Kofuzi (Mike Ko) on Making Stunning Running Videos, Attracting an Audience, and Experimenting with Training Plans
Our next podcast, guest probably doesn't need an introduction. If you've spent any time on YouTube or Instagram, you've probably seen his incredible running videography detailed product reviews and relatable non-elite personality. Mike co is a down to earth runner with an incredible talent for video.
He's quickly grown into one of the top influencers in our industry. In this episode, you'll learn how Mike found running and the unique sport he competed in while in college. His first marathon experience and why his dad left him in the dust, why he's known as the running YouTuber's YouTuber, the different training methodologies that he's experimented with and how he's currently training.
Plus take a look behind the curtain at one of the most successful influencers in our industry. You're going to love this episode.
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.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:00:00]
I stopped worrying about that and started making content. Then I was really focused on , Here's my narrow thing, not elite runners. What do non elite runners care about? And so then I could start crafting more of an arc connecting all these little pieces, like these products, earbuds running shoes, or running socks or underwear, like weird stuff that connects as part of I'm training for a marathon right?
And so like, you've been create the narrative of the story and someone that's watching the channel subscribes, not because I'm really good at reviewing a shoe, but because that's part of the overall storytelling of , this is a person's running journey.
Kevin Chang: [00:00:37]
Hello and welcome to the RaceMob podcast where we're all about running long, having fun and making the human connection. This is episode number 36 I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd. And I'm joined by the head coach of RaceMob and master motivator. The incomparable Bertrand Newson.
Our next podcast, guests probably doesn't need an introduction. If you've spent any time on YouTube or Instagram, you've probably seen his incredible running videography detailed product reviews and relatable non-elite personality. Mike co is a down to earth runner with an incredible talent for video.
He's quickly grown into one of the top influencers in our industry. In this episode, you'll learn how Mike found running and the unique sport he competed in while in college. His first marathon experience and why his dad left him in the dust, why he's known as the running YouTuber's YouTuber, the different training methodologies that he's experimented with and how he's currently training.
Plus take a look behind the curtain at one of the most successful influencers in our industry. You're going to love this episode.
If you like our podcast and sign up for our newsletter, where we give you weekly tips on how to run your best race and have fun in the process. Just go to RaceMob dot com and sign up today.
All right. RaceMob crew. We are so excited to welcome the one and only Mike Ko Kofuz ionto the RaceMob podcast. Welcome to the podcast, Mike,
Michael Kofuzi: [00:02:11]
thank you so much for having me. It is a real pleasure to be here.
Kevin Chang: [00:02:14]
Fantastic. Yeah, we are so excited. I think back when we started this podcast, maybe seven months ago, you know, I started creating a list of who should we invite on who are the people that kind of embody this principle of community, community aspect of encouraging other runners, the non elites as you like to call it. And so you are really one of the top names on my list and I'm just so thrilled and so excited to have you on here.
Walk us through a little bit of your background. I know that you ran cross country in high school. Did a little track, maybe a little pole vaulting. I seem to recall is that right?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:02:47]
Yeah so I never really got good at anything. So I tried a little bit of everything on the track and on the field as well when they couldn't figure out what I was going on on the track. So I've done a lot of things, but I think. Right now, I'm kind of just the dude that runs a lot. and that's kind of where I feel like my running is, but you know, I did run cross country in high school a little bit, and then I run everything from the 1-10 hurdles to the mile. I think it was the longest distance on the track.
I pole vaulted high jump, long jump. I was pretty mediocre at everything, enough to kind of get kept, put in those events, but, you know, never to really excel. I ran for a brief period of time, or I vaulted for a little period of time at a division three school in college, but it just got to be, you know, I want it to have more of a college experience.
And at the D3 level, I felt like I was giving up a lot and I didn't know how much I was getting back. And, you know, in retrospect, I wish I had kind of had some different priorities now, looking back on it 20 years later, but you know, at the time it seemed like the right choice.
Kevin Chang: [00:03:48]
How do you get into pole vaulting?
I think you're the first pole vaulter I've actually met. I've always been curious, how the heck do you convince somebody to grab a pole rundown and like, try to jam it in there? Like, did the coach say, Oh, you have the right body type. You have the right speeds. The strength athleticism. How do you even get into pole vaulting? I'm curious.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:04:08]
I don't remember how it got brought up to me. We had a pole vault pit. And I think for a long time, it just kind of sat empty, no one vaulted in it, but then our Coach at some point, like met someone or knew a guy that came like once a week. And like once a week he would like watch us vault and then give us other things to work on the other days.
And so it was kind of a little bit of like, you know, figure it out on yourself and you had a little bit of kind of help. I mean, I went to high school in the late nineties, so it was like the nineties equivalent of learning how to do something on YouTube. And that's kinda like where it was at.
Kevin Chang: [00:04:45]
I love it. Well, I mean, we all know you for distance running for running. I think we probably even got into the sport maybe around the same time, like this 2008, 2009, 2010 timeframe. How did you get introduced into the sport of running? Were you running after college? Recreationally. And when did you start kind of long distance running
Michael Kofuzi: [00:05:06]
in college that's when I decided, you know, I was done with kind of track and pole vaulting, and I took a very long break from running every once in a while, you know, and kinda be like, Oh, it's a nice summer day. Let's go out, throw the shoes on kind of thing, but nothing really consistent, no training plans, no races or anything like that.
Mean, I'm trying to think back, but I don't really feel like it was a huge thing back in, like I'm talking 2001, 2005, like it's not like it is today where it seems like every, I mean, maybe it's the world I'm in now, but back then, it didn't seem like everyone was doing a 5k or a 10 K or a half marathon or a marathon. And so it was very easy to forget it.
Plus it's that time in your twenties where you're like, I don't have homework anymore. I just got a job. I get to leave my work at work for the most part. I'm just going to have some fun and, you know, just enjoying being a young adult.
But then in 2010, my dad was turning 60, I was turning 30 and my dad like called me up on the phone in like may and he's like, I'm running a marathon in October and I'm like, okay, cool. He didn't me. Or let me know. He wasn't like, you should run with me. He was just like, I'm doing this just so you know.
And I'm like, okay. And I was like, you know what, he's twice my age, literally twice my age and doing all this. I'm the runner in the family. I got to do this too. So I started training as well and I called him up and I'm like, I'm also running a marathon in October. So that's, that's kinda how I got back into running.
Kevin Chang: [00:06:25]
Wow. That's crazy. Probably the rise of social media kind of brought a lot of the stuff on, which is, which is kind of crazy. What was that first marathon? And did you run it with your dad?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:06:35]
Yeah. The first marathon that was 2010. It was the Baltimore. I think they call it like running fast. They don't call it a marathon. It's like a running festival. There's a bunch of events. There's like a 5k. There's one of every event, like a 5k 10 K half marathon, like marathon relay and marathon.
Right. All in the same weekend. So we ran it together until my dad like dropped me. So, um, I had some GI distress and around like maybe like mile nine or so. So I was like, dad, I got to go to the bathroom. I'm going to stop. And he goes, okay, well, I'll see you at the finish. He was like, you know, I thought, you know, blood is thicker than water, but now for him, he's like, I'm going, I, I trained.
So, um, I spent the next, like, you know, seven miles trying to catch him. And it was my first marathon and I had no real idea what I was doing. And so I'm just totally killing myself. I was such a relief. Can you move that? Like, I didn't even look at the elevation profile for the race at all. And I didn't realize that Baltimore is a pretty hilly course.
And so I've been training in Chicago where it's, you know, super flat the entire time. So I was not used to like, Any of this stuff. So it was pretty bad. I finally did catch up, but then after, you know, a mile like 21 or 22, he's like, I'm feeling good. I'm going to go. So he, he beat me by like 20 minutes at a toy at a 60 year old man and a 30 year old man hops.
Yeah, I know, I know
Bertrand Newson: [00:07:58]
I'm going to have this over him forever.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:08:00]
I had all these thoughts that we were going to like cross the finish line, like hand in hand, you know, and get a really great like finish line photo. And, you know, during the race my mom had run. I don't remember if she ran a 10 K or half marathon, but there was a brief moment in time where like the three of us were all there and I was like, this is great.
