Survey Says…

Last week I launched a quick survey on the RunRunLive Podcast and the results were very interesting for me.  I was surprised how many people took the time to fill out the survey and even write responses to the open ended ‘essay’ questions.

I thought I would share the results with you.  I would also like some input on questions I might ask in survey form going forward?

What would you like to know?  Not just relating to the podcast, but anything relevant? I have a few thousand people I can ask a question of and that makes for an interesting ‘crowd-sourcing’ opportunity!

Here are the results – let me know your thoughts…

So…Marathon Training and interesting people…yeh?

So…Regular folks and people doing big things…

So…Interviews, Quick Tips and food for thought in the outro…

And now the textual answers for your reference…there is a few pages so scan at your leisure

2.            What theme would you like me to cover – other?

1.            Interesting places or destinations might be nice. Or cities that offer running tours as an example. Or you could solicit interesting places from the listeners.

2.            Endurance nation training philosophy vs traditional. older runners (60+)

3.            Love the training method episodes

4.            Trails…the dirtier the better. Why folks run in the street next to a perfectly good sidewalk — wait never mind that. I don’t know Chris, you’ve done a great job with this thing so far. Keep doing your thing. Your thing is pretty good.

5.            The lifestyle of the mid packer. Finding time. Work, family and running balance.

6.            More around the mind games you have to play to achieve your goals, it is after all at a certain point more of a mental rather than physical game.

7.            Punk rock and its effect race-specific training. Or, maybe health issues either endurance sport induced (low heart rate, Athlete’s Heart, etc.) or common health problems (hypertension, diabetes)and how they affect running, biking, etc.

8.            Running with dogs – hints , tips, etc

9.            Inspiration/Motivation

10.          injury prevention, love of sport, ways to increase the fun of training!

11.          You cover pretty much all aspects of running which I think is good. Some of us though are not as fast as you or blessed for running so covering the back of the pack some as well as the middle and those up front would be appreciated.

Also as an aging runner which has a bit to do with moving back in the pack and doing longer distances an occasional show on these issues is always appreciated.

12.          maintaining positive outlook and importance of attitude

13.          I like the podcast the way it is now! I love it.

14.          More on mechanics and running form, as well as training tips.

15.          Chris, you know me–it’s all about Boston, BUT, don’t you think we need a running magazine dedicated to regular runners? Make your advice relevant to us and you’ll please 90% of your target audience. BTW, I for one, am sick of mags like RW that have about 0.5% of their content dedicated to average runners–and we make up their reading audience. Develop your own magazine called “Real Runners” put some slightly overweight mid-packer on the cover and you would crush the competition.

16.          You said in an interview once that you believed we could change our lethargic American culture similar to how we changed the smoking culture in a generation and I love your optimism. Perhaps you could cover people and programs that are working to get Americans off the sofa and more active.

17.          Chris you are the theme.

18.          life lessons

19.          injuries

20.          how you get your workouts in with your busy schedule!

21.          You’re doing great. I do like some nutrition information but I’m not as thrilled about specific product talk. How about an injury segment – how to identify a certain injury, how to avoid it and how to recover from it? That might be an interesting segment and the list of potential subjects is pretty long.

22.          Best races to run…..

Worst races to run and why….

Race reviews

23.          What are folk stories and legend and what is good science and non marketing training tips and nutritional information

24.          I am interested in all sport so I like the bike, tri, track&field, ultra,gear,behind the race infrastructure, people doing,

25.          Keep talking to those about what you’re doing, and talking to more regular Jills and Joes who have gone from “bad” to “okay” to “great”!

26.          Yaks. Honestly, being a newbie, I get something out of every show.

27.          The BQ segment was great, perhaps you can continue it? Only so much to say I guess..

28.          How has Shock of the News made your life more enriching and complete?

29.          Dealing with and/or avoiding injuries. More info for beginners.

30.          For me, I am a back/mid packer trying to get faster in short races. It is inspirational to hear the ultra people who run hundreds of miles barefoot through ice and snow, but I don’t take away any concrete tips from that.

31.          running part of triathlons? half marathons?

