Endeavorun Austin Retreat Panel Part 1 - With Matt Fitzgerald, Bertrand Newson Amanda Brooks, and Dr. Asher Henry, hosted by Jake tuber and Hannah Hunstad
This episode is part one of a three-part series recorded at the recent Endeavorun retreat. This conversation is from a live panel discussion between Matt Fitzgerald, Bertrand Newson Amanda Brooks, and Dr. Asher Henry hosted by Jake tuber and Hannah Hunstad.
The four panelists are all coaches, and in this episode, they answer three key questions.
- What do you wish more of your athletes knew?
- What will you not do as a coach?
- What do you wish more athletes would ask you as a coach?
If you like this conversation and want to be part of the next Endeavorun retreat in Boulder, Colorado, follow Endeavorun on Instagram.
Check out the, For the Long Run Podcast for part two and the 80/20 Endurance Podcast for part three of this. And as always keep on running.
Links For the Show
Podcast TranscriptionThe following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.
[00:00:00] Jake Tuber: There's some sense in which I take it, that consistency is its own perfection. The process of continuously executing is the perfection you're chasing rather than the outcomes that the process is designed to devise.
[00:00:17] Bertrand Newson: Welcome to the RaceMob podcast. This is episode 86.
This episode is part one of a three-part series recorded at the recent Endeavorun retreat. This conversation is from a live panel discussion between Matt Fitzgerald, myself Coach "B" Amanda Brooks and Dr. Asher Henry hosted by Jake tuber and Hannah Hunstad.
The four panelists are all coaches. And in this episode they answer three key questions. What do you wish more of your athletes knew? What will you not do as a coach? What do you wish more athletes would ask you as a coach?
[00:00:55] Jake Tuber: Welcome to the live panel here at Endeavorun Austin, 2022. My name is Jake Tuber with Endeavorun and I am joined by my friend and colleague Hannah Hunstad is at with 80 20 endurance. Hey Hannah.
[00:01:07] Hannah Hunstad: Hey. Yeah. Happy to be.
[00:01:09] Jake Tuber: Right on. I'm really excited to introduce our four panelists for this podcast format. We're doing a live recording in front of an audience of attendees at the Endeavorun retreat.
For those of you are listening at home right now, here's a little bit of a synopsis of what you're going to be hearing. We are going to ask our panelists, Mr. Matt Fitzgerald Bertrand Newson, Amanda Brooks, and Asher Henry a series of questions that they're going to answer by first writing their answers out on a card here in front of them, flipping those cards over and showing them to their audience.
And those are going to be the jumping off points for a conversation. So the first question we have for our various panelists is this question for you, coaches, what do you wish more of your athletes? We've explicitly brought in Hannah, because I was told last time that my jeopardy singing was out of tune and we wanted to make that adjustment.
[00:02:07] Hannah Hunstad: Yes, my pitch is impeccable. So.
[00:02:09] Jake Tuber: Yes. And Hannah, maybe you could give us a quick 10, second bio of each of our panelists while they're writing down their first answers. Starting with Matt,
[00:02:16] Hannah Hunstad: Sure thing! Matt Fitzgerald written over 20 books, if I'm right. Very established runner himself going through long COVID currently, but battling, I have to mention a map. And yes, here with 80 20 endurance at the Endeavorun retreat to help people with their training plans and coaching them through runs on Sunday or just their goals.
Coach "B" founder of two legit fitness coach of over a thousand athletes. He's he's shaking his head.
[00:02:45] Jake Tuber: Give or take a couple of hundred.
[00:02:47] Hannah Hunstad: Come on. Yeah. Running club. Okay. That's fair enough. Coach of 35 athletes. Okay. But running club of over a thousand athletes, big on community and it shows you'll hear that I'm sure in this episode.
Amanda Brooks run to the finish author of run to the finish. You can probably find her on Instagram. TikTok is coming up. I tried to convince her last night that she's got the moves for it. She has the account, she has the account, so we'll break the moves out, hopefully tonight.
But yeah, author of run to the finish and of the owner of the blog run to the finish and great social media person to follow on there.
And then Asher! PT gave a great talk yesterday about mobility and the importance of that. Also strength and conditioning coach owns business.
