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Episode 108 - “Marathon tips, toughed up tricks, & plush robes”

Today’s guest is former international 800m/1500m athlete Vince Wilson

Although there is part of Vince that does miss his time competing, he has now focused his attention on his running coaching, to help others get the most out of this amazing sport/hobby.

Jake and Vince discuss long runs, and marathon training at length. Here are some of the key takeaways from their chat…

✔️ Nerves before a race are important! You need nerves to extract maximum performance.

✔️ Get ‘roughed up and toughed up’ . By putting yourself in challenging situations - competitive races, training in poor weather, or just getting out there when you're tired or don’t feel like it etc - helps to develop an inner toughness.

✔️ View your first marathon as a life achievement, and if you 'enjoy it' and you want to do another, then perhaps focus on a time or target.

✔️ Rarely are marathons (particularly first ones) enjoyable. Meaning there will obviously be associated challenges and discomfort throughout the event. Remember that the enjoyment, for most, comes from the WHOLE experience, and primarily the sense of achievement.

✔️ If you are someone who is driven by nature (or perhaps overzealous!), it is very important to keep yourself in check and give yourself regular breaks, to avoid overtraining and injury.

✔️ Looking at your training across the year, the aim is to get to December uninjured! October, November, and December should be base building phases - primarily easy running and strength work.

✔️ Work your training in blocks and understand the purpose of each session. Prioritise your main goals for the year, and be prepared to compromise on other events.

✔️ Nip niggles in the bud early by allowing some rest days - “Two days off is better than two weeks off”.

✔️ If returning to your training plan from a mini break don’t just jump straight back into where you left off. Look at the plan and make logical adjustments, which may mean scaling back some sessions.

✔️ Give yourself at least 16 weeks as the main build-up for a marathon.

✔️ Be careful that you don’t classic 20 mile /marathon training races’ as races themselves. View them as an easy long run or a long run with some quality elements.

✔️ Respect the recovery time after a marathon, which may well be 3 or 4 weeks - 2 weeks of no activity and then 2 weeks of walking, jogging cross-training etc.

✔️ In the marathon itself, don’t wait until you feel hungry or shaky etc, make sure you take some energy on board before you need to.

 #AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Sarah who, due to the pandemic, has found herself with two marathons to run which are only 4 weeks apart. She isn;’t planning on ‘racing’ them both but she wants to know which oneness better to race and which one is better to run easy.

Jake says it may be a better option to race the first marathon. The reason being, if you run the first one (and race the second), even though you are taking it easy it is STILL 26.2 miles, which can take quite  a lot out of the body.

By racing the first one you then have the option to run the second one based on how you feel, which could also mean making the smart decision NOT to do it if for example you feel you are just not recovered enough to risk it.

For the full answer get your elbows out and battle your way to 45:55 

“Today do what others won’t, so tomorrow…… you can do what others CAN'T!"

Episode 107 - “Sweat scents, human limits, & stolen eggs”

On today’s episode, Jake is proud of his achievements for the morning (largely consisting of sending a few motivational voice messages and doing a training kit wash) while Pete   the producer is very proud of the fact that he is one of the last remaining handkerchief users!?

On a more serious note (yes we can be serious) today’s guest is Dr Andy Jones - Professor of Applied Physiology at the University of Exeter. 

Andy has worked with numerous elite athletes over the years, including Paula Radcliffe, and more recently, Elide Kipchoge during his first attempt at breaking the 2 hour barrier for the marathon in Nike’s Breaking 2 project.

Aside from helping the world’s best to be…. well... better, Andy has running aspirations of his own. As a former middle distance runner he is now targeting the magical (and rather more human) sub 3 hour marathon in Brighton in April.

Here are some of the key takeaways from our chat with Andy:

👉🏽 We often focus on avoiding being under prepared for a race, but avoiding being OVER prepared is equally as important.
👉🏽 It isn’t about training as hard as you can, it is about training as much as is required to achieve your goal.
👉🏽 Often it pays to back a few percent in training so that you can increase your chance of training consistently, rather than a few good weeks and then a setback or injury.
👉🏽 Losing weight (safely, and to a safe level) well help marathon performance.
👉🏽 If you are using more carbohydrate and less fat when you are running a marathon, the oxygen cost is less, which means you are more economical.
👉🏽 We cannot store enough carbohydrates (or glycogen) in our muscles to take us to 26.2 miles. It is important to consume carbohydrates during the race.
👉🏽 Working with the elite East Africans, Andy and the team identified that race nutrition was the area that needed imprint the most.
👉🏽 Don’t wait until race day to practice taking fuel and hydration on board. You must practice in training.
👉🏽 Being able to improve your body’s ability to utilise fat as a fuel source (as well as carbohydrates) becomes more important for the 5/6 hour marathoner.
👉🏽 If Paula Radcliffe was feeling tired prior to a particular session she would just go and do 10 minutes, and then make a decision based on how she felt.
👉🏽 The psychology of marathon racing is so important, and mustn’t be overlooked. Focusing for 3/4/5+ hours is incredibly challenging.
👉🏽 Eliud Kipchoge believes that the long run is the single most important session for a marathon. There is no session more specific for a marathon than then long run.
👉🏽 Andy considers ‘junk miles’ as the runs that are done at a super slow speed which cause minimal adaptation to our physiology.
👉🏽 Paula Radcliffe believes that if you are so tired that you need to do a recovery run, you are better off resting.
👉🏽 Monitors, such as pace and heart rate, should be used as a tool and not a master.
👉🏽 Sometimes, during a race, you need to throw caution to the wind and go for it!
👉🏽 Carbon shoes improve running economy and performance. Some models with high levels of cushioning may also help you to be more consistent in your training, and recover quicker from tough sessions.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Susan, who lives in a flat area and she wants to know how she can replicate hill training and get similar benefits.  In the main, hill training is good to improve running form, overall strength, and they can be used as a form of interval training.

These benefits can be gained from running drills (improve technique), weight training (improve strength), and interval training can simply be done on the flat.

For the full answer chicken dance your way to 49:20 

"One day you may not be able to run…… today is NOT THAT DAY!"

Episode 106

Episode 106 - "Fresh starts, killer questions, & mopping-up”

On today’s episode we’re all about 'out with the old and in with the new!' (or as Pete the Producer puts it, mopping up the bits and bobs from 2021!) We answer some of your running related questions in a show FULL TO THE BRIM with #AskJake

James - “I always struggle to get going in the New Year. How do I motivate myself over these next few months?”

✔️ Set mini goals. Not necessarily CRAZY goals (like bungee jumping over the Grand Canyon) but something that challenges you without overwhelming you.
✔️ Consider how challenging you want the goal to be - there is not right or wrong in this.

Steve - ”I’m motivated to train but I actually struggle with taking rest days. Is it ok to swim on a rest day?”

✔️ The aim of a rest day is to recover, ready for upcoming sessions.
✔️ If you have a reasonable level of fitness, incorporating an easy activity (such as bike or swim) could work.
✔️ Gently increasing your heart rate can help to recover tired muscles by increasing blood flow eg nutrient supply.
✔️ Test what works for you, safely eg try an easy short bike session the day before an important running session and monitor/record how you feel.
✔️ Incorporating additional activities to supplement your running can also help to boost your overall aerobic system.

Michael - "I’m coming back from a calf strain I picked up in November but I’m worried I won’t be ready for the Paris marathon in April. Help!”

✔️ First off, ignore Paris! Don’t waste time panicking about something you cannot control. Focus on what you can control. 
✔️ If you have an ambition target for the race, does that need reassessing? Or maybe aiming at finishing the race rather than setting a target time.
✔️ Remember that training is never wasted. Even if it ends up that you aren’t able to complete the marathon, the fitness gained from the sessions you have done will be banked.
✔️ When coming back form an injury remember that you are training to be able to train…… not training for fitness.
✔️ Listen to the body )or calf). It will tell you if it isn’t happy.
✔️ Begin with a run/walk programme.

Gemma - “I have my first marathon in April. How many gels should I take during the race?

✔️ First off, test in training. Don’t wait until the race!
✔️ Maybe start with a gel every 40 or 45mins during a long run.
✔️ Find a brand and a flavour/consistency that works for you.
✔️ Regarding flavour, mix them up. This can help on race day because a variety in flavour may help you come race day.
✔️ If you want to really push for a time in the marathon, practice consuming gels while you are running in training (rather than stopping to consume)
✔️ In the race (and training) don’t try to force the gel down your throat in seconds. Run with it and consume it bit by bit.
✔️ Don’t put too much emphasis on ‘enjoying’ your race fuel. View it purely as fuel.

Lisa - “I am doing my 5th marathon, and my first in Brighton, in April. I have never done a warm-up before a marathon and I am wondering whether I should try it??”

✔️ Test warming up before one of your key long runs and monitor/record how it felt and if it improved your long run.
✔️ Factor in how you are getting to the race start. If it is a good walk to the race start then a specific warm up may be less important.
✔️ Make sure that the warm up doesn’t cause any unnecessary fatigue for the race.
✔️ Generally speaking, the longer the race the shorter the warm up needs to be, and also the less important it is.
✔️ Perhaps test a very easy 5min jog, followed by a few easy stretches, and then another 5min easy running.

Bethany - “I absolutely hate running in the dark. Do you have any tips for staying safe?”

✔️ Maximise daylight running where possible eg could you capitalise on the daylight by running Saturday and Sunday?
✔️ Consider treadmill running.
✔️ Sacrifice variety (and potentially enjoyment) for safety. Meaning if there is a safe well-lit one mile loop near you then you could run that a number of times. Not exciting but safe.
✔️ Consider an LED vest, which is primarily designed to help you BE SEEN.
✔️ Look at getting a good quality (and comfortable) head torch, which is designed to help YOU SEE.
✔️ Always check after your head torch run if the battery needs charging, so that you aren’t caught out with a flat battery.

“The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book….. waiting to be written!"

Tony Payne

Episode 105 - “Fast finishes, marathon missions, and tangy tootsies"

Today’s guest is sub 2:20 marathon runner Tony Payne.  You'll hear about his highs, and how he learns from his lows.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Lauren who wants to know if it’s a good idea to finish fast at the end of a long run.

Jake says that fast finishes (as they are commonly known) in training sessions are helpful to teach your body and mind to find an extra gear when you are tired at the end of races.

However you do need to proceed with caution as the harder you push (particularly at the end of a long run) the more stress the body is under, and the last thing you want is to end up with an injury because of this.

Just make sure that you are A) in good shape and there are no niggles that you are currently nursing, and B) you pick the pace or effort up gradually and build on this over time.

For the full answer slip and slide through the cow shit to 33:20 (just don’t forget your lemon)

“Comparison is the thief of JOY!”

Episode 104 - “Running, talking, and breaking news"

Today’s guest is Jess Robson - writer, speaker, and founder of Run Talk Run

Run Talk Run’s mission is to increase accessibility to mental health support through running and walking (Walk Talk Walk) peer support groups.

RTR and WTW (as they are commonly known) provide opportunities each week to meet new people, talk about your mental health, and engage in non-competitive physical activities - a safe space for your mind and your body.

 #AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Jeff who does quite  a lot of treadmill running. He’s heard that it’s a good idea to set the gradient to 1% and he wants to know why this is?

Jake says that treadmill running is often deemed as slightly easier than outdoor running, basically due to the fact that you don’t have the wind resistance when running indoors.

While setting the gradient to 1% may be a good idea, it is more important to keep things constant. Meaning if you do the occasional treadmill run, and you are someone that likes to compare runs, make sure the treadmill is always at the same gradient.  

For the full answer squeeze your ass down the chimney to 47:08 

“Your actions are merely a product of…. WHAT…. YOU…. BELIEVE!”

There's a bear sized duck right there!

Episode 103 - “Big ducks, long jumps, & tiny bears"

Today’s guest is Barney Corrall, who after suffering a stroke when he was a baby he was diagnosed with right-sided hemiplegia (a condition that affects movement on one side of his body) and cerebral palsy.

Barney defied medical odds and won a gold medal at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland in 2019. Earlier this year, he represented Great Britain in the men’s long jump senior team in the European Championships in Poland, and he has ambitions of wining gold at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.

 #AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Josephine who has ran a few half marathons and is now looking to take on the challenge of a marathon. The distance scares her and she wants to know how she can overcome this?

Jake says that it is perfectly understandable that doubling the distance (of a half marathon) can seem scary, but it is important to bridge the gap incrementally. For example, rather than thinking about 26,2 miles perhaps target a 15 to 18 mile event.

Also, remember that you don’t jump form 13.1 miles (half marathon) to 26.2 overnight. Build up slowly. You don’t need to be in marathon shape now. You need to be in marathon shape…. on the day of your marathon!

For the full answer waddle like a bear-sized duck to 36:25 

“The dream is free, but the hustle…… now that’s sold separately!”

Lindsy James

Episode 102 - “Chocolate medals, world champs & naked bottoms"

On today’s show, we catch up with Lindsy James from Active Fusion. Last time we spoke with Lindsy (episode 12) she was a full-on marathon runner (as well as the director of  company, a wife, and a Mum to little Archie). Fast forward 18 months and Lindsy can now call herself World Age Group Duathlon Champion!! Just don’t ask her about the medal….

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Tracy, who wants to know whether she should use a foam roller before or after her runs.

Jake says that you can use it both before and afterwards, but there are some things to consider. The idea behind foam rolling (contrary to popular belief) is to help reduce the friction (or stickiness) between the muscles and connective tissue. This effectively helps the tissue to glide more easily and promotes better movement.

If rolling before a run keep it short - 15 to 20 repetitions (or rolls!) on each of the major muscle groups.

After a run (not necessarily directly after) it is perhaps better to roll for duration. For example you could set a timer for 2 minutes and change muscle group when it bleeps.

For the full answer get on your aeroframed bike to 40:55 

“It’s the struggle that makes you stronger…… unless of course you’re waiting for a REALLY long time for your watch to pick up the satellites!”

Matt Bergin

Episode 100 - “Live shows, physio friends, & continuity confusion"

On today’s ‘non-live’ show we announce that we are celebrating the 100th episode by doing a LIVE plodcast on Podbean at 12:30pm today! We’ll be talking running, random stuff, AND we’ll even be answering your questions live during the show! To join us click here

Of course, if you are reading this after December 1st 2021 you have missed the show. BUT the good news is you can listen back to the show on Podbean! Unless of course it was pants. In which case we will have deleted it.

Today’s guest is Matt Bergin - Irish athlete, sports Physiotherapist, and co-founder of the Performance Team.

Jake chats with Matt about his recent return to competitive running, as well as injury management strategies. Here are some key takeaways:

👟 The theory behind compression clothing is that it helps to promote blood flow and reduce muscle vibrations.
👟 If you feel like things such as foam rolling, stretching, wearing compression clothing help you, then go for it! As long as there is no obvious risk.
👟 Foam rolling doesn’t actually lengthen the muscle. The idea behind it is to reduce friction between the layers of tissue surrounding the muscles.
👟 Running drills are actually skill based, and therefore it is important to practice them to execute them accurately.
👟 Changing how you run takes a long long time, and it may not actually be necessary to avoid injury.
👟 You cannot get rid of forces travelling through the body when you run; you just change where they go.
👟 Heel striking puts more stress on the knee and the quad, and mid foot striking puts more stress on the calves and achilles.
👟 If you are planning your return from injury consider the severity of the injury, how long you have had out, how the injury feels during your runs and how it feels afterwards.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Naomi, who has just come back from a running-free week in Portugal and she wants to know how long it takes to lose fitness?

Jake says it no doubt takes longer to lose fitness than most people think. Yes you may lose a teeny bit of conditioning (or sharpness) and your first run back you may feel a bit lethargic, but that will soon disappear.

The detraining principle (as it is often referred to) does state that you will lose fitness over time if you stop training, but this doesn’t happen overnight. It is also worth reminding yourself, that it is much easier to return to fitness, than it is to find it in the first place.

For the full answer Karaoke drill your way to 42:49 

“Now repeat after me… I am, I can, and I WILL!”

In the cupboard, under the shelf!

Episode 099 - “Smoking sounds, exercise science, & kung fu dogs"

We've unfortunately had a little fire at Running with Jake HQ, which means much of Jake's audio equipment has gone up in flames!  Today's show has been expertly recorded on a smartphone, and lacking some of the sound quality we've become used to! Thankfully we're able to dig deep and buy new equipment because of kind donations from the wonderful people who have signed up to our Patreon

To add to the "challenges", Jake has some house guests - Marty's Italian parents are round, so he's staying away from all the noisy talking by recording the show in the depths of his cupboard (Hence this week's cover photo). 

On today’s show we dive deep into the world of  physiology with exercise scientist, Callum Thomas.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Jonathan who wants to know if he should continue strength training up until the day of his marathon?

Jake suggests dropping any strength training in the final couple of weeks because you will get minimal (if any) benefit this close to the race. Plus it is better to avoid the risk of making you muscles sore which could impact your race. You want to be as fresh, and as rested, as possible.

Remember that the body also needs a break from all types of training periodically, irrespective of an upcoming race.

For the full answer roundhouse kick your way to 57:44 

“Today happens only ONCE… unless of course the groundhog casts a shadow”

Episode 98 cover

Episode 098 - “Kinky dogs, dirty texts, & strong runners"

Today’s guest is Alex Rainforth - an MSc Sports Therapist and Personal Trainer from Nottinghamshire. Alex has worked with Nottingham Forest, Notts County FC, GB kayaking squad, and UK Athletics, to name a few.

Jake asks Alex about his experience in the Robin Hood half marathon. He was targeting sub 90mins, but due to an injured back and a heavy cold he was forced to miss a bulk of training sessions, which resulted in him just missing out on his target.