4. Who/what would you like me to interview other?

1.            joe friel, Rich Strauss

2.            Trail use advocacy groups like IMBA, SORBA and Appalachian Trail Conservancy might make good content.

3.            Perhaps pick interviewees around a ‘theme’ e.g. specific races you could develop an interview narrative around pre and post race thoughts, experiences

4.            Rachel Toor. If possible. Cause’ I’m a little infatuated with her. But don’t tell her. Or my wife.

5.            New Zealanders — we have some world champion triatheletes

6.            Chris,

I really like all of your interviews – but maybe a once a month regular Jill or Joe would be nice.

7.            I think you do a pretty good job of providing a variety of interviews. always great.

8.            Look, I like the elites, big things folks, and doctors and specialists, but I really also want to identify with folks, too. As a guy who lost 30+ lbs and am trying to BQ on my fourth marathon attempt, I could never call myself an elite.

9.            I think you cover a good cross section, maybe some race directors from events away from the east coast. A few of the elite or near elite on the ultra scene along with some of the ultra folks who have done hundreds of hundreds.

10.          I would like to hear from someone that was a couch potato and now has BQ or done something remarkable in running.

11.          I’ve enjoyed the interviews that have been a bit off the beaten path (like Rob Walch), and I also have enjoyed the interviews with race directors and other staff (like the Boston Marathon medical coordinator).

12.          Okay, I do like elites, I admire them–truly I do. I’m doing 3:15/km 800m repeats tonight and dreading it, but elites run marathons at a pace that is way way way faster. I just can’t relate. So, if I have a choice between someone who struggled, but eventually attain 3:15/km 800 repeats I’d take their interview over Ryan Hall’s.

13.          I’ve most enjoyed your interviews with trainers who coach people at all levels. I’d like to hear more of those.

14.          Race directors and organizers

15.          Brian Sell

16.          dean karnazes! jeff galloway

17.          DailyMile founders

18.          I like to hear about why ordinary people choose to run as part of their daily lives, as well as runners at the elite end of the scale. What motivates these people to keep doing it?

19.          You tend to find some interesting interviews. One thing I thought you could turn into a good interview is to talk with a race director (like yourself) and discuss the logistics of hosting a race. I think that would be interesting. I think us runners don’t realize all the work that goes on in the 12 months prior to race day. Also, while I do appreciate your promotion of “people doing big things” to raise awareness of their work, sometimes those interviews can feel a little drawn out. At some point, I feel like saying, “I get it – it’s an important cause and the person is doing something really hard. Can we move on now?” This would probably be too much work for you but maybe you could bundle a couple of those types of interviews into one segment and shorten them so each interview is, say, 5 minutes long. As for interviews with docs and medical specialists – I’m all for that as long as they’re not spouting some pseudoscientific garbage. I’ll probably start fast-forwarding through the interview if I hear someone taking about how aromatherapy or homeopathy will allow people to BQ.

20.          business and motivational speakers

21.          Where are they now like Edwin Moses?

22.          authors, people starting/running businesses, coaches

23.          Keep interviewing regular people doing incredible things (running to support a very personal cause is always a very interesting topic that makes it very interesting/personal).

24.          More Ultras. How about Caballo Blanco? I think he would dig your style.

25.          No more chiropractors. Evidence based doctors are good though.

26.          Geoff Roes, Tracy Garneau, Anton Krupicka

27.          I enjoy most of your interviews. More stuff with non-famous people, totally regular runners might be kind of fun to hear. Not necessarily always people with something to push.

28.          Race directors

29.          Success story Someone who went from non runner to a marathon

30.          Maybe a family who runs – an integenerational thing.

6. What would you like more of in the podcast? Less of?

1.            More training tips, less Boston

2.            I really enjoy hearing people read some of the stories from earlier books like the Mid Packer’s Lament. If you run out of material, I’ll guess you’ll need to start writing more!

3.            More cowbell

4.            I love your podcast, it’s awesome. Your food for thought pieces are thought-provoking and honest, never preachy. Not to blow sunshine up your butt, but I can’t really think of any gripes at this time.

5.            Advice for half marathons or for people who are starting out or been injured

6.            More training and equipment tips. Less parodies would be ok with me.

7.            Tools/tips to keep running from getting too predictable and stale and keep the spice/excitement when I get out there!

