We Run This
By Chris Illuminati
A podcast for serious runners - hosted by a guy who isn't serious about anything.
We Run This is a podcast about fitness and the good, the bad, and the awesome parts involved with the running life.
New episodes drop every Wednesday!
We Run This is a podcast about fitness and the good, the bad, and the awesome parts involved with the running life.
New episodes drop every Wednesday!
Episode #63: How to find the right running shoes with the ‘Sneaker Geek,' Hollie Sick
This week, I’m joined by my first TWO TIME guest on the show, Hollie Sick. The last time Hollie came on the show, I dubbed her the “Sneaker Geek” and the name stuck. Hollie’s written a running shoe ebook and done hundreds of reviews on sneakers and gear on her website, FueledbyLolz.com This time around, we’re taking a deep dive into buying running shoes and discussing the common mistakes people make, how to find the sneaker for your running needs, and the pros and cons of being loyal to one brand or sneaker. *** This episode of the show is sponsored by Ekrin Athletics. Listeners of this podcast can get 20% OFF any massage therapy gun by using the promo code RUN20 at checkout. Check out their entire line of massage therapy guns at https://ekrinathletics.com.
September 22, 2021
Episode #62: Dr. Anna Tanner on eating disorders and athletes
My guest on the show this week is Dr. Anna Tanner. Dr. Tanner is Vice President of Medical Services for Veritas Collaborative and a Board Certified Pediatrician who has spent the last 22 years of her career working with complicated adolescent patients with a special emphasis on treating patients with eating disorders. In this episode, Dr. Tanner talks about when eating disorders start, teaching proper nutrition in school, the overwhelming feeling people experience during grocery shopping, why people should get rid of the scale in their house, and how to safely try new eating plans. For the intro of this week's show, I'm joined by Madeline Hewitt of The Madeline Brand. *** This episode of the show is sponsored by Ekrin Athletics. Listeners of this podcast can get 20% OFF any massage therapy gun by using the promo code RUN20 at checkout. Check out their entire line of massage therapy guns at https://ekrinathletics.com.
September 15, 2021
Episode #61: Nick Thompson on running himself into the record books at age 45
I'm back! My guest this week is Nick Thompson. Like many of us, Nick is an extremely busy guy. The 45-year-old dad is the former editor in chief of Wired magazine and current CEO of The Atlantic. Nick has always been a runner, he ran competitively in high school and college and decided a few years ago he wanted to run the fastest marathon of his life. Well, he did something even better. On a brisk Tuesday morning in Oregon, Thompson etched his name in the American running record books. He ran a 50K in 3:04:36 - just under 6:00 pace - to break the age 45–49 record. I talk to Nick about why, at the age of 44, he decided to push himself to new limits. We also talk about the sport of running, how his father coming out affected him and his need to run, his keys to time management when trying to hit a goal, and his son now becoming interested in the sport. *** This episode of the show is sponsored by Ekrin Athletics. Listeners of this podcast can get 20% OFF any massage therapy gun by using the promo code RUN20 at checkout. Check out their entire line of massage therapy guns at https://ekrinathletics.com.
September 8, 2021
Episode #60: Kevin Owens on being "overseas famous" and transitioning to a life after sports
My guest this week is author, podcaster, and former NBA G-league star Kevin Owens. Kevin is a former Division I basketball player and the author of the book “Overseas Famous: The Travels and Tribulations of a Basketball Globetrotter,” where he chronicles his life playing professional basketball in different countries and then coming home only to have to rebuild his life over again. While Kevin isn’t the typical runner that we have on the show - though we do talk about his reasons for not running as much - everyone will get something out of this interview because of the life transition Kevin had to make when his playing days are over. In this interview, Kevin talks about his training regime during his playing days and now, why he doesn't (or can't) run as much, his life overseas, and coming home to start his life over again.
August 25, 2021
Episode #59: Israeli National Champion Beatie Deutsch on training, family & faith
My guest on the show this week is Beatie Deutsch. Beatie is the Israeli national champion in the marathon and half marathon. Beatie took up running just four years ago and recently went pro with the goal of qualifying for Tokyo 2020 and representing Israel in the Olympics. More than anything else, her journey has empowered her to dream big and keep pushing, a message Beatie is passionate about sharing with other women. As a mother of five young kids, she has learned to apply her training to the real marathon of life. In this episode, Beatie talks about her path to becoming a runner, juggling being a mom with running, and how her faith helps guide her in life and in training.
August 18, 2021
Episode #58: Bernd Heinrich on 'Racing The Clock' & his running life
Running is often thought of as a young person’s sport, but at the age of 39 Bernd Heinrich won his first marathon, as a complete unknown. It was only the third marathon he had ever run and his first in five years. Since then, the now 81-year-old has done everything from holding American records in four different distances – and the world records for those same distances in the masters category – at age 45, to outrunning a spitting cobra on the African plains. Bernd joined the show to talk about running and his new book - Racing The Clock - an in-depth look at running, aging, and the body, exploring the unresolved relationship between metabolism, diet, exercise, and age.
August 11, 2021
Episode #57: Rachel Belmont on taking big risks & training to run the Volcano Ultramarathon
Our guest this week is ultrarunner, skydiver, and nurse, Rachel Belmont. Rachel never stops moving. She's run the NYC marathon four times, the Boston Marathon, and a marathon on 4/7 of the continents, in locations such as Ireland, Tunisia, and Jordan. Prior to the pandemic, the New Jersey native was training to run the Mount Everest Ultramarathon. Just 24 at the time, Rachel would have been the youngest person to ever run the race. Unfortunately, the race was canceled because of the pandemic, and Rachel was forced to shift her focus to another race. She's now training for the Volcano UltraMarathon in Iceland at the beginning of September. In this episode, Rachel discusses her love of challenging herself, training for the Mount Everest Ultramarathon, living with the disappointment that the race wouldn't happen, and setting her sights on Iceland and the Volcano UltraMarathon.