🔵 Avoid ‘attacking hills’ in races. Keep some energy in reserve so that when you reach the top you can let the brakes off and freewheel down the hill.
🔵 If you are late to strength training, the benefit to that you potentially have less wear and tear on the body.
🔵 When starting out strength training, aim to leave the first few sessions feeling like you could have done more.
🔵 Muscle soreness doesn’t always come from the weight you are lifting. It can come from a new movement pattern that your body isn’t accustom to.
🔵 Sore muscles after a workout (or DOMS - delayed onset of muscle soreness) isn’t the only measure of whether or not it was a good session.
🔵 Functional training refers to exercises (and movements) that closely match the movement patterns of your everyday life and chosen activities eg running.
🔵 Lifting heavy weights doesn’t mean you will add unnecessary bulk. You have to eat to put on weight!
🔵 To build strength aim to keep the rep range around 8-12.
🔵 Avoid the temptation to cut back on rest time between sets and exercises to get a cardiovascular hit. Save the cardio work for your running!
🔵 Although stretching has never actually been proven to help (shock!!), if you feel good doing it, go for it!
🔵 Focus on dynamic stretches before a run or a race, and static stretches for afterwards.

Alex currently runs clinics for Central Therapy, providing sports injury treatment and rehabilitation, soft tissue therapy, and running strength assessment & training.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Jess who is fairly new to running. She’s heard about being 'in the zone’ and she wants to know how she can achieve this magical state.

Jake says patience is key as a new runner, when trying to get into the zone. As you build up your ability and fitness you will find it easier to dial-in to that almost ‘effortless’ state, because when you first start running everything feels like an effort!

For the full answer freewheel down the hill to 41:55 

“If it was supposed to be easy…. then EVERYONE would do it!”

Winter training tips

Episode 097 - “Choccy frothers, winter tips, & runners' guilt"

On today’s show, Jake shares a bunch of winter training tips to help keep you motivated, and safe, through the cold months ahead:

Motivation
💪🏽 Run in the morning if it is logistically possible, and safe to do so. Do the thing first in the day that you don’t HAVE to do. Less chance of things getting in the way eg rush hour traffic or work meetings that overrun. 
💪🏽 Keep the day/energy flowing eg run from work and back to work, rather than the commute home reducing your motivation.
💪🏽 Run with others. Get clever with scheduling - an easy run for you could be a more challenging session for a friend who isn’t as fit as you. You both benefit from the run, but in different ways.
💪🏽 Plan your long ruin for Saturday. That way it gives you flexibility to move it to Sunday if conditions aren’t inspiring.
💪🏽 Focus on planning interesting (and safe) routes for your bread and butter 40-60min easy runs.
💪🏽 Substitute a run for another form of training to keep things interesting.
💪🏽 Remind yourself WHY you are running! This is an ongoing process

Importance of warming-up
🙆🏽‍♂️ Warming-up reduces the risk of injury and can increase performance in the sessions or race.
🙆🏽‍♂️ Most warm-ups are made of two parts - mobilisation and a pulse raiser.
🙆🏽‍♂️ Mobilisation helps to ‘lubricate the joints’ allowing them to move with less restriction*
🙆🏽‍♂️ Run pulse raiser separately eg run 5mins out, turn around and run 5mins back home. Then you can ditch the extra clothes you wore to keep you warm.
🙆🏽‍♂️ Don’t rush it! The slower and longer the warm-up, the better you will feel during the main session.

Running in ice/snow
❄️ Watch corner speed on ice
❄️ Get off-road
❄️ Run on feel if windy
❄️ Cross-train instead, and replicate running session. Heart rate is typically 5-8 bpm lower on an indoor bike than with running. Heart rate on an elliptical trainer may be similar to that of running.
❄️ Sacrifice preference for safety eg you may not LOVE an indoor bike session, but there may be occasions where it is wise to do what is possible, and safe.
❄️  Sessions/activities that you don’t particularly enjoy will strengthen your mental toughness and resilience. This will help you in future races, for when the going gets tough.

Running in the dark
🌙 Use a light/comfortable head torch and/or LED vest. Remember headtorches are primarily used to see and LED vests are to be seen.
🌙 Always check to see if headtorch and LED vest (and GPS watch for that matter) needs charging after each run, so that you don’t get caught out with a flat battery!
🌙 Invest in a panic alarm.
🌙 Treadmill/cross-train instead.
🌙 Run on a floodlit athletics track. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to run on a track!
🌙 Avoid using headphones, and save them for your daytime runs.
🌙 Don’t be a creature of habit - change routes, and days and times that you run if possible.
🌙 Take, but hide, phone. Don’t defend targeted items
🌙 Capitalise on daytime running opportunities. Can you maximise running at the weekend? Or a midweek lunchtime run?? Always adjust sessions accordingly so that you don’t run too many hard sessions on consecutive days.
🌙 Run with confidence to lessen the chance of appearing vulnerable - head tall, shoulders back etc.
🌙 Set up a safety beacon on your watch or running app so that other people can track where you are.
______________
*for a great little mobilisation routine that you can add to your warm-up, check out the links below:
Warm-up routine
Warm-up recap
______________

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Duncan who wants to know how he can avoid feeling guilty if he misses a run. 

Jake initially comes at this from a slightly different angle by posing the question “Is feeling guilty such a bad thing…?”

Feelings of guilt may actually help you to avoid missing runs in the future as you don’t want to replicate the same feelings. In some ways it can actually act as a motivation tool.

It is also worth asking yourself “What is the cost of missing this run?” Was it a key run - an important run that could negatively impact your training? Or is it just a regular easy run that will have little impact on your overall training?

It always helps to look at the big picture.

For the full answer execute the perfect double pirouette to 41:45 

“Celebrate finish lines….. NOT finish times!”

"...and then a fat man fell on her head!"

Episode 096 - “Bad mics, tough years & aqua park pile-ups"

On today’s show, Jake is still staying patient with his calf strain. Despite itching to get back out there to test the calf and bank a few crisp autumnal miles, he has set himself a timeframe in which he will not even attempt to run, no matter how ‘good’ the calf feels. Setting a timeframe has two main benefits:

1 - It reduces the risk of returning too soon, re-aggravating the injury. Which in turn could set back the recovery time.

2 - It reduces feelings of anxiety. Rather than waking up thinking “Hmm it feels ok today, maybe I could try and run..?” it enables you to stay patent, as the plan is not to even try to run until a specific date. This helps to get running out of the mind, at least for the time being.

Although Jake’s being super smart with managing his injury, one thing that appears to have escaped him is his ability to remember to plug in his professional podcast microphone when recording guests!? Permission to apologise once again for the relatively poor audio quality as Jake was using his computer’s internal microphone.

Today’s ‘professional sounding guest’ is Karla Borland - a super motivated runner, head of an anaesthesia department at a veterinary hospital, wife to an Olympic rower (not a swimmer!), AND no stranger to the challenges that life can throw at you….

This year Karla has broken her femur, suffered severe gastritis, and now suffers from vertigo after an overweight man fell on her at an aqua park?! (we still believe it was Pete)

Despite Karla’s PANTS year, she still remains as positive as possible. She tries to control the things that she CAN control. She can still run (albeit not at the intensity or volume she usually does). Karla is focusing on strength and conditioning work, to ensure when she does return to running she stays back!

Recovery is not linear. Sometimes we can make progress, only for that to be halted by another little setback. One day things can feel like that are moving forward, and the next it can feel like recovery is going backwards. It’s important to be aware of this to avoid getting too frustrated.  

Karla also devotes a lot of her time to interviewing other runners and athletes for her blog, as well as documenting her own training. To check out the blog head to whatkarladid.com 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Alistair who is on the comeback trail from an ankle sprain. He wants to know how to build his confidence to get back to his passion - running off-road!

Jake suggests that balance and stability work is key. Due to the natural undulations and instability of running off-road it is important to develop your ability in that department. Even balancing on one leg of an evening - perhaps when brushing your teeth - can help.

Although balance work is certainly not the most exciting exercise, setting a daily alarm on the phone can really help you to create the habit.

For the full answer slip sideways down the water chute to 33:20 

“Let your faith in yourself be bigger than your FEAR!”

Data, data, DATA!

Episode 095 - “Crunching numbers, icing calves, & funding felines!"

On today’s show, Jake is on the injury bench after straining his calf and he's seriously considering a show rename to something more fitting - "Icing with Jake for 10 minutes every hour - the plodcast”

Although clearly a bit of a grumpy bear, he is taking his own advice to overcome injury by looking back over training history for similar injuries to help understand timescales for recovery. 

We talk all things data with running coach Josh Schofield from PGC1 Coaching

Some takeaways from our data fuelled chat:

📈 VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that you can utilise i.e. aerobic power.
📈 RPE (rate of perceived exertion) is one of the most beneficial ways of monitoring intensity.
📈 Breathing rhythm is the number of steps you take as you inhale and then exhale eg 3:3 (3 steps as you breath in, 3 steps as you breathe out)
📈 Monitoring RPE of easy runs can help to avoid overtraining. 3-5 (out of 10) is typically classed as easy. 
📈 An old school rule of thumb for predicting marathon time is ‘your half marathon time x 2 + 10 minutes’.
📈 Look for trends in data over a period of time, rather than capturing and focusing on a single piece of data.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s questions comes from David, who is preparing for his first marathon. He wants to know, if he is struggling in a long run is it better to quit or to push through and get it done?

Jake says it depends on what is meant by ’struggling’? If it is an injury (or even a niggle) then it is important to listen to the body and stop. If however it is down to energy levels, taking on board some nutrition and staying hydrated could help. Or perhaps it is just a case of needing to slow down a little bit, as pacing can be tricky to get right. Remember, for the majority of long runs the aim is to feel tired at the end due to the duration you are running for, not the pace you are running at.

Also, it is worth being aware if this feeling is a one-off or a regular occurrence? If it is a one-off there is no need for concern. If however it is a common occurrence for you then it could be a sign of overtraining, in which case backing off the training a little may be the answer - For the full answer limp along with your calf strain to 51:50

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.…. a bit like icing your calf.”

Jake Smith

Episode 094 - “Buyer's remorse, marathon mavericks, & bagel debates"

On today’s show, Jake attempts to coax Pete the producer into signing up for the Manchester Marathon Relay next April…… even if it is his birthday the day before?!

Today’s guest is, ‘marathon maverick’ and athlete Jake Smith. 

In the Cheshire Elite Marathon earlier this year, Jake got a name for himself by winning the event in a staggering 2hrs 11mins…….. and he was only supposed to be PACING!!

With a very impressive résumé in his own running (5K 13:38, 10K 28:50, HM 60:31) Jake’s ‘maverick run’ has caught the attention of other world class athletes. Most recently that of Bashir Abdi - Olympic marathon bronze medalist in Tokyo 2020. 

Bashir gave Jake a little tinkle when he was in Morrisons (Jake not Bashir*) to ask if he’d pace him in the Rotterdam marathon as he was going for the European record. No pressure there then!

Jake is not only passionate about his own goals, he is also passionate about inspiring others to lace-up and take to the streets. He is also incredibly open with his own training. To follow Jake’s eye-watering training sessions you can check out his Strava here

*at the time of writing, Bashir Abdi’s supermarket of choice remains unknown.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s questions comes from Sarah, who wants to know how to avoid feeling rubbish after a run.

Jake says that if you are pushing yourself too much in your runs, there is a greater chance of feeling a bit pants afterwards. So be mindful of how much you are asking of yourself in sessions.

If however you are running at the right effort in the majority of your sessions, it could well be a sign of overtraining. Overtraining can leave you feeling lethargic after sessions, and potential a bit irritable. If this is the case then just give yourself a little bit of time-out to allow the body and mind to recover.

It may also be worth considering the quality of your post run refuelling, and make sure that you are giving yourself some nutrition and hydration after your runs.

For the full answer bounce along in your giant badger costume to 43:15

“You can NEVER cross the ocean…. until you lose sight of the shore!”

Robbie Britton

Episode 093 - “Cramp monsters, crackin’ reads, & clipless crashes"

On today’s show, Jake is back from an EPIC weekend at the Manchester Marathon! With a goal pace of 7:00 - 7:10min/mi Jake averaged 7:05 up to mile 24…….. when CRAMP kicked in!

After being rubbed down by the event crew he walked, plodded, jogged, and crawled to the finish line with a final average pace of 7:21min/mi. It just goes to show that NOTHING can be taken for granted over 26 miles!

It is always important to reflect on your races, so that you can use that information to move your running forward. In Jake’s case, as he averaged 7:05 for 24 miles he has a very good idea of where his fitness is right now, which will help him, to train with a little more accuracy.

Being aware of all factors and reasons why a race may, or may not, have gone your way is so valuable - weather conditions, fuelling, mental strength, pacing…. some will be in your control and some won’t, but in either case it is important to reflect and assess.

Today’s guest is, Robbie Britton - ultra marathon runner, coach, and author of 1001 Running Tips (for toilet or non-toilet reading as preferred)

Some key takeaways from our chat with Robbie:

👟 Get creative with your environment to provide you with the right routes and terrain for the different types of sessions that you run.
👟 Sometimes it is actually really beneficial to find some great/enjoyable routes for those staple 30-60min easy runs.
👟 Self-improvement isn’t just about training, it also involves good rest. Rest enables you to recover from hard training and realise your full potential.
👟 Work/life balance can shift across the months and years. It doesn’t always have to be the same. Priorities change. Plan your training and races based on this.

You can pre-order Robbie’s brand new book - 1001 Running Tips - RIGHT HERE!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. For today’s question Jake taps Robbie up for some thoughts and advice!

The question comes from Sian who has recently found her running mojo again. She is going to start training for a marathon in five weeks time and she wants to know what sort of training she should be doing now.

Robbie and Jake say if you have lost your mojo and you’re on the way back up, now is the time to do the things that you enjoy. Maybe some shorter, faster sessions that rather than runs that are too long, or running with friends. Basically something that you find enjoyable rather than a chore.

Also, casting an eye on the first week of the training plan to havens idea of where you need to be will help you to plan your training and 'bridge the gap’ before the main marathon build-up begins.

For the full answer take a cramp-free pootle to 42:45

“Run the first two thirds of a race with your head….. and the last third with your heart!”

Episode 092 - “Post marathon legs, dodging disease & bargain bric-a-brac!"

Today’s guest is, James Thie - Lecturer and Director of Athletics at Cardiff Met University, and head coach of a Cardiff based track, road, and cross-country group.

Some key takeaways from our chat with James:

👟 Accept that you will get slower over time. The only person you are competing against is yourself. 
  
👟 Be curious to discover which distances suit you (and which you enjoy), and be curious to discover what you are capable of, 

👟 "You are a long time retired. While I still can I will”.

👟 Training on different surfaces, and including cross-training can help to reduce the risk of injury.

👟 Disappointment when you cross the finish line can be a good thing. You can use it to fuel your next race!

👟 Active recovery, such as a swim or spinning the legs on the bike, can really help in the week following a marathon.

👟 If the marathon was your main target, you should have ‘emptied the well’ in the race.

#AskJake:  Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Gareth who wants to know if pounding the pavements is really bad for your joints (as some non-running people often say!)

Jake says that the impact of running is not actually a bad thing. It’s all about how your body uses and distributes that force.

In general, the better your running technique, the better you are able to deal with the forces. In fact, the more efficient your movement the more you are able to use force as your friend (rather than your foe) which can actually help to propel you forward. 

However, varying the terrain you run on - such as grass, canal path, or running track - can help to reduce the impact a little (while you  work on your running technique!)

For the full answer struggle down the stairs on your post-marathon legs to 38:15

“The difference between where you are and where you want to be…… IS WHAT YOU DO!”

Marathon Special!

Episode 091 - “Strimming, box sex, and marathon madness!"

Today’s guest is, our friend and yours, Jo Wilkinson - ex GB athlete turned running coach.

Jake and Jo discuss those last few nerve-racking days in the least up to a marathon. Some key takeaways:

👟 Spend your extra time doing something else that relaxes you… like watch Netflix box sets (or box sex?!)

👟 Avoid filling your extra time with physical activities that you aren’t used to.

👟 Don’t waste valuable energy on changing your mind on pacing, fuelling strategies etc. Decide and then forget it!

👟 The more you want to put in a great marathon performance, the more serious you should take it.

👟 The only way to understand what’s involved in marathon running, is to chalk up marathon experience. It takes time to learn the event.

👟 Some say the real race in a marathon begins at 20 miles.

👟 Remind yourself of the difficult/challenging moments in training. It’s those experiences that will help you overcome challenging moments in the race.

👟 The marathon is an emotional rollercoaster - one moment you can be feeling rubbish, and the next moment you can be feeling great.

👟 Prepare your mantra - a powerful word or phrase that you can repeat to yourself in the race, to keep you going when things get challenging.

👟 If you are chasing a time (or the performance goal) everything you do should be geared towards ‘optimising your performance’.

👟 Don’t be tempted to spend too long walking around the Expo the day before a marathon. Rest as much as possible.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Catherine, who is currently running three times per week but she wants to increase to four. What is the best way to do that?
Jake says it’s important to increase running frequency very gradually, to help avoid injury. A good way to move from three to four runs could be to include a fourth run every other week initially, rather than every week.  Also, keeping the extra run easy (until the body has adapted) will also help to reduce intensity.   For the full answer cartwheel past Big Ben to 44:38

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t….. you’re right!”

Episode 090 - Race day mindset, strength training & spare allen keys!

Today’s guest is Brodie Sharpe - Physiotherapist and HOST of the Run Smarter Podcast Series. Brodie is passionate about helping runners gain clarity and control over their running, so they spend more time running and less time injured!

Jake and Brodie chat all things race day mindset. Some key takeaways:

👟 Revisit your race goal (or goals). Is it as important to you as it first was? Perhaps it is more important? Does it need refining? 

👟 Think about process goals rather than just outcome goals. Process goals act as stepping stones, that can help you achieve your main goal (outcome). Process goals also help to keep you motivated through training.

👟 Runners that are successful know how to negotiate (mentally) the tough moments in races. 

👟 Consider cognitive load. So much energy can be spent planning, thinking, and worrying. 

👟 Recognise your WHY, and if necessary, dig deep to really get to the root of what drives you.

👟 Accept that some things are out of your control, and focus on the things you can control.

