Off The Couch

Eric Schranz joins Jonathan Ellsworth and Brendan Leonard on the Off the Couch Podcast

Eric Schranz, Ultrarunnerpodcast.com, on Running, His Career, & Heist Films (Ep.44)

Eric Schranz has been a staple of the trail running and ultrarunning world for over a decade — both as a passionate runner, and as the host of Ultrarunnerpodcast.com. And since Eric spends so much of his time writing about and interviewing other runners, Brendan Leonard (semi-rad.com) and I thought it would be fun to put Eric in the guest seat. So Brendan and I talked with Eric about how he got into running; his work in the music industry and politics; getting started at ultrarunnerpodcast.com; the art of conversation; how running media differs from other sports media coverage; and a whole lot more — including, a rather spirited discussion about the best bank robbery and heist movies of all time.

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Ryan Van Duzer goes on Blister's Off The Couch Podcast to discuss his running career, YouTube channel Running With Ryan, & More

Ryan Van Duzer on Snakes, YouTube, the Burning Man Ultra, & More (Ep.43)

Ryan Van Duzer has a YouTube series called, Running with Ryan. And last fall, as our Off The Couch co-host, Brendan Leonard, was nearing his goal of running 52 marathons in 52 weeks, Ryan had Brendan as a guest on Running with Ryan. So we thought we’d give Brendan the chance to turn the tables and have him interview Ryan, and that proved to be a good idea. They talk about snakes; biking across the country; starting his YouTube channel; the Burning Man Ultra; and a whole lot more.

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Joe Grant joins Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth on the Off the Couch Podcast

Joe Grant: Adventurer, Endurance Athlete, & Storyteller (Ep.42)

Joe Grant is an endurance athlete, a mountain runner, a reader, a writer, a thinker, a filmmaker, and, as you are about to find out, an exceptional storyteller. In this conversation, Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talk to Joe about how he got into running; racing (and winning) the 2008 Caballo Blanco Copper Canyon Ultra and how that affected his life; his Tour de Fourteeners, a self-powered and self-supported link up of all Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks by bike and on foot; and a whole lot more.

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Hayden Hawks joins Jonathan Ellsworth on the Off the Couch Podcast

Hayden Hawks on the Black Canyon 100K & Western States (Ep.41)

When a 15-year-old Hayden Hawks first learned about the Western States 100, he knew that he would someday get into running ultras, and it became his dream to race Western States. Fast forward 14 years later, and the now-29-year-old Hayden Hawks is a world-class runner, he’s just won the Black Canyon 100k, and he’s qualified to race Western States this June. So we talked to Hayden about his Black Canyon 100 win and the specific lessons he learned there. And we discuss his trajectory from running track in high school to where he is today, and more.

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Sawyer Thomas talks about the Colter Route on Blister's Off the Couch Podcast

Chasing John Colter & Recreating the Colter Route (Ep. 40)

Simply put, the exploits of the explorer, John Colter (who was a member of Lewis & Clarke’s famous expedition), are mind boggling. And in their short film, “Colter: A Legacy of Adventure,” Sawyer Thomas and Riis Wilbrecht set out to venture through the territory John Colter had explored two centuries ago, across some of the most remote terrain in the lower 48 states. So we talked to Sawyer and Riis about John Colter and why they chose this particular adventure; the (serious) difficulty of running, skiing, and trekking through this terrain; the logistics of shooting this film; and more.

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Eric Walker talks with Jonathan Ellsworth and Brendan Leonard on the Off the Couch Podcast

Eric Walker on Running 5k a Day for 365 Days (Ep.39)

By some measures, Eric Walker is a pretty normal guy. He lives in Minnesota, he’s not a professional runner, he’s 38 years old, and he’s a husband and a dad. But at some point in 2018, Eric found himself committed to the goal of running 5 kilometers every day for 365 days … and a year later, he’d done it. So Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talked to Eric to find out what motivated him to do this? How he actually pulled it off? What he learned in the process? And whether this something he thinks the rest of us should try?

