Tyler Swartz believes that running should be fun, and that it’s more fun when you’re part of a community. That’s why he founded Endorphins Running, “to inspire and empower people to live happier and more fulfilled lives through movement and exercise.”

Listen to the Running for Real podcast here:

Apple (iTunes) Podcast | Sticher | Castbox | Overcast | Spotify | Google Play | iHeartradio |

Growing up in Boston, Tyler loved baseball and the marathon from an early age. Every Patriots Day, he and his parents would go to the Red Sox game, and then watch the Boston Marathon. Even when he was only five years old, he knew that he wanted to run it himself one day. We loved it,” he says. “It’s such an important day for anyone growing up in Boston. It’s a very near and dear event to my heart and to my family and to my community in Boston and then to the greater Boston community at large. So my family really, really appreciates the marathon.”

When he was in school though, instead of running cross country or track, he played team sports. “Team sports are at the heart of who I am and my being. I’m an only child. So I needed a sense of camaraderie and team in my adolescence, and being on the football team, being on the basketball team, being on the baseball team, those were my formative moments of who I am as a person. And it wasn’t actually the games. It was the locker room after practice, us playing pranks and doing silly things. The bus ride home from away games, us screwing around and having fun. Those are the moments that define who I am. And I’ve carried those into my running experience with Endorphins.”

As much as he loved being part of a team, game practice turned him against running for a time. “I despised running. I hated it. The reason I hated it was because every single time I had to run, it was because my coach on the football team would have a whistle in his mouth saying, ‘Get on the line. You made a mistake; it’s time for you to run sprints.’ And that wasn’t enjoyable for me. And that was my relationship with running. Heat of the summer, August, hot, sweaty, throwing up on the sidelines. And then the coach is saying, ‘Get up. We want some more.’ And that was my relationship with running when I first got into it.”

He didn’t do any sports at all while he was in college, finding camaraderie in partying and his fraternity instead. After he graduated and lost that sense of community, he felt isolated until he was asked to run the New York City Marathon for Team IMPACT, which matches children facing serious illness and disability with college sports teams. He was accepted into Nike’s Project Moonshot NYC, which provided runners with expert coaching and other resources, to train for it.

“What was great about it,” Tyler says, “is there were three in-person sessions a week. And that brought me back to being part of a team pretty quickly. I was surrounded by other people that shared the same goals as me. And we worked hard and I was going to Central Park, throwing up every Tuesday and Thursday, running like I was in football practice. They call it ‘trauma bonding’ or ‘association by goal.’  We all shared the same goal. And now I’m still friends with people that are very diverse and different. All different ages, all different professions, all different backgrounds. That was my team. And every single Tuesday, I would be at work, couldn’t wait to put the computer down so I could go meet up with my friends who I was training with. That was five plus years ago, and I’m still super tight with a lot of them.”

One of the people he became especially tight with was coach Rebeka Stowe. When he decided to run his first ultra, he asked her to train him virtually, and she is now head coach of the Endorphins marathon program. Part of his training, of course, was logging long runs. None of his friends at the time were into running, so he posted online, looking for people to run with and documenting his journey. For the first run, one person showed up to join him. 

“I was totally content with that. I was like, ‘If we can create this space for people to come together and connect, we are doing a service for this world.’ And then the next one, five people showed up, and then ten people showed up, and twenty people showed up, which was cool to see. We had no intention of it becoming anything bigger. It was just a place for people to connect, and it was around non-drinking; it was about people coming together in a fitness-first format so that they could make friends and connect.

“And we also ran at a 10 minute pace, which is a little more approachable than a lot of the performance-driven clubs. We hit a huge trend in hindsight, which was this post-COVID world: people working from home; people lacking connection; anxiety, depression, loneliness, all increasing; this trend of drinking decreasing; and we just kind of were there for that. Simultaneously I was posting about these runs and people kept on saying, ‘I want this in my city.’”

