Podcast: Episode 6 with Dathan Ritzenhein

By Mario Fraioli

“I’m happy with what I did on the track, what I did at shorter distances. I’m good with that. I’m good with who I am, with where I’ve been, all of those things, mistakes I’ve made along the way—I’m OK with that. In the marathon though, I just know that my back is against the wall and I feel like I still have something to prove to myself still. These last two marathons aren’t going to define what I’ve done—the rest of my career, I’m happy with that, I can put that in my back pocket—but I want to make that fourth Olympic team.”

Three-time Olympian and former American 5,000m record holder Dathan Ritzenhein comes on the podcast to discuss a wide range of topics, including the upcoming Boston Marathon, training with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, the changes he’s made to his training in order to stay healthy at 35 years of age, and why he’s still competing despite dozens of injuries over the years, including 15 stress fractures, three surgeries, a ruptured plantar fascia, and myriad other issues. (more…)

Simple Rules For Behaving Like An Adult

By Mario Fraioli

I came across this list of 25 principles of adult behavior recently and should probably print it out and carry it with me wherever I go. Written by the multitalented John Perry Barlow, who passed away a couple weeks ago at the age of 70, this is a basic but brilliant guide (or refresher/reminder) on how to live well. (more…)

Vin Lananna’s Conflicts of Interest

By Mario Fraioli

Vin Lananna. Photo: instagram.com/mariofraioli

Vin Lananna, the president of USA Track & Field, has had a lot of his authority—and influence—curtailed by the board of the sport’s governing body. Why?

“Vin has been engaged in complete conflict of interest,” Steve Miller, the track and field association’s chairman, told The Oregonian. “The outcome of the vote is that he has to recuse himself from the vast majority of what he does as president of USATF. Your effectiveness as leader is greatly diminished when you can’t be in the room.”


Amy Cragg Set To Take On Tokyo

By Mario Fraioli

Cragg on her way to winning the Olympic Trials Marathon in 2016. Photo: instagram.com/mariofraioli

She just wants it to a whole ’nuther level,” Amy Cragg’s college teammate, Des Linden, told me a couple weeks ago on the morning shakeout podcast. “I was watching her at worlds and with 10 people left and 4 miles to go, it wasn’t if she’s going to medal, but what medal she’s going to get. She’s going to out-tough all of these people. I just think she’s so gritty. It’s really cool to watch.”

Amy Cragg is running the Tokyo Marathon on February 25 and I, for one, am looking forward to it. It won’t get the attention of a big city win on home soil, but don’t be surprised if Cragg does something special in Japan. The 34-year-old, who hasn’t raced a marathon since taking bronze at the world championships in August, seems primed to knock a large chunk of time off her 2:27:03 personal best. If conditions are favorable, I say she runs in the ballpark of 2:20. And why the heck not? Cragg trains with the best women’s group in the world, including reigning New York City Marathon champion and 2:21 marathoner Shalane Flanagan, and has more than proven her marathon mettle in recent years with an Olympic Trials win, top-10 finish at the Games, and a world championship medal. Plus, she’s just so damn gutsy when the chips are down. (more…)

Billy Yang’s Latest Film, The Why

By Mario Fraioli

“In the end, I guess we all have our hundred different reasons for doing this but running 100 miles doesn’t have to be your journey, although I think we can agree that we can all benefit from stepping outside what’s familiar and comfortable just a bit. For me, the finish line, one of my favorite places in the world, gives you a little peek into the satisfaction of doing so.”

Whether you’re into ultrarunning or not, the storytelling and cinematography of Billy Yang’s latest film, The Why, are top notch, and will inspire you to find your own “why” in whatever form it may take. (more…)

The Parallel Realities of Writing and Running

By Mario Fraioli

Photo: Ali Yahya | Unsplash

“Professional writers quickly learn one reality of the job: you have more bad days than good. It’s the rare day that the writer finds that the words come out exactly the way they were in their head.”

Eliminate the word “professional,” substitute “writers” with “marathoners” and “words” with “miles” in the above quote from author (and runner!) Ryan Holiday, and he’s described marathon training to a T. Holiday’s post on the timeless link between running and writing, and the claim that writers have more bad days than good, parallels what it’s like to train for a marathon, even though he argues just the opposite. (more…)



Mario Fraioli
Mario Fraioli is a writer and running coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area.