And I'm thinking like, it's going to be wonderful family moment. And he's like, no, I'm going, I'm just going to go. And so that's, that's what it ended up being
Bertrand Newson: [00:08:26]
Fast forwarding, have you run marathons together shoulder to shoulder in the past? Have you had that moment where you finished with your father? And if so, how was that?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:08:34]
No, we never circled back to kind of get that experience. He's run a couple other marathons. So like after Baltimore, that was a couch to marathon for me.
And so it went about as well as that idea sounds. And so I was pretty much out of commission. Like, you know, I was running in, you know, back then, like stability shoes were like the big thing and everyone was in stability shoes. And that just kind of, I didn't realize that at the time, but they don't tend to agree with me.
And so like, my knee was pretty hurt, so I took a couple of years off. I was just so put off, I'm like, I'm done. I did that. Great find something else to do. And so I didn't run for a couple of years, but in that time he ran probably four or five other other marathons, like around the world. And, um, you know, it's a big regret that I didn't kind of like treat that better and, um, take that opportunity to do some of that with him.
Cause he would call me up and be like, I'm going to go over all the soul marathon. You want to go run a marathon in Korea? And I was like, no, that seems really far away. I'm going back. I wish I could have done it. And you know, he's. It's still very active now, but like running is really not as thing anymore.
So I kinda missed out on that opportunity.
Kevin Chang: [00:09:31]
There's still time, fish him back in, you know,
Michael Kofuzi: [00:09:35]
We'll go, everyone once in a while, we'll go for a quick jog together or something like that. But, you know, I think that, you know, once we can have races again, you know, it's a new world, 2.0 kind of thing, you know, we'll definitely find some sort of race that we can have that where I can get my finish line moment.
Bertrand Newson: [00:09:49]
Hey, Mike, just for perspective for our audience, what was that first marathon finishing time like for pops and for you?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:09:55]
He was at like 4:18 and I was like four, whatever, 4:18, 4:25 for him. And I was like 15 minutes later. So I was like 4:43. I want to say. Yeah,
Bertrand Newson: [00:10:04]
yeah. With a bathroom break. That's solid man with Hills? Yeah. So from a couch to marathon that's that's pretty good.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:10:10]
Yeah. I mean, I was pretty racked afterwards, but you know, I, I tried, I tried, I tried.
Kevin Chang: [00:10:13]
That's incredible. That is incredible. So much of our audience knows you from YouTube. And so talk to us about your YouTube journey. I know that you've been blogging on YouTube for a long time.
I've looked back. Yeah. Some of the very, very, very early videos and where you got started and probably a similar story too, like Seth Demoor, who we also had on the podcast of like early vloggers, daily vloggers, all that stuff. So walk us through kind of your journey.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:10:41]
Yeah. So with YouTube, it didn't start out like I love running and I'm going to start making these running videos. I love videos. And so I started making videos. And so I made videos about what I was doing at the time, you know, and I, I mean, back then, you know, that's when like daily vlogging was like, everyone was daily vault. You weren't blogging unless you were daily vlogging.
So, you know, I kind of fell into that, but what I found about that. Is that like, it really makes you think about like your routine and a workflow that you can manage over a long period of time, which sounds familiar. It sounds exactly like running in a training plan. And so, like, it was times where it was tough and I wasn't really motivated to do it, but I had made this kind of like commitment to myself.
You know, to take time out of family time and work time that I was going to do this. For some reason, I just needed the creative outlet. And this is the, what, the outlet that was in front of me. And I was like, videos are fun to watch. I'm really enjoying them and already know how to do like most of these things, but I never put them together in like such a tight schedule like this before.
And let's see what, what happens when I do that. And then eventually, you know, I think not so much my family didn't get tired of me putting a camera in their face all the time. I got tired of putting my camera in everything all the time. So I was like, well, I've been running a lot lately. Cause I came back to it eventually.
And some of the daily ones, we're doing a lot of running too. So like what if I bring my camera along for my runs? Then I've got like a lot of the film for the day that I need, plus my running done at the same time. That seems like a pretty efficient use of time. And then that kind of just clicked and I just kept pushing and following, like, where is this going?
I don't know where it's going yet still, but I just started going that way and I went with it. That's incredible.
Kevin Chang: [00:12:16]
Yeah. And I know that you have. Probably the best, what we call Beaver role in the industry. I know when we first started kind of the podcast and getting on Instagram, I was checking out all of your videos, how you were recording things, the equipment that you're using, the GoPros that you were using, your camera, mounts, all of that.
And I just love how open and honest you are on your YouTube channel. Giving kind of these tutorials, helping people out when they have questions, reaching out to people on Instagram, when they ask you a question and comment on your posts and everything. And so I really, really appreciate that. I think it means the world to all the rest of us runners, trying to get good camera shots and getting a good camera angles.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:12:57]
I mean, that's why I do it. Part of it is like, you know, I make, try to make a video almost every day still now. And so like, after a while you're like, uh, I only got so many shoes I can talk about what else can I'm talking about here. So you kind of like look around and you're like looking at your computer and you're editing.
And you're like, all right, I guess today we're learning about editing. So, that's kind of where part of that comes from. But the other part is that, like, I kind of want to be more of like the running YouTuber kind of thing. And so like, part of that is just peeling back all the layers, as many as I can, and like dismantling all like kind of any of the mystique that might be there of like, that's that guy, she can do that, but I can't, I want to take that away and be like, I'm the guy, you know, I'm just a regular guy.
And so like, if I'm doing it, you can be able to do it too. I might like be really passionate about certain many aspects of it, but the general idea of like, well, I can't have great photos of myself when I run like that. No, I mean, you don't have to run around with a selfie-stick everyday. Like I do, but you can get something like that, depending on what you know how deep you want to go.
And that's kind of the other part of it too, is the running for me. And you mentioned, you know, YouTube and running and social media, like that helped me stay connected to the running the ability to share it. And so if that can help other people to stay connected with it, to as maybe vain, as it might seem, you know, it's all part of, kind of the positive feedback loop that I'm trying to generate.
Kevin Chang: [00:14:17]
Yeah. I mean, you're absolutely doing it. You're inspiring so many people, a whole generation of athletes. Me included, you know, I don't even know if we would have started the video and the B roll and me getting a selfie stick and this GoPro and all of that stuff. Had it not been for some of the videos that you put out there, um, especially, you know, over the summer.
And I was following you in Iowa and you know, some of the great videos that you had all throughout sunset, sunrise, I mean just incredible stuff. And it's just so inspiring. So. Thank you for doing that. Thank you for continuing to, to put that out there. , I love it.
Let's talk about a little bit about inflection points. So, you know, you are on YouTube and it seems like there were maybe one, yeah, two inflection points where you started to gain traction and started to maybe figure out the YouTube algorithm and figure out what types of videos YouTube liked. I know that one of your early videos on GoPros is still one of your top trending videos on your channel.
Walk us through, when was, , , the inflection point for when YouTube started picking you up and what was some of the changes you made , on the channel?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:15:21]
I think the main inflection point for me was when, like I figured out what this channel was kind of about, , cause before it was more of a hodgepodge and I don't think that YouTube figured out what it was about.
And so there wasn't anything that connected the people that were watching it. And there wasn't anything connecting the content that I was creating, you know, YouTube really likes to be able to like look at something and kind of have a pretty good idea of like, what is this? Who can I give this to? Right.
And so once it started switching over to the running content and the perspective wasn't just running. Cause I think that's really broad and a lot of channels vloggers have times when they go running, but they're not running channels. And I didn't have to be a running channel, every single video, but like once it became, like, this is the perspective, not of an elite, not a D one athlete, not a student athlete, not a coach or a trainer, but just like a regular person talking about the regular person, things that are regular person runner experiences.