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Nell Rojas goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss training for the USA Olympic Marathon Team

Marathoner Nell Rojas on Strength Training, Speed Work, & Low Mileage (Ep.38)

Nell Rojas is fascinating. And fast. So fast that on February 29th, she’s got a shot at making the USA Marathon team, despite the fact that she didn’t race her 1st marathon until 2018. But she then won her 2nd marathon (the very competitive Grandma’s Marathon), and now, the Olympic Trials are right around the corner. So we talked to Nell about her unique background; the dynamics of being coached by her dad (Rick Rojas); her uncommon emphasis on strength training, low mileage, speed work, and more.

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Liza Howard goes on Blister's Off The Couch Podcast to talk about running, winning the Leadville 100, donuts, and much more.

Liza Howard on Donut Money; Parenting; Age & Expectations; Band of Runners; & More (Ep.37)

Liza Howard is smart, funny, accomplished, humble, and by her own account … is extremely susceptible to peer pressure. She’s run marathons to impress a guy, still runs marathons for donut money, has won the Leadville 100 (and other big races) multiple times, is a coach, a parent, a NOLS Wilderness instructor, and the director of the terrific non-profit, Band of Runners. Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and you are in for a treat.

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Gina Lucrezi talks with Brendan Leonard and Maddie Hart on Blister's Off the Couch Podcast about Trail Sisters

Trail Sisters founder, Gina Lucrezi (Ep.35)

Trail Sisters is a trail running community for women and an online journal that offer lots of great resources — including articles and stories, grants, retreats, directories for female coaches, trail locations, and races that meet the trail sisters standards for gender equity. So we spoke to Gina Lucrezi, the founder of Trail Sisters, about the unusual way in which Gina got into running; her impressive accomplishments as a runner; the remarkable things happening at Trail Sisters; the ways you can get involved with and support Trail Sisters; and more.

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Grayson Murphy goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss her running career and more.

The Evolution of Grayson Murphy (Ep.34)

In 2019, Grayson Murphy won the US Mountain Running Championship; the World Mountain Running Championship; and the Xterra Trail Run World Championship. But there were many twists and turns along the way in getting there, and perhaps even more impressive and instructive than her wins is her willingness to experiment, adjust, and explore new ideas and practices, which we discuss in this conversation.

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Kylee Van Horn talks with Jonathan Ellsworth about Nutrition on Off the Couch Podcast

Diets & Nutrition with Kylee Van Horn (Ep.32)

What’s the best way to eat to feel good and perform well? Nutrition and Diet are massive topics, as are all of the related issues surrounding them. So on our latest Off The Couch podcast, we talk with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Kylee Van Horn, about the various diets out there; whether certain diets are prone to help or hurt training recovery; athletes & eating disorders, and more.

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Caleb Efta goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss planning and directing races.

How to Design a Great Race (Ep.31)

New running events seem to be popping up all the time, which raises the question: Are there some specific policies, and practices that should be built into all or most running events? To help us think about this, we talked to Caleb Efta, the race director of the High Lonesome 100, about some of the specific policies and requirements of the event that are designed to mitigate its environmental impacts and increase gender equality.

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Brendan Leonard talks on Blister's Off The Couch Podcast about how and why he ran 52 marathons over the course of a single year

Brendan Leonard on Running 52 Marathons in 52 Weeks (Ep.30)

For 2019, Brendan Leonard (semi-rad.com) set a goal for himself: run 52 marathons in 52 weeks. He told very few people about this goal, and we are proud to report that Brendan accomplished his goal with several weeks to spare. So we talked to Brendan about what prompted him to create this plan; why he decided to tell very few people about it; exactly what the parameters were for these ‘marathons’; how he handled the logistics; what he learned along the way; and more.