👟 In a race, when the going gets tough in a race, remember those difficult moments in training. Remember that you have been there before.

👟 Mentally rehearsing (visualisation technique) how the race will unfold can help to put you in a positive mindset.

Because Brodie loves the so show much (ok our words) he said our plodcast listeners can download BOTH volumes of How to strive for an injury-free PB E-book for free!  Just [Click here]

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Jas who wants to start doing some strength training, ands he wants to know when is the best time to include it in his schedule?

Jake says it’s important to find what works for you as people experience DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) to different degrees, and you want the strength training to compliment your running rather than hinder.

Typically don’t schedule strength work ahead of an important running session, such as an interval session or hill repeats.

It is also advisable to increase the frequency and intensity of strength work gradually to allow the body to adapt.

For the full answer align your Ikea castors and swivel on to 51:25

“You don’t need to improve 100% in a single day…. if you try to improve 1% EVERY DAY!”

Jess Turner

Episode 089 - “Flatpack fury, Tokyo trauma, and pointless body parts"

On this episode, Jake is STILL under the duvet in an effort to reduce the echo from the ridiculously high ceilings.

Today’s guest is Jess Turner - 400m hurdler who, through sheer grit and determination, represented Great Britain at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

After being in the best shape of her life Jess was devastated to suffer a setback in training which meant Tokyo was very much touch and go due to an achilles injury. Or more specifically, the plantaris… with interestingly you don’t actually need!?

Even after arriving at the race village in Tokyo Jess was still not recovered well enough to be able to train. Spending more time on the Physio bench than the track, all the time while looking on as her competitors continued to fine-tune their form.

Jess spent most of her time ‘mentally rehearsing’, which literally involved just going through the hurdle technique in her mind over and over again.

Making it to the semifinals, and running in the worst weather conditions she had ever experienced, her biggest fear to came to light as the injury struck. Jess dropped off the pace and was left crossing the line alone, and in pain.

Turning a seemingly negative situation into a positive (something we love on the plodcast!) the experience has made Jess even MORE determined to succeed in Paris (2024 Olympics).

If you missed it, you can catch up on the first chat we had with Jess [HERE]

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Dawn, who wants to know how she can improve her cadence.

Cadence is a measure of how many steps you take, with each foot, per minute. Jake makes two suggestions:

1 - Downhill running. Find a gentle slope and allow yourself to ’take the brakes off’ and run quickly to the bottom.
2 - Include some strides. Strides are short bursts (circa 20 seconds) of fast running, and one of the benefits of strides it that they can help your leg turnover a.k.a. cadence!

For the full answer "nip off your nipples” and blast to 39:10

“Strength does not come from physical capacity….. it comes from an indomitable WILL!”

What tog is that?

Episode 088 - “Duvet dens, race risks, and toilet tech"

On this episode, Jake and Pete are back from taking a mini plodcast vacation. Which basically means there wasn’t a show last week…. but as Jake would advice the runners that he coaches, it is very important to apply a little self-care here there. With his recent relocation to Winchester, and with the usual chaos that comes with moving house, Pete made the Producer made the ‘executive decision’ to put the show on hold for a week.

Today’s guest is Andy Dobinson. After overcoming a cryptogenic stroke back in 2017 Andy has just completed the Hardmoors 55 - a gruelling 55 mile event that sees competitors tackle 2000 metres of ascent!

Not afraid to open up and share his internal battles, Andy talks about how he came so so close to a DNF (Did not finish!). For a huuuuge chunk of the race he had to silence the chatter in his head, all the time while trying to make the smart decision to finish, rather than just the stubborn!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s question comes from Simon who wants to know why it is unadvisable to run more than 20 miles when training for a marathon.

Jake says it doesn’t necessarily mean that all runners shouldn’t run more than 20 miles in preparation for a marathon, but that is largely depends on the individual’s fitness level and experience.

The main reason being that it will take a less experienced runner (assuming they are slower) considerably longer to run, let’s say 23 miles, than it would a more experienced or faster runner. This could increase the risk of excessive fatigue and injury.

Remember, marathon training isn’t all about the long run. It’s the accumulative effect of all your sessions coming together on the day of your race. For the full answer set sail to 40:45


"You never know how strong you really are… until being strong is the ONLY choice you have”

Jake's friend, Rory

Episode 087 - "Pep talks, pull outs, and new best buds"

On this episode, Jake gives a little ‘final stretch' pep talk to those that are nearing the final stages of their race preparations.

Five or six weeks out from a race is a crucial period in the training as this is typically when the volume (and training intensity) is at its highest. Yet this is also the time when motivation can start to wane for many. This is often down to the fact that you have committed to soooooo much training, but you still aren’t quite at the finish line (or rather start line!).

Hang in there, stay focused, and if you do feel the wheels coming off a little bit, just remember to think back to your WHY: the reason WHY you set the goal in the first place.

We speak to running coach (and Jake’s 'new friend'Rory Horseman from Raced Coaching. Rory was targeting a personal best in this year’s Virgin London Marathon of 2:45, until injury struck!

Although clearly disappointed Rory has been coping well with the setback. His goal right now is to enjoy his running, rather than chasing times and smashing targets.

He tries to keep a flexible approach to his training, which is exactly the same advice he gives to the runners that he coaches eg some runners will hit 20 miles in training for a marathon, and some won’t. Some may even run further than 20, but it is all about finding what works for you.

Jake refers to legendary running coach Jack Daniels who suggests that 2.5 hours is the longest anyone needs to run when training for a marathon. While Jake agrees with the majority of Jack’s principals and training methods, he also thinks that some runs longer than 2.5hrs (and for some runners considerably longer!) may be needed for confidence and 'psychological conditioning’.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s questions comes from Nathan who wants to target a PB in a 10K, and he wants to know how long the long run should be.

Jake says that the long run obviously doesn’t need to be as long as it would need to be if training for a bigger distance, such as a marathon. However, doing some over-distance training (running further than the race distance) can really benefit your training. Circa 90minutes for experienced 10K runners is a good place to start.

Longer runs not only help your fitness (and confidence) but they also help you to build the resilience in the muscles and the tissues to tolerate other intense training sessions.

For the full answer take a Winchester wander to 34:55

“Always earned…. NEVER given”

Ed Harris

Episode 086 - "Squeaky cheese, smashing spines, and debut blogs"

On this episode, Jake is FINALLY back from his European adventures and although still missing the glorious Greek sunshine, filo-wrapped feta, and geckos, he is happy to be, once again, recording the show from the home studio.

Today’s guest is Ed Harris - an ultra runner who not only finished third in this year’s Montane Summer Spine but has also created his own unique FKT (fastest known time) challenge: The Gwynne-Harris Round.

Ed is currently taking some extended recovery from his epic achievement in the Summer Spine. He thought it may take around a month for him to return to ‘proper training’, but listening to his body, and applying logic, he has decided to take two months of downtime.

Ed believes that understanding your WHY (the reason behind your running) is fundamental when it comes to setting goals.

Sometimes training will be hard, sometimes you will have low motivation, but remember the golden quote…

“A race is an opportunity to showcase your training” - Ed Harris and Jake Lowe 2021

Okay so neither Ed nor Jake actually said that, but Ed’s mate did so it’s fine. Just remember it alright.

To find out more about Ed’s experience at the Summer Spine check out his blog here

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s questions comes from James, who wants to know what whether he should pause the watch during easy runs when waiting to cross the road.

Jake says it largely depends whether it is an easy run based on duration or an easy run based on distance? If it is a distanced based run then even if the watch it paused occasional during the session you will still cover the target distance.

If however you are aiming at running for time (50mins for example) then the time spent waiting to cross a road eats into your actually time spent running, in which case it might be a good idea to pause the watch.

For the full answer gallop like a gecko to 41:26”

“Focus on the goal…. NOT the obstacles!”

Episode 085 - Midway training tips, and pocket-sized bananas"

Jake's STILL away in Skiathos!  Whilst the show's been recorded MANY times on beaches over the years, today is a PLODCAST FIRST.... because it's brought to you directly from "Little Banana Nudist Beach" (Just down the coast from Big Banana Beach!)

Because Jake's flights home keep being cancelled, we've been unable to record a chat with a guest for today's show, but it's certainly not a lightweight episode, as Jake runs through his Top 10 Midway Training Tips.  Here's an outline:

1.  How important is it to you?
2.  Is it still realistic?
3.  Measure fitness
4.  Consider targets
5.  Consider what you have done
6.  Don’t panic!
7.  Consider training tweaks
8.  Practice nutrition
9.  Practice race pace
10.Give the race perspective!

"Focus on the possibilities of success... NOT on the potential of failure!"

Shareefa J

Episode 084 - "Sweaty hosts, a Miss World speech & MASSIVE feet!"

Jake's still on his international tour of the worlds noisiest beaches, and recording in a "Shady area"!

On this week's episode, we have a brilliant and very deep chat with the Shareefa J - She's a London based presenter and plus-size model who's training for the London Marathon in October.

During the chat, Jake & Shareefa talk about some amazing groups and organisations, here are the URLS:

Black Girls Hike
Swim Dem Crew
Run Talk Run
Calm

#AskJake: Paul wants to understand more about "working heart rates".  Jake explains that a working heart rate is your maximum heart rate minus your resting heart rate. (For the full answer, nip over to 55.10)

"Our lives are defined by opportunities... even the ones we miss!"

Mhairi Maclennan

Episode 083 - "Leaping Geckos, big time mates & Lucky lucky men!"

Jake's recording internationally again today - He's now moved from Italy to Greece.  On today's recording, he's almost killed by a "scary leaping Gecko"!

Whilst Jake's away on an extended "break", he's still working and continuing to train for The Manchester Marathon, you'll hear some tips on training whilst away, and managing expectations is a massive part of it.

We're also joined by our BIG TIME CELEB MATE,  Mhairi Maclennan again.  She updates us on how successful the #zerotoleranceuka was (You can hear more about it on her last appearance on Episode 62).  The campaign set Mhairi on a new path in life, and along with Kate Seary, she founded Kyniska Advocacy - See more about their awesome work here.

As well as hearing about the pioneering work she's doing with Kyniska, after some disappointing 5k results, Mhairi talks about how important a strong mindset is in running, and how many different factors need to be aligned to put in the best performance possible, even for elite runners.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  On this episode, it's all about picking the correct running shoes.  Jake's advice is a visit to a local running shop - They're really knowledgeable and many will do some testing on a treadmill, and point you in the right direction.  If you'd rather test yourself quickly, the wet foot test is useful.  Click here for help on reading your print.

"Keep the change ya filthy animal.  (What?  It's a quote!)"

Aldridge Running Club

Episode 82 - "Trains, choppers & Running clubs!"

Jake's recording from his "temporary studio" again this week.  (Note: It's NOT a studio at all, it's just a brolly on a beach in Italy!)  As well as dealing with the sound of Italian crickets, on this episode the fellas have to dodge a helicopter and a Milan-bound freight train!

Today's guest is Adam Smith, who's a passionate (and FAST) club runner.  He talks about how many of us experienced issues with motivation during the Covid lockdowns, when we weren't able to run in groups.  He's a devoted member of Aldridge Running Club and tells us about the brilliant ways the group kept themselves motivated and running during the trickiest of times.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Parmjit wants to know how to avoid needing the toilet when out on a long run.  Jake suggests hydrating on the morning of your run, then experimenting with timings, and noting it all in a journal.  For the full answer, whizz on over to 35.10.

"We rise, by lifting others.... so get dishing out that kudos!"

Rick Kelsey

Episode 081 - "Crickets, crutches & brown asses!"

Jake's away in Italy at the moment. On this episode, you'll hear about his experiences during the England v Italy Euro 2020 final! 🤣

Following on from Episode 79 with Anna, and Kate on Episode 77, we chat with ANOTHER of the presenters from The Running Channel (They're like buses, this lot!)  - Today it's Rick Kelsey's turn.

Whilst his previous target was to beat his PB's for the next 10 years consecutively, he's had to re-evaluate after after an old rugby injury reared it's ugly head!  His big target is now to be able to walk pain free again.  Rick's resilience and positively is an inspiration to others who are also on the comeback trail.  The content surrounding Rick's injury on the channel is brilliantly done.  To see his post-surgery video CLICK HERE.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Jake tackles a question from Graham that's close to his heart, about kicking your own ankle whilst running, especially towards the end of a long run when tired.  Jake suggests some glutes or single leg strengthening work (standing on one leg when brushing your teeth works well).

"Mama mia ....that's a spicy meatball!"

Jess Turner

Episode 080 - “Flying solo, Tokyo targets, and REALLY high clouds"

On this episode, Jake is forced to host the show on his own as Pete the Producer has ‘miscalculated’ his run and can’t make it back in time. Despite Jake suggesting Pete ‘pick up the pace a bit’.

Fortunately, today’s guest is so epic that you won’t even notice the absence of the show producer!.We speak to Jess Turner - British 400m hurdler AND soon-to-be Olympian!

Competing in her first Olympic Games Jess is clearly ecstatic about the whole thing. In fact cloud 9 doesn’t cut it….. no cloud below 100 is even worth mentioning!

Training, particularly through winter, has been a tough old slog. It often takes the first few races of the season for Jess to get into the swing of things, and extract the performance that she has built over the winter months.

With a strong network of support around her she is undeterred by this, knowing full well that the performance IS there. Timing, patience, confidence…. all play a role in competing at the highest level.

Jess believes that the mind is a powerful tool and that if there are things that are weighing you down ahead of an important race (such as an injury fear or concerns elsewhere in life) it is important to be able to ‘park’ those thoughts, and focus on the task at hand.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s questions comes from Juliette, who would like what heel drop means. Jakes explains that it refers to the difference in height between the front of the shoe (the toe box) and then back of the shoe (the heel). Shoes with a larger heel drop (typically 6 millimetres and above) are often recommended for less experienced runners, or runners who strike the ground with their heel. Shoes with a lower drop are recommended for more experienced runners, or those who land closer to the mid foot or forefoot.

“We cannot retract the decisions we’ve made…. we can only affect the decisions we’re going to make, from here.”

Anna Harding

Episode 079 - “Pete’s alarm call, painting by numbers & getting pumped"

On this episode, Jake overslept (which is a rarity) and woke up to a call from Pete who was ready to record the show! Jake hasn’t slept well these past few days and is wondering whether he is possible overtraining, which can negate the benefits and risk injury.

Are you in danger of overtraining? Some of the signs to look out for are poor sleep, loss of appetite, drop in motivation, feeling irritable (more than usual! 🤣), and a drop in performance in training and/or races.   If this is the case, then it is definitely worth taking an extra few days off to fully recover..…. just like Jake?!

Today’s guest is Anna Harding from The Running Channel. Back from a busy few days filming with team in the Scottish Mountains, Anna was happy to kick back, chill out, and talk all things running!

After a recent stint on the injury bench due to a calf tear, Anna is now well and truly on the comeback trail and has a lofty goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in her sights (sub 3hrs 30mins).  [CLICK HERE] for the latest Running Channel video about this, and don't forget to SUBSCRIBE (and hit the bell icon!)

Anna runs to challenge herself, look after her mental health, and she loves the adventure of preparing for ambitious goals.

She believes it is super important to understand WHY you want to achieve certain goals (a topic we often get into on the plodcast) and says “It has to be a goal that gets you PUMPED!”. 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Today’s questions comes from Bev, who would like to know if it’s okay to break up her run into two smaller runs on the same day? Jake says it is best not to make a habit of this as the idea behind a long run is to build endurance, so keeping it as a continuous run is the best idea. If however you are being creative with your training and you choose to incorporate a race as part of the long run - eg you include a 10K race as part of your 10 mile long run by running 2 miles before and 2 miles afterwards - just make sure you try to minimise the gap between the runs so they don’t become three totally separate runs.

“We cannot retract the decisions we’ve made…. we can only affect the decisions we’re going to make, from here.”

Mike Gratton

Episode 78 - "Badass half marathon tips, my mate Mike and a killer quote!"

On this episode, Jake's convinced himself that he's best friends with Mike Gratton. Mike's the 1983 winner of the London Marathon, a respected and brilliant running coach... and also runs his events company, 2:09 Events, who organise running events all around the world.

Mike's the show's favourite running coach (except for Jake, of course), and he's agreed to come back to share more of his awesome knowledge; this time round is centred on training for marathons. If you missed Mike's previous appearance on the PLODcast, you neeeeeed to check out Episode 61

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Adam want to know all about light weight waterproof jackets to run in. Jake reckons there's always a trade off: fully waterproof v breathable. He also suggests Adam investigates gilets, which are often overlooked by runners. For the full answer, whizz on over to 47.20.


"Remember.... Racing is just training with a number!" - Jake Lowe, 2021.

Kate Carter

Episode 077 - “Timepiece transactions, pacy pandas, and a matter of seconds"

On this episode, Jake is fresh off the back of the South Downs Way Trail Half Marathon. His second race of the year and the second race EVER in which he didn’t look at his watch once throughout! Consider that he may no longer need his fancy GPS watch, he attempts to persuade Pete the Producer to buy it. No prizes for guessing the outcome of that one, even with Jake offering free delivery AND personalised engraving. ✍🏽

Today’s guest is Kate Carter - lifestyle editor for the Guardian, a presenter on The Running Channel, AND holder of the World Record for…. wait for it…..  'Fastest female marathon runner in an animal costume’!

As impressive as this feat is, Kate has had her fair share of disappointments and setbacks. Namely missing out on a sub 3hr marathon by a matter of seconds, and although that race resulted in her being effectively ‘carried across the line’, it did result in a huge PB, and she has since achieved her sub 3 badge.

Kate believes in smart preparation, and employs the services of a running coach to help. She talks about managing pressure (a topic we often like to delve into on the show!) and different people have different things that create the pressure., “Find the one thing that causes you pressure and remove it”. 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Mel wants to know how to stop water bottles from making a noise when running. Jake says the solution is similar to that of preventing noisy bladders (which has actually been answered on a previous #AskJake). The noise of the sloshing water actually comes from the air trapped inside. The key is removing the air. If you have a bottle with a straw the first thing to do is to turn your filled bottle upside down. Then, with the air at the top, suck the straw to remove the excess air. Simples!  For the full answer take a little panda plod to 40:24”

“The only run you regret…. is the one that you didn’t do”

Episode 076 - “Traily trails, running for good and gammy toes!"