[00:03:36] Jake Tuber: That's your personalized running.
[00:03:38] Hannah Hunstad: There we go. Thank you for the name. Now hiring true. Maybe in the future. We talked about that earlier. But yeah, so she comes with a wealth of knowledge on the PT and recovery and strength side.
[00:03:50] Jake Tuber: Right on. Thanks, Hannah.
All right. Our first question to the coaches. What do you wish more of your athletes knew?
Coaches flip those first answers around, and I'll ask you to read them just one at a time without any context, and then we'll get into it. Astro. I'm gonna start with you. What did you write down here?
[00:04:04] Asher Henry: Consistency over perfection.
[00:04:06] Jake Tuber: All right, Amanda,
[00:04:07] Amanda Brooks: Slow is not a bad word.
[00:04:09] Bertrand Newson: Rest and recovery.
[00:04:11] Matt Fitzgerald: They'll never regret going for it.
[00:04:13] Jake Tuber: Matt, let's start there. Why do you wish more of your athletes knew that they'll never regret going for.
[00:04:19] Matt Fitzgerald: You know, I've had I've had many of these conversations, a few with attendees participants in this camp Roberto being one of them.
Athletes who in one way or another. Vacillating over whether to go for it, with the running in some way just, you know, going back and forth in their own minds about, you know, should I take this chance to, is it too risky? You know, can I deal with failure if I, if I do fail?
And my advice is always the same for those athletes, I've just, I've never known an athlete who went through that process in their mind and decided to go for it and then regretted it afterwards.
The journey doesn't always take you where you wanted it to, or, or hoped it would, but when runners go for it with the running they just never regret it.
And when they hold back from, from taking a chance and it can take various forms the one exception is like, when you go for. On a merit in a marathon on mile five and just take a flyer that is often regretted. So yeah, it's like not a universal.
[00:05:19] Jake Tuber: Going forward in the macro sets, not necessarily a mile five of the marathon for our other coaches to any of you have any, I want to use the word case study, it's a bit formal, but any examples of athletes you can think of who were struggling with the decision of how all into go and what the result is when they made that call Coach "B".
I see you nodding there who comes to mind, maybe we'll use a pseudonym to keep the case study theme going, but who comes to mind when you think of an athlete who had came to you wondering about whether or not it was time to go all in, what was the result?
[00:05:51] Bertrand Newson: Or this athlete is going to give me the eye roll, cause I'm not going to say her name Lynn. Um, Who's actually running tomorrow. Um, We'll be back later on today, she's running the half marathon, and is in half marathon shape to PR, but it's unsure if she wants to go forward or make it at where she's chasing finish line or chasing finished time.
And ultimately that's a decision based on the athlete. Coaches can see the potential. We can see the progression and sometimes as coach, Matt said, you gotta trust the process and just go for it and realize that one race does not define you, but you won't know where you're at until you push. So that's one example.
[00:06:32] Jake Tuber: It's a great store and we're all excited for Lynn by the time this airs everybody who's listening can go and congratulate Lynn on her new found PR. We hope if not, we'll just edit this whole thing out. We'll just kind of cut this guy out really quickly. Asher. You talked about this notion of consistency over perfection.
Elaborate on that for us.
[00:06:52] Asher Henry: Yeah, I think we've talked a lot. Here at this retreat about all the things you can do to benefit yourself, and all the different ways you can strength, train, and, and work in strides or working dynamic warmup or something. And, and so this can kind of goes on the meta, but also into your daily training as well.
Like you can work consistently on something and do small bouts of things and it still have massive impacts on your training. We don't have to think we have to go off, like I'm going to counter your go home and kind of come forth with that. But do different things.
[00:07:29] Jake Tuber: Early attention here on the podcast.
[00:07:35] Asher Henry: But, but on the daily, on a daily basis, you don't have to do every single thing to be making strides forward. It's about getting in what you can. I mean, I tell my athletes a lot, like sometimes it's 10 minutes, like instead of being like, I'm completely overwhelmed, I can't do that 10 mile run. I can't do it.
Like that's okay. Like go for 10 minutes, go for a mile and just see how you feel. And that's still moving the ball forward.
