the morning shakeout | issue 441


Good morning! This past week was a literal and figurative shitshow—without getting into all the disgusting details, I came home from Boston last Tuesday to a sick pup, who, after a couple rough days and sleepless nights, is thankfully doing a lot better now—and Sunday was the first day that everyone in our household was feeling like themselves again. What follows here is what I could compile in the course of a few short hours yesterday while trying to get back up to speed on everything else I missed last week. Let’s get right to it.

Quick Splits

— Why has no one heard of Mark Bauman? That is the title of this post by Mark Lane-Holbert, aka “The Running Anthropologist.” I’ll be the first to admit that I’d never heard of Bauman, who, last Monday, completed his 55th consecutive Boston Marathon, which set a record for the most ever run in a row. Bauman, who is now 74, completed this year’s race in 6:01:28, a far cry from the 2:30:32 he ran at Boston in 1975, but an impressive feat nonetheless, especially when you consider that nearly 1,500 of Bauman’s 120,000 lifetime miles have been run on the stretch of road between Hopkinton and Boston. So why aren’t people making a bigger deal out of Bauman’s feat? There are probably a number of reasons for that but at the end of the day it comes down to one: Bauman doesn’t want them to. “Perhaps because he doesn't seek praise, content to let his actions speak for themselves,” he writes. “While he has recently been inducted into the Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame, and everyone in Michigan running or a part of CRIM training programs knows Mark, perhaps the national spotlight and media fandom is not made for figures like him.” (Sorry Mark, but your cover has been blown. Chapeau, sir.)

— I’ve never met coach Dan Pfaff but his Between the Lines newsletter is one of my favorite emails to receive every week. I’ve shared plenty from Coach Pfaff’s playbook here over the years and his most recent correspondence about what makes effective methodologies is an important lesson/reminder/refresher for coaches at any level. “Effective programs consistently produce healthy athletes, prioritizing longevity and competition health and readiness over temporary gains,” he writes. “It is better to be ‘one mile under’ than ‘one inch over’ in terms of athlete preparedness.” (Or, as I like to say, better to be slightly undercooked going into a race than to be even the least bit crispy.)

This is the first installment of what looks to be a promising 10-part series that goes behind the scenes with the Brooks Beasts, coaches Danny Mackey and Julian Florez, and some of the top middle-distance athletes in the world as the team prepares for the 2024 Olympic Games. This group, as the title of the film indicates, came into this year with a lot of momentum, with six members of the Beasts qualifying for World Championship teams in 2023. (And one winning a world title in Josh Kerr.) And so far in 2024, they’re keeping the momentum going, with Josh Kerr taking home a world indoor 3000m title, and their DMR breaking the world record this past weekend at Oregon Relays. Goals and accomplishments of these athletes aside, however, what I like about this opening episode is watching the interactions and dynamics at play between the coaches, the athletes, and the coaches and the athletes. It’s clear to me watching this film (and listening to the various people involved) that the Beasts have their team culture dialed in, and while the focus is on making teams and bringing home medals, success hinges on the one thing that’s within everyone’s own control: effort. “For me, success comes down to the individual level,” Mackey explains. “It’s a little bit subjective. Can each athlete look back on the year and feel proud about the effort they put into it? And if we can bat 1000% for all 14 athletes and be proud about the effort they put into it, then that’s success for me.”

— I know Taylor Swift’s new album is all the rage right now but do yourself a favor and check out John Moreland’s new one, Visitor. It’s the best collection of songs I’ve listened to in a long time. I had it playing on repeat throughout the weekend. Unlike T-Swift’s latest epic, Visitor is a short album—37 minutes from start to finish—but there’s not a wasted lyric amongst its 12 songs. It’s hard to pick a favorite track but if I must, it’s “The More You Say, The Less It Means,” a recent live performance of which you can listen to and watch right here. In addition to the title of that one, which kind of speaks for itself, one verse in particular has stuck with me: “Some folks stay, and some folks go; Some folks say, and some folks know.” I’m not sure what he meant by those words but they make me think of the relationships in my life, the ones that have lasted and the ones that haven’t, the people who say shit to make you feel a certain way, and those who know you so well that nothing needs to be said. What Moreland sings about throughout this collection of songs—fear, regret, sadness, and insecurity—is deeply personal but universally relatable. His stripped-down vocals remind me a bit of a young Bruce Springsteen and/or John Cougar Mellancamp (with maybe even a little Bob Segur mixed in), which carry with it a soothing sense of familiarity that I appreciate. 11/10 recommend giving this one a listen wherever you get your music.

— From the archives (Issue 180, 5 years ago today): Avoiding Stupidity is Easier than Seeking Brilliance: I may have shared this piece here before but if so, there’s no harm in pushing it out again. Whether it’s running, work, business, or just your day-to-day doings, the key to sustained success is, as billionaire investor Charlie Munger puts it, “trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” Or, in other words, avoiding mistakes instead of aiming for perfection will get your a lot further in many aspects of your life. Think about it: How many times, in an effort to get things exactly right—for example, checking off all the boxes in your scheduled training plan—have you come up short, when avoiding simple mistakes along the way (e.g., running through illness, or not taking enough time off after a marathon) would have eventually gotten you where you wanted to go?

— A big thank you to my partners at New Balance for supporting my work this month (and throughout 2024). I’ve been test-driving the new FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 for a couple months now and the ride is super smooth. The fit is dialed and the shoe feels like an oversized extension of my foot. The FC SC Elite v4 has a new PEBA foam FuelCell midsole with a full-length carbon plate for the right blend of lightweight, plush cushion and snappy responsiveness. (As soon as you start running in them you’ll know exactly what I mean.) It’s an amazing marathon shoe—it was the shoe of choice for most of my athletes racing Boston last week—but is versatile enough for racing shorter distances and mixing in for longer workouts from time to time. The new FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 is available now on newbalance.com (men’s sizes here, women’s sizes here) and at your favorite local run specialty retail store.

Workout of the Week: Long Run with Surges

Running long this week/weekend? Those miles are going to be a sizable chunk of your total weekly volume. Don’t waste ’em! Avoid a sloppy slog and help the time pass a little quicker by throwing in a 30-60 second surge at the end of every mile. Here are the details.



The bottom line.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

—Mother Teresa (Her words remind me of another of my favorite quotes, i.e., “You can’t teach care,” from Ted Metellus on Episode 193 of the podcast.)


That's it for Issue 441. If you’re enjoying the morning shakeout, please do me a solid and forward this email to someone else who might 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,

Mario

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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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