Many thanks to this month’s sponsor: McKirdy Trained. Now, some of you might be wondering why I would promote another coach/coaching company and the answer is simple: I believe in the power of coaching to reach your running goals. I’ve been referring athletes to McKirdy Trained for over a year now as my own roster has reached capacity. Why? The crew at McKirdy Trained provides great coaching at a reasonable cost. Check out the available options right here. Founded by fellow New England native James McKirdy, McKirdy Trained has helped hundreds of athletes complete a distance for the first time, set personal bests, qualify for Boston, reach the Olympic Trials, and much more. Take a peek at their Instagram feed for numerous testimonials—Natalie going from a 4:15 marathon to 2:55, Stephen going from 3:36 to 3:05, Ebony breaking 2 hours in the half marathon for the first time and setting a 10-minute PR with a 1:50:55, to name a few—and have a look at their experienced roster of coaches. As you start thinking about your fall race goals, whether it’s a 5K, a marathon, or something else altogether, consider bringing a McKirdy Trained coach to help you get there. Speaking from my own 14 years of experience working with athletes of all ability levels, and why McKirdy Trained gets my endorsement, is that coaching is much more than a static training schedule: it’s a dynamic relationship that can pay dividends on and off the race course.
Many thanks to Tracksmith for partnering with me to help bring you the morning shakeout this month. Tracksmith celebrates the history, culture, and competitive spirit of our great sport by creating high quality clothing, compelling content, and authentic on-the-ground experiences (if you’ve ever been to the Trackhouse on Boston Marathon weekend—or for any of their free group workouts throughout the week, for that matter—you know what I mean) for runners everywhere. Their mission to “celebrate, support and add to running’s distinct culture” in everything that they do aligns with my own objectives an an athlete, coach, and writer/podcast host. I’ve rocked a Tracksmith Twilight tank at the last two Boston Marathons and I’ve got a drawer full of their gear that I train and race in on the regular. In fact, check out this special collection of “Mario’s Picks” for a few of my favorite pieces of Tracksmith apparel (n.b. I LIVED in the Twilight long sleeve this spring—super lightweight, great fit, subtle design) and add some classic style to your running wardrobe. I’m super appreciative of Tracksmith’s support, which helps me bring the morning shakeout to you without cost and also affords me the opportunity to put more time and resources into it.
Many thanks to Precision Hydration for sponsoring the newsletter this month. I’m super excited about this partnership as PH products have become an integral part of my preparation for this year’s Boston Marathon. My wife has also been using PH’s drink mixes and tablets in her triathlon training and racing since 2016, which is how I first became familiar with the brand. (more…)
My thanks to Final Surge for sponsoring the newsletter these next couple of weeks. I’m really fired up about this partnership because I’ve been using the platform since June of last year to run my coaching business (and plan my own training), and really can’t say enough good things about it. The Final Surge coaching tools and training log have been a game-changer for both me and my athletes, delivering a much improved user experience from the piecemeal system I used previously, streamlining communication into one easy-to-navigate portal and making my workflow far more efficient and effective. It syncs with Garmin, Strava and various other tracking platforms to import all the data you’d ever need to analyze. I use the platform to coach and communicate with 20-25 individual athletes throughout the year and even managed a 40-person trail running program with it this past fall. There’s a native mobile app for both iOS and Android that makes on-the-go check-ins and communication easy and seamless. Final Surge is super affordable for coaches (packages start at $9.95/month) and it’s totally free for athletes. No setup fees or up-charges for “premium” features—it’s all included. Sign up for a free-7-day coaching trial today and check it out for yourself!
Many thanks to Generation UCAN for sponsoring the newsletter through the end of the year and offering this amazing deal to readers of the morning shakeout: Receive a 25-percent discount AND free shipping on all products through Sunday, December 3, 2017 when you shop at this link. Alternatively, you can use the code SHAKEOUT when you check out of their online store and receive the same discount. This is UCAN’s biggest sale of the year and you should totally take advantage of it to load up on your favorite drink mixes or snack bars. I use UCAN’s SuperStarch drink mix (plain and tropical orange FTW!) before my long runs, big workouts and races, and can’t recommend it enough for steady, long-lasting energy.