Like that's kind of like narrowed it down a little bit. So that way, like I had a better idea of what I was putting out and helped me make decisions. But then once I did that, then like YouTube kind of caught onto that. And I was like, Oh, okay. Now there seems to be a type of person that's looking at these.
So I can find the other people that are like that and give this to them too, because there's a high, higher probability of success that they'll like it, I mean, that's my understanding of algorithm is just like, tell me what you are. Tell me who I should give it to. And you just match those two and then it, then it will work.
Kevin Chang: [00:16:46]
And I know around that time. Were you starting to do more like product type reviews or did you see different things that you were incorporating, different styles of videos?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:16:58]
I think that the way that I took it and if I were to kind of like reinvent the wheel or try to like go back and do it again, um, starting like a channel from like very few subscribers, is I would start out with stuff that was like, really hyper-local.
So that stuff that. People that are in your area will be really interested in maybe 99% of the world. Doesn't care about this little park that a lot of people run out, but like everyone in your area might care. So like it'll come up high in search or product. Um, I think those are things that are really good ways for like YouTube to understand, okay, this is a product review.
So I can feed it to people that are looking for this. So like, search becomes really important in the beginning when YouTube doesn't know like how to serve you up yet, then at a certain point that becomes bigger than YouTube, no longer thinks of it as like maybe YouTube didn't think of it, or I didn't think of it as necessary for me to really worry about like, where would this rank in a YouTube search?
Where does this rank in terms of search terms? Keywords, like all that kind of stuff. Like what topics are like hot? Like what do I need to jump on? I stopped looking at that kind of stuff at probably probably like 15,000 subscribers, maybe closer to 20,000 subscribers, because I felt like when I make a product review, YouTube knows that like I make running videos.
And if it gives that to other people that are interested in running videos, it'll work out pretty good. And so like I stopped really worrying about that so much and started making content. Then I was really focused on like, Here's my narrow thing, not elite runners. What do non elite runners care about? And so then I could start crafting more of an arc connecting all these little pieces, like these products, earbuds running shoes, or running socks or underwear, like weird stuff that connects as part of I'm training for a marathon right.
And so like, you've been create the narrative of the story and someone that's watching the channel subscribes, not because I'm really good at reviewing a shoe, but because that's part of the overall storytelling of like, this is a person's running journey, not a product review channel. So I hope that what comes across to people that like zoom out a little bit.
And I think for me, that's been, my approach to growing is like, continue telling the story with these little interconnected parts. Cause you still need to, you know, you gotta feed the beast, so you still need to pick up people. Entice them in new ways. And maybe a lot of times that is a product review, but you keep them around through other kind of like stylistic or signature things.
One is the storytelling, the art, what is the point of all this? And the other could be things like the B roll, the talking head, you know, all that kind of stuff. So that's kind of my approach.
Kevin Chang: [00:19:25]
Yeah, that's incredible. And I know that you were talking to Jamie on just a recent live stream and I was listening to you talk about.
Okay. Part of it's the quirkiness, but then part of it is that story arc that will keep people engaged for long periods of time and continue to watch your videos, subscribe to your videos, listen to you over a longer period. So I love that. You're thoughtful about that. You know, about that.
And speaking about story arcs, I think Chicago marathon has been I mean, one of these story artists that you've had in the past, I mean, a couple of like the 2018, I was following your journey to the 2018 Chicago marathon, 2019 Chicago marathon.
So walk us back to some of the training for some of those early marathons. I know. One of them you were invited to by Nike. And that was maybe a kind of coming of age story a little bit as well.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:20:12]
Yeah. So I think I've run it three times now. I want to say 20, 19, 18 and 17. I don't think I ran it in 2016. And so the training has kind of ebbed and flowed in terms of like, You know, it hasn't been a consistent, like four year kind of like, this is our direction and we're going to go. It's been a lot of figuring out who I am as a distance runner.
So the first year, like 2017, I think I was just like, I'm just going to run a lot of miles. And I was running kind of like everything at moderate pace, you know, seeing how good of a Strava number I can get. What's the average pace for the run. What was the weekly mileage. Like those are the things that I was kind of chasing, and I was kind of training for that.
And as I kind of started thinking about my running more and like after a while anyone will progress if they just continue running no matter which kind of style you're using. Um, but at a certain point you'll kind of plateau.
And I was felt like I wasn't plateauing, but I was like, you know, I got to do something that's a little bit more focused. I gotta think about this a little bit more in terms of getting even more kind of progression out of it. And so that's when I started, you know, thinking about the structure of plans a little bit more carefully.
In 2018 that's when I think I was just still working on increasing mileage a lot, not really doing a lot of speed work, you know? Cause I'm like, this is a marathon, the whole, I mean, what does everyone say? It's not a sprint, it's a marathon, you know?
So I'm like, I'm not gonna do any sprinting. I'm just going to do like a lot of long runs, but still kind of staying in like the, I, you know, I just like to go out there and run a lot of moderate pace running.
In 2019 though, that shifted. I mean, and I still was having great success up to that point in 2019. That shifted though with, I worked with Nike a little bit in 2018, but I feel like they were kind of testing the waters in terms of like, how much do we invest or how big of a deal do we make our like spend or our, our investment in not just the Chicago marathon, cause they're a title sponsor, but in Chicago as like a, as a, as a running city, You know, and I feel like they were kind of playing around with that.
So there was a little bit of involvement with them. Their 2019, it became a much bigger thing where they invited a group of seven or eight of us to run with the help of a coach, you know, as like a team giving that like kind of group aspect of it. Um, where we would do, at least one workout together a week.
And so that was something that was very new to me because I hadn't been coached as a distance runner before. I mean, I've been coached as like a high school, like a miler, you know, uh, and a half miler, but I'd never been coached as like an endurance athlete before. So that was unique, but at the same time, you know, I've been coming off of like, yeah, I just run 80 mile weeks and that's all I kind of do.
I don't do any speed work. And they were like, we're going to give you some speed work. So it was another switch, you know? And so I learned a lot, it was very different than the way I was training, but it was very much more structured. And so I got to kind of see a flavor of that and I did, progress quite a bit in that, but, you know.
I still didn't quite hit the time goals I was looking for, but my time goals were pretty ambitious and, you know, pretty high probability of failure. But you know, sometimes you gotta, I mean, when Nike backs you, you know, you gotta make a swing for the fence.
Bertrand Newson: [00:23:13]
Mike, would you mind giving us maybe a sample, like a snippet of a speed workout?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:23:18]
I tend to remember what the speed workouts were. They were like pretty complicated and I have a really bad time remembering workouts, like that are more than like, you know, eight by 800 or eight by 400 or something like that. And so it was a lot of like, like either ladders where you'd run a couple of two hundreds and not too many, two hundreds, but like four hundreds, eight hundreds, maybe some twelves.
Uh, and then come back down at a variety of paces, you know, the shorter, the distance, the higher, the intensity, and some relatively like, I guess, medium amounts of rest in between. So nothing too short and nothing too long, but like enough to, you know, keep your heart rate. Elevated there certainly be certain days where it's like, you know, two times, three miles at tempo or a threshold pace, you know, for some of the workouts, which I like those, but I also, you know, th those can be a little bit painful.
So, you know, a lot of fun stuff in there too. But I had come in coming from a place where like, mile repeats were about as short as I was doing anything. And that would be a half marathon pace. So to get from there down to like 400 meters at mile pace, I was like, what is my mile pace? I don't even know what that is. Cause I hadn't done a time mile in probably 20 years before that. So, you know, it was very different. It was very different.
Kevin Chang: [00:24:32]
Did you see market improvement through that training? And I guess, talk to us about what your goals were and what happened.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:24:39]
I saw a lot of improvements, so. My big goal was to break three hours in the marathon.
Still haven't quite hit that yet 2020 was going to be the year. But, you know, I think a lot of people have that story, but what I was going for was pretty ambitious. You know, the 2018 Chicago marathon, I came in at 3:17, like three high, 3:17, 3:18. So I was asking a lot, you know, to come off it.