That was fewer than two years ago, and with the help of friends, Tyler has now launched Endorphins groups in eleven cities and virtually. “We have a virtual community that anyone can sign up for and there’s a ton of resources, but putting my finance and investor hat on, which is my former life, we have a way for people to connect in a many-to-many fashion, as opposed to one-to-many. What I mean by that is, when you have an Instagram account, and you’re broadcasting messages out to all your followers, I would consider that a one-to-many relationship. You have one person broadcasting to many different people. 

“We found a platform that we’ve white-labeled. That’s now on our website, endorphinsrunning.com, where people can communicate with each other many-to-many, meaning you could make a post and broadcast it to everyone. I could make a post and broadcast it to everyone, but then you can also message each other back and forth. And because of this, people have found virtual connections, and then it’s also translated to in-person connection. And I think that one of the reasons why our group is stable and sustained is because people can connect without us having to facilitate. People are going for runs all the time and they’re associating with Endorphins and that’s because we’re a virtual home.”

Tyler’s goal with Endorphins is to bring more people into the running community, and just as importantly, to make sure that they feel supported once they’re there. “I’m always trying to think of ways that we can open up the sport to more people, so that way the sport grows and we can impact more lives. I think I was born to do this. I think this was my personal calling to bring people together through the sport and help make people realize that it doesn’t have to be that serious and you can have fun doing things that are active and you can make friends in the process.”


Endorphins’ website

Endorphins’ Instagram

Tyler’s Instagram

Thank you to AG1, Precision Fuel & Hydration, and Tracksmith for sponsoring this episode.

AG1 is a foundational nutrition supplement that delivers daily nutrients and gut health support. Unlike so many products, the entire formula is backed by research studies, not just the ingredients. AG1 is packed with a variety of nutrient-dense ingredients and is the perfect complement to a healthy diet.

It’s easy and satisfying to start your journey with AG1. Try AG1 and get a FREE 1-year supply of Vitamin D3K2 AND 5 free AG1 Travel Packs with your first purchase here.

Precision Fuel & Hydration helps athletes crush their fueling and hydration so they can perform at their best. Tina used their electrolytes and fuel when she finished first female and third overall at the Bryce Canyon 50 Miler. You can use their free Fuel & Hydration planner to understand how much carb, fluid, and sodium you need for your key runs. 

If you have more questions, Precision offers free video consultations. Their Athlete Support crew will answer your race nutrition questions and act as a sounding board for your fueling strategy. No hard-sell, just an experienced and friendly human who knows the science and is full of practical advice on how to nail your race nutrition. You can book a call here.

Once you know what you need to run your best, you can go here to get 15% off their range of multi-strength electrolytes and fuel.

Tracksmith is an independent running brand inspired by a deep love of the sport. For years the brand has elevated running wear using best-in-class materials and timeless silhouettes that perform at the highest level and can be worn everyday, not just for running. 

Tracksmith helps the environment by making comfortable, durable clothes that will last for years, rather than winding up in the landfill. They help athletes who are trying to make the Olympic trials, and they offer scholarships for creatives to work on their crafts. 

If you’re a new customer, go here and use the code TINANEW at checkout to get $15 off your order of $75 or more. Returning customers can use the code TINAGIVE, and Tracksmith will give you free shipping and donate 5% of your order to TrackGirlz.

Thanks for listening!

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe on Apple, Spotify, iHeart, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you enjoy Running for Real, please leave us a review!

Keep up with what’s going on at Running for Real by signing up for our weekly newsletter. 

Join the newsletter

This is not your usual email newsletter. With Tina’s personal reflections and recommendations, suggestions of things to do, thoughts to contemplate, and some updates, this newsletter is one that you’ll WANT to read, not hit “delete” as soon as you see it.

Powered by ConvertKit

Follow Tina on Instagram, Facebook, and X. You’ll find Running for Real on Instagram too!

Want to be a member of the Running for Real community? Join #Running4Real Superstars on Facebook! 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for additional content, including our RED-S: Realize. Reflect. Recover series of 50+ videos.

Thank you for your support – we appreciate each and every one of you!

community, running community

Related Posts