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The Vivi Nation Podcast

The Vivi Nation Podcast

By Vivi Nation
A podcast to encourage an active nation, featuring interviews about fitness challenges, training tips and tricks, inspirational stories and so on. The Vivi Nation podcast is hosted by Chris and Nick Smith, two brothers trying to balance being first-time parents, full-time workers and fitness enthusiasts. We cover topics on cycling, running, nutrition and general health.
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Ultra running diaries: Part 7 - race day and takeaways from the ultra experience
It's the final episode of the ultra running diaries series, the series in which we have shared our journey scaling from 10k fitness to 100k ultra. We’re recording this episode a few days after the 67-mile ultra, and we reflect on the last 8 months, talk about the event in detail, and go over what we have taken away from the journey. Trying to be as honest as possible, we discuss the positives and negatives of the experience and the main challenges of ultra running. We cover the night before the race, the highs and lows on the day, the main reasons to run an ultra as well as the main reasons not to, and our summaries of the overall experience.
August 10, 2021
Ultra running diaries: Part 6 - the value of time on feet and tapering
It’s part 6 of the ultra running diaries series, where we share our journey scaling from 10k fitness to 100k ultra. We're just over a week out from our 67-mile ultra, and we’re once again joined by our cousin and ultra mentor, James Randall, who, if you listened to part 5, was about to take on his first ultra event of the year called The Wall.  Off the back of a training marathon and a 50k hike/run, we're now in the tapering phase. So we chat with James about how we should be spending the final two weeks before the event, as well as get James' thoughts on his learnings from The Wall, the value of time on feet, and reflections of the last 8 months.
July 30, 2021
Ultra running diaries: Part 5 - the long run and dealing with mental doubt
In part 5 of the ultra running diaries series, the series where we share our journey scaling from 10k fitness to 100k ultra, we are once again joined by our cousin and ultra coach James Randall to discuss the dreaded long run.  We cover why the long run can't be avoided in the training process, preparing for it properly, getting through it, and what the long run should be. We also discuss the impact of running in different weather conditions, with heat significantly affecting our training in the last few weeks. Lastly, we also chat with James about dealing with setbacks and mental doubt, as well as his upcoming 70-mile ultra event, The Wall.  With our 67-mile ultra less than two months away now, reality has kicked in and self-doubt has taken over. Can we actually do this? Have we done enough training? How do we approach the training in the last 8 weeks? Do we have the right gear?
June 15, 2021
Ultra running diaries: Part 4 - running events, recovery and lifestyle challenges
In part 4 of the Ultra running diaries, the series where we share our journey scaling from 10k fitness to 100k ultra, we discuss using events for training, the importance of recovery - before, during and after the run - and the lifestyle challenges of an 8-month training plan.  Events are back and our first race in over a year was a half marathon at Eton Dorney. We chat about the race experience and how events provide the perfect short-term goals for training, but also the perils of getting carried away and running events differently from training runs. With life often getting in the way, we also cover the difficulties of juggling full-time work with parenting, as well as the impact of socialising and fitting training into a busy week. Finally, we talk about the recovery strategies we have tried to avoid injury and improve performance, and why recovery should be as important as actually running. ‘You know you’ll have to run a lot to do an ultra, but do you know you need to rest a lot?’
April 23, 2021
Ultra running diaries: Part 3 - the mindset of an endurance runner
In part 3 of the Ultra running diaries, the series where we share our journey scaling from 10k fitness to 100k ultra, we’re going to be talking about the mindset of an endurance runner and we thought it was time to get some more experienced runners on the podcast to give us some advice. So our cousin and ultra runner James Randall joins us to provide us with an update on how he thinks our training is going, as well as Vince Savarese, who shares his running journey and recent exploits doing the 4x4x48 challenge, which involves running for four miles every four hours for 48 hours, inspired by the one and only ex-Navy Seal, David Goggins. Endurance distances are just as much a mental as a physical challenge, if not more. Being able to handle pain and go through the mental barrier is a constant theme in ultra training, so in our interview with James and Vince we wanted to find out a bit more about what it takes to be an endurance runner, what gets you over the line, how to manage pain, and what we should know about endurance running mindset. 'Make friends with pain and you'll never be lonely.' And as for those who you who didn’t expect us to get this far, sorry to disappoint. We’re still going!