I had done a marathon earlier in 2019. So my next marathon after that was a 3:02, but it was like, um, downhill course. So like 2000 feet of downhill. So like flying. So I'm like, I don't know exactly where I'm at. I'm probably more of like a 3:10 guy, but you know, let's see what we can do with like 14 weeks.
I had been running just a bunch of volume all summer long, and let's see where we can go with that. I felt like, you know, the quick change we reduced mileage quite a bit and increased intensity. And so that my body responded to like super fast, it really loved it.
And I felt like, you know, my 5k times we're really strong. I don't remember if we ever did a 5k time trial, but you know, my half marathon time came down quite a bit, I think about six or seven minutes.
So I think I was at like one 31, one 32 for the, like for a chip timed, half marathon. I think I'm at like one 26 or so right now. So like, you know, quite a bit of improvement in a short amount of time, but, you know, I just feel like, I don't know that I'm the person that responds like the best to a lot of like short, high intensity work.
I'm not like a run faster with less kind of guy. And so, like, I just felt like I had really done a lot of work on this front end in terms of like speed. And strength, but I just needed more time.
I didn't have enough time. I feel like if this was like about a year with this Coach then I think that I would have been able to carry some of that speed over into some of the endurance where I felt like, you know, I made like a trade either way. If I continue training the way I was training or the training that I'd been given in the short amount of time that we had, I don't know that.
Give me 10 more shots at the same exact day. I don't know that I would've hit it, but I think if I stayed on the long-term, I think then that is kind of where the success would have been.
Kevin Chang: [00:26:47]
Yeah. I mean, that makes a lot of sense. We talk a lot about minimum effective dose as well. So if you hadn't done a lot of speed work leading up to there.
I mean, your first couple of speed work sessions are really probably going to push you a lot further than, you know, people who have been doing speed work for years. So that makes a lot of sense that you made quick improvement and then it tapers off a little bit. And probably if you had kept at it, maybe you would have seen some improvement there on marathon day.
So, I guess goal was three hours. What did, what did you end up hitting that marathon?
###### Michael Kofuzi: [00:27:18]
It was not good, cause I hit the wall really hard maybe around like mile 18 or 19, and at that point it was a lot of walking, so not a great showing for me, not my best day, but I mean the first 18 miles were great.
It was one of those things where you can't take too much solid from that because I was over cooking myself and that's why that first 18 looked so good. But I think I came in somewhere around like 3:20 something. I'm not really sure. So not an improvement over the year before, but you know, like it was like, the dream was big and I was going to go for it.
You know, I knew pretty early on maybe, or the 10 mile Mark that I'm like, I'm learning too fast. I'm not going to be able to keep this, but I was like, no, we're just going to gut it out and we're going to get it or die trying. And I was right. So I didn't get it, but I died trying.
Kevin Chang: [00:28:03]
Absolutely. Yeah. What I love is on your YouTube channel, you really do break it down and you're like, you know, you sit down afterwards with your Strava accounts, and just like, have it wide open. You're breaking things down. Like, Oh, I felt good up to here, but I knew I was going too fast and I think it helps the rest of us really learn because yeah, we've all been there.
We've all been in that situation where we've gone out a little bit too fast thought, Oh, maybe I can just hang on to this for the rest of the race and, and realize that we couldn't and just, you know, having your information kind of back ours up makes us not have to relive some of those terrible moments or, or live some of those terrible moments on our own.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:28:40]
If I could be the cautionary tale for people, I'm happy to, to serve that role. I put in the work to be that role. So we might as well have people take advantage.
Bertrand Newson: [00:28:48]
Well, Mike let's circle back to your Chicago roots. You've run in one of the world marathon majors on multiple occasions. And for our listeners who have that race on the bucket list, it's a wonderful event.
the course is one thing. The city is one thing, but the crowd itself is just freaking fantastic. Being a local from the area. What are some things that you look forward to in some of your highlights?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:29:10]
I have some very personal parts of it, the course goes right by the building where we live in. So when I get just past like Lincoln park, I mean, that's a nice scenic part of the route too. and the route is mostly flat, so that's always a nice plus for most marathon runners. But once we get out of the park, then I know I'm going to see my kids. And so like we see the kids and like my running buddy usually runs the marathon with me too and so like, I'll see his family there as well. So that's always a nice kind of perk.
And the part that we live on, you know, the, the course itself is kind of like a three leaf Clover almost, you know, cause it kind of goes up and back. We live right on park or one of those up and back. So like I'll see them once and then I'll see, they'll walk like two blocks over and I'll see him again relatively soon.
So that's a nice. Very fun. Part of the roots that I look forward to, but you also get a good sense of not just like the architecture, like the visual part of the city, but a real sense of feel for the people of the city as well. The neighborhoods are all very individual and they all have their different feels to them.
And as you're going through them, you get a sense of that, that vibrancy that makes each neighborhood, so come to life. And so, um, whether you're running through. Lincoln park. Are you going through Boystown or are you ending up through Greek town and to Pilsen? You know, you're getting different cultures communities, and they're all coming out to celebrate this great, big, weird running event that happens to be running through the city.
And there's just so much energy. So. I think there's only like a handful of portions of the course that are a little bit harder to like get to from a spectator perspective where it gets a little bit quieter, but there are certainly times crowd support throughout the race. And I run it, you know, on some years are nicer than others, but there's still always so many people out there.
And that's what makes it a lot of fun. To just draw from that energy. I'm a big fan of running earbuds, but the Chicago marathon is one where I don't bring it because I want to be able to plug into that and pull that and help that carry me along for the race, because it's just such a fantastic energy.
Bertrand Newson: [00:31:09]
Well, actually I think the course and the people propelled women's all time, best performance in 2019.
Kevin Chang: [00:31:16]
Well, I know you also have experimented with all sorts of different types of training, so I'd love to just pick your brain as an experimenter, self experimenter about Maffetone training. And I think you're on Jack Daniels now.
So, I mean, walk us through, I guess different things you've experienced. What you like, what you dislike about some of the other training methodology,
Michael Kofuzi: [00:31:36]
the Maffetone kind of approach. I've been thinking about it for a while, just because I've been thinking really about, you know, this is an endurance event, you know, when you watch people that are professionals.
Who are marathoners working out there, hammering away. And I'm like, this doesn't seem like the way that I, as a normal person should try to approach running a marathon. Like if I try to do any, not that I would even run there, but even to kind of like mimic some of them, what they're doing seemed a little bit ludicrous.
I'm like, I'm a guy that has a hard time finishing 26. You know, that guy just ran a 30 mile over distance run on a Saturday and he's got to work out on Sunday. So like, why, why am I going to draw from that? So, you know, like whenever someone starts an argument, like, you know, if you look at what the pros are doing, they're doing X, Y, Z.
And I'm like, look, I'm not that I'm not that you can look at what the pros are doing on your want, but like, What does a normal person do because my assets and my strengths are going to be very different than what I think a professional athletes are going to be. So I had to look at it a little bit differently and the Maffetone was like, I think I've kind of got ahead of myself in terms of a lot of my goals and ambitions and training.
And I was like, I need to reset. I forgot what easy runs look like anymore. And I feel like I'm running everything hard before I went from kind of like the beginner thing of everything's moderate. And then I went to like easy, as hard and hard as hard and moderate as hard too. And everything just ended up being a little bit muddled and kind of flat.
So I feel like that's kind of where, where I was getting myself. So I'm like, I need to, I need a little bit of a reset. I need to rebuild the car engine from the ground up a little bit to really make sense. Cause like this was my thinking at the time, it was like, I can keep doing what I'm doing, but I'm not sure, like, am I reaching the max of what I'm capable of doing?
I'm like, I'm not a young person. I'm not terribly gifted runner anymore. Like let's reset this up and not just look for like, Can I get that extra, like a couple of minutes to break three, but let's set it up so that I can look at my running for the rest of my life, like decades out and not just like, what can I do in the next 12 weeks, six months, one year.
