In one of our all-time favorite podcast conversations, we find out how a kid from a little town in Italy goes from working in his family’s floral business to being a top fashion model in Miami to being one of the best ultrarunners in the world. And now, Michele Gralia isn’t just about winning long-distance races and setting records. He is passionate about human potential, helping us redefine what is possible, and motivating each and every one of us to do the same.
We’re talking again with one of the most influential product designers in the outdoor industry, Jean-Luc Diard, about the design philosophy of Deckers X Lab, a number of the models in the Deckers Lab lineup, and why they are trying to rethink everything from the standard flip flop to the casual sneaker to the suspension systems of high-end, performance shoes.
Neli Vasquez Rowland is the co-founder and president of A Safe Haven, which is a Chicago-based nonprofit whose goal is to end homelessness. So we talk to Neli about A Safe Haven’s comprehensive approach; how and why their model could be adopted by other cities around the world; their Run to End Homelessness; and more.
Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talk with Peter Bromka, a runner that grew up in Portland, ran at Tufts University, and now is back in Portland where he runs for the Bowerman Track Club Elite Program. But in addition to training hard and running fast, Peter is focused on writing about running itself. And in this conversation, you’ll hear more about how he is currently pursuing both.
Most of you are familiar with the BOA fit system, but do you know what BOA is up to today? Or maybe you’ve thought, What’s wrong with regular shoe laces? We went to the BOA Performance Fit Lab to learn more; hear why they see a big opportunity in trail running shoes; and see how they are working with companies to optimize products.
We talk to Matt Hart about his book, Win at All Costs: Inside Nike Running and its Culture of Deception, which is is an important book that everyone interested in competitive athletics should read. We discuss how Matt got interested in and involved with this story; whether we should just make all performance-enhancing drugs legal in all sports; who is most to blame for PED use in sports; what Nike’s response to the book has been; and Alberto Salazar’s upcoming trial.
If you are interested in product design and the process of innovation, then you need to listen to this conversation. Jean-Luc Diard started as an intern at Salomon, developed the first shaped ski, became the CEO at Salomon, played a major role in the development of Salomon’s running shoes, moved on to found Hoka One One, and is currently the VP of Innovation for the Deckers Group, where he currently heads up the Deckers X Lab.
Billy Yang is (among other things) a runner, filmmaker (Billy Yang Films), podcast host (Billy Yang Podcast), and someone who has been chronicling the sport of running in a fashion that is often beautiful, and always inspiring. So Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talked to Billy about everything from cigarette brands to the need for more compassionate critical thinking in our world.
Today we’re putting our Off The Couch co-host, Brendan Leonard (semi-rad.com) in the interviewee seat to hear about his recent FKT; his review of his FKT route and whether you should do it; movies; his current running program; gas station donuts; how well he deals with deadlines; some of his current and upcoming projects, and more.
Six months ago, professional skier, Cody Townsend, hated running. Now he loves it. So what happened?? And will his current training program really get him ready to ski tour up and down some of the gnarliest peaks in North America for his ongoing Fifty Project? If you have ever found yourself in the “I hate running” camp, you should listen to this episode.
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.
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.