March 31, 2021
Ultra running diaries: Part 2 - the common mistakes to avoid during long distance run training
In part 2 of the 'Ultra running diaries' series, where we chat about our journey scaling from 10k fitness to 100k ultra, we discuss the common mistakes to avoid during endurance run training.  I think it's fair to say we've historically made quite a lot of mistakes during the training process for longer runs, so share our experiences, as well as discuss the things that regularly go wrong when doing endurance training, and how to avoid them. These tips are especially helpful for beginners, but experienced runners will hopefully benefit, too. Lastly, we also cover what the hardest thing is about long-distance running, where we are up to on our Ultra training plan, and why recovery is just as important as the actual running. 
March 24, 2021
Ultra running diaries: Part 1 - getting started with ultra training and developing healthy running habits
Our new season, 'Ultra running diaries', will be an honest, open and light-hearted account of the training and running of our first 100k ultra. Over the course of the season, we'll be sharing anecdotal training stories, analysing our running data, talking about the tips we pick up on the way, and the highs and the lows of scaling from 10k fitness to 100k ultra. If you want to hear a relatable and brutally honest account of two normal people training for an ultra, stay tuned. If you are seeking professional running advice, probably best to switch off now. Having said that, we will get on some special guests in the run-up to our ultra event as expert advice is always welcome. So, fear not, we'll make the mistakes so you don't have to. In part 1, we cover our running motivations, getting started with training, the mindset of running long distances, and developing healthy running habits.
March 06, 2021
Lockdown series: Battling mental health and the impact of running with Tom Dunning
Tom Dunning, aka the Mental Health Runner, joins Chris to give an open and honest account of his battle with mental health, and discuss the critical role of running in his recovery. We chat about life before and after finding a love for running, some of his darkest experiences, the impact of exercise on his mental health, lockdown, writing his book 'Surviving the war against yourself', and the lessons he's learned from his experiences. 
September 23, 2020
Lockdown series: The gym and PT perspective on 2020 with Matt Williams
After digesting the disappointment of the cancellation of this year's marathons, Nick asks guest, Matt Williams, Founder of Prima Fitness, to talk about the importance of good nutrition and core strength in being healthier, happier, and achieving your goals... whatever they may be. Matt is a qualified PT and former professional dancer, who helps clients not only get into better shape but also improve their mental strength. Prima Fitness - Website
August 26, 2020
Lockdown series: Why you should give bikepacking a go
Bikepacking has never been more popular - the Vivi team give it a go in the cycling paradise that is the Isle of Wight. We cover the basics of bikepacking, what a bikepacking weekend might look like, as well as the merits of making the trip on the Solent to the Isle of Wight if you’re a cyclist. For time-poor cyclists looking for a cheap, short adventure, bikepacking is a great option this year.
August 12, 2020
Lockdown series: How to survive your first marathon
The Vivi Nation team shares their experiences and advice for any runner considering taking on the challenge of a marathon for the first time, or improving on their first marathon. It's an honest review of marathon training, the race day experience, the challenges, and the future of mass participation events.
July 29, 2020
Lockdown series: What makes the Netherlands the perfect destination for a cycle tour?
The Vivi Nation team give the lowdown on what it’s like to do a cycle tour in Europe’s cycling capital, the Netherlands. We talk through the process of planning a cycle tour abroad, impart some wisdom gained from our many cycling adventures, and rave about the Netherlands. Jump on a ferry and find out for yourself at the next opportunity!
July 15, 2020
Lockdown series: The Virtual Wall - what’s it like to participate in a virtual running event?
Chris and Nick cover the pros and cons of participating in one of the many virtual events that have been set up to keep us motivated, discuss the short term future of running events and consider how to stay motivated during this continued period of disruption.
July 01, 2020
Lockdown series: Cycling on the Eurovelo with Jack Huntley
In the first episode of season 2, we welcome Jack Huntley on to the show to share his experiences of using the Eurovelo cycle routes, his thoughts on cycling in Europe in general and advice for any cyclist interested in a long-distance cycle tour. We hope this will inspire some of you to take advantage of the amazing network of routes Eurovelo have created on the continent!
June 17, 2020
Season 2 teaser
A big thank you to everyone who has listened to any of our episodes in season 1. In season 2, Nick Smith joins Chris Smith as a co-host. The Vivi Nation podcast is dedicated to encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle for all. This biweekly podcast is for anyone interested in becoming more active, enjoying the outdoors and taking their first steps into the world of running, cycling and sporting events.  Hosts and brothers Nick and Chris will be joined by a range of guests to share their experiences of amateur sports and exercise, as well as share their own journey of balancing work, family, and the outdoors. We hope you’ll join us!
