Doping has made us all skeptical. Every time we see a performance that stands out, one that seems too good to be true, we automatically assume it isn’t. Years of drugs in the sport has led us to become critical and bitter. Mario and I discuss doping in sport, and how the importance of brands taking a stand against it is critical to sport becoming clean again.

Mario and I also discuss every runner out there. How we struggle to maintain balance, feeling as though we are being more committed than everyone else, when in fact, we are reaching obsession with running, and that is when things start to go wrong;  our running just keeps getting worse.

We talk about why it is important to have other things in your life, even if running does mean a lot to you.

Mario is a very good coach, working with many of the best ultra marathoners in the country, who have won many national titles. He gives advice on when you should hire a coach (and no, he does not believe EVERYONE needs a coach), and what traits to look for in a coach who is best for you.

We talk about trail and ultra races and what extra preparation they require (and why Mario knows this, despite never running more than 50k!). This is a fun episode from the eyes and ears of running.

This podcast episode is for anyone who is generally interested in our sport, who loves running and cares for the future of it.

Today’s Guest

Mario Fraioli

Former editor of Competitor Magazine, Mario is a coach to many elite runners, and has become extremely popular through the honesty he shares in his Morning Shakeout newsletter, which goes out every Tuesday morning.

What You Will Learn About

  • What life is like working for one of the biggest running magazines in the world
  • Mario’s advice for runners who are very passionate and have big goals, but are not good enough to be sponsored
  • The athletes Mario coaches and how they have been very successful, especially on the ultra scene…even though Mario has never run more than 50k
  • Why you need to read his unpredictably interesting Morning Shakeout newsletter
  • Mario’s thoughts on the doping situation and how it looks in the future
  • Why Mario doesn’t believe in the coffee taper

Listen to the Running for Real Podcast

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Mario’s #R4RPowerPose

Inspirational Quotes

Having balance in your life is super important. Being committed to it, but having other interests in your life other than running, help balance you out, but also sustain you. That will give you something to focus on and pursue when your running career or your best running days are eventually over, because that comes for all of us.

Give yourself something to focus on down the road and developing an ability to roll with the punches. You will get a lot more downs than you will ups, at least initially, and realizing that is part of the process and being okay with it is important.

I think it’s important wherever you are as a runner or whatever role it plays in your life, to realize, at the end of the day, it is just running. It is not everything.

I have coached people to 100 mile races with great success without having ever come close to doing it. 

The primary driver [to finding a coach] is the relationship; finding someone you can connect with on a deeper level, who you can communicate with regularly and effectively, who understands you as an athlete and will take the time to better understand you as an athlete: what your inspirations are, your training background, what your goals are, and will put some serious thought into how to bridge those gaps. That has got to be at the heart of it all.

Most runners need to be held back if they are driven and a coach can certainly help in that regard.

Doping has been a problem in running for a long time, and that’s unfortunate, because not only does it damage the reputation of the sport, but it affects people’s lives, their careers, and their ability to make a career out of it.

My view is definitely jaded. You don’t know what to believe anymore, and that’s what’s unfortunate about the whole thing.

Resources Mentioned












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Thank you to Mario.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.

coaching, doping, training, ultra running

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