Yeah. You can't do 30 minutes of strength. That's fine. Pick out three exercises that you feel really comfortable with and dedicate eight minutes to doing those. It doesn't have to be these large chunks.
Perfect world scenarios.
[00:08:13] Jake Tuber: There's some sense in which I take it, that consistency is its own perfection. The process of continuously executing is the perfection you're chasing rather than the outcomes that the process is designed to devise.
I know that it sounds a bit sort of the kind of silly fortune cookie wisdom that you might hear at a running fortune cookie shop, which by the way, if any of you are interested in investing in, come see me afterwards. But I do think there's a lot of value in that.
Amanda, talk to me about your experience with this notion of slow, not being a bad word because for me right now, it's the only word. So I'm glad to hear that.
[00:08:47] Amanda Brooks: I feel like most of the time when runners use the word slow, they're using it to apologize. I'm slow. They're worried about their pace.
But slow is just a descriptor. Some runs are faster, some runs are slower and that's all it is. And so knowing that slow is not a pace, there is no pace that is slow. It is truly like where you are and you're going to have some
days where you're doing speed work and you're going faster.
And you're going to have other days that are easy runs and recovery runs. And if there's not a big Delta between your fast pace and your easy and your recovery pace, then you're not running correctly.
So you need to have runs that are in fact slow and stop kind of getting in your head about what that means or how that defines you.
[00:09:38] Jake Tuber: I'm hearing a twofold answer there, which is that one slow, isn't a pejorative term. It's not a denigration of who you are as a runner. It, even if that is an identifying characteristic, that you are not running a KIPP gaze, easy pace or marathon pace, that doesn't mean that slow is bad.
And also this notion that a good amount of your training relative to who you are, needs to be slow.
It sounds a lot like somebody wrote a book about something along these lines, like 90/10 or 85/15 principles... it's 70/30, Matt.
Do you know what I'm talking about? Do you want to elaborate on that and how that works in particular?
Maybe talk a little bit about how the pace of your slower things will differ from day to day or even within the context of a single workout.
[00:10:20] Matt Fitzgerald: Yeah, I think um, you know, when you're trying to get buy-in on doing most of your running at a slow pace I point to the elites because you know, it is sort of counterintuitive, how do I race faster if I'm, if I'm training slower.
But it's just a fact that, you know, the best runners in the world, th the men and women that go to the Olympics and win Boston, that, that we admire, they do most of the running at a pace that is not only, you know, slow for them, but slow, you know.
When I did my fake pro runner stint and, and Flagstaff a few years ago, I was able to run with some of the elites, not because. As fast as they were, but because they were running so slow relative to their own abilities.
And I think that's just good news. You can, you can buy into that, right? It's like, well, shoot, this person went to the Olympics. If they're doing it it's just one of the things you have to give give it a chance.
And you will see it. You start to feel better. You start to build B will be able to really crush the 20%. And then just to finish the thought. Yeah, slow can vary from day to day.
I'm actually, I've mentioned it a few times. I'm reading Frank shorter's autobiography now, and he's talking about how he indexed his easy pace to what he was doing on his high intensity days.
The more, the deeper he got into his training and the harder he was going on, his hard days, the slower, his easy days got. So the whole thing held together.
And that's the only, so you don't want to be tied to your device like, oh, my easy pace is XYZ per mile. No, it isn't not if you're doing it right. It's one thing one day, one thing another day.
And sort of listening to your body and, and sort of tuning in can be just a great way to become more mindful as a runner and also just make your training more effective.
[00:11:53] Jake Tuber: And do you advocate as a result of that folks focusing on ditching the watch for their easy runs or at minimum putting it on so they can know their macro level time. And if they have a time goal, I mean, how do you, how do you calibrate that kind of wisdom for the folks who are the rest of their time, really focused on hitting splits precisely and obeying the watch as much as possible.
How do you advise them around that? Let's let's hear Coach BS, answer that question.
[00:12:17] Bertrand Newson: Ironic that um, two weeks ago I recorded a podcast based on this and where people in some cases have lost their running mojo because they have they're too tied to the analytics. They're too tied to the measurement component and to. A little run free without a timepiece. Right. And it's liberating and run based on feel, run for the love of it versus, you know, what zone am I in?
