Last Saturday, Blister reviewer & accomplished ultrarunner, Maddie Hart, ran the Emma Coburn Elk Run 5k with Blister founder & unaccomplished runner, Jonathan Ellsworth, and they recorded the experience. Hilarity (and embarrassment) ensued, but it was all for a great cause.
Coree Woltering is definitely one of the most interesting ultrarunners out there, so Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talked to Coree about the one time when a catcall actually worked; why the running world needs to stop overlooking midwestern athletes; Quick Trip burgers and how to remove ticks; and the injury and the miracle that happened while he was setting a new FKT on the Ice Age Trail.
Ryan Hall is a two-time Olympian and is the only American to run a sub-2:05:00 marathon. But these days, Ryan is far more focused on lifting, yet he just completed his first ultramarathon — and he did it in the most ‘Off The Couch’ way possible. So we sat down with Ryan in Blister HQ to talk about his first ultra; finding proper perspective; weight & performance; and more.
Ever feel like you aren’t — or couldn’t ever possibly be — a “real” runner? Most of us have, which is why most of us need to meet Kelly Roberts. Kelly is good at making us feel fine about the fact that we sometimes hate running. And she’s equally good at helping us continue to run — or walk, or bike, or just keep moving. So we talk to Kelly about her moving (and hilarious) entrance into running; her Badass Lady Gang; angel ghosts; and more.
We talk to 3-time Olympian, Simi Hamilton, about XC skiing and running; competition & competitive drive; his recent win of the Audi Power of 4; and Jonathan Ellsworth tries to instigate a battle between Simi and a previous Off The Couch guest.
This week we take a look at the trends in running shoes for 2020. Jonathan Ellsworth is joined by Maddie Hart and Gordon Gianniny to talk about knit uppers on trail shoes (??), massive heels, marketing copy, and we even design our own ‘Blister Pro’ shoe. Then we wrap up by talking about a few current events and get Maddie and Gordon’s upcoming plans.
What do Taco Bell, the Harlem Globetrotters, a twisted femur, & Rocky Balboa have in common? They’ve all played a role in the journey of Camille Herron to become a world champion runner and multiple world record holder — and Camille still has some very big plans. So Brendan and Jonathan talk with Camille about all of the above, including her unusual path to trail running, and what her sights are set on next.
Noah Brautigam just won the Speedgoat 50K, and a few days after winning, he sat down with us in Blister HQ to provide a very fresh and fun recap of the race, and describe what tweaks were made to allow the event to happen. We also discuss his background and a surprising discovery that has him feeling great, performing at a high level, and recovering really well.
Martinus Evans is the founder of 300poundsandrunning.com and the Slow AF Run Club, and Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talk to Martinus about modern media, being a Black runner in 2020, DJ-ing, motivation, Detroit pizza vs. Chicago pizza, the Slow AF Run Club, and more.
Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talk to Amelia Boone about being a world champion obstacle racer; transitioning into trail running & racing; mental health & eating disorders; ElliptiGos, mtn lions, & more.
Addie Bracy is an accomplished runner who thinks hard about the psychology of sports performance. So we talk to Addie about her background and how it led her to the study of sports performance psychology; the book she is now writing on the topic; and OUTrun, the organization she founded with her partner, Corey Conner, to empower and connect LGBTQ+ individuals within the running community and to create an environment that is encouraging, supportive, and inclusive to all.
The Skid Row Running Club is “an unusual running club that uses the power of running to improve the lives of those who are at risk of homelessness and addiction” in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, CA. We talk to its founder, Judge Craig Mitchell, about why he started the club; his background as a runner and teacher; the duty of police officers to protect and serve; the need for minimum sentencing reform; and much more.
Abby and Cordis Hall are both very good runners who both run for Adidas TERREX and who both recently set FKTs for the Cottonwood Marble Loop in Death Valley. And Abby and Cordis are soon going to both be going after another FKT, this time, on the rather gnarly Pfiffner Traverse. So we discuss all of that, plus the benefits and challenges that arise when your partner is also a competitive runner. And we also talk about a current rule that is in place specifically for women’s FKTs that deserves to be re-considered.
Our guest is Shaun Martin, who we’ve talked about before on this podcast in our conversations with Sanjay Rawal, since Shaun appeared in Sanjay’s film, 3100: Run and Become. But this time we’re talking to the man himself, and Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talk to Shaun about his background, heritage, coaching philosophy, and a whole lot more.
Faith E. Briggs is a filmmaker, a runner, and an outdoor enthusiast, and Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talk to Faith about her latest film, This Land; growing up and running track & cross country and transitioning into long-distance running & trail running; and our current / not-merely-current circumstances here in America.
A few weeks ago Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talked to the legend, Buzz Burrell, about his first ever long-distance run; starting the first organic farm in Colorado; the time he delivered a baby; inventing the hydration pack; and more. Then we discuss Buzz’s role in establishing the concept of the Fastest Known Time; creativity and FKTs, the process of approving FKT submissions, and some of the trends he’s seeing in the world of FKTs.
Not only does Zach Bitter hold the world record for the fastest time that a human has run 100 miles, he recently just set the record for fastest 100 miles ever run … on a treadmill?? So we spoke to Zach about when he first got the idea to attempt this; the biggest differences between running 100 miles on a treadmill vs a track; his preparation and strategy; and Mike McKnight’s recent ‘Zero-Calorie 100’ effort.
Is it humanly possible to run 100 miles without consuming a single calorie? On May 8th, Mike McKnight set out to find out, and Mike not only accomplished this extraordinary feat, he did it in 18 hours and 37 minutes. So we talked to Mike about why and when he first thought this was possible; how he prepared and trained for the feat; intermittent fasting and his ketogenic diet; some of the criticism he’s received for even attempting this; and what else he thinks might be possible.
We talk to Georgia Porter about her dislike of running as a kid; her grandma who was running ultras back before running ultras was a thing; how to incorporate apple fritters and beer into your training regimen; competing at the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials; her belief that all runners would benefit from learning to love strength training; and more.
Hillary Gerardi won the 2018 Skyrunner Extra World Series Circuit, and yet, she still doesn’t necessarily think of herself as a runner. So Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth discuss this with Hillary, and what it is that she enjoys most about being in the mountains. Hillary was born in Vermont, but lives in Chamonix and works at the Research Center for Alpine Ecosystems, so of course, we discuss all of that, too.
In 2017, Rickey Gates set out on an odyssey to run across America — 3,700 miles from South Carolina to San Francisco. We talked to Rickey about this cross-country adventure and what he learned along the way, and how it fits in with his other projects, like his “Every Single Street” initiative; “Hut Run Hut” and “Bus Run Bus”; and “50 Classic Trails.”
Late last week, Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talked with Jenny and Scott Jurek. This probably wasn’t the conversation that you ought to have when you get to talk with a running icon like Scott Jurek and someone who is as accomplished and interesting as Jenny, but, whatever. We had fun, and you will, too. Among other things, we talk about Scott’s very first race; Jenny’s transition from climbing to running; Scott’s love of cooking; Jenny’s ambition to set the Slowest Known Time on the Pacific Crest Trail; and the process of co-writing their wonderful book, North.
Dom di Tommaso (@domtomato) is a freerunner, a certified mind blower, and the guy behind one of our favorite Instagram pages and YouTube channels in the world. So on our latest Off The Couch podcast, we talked to Dom about his uncommon upbringing; his training, his focus, his injury history, and how he avoids dying doing the stuff he does; and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?