the morning shakeout | issue 447


Good morning. We had a family emergency last week, the details of which I’m not going to get into here. Thankfully we’re through the worst of it but the tank is low and the road ahead is going to be bumpy for a bit.

I’ve always thought of this newsletter like a shakeout run with friends that I’m fortunate to lead every Tuesday. Some weeks, most weeks even, I’m pretty animated from the get-go and we tack on an extra mile or two at the end because we’re feeling pretty good and there’s a lot that I want to share with everyone; other weeks I just don’t have as much to say and we get through it as best we can. It’s still important to me that we get something in every week, however, and this is one of those occasions where we’re not gonna go very long and I keep the fresh chatter to a minimum.

Let’s get right to it.

Quick Splits

— My friend Sam Robinson wrote about Gamers vs. Grinders in the context of athletic performance and I very much enjoyed (and agreed with) most of what he had to say. “Most people are a little bit of both—everyone has some grind and some game when they need it,” he writes. “But. The truly great have lots of grind and game. The GOATS have both in spades. Fear these people. Fear them because they learned to learn. They realized that their inherent strengths were not sufficient and they needed to change and adapt. These are the gamers that recognized they needed to work harder. These are grinders who learned that executing a race is just as important as the training buildup.”

— If you’ve been around the block enough times you know when it comes to training for long-distance running that what’s old will eventually (and then suddenly) become new again, which is one of the points Alex Hutchinson tries to drive home in his most recent column for Outside. “Part of the current fascination with the Norwegian training method is the suggestion that there is, in fact, a secret—a quantifiable formula, expressed in millimoles per liter of lactate in your blood, to optimize your training, rather than simply an admonition to work hard,” he writes. “But that’s a reductive view of what Ingebrigtsen and his Nordic peers are aiming for. The underlying philosophy of Norwegian training is that a harder workout isn’t always a better one, because it will take too long to recover from. This is hardly a new insight, but in the great merry-go-round of training fads, it was perhaps overdue for a resurgence.”

— The Hermanos Gutiérrez have a new album called Sonido Cósmico coming out in 10 days and I’ve been enjoying the title track (and a few others that have been released early) quite a bit over the past few weeks. As always, no lyrics, just the slick sounds of the brothers’ guitars and a few other fun instruments mixed in for good measure. I usually have a Hermanos playlist playing in the background while I drink coffee and read first thing in the morning. Best way to kick off the day.

— I don’t know when I first came across this manifesto for posting online, and I can’t remember if I’ve shared it here before or not, but it’s a solid set of rules that everyone should bookmark, reference often, and share widely.

— From the archives (Issue 186, 5 years ago today): We are verbs, not nouns: “So many people think you have to first call yourself an artist, know who you are and what you’re about, and then you can start making art,” writes Austin Kleon. “No, no, no. You do the stuff first, then you can worry about what it is, who you are. The important thing is the practice. The doing. The verb. We aren’t nouns, we are verbs. Forget the nouns, do the verbs.” In other words: To be the noun, you have to do the verb. If you want to be a faster runner, you have to run fast. If you want to be a better writer, you have to write regularly. If you want to be a kinder person, you have to practice kindness. You can’t be the thing if you don’t actually do the thing, no matter what you tell yourself. This sounds obvious but it never ceases to amaze me how many people identify as something without ever taking action.

— A big thank you to my partners at New Balance for supporting my work this month (and throughout 2024). When it comes to running shorts, I’m super picky, which is why I end up wearing half-tights most days. My biggest issue with shorts has to do with fit: the waist is weird and/or doesn’t have a functional drawstring, the liner is either too tight or too loose, and/or the length doesn’t feel right. Pockets, or lack thereof, are also a problem. New Balance came to the rescue this year with the revamped RC Shorts and I’ve stocked myself up for summer! These are the best running shorts I’ve ever worn and that is not hyperbole. The material is lightweight, breathable, and nearly seamless, the waistband is just the right thickness and features an external drawstring for plenty of adjustability, and the liner is incredibly comfortable and supportive. Plus, they have a secure zip pocket in the back and two built into the liner to carry whatever you might need. Oh, and they come in different lengths—3, 5, and 7 inches for men (5” is my personal go-to), 3 and 5 inches for women—and a nice range of solid colors to boot. Check ’em out for yourself right here!

Workout of the Week: Hills and Twos

This is a staple early season session for a number of top high school, collegiate, and professional programs that combines a set of short, hard hill repeats with a set of short, fast intervals. I’ve been doing some version of this workout since college, the Bowerman Track Club has their own take on it, and a couple of Georgetown runners even named their podcast after it. Here are the details.



The bottom line.

“The future's coming fast, neck-deep in the past—don't miss the moments while they're passing.”

—John Moreland, No Time


That's it for Issue 447. If you enjoyed it, please forward this email to a friend (or five!) and encourage them to subscribe at this link so that it lands in their inbox next Tuesday.

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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