8.            Can’t think of anything except maybe the music at the end.

9.            I love the outros

10.          Parody every show…

11.          The quick tips are great and the words you say at the end are so very motivational.

12.          I love your podcast I wouldn’t change anything you are doing an amazing job!

13.          The parodies are funny, but just aren’t my cup of tea. I would like more quick tips and shorter song interlude segments.

14.          It does depend on my mood. I don’t always like the parodies, but when I think I was first to buy the list when he made them available. But, I’ve never once listened to them–what does that mean? I love laughing when my legs are otherwise crying though. I appreciate your own insights–especially when they are race reports that convey your hard core desire to compete, complete and leave it out there. The 101 was truly epic and gave me a boost on the long run. There is another epic chapter reading somewhere around episode 87ish that gave me a 20KM surge–really! Something about why we run. I love quick tips, but they are routinely too short. Equipment check–more more more. I’m all about learning about anything new, especially shoes. I once seriously thought about becoming a running journalist where I would catch runners on the road and interview them on the run–the first question would always be why the shoes, do you like them, etc…I’m a data gather and with enough of it we can all learn something. I usually find the final song to be un-motivating so I don’t look forward to it, but I don’t look forward to the end of the show. I find it disappointing that you sometimes rush interviews to end because you’re out of time.

15.          There aren’t many times when you wish an interview would go on longer but that’s always the case with yours. I really enjoy your interviews and the people you get and always wish they would go on a little longer. Feel free to extend them by another ten minutes or so.

Our musical tastes are different so I’m not crazy about music during the podcast, but I absolutely love the parody songs!

16.          It’s your podcast.

17.          I don’t skip any part of your podcast and I feel like you have a good balance of information. I especially like the “food for thought” at the end. I always get something out of that.

18.          Maybe a slightly better audio quality, although this is a bit critical. Content is more important.

19.          The only thing that sometimes makes me cringe about your show is that sometimes I wish you would challenge the claims of some of the nutrition makers a bit more. I remember an interview with the guy who was hawking the wasp extract energy product because of some amazing physical ability of the wasps and all I could think of was that if I were to have eaten the brain of Einstein, I doubt I would be smarter or if I were to eat a cheetah’s leg, I doubt that I would be a faster runner. Some of those nutrition interviews seem like they are snake oil salesmen going unchallenged. That’s honestly the main complaint. Other than that, I really enjoy your show.

20.          I love what YOU have to say….sometimes your interviewees don’t offer much insight for me to use in MY running

21.          Some more of your essays, let people tell their story at times you butt in too much

22.          On the scene

23.          Like how interviews/discussion alternate with music and/or parodies, like how segments within each podcast are never too long,

24.          Really – I love the podcast. Very funny stuff, lots of great info, lots of great tips. And, because you asked, every now and then less of the mid to front of the pack tips and more of the keep-the-hell-running tips for those of us trying to stay motivated to just keep running at the back of the pack. Laugh as we will, running an 8-minute mile is out of reach of at least most of us, unless a gun is at our head and there’s only a single mile (or less) involved!

25.          Less interviews with non-running or endurance sport people. I didn’t dig the podcast guy or the resume builder guy (at least I don’t think I did, I skipped through most of their interviews). I like the interviews with normal people doing amazing things, but there seem to be a higher percentage of those people who don’t provide good interviews. I don’t have any suggestions for how to screen the bad interviews out though. And I’m sure I’d be a bad interview!

26.          Honestly, I’m not a big fan of full musical interludes, but I do like your taste in music. I do like hearing your race reports, like you Ultra Mtn Bike report. You have a way with words.

27.          I like hearing interviews with people who are passionate about life and have a different perspective to share with the running community.

28.          More of the running to life connections.

29.          I like it when the music in the middle is short. Long song at the end is fine. I get a lot of musical ideas from you and have purchased albums by people I’ve heard on your show.

30.          More good music. 🙂 Sometimes Chris’s music choice is NOT my favorite.

31.          I like the way it is structured now. I enjoy the music but not enough to recommend more of it — we listen to such different bpm’s of music it is probably hard to make everyone happy.

