Weird Move of the Week: Centro to BTC

By Mario Fraioli |
Centro to BTC? He can hardly believe it himself! Photo: matthewcentrowitz.com

F*ck it, let’s call a spade a spade: Reigning Olympic 1500m gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz joining the Bowerman Track Club is just plain weird. Given the known tensions between BTC and Centro’s former team, The Oregon Project—both of which are bankrolled by Nike—not to mention the ongoing doping investigation against the NOP and widespread speculation of wrongdoing by its head coach, Alberto Salazar, this news caught me off-guard the other night. It’s not unprecedented—both Kara Goucher and Alan Webb previously switched from NOP/Salazar to BTC/Jerry Schumacher—but those moves happened well before the Propublica story came out in 2015 and all hell subsequently broke loose online and elsewhere. Sure, Centrowitz is the reigning Olympic champion, but I’m still somewhat surprised BTC and Schumacher were willing to pick up the baggage Centrowitz has been carrying with him the past several years.  (more…)

Digital Minimalism and a Side of Solitude

By Mario Fraioli |
Photo: Andrew Guan | Unsplash

It makes sense that he has a new book coming out because Cal Newport has been coming at me from every which angle over the past week or so. The bestselling author of Deep Work, Newport has been appearing on a number of podcasts and as a source in many articles promoting his upcoming title, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. Check him out on the latest episodes of the Hurry Slowly podcast and The Ezra Klein Show, both of which I enjoyed, and read this interview he did with Tim Herrera for The New York Times Smarter Living newsletter a couple days ago if you’re interested in learning how to minimize the digital distractions in your day. (more…)

Podcast: Episode 45 with Colleen Quigley

By Mario Fraioli |
Photo: Jason Suarez

“Like I want to make people happy, and do the right thing, and be successful. And I think a lot of people end up getting sucked into that and then have to be like, ‘Wait, why am I doing this?’ ‘Do I want to be here?’ ‘Why did I make these choices?’ and you have to rethink it and figure out what actually makes you happy and what you actually want to do. Luckily, just being competitive and wanting to get better and better and better at running has turned out pretty good for me because, when I sit back, I do love what I’m doing. But it is something you have to be careful of—like, ‘Why am I so obsessed at being so good at that? Or not failing? Maybe it’s OK. And I think that’s something I’ll probably be working with the rest of my life.”

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Stoked to welcome Olympian Colleen Quigley to the podcast this week. The 26-year-old is a member of the Bowerman Track Club and has established herself as one of the top middle-distance runners in the world, specializing in the steeplechase. She competed in that event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where she finished eighth, and has represented the United States multiple times in international competition.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Quigley had a stellar 2018 campaign, winning the Wannamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, qualifying for the world indoor championships in the 1500m, putting up personal bests in the 1000m, 1500m, and steeplechase, winning two race races in Europe, and finishing second to Jenny Simpson in the Fifth Ave. Mile to close out the year.

The nomadic Quigley and I caught up a few weeks ago in San Francisco before she took off for altitude camp and we covered a wide range of topics, including her morning routine, how she’s dealt with injuries throughout her career, what it was like to be coached by her dad in high school and the importance of keeping the sport fun during those formative years, making the decision to postpone a modeling career in order to run collegiately at Florida State, deciding to join the Bowerman Track Club after college, the influence Shalane Flanagan has had on her professional career and how her relationship with coach Jerry Schumacher has evolved over the last few years, fear of rejection and how’s she’s dealt with it throughout her life, her competitiveness and where she gets it comes from, the origins of #fastbraidfriday, what she’s excited about in 2019, and a whole lot more.

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Numbers Can’t Always Measure Success

By Mario Fraioli |

Jason Fried is one of my heroes in business—he runs a 55-person software company based in Chicago called Basecamp—who, along with his co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson, just published It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work, their third book. I haven’t read it yet but I did just listen to Fried talk about it on Chase Jarvis Live and I’ll be picking it up soon. As I wrote back in Issue 106, their two previous books, Rework and Remote, have had a huge influence on me and how I work, and I have a feeling this one will as well.

“You don’t need to measure everything to be proud of it,” Fried tells Jarvis. “Work is so much more than hitting that number. It’s about, ‘What was that experience like?’ ‘Did I enjoy working on this project?’ ‘Was it fun?’ ‘Did I learn something new?’ It’s that kind of stuff I think that really matters.”

Fried also happens to be a runner and includes a great anecdote along this same theme about trying to break a 6-minute mile, running 6:09, and losing sight of all the positive things he learned and took away from the experience because he was so fixated on hitting a specific number. Give it a listen(more…)

A Midwinter’s Marathon Tease

By Mario Fraioli |

It’s too early in the year to be thinking all that hard about April marathons unless you’re racing one of them, but Boston recently released its international fields and London surprised no one by announcing that Eliud Kipchoge and Mo Farah will have at it for the second year in a row. Both fields are shaping up to look fairly similar to years past: Boston’s history attracts almost all the top American talent while London’s deep pockets once again bring in the sport’s two biggest (male) stars.

Here’s a short video of Kipchoge talking about taking on Farah again in London. Let there be no doubt who the defending champion thinks is the man to beat on April 28.

Houston, We Have Some Intrigue

By Mario Fraioli |

Will Jim Walmsley break 64 minutes to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and take down some notable names at the Houston Half Marathon on Sunday? And how will Kara Goucher fare in her first marathon since 2016? Those are two of the most common questions I’ve seen thrown around in recent weeks and with good reason: Folks want to see the extent of Walmsley’s range and many are wondering if the 40-year-old Goucher’s got anything left in the tank. I’m not one for predictions so I’ll save my commentary for after the event while encouraging you to pay close attention to both half-marathon races—they’re going to be ripping fast, incredibly deep, and, in all likelihood, won by athletes whose names are not immediately recognizable. (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.