What pace on my, at what is my cadence? What is my strike length? Just to get out and immerse yourself in the experience, it allows you to reset and refine the joy of just getting outdoors.
[00:12:56] Jake Tuber: Amanda, you drove this conversation with your thoughtful opening. We were talking the other day about how. You have so many runners who have asked you about a retreat like this in general. And believe me, this is not meant to be an adverse retreat, but this notion of I'm too slow to participate. I'm not fast enough for a running retreat.
I'm not fast enough to join a running group or to run with this club or to wear that kind of outfit. When I'm out on the run, you've got to be X amount of fast to run that singlet with that logo. What do you say to folks who come to you from this position of I'm not fast enough? What's your general coaching cadence.
[00:13:31] Hannah Hunstad: Yeah. So I think, especially when it comes to sort of finding that community I tell them if you keep showing up than other people who are exactly like you will show up and finally feel welcomed especially with running groups. I mean, having lived all over the country, I can say you may have to dip your toe into multiple different groups to find the one that feels good to you.
Some of them. Are not as great at catering to all different paces. So call ahead, ask ahead, but show up, be prepared to just have your own run. If it turns out to be that kind of night and know that it's not a reflection of you or your ability. It's, it's, that's the people who were there that day. So keep going, keep looking for that other group, but especially like running retreats.
Yeah. Do a little bit of research and find out who are they catering to? There are going to be some that are catering to like elite runners. That's not where we want to go. But otherwise you should expect that most of them that there's going to be a wide range and that'll be your chance to finally connect and run with other people and kind of find that joy and realize what you might be missing in your training.
[00:14:41] Jake Tuber: Very cool. Yeah. To sort of be the person you wish to see in the group element, I think is powerful Coach "B". I want to shift to your answer here around hoping that more athletes would know about rest and recovery, and I'm sure I'm going to want to ask Asher about how to take advantage of that a little bit more precisely.
What is it about rest and recovery that you wish they knew?
[00:15:00] Bertrand Newson: First off a four-letter word that is not a bad word is rest. Another one is walk. A lot of times we as runners, we were so focused and driven on getting in the work when we're in that motivated space. Athletes who have a running coach a path to stay focused and a higher level of accountability go level up time trial, PRS, greater distance, et cetera, et cetera.
The art of rest and recovery gets lost. And it is a game changer as much as putting in the work as a game changer. And when you have the balance an 80/20 balance it's important. So from a coaching perspective and as an athlete, make the time to relish and cherish those rest days and easy days, easy and hard days hard.
And where do you, where's the greatest sense of recovery for the body? Is that when you're on a foam roller is when you're drinking a protein drink. The case is when your sleep, what is your sleep like? Do you get enough? That's when your body again is going to get you back to a greater sense of feeling better, which is important.
So R E S T it's a good thing.
[00:16:11] Jake Tuber: And that gives me a quick opportunity to plug one of our sponsors for this podcast and endeavor in general, which is inside tracker, who actually can give you a lot of the data to help you analyze that in a very organic way. I know those here are fans of it. We're going to talk more about that later, but to be able to understand what's going on internally and help you calibrate your rest, your intake, the nutrients that you're focused on your fueling for performance to coach B's point.
Otherwise you're leaving a major part of your training cycle unexamined. I mean, if you think about the amount of energy we put into making sure every workout is the right distance and the right splits, and I have the right shoes and the right gear and the right focus and the right. Rest and recovery is a huge part of progression.
That's actually where the muscle growth and regeneration happens is when folks are at rest to ignore that and not take advantage of more data, that's now available. It gives yourself, I should say, shortchanges you a little bit Asher when you're writing, especially a lot of prehab focused plans for folks.
How do you convince athletes to take the rest and recovery as seriously as say they want to take their hard days or something along those lines?
[00:17:17] Asher Henry: Yeah, for sure. I was talking to some people earlier, other treat about this and it kind of to jump off, coach B's comment about make easy days easy and hard days hard, like adaptations happen in the downtime. Like we can do all of these big fitness events. Like we can go work out, we can long run, we can do all these things.