August 5, 2021
Episode #56: Natosha Rogers on injuries, harmful self-talk, and manifesting results
This week, we're talking to professional long-distance runner and the 2020 USATF Athlete of the Year, Natosha Rogers. She was a 2020 Cross Country National Champion, 2012 Olympic Trials Silver Medalist, and former Half Marathon National Champion. In her recent bid to make the US Olympic team, she placed 7th at the Olympic Trials in the 10k. While not making the Olympic team is a setback, it’s nothing compared to the other obstacles life has put in Natosha’s way over the years. Just over three years ago, the 30-year-old thought her running career was over. After a knee injury came out of nowhere, and surgery left her barely able to walk, she lost her and had to get a job in tech sales to pay the bills. She temporarily gave up on her dream of competing professionally until those setbacks helped Rogers discover an inner-strength that helped pull her through even the darkest times. In this interview, Natosha talks about her injuries, the power of mantras and manifesting, getting into some dark moments, and her climb back to being a professional runner.
July 29, 2021
Episode #55: Dan LaMorte on making people laugh and running off 171 pounds
At 23 years old, comedian Dan LaMorte found himself in a hospital bed suffering from a fatty liver and tipping the scales at over 354 pounds. Besides the liver issues, Dan also had gastrointestinal issues. Celiac disease was a possibility, and even though the tests came back inconclusive, the New Jersey native decided to cut gluten from his diet. Dan saw results quickly and after shedding some pounds decided to take up running. With the pandemic shutting comedy clubs across the country, Dan had plenty of time to focus on his running. Eventually his short runs became longer distances, putting in 20 and then 30 miles a week. And then one day, Dan ran an ultra marathon. In this episode, Dan talks about his early days playing baseball and blowing out his arm, getting into stand-up comedy, putting on and eventually losing 171 pounds and using weed as a pre-workout.
July 22, 2021
Episode #54: Dean Karnazes on his life in motion
This week, we’re joined by “The Ultramarathon Man” himself, Dean Karnazes. Stop during any moment of the day today and think to yourself “I wonder if Dean Karnazes is running right now.” The answer is probably yes. We’re not sure Dean Karnazes ever stops running. One named by TIME magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Dean Karnazes has pushed his body - and mind - to inconceivable limits. Probably most well known for running 50 marathons in 50 states for 50 consecutive straight days, Karnazes has logged miles in places people wouldn’t dream of stepping foot. He’s run racing in the hottest, driest, windiest, and coldest places in the world including across Death Valley in the middle of summer, and ran 26.2 at the South Pole. Karnazes is also a New York Times best-selling author and his latest book - "A Runner’s High: My Life in Motion" - might be his best work yet. In this episode, Dean some of the amazing stories in his new book, running and age, the mind of the runner, his diet, endurance and sleep, and how long he plans on running.
July 14, 2021
Episode #53: Latoya Shauntay Snell, ‘The Running Fat Chef’, on body-shamers and breaking barriers
It’s impossible to cover every part of Latoya Shauntay Snell’s life in an hour-long discussion but damn if we didn’t try. She’s a chef, podcaster, writer, and a self-proclaimed “accidental activist”, pushing back against body shamers and anonymous keyboard warriors. Latoya has done just about everything in life and experienced the joys and sorrows which accompany each new barrier she breaks. Latoya followed her early love of cooking to culinary school. After graduating, Latoya worked as a freelance food stylist and photographer and explored the world of corporate dining while working for several different restaurants. While her career was reaching new heights, so was her weight, and in October 2012 Latoya found herself in the hospital with disc degeneration, moderate level sciatica, a herniated disc, and a crashing immune system. “I was well over 265 pounds thanks to depression and other factors thrown into the picture,” explained Latoya. “My doctor didn't think I'd make it to see 30 years old.” So began her weight loss journey, at one point dropping close to 170 pounds, though this isn’t the typical story of “fat person gets skinny” and the world falls in love with the story. In this interview, Latoya discusses her early life with her dad and his love of cooking, the backlash she received for dropping so much weight, rising above the online hate that comes her way on a daily basis, the insane story of meeting one of her online bullies in real life, and her ability to remain positive - and funny as hell - in the face of constant adversity.
July 7, 2021
Episode #52: Triathlete Eric Esposito on focusing and training with a traumatic brain injury
Some athletes would give up after suffering a major health setback. Eric Esposito isn't one of those athletes. Eric is a triathlete an Iron Man competitor. He is also a traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor. In 2017, Eric was hit by a car and thrown off his bike. In this episode, Eric discusses his accident, how the TBI has changed him as a person and athlete, getting back to training after the accident, and staying focused during races and training.
June 30, 2021
Episode #51: Amanda Brooks on imposter syndrome, being a 'middle-of-the-pack' runner & training around menstrual cycles
Amanda Brooks wants people to be content with being a “middle-of-the-pack” runner. She created her website - Run To The Finish - back in 2007 as a place to support those middle-of-the-pack runners and help them enjoy running regardless of the time on their watches. Amanda is a certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and has over 26,000 of running experience herself. Amanda feels running is about so much more than just pace and PRs. She also knows people don’t have the time or energy to keep up on all the latest research on running so she does all of the heavy lifting on her website. She’s written over 200 researched articles on running in the last ten years. In this episode, Amanda discusses imposter syndrome and runners, recovery runs, her transition from just a runner to a coach, and the importance of strength training. Amanda also discusses her work with women and training during menstrual cycles.
