mario fraioli | the morning shakeout

the morning shakeout | issue 420

Published 7 months ago • 5 min read

Good morning! We’re coming off a long holiday weekend here in the States and for my wife and I it was a great few days with family visiting from out of town. I didn’t open the laptop much and have a bit of catching up to do on the content consumption and creation side of things. (And as much as I enjoy it, the break was nice!) Most of what follows here was prepped a couple weeks ago and you can expect a return to our regularly scheduled programming next Tuesday.

I do have a new episode of the podcast for your listening pleasure and it’s the fourth and final installment (for this year, anyway) of Like the Wind editor Simon Freeman and I’s quarterly conversation about a topic of his choosing. This time around he proposed a philosophical discussion about seasonality and consistency in running and I was all about it. We talked about when to rest and when to build, running as a means to an end versus running as a lifestyle, the “flywheel effect,” and more. You can listen to it wherever you subscribe to the morning shakeout podcast or at this handy link. An excerpt of this exchange can be found in Issue #38 of LtW, which comes out later this week. (You can buy a copy or subscribe here.)

OK, that’s it for now. Please enjoy the rest of this week’s issue.

Quick Splits

— From the archives (Issue 107, 6 years ago this week): “I’ve never felt so alone in all my life,” British middle-distance runner Bobby Clay writes for Athletics Weekly. “I had people telling me it was going to be okay, but I didn’t want to listen. I realised there and then that this was my fault. Since then my body has certainly lived up to this diagnosis. For over a year now I have been stress fracture (or full fracture) free for about four weeks in total. Each time something breaks, I feel another part of who I am disappear. I wouldn’t wish this feeling upon my worst enemy.” Important read for all athletes, particularly women, written by a woman who is suffering the consequences of high expectations, overtraining and under-fueling beginning at a young age. I applaud Clay’s bravery and honesty in sharing her story so that others can learn from it and avoid writing the same one for themselves.

— From the archives (Issue 159, 5 years ago this week): I loved this essay from Andy Waterman on what he calls “postmarathonism” and the yearning for a return to the structure and routine running brings to his life. I’ve got it marked for weekly re-reading post-CIM. “As in running as in life, structure isn’t something that binds us and oppresses us, but rather it’s the framework within which we’re able to thrive, test our limits and make sense of the world,” Waterman writes. “Whether you’re a writer or a runner, the imposition of structure is often what ultimately sets you free. If you can nail the existentialist quest for structure within postmarathonism, half the battle is won.”

— From the archives (Issue 264, 3 years ago this week): I’m not a practicing Catholic but the best thing I’ve read recently was this op-ed by Pope Francis about solidarity, reciprocity, and using this time to work together toward a better future. It’s not overly dogmatic and encapsulates the “we” over “me” message I tried to get across in last week’s issue. “Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals,” he writes. “It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.”

— English singer-songwriter Mike Rosenberg, better known as Passenger, recently re-recorded his entire 2012 album, All the Little Lights, and collaborated with a few different artists to reimagine some of its songs. My favorite is this remake of “Let Her Go,” performed alongside Ed Sheeran. My initial thought when hearing it for the first time was, “Yep, that definitely works.” These two complement each other really well and the inclusion of Sheeran’s vocals and guitar work on the track adds a new layer of depth to what was already a beautiful song. Queue it up for listening this week!

— A big thank you to my partners at New Balance for supporting the newsletter this month (and my work throughout 2023). The 1080 has been the workhorse in my rotation for four years now and the v13 picks up right where its predecessors left off. This updated version feels a little lighter than its predecessor, there seems to be a bit more bounce underfoot, and it fits better than anything else in my lineup. It’s super smooth at a wide range of speeds and continues to be my go-to for most of my weekly mileage. Bottom line: I just really enjoy running in it. I’ve put a few hundred miles on my initial pair and they still feel great. The Fresh Foam X 1080v13 is available now at your favorite run specialty retail store and also on (men’s sizes here, women’s sizes here).

Training Tip: Make it about someone else!

Struggling to set big goals or find something to get fired up about heading into next year? Take yourself out of the equation and commit to helping someone else work toward achieving their dreams. There are a few ways to do this: 1. Offer to help pace a friend through their most challenging workouts or keep them company on their long runs for the next few months. 2. Join a running club if you’re not part of one already and lead a pace group at weekly speed workouts or team long runs. 3. Agree to race alongside a friend or training partner at an upcoming event that means a lot to them but isn’t as important to you. (And make sure to register for it yourself, of course.) Not only will the person or people you’re helping out appreciate the assistance, it will add a new level of purpose and meaning to your own pursuit. (And you might just get kind of fit and excited to work toward something yourself in the process!)

Workout of the Week: The 4-2 Fartlek

This effort-based workout is a great early to mid-season session when you’re still fortifying your fitness foundation and neither pace nor specificity are key concerns. Here are the details.

The bottom line.

“I need solitude. I need space. I need air. I need the empty fields round me; and my legs pounding along roads; and sleep; and animal existence.”

—Virginia Woolf in a diary entry dated October 15, 1930 (n.b. It resonates!)

That's it for Issue 420. If you’re enjoying the morning shakeout, please do me a solid and forward this email or pass on the web link to someone who might also appreciate it. (And if you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time and want to receive it for yourself first thing every Tuesday morning, you can subscribe right here.)

Thanks for reading,


P.S. Later this morning (at 7 AM EST), my partners at Tracksmith are launching a limited edition “Save Track” Grayboy that pays homage to the driving focus of the Tracksmith Foundation’s mission to give more people the opportunity to participate in track and field. 100% of proceeds from the sale of these shirts will directly fund the Tracksmith Foundation’s mission and efforts (every $100 they raise helps support six more student-athletes). The shirt will be available globally at this link in sizes ranging from XXS to XXL.

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mario fraioli | the morning shakeout

Discover what’s possible through the lens of running with training tips, workouts, and other bits of goodness from coach Mario Fraioli. Every Tuesday morning, Mario shares his unapologetically subjective take on things that interest, inform, inspire, or entertain him in some way.

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