But really your body needs that time to remodel and grow on the like cellular level, musculoskeletal level to be able to withstand future stimulus. So yeah, you want to work in prehab? Yes. You want to work in strength if you had the time and ability, that is a very important part of injury prevention and performance.
But you want to work that in, in a way that's complimentary to your whole training cycle and that includes restaurant recovery. It's as, as vital as anything. And so I often tell my athletes, Hey, if we're going to do strengths, we're going to do them on sometimes on run days, depending on how many rest days they have during the week.
we're also going to make sure we're not doing strength the day before a workout or the day before a long run, so that we're showing up to those really, really hard days or those uptempo days in a good position, like setting ourselves up to be able to utilize the energy that we have appropriately.
But then also on the flip side of that, Taking those full rest days to fully rest. So incorporating at least on my team, like at least one day a week where you're completely resting and then potentially on easy days putting in your strength work there so that you do have the capacity to take full rest days as well.
[00:18:55] Jake Tuber: There are different schools of thought about when to incorporate strength work. I know a lot of athletes will make their hard days extra hard by going to the gym and doing Olympic lifting after a track workout. Other folks with. On the day following from recovery perspective, I know there's a lot of different solid philosophies for the typical everyday runner.
I'm not talking about your elites who have X amount of hours in the gym every day to spend whenever they want. It was trying to fit that gym session in in-between their runs, trying to plan out their week. All right. If I want to optimize a little bit more and schedule my time so that I have a little extra time either after or before a run, what's your advice for most folks fitting in gym and strength time around their.
[00:19:36] Asher Henry: Yeah. So if you were going to do a strength workout on the same day as a run, the literature shows basically you want to do strength after, so you want to prioritize what you're prioritizing and that's running for us.
And then to get a little bit more out of that, Strength program itself. If you wait six or more hours, you can actually get more benefit from the strength training.
So splitting your days am PM works really well. If that said, like, we don't do all this in a bubble, like we're all human. So if your plan, if your day, if you're a life as better, if you, and more enjoyable, if you run and then you go right into your lifting, because moving those two together allows you to have more time with your children or time like relaxing with your friends.
That's just as important. So if you can split them and it's convenient for you waiting at least six hours is usually beneficial. And then otherwise, you know, again, stick with consistently.
[00:20:36] Jake Tuber: Sounds like, and Matt, you and I have talked about this before, but sometimes the best way to incorporate it is the way that, you know, you're most likely to incorporate it. So even if it can't be optimal as if you were a pro and you had the 24 hours of your day to get paid, to schedule it, do what you need to do so that it's in there.
That's better than not being in there, which is important. Hanna, why don't you take us through our next question for our panelists and they'll write their answers down,
[00:20:58] Hannah Hunstad: So we talked about what we, what you hope your athletes knew, and I'm sure that's all those things that you mentioned are what you preach all the time as well. But now we're going to talk about what is something that you won't do as a coach.
[00:21:14] Jake Tuber: Matt, we'll start with you reading your answer off on the mic over there, and then head down this way,
[00:21:18] Matt Fitzgerald: I won't say what an athlete can't do.
[00:21:21] Jake Tuber: Coach "B". What do you have on yours?
[00:21:23] Bertrand Newson: I won't make it about me. I won't make it about the coach.
[00:21:26] Amanda Brooks: Mine is I won't promise quick results or plan for them.
[00:21:32] Asher Henry: Mine is I won't get out of it.
[00:21:35] Jake Tuber: Really great answers. Tana notice, none of them said that illegal steroids and PDs were off the table. So if any of you are interested in being coached by any of these four, that wasn't anything referenced, that's all on the table, as far as I'm concerned. Amanda quick results. Why, why don't you promise we quick results?
I mean, will you please give them to me if you don't promise them to me?
[00:21:53] Amanda Brooks: No, like I have actually turned away a number of athletes who wanted to do a race. That was relatively soon that I just thought I. I don't want to be a party to your new injury or I don't want to be a party to you having an, a really unfortunate day. It's not that maybe it's not possible, but I'd just rather be part of your success.
[00:22:19] Jake Tuber: Asher, it sounds like you kind of have a similar philosophy in terms of what you will do and won't you, and the way that you wrote down, you won't get out of your lane. Maybe talk a little bit more about that for.