June 23, 2021
Episode #50: The Weird Things Runners Do
Taping nipples. Knowing where to find all the best public bathrooms. Wearing medals. Runners do have some quirks but can any of this behavior be classified as “weird”? In this special episode, Chris and Gina review a recent list published on Runner’s World listing the 30 weird things runners do as compared to other athletes and just regular people. Chris and Gina review the list and discuss which behaviors, quirks, ticks, and superstitions seem weird and which sound completely normal, even to just casual runners. The hosts even admit to their own weird running quirks and habits on rest days, during training, and on race days. **This episode is supported by Manscaped. Go to Manscaped.com and use the promo code WERUNTHIS20 to get 20% OFF and Free Shipping on your order.**
June 16, 2021
Episode #49: Christie Aschwanden and the strange science of recovery
Recovery is important for athletes of all skill levels and abilities but in recent years the actual science behind how our body recovers has gotten a little confusing. People are bombarded with ads for “cutting edge” recovery products and services: from drinks and recovery shakes to compression sleeves, foam rollers, electrical muscle stimulators, smartwatches, sleep trackers, and cryotherapy. Christie Aschwanden is here to set the record straight about which the real ways to recovery and all of the unnecessary - and expensive - recovery products and promises to avoid. Christie is the author of “Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery” and the former lead science writer at FiveThirtyEight. She’s also a frequent contributor to The New York Times and a former columnist for the Washington Post. A lifetime athlete, Christie has raced in Europe and North America on the Team Rossignol Nordic ski racing squad and enjoys trail running, bicycling, skiing when she’s not investigating or debunking the newest recovery fad. In our talk, Christie talks about the true science of recovery and discusses some of the findings in her book like whether drinking Gatorade really helps or hinders performance, how long a person should wait to get back into training after injury, the honest truth about ice baths, and much more. **This episode is supported by Manscaped. Go to Manscaped.com and use the promo code WERUNTHIS20 to get 20% OFF and Free Shipping on your order.**
June 9, 2021
Episode #48: Peloton instructor Christine D’Ercole on body types & the power of self-talk
Christine D’Ercole has lived many lives. After her original dream of becoming a ballerina was crushed because her legs and thighs were labeled “too big” she turned her focus towards acting. Unfortunately, her legs were again taking center stage. She attended a performing arts high school and then Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Christine accidentally stumbled upon a personal file that included paragraphs of positive notes but at the bottom of the page was the comment “a little heavy in the thigh.” Christine refused to let her body type stop her from pursuing her dream so she continued auditioning after college and worked as a bike messenger. It was during this time that Christine that her legs and thighs were an attribute as she regularly outraced her co-workers and took big hills with little effort. A few of her colleagues were also racing cyclists who introduced Christine to the sport. Before long, she was racing competitively, had sponsorship deals, and traveled across the US racing against Olympians and world champions. A decorated competitive track cyclist, Masters World Champion and five-time National Champion, Christine is now a Senior Instructor at Peloton, and her classes are grounded in the science of cycling and the power of words. In this episode, Christine discusses her early setbacks with body image, finding her passion for cycling, the nerve-racking anxiety that comes with riding a bike through the streets of a major city, becoming a Masters World Champion, and returning to the sport after a long hiatus. **This episode is supported by Manscaped. Go to Manscaped.com and use the promo code WERUNTHIS20 to get 20% OFF and Free Shipping on your order.**
June 2, 2021
Episode #47: James Breakwell on finding the humor in running and life
If the name James Breakwell sounds familiar, you probably follow one of his popular social media accounts. Best known for his family humor Twitter @XplodingUnicorn, James went viral in 2016 and transformed from a niche comedy writer into one of the most popular dad bloggers on social media. The father of four is a former high school and collegiate runner who ran his first race in middle school - an ultra where runners did the same 5K loop as many times as possible in eight hours. “I didn’t train at all,” remembers James. “The longest I’d ever run before that was maybe seven miles. I did exactly 10 loops—31 miles. At the end, I just wanted to die.” In this episode, James talks about his new book “How To Be A Man (Whatever That Means)”, his approach to running in high school and college, his mentality of having “no mentality” when it comes to running, running as a way to combat writer’s block, and coaching his young daughters. **This episode is supported by Manscaped. Go to Manscaped.com and use the promo code WERUNTHIS20 to get 20% OFF and Free Shipping on your order.**
May 26, 2021
Episode #46: Michelle Baxter on running in extreme elements & following training plans
Michelle Baxter started training to run a mile at the age of 10 and her love of running has never wavered. Born in Moorhead, Minnesota, fate and family moved her to Anchorage, Alaska to run through some of the most treacherous running conditions on a daily basis. Some runners won’t step foot outside to run in the cold weather but Michelle really has no choice. When Baxter isn’t coaching others on running or working in her local running store, she’s putting in the miles on Alaskan roads, sometimes in the pitch dark. “We can sometimes lose up to 30 minutes of daylight just in one week,” Baxter told us during the interview. These long battles with the darkness don’t just make running more difficult but the constantly gloomy condition takes a toll on a person’s demeanor. Michelle’s love of running and running gear led her to launch a website and IG account - both called The Runner’s Plate - where she chronicles her life as a cold-weather runner, coach, and mom. In this episode, Michelle talks to us about life in “The Last Frontier”, running while pregnant, her quest for the sub-3 hour marathon, battling the elements and the darkness, and the fun of buying new running gear.
May 19, 2021
Episode #45: Brendan Carpenter ran off 160 pounds & went viral for farting
Every fitness journey starts with a life-changing moment. For Brendan Carpenter, his life-changing moment happened at an unexpected place - an amusement park. During a high school class trip to Canada’s Wonderland amusement park, Brendan was escorted off a ride because the safety bar wouldn’t fit over his 350-pound frame. Almost a decade later, Carpenter is down over 160 pounds, completed numerous half and full marathons, and is now a Saucony Canada running team member. Not bad for a guy who initially hated running. In this episode, Brendan tells us about his journey to dropping all the weight, the awful eating habits that led to him ballooning up to 350 pounds, falling in love with running, running for 100 straight days during Covid lockdown, listening to differing approaches on how to run a race. And of course, we discuss Brendan’s recent TikTok video about running - and farting - that went insanely viral and led to his new online nickname, "Turdbo."