June 15, 2020
Lockdown series: Preparing to fail and failing to prepare
The Vivi team reminisce on some of the mistakes we’ve made in our many adventures and share some advice on how to prepare for them.  Basically, we share some amusing anecdotal stories and laugh at our misfortunes, as well as discuss the concepts of 'complete don't compete' and 'learning by doing'. 
May 13, 2020
Lockdown series: Surviving life in lockdown
With the UK in lockdown, James Randall, Nick Smith and Vivi host Chris chat about mental and physical wellbeing during this period, as well as virtual challenges, motivation, building healthy habits into the working day and more.
May 01, 2020
Coming back from injury with Sam Jones
In episode 16, Sam Jones, a keen cyclist and policeman, joins us to chat about his cycling and triathlon experiences as an amateur, fitness in the police, and his long stint doing rehab following an injury. We also take a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about our cycling tours in Northern Europe and the Paris to London 24-hour cycle challenge.
March 28, 2020
Exercise, work and family with Jacob Wardrop
In episode 15, Jacob Wardrop joins Chris to discuss the balancing act of working life, starting a family and finding time to exercise. We chat about his experiences with two children, fitting exercise into a busy working schedule, the benefits of doing so, and top tips for building exercise into your routine. 
February 10, 2020
Running ultras with James Randall
James Randall joins us to chat his 500 miles for GRIT running challenge, shortly after starting with the Ultra Tour of Edinburgh. We discuss his training, race day preparation, the challenge, his love for running and what motivates him to do long-distance endurance events.
October 23, 2019
Triathlons and duathlons with Nick Smith
Chris is joined by his brother and regular amateur triathlete/duathlete, Nick Smith. We discuss the difference between the two, training for a multi-discipline event, race day tips, our experiences and more. 
July 23, 2019
What's it like to cycle around the world with Grey Baker
James McKinven chats with Grey Baker about his experiences cycling around the world. Tune in to hear about his favourite stories, what it's like cycling through Asia and the US, battling the elements and more.
July 16, 2019
Living a healthy lifestyle
Nicola Meighan, Maria Bailey and Claire Donnelly talk about normal people living a healthy lifestyle. We cover eating healthy, including a being vegan, how everyone does things differently as there is not a one-size fits all solution, the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, their motivations and achievements, and what exercise means to them.
May 01, 2019
Training for a half-ironman with Maria Bailey
Maria Bailey discusses her latest challenge, training for her first half-ironman. We cover her motivations, the difficulty of multi-discipline training and the lifestyle changes she has made.
April 23, 2019
The Brighton Marathon 2019
The day after the Brighton Marathon 2019, Chris is joined by his brother, and fellow first-time marathon runner, Nick. They discuss the experience, including the course, their race strategy, the high and lows, and advice for fellow first-timers. 
April 15, 2019
Cycle tour of Ireland, Mizen to Malin
In this episode, Chris is joined by Maria Bailey and Claire Donnelly to talk about cycle touring, specifically their 700km cycle tour from Mizen to Malin in Ireland.
April 11, 2019
Hiking and the Three Peaks Challenge
In this episode, Chris and James discuss doing the three peaks challenge and their experiences hiking. Tune it to hear what it's like to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, and hear why you should try hiking too.
April 02, 2019
What fitness and running means to me?
 In this short episode, we’re joined by Adam Davey to discuss his running tips, what motivates him, why he likes Park Run and why he enjoys being active.
March 28, 2019
The Paris to London 24-hour cycle challenge with Tom Verghese
Chris is joined by Tom Verghese to discuss their 24-hour Paris to London cycle challenge for Prostate Cancer. Tune in to hear how it went, what it was like for Tom as a non-cyclist, and why you should give it a go.
March 21, 2019
The best fitness tech with James McKinven
Whether you want to lose weight, get inspired, see your exercise activities, build muscle, track your eating habits or something else, there is tech readily available for every fitness goal. Listen to Chris and James round-up their favourite fitness tech, including wearables, apps, accessories and gear.
March 15, 2019
Eating healthy on a budget
When you first start out with healthy eating, it can be quite daunting. It is also one of the most difficult things to start and commit to because it is a complete lifecycle change. Chris and James discuss how best to eat healthier, without breaking the bank. 
March 04, 2019
Training for your first marathon Q&A
What's it like training for your first marathon as a non-runner? In this episode, Vivi founder Chris details his training outline and tips, the biggest challenges, advice for other beginners and key takeaways.
February 24, 2019
Tips for cycling to work
Our very first podcast episode explores the benefits of cycling to work with regular cycle commuter James McKinven. We dive into why he does it, how to get started, cycling safely and what motives him to get active.
February 15, 2019