On this episode, Jake is gearing up for his second race of 2021 - the South Downs Trail Half Marathon - and he is still working out what his aspirations are for the event. As we often discuss on the show, it is important to manage expectations to going into a race (or training session) so that we reduce the risk of frustration. Focus on the things we can control, rather than the things we can’t.

We chat with one of the most inspirational ladies on the planet - Fiona Oakes - holder of not one but FOUR world records, including ‘Fastest female to run a marathon each continent and North Pole’.

One of the many reasons that make Fiona so remarkable is her sheer grit and determination to use her running achievements as a platform to create awareness of veganism. When she isn’t pounding the tarmac and banking the miles, she spends her time looking after over 600 animals at Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary.

Despite all of her achievements, Fiona has met much resistance in her endeavour to spread her message, including the BBC asking her “Not to mention that she’s a vegan” during a slot on breakfast television so not to upset their supermarket advertisers.

One of the things that Fiona loves about ultra running is the humbling experience that it provides - it can give perspective to what is important in life.

To watch Fiona’s story check out her documentary Running For Good.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Jenny wants to know how she can avoid feeling so breathless at the start of every run? Jake says that it isn’t uncommon for runners to feel breathless at the start of their run. Particularly if they have spent several hours relatively stationary, such as at a desk or sat in a car etc. A warm up can really help to avoid the feeling of breathlessness. It is a good idea to do a 4 or 5 minute brisk walk, followed by a very gentle jog BEFORE getting into your normal running pace.

For the full answer cross the Sahara on your thirsty camel to 33:57”

“When you get tired, think of those who cannot run…. and run for those that can't!”

Episode 075 - “Scottish adventures, secret marathons, and space cakes!"

On this episode, ‘Brush Cutter Barry’ IS BACK! A blissful recording session was clearly not to be, as the recent increase in mercury has inspired Jake’s next door neighbour to dust off his beast of a brush cutter and get straight to work on his privet hedge!

The good news however is that you don’t need to endure it for that long… Jake moves to Winchester in August and he’s already been assured by the letting agent that his new neighbour doesn’t trim his bush between 9am and 10am on a Tuesday morning a.k.a Plodcast recording time!

Today’s guest is Carla Molinaro - Ultra runner, a 'yoga for runners' instructor, AND the world record holder of LEJOG - a little plod from Land's End to John O’Groats!

Carla most recent achievement was winning Ultra X Scotland - 125km across 2 days circumnavigating the very beautiful Loch Ness.

She’s certainly had her fair share of disappointments too… such as the time she spent more time than she would have liked in a bush, only then to be consoled by a fellow competitor who offered her the most well known (and scientifically proven) race fuel - a chocolate brownie stuffed with weed.

Although Carla’s running passion predominantly lies with the long adventures, she does have a very credible road running resume, and will be taking part in this year’s London marathon - more fun than competition.

Although if you want some real fun in a marathon, it sounds like you need to be doing the backwards marathon (or nohtaram eht)?! This bonkers idea is effectively an ‘unofficial’ version of the London marathon that involves setting the alarm for 1:30am, chucking on your running kit, while half asleep, meeting at the clock tower (you know the one), and then running the marathon in reverse! (not actually in reverse)

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. David wants to know what is meant by ‘breathing rhythm’. Jake says a breathing rhythm is often measured in a ratio, such as 2:2. This means that you inhale while you take tow steps, and then you exhale as you take another two steps. Another common breathing rhythm is 3:3. The numbers don’t have to be the same however -  you could also breath 3:2, which means you take 3 steps as you inhale, and then 2 steps as you exhale.

For the full answer demolish a space brownie, and take a psychedelic ride to 38:15”

“We cannot become what we WANT to be…… by remaining what we are!”

Episode 74 cover

Episode 074 - “House hunting, talent spotting, and assistant accents”

On this episode, Jake is back from his trip to Winchester where he was on a mission to find a new home ready for the big relocation. Unfortunately there were zero properties to view BUT he didn’t find some killer running routes AND he experienced a real life pub!

Talking of finding new running routes, Jake believes it is really important to explore the area where you live (whether it is new to you or if you’ve been living there years) to source the right routes/terrain/environment that will lend itself to specific sessions.

For example a hill with a gradient of around 5-7% that allows you to do 2 minute hill repeats. Is the hill safe? eg no junctions leading off it that could cause problems when zipping up it.

Today’s guest is Chris Hollinshead - a successful senior and masters runner, a running coach at Castle Coaching Fitness, a tutor for UK Athletics, AND he’s part of the Paralympic athlete talent identification programme.

Chris hasn’t raced since 2019 (something many of us can relate to given the pandemic) and as much as he is eager to get back, he also wants to apply caution, and he wants other runners to do the same. Now race are slowing beginning to appear again it can be very tempting to sign up for everything and then overtrain and burn out.

Think about what you are trying to achieve, and work backwards from there. Drop in races as 'stepping stones’ to see where you are by all means, but avoid asking too much from the body. 

Not all races need to be raced. They can be used in different ways. You could use a ’stepping stone’ race to work on different aspects of your running - technique, pacing, mental strategies, race prep etc.

It is important to think about the physiological and psychological elements that are necessary to return to the race shape that you were once in, prior to lockdown. 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Libby wants to know how much protein runners need to consume per day. Jake suggests 1.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight. For example: a 60kg runner would need around 90g of protein (60 x 1.5 = 90). This is an approximate guide, so for some runners it could be a little more and for some runners a little less.   For the full answer just ask Indian Siri to drop you off at 31:50”

“If there is no struggle….. then there is NO progress!”

Jake & Marty

Episode 073 - "Hugging confusion, Half Marathons & Positive thoughts"

On this episode, Pete gets about panicky about hugging being back on the menu!

Jake and his girlfriend Marty ran the Hullavington Half Marathon at the weekend, and Jake imparts some advice about getting back into racing.  The advice is simple, but following it is tricky : Don't look at your watch during the race! (told ya!)

Also on this week's show, we chat with Frank Flegg.  Frank's a runner, entrepreneur and fellow Podcast host.  The conversation covers many things, including the importance of exercising the body AND mind in all aspects of business and life.  If you want to hear more of Frank, have a listen to his show : Sophisticated Property Investing.  A particular favourite part of the chat was when Frank called Jake a "Cheeky monkey"! 🤣🐒

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Sue wants tips on drinking and refueling during races and longer training sessions, as she often "forgets", and feels the consequences.  Jake suggests setting alerts on your smart watch, which can be based on either distance or time, to remind you to take fuel on board.  To hear the full answer, blast on over to 50:35"

"A decision without action is merely a good intention, and good intentions WON'T GET YOU FAR!"

Episode 072 - “Mobile chaos, fast 5Ks, and training fluff”

On this episode, we speak to 1500/5000m runner, double Olympian, and European and Commonwealth medallist Laura Weightman

Laura is fresh off the back of wining the recent Fast 5K event at the Three Sisters Circuit in Wigan, and is now turning her attention to the Olympics.

As a professional athlete, and a running coach at PGC1 Coaching, Laura knows exactly what it takes to maximise your potential.

Some key takeaways from today’s chat:

- There is a huge difference between running 5K and racing 5K.
- You have to teach yourself to hurt if you really want to achieve the best that you can.
- It takes years to fully realise your potential. Consistency is key.
- Always make time for strength and conditioning. If need be, reduce your running volume/frequency to accommodate.
- A 7 day training schedule isn’t for everyone. Consider an 8 or 9 day schedule if that better suits your lifestyle.
- Consider employing the help of coach to guide and support you. A coach can also help you to see the things that perhaps you can’t, the bigger picture etc.
- If injury sets you back, seek the help of a professional to establish a plan. Stay patient and aim to make small steps of progression each day/week that work towards your full recovery.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Chris wants to know how to take pressure off races. Jake offers three suggestions:

1 Call the race an event - When we use the term race it can often cause us to feel the events matters more than it perhaps does. It can cause anxiety and pressure as we feel that we are racing the clock or other runners. Referring to the event as an event changes things significantly and can help you to enjoy the whole experience.

2 Warm-up in the race - Let’s say the event is a half marathon. Rather than warming up before and then racing 13.1 miles, what you could do is use the first few miles of the race to warm up and then run a strong 10 miles. That way you will know immediately that the finish time is irrelevant (as you didn’t race 13.1) which in turn can help to reduce pressure.

3 Give it perspective - Sure you might really care about the race and you may well be targeting a time, but remember it isn’t life or death. You will gain experience from every race you do, irrespective of how it goes, and races are always a great training session!

“LIFE is what happens, the moment you turn off your mobile. Although obviously don’t turn it off now. I mean finish the episode. Although to be fair we’re pretty much done here”


Episode 071 - "Puzzling villages, ultra authors, and Dad directions"

On this episode, we speak to carbon negative ultra runner, and former Plodcast guest, Damian Hall.

Damian has recently released his new book In It For The Long Run. It tells the story of running a first marathon aged thirty-six, dressed as a toilet, and representing Great Britain four years later.

His midlife-crisis running problem escalated to 100-mile ultramarathons and record-breaking bimbles, culminating in his 261-mile Pennine Way run in July 2020.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Kate wants to know how she can commit to her Physio exercises, as she struggles to find/make the time to commit. Jake has three suggestions

1. Set a realistic frequency - Rather than being overly ambitious with how often you intend on doing the Physio routine, give yourself a manageable (and therefore realistic) target. That could be three times per week for example, rather than aiming to do the routine every day.

2. Set an alarm - Using your mobile phone or the device, set an alarm to remind you to do the routine. What can work well is if you set multiple alarms eg 'Physio exercise in two hours’, ‘Physio exercises in one hour’ etc. 

3. Get some accountability - This could be from your running coaching, club buddies, or family member. Just let them know what your intentions/targets are and ask them to keep you accountable by asking if you have done them.

For the full answer ask Pete’s Dad for directions to 35:15”

“Be all means try not to fail….. but DO NOT fail to try !”

Jenny Spink

Episode 070 - “Cheshire chips, Spanish smiles, oh and marathons”

On this episode, we call athlete and former plodcast guest Ross Braden on the day he took part in the Cheshire Elite Marathon. We caught up with Ross during his pre-race breakfast and again just after he’d finished. Targeting a very ambitious debut performance of sub 2:20, Ross came away with a super fast 2:21 finish. Made even more astonishing after getting stitch late on in the race and feeling like he wouldn’t even finish!?

We also speak with athlete Jenny Spink, the winner of the 2019 Manchester marathon. Jenny lives in Spain, and as amazing as the climate is over there, training in the summer can be TOUGH.

When Jenny isn’t tearing up the tarmac and terrain around Spain she is a busy Mum, Wife, and teaches English. Jenny believes in being adaptable in training. Sometimes things won’t go your way and it is important to not become a slave to a training plan. Organisation is also key to Jenny’s success.

Jenny’s biggest achievement is running 2:31 in Frankfurt marathon. This means even more because of the setbacks and injury frustrations that Jenny had experienced, in which she never thought she’d get back to running fast times again.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Darren wants to know how long to hold his post run stretches for. Jake suggests 30 seconds is a good starting point. However it is a good idea to make your stretch routine specific to your requirements. You can do this by holding stretches of particularly tight muscles for 60+ seconds. For the full answer catch a cable car ride to 37:43”

“Dreams become goals, and goals become attainable, once you write them down…. come on, get your pen!”

Helen Clithero

Episode 069 - “Childish numbers, chunky soles, and athlete longevity”

On this episode, we speak to ex GB/England athlete and coach, Helen Clitheroe.

Having represented England more than 50 times, Helen has a personal best of 4:01 in the 1500m.

She attributes a large part of her success to consistency in training. Helen has always avoided overtraining (something that many of us are not so good at!) which has helped her to avoid injury. 

Helen believes in listening to, and respecting, the body, and often advises the runners she coaches to record their resting heart rate the moment they wake up. This can help to identify if you are recovered from the previous session, as well as possible illness.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Steve asked “If i am following a training plan and I’m forced to miss sessions, do I put them into the following week or do I let them go?”. Jake suggests avoiding the temptation to 'play catch up’ with sessions as this can increase the risk of injury. If you have missed up to a week of training, in most cases you can typically just pick up the plan where you left off. If however it is more than a week your training may need some tweaking. For the full answer blast around the track to 38:45”

“If you really want something then you will make time. If you don’t... then the only thing you will make are excuses!”

Josh Schofield

Episode 068 - “Fumbling intros, smart fuelling, and magnetic data sticks”

On this episode, we speak to athlete and coach Josh Schofield from PGC1-Coaching 

Josh’s own running has seen him break the 15 minute barrier for 5K, and he has represented England on numerous occasions. 

Josh is currently studying a MSc in Sport & Exercise Nutrition and his passion now lies in helping other runners. He has a keen interest in carbohydrate fuelling for performance.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. See wants to know how much he should taper for  half marathon. Jake says it depends on your aspirations for the race - if you really want to race it and do as well as you can on the day then it is definitely worth tapering, somewhere in the region of 10 days. A little less for some runners, and a little more for others, but 10 days is a good time frame to work off. If you aren’t looking at racing it, and you are viewing it more as a training event, then 3 or 4 easy days (or rest days) before and after the event should be enough. For the full answer fumble your way to 46:45”

“To achieve an ambitious goal requires two things! A great plan… and not quite enough time!”

Charlotte Taylor Green

Episode 067 - “Olympic trials, poor timing, and naked haircuts”

On this episode, Pete the Producer has taken a tiny step forward in purchasing a PROPER pair of running shoes, as his wife Becky bought him a sports shop voucher for his birthday.

We speak to athlete Charlotte Taylor-Green who took part in the Olympic Marathon Trials at Kew Gardens in London on March 26th.

Charlotte has a personal best time in a marathon of 2:36:54 set in Dublin in 2019. By her own admission, she wasn’t the fastest on paper going into the trials, but she was in great shape and ready to see what she could do.

Unfortunately, poor timing of the menstrual cycle, and an overwhelming feeling of nausea, meant that Charlotte had to live to fight another day.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. It often takes Sarah 2 or 3 miles to settle into her run and feel good, and she wants some advice on how she can feel better at the start. Jake suggests heading out for a short but brisk walk immediately before the run. Just 3 or 4mins in one direction, turn around, and head back. Something as simple as that can really help to get the blood flowing, wake the body and the mind up, and ultimately get you feeling better. For the full answer dance merrily to 38:52”

“Fear holds you back…… but BELIEF propels you forward!”

Holly Archer

Episode 066 - “Secret prezzies, silver medals, and Olympic dreams”

On this episode, we chat with 1500m runner Holly Archer who recently earned herself a silver medal representing GB at the European Indoor Championships in Poland.

Holly, who felt super strong through the heats, found herself up against it in the final. The race, which started slowly, was frantic, with jostling throughout the field, and tactical play from two Spanish runners that prevented Holly from hitting the front of the pack when she wanted. 

After a blistering finish to the race Holly placed second, only to endure an agonising wait to see if she was going to be disqualified. Fortunately she wasn’t, and she is now the Indoor 1500m European Champion.

Check out the heats, the final, and Holly’s post race interview here

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Simon is training towards an autumn marathon and he’d like some advice on whether to run a negative split, and even split, or a positive split.

Negative split: you run the second half of the race slightly quicker than the first half.
Even split: you run evenly throughout the race.
Positive split: you run the second half slower than the first half.

Jake says is avoid a pacing technique that is too extreme. Meaning don’t set off so slowly that it leaves you too much to catch up on in the second half, and don’t set off so quickly that you end up burning out before the end. Generally speaking, an even split is the best approach for most people. For the full answer skip a beat to 35:50”

“It’s not about the setback……. it’s about the COMEBACK!”

Time to wake up!

Episode 065 - “Sleepy hosts, speedy debuts, and fitness formulas”

On this episode, Jake is suffering from a bout of poor sleep, which seems to be affecting a lot of people at the moment. He shares his thoughts on training when tired. Here’s a quick summary of the takeaways: 

1 - Make the decision whether to train to not based on what the body needs rather than what the mind wants.
2 - Decide whether to reschedule or miss the session completely. Remember one session missed won’t dent your fitness!
3 - Consider reducing the intensity of the planned session. This could be shortening the distance, duration, or choosing a flatter and less stressful route.
4 - Have a short nap in the afternoon (like an elite athlete!) to recharge the batteries.
5 - If training twice per day (running or otherwise) do the session that you are most likely to miss first.

We speak to Ross Braden, a talented runner who has a 10K PB of 30:12, and a half marathon time of 66:30. However Ross has a new challenge. He is targeting his debut marathon appearance in the upcoming Wrexham marathon.

Training is clearly going well based on Ross’s ambition - “I’ll be happy with sub 2:30, but I’d quite like 2:18”. Makes me tired just thinking about it!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Malc wants to know the best formula to calculate your maximum heart rate. Jake says the most accurate calculation he is aware of is 220 - (0.7 x age). For example, if you are aged 42 multiply 42 by 0.7 which gives you 29.4. Then subtract 29.4 from 220, which gives you a theoretical maximum heart rate of 190. It is important to note that this can still have inaccuracies as great as 15 beats per minute either side of the given maximum heart rate. For the full answer skip a beat to 35:50”

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but....you can start where you are, and change the ending!"

Tom Craggs

Episode 064 - “Promo swaps, marathon coaches, and bogus awards”

On this episode, Jake and Pete get bent out of shape over the fact they have never won an award, yet they are promoting The Lovejoy Hour who are apparently an “Award Winning Podcast”?? It turns out that the award isn’t all it’s cracked up to be….. as the judges of said award were the show host and the producer!?