May 12, 2021
Episode #44: Bethany Davis on marathon training, motherhood, & living a humble but confident life
Bethany Davis is a busy mom of five, a business owner, competitive marathon runner, and online fitness coach. As a kid, she pursued a career in equestrian vaulting. For those unfamiliar, the simplest way to explain the sport is “gymnastics while riding a horse.” After retiring from the sport and starting a family, Bethany still looked for ways to stay in shape and remain competitive, but when her oldest son developed a case of social anxiety every time the new mom dropped him off at the daycare inside the gym, the California native needed to find a new way to exercise. In this episode, we talk to Bethany about her transition from horses to helping others, her marathon training and CrossFit routines, her husband’s on-and-off love of exercise, being a busy mom of five, and running the most grueling marathon of her life.
May 5, 2021
Episode #43: Ultrarunning power couple Sabrina Stanley + Avery Collins on training to be #1, overcoming injury & the benefits of cannabis
Avery Collins and Sabrina Stanley are the power couple of ultra running for a reason - and not just because the name is catchy and helpful when promoting their coaching business - Power Couple Coaching. Their accomplishments in ultra running are legit. Since his rookie season in 2012, Avery has dedicated his life to being the top runner in his sport. In 2017, he won every race he entered, including the Georgia Death Race, Quest for the Crest 50k, Hahn's Peak Hill Climb, Continental Divide Trail Run 50k, and Grindstone 100 Miler and finished 6th at Western States. In 2019, Avery set a course record at Quest for the Crest 50k, he won the Fatdog 120-miler, and finished 3rd at Trail de Bourbon as the highest placing American male ever). Ultrarunner Magazine named Sabrina the 8th best American Female in 2018 and ranked her 5th in 2019. She's finished first female at the last 11-ultras she's entered. In 2018, Sabrina won Hardrock 100. The following year, she won HURT 100 and recently became the first American (male or female) to win Diagonal Des Fous. It will become obvious early in this interview that Sabrina won't be happy until she's ranked number 1, and we don't doubt her for a second. In this episode, we talk to Sabrina and Avery about their goals to be the top ultra runners in the world. The couple recalls the horrific car crash that left Avery unable to race for six months, his painful rehab and struggle with the possibility that he might never run again. Sabrina shares her mental approach to the sport and striving to be the best and the ultra running community frowning upon runners who outwardly express a desire to win every time they step foot on a trail. And finally, we talk about weed. I mean, there's a reason Avery's Instagram handle is @runninghigh. Avery shares his thoughts on cannabis and its use for running, training, and recovery.
April 28, 2021
Episode #42: Alex Jade on being a two-sport athlete, female empowerment, + everyone having a bikini body
Alex Jade is a classic example of what happens when you judge a book by its cover. A quick scroll through her popular Instagram feed - @bikinifitclub - and it’s easy to make the assumption that the Newport Beach, California native is just another attractive millennial living in - and working out in - the California sunshine. While it’s true that Alex is a SoCal beach babe at heart - she’ll even admit it - she’s more than just another pretty face on social media. Alex grew up participating in endurance sports; swimming and running. She lettered in track, cross-country, and swimming in high school and participated in several triathlons. In her Junior year of high school, Alex won the Pacific Coast Triathlon. After a photo shoot for Seventeen magazine, she talked about her amazing experience with her dad. Bikini Fit Club was born. Alex wanted to create a California surfer girl brand centered on fitness, wellness, beauty, and female empowerment. Alex is now a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach and HIIT instructor. In this interview, Alex discusses her life growing up as a two-sport athlete, her willingness to try new things, finding inspiration and motivation in her DMs, being comfortable with your body, and getting comfortable with doing the uncomfortable.
April 21, 2021
Episode #41: Justin True completed a marathon with a truck strapped to his back
Justin True is just wired differently than the rest of us. He's an extreme athlete - though we think the term savage is much more appropriate - who feeds off people telling him he can't do something. Back in 2019, the Bend, Oregon, native set out to pull a truck strapped to his back for 26.2 miles - and that's not even the craziest part of his story. In this episode, Justin explains where he comes up with his insane feats of strength, determination, and will, his growing up in Oregon, all of the mistakes he made training for the truck pull, his diet, and fitness regimen, and the mental toughness necessary to even attempt these deranged tests of mettle.
April 14, 2021
Episode #40: Wilkerson Given & James Perez on running culture, fueling the body, and playing mad scientists
Our guests on the show this week, we sit down with Wilkerson Given and James Perez, creators of Stoke Performance. During their collegiate running days at Furman University, Wilkerson and James noticed that just about every athlete they knew ate some form of peanut butter before training and races. Connecting this information with their knowledge that peanut butter inherently has inflammatory properties, the pair set out to make a nutritionally complete and effective pre-race fuel alternative to peanut butter during their post-collegiate running careers. In this interview, Wilkerson and James discuss their time at Furman University and how a coaching change completely transformed the program in just one year. Both guys explain how changing the culture of the team affected not only the way they approached running but the way they lived their lives when they weren’t training or competing. This evolution in mindset led to the development of Stoke Performance. “People spend hundreds of dollars on running shoes that might give them a fraction of a second edge over the competition yet won’t take a second to think about the fuel they’re putting in their bodies,” explains James. When they’re not running a side business, both men still have full-time jobs and run competitively. Wilkerson is an Olympic hopeful and current member of the Atlanta Track Club while James won the 2018 Novant Health Charlotte Marathon in 2:31:37. James and Wilkerson talk to us about the product launch, juggling life, running, and career, where they see the product and company going and, perhaps most importantly, the proper way to say pecan.