[00:22:29] Asher Henry: Yeah, I think I always want the best for my athletes and I want to provide them with what I have expertise in. But sometimes they need other things. So similarly, like sometimes they need a different personality. Sometimes they need a different professionals. Sometimes they need a different practitioner.
Like sometimes they need other things. And my job is to find out what their needs are and serve those best in my capacity.
And sometimes that's bringing other people in or referring them out. And this might come, especially from my physical therapy background, but like, I won't get out of my lane.
Like I know what I can provide, what I'm good at. And I also know what I can, how I can serve them best, but that might not be what they need in the moment in time. So that's kinda what I meant by that.
[00:23:15] Hannah Hunstad: And similar, but not congruent. Answer from Coach. "B" make it about me or sorry. You will not make it about you. You'll not make it about the coach. Can you say more about that.
[00:23:27] Jake Tuber: Yes, a training plan is about the athlete. And it's not Coach BS training plan. I'm not living vicariously through the athlete that it is my way or the highway. It's a mutually curated process. You have to in a coaching profession, you have to be a good listener. You hear in a world where you can talk about our profession and what we love.
But as a coach, especially in the beginning, you must zip it up and listen to the athlete, understand their journey and understand roadblocks that have prevented them from getting to the next level. But too many times I've seen coaches, of course not my fellow panelists make it about make it about them.
And too many times, that's what causes a disconnect between coach and athlete. So just talking a little bit less listening a little bit more and not making it about yourself and get ego in the way, trying to drive results. So you can say, Hey, that athlete did this because of me. No, not the best approach.
I wonder if we could spend a little more time on that as a panel, because there is an inherent tension. When someone comes to you for coaching, they're seeking out some degree of guidance, especially in athletic coaching, as opposed to other forms of coaching. No, I know Matt, you're writing a lot about this topic and coaching and 80 twenties coaching certifications that are coming up and things like that.
There's a certain sense in which you have to provide a degree of expertise as an advisor, but a great coach is one who ultimately enables their athletes to better coach themselves and steps away. And so while those relationships start with the degree of necessary dependency, the idea is to foster. What do you tell athletes along the way, how did your conversations change with athletes as you've been coaching them for longer periods of time so that it's not about them getting on the phone or on zoom with you and you basically reading to them, which is essentially what you're doing when you make it about you Coach "B" that's exactly right.
And actually really becoming more of that listener, that question, ask her, have you found that your conversations with your athletes who you've worked at for many years tend to evolve in terms of how the conversations.
[00:25:36] Matt Fitzgerald: Yeah, it's one of the I think most coaches would agree. You have the most fun when you're working with athletes you've been working with for a while because there is an evolution that occurs and typically you're just loosening your hold on the reigns.
Especially if, if you start with someone who's relatively toward the beginning of their journey as an athlete, they, you know, they need more direction. Like, just do this. I'll tell you why afterwards.
But you know, if the process unfolds. Good. You're putting more and more on them as, as, as the process goes and it's a lot of fun, I guess, maybe bad poach coaches can't do that so much, but I always just get a thrill when you know, a good idea comes from an athlete.
It's like, Hey, what about, what if we try this? Or if the solution to a problem, we both recognize comes from the athlete. And not me because I do deserve some of the credit for that actually, you know like I've, I've enabled the athlete to get to the point where they can problem solve for themselves.
It's just, it's, it's a lot of fun.
[00:26:35] Jake Tuber: Amanda. I see you nodding there. Do you want to add to that at all?
[00:26:38] Amanda Brooks: Yeah, I think that's a really great point. One of the athletes that I have worked with for a long time. Got better at sort of recognizing what was working for her. And so even with like strength training, at one point, she said, you know, I think for me, I prefer it. If there's like four known strength sessions and that's what I do for a while less variety actually is better for me.
And then I have other runners that want all the variety, but it was really cool for her to hit that point of like, Hey, no, I'm realizing now this is what I want.
And it, it is, it's great to get that feedback and then be at the point where they're comfortable in themselves to say, this is what I want.