So that's kind of where a lot of that started. And I thought like, what are ways that people can really build endurance and longevity in the sport? And that's kind of where some of the low heart rate training. Investigation started coming in,
Kevin Chang: [00:33:47]
probably incredibly frustrating early on in some of your training going much slower than you were used to going and pulling things way, way back.
Did you see benefits from that training in the long run? Is that something that you would still recommend to other runners?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:34:02]
For me, my running is a little bit unique because it's so very public now. And so like for me to do that, it was frustrating on two levels, because one, it was frustrating because of like, you know, for I've been running my easy runs at like eight minute per mile, pace it and a half minute mile pace.
Those were easy runs. And now I'm trying to just like, I'm walking when I'm at like 12 minutes per mile pace. And I'm like, this just doesn't seem right. This doesn't seem right. This doesn't feel right. And then at the same time, like after every run, I'm hearing people like yelling at me, what are you doing? This is ridiculous.
And I'm like, I dunno, you're probably right. But, you know, uh, Two weeks ago, this sounded like a good idea. So I'm going to give it a try and it takes a little while to figure it out. So we'll at least figure it out. I'm going to either succeed or die trying one of the two, but we'll see, we'll get an answer either way.
And so I kind of continued along with that, I had to make some tweaks from like a heart rate perspective in terms of like, I had to make sure I had good equipment. I wasn't getting a good reading from my wrist. I just never do no matter which brand or watch I do. So I had to like figure that out. So some kind of like learning things that I did just figure out, but then eventually you, I'm realizing that, you know, I'm having a hard time with this because I've never done it before.
I've been running for a while at that point, but I've never done like really working on a real big base. Something that like, I feel like if you spent your entire life as a mediocre to like mediocre a slightly below average to be on the team, kind of runner, you've probably been over cooking your entire life because you've been trying to catch up to that other group, to that varsity group or to that faster group or that next group up.
In terms of the groups that get sent out on the track repeat. So I was like, I need to build this because I've never built it before. And so that took a while, but I was kind of keeping that in mind. I'm like, I'm going to rebuild it the right way in a way that makes sense for my physiology. And then once I get some of that built, then I can like really start to hone in and focus on like really, how do I focus on a specific race? Given a base foundation of training. So that's kinda my approach now.
Kevin Chang: [00:35:53]
If you're enjoying the show, share with a friend or running club, word of mouth is our number one way of growing and it's thanks to amazing fans. Like you.
I guess it's probably pretty frustrating as well because. You are such a go getter. You spend so much time, you know, editing, shooting videos you spend so little time probably sleeping and all that . And so like spending time running slow, probably wasn't the easiest thing as well when you're like, Oh, I want to spend an hour or two hours out here, but you're not getting the distance or, or the, you know, the mileage that you used to get.
Michael Kofuzi: [00:36:32]
Yeah. I mean, that was very frustrating as well, but I also feel like that taught me another lesson in a very important way that I'm not sure I would have learned without going through this.
I mean, even if like all of the, the whole premise of low heart rate training doesn't work out, like the thing that it did teach me was like, As much as I love the Strava numbers and like the weekly mileage and how many hours per week am I on feet?
Like as much as that was helpful to me in the beginning to get me running, I also found that I got very attached to those later on as well. And that became a detriment to my running as well. So instead of it being a barometer of like, okay, I'm at, you know, a metric, it became something to chase. And so that was another thing that I had to do was like, okay.
That number that I love to see at the end of the week, I'm not going to see it for a really long time. And I'm going to have maybe more hours on feet, but I'm going to feel really unproductive and that's going to be okay because I'm rebuilding, I'm redoing some of these things. And so like the things that I'm used to, I'm gonna have to like, let those go the numbers that I like seeing on Strava for the average pace for the run.
I got to let that go. I have a bigger goal in mind. So like I got to give that up because I can't hold on to like the two things at the same time I had to let go of one before I could grab the other. And so I was like, I'm going to let go of that so I can grab this other thing.
Kevin Chang: [00:37:49]
I love what you're talking about because when we polled our members about, you know, what's the best advice that you can give to a beginner runner.
I think number one was to slow down and, you know, enjoy it. Right. And as runners, we get into this sport and we start looking at our analytics and we start getting faster. We see the progression, we see the next steps. We start getting there and sometimes we forget to just slow down and enjoy the run itself.
So I, I just love what you're talking about there that, , maybe through that pace, you were able to slow down. We're kind of reconnect with the run in and of itself. So I love that.
Let's switch gears a little bit and talk a little bit about this year has been a struggle. It's been a little bit crazy. I know that you kind of went through a shift as well, that you have now gone full time into YouTube content creation and all that. And that was maybe a, a bittersweet moment. Can you kind of peel back some of that for our audience? How the pandemic effected you?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:38:47]
Yeah. So, I mean, I wouldn't call myself a full-time YouTuber I mean, I kind of jokingly say that I'm like a pro YouTuber now, but I was a small business owner . , I was a litigation consultant, so we worked on trials in courtrooms. Pretty much every kind of trial except criminal. And so 90% of our work was done in a courtroom or in a conference room before and after trial getting ready for the trial.
And so when trials and courts shut down, our revenue went to essentially zero. . And, you know, I was looking at it and I was trying to keep everyone paid for as long as I could, but I'm like, you know what?
Even when things come back, this aspect of it is going to take a really long time to bounce back . So eventually I had to shut that down and, uh, you know, kind of let everybody go. That was tough.
And at that point I was like, well, what do I want to do? Do I want to try to get more work or like trying to maybe work in an affirm go. In-house like all these other options, but you know, I still have two kids at home too. And so one of them is virtual and one is in preschool. And so it was like, you know, what are we going to do about that?
Me and my wife, she works, she can work remotely. So she's been working , but like, do we really want to keep doing like my kind of work, which is, you know, high stress, very hard deadlines. And her work, which is not as many hard deadlines, but it can be high stress.
And there's just a lot of it too. And so , we wouldn't feel comfortable , do we bring in like a babysitter or we send them to somewhere. Like, it seems like a really bad time to be sending someone somewhere else. I mean, the whole reason they're at home is because it's not safe to be around other people.
So why would we send them around other people? So it was kind of like, you know, let's figure out a way to solve this problem and me staying home when, you know, made a lot more sense for us. And at the same time though, it wasn't like that huge of a decision as well. I mean, my wife says it was a big deal, but I don't think it was that big a deal.
You know, I'd had that business for 10 years and I was at the point where I was not really had hired employees and training them to do things the way that I was having them do it the way that I like to do it.
And I think we had like, built a pretty good reputation for ourselves and all that, but I was to the point where I needed to step back from that business in order to help it grow a little bit more.
I couldn't be the same person doing all the work and growing the business at the same time. So I was already kind of extricating myself from the situation where I was like, you know what, these people that are working with me, my friends, but people that were working for me, they want to be able to grow.
They want to have risks and experiences and successes. So like, if I keep putting my fingers in everything that doesn't give them a chance to grow. So I have to like step back. Let them make mistakes. I mean, if they were going to really wreck, you know, then I got to save them, but like, let them make some mistakes on their own and develop their style as well.
Even if it's not my style, let them develop their style and let them go. So I was stepping back already and my role had gone more from performing work than to like bringing in work. And I was doing a lot of like public speaking, a lot of teaching, you know, that kind of thing. Anyway. So it was a little bit less of a.
Big transition for me, cause I wasn't in the courthouse every day anymore. So it was okay for me, you know, you know, I did kind of like a, Hey guys, I'm out kind of post on LinkedIn. I was like, I'm retiring. You know, it's been good. I love working with you guys, but I'm out of here. Uh, and you know, I haven't looked back.
Kevin Chang: [00:42:02]
Well, I mean, kudos to you for keeping them paid through the pandemic. I know that you didn't have to do something like that. And that just goes to your character and what we know about you behind the scenes. So. That's fantastic.
And I think you made entirely the right decision. Sometimes it allows them to foster and grow on their own as well. And so kudos to you. And I guess bittersweet, because now you're focusing a little bit more time on YouTube.
