Episode 251 – Jon Metz – Kona Koach

The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 251 – Jon Metz – Kona Koach


Episode 3-251 mp3 file

Introductory comments

Well hello my friends.  Here we are again.  Welcome to the first episode of the RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast.

We have a great show for you today and we have a lot of ground to cover so strap on your yaktrax and hang on to your running buddies and let’s get to it.

It’s a cold Massachusetts Friday afternoon in my life.  I’m finishing up some tasks on my task list so that I can burst forth from my home office and into the trails for an easy 7 miler with the wonder dog.  I’ve got a set of live Grateful Dead on the headphones that my friend, that inglorious bastard of a demented genius, the Zen Runner tipped me off to.

Today we will enthrall you with an interview o fJon Metz who is a professional Triathlete coach.  I chat with him about how he helps people get it all done.  We will also assault your senses with a piece on how we internally value our running efforts – that I’m calling ‘My Best Run”.

Lastly I’ll hit you directly in your pouty lips with a tactically instructional piece on how I think about the structure of life balance.  I was really excited about this piece until I wrote it up.  I found it a bit lifeless when I focused more on relaying information and less on storytelling.  I think my gift, if I can call it that, is storytelling.  Like that wild-eyed shaman decanting tall tales in front of the crackling primeval bonfire.

We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, you and I.  Last time we spoke I was preparing to undergo the Extra Corporeal Shockwave treatment for my debilitating Plantar Fasciitis.  Well…I didn’t.  For a number of reasons.

A funny thing happened.  I gave up on training and stopped thinking about it.  I had coach write me up a maintenance program of biking and core work – that I dutifully worked through 6-7 days a week.  As the weeks went by coach started sneaking some short runs into the program.

I knew I had the procedure coming up so I wasn’t so concerned about damaging my foot.  I started running 3 times a week, easy.  And the foot didn’t get any worse.  I had a nice rhythm with my 7 workouts a week, 3 easy trail runs, 2 core workouts and 2 bikes and I was happy.

I’m not saying my PF got better.  I’m saying I’ve found a balance where I can run and train without discomfort and I’m going to stick there for awhile and see how the foot responds.

I have, believe it or not raced twice and am up to a 12 mile long run in the trails.  The Dr. told me I could either have a procedure or change my lifestyle.  While I wasn’t paying attention my lifestyle changed itself.  Funny how life is, huh?

I’ll share one race story that will give you an idea of my inner struggle with this whole thing.  I told the club that I could theoretically run a leg of the Mill Cities Relay with them but I would be taking it easy and not racing all out.  Obligingly Howard put me on a team of midpacker guys.

We had 13 teams entered in the relay. It’s a 5 leg relay with one short leg and one long leg.  Usually I’m given the long leg, but at my request I got one of the medium legs, the 4.75 mile anchor leg to close the race.

As the day unrolled, we found ourselves neck and neck with another team from our club.  As luck and fate were sure to conspire it “was all coming down to the last leg”.  I protested that I had told them I wasn’t in any humor or condition to race.  Apparently they had put me down for 7:15 miles.  Sheesh.

But, of course, in the back of my mind I’m thinking about all the core work I’ve been doing and how I have forgotten more about long distance running than my young opponent can imagine.

He’s young.  He’s fit.  And he’s more than likely faster than I.  It will all come down to how much of a lead our #4 runner gives me.  And I may have mentioned loud enough for the young chap to hear something about 14 qualified Boston Marathons and having run every leg of this relay at least once before.

I came out of the hand off like a rocket and kept looking for the other teams #4 to see how much time I had.  I wanted to make sure the young guy saw mw running strong an confident.  At the first mile mark I discovered I hadn’t started my watch so I hit the button and tried to settle my pace.

I knew this leg. It had a big hill in the middle.  I figured I had enough of a lead that I didn’t have to run 5 good miles but I need at least 2 at race pace to hold figuring his pace was in the low 7’s.  I figured my best bet, not being in race shape, was to survive the hill and if I had to fight I’d fight on the long downhill into the finish.  Downhills favor us big guys.

I passed a few women and was struggling up the hill when the van with my team screamed by.  I thought someone said 3 minutes, but I wasn’t sure.  I focused on my core and my form and my turnover, goosing performance but keeping it under the red line in case I needed it.

I crested the hill, quite relieved, and stretched it out.  I was fairly sure that I was running in the low 7’s overall and doing a great job of balancing my lack of fitness with my effort level and speed by running efficiently.