We speak to Tom Craggs - England Athletics Marathon Lead Coach, Road Running Manager, and Runner’s World columnist. Tom’s own running journey didn’t begin as a junior athlete. He began when his Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer and he signed up for a marathon.

With the lack of races over the last 12 months, and the excitement surrounding the likelihood of autumn marathons going ahead, we get Tom’s thoughts on how best to prepare...

* To help with racing nerves include short distance time trials into your training.
* It is better to 10% under prepared than 1% over trained
* Train and prepare for where you are currently, not where you hope to be.
* Look long-term, rather than aim to ace a marathon in your next one. Layer training cycles.
* Try not to aim at being good at everything at the same time eg your best 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon shape.
* Add variety. Being a creature of habit limits your development.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Steve wants to know how best to regulate his upper body temperature in changeable conditions. Jake suggests wearing a T-shirt, arm warmers, and a gilet. That way it gives you the flexibility to start your run wearing all three items, and then strip them off as you warm up. For the full answer take an award winning wander to 41:30”

"It doesn't matter if you WIN or if you LOSE, you FINISHED (and there's probably a beer waiting for you somewhere!"

Episode 063 - “Emoji stalking, elastic energy, and savvy sharks"

On this episode, we get excited about the recent news that parkrun will be making a return! Subject to change of course, but junior parkrun will be back from April 11th, with all parkruns returning from June 5th.

Our guest today is Shane Benzie - Running Coach, Movement Specialist and founder of Running Reborn. Having spent time studying elite runners from around the world, Shane is passionate about helping runners, of all abilities, to improve their movement.

Fascia is connective tissue that runs throughout the whole body. If we run tall, with an erect spine and a slightly bowed chest, it helps to pull the fascia tight. This tightness creates stored energy, which when released effectively creates free energy to propel us forward. 

To demonstrate place your left hand on your chest and lift your index finger to hit your chest. Now, using your right hand, pull your left index finger back and let it go. The extra energy that creates a greater impact on your chest is a great example of the power of elasticity.

To find out more about Shane’s work check out Running Reborn.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Nick has been doing a lot of 5K time trials through lockdown and he wants to go under 24 minutes. He can’t stop himself setting off too quickly and he wants some advice on how he can pace himself a little better. Jake suggests checking out the estimated finish time feature on the GPS watch. This gives you a clear indication of your finish time during the 5K, based on the pace you are running. For the full answer take a shark like zip to 40:00”

“Life is not a rehearsal……. so get your best pants on, and go smash it!”

Episode 062 - “Zero tolerance, positive change, and fair weather dogs"

On this episode, our first guest is British athlete Mhairi Maclennan. Along with fellow athletes Anna Gordon and Kate Seary, Mhairi began a campaign calling for permanent bans for athletics coaches found guilty of physical or sexual misconduct, harassment, or abuse.

They have written an open letter to England Athletics CEO Joanna Coates which has been signed by more than 2000 athletes supporting the call for change. #zerotoleranceuka

We also speak with James Spray, a Derby runner, and advocate for mental health in the workplace.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Jessica wants to know the best technique to use when running up a hill. Jake suggests running tall and leaning into the hill, but from the ankle, not from the waist. Full the full answer take a marathon paced dash to 38:20”

“The ONLY way to improve…. is to get comfortable with the uncomfortable!”

Episode 061 - “Forte, floggin', and marathon memories"

On this episode, Jake announces his new clothing brand - Forte by Running with Jake. Despite Pete the Producer’s insistence that Jake has taken to flogging T-shirts from the boot of car, the brand is born out of Jake's experience as a coach that it takes more than just physical fitness to keep moving forward. It takes a strong mind, an inner confidence, and a belief that you CAN and you WILL.

To find out more about Forte by Running with Jake click here

Today’s guest is the winner of the 1983 London marathon, Mike Gratton. Back in 1983 things were a lot different from how they are now, particularly in the way of funding and how athletes earn a living. At the time Mike won the London marathon he was a P.E. teacher. For most, spinning a full-time job with running 120+ miles per week may seem impossible, but Mike took it in his stride and saw it as “only two hours training a day”.

Mike is also a Running Coach and he organises race trips and training camps through 2:09 Events Limited .

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Steve's got two niggles and he wants to know if it’s okay to do a long run every other weekend, rather than every week? Jake says in principle it is absolutely fine. However it’s important to factor in the event that you are training for so that you are fully prepared. Another couple of options could be to miss a long run every three or four weeks to help give the body a break, or if your work/life allows, try doing a long run every 8 or 9 days. Of course this won’t suit everybody as it means the day you do the run on will vary each week. Full the full answer take a marathon paced dash to 44:10”

“Every accomplishment... starts with a decision to try!”

Episode 060 - “Sheep whispering, determined dads, and silent bells"

On this episode, Pete the Producer has found his running mojo after his motivation drop-off over the past couple of weeks, and Jake is convinced he’s losing the plot after he started talking to sheep in the field next to his garden.

Today’s guest is Richard Newhouse. After being diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in 2019 Richard is determined to give something back to the amazing people that helped him through it. Unlike in a traditional fund raising way, whereby people choose to do something that they have perhaps always wanted to do (a parachute jump for example), Richard has chosen something that he HATES…….. running!

In October he will be taking on the 2021 London marathon. By his own admission he knows NOTHING about running but he is absorbing information like a sponge, and it is this very reason that enabled him to stumble upon the PLODcast.

Richard is raising money for Bowel Cancer UK and the Combined Day Unit at the Derby Royal Hospital. To sponsor Richard just head to the donation pages here : Bowel Cancer UK Marathon and Combined Day Unit at the Derby Royal Hospital Half marathon

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Nick wants to know how he can prevent his hydration pack rubbing on his neck during his long runs? Jake suggests investing in some trail running tops, irrespective of whether you run on trials or roads. This is because the majority of trail tops have a slightly higher collar, so that hydration packs and bags don’t rub. Full the full answer take a charitable plod to 36:05”

“To give anything less than your best…… is to sacrifice the gift!”

Running with Jake - Episode 059

Episode 059 - “Chilly bits, supple wolves and beautiful movement"

On this episode, Jake and Pete are freezing their….. er bits off! Given the recent cold snap Jake shares some quick tips on how to keep your hands warm:

1 - Warm up in the house before you run so that the cold is less of a shock to the body. This helps to prevent blood being diverted away from your extremities.
2 - Wear gloves with wind-stopping fabric.
3 - Ensure the gloves aren’t too tight. It is actually the air inside the gloves that create warmth.
4 - Try wearing glove liners inside your gloves

We speak with performance movement and rehabilitation specialist, Joanne Elphinston. Joanne is super passionate about helping people discover how to ‘move beautifully’.

Some key takeaways:

- Beautiful movement isn’t about ’trying hard’. It’s about awareness and relaxing.
- Take the ‘handbrake’ off and allow yourself to flow, rather than hindering your forward momentum.
- Be like the wolf, and move with ease and grace.
- Learn how to ‘feel’ by staying in the moment when running.
- Running can be used as a mindful practice, to become present.

You can find out more about Joanne’s great work here

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Ben wants to know how to stay safe in when running in icy conditions. Jake says running on a treadmill is definitely the best option. However putting on a good pair of trail shoes and hitting the off-road can potentially decrease the risk of slipping as you may find more traction than you would on the roads. If all else fails, never be afraid to skip the session as safety should always be the number one priority. Full the full answer move your ass beautifully to 39:59”

“Cold hands, warm heart…. and frosty balls”

Episode 058 - “Illegal trips, vibrating toys, and raunchy reverends"

On this episode, Jake is feeling a little worse for wear after a road trip to Winchester*.  Aware of the importance of avoiding spending too much time sitting down Jake has invested in a height adjustable desk AND a massage gun! He tries to convince Pete of the benefits of his latest gadget, who seems to recall he saw something similar in a dodgy movie.

*Note that the trip did not contravene current lockdown rules as Jake’s girlfriend Martina is a Vet which makes her a key worker, and Jake is a key….. er driver.

Today’s guest is Ing Kalchthaler - a children’s librarian, a pastor, a big fan of the show, and a beautiful soul with an amazing story.

At Ing's heaviest she was 153kg, and she physically couldn’t even take out the rubbish! Over the course of only two years Ing lost a whopping 90kg. Despite this impressive feat, and by her own admission, Ing went too far with the weight loss. She reached a point beyond what is deemed healthy and sustainable, and her calorie intake was so low that it caused her hair to fall out.

Ing is now in a very happy place with her running. She runs six times per week, she loves it, and she is even writing a book on how you can be happy or sad at any weight.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Sally is pretty disciplined in stretching after her runs but she’s confused as to how long to hold each stretch for. Jake suggests around 30 seconds for general maintenance stretches, but for muscles that are particularly tight it is better to hold for around 60 second sputa one minute. For the full answer take a sneaky road trip to 35:10”

“And you will know my name is the lorrrrrd…. when I lay my vengeance upon thee!”

Episode 057 - “Epic adventures, positive pacts, and loving witches"

On this episode, Jake shares the difficult time that he’s had in which his Grandma went into hospital after a stroke, in the exact same week that his girlfriend Martina received the news that BOTH of her grandmas had passed away.

Always looking for the upsides in life, the boys decide to make a pact that throughout the entire show everyone will remain immensely positive, and this includes you: the listeners!

Today’s guest is ultra running adventurer Scott Jenkins and he has a HUGE ’self-made’ challenge on his hands! In 2021 Scott is attempting to complete FIVE of the world’s most challenging ultra distance events: Cocodona 250 / Badwater 135 / Bigfoot 200 / Tahoe 200Moab 240 

What makes this challenge even greater is the fact that they are all continuous races, rather than multi-day events. Scott's main driver behind this insane challenge is raising money for Operation Smile UK.

The event that excites Scott the most is Badwater 135 - 135 miles across the seeeeriously hot tarmac in the aptly named DEATH VALLEY.  Although the one that actually scares him the most is Tahoe 200… predominately due to the grizzly bears!

Scott’s other fear is chafing (understandable) although lucky for him his lovely sponsor Runderwear have provide him with plenty of their super cool underwear. Fortunately for Jake however, Scott decided against recording the interview on Zoom, wearing nothing but his 'performance pants'. Phew!

He’s no stranger to challenges having already completed many other big events. He’s also got his fair share of running stories too, such as when he was running MOAB 240 in 2019 and he was running away from a witch for three hours?! Turns out he’d been hallucinating (not uncommon in such events) and it wasn’t a witch at all. It was his wife. No Scott… that isn’t an easy mistake to make!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Janice is coming to the end of RED January (Run Every Day throughout January) and she wants some advice for staying motivated through to the end. Jake suggests focusing on exactly that… that the end is in sight! It is much easier to keep the momentum that it is to get started in the first place. Jake also suggests rewarding yourself once January is over. Perhaps with a well earned week off. Your body and mind will no doubt thank you for it, and you’ll be itching to get going again in the second week of February! For the full answer take a blast on your broomstick to 46:33”

“We pulled together, we stayed as one, the shows over…. back to the crap! MASS HYSTERIA! DOOM AND PANIC!!”

Episode 056 - "Batmobiles, boredom, and apologetic rappers "

On this episode, Jake admits that he is starting to get a little booooored of lockdown life and wants to know “When will we be there??”, “How many more Covid corners??”. He has considered combatting the boredom by taking random things apart around the house, like Jake and Pete BOTH used to when they were kids!

To make matters worse, Jake is in the 'lockdown doghouse’ with his girlfriend. Martina, gave Jake one small job to do…. order a new pair of kitchen scales. He was very close to making said purchase when an advert popped up (damn you cookies!!) for a 1989 Lego Batmobile…. which he swiftly bought!

Today’s guest is Denny Krahe, also know as Dizruns. Denny is Running Coach, a host of Diz Runs Radio AND the most apologetic guest we have EVER had! Turns out it took Diz a loooong time to get back to Jake, of which he was clearly VERY sorry!

Denny is coping with life in Florida pretty well. He is driven by performance and he has some lofty targets of his own, such as running a marathon in every state in America. Denny doesn’t want to break himself to achieve targets though, as he wants to run for the long term. He wants to run for the rest of his life.

Heart rate training is something that Denny really believes in (although he will only use heart rate for his runners that actually want to). He uses the MAF method, which effectively means you subtract your age from 180 and then this is the heart rate number that you stay below. The idea being that it teaches your body to burn fat as a fuel source, improves your cardiovascular system, but without over-stressing the body.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Sarah wants to know how she can slow down inner easy runs, as she always finds herself running too quickly. Jake suggests listening to a podcast, or some chilled music. Listening to a pumping playlist is a no-no as you will no doubt find that you get into ’the zone’ and end up running too quickly! Running with a friend (socially distanced) who is slower than you can also help, and your friend could potentially use the run as one of their faster sessions. For the full answer handbrake turn like a badass to 39:51”

“People may see you struggle…. but NEVER let them see you quit!”

Episode 055 - “Sparkly sneakers, sweat science and a big ass critic"

Thanks to Salomon and their awesome Wild Cross GTX trail shoes for their help with week.

On this episode, we speak with Andy Blow, the founder of Precision Hydration. As an athlete himself, Andy has made his own mistakes with hydration in his training, and he wants to help others avoid the same.

There isn’t a simple answer to 'good hydration' as it isn’t one-size-fits-all. However there are certain principles that we can consider when looking at our own hydration needs, and a good place to start is understanding your sweat rate and type. Do you sweat a lot? Are you a ’salty sweater’??

One of the main functions of sweating is to dissipate heat, and we shouldn’t categorise is as a bad thing.

Take the free Precision Hydration sweat test here

As crucial as hydration is, one thing that is often overlooked is the importance of not OVER hydrating and finding the balance with sodium levels. In serious cases, a lack of sodium concentration in the blood can lead to hyponatremia. This is a condition in which the individual can feel confused, lethargic, and worse.

Also, this week; Jake shares the negative comments that were sent his way on Strava at the weekend. Jake had found it hard to get out for a run on Sunday, but managed to summon the motivation to get out for a 6 mile plod. Later that evening Hugh Jarce (whose name has not been changed for dramatic effect) had left a barrage of negative feedback questioning how hard Jake had found it to run 6 miles. Another reminder that perhaps we should all be little kinder to each other at times, and that peoples challenges aren’t always visible from the outside.


#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Ingrid wants to know how she can increase her endurance? She currently runs around four miles without walking but would love to be able to run further, but not necessarily faster. Jake says that it may be worth creating a ‘healthy’ relationship with walking rather than trying to avoid it. By stopping and walking BEFORE you are forced to stop (through tiredness) you will no doubt find that once you reach the four mile point you will actually be able to continue. Keep this pattern, and over a period time I am sure you will be able to run further and further. For the full answer take a hydrating splash to 46:45”

“If better IS possible….. then good is not enough!”

Episode 054 - “Hairy hosts, fitness experts, and a dodgy massage"

On this episode, Pete the Producer dares to raise the topic of hair… and more specifically, wants to know what the heck Jake is gonna do now all haircuts are once again ‘off the table’. Turns out Jake has a trick up his sleeve (but no hair on his balls) because his girlfriend Martina bought him a swanky new trimmer for Christmas. Phew!

In other news, Jake announces that he is bringing back his Bulletproof Live Workouts! These are live home workouts to help people get motivated, stay active, and ultimately feel better, from the inside out!

These workouts are a maximum of 30 minutes long, for all levels of ability, and you don’t need any equipment. They kick off at 11am every Saturday through lockdown, on the Running with Jake Facebook page.

Today’s guest is Marvin Burton - a Personal Trainer, Fitness Expert, and according to Jake (and a bizarre Dutch massage experience) he has a beautiful touch..?! Whether or not we get to find out exactly what this is all in a future episode of the plodcast, your guess is as good as mine!

Marvin believes in keeping fitness simple, in most cases anyway, as he says it can be made for too complicated. As someone who suffered his own health issues from being an overweight kid, he is aware of the impact and mental scarring that life can cause.


#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Sonya wants to know how she can improve her speed when running off-road. Jake suggests that rather than focusing on improving fitness (which of course will also help) focus on developing your ability to read the ground ahead of you. The rugged nature of running off-road requires good balance and agility. The more you develop these attributes, the faster you will be able to think and react to the terrain. This in turn enables you to look further ahead (rather than down at the ground beneath you) which will cause you to run with more confidence, and speed. For the full answer take swing naked on a vine to 41:45”

“I feel the need….. the need for speed…. OWWW!!!”

Episode 053 - “Nicknames, chutney, and trail running sleuths"

On this episode, Jake is super fired up for an awesome 2021 of running, despite struggling to work out which day it is or which tier he’s in?! Jake and Pete, who are super impressed with how cool the name of today’s guest is, so decide to share their school nicknames.

Pete’s nickname was Frog, because he apparently had massive eyes and a tiny head. Jake’s on the other hand was Sweetcorn?! Back at school during a history lesson the teacher asked the class “Which salted food did 18th century sailors keep in barrels on the ship?”, to which Jake answered “Sweetcorn!”. The answer was indeed NOT sweetcorn, but pork. Jake’s answer was sooooo unbelievably bad that everyone called him Sweetcorn from that day forward.

We catch up with super cool ultra runner Tom Wake. Tom’s real passion is trail running and he is the founder of Ultra Runs - a company based in Suffolk that offers guided trail runs and workshops to help people appreciate the beauty of trail running.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Steve wants to know what Fartlek is. Jake explains that Fartlek is actually a Swedish word meaning ’speed play’. IN essence it is unstructured interval training. It gives you flexibility and freedom to run as you feel and mix up the intensities. An example of this could be picking a street lined with lamp posts, and push the effort for three lamp posts and recover for two, and you might repeat this several times before moving onto another type of intensity. For the full answer climb aboard your 18th century frigate and sail to 43:02”

“Let people underestimate you……  Imagine the fun in proving them wrong!"

Episode 052 - “Calendar confusion, common mistakes, and a Christmas curse" 

On this episode, Jake and Pete get completely confused as to how many days there are until Christmas?!

We catch up with Rory Horseman - a running coach from Raced Coaching - about his recent end of year 5K PB. Covid has actually helped him to slow down the pace of life a little and find the balance between his own running and coaching others.

