Podcast: Episode 59 with Chelsea Sodaro

By Mario Fraioli |
Photo: James Mitchell

“A lot of us endurance athletes are obsessive and one of the things that makes us good is that we’re able to focus on the very small details of our craft and spend a lot of time concentrating on improving those things. On the flip side, it’s pretty easy to get too bogged down in the weeds and we can have a hard time stepping back and really seeing the big picture of progression, which is something that happens over a long period of time—not something that we can expect to happen in a matter of weeks or months or even like a year or two, and I think that’s something that I’ve got into a little bit of trouble with in the past.”

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I had a great time talking to Chelsea Sodaro for this week’s episode of the podcast. Many of you may remember Sodaro by her maiden name, Chelsea Reilly, who national titles in the road 10K and indoor 3000m in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The 29-year-old Sodaro was one of the top distance runners in the U.S. not that long ago, with personal bests on the track ranging from 4:08 in the 1500m to 15:10 in the 5K. She’s turned her attention to triathlon in the last few years and is quickly rising through the pro ranks, having won her first ITU World Cup race last June and finishing 2018 atop the podium at Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells-La Quinta in December.

We covered a lot in this conversation: how Chelsea got into running, where she gets her competitive drive from, how she’s dealt with injury throughout her career, the special relationship she has with Olympian Magdalena Boulet, transitioning to triathlon less than three years ago, why she felt so alone and empty immediately after winning her first triathlon last year, the advice she’d give her younger self, and a lot more.

Related links, references, and resources:

— Follow Chelsea on Instagram and Twitter.

Train Like The Athlete You Want To Become: Listen to Sodaro talk with her current coach, Matt Dixon of Purplepatch Fitness, about her athletic history, transition to triathlon in recent years, and the valuable lessons she’s learned along the way.

— “I’m learning to show up everyday without expectations and see what I can do in that moment,” Sodaro said in a feature for TransitionFour. ” At least that’s what Matt’s trying to teach me. And that was our plan for Waco: show up without expectations and see what happens. My goal was to put myself in the mix and give myself an opportunity to see what I’m capable of—that’s all that we can ever really do.”

Sodaro Claims First ITU Victory: “I’ve had a really rough start to the year,” Sodaro recalled after the race. “Training had been going really well and my team and I had been working very hard, but I just wasn’t able to put it together, and I feel like this win is a long time coming.”

Chelsea Reilly Takes National 10K Crown: “My coach [Magda Boulet] just had me conserve for the first five miles because I had never run one,” Reilly told Runner’s World after winning the national 10K title in 2012. “Tara started to make a move, I matched it, and gave it a go.”

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

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