Coming down the last straightaway my quads were complaining from unaccustomed hill work.  I took a look behind me and didn’t see any competition.  I backed it down and trotted the last few hundred feet across the pot-holed cobbles of Lawrence into the finish.

I waited around in the chute, cheering and congratulating finishers until a couple minutes passed and the other guy showed up.  It turns out our #4 had built up the cushion and it was never in doubt.  I had been racing shadows.  I had been racing myself.

Boy was I sore on Monday.

On with the show.


Section One:

Introduction.  Over the last few years I have thrown a lot of self-help type advice at you in a fairly piecemeal form. Basically as I’m thinking about something, or I have a interesting event in my travels, or a compelling interaction I jot some notes and turn it into a life lesson for you.

In this next piece what I tried to do is to put the one thing that is on every one’s mind into a usable and practical framework.  That one thing, which we will come back to again and again is life balance.

The way this made it into a conversation about running is people always ask me, how do you get everything done?  How do you hold down a job, and travel and family and put out the podcat and read books and write and STILL have the time to train?  And having a bit too much engineering affliction I have thought about it.  And I have put together in my mind on my long runs a framework that I use to rationalize what I do.

I apologize if it is a bit too instructive and not lyrical enough but I’m trying to build a foundation.  All sturdy and useful houses have a good foundation.

There are a number of diagrams that go with this post.  You can find them on my website at www.runrunlive.com


Featured Interview

In this interview I’m talking with Jon Metz a triathlon coach.  I like talking to coaches because whether they admit to it or not a lot of what they do is ‘life coaching’.  One of the shortest short cuts to proficiency in any pursuit is to find a coach and ask him or her questions.  So that’s what I did for you today.

“Dr. Jon Metz is the President and CEO of TriVault Inc. Jon is a USAT Certified Coach and USAT Youth & Junior Certified Coach who has been professionally trained as an educator to impart knowledge to learners. He has experience with training and racing in all distances from sprint to Ironman. What sets him apart from other “coaches” is his ability, as an educator, to understand the intricacies of teaching principles and methods. Through TriVault, he coaches local groups and individuals, as well as athletes across the United States. You can also find him conducting various camps, clinics, seminars, and sessions.”

You can include my email (jon@trivault.com) and the website link www.trivault.com if you would like.


Section two:

I’m in a strange place in my running life.  I’m not able to execute at the same level of intensity that I always have.  The problem is that level of intensity is part of how I define myself and without it I am a bit lost.  I have to find new bearings, new way posts and new ways to live the sports that I love.

This piece asks the question, “What is a perfect run?” and does it have anything to do with your pace or your effort level?



That’s it my friends you have successful navigated yourself to the end of the first edition of the RunRunLive 3.0 podcast.  Thanks for giving me a vacation.  I needed it. I’ve got a couple awesome interviews in the can for the next couple weeks.

I had a cool chat with a young lady who ran unassisted across the US and Another long talk with the founder of a company called Janji.  I think you’ll like them.

I’ve been turning in some long trail runs the last few Saturdays.  I’m up to 12 miles or so and a couple hours.  The foot is not perfect, but it’s hanging in there.  I’ve been taking Buddy the old wonder dog with me and he loves trail running.  He just turned 10 years old so I have to keep an eye on him.

We saw something a couple weeks ago that I’ve never seen before.  We were down by the Nashua River and there was a flock of swans, had to be 20 or more, out on the water.  Impressive sight so many big white birds all in one place.

I got my confirmation card for the Boston Marathon.  I couldn’t manage to get my daughter a waiver number but we’ll do some other marathon this spring together.  It’s probably for the better because Boston is a cruel bitch of a marathon for a first-timer.  We’ll go someplace cool where I can pick up another state and everyone isn’t so intense and serious!

I’ll be running for Team Hoyt and I’m trying to get Dick on for an interview.  I do need your donations. If everyone gives me $10 or $20 bucks I’ll more than meet my goal. You can find the links on www.runrunlive.com

I’d be interested in what you think about any of these topics or if there is something else you’d like me to discourse on.  Leave me a comment on the RunRunLive.Com where I have all these things posted.

That’s it.  Have a great holiday season – if that’s your thing. Hug you loved ones, especially the little ones, and I’ll see you out there.

Links for this show

Music “The Happy Song” by Super Hero

Other products from Chris Russell you may be interested in

The Mid-Packer’s Lament

On Amazon

On Kindle

On Audio (Read by the author)

The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Kindle

Standard Links:








Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube

Dial in number for RunRunLive is – 206-339-7804 (to leave an audio message for the show)


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.

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