April 7, 2021
Episode #39: Lindsey Bomgren on mobility exercises for runners, stretching, & working out to be a better human
Our guest this week is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and mom, Lindsey Bomgren. Lindsey is the creator of the popular workout website - Nourish Move Love. Lindsey started Nourish Move Love back in 2015. Her original idea was to sell 20 minute home workout DVDs - back when people bought DVDs - but quickly realized the evolution of working out at home was moving online. It didn’t take long for Lindsey to form a following online, and now close to 140K people follow her daily routines just on Instagram. The idea behind Lindsey’s workout videos is simple and written in bold type on her website - She doesn’t create videos to give people six-pack abs or a nice butt. She films workout videos because she knows exercise makes people a better spouse, parent, friend, and human. We wanted Lindsey as a guest because many of her videos focus on mobility and stretching, two areas many runners don’t pay enough attention to, especially before and after runs and on off days. Lindsey talks about the importance of mobility, using a foam roller or ball, and taking a few extra minutes every day to focus on these areas. She also preaches about strengthening and stretching the lower back, especially for women returning to running after having a baby. Lindsey also discusses the time she ran a marathon through the hills of Haiti with only ten miles of training prior to the event, being comfortable with your body type, how home gyms are the new speakeasy, and giving up a lucrative career to chase her dream of being a fitness entrepreneur.
March 31, 2021
Episode #38: Shelby LeDuff on mental focus, healthy eating alternatives + spin for runners
Our guest on the show this week is Shelby LeDuff. A former Division I volleyball player, LeDuff tore her ACL, MCL, and meniscus three different times during college, and was forced to choose between pursuing her dream or being able to walk at age 40. “My entire life goal up to that point was to be a professional volleyball player and model. And then plan B had to happen,” recalls LeDuff. She tried coaching volleyball for a bit but found that teaching the sport brought a sense of sadness for not being able to do the thing she loved. After giving up coaching volleyball, and mourning the loss of her dream, the California native embarked on a career in personal and group fitness. After going through a bad breakup, Shelby gravitated towards spin and became an instructor. Shelby’s now teaches spin and other fitness classes while serving up daily fitness, beauty, health & wellness tips on Instagram. In this interview, Shelby talks about the transition from athlete to fitness instructor, how she mentally focuses on exercise even on her worst days, how to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle even when the options aren’t so great, finding healthy alternatives when eating, the reason she doesn’t believe in cheat days, and why runners need to add spin classes to their training.
March 24, 2021
Episode #37: Jamaal Sanderson on exercise, escape, and dirty playlists
My guest on the show today is fitness trainer, father, and husband, Jamaal Sanderson. Jamaal likes to call himself “Fit Mr. Mom,” in fact, that’s even his Instagram handle. Jamaal's fitness journey started as a track star. He admits to being “115 pounds, soaking wet,” which isn’t much meat for his 5’10” frame. Jamaal naturally gravitated towards running. Jamaal thinks he still holds the record for the fastest mile in his high school at 4:15 but hasn’t checked in a while. A fractured pelvic bone before college caused Jamaal to lose his scholarship and he lost his spot on the team. In this episode, Jamaal discusses his kids fighting about taking his classes, his transition from an athlete to a fitness “performer”, the reason he fell in love with spin, the importance of exercise and escape and the filthy playlist the moms in his class blast alone in the car.
March 18, 2021
Episode #36: CJ Albertson on breaking 50K record and running being easy
CJ Albertson loves to just wake up and give himself wild challenges. In the middle of the pandemic last year, with all races shut down, the 27-year-old Brooks runner decided to try and break the 50K world record. It took 125 laps in soaking-wet shoes, but he set the record in his first official attempt. About a week later, CJ ran a 2:09 marathon on the treadmill- also a world record. This makes complete sense for a guy who claims his favorite quote is “running is easy.” In this episode, CJ discusses his world record attempts - both on the track and the treadmill - and his ability to just wake up and set his mind to breaking records.
March 10, 2021
Episode #35: Alex Hutchinson on the power of the mind and pushing running limits
Welcome back to another episode of We Run This. My guest this week is author and runner, Alex Hutchinson. As the longtime “Sweat Science” columnist for Outside and Runner’s World, Alex draws on his background as a former national-team long-distance runner and Cambridge-trained physicist, as well as his own unique access to world-class athletes and scientists. After debuting in hardcover in 2018, Hutchinson’s book, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, is considered the definitive book on endurance and the mind for people looking to push their performance limits. Endure is celebrating its paperback release along with updated information, the latest research on endurance, and a new afterword. In our talk, Alex and I cover the discuss endurance and the tricks the brain plays on athletes of all skill levels, breaking old habits, the positive and negative mental benefits of social media in connection with pushing limits, and the limiting beliefs that keep people from achieving higher goals and believing what's possible and impossible.
March 3, 2021
Episode #34: Nick Willis tells us how he's run a sub-4 every year FOR THE LAST 19 YEARS
Our guest on the show this week is New Zealand middle-distance runner, Nick Willis. Willis is the only two-time Olympic medalist for New Zealand in the 1500 meters. Willis won the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The 37-year-old Kiwi also holds another amazing record. He’s run a sub-4:00 mile every year for the last 19 years. Willis talks to us about breaking the record, when the record came on his radar, when he started running, competing in the Olympics, and his occasional love of packing on pounds. Plus, Nick and Chris make an announcement at the end of the show that every listener will want to hear.
February 24, 2021
Episode #33: Kaleigh Gilchrist talks 'Mamba Mentality' & the strange place she keeps her Olympic gold
Our guest on the show this week is Olympic gold medal winner, Kaleigh Gilchrist. Born and raised in Newport Beach, California, Kaleigh was drawn to the water as a kid and fell in love with both surfing and water polo almost immediately. Kaleigh competed at the World Surfing Games for five consecutive years in her teens while helping her high school team to win a California Interscholastic Federation water polo championship. She also won back-to-back USA Surfing Under 18 Championships during high school. Fast forward a few years and Kaleigh found herself representing Team USA in Rio winning an Olympic Gold Medal in water polo and is now splitting her time on the World Surf League Qualifying Surf Series and in the pool with Team USA. It was during this time that Kaleigh struck up a friendship with another Team USA member - Kobe Bryant. In this interview, Kaleigh discusses her attraction to the water, surfing almost since birth, striking up a friendship with the basketball legend, preparing to play in front of empty arenas, and the really weird place she keeps her gold medal.