With 2021 looming, and an opportunity to make some significant improvements to your training, we discuss some of the common mistakes that runners make:

Compare yourself to others - while the likes of Strava (and other social platforms) can be a really useful motivational tool, it can also serve to steal some of the joy of running if you allow yourself to get sucked in to comparing yourself against others.

Focus too heavily on mileage - Mileage is a great way measure progress and training load, but it isn’t the be all and end all of training metrics.

Have too many goals - Focus on one single goal (or main goal), rather than trying to achieve too many things over a similar timeframe.

Not logging training (or logging it but not referring to it) - Strava, Garmin Connect, Polar Flow etc may well log all of your sessions, but if you don’t refer back to them they are useless. Can be very useful to see how trainman is going and, if you get injured, it can help to understand how that may have happened.

Over race - It can be tempting to sign up for lots of races, but this can lead to overtraining, disappointment, and potentially injury. It is important to find a balance with the number of races you enter, and be sensible with the planning of them.

Not enough recovery - Training and racing is stressful and significant (and regular) recovery time is important. Sometimes it can take several weeks to fully recover from long races.

To keep up with Rory and his training on instagram go to instagram.com/therunninghorse

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Phillip wants to know how to stay motivated with so few races on the horizon. Jake says the key to staying motivated in training at the moment is to accept that there is a scarcity of races, while keeping in mind that they WILL return. Training is never wasted. It is always banked. Training sessions completed now (while they may feel pointless at times) are all leading towards your next race, whenever that may be. For the full answer take a snowy sleigh ride to 38:07” 

Episode 051 - “Capes, pocket squares, and cryptogenic strokes"

On this episode, after feeling sick and tired of spending most of 2020 indoors and dressed in joggers and scruffy tops, Jake has decided to present today’s show wearing a suit and tie. Pete’s a little shocked when he first sees Jake on the camera, but then quickly attempts to upstage him by digging out a moth eaten superhero cape?! Yes it’s all a bit weird.

Today’s guest is Andy Dobinson. In February 2017, after a successful background in the world of cycling, competing in several 24hr challenges, Andy suffered a cryptogenic stroke.  After a brutal and extensive recovery process he is back on his feet and has plenty of running medals to prove it! 

He talks openly about his stroke, and the impact it had on his mind as well as his body. It has changed him in many ways, and for the better. He admits that he was obsessed with training (something not so easy to admit at the time) but since the stroke he is taking a much more rounded approach to his training, focusing on key elements such as nutrition, sleep, and rest.

His experience, as challenging as it was, has now given Andy a new sense of perspective. He no longer takes part in events to chase wins and times. Now it is all about enjoyment and appreciation. Appreciation that he is able to be there, taking part, and as Andy loves the off-road, often in a beautiful part of the country.

To follow Andy and keep up with his ongoing recovery and training check out his Instagram right here

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Mike wants to know how best to juggle your training around a sports massage. Jake says that making changes to your training before your sports massage isn’t particularly necessary, however there are some important considerations to make in the days afterwards. If you are relatively new to massage treatments it may be worth having a complete day of rest the day after. If you are more used to massage, and you typically don’t suffer too much from soreness, then an easy run or a recovery run may be fine. For the full answer take a spiffingly good stroll to 38:20”

Episode 050 - “50th celebrations, coastal path poos, and chiggers"

On this episode, Jake shares a question posed by the team at Blue Zoo animation studios during the Virtual Running Workshop that Jake delivered on Monday night…….. “What’s your BEST poo story?”!! It’s a tricky one, as Jake has so many, but he goes with the time he got caught short during a coastal path run. He managed to find a secluded little section that was perfect for the irreversible ‘drop off’. Unfortunately, just as he had got into position, he glanced to his right and spotted a wooden sign less than a metre away which read “Please do not shit here”! How many other runners have had the exact same calling at the exact same spot?!!

In other - non-poo related - news we speak to ultra running legend John Kelly. His long list of achievements includes the Barkley Marathon, former Pennine Way FKT record holder, Fell Runners Association Long Distance Runner 2020… to name but a few.

It’s interesting to hear John’s thoughts on what motivates him, and how he sets his lofty goals. Turns out he has a super secret word document where he keeps all his ideas for his next big adventure!

For him, it’s largely down to pushing himself to the limit of his capabilities. He is curious to know what he is capable of, setting goals that are just a little beyond what he thinks is his limit. John strongly believes that the pleasure gained from gruelling challenges comes from overcoming the pain, not experiencing it!

If you fancy another hit of running motivation, check out John’s video recommendations below. That’s your Christmas viewing sorted then:

Totally FKT on Vimeo: vimeo.com/ondemand/penninewayfkt
Grand Round on youtube: youtube.com/watch?v=uV05PwEYj-E
Where Dreams Go To Die (Barkley): youtube.com/watch?v=NDZdsqbcGTU
Le Barkley Sans Pitie (French film, but in English): lequipe.fr/explore-video/020-la-barkley-sans-pitie/

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Marcel wants some advice on how to avoid sore and tired legs in the days after a tough session. Jake says it can really help to plan your training schedule accordingly. For example, if you have a challenging interval session on a Wednesday then a weights session the day before may not help, and it may prolong the soreness. Sports massage or applying hot and cold therapies can help, so it’s about experimenting to find what works for you. For the full answer Chigger Scuttle your way to 40:32”

“Nerves are natural...…. it means you’re ready to face a challenge and PERFORM! Or in my case..…. chance a little poo on a coastal path”

Episode 049 - “Monkey business and mental matters"

On this episode, after 12 months… ahem 11 months…. since the launch of the PLODcast, Jake takes Pete the Producer to task on the production values of the show. Turns out Jake has been listening to other podcasts - Marathon Talk - and he was shocked by the fact that they use much better sound effects….. namely soundbites from Donkey Kong Country on the Nintendo!

We speak to James Hester from 1st Element Endurance - a qualified British Triathlon Federation Coach, a professional musician, and a Principal Lecturer in music at Bristol University. Back in May of this year James’ wife Bex was diagnosed with breast cancer. Desperate to give something back for the support and treatment his wife is receiving James has decided to raise money for the local breast cancer charity.

During the Tour De France in 2021 (pending it goes ahead!) he is going to ride one kilometre for every mile that the professionals ride. To put that in perspective the pros typically average around a 100 miles per day. So for James that will be around 100km per day (or just over 62 miles) for 21 days. If that isn’t enough of challenge he’s also going to attempt to match the mountain profile that the pros will ride.

James takes about the importance of considering the mental state of the athletes he coaches, as well as opening up on his own struggles to find the balance between a healthy body and a healthy mind.

To keep up to date James training you can check out his weekly vlogs here


#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Rhian normally runs her long run on a Sunday, but she is thinking of rearranging her training so that she runs long on the Saturday and then does a threshold run on the Sunday….. Is this a good idea?! Jake says it isn’t out of the question but it is worth proceeding with caution. If the run on the Saturday is a traditional long run i.e. at a slow pace, then it may be worth trying a short threshold session on the Sunday just to test the water. It’s important to test safely (and slowly) to avoid the risk of injury. This way it is easier to determine the body’s tolerance levels. For the full answer Gorilla Jump your way to 36:08”

“Don’t wait for opportunity…. CREATE IT!” 

Episode 048 - “Pumped Americans, injury experts, and secret nuns!"

On this episode, Jake has started working with Amanda - a runner In Maryland, USA, who is super charged to improve her running . It turns out Amanda, who also happens to be a big fan of the plodcast, was actually inspired to ‘get going’ by Pete the Producer. Pete is obviously overjoyed by this news…. right up to the point he discovered it was basically because “If Pete can do it, anyone can do it!”.

Jake reveals that he was once beaten in a race by a man dressed as a nun… but as much as Pete tries to press him he isn’t quite ready to share the full story.

We speak to Jeanette Lewis, a lecturer in sports therapy and rehabilitation, who is particularly passionate about educating runners around their injures to help them recover.

Jeanette believes pre-hab, which effectively involves working on specific exercises to avoid an injury from occurring in the first place, is so important. Avoiding, and recovering, from injury, is about understanding the principles and reasons behind the process. It is this knowledge that helps runners to stay on track, rather than committing to a few exercises for a week or two and then it dropping off completely.

Understanding how best to use your time, along with making your routine as fun as possible, can really help. If you are working with an injury therapist it is paramount that you have trust and rapport in your relationship for you to be able to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.


#AskJake:  Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Marcus has asked, how many days rest should you have after a race. Jake says it first depends on whether you ran it or raced it? For example, if you jogged around a local 10K and didn’t really exert yourself then you wouldn’t need as much rest, if any at all.

However if you went all out in a race and really pushed yourself then rest is very important. As I guide, one of rest for every mile raced is a good place to start when planning your recovery time. So if you raced a half marathon (13 miles) you would need around two weeks rest to fully recover. It’s important to note that recovery does not necessarily mean doing nothing at all. For experienced runners a gentle recovery run could still constitute as rest.

One day of rest per mile raced may seem like a lot, but it’s important to remember that it isn’t just the muscles in your legs that take a hammering…. it’s your joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, central nervous system…. everything! 

“Stay patient and trust the process….. and if opportunity DOESN'T come knocking….. man just build yourself a door?!”

Episode 047 - “Stetsons, man flu, and being ’too fit' for your legs!"

On this episode, things get a little weird… Jake is suffering from man flu and is keeping his fingers crossed he’s well enough to run after the show. While Pete is suffering from a ‘lockdown 2’ bad hair day, and is wearing a stetson just in case Jake snaps another screenshot for Instagram?! 

For the second time on the plodcast we speak to running coach and ex-GB athlete Jo Wilkinson.

The curious question we’re asking on today’s show is ‘can you be too fit for your legs??’. As an elite athlete Jo did more than her fair share of strength and conditioning exercises. However, her running was still interrupted at key points by injury. Looking back she can’t help but wonder what she might’ve achieved if she’d have really fully understood the concept of being too fit for your legs.

Jake and Jo actually host an Instagram Live every Friday at 12:30pm - one week it’s Jake hosting on his instagram, and the following week it’s on Jo’s.

Here's the link to the book Jo talked about by Joanne Elphinston: View on Amazon

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Julie wants to know if it’s advisable to stick to the 10% rule when increasing mileage… meaning that you add no more than 10% to your total weekly mileage each week. Jake says the 10% rule is a relatively safe increase, although it isn’t 'one size fits all’. It’s important that each runner understands their own ‘magic number’, in terms of the amount they can increase their weekly mileage by. Some runners can tolerate higher increases than others. The key when increase volume however, is always listen to the body proceed with caution. For the full answer, dig out your stetson and swagger to 36:56

“Errrrm……… err……… AHH…… Houston we have a problem!”

Episode 046 - “Trail runs, power sobs, and butt plugs!"

On this episode, Jake unboxes his swanky new pair of Wild Cross GTX trail shoes from outdoor adventure brand Salomon, which reminds Pete the Producer of the time someone told him he had the perfect shape for a snowboarder.   To see the "unboxing video", head here.

We speak to ultra runner, and NEW FKT* record holder for running 268 miles of the Pennine Way, Damian Hall.

After two previous attempts to get Damian on the show (Jake had to cancel because of a leaky roof and then Damian forgot to press record!) we finally got to catch up.

The current record for running the Pennine Way was set by Mike Hartley back in 1989. A record that has stood for 31 years! 

Interestingly Damian’s fellow competitor (and friend) John Kelly actually broke the record a week before Damian did..... so a record that stood for 31yrs, John could effectively claim for only seven days!

*FKT stands for Fastest Known Time - effectively the quickest time that someone has ran over a given course. 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Jas listened to a recent episode of the plodcast with Sonny from Black Trail Runners and he was inspired to get into a little bit of trail running and he wants some tips. Jake offers three nuggets:

1 - Look at investing in the proper footwear such as some light trail shoes. By light, Jake means shoes that have enough grip to give you a little traction than a standard road shoe (and therefore increasing your confidence) but not so aggressive that they only really belong on the mountains! A trail shoe that is a little more gentle will allow you to run on the road too, should your off-raid adventure have any road sections in it.

2 - Consider the cost (energy) of running off-road. When you run on the road, with each step you put energy into the ground which effectively comes back into you, which you then use to help you propel forwards. Off-road however you get little energy return, particularly if the ground is soft as the surface dissipates that energy. Being mindful of this will help. Along with practicing ’soft ground running’ on the grass in a local park.


3 - Remember the importance of single leg balance when running on uneven ground. You can increase your stability by balancing on one leg at home, perhaps while watching Netflix…. or brushing your teeth!

“Sometimes we are tested. Not to show our weaknesses. … but to discover our STRENGTHS!”

Episode 045 - “Coaches, running in the dark, and the viscosity of TEA"

On this episode we speak to Running Coach and former GB athlete Vince Wilson. Vince, who was super relaxed after his morning foot massage, was keen to share his thoughts on the positive impact running can have on your mental health and how to stay motivated through the winter months. Clearly passionate about what he does, one of the things that Vince loves most about coaching is the different the personalities that running attracts, and the variety of reasons that people take up the sport.

With the days getting shorter Jake shares 9 top tips for staying safe in the dark:

1 Increase visibility - Get yourself a head torch or an LED vest.

2 Don’t be a creature of habit - Change the routes, days, and times that you run to avoid strangers understanding your pattern.

3 Invest in a panic alarm - These are very cheap and easy to carry, and they will make you feel more confident.

4 Don’t listen to music - Be fully aware of your surroundings at all times. Even bond conducting earphones can potentially give strangers the impression that you are immersed in your music.

5 Run in well lit areas - Busy streets, rush hour traffic etc. Even if the routes aren’t particularly exciting, safety is key.

6 Share your location  - Tell people where you are going, and let friends or family track you in real time using live trackers/beacons .

7 Run with confidence - Head tall, shoulders back etc. You are potentially less likely to be targeted if you exude confidence. If running with someone else and you see a stranger or a group etc begin to talk loudly - act and feel confident.

8 Run with someone - Run club buddy, colleague etc. Try to align the session so it suits you both eg if you are running with someone who is faster than you it could be a faster session for you and a recovery run for them. That way both of you benefit but in different ways.

9 Minimise your dark running - Make the most of weekend running. Maximise the opportunity to run on a Saturday and Sunday when you can run in the daylight.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Steve has just got a new running watch and he wants to know whether he should turn the auto pause feature on or off? Jake strongly believes the auto pause feature should be turned off. Mainly because it can falsify the data captured during the run eg: the data tells you that it took you less time than it actually did, because it paused at certain parts! Also pausing the watch can actually cause you to put more pressure on yourself, by tapping into your subconscious and telling yourself that the pace of this run matters - “I can’t stop when I get to traffic lights... I’ve got to jog on the spot… I can’t stop… etc" For the full answer plod merrily to to 41:05”

“Life the love you… live…. Love the life... NO. Love. Live the life you…. live… live the life… live the love you life…. No. LOVE the life you LIVE…. LIVE the life you LOVE! Geeez!!!"

Episode 044 - "Celebrations, selling out and goal setting"

The guys are quickly heading towards a land mark episode - Just a few weeks away from EPISODE 50.  They've decided NOT to have a party (mainly because it's self indulgent, and there's no budget for such a thing).  Which brings us to the next point - An apology!  

OFFICIAL APOLOGY: If you heard a really poor advert on last week's episode, it wasn't Jake & Pete selling out the the corporate beast; it was just Pete forgetting to reply to an email. For any distress it may have caused, we are truly sorry!  The show is up for sponsorship from a running/fitness brand, but if you run a rubbish website with a bad advert, sorry, but we are NOT the podcast for you! 

We speak to Sammy, who's in Canada (and on MDT), who's a member of Jake's Performance Community. Obviously Pete tries to bag a free holiday, whilst Jake and Sammy talk about goal setting in running and training, and how she plans to meet her dream (short term) goal of qualifying and running the Boston marathon, and her long term goal of outrunning her grandchildren when she's 95!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  Adam wants recommendations for a "right of way" app for when he's out running.  For on-road runs, Jake suggests Strava or Garmin's route builders, and mapmyrun.com  If off-road is your thing, the OS Map app is excellent.

"Do something today that your future self will thank you for.... like order a new pair of running shoes....that you don't really need!"

Episode 043 - "Body image and the holistic coach"

This episode is mainly about body image... Jake and Pete talk about their own insecurities. Apparently Pete's too "chunky" and Jake's too "skinny", he's also really concerned about the size of his ears and nose and has nightmares about getting old and looking like an extra from Lord of the Rings! 

We chat with the brilliant Jody Bunting, who's a holistic lifestyle coach. He's been in the fitness industry for the last 15 years and because he once weighed 31-stone (and lost 19 on them), he's in a unique postition to be talking body image with his clients, who he works with to be physically and mentally healthy.

Jody also did the London Marathon (in fancy dress, as "flabby Gabby"), but has "hung up his running shoes" recently.


#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Cheryl wants to know what the ideal gradient is for hill repetition work. Jake explains that you need to be looking at "around 6%". If the hill's too steep, you'll shorten your stride and run differently. For the full answer nip to 38:30.

"Dream it, believe it, BUILD IT (But not on Minecraft...y'know, in real life and stuff..."

Episode 042 - “The dark side and crusty stains "

On this episode we speak to self-confessed Star Wars geek, Jez Allinson, otherwise know as The Running Stormtrooper! In 2020 Jez is on a mission (not ordered by the Sith Lord) to run 1000 miles in dressed in a FULL Stormtrooper suit.

This thing weighs over 6 kilograms and he literally looks like he’s just stepped off the set of the Death Star, even though he admits that the lack of flexibility in the knees means that he has to step sideways up kerbs and he regularly face-plants! Jez is doing this all to raise money for Make a Wish UK and Spread a Mile UK

Jake is more excited than usual as autumn is now in full swing… his favourite time of year to run. We also discover that Jake has a thing for a cup of tea IN the shower after a long run (go figure) and he’s nailed the GREATEST PORRIDGE RECIPE in the world:

Ingredients
50g oats
200ml milk (of your choice)
1/4 grated apple
Dash of cinnamon
A dusting of freshly grated nutmeg
Seeds of 3 cardamom pods (the killer ingredient!)