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Maddie Hart Trail Running

Winter Running: How to Do It (and Like It?) (Ep.29)

We talk to Blister reviewers, Maddie Hart and Gordon Gianniny, about how they handle running and training in the cold and on icy roads and trails; what gear works and doesn’t work for them; and more. Check it out, and let us know your own best tips, tricks, and practices.

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Kelly Newlon goes on Blister's Off The Couch Podcast to discuss her business, Real Athlete Diets, her work as a chef, her work with the ultra running community, and more

Runner & Chef: Kelly Newlon of RAD (“Real Athlete Diets”) (Ep.28)

By the time she was 5 years old, Kelly Newlon had already identified two of her biggest passions: running and cooking. Those passions led her to running longer and longer races and becoming a classically trained chef who now is — quite literally — feeding and fueling the ultrarunning community, including a high number of its elite performers.

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Stevie Kremer goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss the New York City Marathon and more.

Stevie Kremer on the NYC Marathon & More (Ep.27)

Stevie Kremer is back on the show, and she came to BLISTER HQ in Mt. Crested Butte to talk about her experience at this year’s New York City Marathon — including all the gory details and the lessons she learned; the things about running she truly loves and truly hates the most; how many children is too many children, and more.

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Is Cappuccino Cowboys Ruining Ultrarunning? (Ep.25)

What is Cappuccino Cowboys, and who is the person behind it? Is he an evil genius hell-bent on ruining ultrarunning? A provocateur shaking up the stodgy state of running media? Or is he just a giant pain in the ass of Jim Walmsley, Eric Senseman, Jared Hazen, Cody Reed, Tommy Rivs and a few other unfortunate souls? We spoke to Mr. Cappuccino himself to find out.

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Maggie Guterl goes on Blister's Off The Couch Podcast to discuss being the first woman to win the Big Dog's Backyard Ultra.

Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra Winner, Maggie Guterl (Ep.24)

Maggie Guterl just became the first woman ever to win Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra, a multi-day race that does not have a fixed-distance finish line. So we talked to Maggie about how this extraordinary race works, and Maggie does a brilliant job of detailing what it was like to overcome the unique physical and mental challenges of Big’s; the significance of being the race’s first female champion; the next insane race she has her sights set on, and more.

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winner of the Moab 240, Mike McKnight, goes on Blister's Off The Couch Podcast to discuss his recent win, how he managed to win three 200-mile races in a single year, and more.

Triple Crown of 200s Winner, Mike McKnight (Ep.23)

Simply put, Mike McKnight is amazing. He won the Bigfoot 200 in August, the Tahoe 200 in September, and he just won the Moab 240. And in covering those ~640 miles of racing, he smashed his own cumulative-time record for the 3 races by … 43 hours. That’s not what you’d expect from a chubby kid who grew up on a dairy farm and didn’t participate in sports til he tried 1 season of highschool football, nor from a person who broke his back in a ski accident 8 years ago and had 2 rods and 9 screws placed in his spine, along with part of his hip bone. So we talk to Mike about all of this and more.

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Jonathan Ellsworth interviews runners in the Moab 240 on Blister's Off The Couch podcast

Interviews from Mile 201 of the Moab 240 (Ep.22)

What’s it like to run two hundred and one miles … and know that you still have another 40 miles to go? And why would you sign up and subject yourself to this? To find out, we went to Moab, Utah, to the Moab 240 Endurance Run to capture the very raw and unfiltered reactions from runners, pacers, friends, medics, and concerned mothers from the Geyser Aid Station at mile 201 of the Moab 24. And we also learned what this race — and this community — is really about.

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Cam Smith goes on Blister's Off The Couch Podcast to discuss how he went from living in Illinois to winning races like the Grand Traverse & Grand Traverse Triple Crown.