February 16, 2021
Episode #32: Brian Gross found himself running a half-marathon in an incredibly unlikely place - North Korea
Brian Gross's career in media and PR has taken him to some incredibly odd places - the offices of Def Jam Records, the AVN awards, on the set of several reality shows, and even riding in limos with people like Gene Simmons and Sasha Grey. One place Gross never expected to end up was in the middle of North Korea, running a half-marathon through a country that eventually banned Americans from stepping foot on its soil. The story of Gross running 13.1 miles through a hostile - at least now - country starts where most adventures end. A sex toy. In this interview, Gross talks about how he got into the PR business, took up running, completed more marathons and half-marathons than he ever thought his body would allow, and his insane adventure through the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
February 9, 2021
Episode #31: Craig Engels is the 'Redneck Prefontaine,' serial entrepreneur, and a damn good runner
This week on the show, we're joined by middle-distance runner, Nike Oregon Project member, and all-around character, Craig Engels. Engels' natural running ability might not even be in the top ten most interesting things about the 25-year-old Ole Miss grad. Engels missed the cut for the Olympic roster by one spot in the 800m and two spots in the 1500m but he's much more comfortable discussing the time he quit college and bought an RV to take across the country or one of his many boat-flipping projects. In this interview, the charismatic Engels discusses finding a passion for running track - after getting kicked off the high school soccer team for mooning a coach - committing to Ole Miss on the day of his visit and never leaving campus, people assuming he's not taking the sport seriously because he's having so much fun, and his next passion project - converting a double-decker bus into a party bus.
February 1, 2021
Episode #30: Jason Hardrath talks adventure running, almost dying, and chasing 'Fastest Known Times'
On this week's episode of "We Run This," we're talking to adventure runner and climber, Jason Hardrath. In 2015, while in the best shape of his life and the middle of training for an Ironman, Hardrath had his professional, athletic, and personal life "reset to zero." Hardrath was in a horrific car accident and statistically should be dead. In this talk, Hardrath explains how he went from a feeling of invincibility to a hard reset of everything he'd done in his life up to that point. The adventure runner also discusses his mindset during the incredibly heartbreaking setback, how a doctor told him in the days after his injury that he'll never compete at the same level again, taking what the doctor told him personally and his current quest to 100 "Fastest Known Times" in running.
January 25, 2021
Episode #29: 2x Olympic Runner Nick Symmonds shares his insane workout goal for 2021
This week on the show, we're joined by two-time Olympian, Nick Symmonds. Nick competed for the United States at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Though his focus has been on the 800 meters for the majority of his career, Nick also has a personal best of 3:56 seconds in the mile. After his running career came to an end, Nick became a successful entrepreneur and YouTube star. His YouTube channel is filled with videos of the former Olympian racing go-kart, Teslas, and even includes fitness challenges like doing 300 push-ups a day for 30 days. In this interview, Nick talks about competing in the Olympics and the mental crash that happened when that part of his life ended, where he gets the inspiration for his YouTube videos, getting smoked by strangers on the street, a secret cheat he does before his races, why commentating for NBC sucked, and how to win a race against friends.
January 18, 2021
Episode #28: Gabrielle Bolin on pushing a partner and how sweat can change your life
Our guest on the show this week is Gabrielle Bolin. In 2015, Gabrielle left a competitive career in show business in order to use her love of health & fitness to foster self-love and confidence in others. Since that time, Gab has run 7 marathons, 3 ultramarathons, 1 triathlon, and took first place in her age group Fall & Spring Cedar Creek Duathlon in 2018 and 2019. In this episode, Gabrielle discusses how she transitioned from the toxic world of acting and never feeling thin enough to becoming a sought-after fitness instructor, nutritionist, runner, and motivational trainer.
January 11, 2021
Episode #27: Natalie Johnston on recovery, the benefits of walking, and how running saved her life
Natalie Johnston fell in love with running at a young age and her competitive nature as an athlete began at the age of 3. Natalie competed in a wide array of sports as a kid including horseback riding, competitive swimming, and dance. Natalie ran competitively for both Division I and Division II colleges in cross country and track. During her college running career, she battled numerous injuries due to pushing herself too hard in training. Those frustrations and personal life events lead Natalie down a destructive path of abusing drugs and alcohol. She believes running saved her life in many ways. “I can say if it weren’t for running, and sports, most likely I’d probably be dead,” Natalie admits in our interview. Through many ups and downs in her life, running was the one place for her to let go, meditate, release, and grow as a person. In this episode, Natalie shares her troubled past, how she found running and used it as a form of mediation, pushing the body but listening to its warning signs, the best way to warm-up before a run, and the dangers of running too much in 2021.
December 28, 2020
Episode #26: Jeffrey Stern got lost during his first ultra race and found his love for the sport
Jeffrey Stern is a jack-of-all-trades in the world of endurance sports. He's a runner, biker, coach, consultant, and writer, with over a decade of experience in each. After years of competitive mountain biking, Stern won his second ever ultra race. This was a completely different outcome than his first ultra race attempt where he spent 20 minutes running in circles after getting lost. In this episode, Stern talks about avoiding runner's burnout, the transition from biking to running, staying competitive even when the world shuts down, and the growing popularity of cross country running with high school kids and clears up the rumors about how he's not the murder-for-hire guy.