We get to see a little bit more content from you, the live streams and the other stuff as well. Break it down for our audience. How many videos do you publish a week? What does that kind of schedule look like? Have you gotten into like a content calendar ish thing or break it down for us who are curious?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:42:45]
I try to make up six videos per week, you know, that stand alone. And then, uh, I do a live stream I try to do on every day. So I guess that's 13 videos a week, but I think of it as six videos a week plus a live stream. So it takes a while. In terms of like my planning for it. I'm usually only planning like three to maybe six days ahead.
I'm not usually more than like a week out in terms of things that are planned, unless there's something that got sent to me early and there's got like publication dates, like embargo dates, and you can talk about it on the launch date, that kind of thing. That stuff. Usually I have a plan a little bit further out or things like watches take a lot longer to kind of like figure out.
And so those usually kind of get on my calendar a lot earlier and then stay on the calendar under longer. But everything else, it's kind of like, it's a lot of it. I mean, I make six videos a week. It's hand to mouth, you know, I'm like, I got an idea. I make the video and it goes out and then I'm onto the next one.
I mean, there's planning, but it's not like I'm not mapped out for like , you know, so like, I don't know what the video is going to be in two days. I know tomorrow's video is going to be, I think I know what two days I had a video of this, but, you know, that's kind of like where things go sometimes I know like four or five days, but a lot, a lot of times I don't, it just depends on like, Oh, I've run almost a hundred miles in this shoe time for an update video, you know?
So like I kind of look at it that sometimes I'm like, Hmm, none of my shoes are really ready for an update video, but I kind of need an update video. So let's start focusing on this one. So sometimes there's some more strategic kind of planning, but a lot of times it's still that same thing. I'm a dude that runs a lot.
And we're going to talk about what a dude that runs a lot is experiencing. So tomorrow's video, for example, is going to be, I guess it'll probably be out by the time this. Hits, but you know, it's been like near Sub-Zero or it's been Sub-Zero or like, you know, five degrees Fahrenheit for a really long time here in Chicago.
So I'm going to be like, I made the winter running bit. This is the Sub-Zero winter running video. Let me tell you how I deal with it. You know? Cause that's what's on my mind. That's what's on everyone's mind here. Cause it's really cold. And so, you know, that's kind of how the planning goes on like a broader scale, but I guess like on a more like, you know, day to day and on a granular level and I get up pretty early, I usually get up, my alarm is usually at four, but I don't always wake up at four, but I try to like work on the video until I got to go out and go for my run in the morning.
I try to get back home by eight o'clock. Then I walk the dog, you know, and make sure the kids have breakfast, get ready to start their day. Ideally, I'm already done with the video by then, but a lot of times I'm not because I usually try to leave, start getting ready. You know, I get about two hours of work before I need to get out for my run.
So it usually takes me a little bit more than that to kind of. Finish up the video. So over the course of like the rest of the morning, while like the kids are eating or like they're busy, like, you know, doing an activity that I can kind of like, they're getting old enough that I can like set it and forget it a little bit.
They're getting there. So it might take another hour sometimes to, to really finish the video. So I'm probably spending about four hours a day on YouTube for making the video, uh, which is a lot, um, I'm trying to get it shorter, but it just never seems to get any shorter. If you see my videos, like getting shorter, actually like the videos being less long, that means I have more time.
You know, if, if, if there's like a 20 minute rambling video, I didn't have time that day. I didn't have time to go back and edit it and make it more concise. But if you've got like a seven minute video, I had a lot of time, so I really had a chance to make it focused. So that's kind of like what I do sometimes.
And the only other time I really do a lot of work is. Shooting some of that product B roll that usually gets shot like at night. Um, like after my wife's done with work for the day, like she'll be hanging out with the kids and I can kind of sneak off and, and do that. So I try to move everything around.
So it's where people are like relaxing or sleeping in the house. And, um, I try not to take away too much time from, you know, family time or parenting obligation time. Yeah.
Kevin Chang: [00:46:34]
I mean, that's incredible. The work ethic that goes behind it. As our audience knows we have a YouTube channel and it takes a lot of time to edit and put together and try to figure out all of these videos.
Um, and for you to be doing that six days a week. I mean, it's just both incredible. And as a running consumer, we love it. You know, we, we love, and we appreciate the time and the effort that you put behind each of those videos. It really comes through. I mean, just , your way with the audience, you know, just their ability to relate to the rest of us and for the rest of us to be inspired.
And to really just felt like we're being brought along in your journey. . Okay. So how many product reviews in a week might you do? How many, like running type of journaling reviews. Type of videos might you do in a week or is it just kind of vary from week to week and what products you might be testing out
Michael Kofuzi: [00:47:26]
Very for sure. But the only thing that I really try to keep an eye out is not to do too many of one type in a single week, because then it just. Kind of gets repetitive. Like I wouldn't, even if I like get like three or four different sets of earbuds or three or four new pairs of shoes at once, I probably won't do like three, like first run videos, like in the same week, because I want to just space it out because number one, I don't want to, like, I don't have a problem with running in a variety of shoes in a week, but I don't want to have that many first experiences in a shoe in a single week.
I'd like to kind of like get to know other shoes a little bit more, build up some mileage kind of space things out a little bit. Better. So that's like the main thing is I avoid like kind of repetition or redundancy. I can't always have like an update video, cause it just takes a while to get to a hundred miles.
Even right now in the winter, I'm like shooting for like 60 to 70 miles a week. It still takes a while to get to a hundred miles and shoes because I have different types that I'm running in might be a trail shoe, but. Nasty weather out or plated shoe for my workout or long run shoe. You know, there's just, it still takes time, but like an ideal week for me would be like a brand new shoe to look at an old shoe to look at.
And then something else running related to look at, whether it's apparel or an earbud. Or your beds are kind of like my favorite of the running products or something else like that. So like three product dish videos a week. I like to do one kind of like, just like running to music, like not a video that kind of doesn't make sense.
Cause I have six to work with a week. I can make a video that is like, you know what if you're like feeling low and you don't want to go outside, put this on it's three minutes long. Hopefully by the end you'll be like, That guy did it. I can do better than that. So then maybe it'll get you out the door.
So I like to do like one of those a week. Sometimes they're two words I'll put like, you know, something kind of inspirational or something that I've got on my mind to it. Other times it's just a running like music video, but I love those. Those are probably my favorite to me. So that kind of, and then the other two are kind of like, well, maybe we'll do a versus video.
So again, another product video, but we'll compare two different shoes. I love to go across brands. Because, you know, that's one thing that like a pro can't do, if they're sponsored, cause it's another brand and a lot of running shoe stores probably won't do that necessarily because they don't want to annoy their kind of suppliers, but someone who's a running reviewer can totally look at shoes the way a normal person looks at them.
Like what about this one? Or that one? I know there are different categories of shoes, but I only got like 150 bucks. I'm not gonna buy both of them. So do I get the trail shoe or do I get the speed shoe? I know they don't line up, but let's put them together in a video and see which one I think is better.
So like that's the way I kind of look at it is some variety in terms of what to do, but it's still pretty product oriented.
Kevin Chang: [00:50:03]
I love that. How do you get so good at reviewing shoes? I mean, Every time I look at your video. It's so descriptive. I mean, you're even talking about like the way the foot rolls in the shoes, uppers the, do you have like a checklist of, like, I always got to check this, this, this, and this, or what are things that you look at when reviewing shoes and follow up question to that?
As runners looking at shoes, or if you were delighted, You stand in the store and look at a shelf of shoes. What are some of the things that you personally are looking for? Is it always he'll drop? Is it always type of material? Is it, you know, what, what are some of those things as well?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:50:39]
Yeah, so I don't really have too much of a checklist. I mean, I kind of have a stat section in all the videos. Like what's the heel drop, what's the weight, what's the upper Meda. What's the mid sole made Adam. So those are kind of like the, like the, like the checklist type of things that I look at. For all the shoes.
And for me, it's kind of more of like the warmup to the rest of their review and sometimes a little bit filler ish. It's just nice. It's an excuse for me to show more B roll of the shoes, which is kind of my favorite part, um, is to just show off the product. Cause I think running shoes are awesome. But when I approach a review, I try to think of it from one is like, you know, kind of like blind taste test.
