mario fraioli | the morning shakeout

the morning shakeout | issue 428

Published 4 months ago • 6 min read

Good morning! I’m short on time (and thus, words) this week but hopefully not on interesting, insightful, or entertaining things for you to check out. Let’s dive right in.

Quick Splits

— I appreciate the straightforward headline on Alex Hutchinson’s latest column for Outside (“Most Supplements Don’t Work. But That’s Not the Worst Part.”) as well as the research he shares to back it up. “It’s tempting to think that you’ll be able to tell whether a supplement works for you,” he writes, “but when we’re talking about a margin of a percent or two layered over the day-to-day variability of normal life, with a twist of placebo effect mixed in, you’re probably kidding yourself.”

— If you enjoyed the conversation I had with Brendan Leonard for the podcast a couple years ago then I think you’ll appreciate this recent profile of him that Morgan Tilton wrote for iRunFar about his life and work. (And if you’re unfamiliar with his work, start on or subscribe to his mailing list.) “Running is such a great metaphor for creative work,” he says. “If you work for yourself or you’re a runner, you have to be self-motivated. No one is making you get out the door to run when it’s freezing or raining or hot. You decided you wanted to run a race, and now you have to train for it. I enjoy flexing that muscle over and over again and staying motivated enough to keep the work coming.”

— I don’t follow surfing but I really enjoyed and appreciated this read about reigning Olympic champion Carissa Moore and her search for a new identity as she prepares to step away from the competitive side of the sport. The 31-year-old Moore, who has been one of the best in the world for half her life, is wrestling with the same question many of us do battle with in our own athletic, personal, and professional lives: Who am I if I don’t do this anymore? I liked the way Moore framed how she’s thinking about the next steps in her surfing journey. “I don’t like the word retirement,” she said. “I like to say a departure from the tour, or just stepping back, or switching gears, or, like, evolving.”

— If you haven’t listened to Iñigo San Millán talk about training zones, mitochondrial function, and/or metabolic health on a podcast, just bookmark his new YouTube channel where he’ll take deep dives into each of these topics moving forward. Dr. Iñigo, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and former competitive cyclist, has a gift for explaining complex topics in an understandable way for idiots like me. In his first (and only, so far) video, he gives a concise yet comprehensive overview of training zones and how he uses them with athletes and patients he works with for fitness and longevity purposes. 11/10 recommend.

— Trying something new this month: My partners at Precision Fuel & Hydration have offered to answer all YOUR fueling and hydration questions! Here’s how it will work: Submit your questions here by Friday, February 2 at 12 PM PST. I’ll pass them along to the folks at PF&H the following week. Later in February all of the questions and answers will be published on We’ll choose one lucky submission at random to win a $100 PF&H gift card and feature that question/answer in the newsletter next month. (And if you’re interested in trying Precision Fuel & Hydration products for yourself, check out this link and save 15% off your first order.)

— It’s different from the stuff they usually put out but Mumford & Sons’ new one with Pharrell is growing on me. It’s called “Good People” and has a gospel-ly sound and upbeat message to it. Give it a few listens and let me know what you think.

— I’m rooting for Zach Panning at the upcoming Olympic Trials Marathon—and not just because I’m a biased Division II alum myself! I love that he’s embraced the underdog role. Despite being one of only a handful of 2-oh-something guys in the field, and finishing a solid 13th at last summer’s world championships in Budapest, not many people are talking about him as a contender to make the team. He’s fine with it. “I'm a huge basketball fan. I think I'm kind of that small market team that doesn’t get LeBon James or the star free agents,” he told Kyle Merber in a recent interview for The Lap Count. “It's exciting to cheer for those underdogs and those people who might be overlooked – I think that's exciting. And it's fun to come from nothing, have a dream, and then slowly chip away at it.”

— From the archives (Issue 63, 7 years ago this week): Productivity hacks, efficiency tricks, time-management apps and empty inboxes: useful tools or just trick handcuffs? “Personal productivity presents itself as an antidote to busyness when it might better be understood as yet another form of busyness,” Oliver Burkeman writes in The Guardian. “And as such, it serves the same psychological role that busyness has always served: to keep us sufficiently distracted that we don’t have to ask ourselves potentially terrifying questions about how we are spending our days.” (Editor’s note: One of the best books I read in 2023 was Burkeman’s 4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. If you haven’t read that yet, consider the above-linked article a sort of sampler plate of what the main course offers.)

— A big thank you to my longtime partners at New Balance for their continued support of my work in 2024. I’m super proud of this partnership, one which is built around our shared values of quality, consistency, and performance. This Boston-based brand has been making incredible products for well over 100 years and I’ve personally been running in their shoes for over 20 now. We half-joke in our house that the Fresh Foam X 1080v13 is the “unofficial official” shoe of the morning shakeout—it’s the trainer I wear for 75% of my training runs and it’s been the workhorse of my stable for four years now. It’s the most comfortable AND reliable shoe I’ve ever run in and holds up to the miles week in and week out. It’s lightweight but sturdily built, plush enough underfoot to provide plenty of protection as the miles add up but responsive enough that you can wear it at a wide range of speeds. The Fresh Foam X 1080v13 is available at your favorite run specialty retail store or on (men’s sizes here, women’s sizes here).

Workout of the Week: The Reverse Michigan

I first wrote about The Michigan Workout several years ago for That article now lives in Outside’s Running category—you can read it here—but the gist of the session is that it blends a set of descending intervals on the track (each one gets a little shorter and a little faster) with longer stretches of steadier tempo running off the track. It’s a great mix of strength and speed that can be beneficial to nearly any runner whether they’re training for the mile, the marathon or anything in between. “This is something that is very unique,” legendary Michigan coach and creator of the workout, Ron Warhurst, told Lope Magazine a few years ago. “It’s not just an interval session. This gives the athlete an opportunity to explore where his or her head is at. Where their emotions are. When the grinding starts, it tests your mettle.” A couple years ago I got the idea to assign some of my athletes what I call a “Reverse Michigan,” where we’ll do an ascending ladder on the track—starting with a fast 400m, ending with a strong mile—interspersed with longer stretches of tempo running off the track between intervals. At the end of the day, the Reverse Michigan is the same volume of total work at the same range of intensities—just distributed a little differently than the classic version—but it provides some unique benefits of its own. Here are the details.

The bottom line.

“She took me where I couldn’t get to by myself. That’s what a great coach does.”

—Tara Vanderveer, the winningest NCAA basketball coach of all-time, in a great interview with Glenn Kramon of the New York Times, talking about her piano teacher, Jodi Gandolfi. (Vanderveer, now 70, took up playing the piano in her mid-40s. In the interview she talks about what it was like being a student again and how that helped her better relate to her players.)

That's it for Issue 428. All I ask is that if you enjoyed it to please tell someone else about it (and encourage them to subscribe at this link).

Thanks for reading,


Support the morning shakeout directly on Patreon and help keep my work sustainable for years to come.

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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