December 21, 2020
Episode #25: Cory McGee discusses her road to running for Team USA while battling chronic migraines
Our guest on “We Run This” this week is Team USA star, Cory McGee. Cory McGee began running competitively at the age of 9 and her love of the sport traces back to two distinct memories. The first involves three competitive sisters sprinting home from church every Sunday and the second is connected to the family moving to Greece. Cory ran for the University of Florida where she was an NCAA runner-up and 10-time NCAA Division 1 Track and Field All-American. After graduation, joined Team USA and signed to run and train with the New Balance team in Boulder, Colorado. During our conversation, Cory discusses growing up in a competitive family, moving to Greece and falling in love with running, struggling with migraines as a child, how running helps with her migraine issues, and some of the unwritten rules of track running.
December 14, 2020
Episode #24: Ultrarunner Dylan Bowman on regaining his love for running
Our guest today is ultrarunner, Dylan Bowman. With no running background, Bowman stunned the field and finished in third place at the Leadville 100 back in 2010 and the Nevada-native quickly established himself as one of the top contenders in American ultrarunning. In this episode, Bowman talks about his journey to running, the thousands of miles he’s covered over the last decade, what would make people want to run so far for so long, a time when he battled through injury and losing his love of running, and why every runner should attempt an ultra run.
December 7, 2020
Episode #23: Makenna Myler discusses running a 5:25 mile while 9 months pregnant
In this episode of "We Run This," we talk to Mike and Makenna Myler, the couple who went viral after Mike bet his 9-month pregnant wife she couldn't run an 8-minute mile. He bet her $100. Makenna ran the mile in 5:25, just seven days before her baby was due. The Mylers are both athletes who competed at Brigham Young University - Mike did gymnastics and Mackenna ran track - and joined the show to discuss how the idea for the bet started, how the couple met, MacKenna's training while pregnant, the personal distraction that happened during race day, and their new role as parents.
November 23, 2020
Episode #22: Meet the dad who ran a marathon around the Children's Hospital caring for his son with cancer
Kolt Codner’s son, Andrew, has been a patient at Akron Children’s Hospital for the last five months. The 4-year-old boy is battling B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. When Codner found out the Akron Marathon benefiting the Akron Children’s Hospital was changed to a virtual event due to COVID-19 - and not many runners signed up - dad decided to take fundraising into his own hands.
November 16, 2020
Episode #21: Murph world record holder Brandon Westover on pushing through the uncomfortable
Our guest on the show today is Brandon Westover. Brandon is a fitness coach, endurance athlete, and 41-year-old father of two from Orlando who recently broke the world record for the most Murph workouts in 24 hours. Brandon talks about his out-of-body experience completing the Murphs, how he trained, his strategy for completing the running portion of the workout, and how the medical staff wanted him to stop immediately.
November 5, 2020
Episode #20: Trainer Gerren Liles talks HIIT training for runners
On this special bonus episode of “We Run This,” we talk to founding Mirror trainer and HIIT workout guru, Gerren Liles. Liles transitioned from a life of service teaching elementary school kids to become a sought-after trainer and fitness expert. We covered a slew of different topics with Gerren in our chat, including HIIT workouts for runners, dealing with the pending colder days and less sunlight that comes during the winter, occasionally indulging in his weakness for sweets.
October 30, 2020
Episode #19: Aaron Schwartz and his journey from fat to fit
In this episode of We Run This, we’re talking to actor and athlete, Aaron Schwartz. Aaron Schwartz probably looks familiar to people of a certain age because, at one point in the 1990s, Aaron made a career out of playing the lovable, chubby kid in blockbuster movies like The Mighty Ducks and Heavyweights, and on TV shows like The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Schwartz continues to act but has undergone quite the transformation, going from fat to fit over the course of his adolescent and adult years. Aaron is now using his personal experiences to help motivate others who might struggle with some of the issues he did as a kid.
October 26, 2020
Episode #18: Michael Chernow On Learning To Love "The Hard And The Hurt"
Our guest on the show this week is chef, entrepreneur, and fitness influencer, Michael Chernow. After struggling with alcohol addiction and drug abuse at a young age, Michael was on the quick road to destruction and his savior was a friend who introduced him to Muay Thai. In this candid interview, Michaels tells us his thoughts about fitness, discipline, and philosophies on life, and a hardcore dedication to the NFL team that keeps letting him down.
October 19, 2020
Episode #17: Spencer Brown's Amazing Journey From Social Media Runner to Brooks Beasts Member
Today we’re talking to Spencer Brown. Spencer is currently a member of the Brooks Beasts running team but he joined the group of Olympic hopefuls in a pretty interesting way. The company found him online and asked him to join. Nick and Chris talked to Spencer the week before his training with the Beasts began to discuss how he went from social media runner to member of an elite running crew, his time running in high school and college, how he finds motivation to put in the work to succeed, and the insane journey he’s been on so far.
October 12, 2020
Episode #16: Devon Lévesque Is Going To Bear Crawl A Marathon And Our First Question Is 'Why?!?'
Entrepreneur, trainer, and fitness expert Devon's Lévesque had a plan was to bear crawl the New York City Marathon. COVID-19 put an end to those plans. The canceled event isn't stopping him on his quest. In this episode, Devon talked to us about training for his bear crawl marathon, why he'd want to attempt something so insane, and his mental and physical preparation for the event.
October 6, 2020
Episode #15: How Does A Runner Know They're Ready For An Ultra? with Ryan Knapp
Today, we’re talking to runner and coach, Ryan Knapp. Ryan has over 20 years of coaching experience with a focus on mountain, ultra, and trail running. He’s been featured in Trail Running Magazine, Runners World, CNN and the Daily Burn, and was asked by the Road Runners Club of America to create their Level 2 Ultrarunning Curriculum to help coaches around the world learn how to coach ultrarunners. Ryan talks to Nick and Chris about moving his entire family to Germany for work, getting comfortable running in another country, training for 100 mile races, the depression that sometimes comes with finishing an ultra run and how runners can tell they’re ready to try an ultra.