What am I feeling in this shoe? Like, whatever jumps out at me, that's what the shoe review is going to be about because that's what I'm feeling. The other thing then is our compare that to what is the shoe supposed to be? Or from like getting surprised by shoot, why am I surprised by it? What is it giving me that I wasn't expecting?
So that's kind of where I kind of like approach. The show review of like, you know, what does this shoe want? It was designed for something there each, every sh I don't know every shoe, but my understanding of how, like this whole design process works is there's a brief, there's like a, this shoe is for this type of runner.
This type of runner runs this many miles a week, or is training for this, or maybe is a, a gym group fitness and three or four times a week, maybe goes out for a run of five care, less. Like there's different, like things that every shoe is designed for. What was this shoe designed for? Who was this shoe designed for?
And does it work? You know, so that's kind of like another way that I like to look at all the products and all the products that I look at, it's kind of that way, like this was designed with a person in mind and someone whose job it is to make these said, like, Here it is. We achieved our task. Right. And I'll look at it and say like, no you didn't or yes you did.
And if there's disconnect, if they think they did a great job at, and I don't, why is there a disconnect? So that's kind of like the, the big thing that I'm trying to look at for the shoe, but as far as like people like going to the shoe store and like, what are the things that they should be looking for?
I think the thing that you should go into the running the store with, you know, assuming you have a couple of pairs of running shoes already is what do you need? It's a great time to be a runner. It's a great time to be buying running shoes cause there's so many fun options. So you can certainly go to the running store and leave with three pairs of shoes that are all super fun to run in.
And you're going to have a great time with, but if you're really going into your you're, like I need a new pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes to do what right. The way I compare it to is like golf clubs or knives in the kitchen, different tools for different jobs. People will tell me, like, what's better this or that.
I'm like, it depends on what you're using it for. Right. So you could say what's better a driver or a pitching wedge if you're trying to pitch or just chip it in the driver is no good. It could be the best driver ever made. It's worthless to you. Right? So like that's the way I think of the shoe. So if you're like the hole in your shoe running rotation is.
You know, I've just retired my max cushion shoe, then let's look for the max cushion shoes. You know, if I've just retired, my carbon plated racer, and now it's my, maybe my, my training, like my speed day shoe, then I needed a new racing shoe. So like, that's kind of how I look at it. Go at it, looking at like, what's the hole in your rotation?
Cause it's not about any one shoe. It's about all your shoes together, like what's in the closet. So that's kinda how I approach, like going to the store.
Kevin Chang: [00:53:45]
Can you kind of break down different categories of shoes. I mean, I know you talked about max cushions, racers, there's like threshold and those types of things I know, like set the more has a matrix.
Do you look at like matrix CS or stuff like that? Or are there just kind of bigger buckets that our audience can kind of latch on?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:54:04]
Yeah. I mean, I love sets matrix, but for me I'm like, I can't keep that much stuff in my head. I need to dumb things down a lot when it comes to like, understanding like the running shoe world.
And so I mainly have kind of like four buckets, maybe five or six, but like from a Roadrunners perspective, I've had four. And so that's max cushion, daily trainer, your speed day shoe, and then your racing shoe. Right. And so. And this is where the matrix comes in. There's a sliding scale. Everything can be like, it's kind of, some are like traditionally daily trainers, but lean more towards the speed shoe side, or maybe lean more towards the max shoe side.
You can have like a fast ish max cushion shoe. You can have a slowish speed that you can have all the different permutations, but I basically see it as those four categories. And the way that I approach it is get the daily trainer first. That's the shoe you need, because you're going to run in that. You can run in that every day.
So if you're just starting out, right. And that could be a problem then from there go to either the speed day shoe or the racer, because that's going to be just a lot more fun for you to run in. You should probably get a max cushion shoe or maybe even a second daily trainer from a practical perspective.
But if you're excited about running and you want to get that second pair, you're probably going to buy the speed day shoe. So I'm just going to lean into that and get something that's fun for your faster days. That's going to make you really excited about running and getting out there and putting even more miles in which means you're going to have to get another shoe.
And then that's when I start thinking about, all right, what are some of the holes, where do you feeling in having done all these workouts, having run all these miles now, do you feel like you need more max cushion? Do you feel like you need another daily trainer to give you a regular daily trainer or break?
So that's kind of how, like kind of you fill in from there, but daily trainer first, and then everything kind of fills in.
Kevin Chang: [00:55:42]
We dive real quick into earbuds. I am, my earbuds are dying right now. So I am in the market for a new pair of earbuds. What are some of the earbuds that you might recommend to our, our audience?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:55:54] Um, different price ranges too. I think the, my favorite right now, I'm running in the driver at elite 85 T. They just came out a little while ago. I absolutely love them. I like noise canceling earbuds because they still let you have some of the noise from outside around you. So you're not. Completely sealed off if you've got traffic or other runners or bicycles around you.
So I love that one elite 75 team might, might be a better earbud. The sound is a little bit better on 85, but from a runner's perspective, the 75 team might be better. It's going to be cheaper. So that's one that I like most people, I recommend that it's a little bit pricey, but I certainly do love that one.
And then at other price ranges, You know, there's a lot of different players and a lot of different options that are out there. Uh, right now the brand that kind of has my attention is a brand called Pamu. That's just kind of one of those no-name brands that you'll see like ads on YouTube about you're not going to see them like in best buy necessarily, but it's a company that makes noise canceling earbuds that I feel like fit really great.
Sound is amazing. And the price is really competitive as well. So they make a couple of different options that I've been very impressed with at different price points. So that's another brand that I'm tending to. Like the general rule that I see is like the better, you know, the brand or the more well known the brand, the more kind of like consistent the experience tends to be over the life span of the earbud.
The more like you haven't heard of this brand before. You might have a really great experience at the beginning, but like six months from now, I'm not sure. I'm not sure. So like, that's hard to kind of recommend those kinds of like, here's a really great value for your buck, but Pam is a brand that like I've had good experience with them over the long-term.
And so I don't have quite as many of those concerns, so that's kind of where I would, uh, point people.
Kevin Chang: [00:57:34]
As a Youtuber. I know that sometimes the companies will send products to you. Do you go out and reach out to companies these days? How would you encourage kind of us new YouTubers into the space to start reviewing products or finding products?
Michael Kofuzi: [00:57:48]
Yeah, I mean, the way that I started doing it was I was reviewing the stuff that I bought myself and just really liked doing. Cause then like, I didn't do a lot of buying to test. I did a lot of buying cause I need something. And then once I had it, I was like, someone else probably is doing a YouTube search or an Amazon search or looking at something on Amazon copy and pasting the name, that weird name of the product, and then seeing if there's any reviews for it.
So like, that's kind of how I approach it too. And then once if you're reviewing products that you have used and that you really genuinely like it's going to come out in the video and then the product people are gonna be like, this guy loves our stuff. You know, or someone else from a competing company might be like, wow, that guy is really enthusiastic.
I want to buy that year. But even though they're a competitor of ours, let's send them one of ours. Right. And so I feel like, make good content and then I'm not saying, and then it comes to you. I certainly have gone out and asked for some product to review, but a lot of them time, I was looking at it very closely from my analytics perspective of like, here's how many views that I tend to get.
And here's how much these ear buds will cost. Does it make sense for me to review these? You know, if I, as like a 3000 subscriber, YouTube channel review, like AirPods pro, if I go out and buy them just to review them for the views, like I might get more views than I normally get, but that might, that might be an expensive kind of like view by for me to do that.
What I'd probably be better off doing is like looking for people that are going to be doing a lot of YouTube searching and find something that's a little bit more of a value kind of figuring out. Does this no-name brand mean anything or does this no name brand mean anything? You know, if you've seen it, other people are probably seeing it and wondering the same thing.