Method
Combine everything in a small pan on the hob and simmer gently, stirring continuously, for around 5 minutes. Once at the desired consistency, transfer to a bowl and top with mixed seeds, nuts, a dollop of greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey…. whatever takes your fancy! Er just make sure you soak the bowl afterwards.

#AskJake:  Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. With the darker nights looming Adam wants some advice on running torches… chest torch or head torch? Jake says that the majority of chest lights are more to ‘be seen’ rather than 'to see'. Whereas as head torches are better for illuminating your path. Even the chest lights that do offer a greater amount of light, you are limited in terms of where you can shine it. Head torches on the other head allow you much more light control as you can move your head to light the area around you. For the full answer imperial march to 35:00”

“I find your lack of pace disturbing…. I’ve never spoken into a bin before. I quite like it…. THIS IS YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF RUNNING MOTIVATION!”

Episode 041 - "Hooting, trails & tricky gates!"

In this episode we chat with Sonny Peart, the co-founder of Black Trail Runners - a community and campaigning group seeking to increase inclusion, participation & representation of Black people in trail running. 

Black Trail Runners have also recently launched a brand new podcast called The Checkpoint. You can check it out here

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Stuart has asked what the difference is between flexibility and mobility? Jake says that flexibility is passive, whereas mobility is active. For example, if you were to stand on your left leg and pull your right heel to your bottom that would be flexibility, as your hand is creating the stretch in your quadricep (front thigh muscle). However if you were to stand on your left leg but this time take your right heel towards your bottom without using your hands (using only your hamstring muscle to flex the knee) then this would be classed as mobility. There is a benefit to training both! For the full answer get your trail shoes on and trot up and down dale to 34:21”

“Don't count the days.... MAKE THE DAYS COUNT! I mean.... c'mon, THINK!”

Episode 040 - “The London Marathon ‘virtual’ special"

The 40th episode of the plodcast released on exactly the same week as the 40th London Marathon!! It’s like it was meant to be!

On this Special episode we talk all things all things London marathon. We chat with Susan Wheatcroft from Virtual Runner UK who is no stranger to virtual events. It turns out Susan is taking part in the London marathon herself and supporting her friend Sophie who's running it for the first time.

Jake has a live coaching call with one of his clients (who is also running London for the first time) as they discuss some considerations ahead of the big day. Here are some of the takeaways:

1) Focus on good sleep on the Friday night. Most people sleep relatively poorly the night before a big event/goal so shift the focus to the Friday. Don’t eat late, minimise ’screen time’… all the basics which we know but perhaps don’t often apply.

2) Ensure that you fuel before you feel like you need it rather than waiting until you’re hungry. Bank calories/energy for the later miles.

3) If you have a ‘pit crew’ on the day of the race armed with supplies make sure they have a selection of options, rather than what you think you will need/want. If you get to mile 22 and can’t face the thought of another gel you will need alternatives!

4) Don’t change anything last minute - breakfast, running shoes… anything! Stick to what you know and what you’ve tried and tested.

5) Choose three targets times:

Dream time - A time that is only achievable if everything goes your way… race gods are looking down on you, you feel ace, the weather is perfect etc.
Real time - A more realistic target time baed on how training has gone and the conditions on the day of the race.
Fair time - If things don’t go your way, this is the time that you will allow yourself to achieve without beating yourself up.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. After receiving so many questions about the unique situation of planing a route for a virtual marathon Jake suggests trying his super successful Marathon Crossroad Countdown technique.

Let's face it, running 26.2 miles is challenging enough without the added stress of where to run! Well with the Marathon Crossroad Countdown technique the beauty is in the simplicity. Here's how it works...

 * Pick your starting point. 
 * Run 5 miles in one direction, turn around, and run back to the start.
 * Pick another direction. Run 4 miles out. Turn around, and run back.
 * Pick another direction. Run 3 miles out. Run back.
 * Pick another direction. Run 1.1 mile out. Run back.

💥💥💥 Boom 26.2 miles!!! 💥💥💥

The advantages…

🥇 Mentally it breaks the run up i.e. you’re never thinking about more than 5 miles at any point.
🥇 Each time you get back to your starting point you know the next 'rep' is shorter.
🥇 You can leave water, gels/snacks, clothing etc at the start to save you running around like a packhorse.
🥇 If you're coming back from injury or have a little niggle it enables you to test the situation by giving you lots of opportunities to stop the run.

 For the full answer hop on the DNF bus and jump off at 38:20"


“There’s no such thing as a free ride…… unless you DNF in a marathon"

Episode 039 - “Leggin' it to the finish"

On this episode, we chat with the super talented, and super chilled, Alex Knibbs. Alex is the British 400m Champion after he produced an incredible comeback in the final 50m of the British Championships in Manchester. Coming into the home straight Alex was in SEVENTH place. Rather than accept defeat he found an extra gear and legged it past the competition!

What is even more remarkable about his story is that 400m isn’t even his specialist event!? He’s actually a 400m hurdler, but due to lockdown restrictions making it impossible to train for the hurdles he decided to switch to the flat 400m. You can check out video footage of Alex’s awesome run here

* Note: Leg it is similar in speed to that of Bomb it, only with a slightly greater sense of urgency 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. Simon wants to know if it’s realistic to run two marathons on consecutive weekends. As further race postponements has led to ahis events back stacked back-to-back. Jake says it is certainly possible to run marathons on consecutive weekends, as people run ultra marathons, so the distance is doable. There are some things to consider however. First of all your level of fitness, and if your body is up to the challenge. Secondly, it may well be worth being conservative with your target time ambitions as trying to race them both will most likely be too much. Finally, if you do want to work slightly harder in one of them, choose the first one. This is because you can then make any necessary adjustments to how you approach the second marathon. For the full answer leg it to 34:17"

“Never be afraid to give up the good… to go for the GREAT!"

Episode 038 - "Cork hats, boomerangs & Brodie the physio"

On this episode, we catch up with Brodie Sharpe from the Run Smarter Series podcast. As a Physiotherapist, and a keen runner himself, Brodie is passionate about providing runners with the right tools, education, and guidance to help them stay injury-free and smash their goals.

We get into the art and science of avoiding injury, and discuss the importance of understanding the principles of adaptation: how providing sufficient stress to the body allows it to adapt and improve, but stress the body too much and it can lead to overtraining, fatigue, and injury.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Karen wants to know what’s the best thing to eat the night before a long run. Jake says that it is important to test things out in training to see what works for you, but in general eating meals rich in carbohydrate and low in fat and fibre is the best approach. Jake also strongly suggests eating your larger meal of the day at lunch rather than in the evening. This allows sufficient time to digest and to help ensure you feel light and raring to go come the morning of your long run. For the full answer kangaroo jump to 36:00"

“Dream it. Wish it. DO IT……. ya flaming galah!"

Episode 037 - "Breaking plates & making champions"

On this episode, Jake is struggling to work out which time zone he’s in and the holiday blues have already started to kick-in. Fortunately he’s developed a cunning plan to keep the spirit of the holiday alive for that little bit longer…. which basically involves turning his podcast studio into a Greek taverna.

We speak to Karan Singh, an ex middle distance athlete and the founder of the Indian Track Foundation - a registered trust that scouts, recruits, houses, educates, and trains raw young talent from the most tribal and rural parts of India.

Karan’s life mission is to develop India’s first ever Olympic track champions. You can follow his great work @coach.karan

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Charlotte wants to know if it’s a good idea to listen to music while running? Jake says it’s very individual but there are some things to consider - consider the purpose of the session. For example listening to your favourite high octane tunes while doing a short and easy midweek run can cause you to run too quickly. Conversely, if you are doing an interval sessions and you’re listening to music that doesn’t quite match the tempo of your pace that can also cause problems. For the full answer Greek dance your ass over to 38:32

“The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more… but in developing the capacity to enjoy less”.

Episode 036 - "Cliffs, Treadmills & budgie smuggling!"

This is Jake's second week of hosting the PLODcast from our Greek studio (Okay... it's just a bush next to a cliff, on a beach!)

We speak to the AMAZING Nikki Love.  She planned to run 2,500 miles across Australia in 63 days in 2020.  Because of lockdown restrictions, she's had to change the plan and do the same mileage on a treadmill at home.  She's raising money for "Children with Cancer UK", and the Australian mental health charity "Beyond Blue".  She's about half way through the challenge, and you'll hear her mental wrangle with the challenge on this episode.  See Nikki LIVE and follow her challenge HERE.

Many runners have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill (or dreadmill) - Inspired by Nikki's challenge, Jake runs through the negatives and positives of treadmill running, and includes some tips on how to make it match outdoor running a little better.

#AskJake: On this episode, Simon wants some advice on strength and conditioning, and not letting it affect his running sessions.  For the full answer, whizz over to 36.10.

"People who wonder if the glass is half full, or half empty completely miss the point... for the glass is REFILLABLE!"

Episode 035 - "The not-so-special Holiday Special!"

Jake's somewhere on a Greek island whilst recording the PLODcast this week. He knew that his over-worked Italian girlfriend Martina was ready for the break, because when she's really tired she gets English words mixed up... She was in the chicken on Saturday, washing down the surfaces. (kitchen!)

We chat with Mark West, who's on a mission to change the way people think about mental health and it's stigma.  He's a Run Talk Run leader for Southampton - The global community support groups offers the chance to "run and talk, free from judgement or competition"


#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  On this episode, Kerry wanted some advice about sticking to a training regime whilst on holiday. Jake gave 3 tips:

1.  Make sure you take appropriate clothing.  Light colour in hotter countries.
2. Shelve all expectations, especially if it's hot.  Judge on how you feel, rather than time or distance goals, and remember this is a HOLIDAY!
3. Take a  tube of electrolytes along.  They will help replace salts and minerals you're losing through that extra sweating you do in a hotter climate.


"Wherever life may take you, be sure to have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes....or in my case; in your ass!"

Episode 034 - “Gobbledygook and the Olympic Physio"

On this episode, Pete the Producer was tasked with sorting the technicalities of recording next week’s show as Jake is away in Greece for two weeks. He didn’t actually get around to sorting it as he inadvertently stumbled across a highly amusing audio editing trick that involved… er Jake speaking in reverse?!

We chat with Matt Bergin, a Physiotherapist to Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and co-founder of the Performance Team. As an elite athlete himself, Matt understands the importance of optimising movement to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Laura has just returned form a holiday in Spain and has to self-isolate. She doesn’t have access to a treadmill, she’s worried about losing fitness… what can she do? Jake says that actually you may lose some fitness from a two week layoff. However take some confidence from the fact that it is easier get your fitness level back than it is to find it in the place. Also when you are resting the body you are actually allowing any niggles that could lead to future injuries to settle down and recover. You could also use the time that you aren’t able to run productively, by focusing on the elements of your training - balance work, strength work, stretching, and foam rolling etc. For the full answer take a socially distanced plod to 36:40.

“Work hard in SILENCE… and let your success make the noise!"

Episode 033 - "Sweaty men & lonely goats!"

On this episode, the boys are toughing it out in their respective home studios in sweltering conditions. Pondering over the notion if men can have hot flushes as well as women, Jake takes to Google to set the record straight.

We chat with one of Jake’s clients, and Lonely Goat Running Club member, Helen Ballinger. Helen is 70 years old, she’s been running less than two years, and recently smashed her ambitious goal of completing a half marathon before her 70th birthday…. which she did with 3 days to spare!

Clearly not ready to put her feet up Helen now has her sights on future running goals. She does this to prolong her health, challenge herself, and raise money for Independent Setter Rescue & Rehome as Helen does all of her runs with ‘her boys’ (two Irish setters).

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Giles wants to know if it’s a good idea to attack hills in a race rather than hold back. Jake says it depends where the hill falls in the race. If the hill is towards the end of the race then you can push with whatever energy reserves you have left to reduce your finish time. However if the hills are much earlier in the race you are better off managing your effort on the hills so you don’t burn yourself out for the rest of the race. Running conservatively uphill also allows you to ‘let the brakes off’ when you do get to the top and use that saved energy to run quickly down hill.  For the full answer take a sweaty saunter over to 30:55

“Hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard…….. or of course if talent misses the race altogether because he’s had to self-isolate for two weeks."

Episode 032 - "Coughing, Ross Davenport & aqua joggers!"

On this episode, Jake is on cloud 9 after he completed his first trail run since the ankle injury back in early February. Although he’s under no disillusion that to reduce the risk of re-injury he really needs to commit to his single leg balance routine EVERY DAY.

So often when we are injured we commit to the ‘fussy exercises’ an injury specialist may give us, right up until the point we feel all is okay….. and then we stop! Jake believes that if we all commit to dedicating a little bit of time each week to focus on elements of our training outside of our running then we would all be fitter and healthier.

We chat to 3 x Olympian and double Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Ross Davenport  Since retiring from swimming, he's become a MASSIVE fan of running, but not such a fan of warming up (which has lead to injury for him).  He speaks honestly about his mindset when he was lining up with the likes of Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps - he also speaks very honestly about his thoughts surrounding aqua jogging (especially in a shared pool)! 🤣

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Sarah has just started doing a little bit of off-road running and she wants to know if she needs to invest in a specific pair of trail shoes? Jake says that trail shoes are typically a little bit more robust and offer better levels of grip than standard road shoes. However not all off-road routes are created equal - for example if you are running on light compact trails then the need for shoes with high levels of grip isn’t necessary. It is also important to consider the time of year - the soft and wet ground of winter may demand for more aggressive grip than the dry and solid terrain of the summer months. In the case of the latter you may find the normal road running shoes are all you need. For the full answer blast over to 34:28.

“Victory belongs to those who believe in it the most….. and believe in it the longest!"

Episode 031 - “Crouching tiger, hidden fears”

On this episode we FINALLY establish why Pete the Producer isn’t actually a true 'running guy’… because he doesn’t get caught up in all the measurements and metrics that many runners do. Where as Jake on the other hand has taken his attention to detail to the next level, by ordering a trundle wheel from the hardware store in the village so he can accurately measure out distances in the local park?!

We speak to Ted Bradshaw - a Professor in Psychological Therapies, and a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist at Barefoot Coaching

We discuss the 'flight or fight response’ and how people react differently to different situations. It turns out if there actually was a tiger in the room Jake would NOT be sticking around to continue the show.

Ted shares the fears and doubts from his own running experiences, and he takes us deep into the psyche of why what we think about ourselves we often present as true, even if it isn’t!

#AskJake:  Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode Damien wants to know what is meant by heart rate reserve. Jake explains that heart rate reserve can also be referred to as 'working heart rate', and it’s the difference between your resting heart rate and your maximum heart, which is effectively your ‘operating window’. For the full answer trudge along to 38:38.

“Never say never. Because limits, like fears, are very often just illusions. Apart from hitting the wall in a marathon... I mean that shit’s real!”

Episode 030 - "Whad'ya know Jo?"

On this episode we speak to Jo Wilkinson, fellow running coach and ex-GB athlete. From the national 1500m championships, to competing in the 10,000m in the Commonwealth Games, through to finishing in the top 20 of the London Marathon Elite Women’s Race... Jo has experienced it all.

Jo keeps things very real (exactly how we like it on the show!). We talk the psychology of training and racing, how to perform at your best while spinning the plates of life, marathon nutrition strategies… and more! 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode Sarah wants to know what the symptoms of overtraining are. Jake says some of the potential signs that you may be pushing too much are….

Feeling fatigued, more than perhaps is normal for you
Disrupted sleep
Loss of appetite
A continued drop in performance (in training and racing)
Feeling irritable
  
For the full answer make your way peacefully to 43:44.

Cover photo credit: Mark Shearman

“If you are new to the sport of running do NOT be too hard on yourself.. for every winner was once a beginner, and every master was once a disaster"

Episode 029 - "Sports psychology & the human cannonball"

On this episode Jake recalls the root cause of Pete the Producer’s knee injury - as a 22 year old kid Pete was going through a ’say yes to everything phase’ and ended up agreeing to being FIRED OUT OF A CANON!? The bloke firing the canon asked Pete if he was ready to which he replied yes..… well it turns he wasn’t! If you want to check out the video footage (oh come on, I mean as if you’re going to miss this??) [CLICK HERE]

We speak to Andy Hooton, a Sport and Exercise Psychologist, about the role the mind plays in our performance. We discuss how different personality types deal with different amounts of pressure, the importance of setting process goals as well as outcome goals… and Andy offers Jake some sound advice for Manchester 2021 after the disappointment of not finishing the race in 2019.


#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode Dave has an issue with his knee and he wants to know if it’s a good idea to wear a knee support? Jake says if there is something going on in the body it is better to scale back the training and get it checked out by a specialist, rather than masking the problem by wearing a support. It can be easy to become reliant on a support rather than getting to the root cause of the problem. For the full answer take blast to 44:25.

“Fear is NOT real. It is merely the product of the thoughts that YOU create…. unless you're about to be fired out of a canon."

Episode 028 - "Sports nutrition, comfy seats & WEAK beer!"

On this episode Jake takes a relaxed approach to motivation as he presents the show from his swanky new ergonomic office chair, and we chat to the lovely @sophiejanenutrition all about the minefield that is…. Sports Nutrition! 

Here's Jake's much much loved Peanut Butter Protein Balls recipe he referred to during the chat - Download it HERE.

...and here are some key takeaways from Soph’s knowledge bombs:

1 - The role of macronutrients
Carbohydrates - the body’s primary fuel source. We can store enough carbohydrate to provide energy for around 90 minutes (a 90 minute maximum effort rather than an easy run). Can also the provide with other uses such as providing fibre, and aiding sleep.

Protein - the building block of our muscles. Our muscles are completely renewed every two months. Protein is important in aiding recovery.