[00:27:17] Jake Tuber: Yeah, that sounds like one of the more fun moments as a coach, when you realize that you've enabled them, the capacities that you first had to provide. And a bit of advice to challenge to some ways, either those here in the room or those listening on the podcast edition of this. If you find that you're having the same type of conversation with your coach over a long time, it's time to either push them and see if they can evolve or it's time to find a new coach.
That doesn't mean you're going to be talking about the same goals, talking about the same elements of process. But if the cadence, if the posture of those conversations, isn't evolving, as you ideally become more self knowledgeable and able to self dictate, maybe it's time for you to find a different coach.
That's not necessarily worse or better, but one that's likely to suit your needs just as at certain times, you'd find a different race distance as your body grows and evolves. Sometimes you need to find a different coach as well.
[00:28:08] Hannah Hunstad: And we'll conclude. But you won't do as a coach with mats answer. Say what an athlete cannot do is hear more about that.
[00:28:18] Matt Fitzgerald: Yeah. I've a blog for everything at this point. I've written all too many blogs, but I wrote one a while back like can't is not in my vocabulary as a coach. And there are a few reasons for that. I think we we've all like, you know, heard you know, athletes, elite professional athletes interviewed after a great success where they throw a former coach under the bus.
Like my coach said, I could never go to the Olympics or win a championship. And then they do. You do not want to be the coach named in that interview. And if you tell an athlete why they can't do something that is possible a second reason is that if you think, you know how far an athlete can ultimately go in terms of improving, you're either lying or you're wrong because you don't like, there's no calculator, there's no test.
You can give someone when they've been running for three years to find out how good they're going to be. If they do things right after five or seven years. So you just don't know. That's reason number two. And then number three is like, just as a coach, in terms of like the dynamic you want to establish with an athlete, you don't want to put yourself in the position where you are telling an athlete, what they can't do.
There are things that athletes can't do. Let others tell them that like you, you just, it's the tenor of the relationship you want to have. You, you want your athletes to associate you with "can", not "can't".
[00:29:37] Jake Tuber: Matt, have you ever strategically said to an athlete, they can't do it knowing that that would motivate them to accomplish something they otherwise wouldn't try because I've been chasing that a hundred meter Olympic gold medal ever since you said I couldn't win it. And I want to know, is this all been employed?
Is there ever something that where tactically, you will actually tap into an athlete's motivation? Maybe not saying camp, but being like that's going to be something that would really impress me or framing it in a way that makes them as a matter of wanting to show themselves and prove it to you in a healthy way, strive more.
Or is that something that's a little bit too nuanced?
[00:30:11] Matt Fitzgerald: No, that would be a contradiction of what, what I want. I just said, yeah, I, I simply don't
[00:30:16] Jake Tuber: the man and alive folks I've been trying for years.
[00:30:19] Matt Fitzgerald: I mean, here's where I will say. Can't like if the example I gave in that coaching textbook, I'm working on that you refer. Like, if there's a runner who says I want to run I want to complete my first 100 mile trail race in nine months.
If I think it's not safe for them, for that athlete to make that attempt, I will tell them that. And a Bible carefully at nuance thing. I'm not telling you, you can't run a hundred miles. I'm telling you you're probably not ready and let's give it a little more
[00:30:49] Jake Tuber: There's an analogy that your answer reminded me of, which is once described. Great coaching is having the personality or posture of a park ranger. A cop will say, no, you can't do this. You can't go here. It's closed a park. Ranger will say. If you want to go there, it's off trail and it's a little bit dangerous.
Here's what I'd recommend. Or, oh, if you're interested in doing this, most people are interested in doing that. Really find that they made the best time that they could have at the national park by going this way. And you could try this in the afternoon or go out there and then come back and let me know.
And we'll talk tomorrow. And this notion of saying like, it's not that you can't, but I'm just, I'm here to create the parameters. And if you want to push against them, that's fine. Amanda, you kind of shook your head before when you were like, no, I will never strategically say no just to go to an athlete into trying something because it's a mental block.
What was behind that answer?
[00:31:41] Amanda Brooks: Yeah. I mean, I think it's part of that is figuring out that every athlete has different ways that they need to be motivated. I'm not the reverse psychology coach. Like for most people, you're there to be their cheerleader. And kind of, yeah, that confidence. So I don't want them to have that negative association minus, as I said, the quick results, which is exactly what Matt just mentioned.
