Episode 150 Steve Knowlton

The RunRunLive Podcast Episode 150 – Steve Knowlton

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/Epi150.mp3|titles=Episode 150 – Steve Knowlton]


Show intro by:




Hello and welcome to the Monkeys in hats podcast, and not those big ugly monkeys, no we’re talking about those cute little Capuchin, Capuchian? Cappuccino? Monkeys in the little red fez’s.  That’s what we’re talking about today on the monkeys in hats podcast.

Ok – We’re done talking about monkeys in hats, let’s talk about running and that endurance lifestyle and the healthy, happy souls that populate it.

This is Chris your host and today we have a great show for you.  Welcome, my friends, to episode 150 of the RunRunLive podcast.  I won’t be long – got a lot to squeeze in – and I will not go over my allotted time slot.

Interviewing Steve Knowles this week who did the Forest Gump thing and ran from Oregon to Florida.  And the interesting thing about Steve is he didn’t have a big organization, he just felt like runnin.

I will also read you out my race report from my Palm Beach A race. Luau is going to read a blog post for us and I’m going to continue with my beginner stuff so hitch up your pants, tilt your fez rakishly and screw up your courage.

On with the show!

Audio clips in this episode:

Luau’s Kool-Aid Blog Post.

Skits, commercials and parodies in this episode:

Story time:

Equipment Check:

I whipped up a quick survey last week and from the small sample of responses that I got I was able to deduce the following conclusions about beginner runners.  This is a very small sample unscientific survey – so think of it as a flavor or sentiment barometer not a statistical proof.

This should help you seasoned runners come up with simple and effective tactics to spread the love – knowing what the need is.  It should also help beginners to know that they are not alone in their quest and that the things that stymie them stymie other beginners.

What do beginners care about most?  First they want to know how far, how fast and how often to run.  They basically don’t know what to do or how to get started.  They need a plan. A simple plan. So run off a dozen copies of your favorite beginner running program and spread them around.

They also want to know how to go farther and faster once they get started, they are in a hurry to get past the beginner phase and get on with the thing.  You need to be available to them to paint the big picture; to convince them to ease into it because the prize of patience is worth it, because, the beigest reason they quit is because they get injured and the second biggest is because they lose interest.

Not surprisingly, beginners really want to know what shoes to buy and what clothes to wear.  This is a many faceted question, but I think it’s also an opportunity.  I think there is just too much emphasis put on shoes and gear.  I think we can help the new runner by getting them to ease into the sport and keep the gear decision in perspective.  Maybe we should start a “take a new runner to the shoe store” Day?

Why do people start running?  Number one reason is to lose weight, followed by getting healthier and reducing stress.  I think we can show some excellent examples of people who prove all these points.

What’s the beginner’s biggest Challenge? Finding the time and not getting injured.  This is again something that we can help with just by giving our experience.

Why do they quit? As previously stated the majority of folks stop because they get an injury.  And some just lose interest.

My friends, I think this is valuable information.  I think we can build a manifesto around these points and have tools at the ready to remove the barriers to entry and reduce attrition.  Who’s with me?

Featured Interview:

Steve Knowlton – Runs across the US the hard way…


Quick Tip:

Strategies for running with little kids.

One of the frequent challenges cited by beginners was finding the time, especially when they had to deal with kids.  For you quick tip I’m going to give some fun ideas about how to find time to run when you have little kids to watch over.  We call ‘em rug rats and curtain climbers, but you may call them children.

Strategies for running with little kids.

“Don’t ‘find time to run,’ just run, then find time for everything else.”

  1. Run when they are sleeping.

Many people assume that you have to run during working hours, when in fact most successful runners find odd times to run.  I used to tuck my kids in at night and then head out for a run.  You may be able to do the same thing.  Take advantage of early morning or late at night.  I’ve had some of my best spiritual running experiences late at night or early in the morning.

  1. Take them with you.

The price and availability of running strollers, even if you have more than one kid, has become very accessible.  I can’t think of a better way to create a little adventure in everyone’s day.  When they get a little older there will be an age when their bicycle speed is the same as your long-run speed and you can all go down to the rail trail for an outing, I’ve done it.

You can also go to a track or a big parking lot or a playground, anywhere that’s fenced off and let them play on their bikes or bring a big bucket of playground chalk or a ball.  They can keep themselves busy and you can keep an eye on them while getting some work in.