A hearty thank you to District Vision for partnering with me to bring you Issues 104 and 105 of the shakeout. DV’s performance-focused running sunglasses are made in Japan and are the most stylish, well-constructed frames you can put on your face. Period. District Vision makes more than just eyewear, however; they research and develop tools for mindful athletes, exploring the relationship between movement and meditation to promote physical and mental wellbeing. I’ve been a huge fan of the brand, the product and their vision (no pun intended) ever since meeting co-founders Max Vallot and Tom Daly a little over a year ago. DV had a pop-up shop and led pre-race meditation sessions at the Boston Marathon in April, and did the same in their backyard at this year’s New York City Marathon, bringing a message of mindfulness and movement—along with some sweet special edition frames—to runners from around the world. I’ve been rocking a pair of Kaishiros and they’re the only sunglasses I own that don’t weigh down my face or induce any undue pressure behind my ears. Have a look at DV’s impressive array of eyewear for yourself and take advantage of a generous 20 percent discount when you enter the code “supermario” at checkout.
Many thanks to Halo Sport for sponsoring the newsletter this month. Halo Sport is the first-ever headset that stimulates the brain’s motor cortex, helping build a stronger connection between the brain and muscles. Athletes such as sprinter Natasha Hastings and triathlete Tim O’Donnell are using the headphones before workouts to improve the brain’s response to training and drive gains in speed, strength and endurance. Musicians and other artists use them prior to practice sessions to help improve their skills and technique. Want to try Halo Sport for yourself? Purchase a pair at this link and use the code “TMS” at checkout to receive $100 bucks off the regular price ($599).
A big thank you to Spring Sports Nutrition for sponsoring the next couple issues of the shakeout. I’ve been using Spring’s products for the past few weeks and they’ve quickly become my go-to choice for on-the-run nutrition: natural ingredients that taste great and don’t cause me GI distress or energy crashes. There’s not a flavor I don’t like but I’ve been gravitating toward the Long Haul and McRaecovery (meant more for post-run but it’s calorie-dense and filling) early on in my long runs before switching to caffeinated Hill Aid in the later miles. I’ve been mixing Electroride Hydration Mix into my soft flasks—it’s cleaner than powder and doesn’t make me want to vomit when I drink it. The products are just wonderful—and the company’s founder, Rafal Nazarewicz, is great dude too. I met with him when I was in Chattanooga earlier this month and I knew instantly that this would be an awesome partnership. He’s a passionate runner with a PhD in Nutrition who used his science background to develop healthy, performance-minded products that kept him fueled and didn’t tear his stomach apart. I’ve quickly become a big fan of what he’s created and recommend giving Spring products a shot if you’re trying to solve your own fueling puzzle or looking for a healthier (and tastier!) alternative to what you’re using now. Use the code “shakeout” when you check out at Spring’s web store and save 10 percent on your next purchase.
Thank you to Virgin Sport San Francisco for sponsoring Issues 95 and 96 of the morning shakeout. As a huge fan of the Virgin brand and a big believer in Mary Wittenberg and her team, I’m super stoked for the launch of this new two-day event, which takes place October 14-15. I’m intrigued by Virgin’s “festival of fitness” concept, which opens with the “hilla hard, hilla fun” Twin Peaks Mile on Saturday, is headlined by a hilly half marathon on Sunday, and includes all sorts of fitness activities, food, music, art and beer(!) as part of the celebration. I’m planning on running both races and would love for you to join me! You can sign up at this link and score 10 bucks off either event with the discount code AMSHAKEOUTLOVE.
Many thanks to the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Half Marathon and 5K in my former hometown of San Diego for sponsoring the newsletter this month. Taking place on October 29, 2017, this new event benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and encourages runners to get fit and have fun while helping support an amazing local charity. The race—put on by my friends at Easy Day Sports—features a FAST point-to-point course that starts at the brand-new Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center and finishes at Vacation Isle in the heart of Mission Bay. Post-race perks include awards, a healthy food festival, yoga and more. Use the code “SHAKEOUT17” when you register and save 5 bucks off your entry fee.