7. What else can I do to make it more interesting for you?

1.            I think you do a great job with it. I like each episode and cannot think of anything to make it better at this time.

2.            Already my favorite podcast

3.            It is great the way it is!

4.            I can’t think of anything, but I just want to say that the fact that you do not record your show while you’re out running is one of the reasons I’ve listened to your show over the years. Heavy breathing should be left to those movies in the special room in the back of the video rental place..

5.            Keep on going, it’s great.  Perhaps more race recommendations and course reviews?

6.            Chris, I really love the show. You do such a great job of entertainment w/ substance. Interviews of not only elite/famous people but sometimes hearing the “avg Joe” is good. One reason some of the other podcasts, I like hearing “their” story. And, above all – they must be themselves not someone else.

Time is just about the right length I prefer 30-45 minutes and you’re good at that time frame when they get to be over an hour I don’t always get to finish them.

Of course, I like hearing how your training and races are going just as much as the others.

And hey, if the show isn’t something I’m just really interested in, I can skip it and move on to the next … I don’t get “bent out of shape” like some people when they write in and say “I’m never going to listen again” blah, blah, blah ….

Keep up the great job

7.            Maybe short run/race reports from listeners once in a while. I liked the ice bath series that was happening for a while.

8.            Not much – they are great and I really enjoy them

9.            It’s a great show as is. I always look forward to starting my long runs with it. Thanks so much for taking the time to put it together.

10.          Get me into Boston…no REALLY!

11.          Keep up what you are doing.

12.          keep it coming, it is the first podcast that I listen to on my list

13.          I love the podcast as is!

14.          Keep engaging your audience. Your sincerity in building community really comes through, and I like feeling like I am part of that community even though I’m a new runner. As someone who is fairly introverted, this is a great way to learn more about the sport and feel like a part of it. I think you put together great content. Keep up the great work!

15.          Honestly, it is really terrific. I worry that you’re too over committed with everything else and your show may not last much longer though. I would love the show to become more of a “family” with RunRunLive group projects, like our book. But also like targeting a listener like Robert to raise money to buy the guy a foot! I’d love to have high quality RunRunLive.Com running gear also (not the crap that Speedy sells–don’t tell him I said that, but the quality is terrible). Keep including listener feedback and try to bring back some runners that you may have interviewed at point A in their journey. Oh, keep reminding us at the end of the show what the call-in number is to leave a message. Throughout  some listener challenges too. Put a PayPal donations link on your website. Hey, it would be so cool to do a simultaneous interview with 3 people plus you–everyone from a different country. I’d like some tips for dog running too as I come closer and closer to adding a family member. The cat won’t run with me, seems content to be dragged along. Keep it up Chris, you’re influence on us is tremendous!

16.          I’m a dog person and love hearing about the adventures of Buddy the Wonderdog. I really enjoyed listening to you giving him a bath! You can’t go wrong with more Buddy stories.

I love the podcast Chris and look forward to it every week. Keep up the great work!

17.          Nothing.

18.          I truly enjoy the podcast and find it the most consistently informative and useful of any source. I credit my improved running to the information I received from this and other podcasts and really find the positive attitude of abundance of Run Run Live refreshing. Not sure if this – or some other approach would be best – but it would be interesting to set up a networking system for podcast listeners. I suspect there are a core group of listeners in many metro areas (I’m in Chicago) and it would be nice to set up a regular process for podcast listener meet up – especially at the larger events. I know Adam Tinkoff is doing something at Marine Corp this year (I’ll be there – but not sure I’ll make the meet up as I’m coming into town on Oct 30th) – it would be nice to try and make this a regular thing. I’ve also thought about how to hook up locally with local listeners – maybe just for a once a month run. In an area like Chicago, I’m confident there are enough other listeners to form a decent running club. I currently run with a club with regular Saturday long runs. Although I am a big proponent – I have to admit I have had a tough time getting other runners to try this and other running podcasts. I’ve had some success – but most listen politely to my endorsements – and then never go through the effort of downloading their first podcast. If there was group run – to which other non-listeners can be invited by listeners, I expect the inevitable conversation about the podcasts which would occur on such group runs would encourage new listeners. Anyway, know this is not really responsive to you Q – just a thought.