So that's kind of how I would normally like approach those kinds of deals. And now, and then after a while, you know, you start doing them and then you get more invitations than you want. And I spent a lot of time saying no, like very politely. I'm very flattered that people are asking me to do a lot of the earbud reviews, but like, I'm not going to do like one a week.
Cause then my, my ears would just be like, I don't know what I'm listening to anymore. Like helped me out. So. I need some of our rate, cause I can't do them every day, but, I do like the space amount, but you know, like the ones that I really want, I go out and get, you know, if I'm like on the fence about stuff, I'll see fiddle come to me, you know, that's more like shoes where I, I kind of like sit back and wait.
But like the shoes that I really want I'm in there trying to like put my order in on launch day, just like everybody else clicking the button because I want to get it. And so like, that's kind of the approach that I have to it, like, unless you really want to like, make a business out of reviews and certainly people can, and a lot of people do and you can work that hustle, but that just doesn't, I didn't really like doing that.
And so like, I kind of like leaving it as I'll pay for the ones that I want to pay for. And then other ones that come to me, if they're interesting, I'll take it. If they're not interesting, I'm not going to do it for the sake of doing it.
Kevin Chang: [01:00:34]
That makes a lot of sense. Cool. Well, I know that we've kept you on here for a while, but I did want to briefly talk about your goals for this year.
I know you have the Shamrock shuffle 8ks. What are your goals kind of running wise and then also, what are your goals, business or YouTube wise?
Michael Kofuzi: [01:00:51]
Yeah. Uh, and it reminds me, I didn't answer your question about stripping over from Maffetone to, to Jack Daniels. So for the Shamrock shuffle coming up in March, uh, I'm following a Jack Daniels plan, or I think I am I'm, I'm heavily modifying it because Jack planning plans take like a season to really do, because it takes, it takes like 28 weeks or something like that to really do any of his plans.
But. So, um, I've given myself eight weeks to do it, and it's a lot of speed work, two hundreds, 400, some mile repeats, but like mostly to hundreds and four hundreds, which is very different for me. And the way I've shifted it over is, you know, I have this low heart rate base. I've recalibrated easy. I know what easy looks like.
I know what it feels like. I know it should be like, and it's way slower than what I thought easy is. And from that new base and recalibration and a foundation of easy, I can then do some race specific training for an eight K, which is much shorter than I intend to race. And I'd like to kind of use that to jumpstart some strength for the year and kind of have that as like, just kind of like a quick, like sendoff point for the year and like set a tone for 2021, hopefully a very long and fundraising season after that, I think I'd like to.
I'll probably then, you know, switch up the training plan and go more towards a lot of threshold running, getting ready for a June marathon. It'll probably be just a virtual, you know, run an even if it was in person, it wouldn't be like an, a race. It'd be more like a V-Ray. So I'd like to do a June marathon and then I've got Chicago, uh, on, on the calendar for the fall.
So that would be kind of like my next, you know, real attempt at like a three hour marathon. So that's kind of some of the running goals. Other than that, I don't really have too many other running goals, but I guess at that point, other than that, my running and my YouTube, like kind of goals are kind of the same for the year, which is, you know, hopefully I get a vaccine and hopefully it can be kind of like the co floozy, like North American tour where I can go out and, you know, we've been doing the live stream and connecting with people virtually, but I want to connect with people.
In real life and do a lot of races, but not necessarily that are racing, but do a lot of races, like just hop in and like pay someone for a half marathon or a marathon, or I'd love to be able to race a trail 50 K and do something like that. And just have a lot of fun, like in the community with other people in the community of running and just enjoy that.
So hopefully that'll happen. I mean, we'll see things are looking better and better each day. It seems like. but that's the other like main goal is to, you know, just run a bunch with a lot as basically as many other people as I can, once it's safe to do that.
Bertrand Newson: [01:03:18]
That's great. Mike, before we wrap one quick question, we know that running fuels you, you've shared your various training plans.
What's working for you where you've, you've pivoted the importance of gear, understanding your gear, but what really fueled you from a nutrition standpoint, our members are in the midst of a, a nutrition challenge called cut the crap. And be nice to kind of look behind the scenes and see what Mike is consuming.
And what's worked for you, um, over the years and kind of where you're at right now.
Michael Kofuzi: [01:03:44]
Sure. Um, I'll be the first to tell you that I am not really in a position to lead the discussion in this arena because my diet, I still kind of eat like I'm in college a lot of the time.
Kevin Chang: [01:03:55]
Well, we got the muck bang, McBain livestreams with the ramen and, and whatnot, but, but you're vegetarian, right?
Michael Kofuzi: [01:04:01]
So I'm mostly plant-based for the most part, a big part of kind of like my coming back to running after the, um, Baltimore marathon was, I had, um, really bad vertigo. So I was part of like my taking a break from running. And, uh, I, we, they couldn't figure out kind of like what it was from, but I was like, I'm not going to like, not live until they figure it out.
So I'm just going to live and maybe they'll figure it out. Otherwise I gotta figure out a way to like, run dizzy. So I did that. We switched diet a little bit, um, and went to mostly plant-based and I started just getting active out there, doing what I could, you know, a lot of times I would just be like, I could walk for like five minutes and then I'd get dizzy and I'd just have to wait until the dizzy spell passed.
And then I would try to keep going some more. And so that's, that's what it was. And, you know, I felt really good with that, so I just kept doing it. And so that's generally my approach to diet and nutrition is the foods that I choose are chosen to help fuel the things that I want to do. Right. And so, um, I'm trying to look at the food as like the means to an end.
I mean, food in and of itself is nourishing and replenishing and it's, it's wonderful to eat, especially with those, the people when you can do that. But like, you know, the decision terms of what I do or donate are a lot of like, you know, I probably need to have more of this if I'm in like a high mileage week, I need to make sure I'm eating right.
To make sure that the time that I'm spending out there is productive, because if I'm just eating junk food and just eating chips a whole time, I might be happy at night, but in the morning when I'm out running, my body's not going to be so happy and I'm not going to be happy. Two, three weeks later when I did the workouts, how come I'm not seeing any benefit.
If I didn't give the body any tools to build it, won't be able to. So that's kind of how I approach it. I don't always cute well on that, but, you know, that's generally kind of my, my guiding principle.
Kevin Chang: [01:05:46]
I love that it's an eat to live versus live, to eat type of philosophy. I know I'm usually on the, uh, I live to eat.
I am a foodie at heart. I love all types of food. So, um, this cut, the crap challenge for me has been about a lot about just, uh, yeah. Changing it up a little bit and being more of the philosophy. Yeah. What you put into your body can fuel you going forward. So above that philosophy and those ideas, um, I, I wanted to let you know that for your goals this year, you do have resources here.
We can definitely help you out. You have a coach right here at your disposal. If you ever want to chat with Coach "B", I'm sure he can give you feedback on any of your workouts throughout. Um, are you logging them on strong? Yeah.
Michael Kofuzi: [01:06:28]
Everything that I do is going to be on Strava. So like I've used that as my collector, no matter like what plan I'm on or what service I'm using or watch I'm using everything always funnels to Strava.
So that's the place to look at everything that I'm doing. I mean, you might see some of what I'm doing like on Instagram, but on YouTube, but everything every day is on is on Strava.
Kevin Chang: [01:06:47]
Fantastic. Yeah. So, I mean, you definitely have an audience of people cheering you on. Especially at the Shamrock shuffle, we will help you if you have any questions or anything, feel free to reach out to Coach or myself.
And yeah, if you want to go on this world tour of races, I mean, we would love to cheer you on. We have of members all across the country. That would be happy to meet up with you to say hi. Um, and you know, hopefully we can be together at races later this year. That would be. So freaking awesome. I would love that.
So just want to say thank you so much for all the time this morning. I know that you're a busy guy, so taking it out of your day really means so much to us and our audience. And we just want to say thank you so much. And, uh, and hopefully we will chat with you sometime real soon. Thank you so much, guys.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the RaceMob podcast. Check out all of the show notes. Or find a running buddy online at RaceMob dot com. Please subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a review until next time. Keep on moving.