Podcast: Episode 65 with Brady Threlfall

By Mario Fraioli |

“I was hooked by the appeal that you could work hard and you saw those results. I think coming from team sports, where you could work hard and still not be successful because there was so many different aspects that had to click and go right for that team to be successful, whereas I noticed from a really early stage that if I did the work, I was going to be successful. It didn’t take long for my times to drop—I call it the honeymoon period now with some of the athletes that I coach—in those first 6-12 months it’s really good because if you get the training right, and if you’re patient and hit that sweet spot in training, it’s almost like every second weekend you can go out there and PR a race.”

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I really enjoyed sitting down with my first Aussie guest, Brady Threlfall, for this week’s episode of the podcast. Threlfall’s a 2:19 marathoner, a coach with Run 2 PB, and host of the popular Inside Running podcast. In this conversation, which we recorded a few months ago, we got into his introduction to the sport and progression as an athlete, coaching and working with different types of runners, Australia’s rich running history, what running culture looks like in his country, how the Inside Running podcast came to be, what’s exciting him in running right now, and a lot more.

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Podcast: Episode 64 with Frank Gagliano

By Mario Fraioli |
Photo: David Bracetty

“No, I’m not surprised [that I’m still coaching] because there’s two things: My heart and my mind is in it big time. And as long as those two continue to be in it—and my health, thank the good Lord at the age of 82 is very good—I love it, and I’m not ready to pack it in at all. Actually, I have a lot of fire in my belly.”

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It was an honor and a privilege to sit down recently with Frank Gagliano, the 82-year-old coach of the Hoka NJ-NY Track Club, for a conversation about coaching and life that had a profound impact on me—and I know it will do the same for you.

This one got emotional a couple times but Coach Gags opened up to me in a way he hasn’t elsewhere before and his story, and message, is really powerful. The man has coached at every level of the sport over the past 58 years—high school, college, and professionally—and he’s had great success at all of them. He’s coached 15 Olympians, 140 All-Americans, multiple national champions, and a world championships medalist. More importantly than that, however, the lessons he’s taught his athletes extend far beyond the track. He has a love for the sport, his family, his athletes, and his country that is unmatched and it really comes across in this conversation.
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Sponsorship in Athletics: Something Needs To Shift

By Mario Fraioli |
Alysia Montaño with her daughter Linnea. Photo: alysiamontano.com

This New York Times op-ed (and video), written and produced by Lindsay Crouse, was published on May 12. It ripped Nike for not guaranteeing female athletes a salary during pregnancy and early maternity despite advertising campaigns that spotlight “women at all stages of their careers, from childhood to motherhood.”

The piece, which prominently features Olympians Alysia Montaño and Kara Goucher, explains that women have had sponsorship payments reduced because of pregnancies and that there is language in current Nike athlete contracts that says the brand can reduce pay “for any reason” if an athlete doesn’t meet a specific performance threshold.

I’m glad to see one of athletics’ dirtiest secrets aired out. Unfortunately, it’s part of a MUCH bigger industry-wide issue—it’s not just a Nike problem or a pregnant female athlete problem. As the article mentions, athletes are not employees of the brands they represent and most don’t receive health insurance or benefits from their sponsors. They’re independent contractors and are often taken advantage of because there aren’t laws in place to protect them. The industry needs to shift the paradigm and Nike, as its biggest brand, has the power to lead the charge. (more…)

Podcast: Episode 63 with Nicholas Thompson

By Mario Fraioli |

“The great thing about running is: it’s all you. If your team does better in soccer, it might be you, it might be your team. You could actually get worse and your team could get better, but if you are getting faster at running, it’s you, so the improvement feels pretty intensely emotional, and that drew me in.”

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I’m excited to share a special live recording of the podcast that I did with Nicholas Thompson, the editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, in front of a live audience last month in Boston.

In this conversation, we spoke exclusively about aging and the marathon, which is a topic he’s written about for Wired. Last fall, Thompson—who is 43 years old—ran not one, but two 2:38 marathons at Chicago and New York, only 4 weeks apart, both faster than his previous personal best of 2:43. We recorded this episode at Tracksmith’s Trackhouse the day before this year’s Boston Marathon, where he finished in 2:34:27, a new personal best, running a nice negative split (which, if you’ve run Boston, you know is not easy to do).

This episode is only about 35 minutes long but Thompson has agreed to come back on another time so we can dig deeper into the role running plays in his life, talk about his journalism career, learn about his love of music, and much more. (more…)

Podcast: Episode 62 with Scott Fauble

By Mario Fraioli |
Photo: Ryan Sterner

“I went to the lead, even over Heartbreak, with a purpose and with the goal of dropping people and injecting pace—and I think that’s maybe what surprised me the most, is that I was able to be an actual factor and be something that impacted the way the race played out, which is a new feeling for me in the marathon, particularly in World Marathon Majors. In New York, I was as far back as probably 20th pretty early in the race and was kind of doing my own thing, so that was the biggest surprise—being up front—and the way we got to the 2:09:09 here in Boston.”

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Stoked to welcome the morning shakeout’s first-ever guest, Scott Fauble of Hoka Northern Arizona Elite, back to the show to talk about his recent seventh-place finish at the Boston Marathon, where he ran a big personal best of 2:09:09.

We covered a lot of good stuff in this conversation: all things Boston, of course, but also training and recovery, what the next several months are going to look like heading into the 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon, his greatest strengths as a marathoner (and where he has the most room to grow), how he keeps himself centered and grounded, where his extraordinary ability to push himself in races comes from, what’s exciting him in running right now, and a heck of a lot more. (more…)

A Few Thoughts on “Breaking 2: The Sequel”

By Mario Fraioli |
Eliud Kipchoge at the Iffley road track in London, site of Roger Bannister’s historic sub-4 minute mile. Photo: Tom Lovelock for INEOS 1:59 Challenge

The folks at Ineos probably won’t appreciate the title of this post, but that’s exactly what the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, starring Eliud Kipchoge, is shaping up to be this fall. The unsanctioned sub-2hour marathon attempt, which is being bankrolled by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, will take place sometime between late September and early October, at a yet-to-be determined venue, but preferably in London. This means Kipchoge will not defend his title at the Berlin Marathon, or branch out to run a different major, like New York or Chicago. He’ll instead be running another exhibition in an effort to break what Ineos is calling “the last great barrier of modern athletics.” (Note: Ineos must have recently changed their language here. Originally they were calling it “the last great milestone in athletics.”)

“It’s not about the IAAF, it’s about history,” Kipchoge explained. “I really want to leave a big legacy.” And while I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoyed Nike’s Breaking 2 event more than I thought I would, I’ve got a few issues with this upcoming attempt: (more…)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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