19.          Just be yourself!

20.          Love your current format, so don’t change much.

21.          More cowbell.

22.          More ice baths hahaha…….

23.          I like listener feedback, maybe feedback you’ve had via facebook/twitter/ daily mile etc.

24.          I know of your dislike for race recaps but keep in mind that we are purposefully listening to you. And if you spend weeks or months hyping a big race you’re running, you can be assured that we’re interested in hearing the blow-by-blow. Just follow your own “race report writing” advice and it will come across just fine. You don’t need to apologize for your reports. Oh, and more Clash songs in between segments!

25.          Chris I think you do a great job, as I am more multi-sport I like hearing about other cross training, but hey Watzzupsport this is a running podcast

26.          Just keeping doing it. I really like the candid, easy going, somewhat random but somewhat predictable elements of the show.

27.          Really enjoy the show

28.          Thank you! This is my favorite podcast and the variety makes it an interesting thing to listen to during my runs. I enjoy your “food for thought” and pragmatic perspective. 🙂

29.          Every now and then, less about the sub 8 minute runner, more about the efforts of the 10-11 minute mile runner who is just struggling to maintain that pace with the hassles of their busy life (and who is very happy with that pace without any delusion of winning anything except a fight against their mid-life gut). That said, thanks, Chris, for a GREAT, entertaining, informative podcast (as is, week after week). Don’t take anything here as advice, just input from one dedicated listener who was asked for input! Don’t change anything and I’ll still listen!!

30.          Nudity? I can’t really say, I’m still going through all your old shows, so anything I might suggest you might have done already. I really like your quick tips for newbies like me. Like short, 3-5 minute things. Very helpful.

31.          Thanks for doing it, I appreciate your time invested. Great podcast, not much I would really change…

32.          I honestly love everything about the podcast. It is a great show, wonderfully produced, and well planned.

33.          Just keep doing what you’re doing. Your podcast is great and I look forward listening.

34.          Get Buddy to talk.

35.          Keep up the good work Chris, I’m still enjoying it. I like the way you involve your audience. I’d like to hear more about you once in awhile. Don’t always assume your listeners want you to keep that part brief.

36.          More interviews about training (non-elite, but good semi-elite and mid-packers).

37.          I guess this is in the show notes, but I am always running or biking along, trying to remember the various websites and twitter handles mentioned – maybe some type of direct to listeners follow up with those resources in it (?). I think this was you (hope so) but the Jessi Stensland episode was one of my faves. And the intro for Episode nnn was really stellar (LOL – so much for anonymity).

38.          Runs around the U.S. or world. I’d like to know people’s favorite runs where they are. I travel, but don’t know where to run. End up praying for a running bellhop/waiter so that I can get a good run!

Thanks for the feedback – We’ll see you out there!


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  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at Chris also writes for ( and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.

Email me at cyktrussell at Gmail dot com

Running  Podcast, podcasts for running, podcast for runners, free podcast for runners, Running Blog, marathon, triathlon, mileage, sprinting, run, track, training, running clubs, running groups, running shoes, exercise, health, 5k, running, swimming, sports, injuries, stretching, eating, jogging, biking, trail race, 5K, 10K, Ultramarathon, jogging a good exercise, road runner, jogging tips, benefits of jogging, free running, running shoes, marathon training, running, jogging, health and fitness, runners, runner, Boston qualification, Marathon BQ, Boston marathon


  • Dave

    Reply Reply September 21, 2010

    Can I comment… Well I hope you now realize the positive impact you’re having on us. Seems a “real runners” magazine might not be a bad idea afterall.There is an obvious theme in the commentary. Keep it up Chris-you’re doing wonderful things.


  • Sheila

    Reply Reply September 21, 2010

    I have to agree that I am so glad you do not record while running. I do not like listening to those types of podcasts, although some are better than others and sometimes I will try to tough it out. The pauses and heavy breathing that invariably accompany such recordings put me off. I have no patience for that. Thank you for NOT doing that.


  • Bridget

    Reply Reply September 21, 2010

    Your podcast has given me an appreciation for all runners fast and slow. I used to think if you weren’t fast why bother but now I know better. I appreciate the running for the running. I try to stay till the end of races to cheer in all the runners.

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