[00:32:04] Asher Henry: I also think that most athletes are limited by. Mindset more than their physical, like fitness, right? Like they're usually in training, at least maybe I'm just talking about from personal experience, this might be anecdotal, but oftentimes they don't believe the extent of what they can do. And it's our job not to say like, yes, you can't like, I just want to also like reinforce like, no, not just you can't like dream big, like reach for big things because we often limit ourselves on the psychological side of things before wherever limited physically.
So that's the only thing.
[00:32:43] Jake Tuber: And there is some evidence that even within the context of a workout, let alone and goal setting our brains capacity. Based on the way our limbic system is interacting with our sort of more rational centers of our brain is going to tell us we're basically done long before our body is physiologically done.
And there there's some famous studies that have been done where they say that generally speaking, when you think you absolutely have no more, you've tapped about 40% of your physiological capacity and your brain as a sort of survival mechanism is trying to tell you to take easy toying with those limits is a lot of what it means to expand your skillset as an athlete.
So there's a lot of biological truth to that, as well as your thanks for adding that.
[00:33:20] Hannah Hunstad: I actually have some question for you guys going off of that too. Do you think some athletes want you to say they can do it? Like they, they look for the coach? Yes. Sure. Most athletes come new coach for a cheerleader perspective and for them to push them, but do some athletes want that limit of, okay, I can't do this.
Like, this is what I should shoot for. This is where my safe zone is.
[00:33:41] Amanda Brooks: I mean, I think it's personality. And so that is a lot of finding the right coach. It's do you want Jillian Michaels in your face? Like get out there, do it. I don't care how tired you are or do you need someone who's Bob Harper and a little softer and in your corner. So I think that's a big part of.
Finding the right running coach is sort of knowing yourself, what is it that helps you or motivates you? And then talking with that coach first to see like, well, how, how do you help someone when they're in a slump or when I'm telling you, I don't really feel like doing my run. Are you going to be tough love or are you going to just be like, okay, that's fine.
You don't want to run. And so kind of knowing yourself, I think is a big piece of that.
[00:34:27] Bertrand Newson: There are some occasions where you look at the goal that the athlete may have, and if they're coming off of a marathon and a week later, there's another marathon they want to do you think? Oh, I don't know, but there's some times as a coach, when you need to trust the. Because it is more about them just getting another metal more about, more than them just trying to push for another PR.
I have an athlete by the name of Nicole, who her profession as a doctor, she's an end of life doctor
and knowing the the stress that she's exposed to in her every day, the ties she has to the families and making critical life changing decisions running for her is very personal. It is therapeutic. It is essential. It is what helps her cope. And she is, she's a grinder. I mean, she's one of my hardest working athletes.
She came to me that way. So I cannot take credit for that. That's just how she's wired. She lost her mother. As a teenager and she's been able to use running as a vehicle that has helped her cope and thrive. She's in the midst of a 50 state, 50 marathon challenge. She was in Tennessee two weeks ago and this was a point where like, oh, okay.
She was going to Tennessee two weeks ago and then ended up running in Mesa last Sunday ran for 28 and then 3, 3 8 the following week. So when I was as a coach thinking, okay, maybe a day in that second marathon in Mesa where you may have to grind it out, you know it may, you may be in the pain cave early. Trust the athlete.
And that's the advice
that I give other coaches as well as too many times. Again, we make it about us. And there are times we need to step back and let the athlete embrace that next challenge.
[00:36:22] Jake Tuber: Mesa is a faster course than Tennessee typically ranked one of the top 10 fastest marathon courses in the country. So another
[00:36:32] Hannah Hunstad: Way to conclude that inspirational story.
[00:36:34] Jake Tuber: Yes. And this just shows you another great element of great coaching is if your athlete wants to run two races back to back, make the second one on a faster course for them.
[00:36:42] Bertrand Newson: If you like this conversation, and want to be part of the next Endeavorun retreat in Boulder, Colorado follow endeavor, run on Instagram.
Check out the, For the Long Run Podcast for part two and the 80/20 Endurance Podcast for part three of this. And as always keep on running.