Podcast: Episode 54 with Erin Strout

By Mario Fraioli |

“The bottom line is that a lot of people look at running and they want to try it but are intimidated by it—and I think the more encouraging and welcoming we are, starting from the top of the sport, the better it is. And so that’s exciting for me to watch and to cover and I hope [elites] continue to be encouraging and welcoming.”

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I had a great time sitting down with Erin Strout for this week’s episode of the podcast. Just a few weeks ago, Strout was named the digital editor at WomensRunning.com and for my money, she’s one of the top journalists covering the sport of running today. In addition to her work at Women’s Running, Strout has also written for Outside, Runner’s World, Running Times, and numerous other publications.

We covered quite a bit of ground in this conversation, including Strout’s introduction to running, when she began to think of herself as a runner, and the evolution of her career as a journalist. We also discussed the current state of the sport, the collective rise of American women in recent years, and what can be done to bridge the gap between elite athletes and middle and back of the packers. Finally, we got into the issue of gender equity in coaching, how she deals with feedback and criticism of her work, why she wishes freelance writers would stop pitching her personal essays, and a whole lot more, including some fun anecdotes about Meb Keflezighi and Shalane Flanagan.

Related links, references, and resources:

— Follow Erin on Twitter and Instagram.

— Check out her website.

Why We Need More Female Coaches: “Nearly all the coaches of the best U.S. runners are male,” Strout wrote for Outside. “It’s not an issue that’s often discussed, but the pattern has prompted some curiosity about why more women aren’t taking coaching positions—and how the culture and dynamics in the sport might shift if they did.”

Behind the Scenes of Desiree Linden’s Incredible Boston Marathon Win: Check out this incredible account of Linden’s epic 2018 Boston victory—put together by Strout and her colleague Sarah Lorge Butler—as told by Linden, her competitors, coach, family, race volunteers and officials.

— “Two hours and 25-or-so minutes later, it’s a bittersweet moment, full of emotional charge for Flanagan—one she hoped for as much as she perhaps dreaded deep down. One of her compatriots makes the turn onto Boylston Street toward the finish line to take the laurel crown that Flanagan had coveted since she was a little girl, watching her father race on the same storied streets,” Strout wrote, somewhat prophetically, in piece for Runner’s World ahead of the 2018 Boston Marathon. “The Boston crowd is raucous, the atmosphere is electric. An American has ended the long drought with a victory that thousands of fans are already boisterously relishing. In the broadcast booth, Flanagan can only wonder, What if? That is exactly the kind of scenario Shalane Flanagan imagined over and over again as she wrestled with whether to run this year’s Boston Marathon.”

This episode is brought to you by Rise.Run.Retreat. Rise.Run.Retreat is a four-day women’s running retreat that takes place from May 16-19, 2019 in Vermont. It was founded on the idea that, when women come together through running they inspire and strengthen one another. Nestled in the green mountains, the picturesque village of Woodstock serves as the backdrop to all of Rise.Run.Retreat’s activities. You’ll explore country lanes, run through gentle, wooded trails, listen to inspiring guest speakers—this year’s featured speaker is ultrarunner Sally McRae—and participate in workshops. Limited to just 16 women, the small-scale setting makes for a unique and impactful experience. Your registration includes all lodging, wholesome meals provided by the local farmer’s market and an amazing swag bag. With only seven spots still available, registration is sure to fill-up before the April 7th deadline. For more information head to riserunretreat.com and use the code TMSPOD—that’s all CAPS—and save $100 bucks off your registration fee. My thanks to the Rise Run Retreat for supporting the podcast.

Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford at BaresRecords.com

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