This blog post is the first in a series in which I will be reviewing my favorite running-related podcasts, as well as sharing other running-related podcasts suggested by our members.
Running Explained is a podcast hosted by Elisabeth Scott. Elisabeth Scott is a runner and coach who first began racing 5ks in her late twenties. Since then, she has run multiple marathons, qualified for Boston, and become a RRCA, UESCA, and USATF certified running coach.
She began her podcast in 2021 with the mission to “ to help runners of all experiences and abilities become students of the sport and understand the how, what, and why of running!” Unlike some of the other running podcasts I subscribe to, this podcast focuses less on Elisabeth’s personal running journey, or the journey’s of other specific individuals, and more on the science, practice, and art of running. In each episode Elisabeth calls on experts in the field to answer popular running-related questions about race training, fueling, recovery, diet, gear and more. She always provides a preface on their background and why they are considered experts on the particular topic she is discussing this week.
Another unique element of this podcast is that it is truly designed for both beginner and more experienced runners. Most of the podcast episodes and topics begin with the presumption that the listener may only have very introductory knowledge about the subject, but are so thorough and in-depth that both beginners and experienced runners will find themselves learning new things with nearly every episode! For example, a recent episode on “Overtraining Syndrome” , (S2/E40 “Understanding Overtraining Syndrome with Jill Colangelo”) first began by defining overtraining syndrome and explaining signs and symptoms of it, then it moved onto explaining how overtraining is different from overreaching, and a timeline for recovering from Overtraining syndrome. Each episode is structured in a similar way, making the information easier to understand and retain.
Most of my favorite episodes from this podcast are related to nutrition and fueling, and specifically debunking myths and answering important questions related to these topics such as the potential benefits and detriments of running fasted, what types of supplements runners might need, why low-carbohydrate diets are not ideal for distance runners, and how much fuel should be consumed throughout the course of a long run. Aside from the nutrition related episodes, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed episodes related to longevity and running, and avoiding running-related burnout, which I fear is something that plagues the running community. We all love running, and many of us spend as much time as possible enjoying the sport, but what happens when running is no longer enjoyable, when you become injured, or when you just “don’t feel” like running anymore? Elisabeth and her team of experts seek to answer questions like these.
Elisabeth and her team of experts frequently promote heart rate and effort-based training, with an emphasis on running “easy.” For some runners, especially those who don’t run strictly based on heart rate zones, it can be difficult to determine what “easy” paces actually are, and what paces they should be striving for with different types of workouts. Luckily, Elisabeth’s website provides a very useful calculator that any runner can use to calculate their race paces, as well as their “easy”, “marathon/aerobic pace”, “threshold/tempo”, “interval/VO2 Max”, and “repetition/mile” paces.
In addition to the podcast, Elisabeth and her team provide one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and “call a coach consults.” The “Call a Coach Consults” may be particularly helpful to Steeplechasers as this provides an opportunity to consult an expert on a specific concern or topic, even if you do not have a regular coach. This can be an excellent opportunity for injured runners, runners curious about just one individual aspect of their training, independent runners, or runners who could not otherwise afford individual, personalized coaching services. Of course, the Steeplechasers who coach the various Steeplechaser training programs may also be able to answer similar questions.
As of April, 2023, Running Explained with Elisabeth Scott is currently in its third season. New episodes premiere on Spotify, Google, and Amazon on Thursdays. In addition to downloading and listening to the podcast, you can read about many of the topics on the Running Explained blog and subscribe to Running Explained on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.