  1. Keep then in the house.

Kids are a great reason to get a treadmill or other home workout routine.  Yeah – you will get constantly interrupted but you’ll get some exercise, whether it’s a stationary bike or simply a few pushups.

  1. Run around the house.

I once ran 5 miles in my own yard.   The kids were sleeping, I couldn’t leave them, but I didn’t have to stay in the house and watch them sleep.  I improvised a very short track around the periphery of my yard.  Yeah the neighbors think I’m crazy.

  1. Use them for the workout.

Load them into a cart or a sled, get a piece of rope and just drag them around.   They will get a big kick out of treating you as a horse and you’ll get a great strength workout.  Another good one is to go to your local sledding hill.  They sled down and you carry them and the sleds up.

  1. Practice when they practice.

I don’t know about your kids, but mine were going to some sort of practice as soon as they could walk.  Soccer, baseball, softball, etc.  I’d go with my running stuff on and either run around the outside of the field complex or go out for a road run while they did their thing.  Sure, the other moms gave me funny looks, but luckily I am not allergic to funny looks and I got my workouts in.

  1. Planning and using time opportunistically.

You can see from my examples that I was always thinking of ways to use dead time and combine two activities to get everything done.  If you look hard at your schedule, and are creative, you can find places to squeeze in a workout that won’t negatively affect anything else.  Even if it’s only 20 minutes – it counts.  Every 20 minute block is a brick in the wall.

Let me ask you an honest question.  Are your kids really keeping you from working out, or are they just a convenient excuse?


Ok that’s it you culled out the weak members of the herd and swum the river of yet another RunRunLive podcast, Episode 150 in the can.

This weekend I’m flying back down to Florida to run a self-supported relay race called the Mojo Loco with a bunch of other internet famous people.  Adam Tinkoff, the ZenRunner, Eddie Marathon, Matt the crazy runner, Norm Rosenberg, Maddy Hubbard, Marathon Chris, Samantha, SteveRunner Susan and a special mystery internet famous character from a foreign country.

Steve is going to be broadcasting live if you want to follow us.  I’m going to be just having fun and soaking up the sun.

What’s next for me?  Well Coach thinks we should take another swing at the 1:30.  I think I can give it one more macro cycle, and besides I can use all this conditioning for other adventures so it’s not wasted effort.

Coming up we have a great interview with David Hirshfeld, owner of Holabird Sports. And after that I’ve got ultra-runner Gary Robbins – very interesting stuff.

I’m rapidly working through an audio rendition of my book the Mid-Packer’s Lament and I hope to have it ready for next week – so get those credit card limbered up.

I did indeed launch edition one of the newsletter and if you want to get on my mailing list you can do so on my site at www.runrunlive.com

I’m currently listening to a series on the history of Rome.  The narrator speaks about the uncanny ability of the Romans to always come out on top.  When we think of Rome, the eternal city and the great empire they built we think that they were always successful, but if you study the history they didn’t win all the battles.

Some were draws and some were utter defeats. The city was sacked and burnt to the ground more than once.  But the Romans had a sort of baked in cultural perseverance.  They just didn’t give up.  Even when they lost they kept going and usually ended up on top.   Their soldiers were dogged and relentless.  In a sense one of the worst things you could do was defeat them in battle because that usually meant you would be Roman vassals within a generation or however long it took.

I heard a guy speak at an industry panel this week.  He is a turn-around specialist that goes into failed and failing companies for investors and, well, turns things around.  “He explained that he does two things to create positive change in these companies.  First he tells them “I’m like a diamond, you can keep pushing against me but I’m not going to break, I’m not going to go away, I can outlast you.”  And the second he said was that any change was a win because he was starting with a very low bar – so it was easy to produce wins by any kind of forward movement.

So, my friends, in these months late in the year when all things seems stressed and muddled, even if your victories are few and your challenges many, be dogged and relentless.  Believe in your own personal manifest destiny and be hard like a diamond when others try to push you off it.

I’ll keep moving forward and see you out there,

Music to take you out is seth_and_zakk song is -metaphor and it is 3:15, perfect for a little half-mile pickup.



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Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.

Email me at cyktrussell at Gmail dot com

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