Cam Smith on Moving through Mountains (Ep.21)

When Cam Smith graduated high school in Rockford, Illinois in 2014, he had little or no mountain experience. But fast forward a few years, and Cam is now an accomplished trail runner, mountain biker, a member of the U.S. ski mountaineering team, a repeat winner of the Grand Traverse Mountain Run from Crested Butte to Aspen, and a repeat winner of the Grand Traverse Triple Crown. So we talk to Cam about his journey, his goals, his relation to running and skiing and mountain biking, his work as a coach and as a guide at the Adaptive Center here in Crested Butte, and more.

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Running coach, Jason Koop, goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss his running career, how he got into coaching, his approach to coaching, and more

Jason Koop: Runner, Head Coach at CTS Ultrarunning (Ep.20)

Jason Koop is a passionate runner, the author of Training Essentials for Ultrarunning, the head coach of CTS Ultrarunning, and someone who is not afraid to speak his mind. So we talked to Jason about his endurance coaching; “nonsensical” training aids & techniques; his recent running of the 330 km Tor de Geants; the current state of the minimalist / maximalist shoe debate; what he thinks the running scene will look like 10 years from now; and a *whole* lot more.

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Kyle Robidoux goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss how running has helped him as someone with limited vision, including running dozens of marathons and ultramarathons

Kyle Robidoux on Running, Skiing, & Being Legally Blind (Ep.19)

Kyle Robidoux is passionate about running and skiing and beer. He has run 25 marathons and ultra marathons, including three 100-mile races, and the Boston Marathon six times. Kyle also happens to be legally blind. So Kyle and I talk about his background, his anger about his receding vision and what he did about it; how he got into running and trail running; his efforts to create more inclusive trail races; his advice about how to deal with loss of any kind; and what specific things we all can do to be more supportive of everyone dealing with disabilities. (And we talk about beer.)

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Luke Nelson discusses his running career, how he balances being a professional runner with family, work as a physicians assistant, and being a race director, and more on Blister's Off The Couch podcast

Luke Nelson on Testing Limits (Ep.18)

Brendan Leonard & Jonathan Ellsworth talk to Luke Nelson about being a professional runner, physician assistant, race director (of the Scout Mountain Ultras), climate activist, husband, father of three, and … someone who doesn’t get a lot of sleep.

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Maddie Hart, Gordon Gianniny, Luke Koppa, and Jonathan Ellsworth discuss Blister's running shoe Brand Guides on the Off The Couch podcast.

Why We Built a Running-Shoe Brand Guide (Ep.17)

Finding the right running shoe can be extremely complicated and confusing. So reviewers Luke Koppa, Jonathan Ellsworth, Maddie Hart, and Gordon Gianniny discuss our new BLISTER Brand Guide to Running Shoes; why we saw a need for it; what we hope it accomplishes for runners everywhere; and the trends and takeaways we’ve seen in the process of building it.

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Jackson Brill goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss his young but very successful running career, being teammates with Killian Jornet, how he balances school and professional running, and more.

Jackson Brill: Full-Time Student, Full-Time Runner (Ep.16)

Salomon athlete, Jackson Brill, is a 21-year old senior in college at CU Boulder, but given his approach to running, the way he talks about the sport, and his race results, you’d be forgiven for assuming that he was twice as old as he is. So we talked to Jackson about his studies and his work in CU’s Locomotion Lab; being teammates with Kilian Jornet; his experience with the Golden Trail Series; and his strong interest in coaching.

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Zach Bitter goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss how and why he broke the world record for the fastest 100 mile run

Zach Bitter on His New 100-Mile World Record (Ep.15)

On Saturday, August 25th, Zach Bitter set an incredible world record for the fastest time in which a human being has run 100 miles: 11 hours, 19 minutes, 13 seconds. And for an encore, he kept running … and also set the 12-hour distance world record. So we talked to Zach after his big day about the logistics of the event; training for it; why he considers it his masterpiece; his perspective on this world record and others; and a whole lot more. Whether you are a runner or not, you should not miss this one.

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