINESS/GLUTTONY. (yelling again, this time in bold!) I know that is the stigma, and that is what we are taught but it isn’t true. Someone can be fat AND healthy, just as someone can be thin AND unhealthy. Then, in a surprise twist I didn’t see coming, Tulsa makes an appearance (although not in a proud moment). ORU’s POPs (Pounds Off Program) of the 70s is discussed and I was shocked to hear that they required all students to be in a particular body fat percentage range in order to come back to school. One girl they interviewed was 4 pounds over the weight they wanted her when she returned after summer break and they wouldn’t let her enroll for that semester! WTF? And there is very little information on it outside of the podcast.
- Marathon Training Academy – Interview with Kathrine Switzer. Listen to this for motivation to overcome anything. I started listening to this on my 15 miler last weekend when I was really struggling. Even Kathrine, the woman who pushed me into training for this by saying, “We are very good at underestimating what we’re capable of”, couldn’t get me through those last miles last weekend. I finished the episode on a walk with Miley this week. She told this same tale of how she got to that iconic Boston Marathon in 1967 that she did when I heard her speak in Boston in April. It is no less inspiring the second time around. She is driven, funny, well-spoken, realistic and inspiring. She goes on to talk about how that one race catapulted her to champion for women’s distance running to be included in the Olympics (not until the 70s) and women to be able to participate in races all over the world. Even if you’re not into the “feminist stuff”, it’s worth a listen to hear how running has evolved in the past 50 years. We’ve come a long way and the people of my day are spoiled rotten.
- The Tim Ferris Show Episode 238: The Savant of Speed – Ryan Flaherty. I knew who Tim Ferris was before I heard about this podcast. He’s the author of 4 Hour Workweek and 4 Hour Body. As a trainer, I’m familiar with his approaches in the 4 Hour Body and for the most part don’t agree with them. I also think he’s kind of a conceited asshole. All that to say, I certainly wasn’t going to listen to his podcast on my own accord. Chap recommended it to me (he loves this dude) last winter and only recently did I finally have a listen. And only because Chap suggested this specific episode – “it’s got some good running related stuff in there”. He was right. But man these episodes are long! I started this one on my first super long run of this training cycle maybe 8 weeks ago, and only now finished it. But this Ryan guy that Tim interviews has a lot of excellent and nerdy insight into fitness, training and running. I took these three things out of it – 1. Do the 7 way hips exercises to strengthen hip muscles and prevent injury (been doing it fairly diligently on run days) 2. Incorporate step-downs to prevent injury 3. Add hexbar deadlifts with no eccentric loading to make you faster. You might enjoy this one if you’re a runner or into human performance science at all.
What all have you been listening to? And seriously, if you listen to the This American Life one I posted, please tell me!