September 28, 2020
Episode #14: 'Sneaker Geek' Hollie Sick Talks Running Shoe Mistakes
In this episode, we’re talking to runner, writer, and self-proclaimed running sneaker freak, Hollie Sick. Hollie is the creator of Fueled By LOLz, a popular website and newsletter dedicated to her passion for running and running gear. Hollie talks to Nick and I about her love of running - that actually took a while to show up - why she geeks out about sneakers, the biggest mistakes runners make when it comes to buying shoes or hanging onto pairs of sneakers for too long, and her low-key favorite new sneaker brand.
September 21, 2020
Episode #13: Conquering New Challenges with USA Women's Rugby Star Naya Tapper
This week, we’re joined by Naya Tapper. After earning All-American track and field honors in high school, Naya started her rugby career at UNC Chapel Hill. As a professional, Naya is the All-Time leading try scorer for USA Women’s Eagles. Naya’s infectious personality and honesty has made her the face of USA Women’s Rugby. haveIn this episode, Naya and Chris talk on her recovery day about her years as a high school runner, her transition from track star to rugby star, her approach to training and running even on the days she doesn’t want to get out of bed, and the public’s misconceptions about women’s rugby.
September 14, 2020
Episode #12: How To Mentally Prepare For Anything with Will Gadd
Red Bull launching an all-new adventure documentary titled “The Last Ascent” which follows legendary ice climber Will Gadd’s return to Kilimanjaro, spotlighting the drastic impact of climate change and rapid ice glacier melting on Africa’s highest point. Gadd, a Canadian National Sport-Climbing Championship winner and 3-time X Games winner talked to us about the new documentary, his motivation for venturing places man has never been, his early obsession with mountain running, and how to overcome mental hurdles.
September 8, 2020
Episode #11: Is Running Every Day A Bad Idea?
After reading an article about Robert "Raven" Kraft, the runner who has run 8 miles every day for THE LAST 45 YEARS, Nick and Chris discuss the habit of running every day and if it's a good idea.
August 27, 2020
Episode #10: Dietitian Explains The Dumb Eating Habits That Might Be Sabotaging Runners
Nick and Chris have different approaches to eating. Nick runs to specifically eat whatever the hell he wants. Chirs is a little more strict with his diet because he feels like crap when he's running if he eats like crap when he's not running. So, the guys enlisted the help of a dietitian to talk about what they're doing right - and wrong - when it comes to fueling their bodies.
August 17, 2020
Episode #9: How To Fight Runners Fatigue
Runner's fatigue can hit at any time, on any day, and sometimes right in the middle of a run. The mind wants to keep going and put in the miles but the body will have none of it. Runner's fatigue typically subsides after a few days of rest, eating right, and getting better sleep, but occasionally the rundown feeling lasts much longer. In this episode of "We Run This", Nick and Chris discuss runner's fatigue. Nick is stuck in the middle of a rut and hasn't run in weeks. The guys discuss Nick's overall crappy feeling, overtraining, tips to break out of runner's fatigue, and if maybe part of the issue might be all in Nick's head.
August 10, 2020
Episode #8: Weird Marathon Rules That Runners Have To Follow
No cursing. No costumes. No alcohol. No doping. No fireworks? Every marathon has its own set of rules runners have to follow, but while some rules make total sense, some marathon rules are dumb, outdated, or just completely absurd. This week on "We Run This", Nick and I are joined by Don Povia of Transition Sports & Entertainment to talk about running and training for marathons, the rules to follow and break, and why I just can't commit to running the 26.2 miles.
August 3, 2020
Episode #7: Running In A Strange Town
No, this episode isn't about leaving your family at home, going out for milk, and never coming back. Do you remember places? Remember when we'd all travel, go on a vacation, and visit strange cities for fun. Ah, the good old days. Well, they'll be back soon (hopefully), and in this episode of We Run This, Nick and Chris discuss running places other than our own neighborhood and town.
July 27, 2020
Episode #6: Finding Motivation When You Feel Like Crap
In this episode of We Run This, Nick and Chris discuss motivation and how to kick yourself in the ass to run when you just don't feel like putting in the miles. We talk about the different tricks we use to get ourselves motivated and how what works for one person might not necessarily work for others. Plus, Nick drops a major bombshell in the first few minutes of the episode.
July 20, 2020
Episode #5: Ridiculous Running World Records
This week on the podcast, Nick and Chris discuss running world records. We're not talking about the world's fastest mile or the quickest marathon run ever. Those are impressive and no joke. This episode is dedicated to the absurd records in the world of running that most people probably didn't know exist.
July 13, 2020
Episode #4: Should Runners Wear A Mask?
In this episode of We Run This, Nick and Chris discuss running in the time of Covid-19. With a few states now requiring masks in all public places - Chris's home state is one - the guys talk about all of the positives and negatives attached to running while wearing a mask. Is running in a mask safe? Does it make running even more difficult, especially for people without the proper face gear?
July 9, 2020
Episode #3: The Unwritten Rules For Runners
In this episode of We Run This, Nick and Chris discuss the rules runners should follow on the road and on trails and the beliefs that are a bunch of crap.
June 26, 2020
Episode #2: Should I Do A Virtual Race?
In this episode of We Run This, Nick and Chris discuss the newest fad in running - virtual races. Honestly, it's only a fad because real, in-person races aren't allowed and might be canceled for the rest of 2020. Nick and Chris discuss the benefits and drawbacks of virtual runs, who should and shouldn't give them a shot, and how Nick accidentally ran through a group of people holding guns.
June 19, 2020
Episode #1: How Did We Start Running So Much?
In the first episode of We Run This, hosts Nick Dimengo and Chris Illuminati discuss the paths that lead them to run, Nick's mishap with carb-loading before his first marathon, Chris outrunning a panic attack, and the benefits of running for mental health. Also, that time Nick walked for 19 miles for no good reason.
June 12, 2020