Fat - Can be used as a fuel source in long races and training runs (ran at a low intensity). Also helps to create hormones as well as transporting vital vitamins and minerals around the body.

2 - Intuitive eating
This is all about taking a step back, not getting too bogged down in the detail, and listening to the body - which foods make you feel good (and perform well) and which don’t. It also involves making sure you tick the basics - a bit of all three macronutrients in every meal, and an array of coloured fruits and/or vegetables to ensure you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals. The old adage… BALANCE IS KEY!

3 - Pre-run nutrition
Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the body digests the carbohydrate and releases the energy into the bloodstream.

Low G.I. food - energy is released slowly and tend to come from foods that have higher fibre content, such as oats and wholegrain.

High G.I. food - energy is released more quickly eg a very ripe banana

Focus on low G.I foods 3-4hrs before the run high G.I foods much closer to the run.

Optimise hydration levels by drinking around 125ml - 250ml water close to the run or race.

Experiment in training to find what works for YOU.

4 - Hydration
To check your hydration level check that your urine is a pale straw colour and monitor how frequently you go.

To check how much water weight you lose during a run, weight yourself before and then weight yourself afterwards (over a short run so you don’t need to drink during). Every 1kg of bodyweight lost equates to roughly 1 litre of water.

To rehydrate consume 150% of what you have lost eg if you have lost 1kg drink 1.5l of water afterwards (slowly over time rather than ‘power-drinking’!)

Apparently 4% beer has been proven to hydrate you!! Pete was disappointed the benefits were capped at 4%...

5 - Fasted running
There is some research to suggest that fat oxidation (basically breaking down fat to use as a fuel source) is maximised if you train in a fasted state.

Be aware that perceived rate of exertion is actually higher if training fasted i.e. we feel that the training session is harder than we potentially would if we were training fully fuelled

The mouth-rinsing technique involves swilling a carbohydrate drink around the mouth (but not swallowing it). Tiny carbohydrate receptors in the mouth potentially tell the brain to expect energy soon. This can result in an increased feeling of energy.

6 - Gels!
Gels are quick, convenient, and easy to administer.

The body can process 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour… which is a lot! For example a large banana contains around 30g of carbohydrate.

The downside of gels is the G.I issues that so many runners suffer from. This is often down to the fact that gels are super concentrated and often contain sweetness that can upset some runners.

For seriously long runs and races (think ultras) it is good idea to take onboard some protein and carbohydrate too.


7 - Post-run nutrition
The window of opportunity to recover and repair the body lasts a few hours after your session, if your next training session is 24hrs away (or more).

The window of opportunity is shorter if you train twice per day or if you have another session in less than 8hrs time. In this instance post-run nutrition needs to be optimised.

8 - Sports supplements
They are designed to do exactly what they say on the tin - supplement! If you have a healthy balanced diet supplements (such as multivitamins or protein shakes are not necessary).

The upside of supplements is they are convenient.

Don’t be afraid to use them, but don’t depend on them.

It is highly recommended however that everyone (in the UK) take vitamin D between the months of October to March.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode Sep wants to know if it’s a good idea to throw his running shoes in the washing machine. Jake responds with a big fat NO! Washing machines can potentially damage the materials of the shoe which can prevent the shoe from doing the job it was designed to do… protect you! Instead get rid of any dried mud with a stiff brush and then wash in warm soapy water (washing-up liquid will do). Then leave to dry naturally (not on a radiator!). To speed up the drying process scrunch up newspaper and stuff them deep into the shoe as this helps to absorb the moisture. For the full answer take a gentle stroll to 38:35.

“If someone tells you that you can’t, they’re showing you their limits…. NOT YOURS."

Episode 027 - “Ironman pyjamas, vest refunds, and running to lose weight”

On this episode Pete the Producer is still in his PJs and Aldridge Running Club send Jake a surprise parcel as a thank you for the motivation during lockdown - one of their swanky running club vests. Although the guys seriously consider sending it back as they now feel under pressure to create an even greater ‘weekly dose of running motivation’!  If you missed the live reaction from Jake you can catch up on the Facebook video HERE

Jake shares 8 tips and considerations for those that want to use running as a tool to lose weight. Here’s a quick summary:

1 - Energy is king!
2 - Know your obstacle
3 - Create a deficit
4 - Don’t trust the tech
5 - All runs are not created equal
6 - Don’t eat ‘in the moment’
7 - Curate your OWN recipe book
8 - Don’t over do it!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode Jessica wants advice on how to get over the disappointment of her marathon being cancelled. Jake suggests allowing some time and space to deal with the frustration before moving to a more positive way of thinking. View the cancellation as an opportunity to focus on elements of your training that you may have neglected previously. This could be strength work, stretching, sleep quality, or nutrition. For the full answer plod merrily to 29:50. 

“Remember that every champion was once a contender who refused to give up!"

Episode 026 - “100 mile debrief, chainsaws, and the cock next door!”

Seriously we’re an internationally renowned podcast…. what have we got to do to get some peace and quiet around here?? On today’s episode we attempt to ‘hear ourselves think’ as Jake is constantly interrupted by the neighbour with his high-powered bush cutter.. or is it brush cutter?! Anyway IT’S NOISY! Shutting the window didn’t appear to help a great deal either. Still it could have been worse, as there’s also a noisy cock living next door.

On a slightly more positive note we have a debrief with Ben Sheppard who managed to get through his 24hr run around a 400 metre athletics track with most of his toenails still intact! You can still make a donation to Global’s Make Some Noise Emergency Appeal.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode the cock next door wants to know... no hang on wait… KATIE wants to know if it’s okay for her to switch some of her runs for an indoor bike session? Jake thinks this is great idea as it can also add variety to your training. However where possible try keep the format similar to that of the session you are substituting eg substitute a running interval session with a bike interval session. For the full answer skip quietly to 27:56.

"Your body hears EVERYTHING your mind says..... Unless you've got a noisy c*** living next door!"

Episode 025 - “The power of Krispy Kremes & a bonkers 24hr challenge!"


We catch up with Ben Sheppard ahead of his INSANE challenge of running for 24hrs around a 400 metre athletics track!? This is the most gruelling challenge (both physical and mental) that Ben has ever taken on. It’s all to raise money for Global’s Make Some Noise Emergency Appeal which aims to support small charities up and down the country that have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus. 

Ben’s no stranger to unthinkable running challenges having already completed 100 miles of Chester Racecourse. But by his own admission this is far and away though most gruelling challenge (both physical and mental) that he has ever take on. He realises the importance of nutrition strategy and fortunately he WON'T be replicating his mate’s ultra marathon strategy which involves nailing a giant box of Krispy Kremes!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Teresa wants advice on improving the quality of her sleep. Jake suggests avoiding mobile phones and computer monitors too late, and even turning the brightness down early in the evening. He also suggests cutting out caffeine after midday, and if you do happen to wake up in the night don’t be tempted to check the time as this can only create more anxiety eg “Eek it’s 4am and I only have two hours before I need to be up!!”. For the full answer skip joyfully to 26:06.

“It is understandable if you let a bad run ruin your lunch… but don’t let it spoil your dinner!"

Episode 024 - “Running ‘late’ with Jake"

On this episode Jake only just makes it in time to record the show! Turns out he was running late as he’s come 'back out of retirement' and was ‘round the next door neighbour's, putting Nancy through her first Personal Training session!? The good news however is that Nancy is all into her baking which reminded Jake about his killer Peanut Butter Protein Balls - the perfect snack for those long runs. Check out the RECIPE PDF HERE!

We catch up with catch up with Caine, the event organiser of a funky series of races know as the Hairy Helmet Relay, to get his take on the current situation for races up and down the country.

When Jake finally settles into the show he shares some great tips and thoughts on the importance of warming up before training runs and races. For a great little warm-up, which is one of the mobilisation routines that Jake gives his runners, just click the links: Warm-up routine or Warm-up recap

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Jon's picked up a new running watch and he wants to know if it is a good idea to turn auto-pause on - the feature that automatically pauses the watch when you stop. Jake’s opinion is to keep the feature off as it can effectively falsify the data recorded eg if you stop to cross a road and the watch pauses then metrics such as average pace and average heart rate won’t take into account the time the watch was paused. Jake also reminds us that race organisers won’t pause the clock if you stop to tie your shoe lace or grab a drink so why should you pause in training..? For the full answer skip happily to 33:59.

“You may stumble, you may lose your path…. but this does not mean that you will be lost forever"

Episode 023 - "Running v Family & big fat thumbs!"

On this episode… *drum roll* …the guys FINALLY find the culprit that gave the show a one star rating back in January 2020! (phew maybe this is finally the end of the ratings saga!)  😂

Jake catches up with his good friend, Rob Hambly, who talks about the challenges of balancing family life with his training for the Manchester Marathon. Rob also opens up on his heart-wrenching experience of the Bristol half marathon. Not only was it his first ever half marathon, it was also the race in which his friend (who got Rob into running in the first place) sadly died 0.1 miles before the finishing line. 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, John wants to know whether it’s better to pick the pace up when running downhill or hold himself back? Jake says it’s important to remember that running downhill is easier than running uphill, so ‘letting the brakes off’ and allowing gravity to assist you as you run towards the bottom is the best way to tackle descents. Effectively run on feel rather than pace. It does take confidence however so stay patient and build your ability gradually. For the full answer skip happily to 26:54.

“Remember ALWAYS…. that happiness is an inside job!"

Episode 022 - “The Dr of Happiness, and the worst Q&A ever!"


On this episode we talk to the UK’s only Dr of Happiness, Andy Cope, about positive psychology and the art of 'being brilliant’. Andy tells us that striking the balance of happiness is important, and we discover an 18th century word - Grinagog: someone that is so happy you want to punch their lights out! Check out Andy’s great work at artofbrilliance.co.uk 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode however, Jake decides to handover to Pete for the answers as he believes it will be good for his development. He has a stab at two questions - “How do you get rid of medial tibial stress syndrome?” and “What’s the best way to pace a 5K time trial?”. To hear Pete’s groundbreaking answers skip to 29:58.

“Remember ALWAYS…. that happiness is an inside job!"

Episode 021 - "Gold medalist Ollie Hynd & that show on Netflix about dancing!"

On this episode we have a chat with Ollie Hynd MBE and find out how lockdown's treating him.  Turns out he's thriving and trying out routines that aren't in his usual training sessions.  He's also spending quite a bit of time hanging out with mates on the XBox.....and we get to sound the "PODCAST EXCLUSIVE" alarm again, as he tells us something he's never told any other media outlet.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Gillian wants to know what the best formula is for working out your maximum heart rate.  Jake  explains there are many, but none are particularly reliable.  A common one is taking 220, minus your age, but research reveals that could be inaccurate by 15bpm either side of the answer.  If you want an accurate answer, the best thing is to book a lab session and have an incremental treadmill test.


"Damn it!  Make your long runs so epic, Morgan Freeman should narrate them!"

Episode 020 - "Sat Bains, Marathon paced training & Trevor McDonald!"

This is an episode of big surprises and nostalgia!  Not only is Jake related to international Michelin star chef Sat Bains, he's also mates with Sir Trevor McDonald OBE (and has the evidence to prove it!)

You'll hear Jake's chat with "Trev" from circa 1998, where Jake sounds like a 12 year old and Trevor sounds like a GODDAMNED LEGEND!  We also catch up with Sat and speak about how important a workout routine is for mental health, especially in these times, not only for him but also for his staff at Restaurant Sat Bains

Now lockdown restrictions have been relaxed a little, we're able to spend more time doing what we love, so Jake will be talking about the pros and cons of marathon paced training.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Alison is training for a marathon and wants to know if she should break up her long run at the weekend in to two runs over the day.  Jake say's that splitting the run is good to do from an injury point of view, but won't prepare her body sufficiently for the endurance required for the marathon.

"Healthy is NOT a goal...it is a way of living!"

Episode 019 - “Base training, ‘proper runners’, and twerking for charity?!”

On this episode… after Pete’s recent revelation that he has started the Couch to 5K programme, he still feels like he is the non running guy of the show. Jake challenges him on this and asks the question “What would make you a proper runner??”.

Jake shares his marathon base building tips to help maximise the extra time we now have since lockdown, and get us primed and ready for when the hard training begins again. To understand your training paces check Jack Daniels' pace calculator 

And we chat to Paula from Cancer Research UK Race For Life who are now looking to beat cancer AND Covid 19 in their new Race For Life at Home! You don’t just have to run to take part you know? You can jump, skip… or twerk your way to raising money for this incredible cause.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Daniel is fairly new to running and would like some tips on using Strava. Jake suggests not just using the mobile app for Strava, but also look at the desktop version as this gives you a lot more features and control. For the full explanation, skip to 37:30.

“There is no elevator to success……. man you’ve just got to take the stairs!”

Episode 018 - "Pete the running guy, filthy kids and the record breaker!"

This week, Jake brands Pete a "running guy" - the episode cover would be proof to the contrary!  The thing he's wearing is neither a boiler suit or an Ice cream man uniform,, it's just a funny body 😂!

We have friend of the show Ben Smith on (He did 401 marathons in 401 days y'know... the record breaker).  He gives some great postponement advice, after his new challenge has been postponed until next year.  If you missed our Ben Smith Special episode, HEAR IT HERE.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Rob wants to know how he can spice up his easy runs to make them more interesting. (Skip to 29'10" for the answer)

"Your spring marathon may have been deferred, but that isn't your biggest challenge...Your BIGGEST CHALLENGE is having to cut your own hair!"

Episode 017 - “The 'Marty Rose’, slow runs, and virtual dates”

On this episode, we chat with Exercise Scientist, and all round nice guy, Callum Thomas about the physiological benefits of easy running.

Callum talks stroke volume, which is the amount of blood your heart pumps around the body in a single beat. Hey did you know that when you run beyond 60% of your maximum heart rate, sure your heart beats faster, but it won’t actually beat any harder? I know… crazy huh?! Bring on the slow running!

Oh yeah we also talk about the new lockdown pastime we all share - birdwatching- and Jake takes Callum to task after he disappeared during a Live Running Q&A for a ‘virtual date’!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Kev has just started running and he wants to know how to keep his breathing under control. Jake talks about the importance of patience, and trusting the process. He says that in time, Kev will develop a broader range of speeds that he can run at, and this will enable him to keep his breathing in check. For the full explanation, skip to 31:10.


“Look either do or do not……. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TRY!"

Episode 016 - "Home working"

On this episode, we finally have a proper catch up with PARALYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, friend of the show and all round good fella, Richard Whitehead.  Turns out he's gone rogue since lockdown, and doing too much upper body work in his home gym and currently resembles "The Hulk".  He's also eating too much red meat and drinking too much cider!  🤣

He talks about the importance of mental wellbeing during these odd times, and speaks about how he felt when Tokyo 2020 was put back a year.  It's a good chat with plenty of honesty and just the right amount of pisstaking! 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode,  Teresa wants to know how long a warm-up should be.  Jake says it depends on the session you're doing...

If it's a short easy run, then a few minutes walk before, or set off at a slower pace.  If however you have a more intense session planned your warm-up will need to be somewhere in the region of 15-20 minutes; initially a little job to warm the body, followed by a serious of strides (relaxed sprints). For the full explanation, skip to 26:10.

"ONLY THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE - So stop telling porkies!"

Episode 015 - "Isolation hair, Tips for new runners & Jake's left speechless!"

Many people are cutting their own hair whilst in isolation. Jake's no different, which surprises Pete the Producer because Jake's normally "weird" about his hair. When he's turned up at Pete's to record the PLODcast previously, the first thing he does is request the use of a hairdryer!  

You'll hear Jake "lost for words" on this episode, because his Performance Community did something to ease the pain of his broken ankle - It was all filmed, you can  SEE IT HERE.  Sidenote: this was all arranged and recorded before the Covid-19 outbreak.

If you're a new runner, Jake has his 14-Tips for new runners on this episode, have a listen for the full explanations, but here are the Tips:

1. Set a target - Which could be a distance or time.
2. WHY do you want to start to run? Understand your reasons for doing this.
3. Full immersion - Read books, speak to people, seek help.
4. One size doesn't fit all - We all make progress at different rates.
5. Don't expect to love every session.
6. Beware the temptation to over-hydrate and over-dress.
7. Don't expect "easy" sessions to actually feel easy!
8. Understand the stages of learning and know where you currently are.
9. Stay patient.
10. Run on grass to reduce impact.
11. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
12. Focus on your feet - Wear the right footwear.
13. Get creative - Choose different routes.
14. Don't take short cuts!

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, James wants to know if the rest is essential, as he's following a training plan which includes 3x1Km with a 2 minute rest between each km. Jake explains that the rest is essential during interval training. Hear the full explanation by skipping to 35mins in.

"Don't stop when you're tired, stop when you're DEAD (....but don't die, OBVIOUSLY!)"

Episode 014 - Premature ageing, Marathon Marcus & The Stairs of DEATH!

Jake and Marty's isolation is becoming dangerous!  They live in a very lovely little anex, their stairs however aren't so "lovely", in fact they have become known as The Stairs of DEATH!   See them HERE.  

Today's guest is Marathon Marcus.  Jake chats to him about breaking 3 hours (having narrowly missed it by 19-seconds in New York).  Marcus is a 6-star finisher and a big ambassador for mental health.  His new Podcast 'A Runner's Life' is definitely worth a listen on Spotify.  You can also check his Website and his Insta.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  On this episode, Rebecca wants to know how often she should buy new running shoes.  Jake explains that there isn't a "magic answer", as it depends on your strike pattern, your weight, surfaces you run on and many other factors.  However, as a rule of thumb; have a close look at the sole of your shoes after about 400 miles... if you don't already log the mileage of your shoes, start doing it now.

" If you really, TRULY believe that you CAN, then you are already halfway there."

Episode 013 - "Bladder control, time management & InstaGRAN!"

With so many Mother’s Day disruptions up and down the country, on this episode we put a call in to Jake’s super positive 84 year old Grandma to see how she’s doing. (...and to let her know that Jake's okay!)

With the growing number of people now working from home, Jake shares a time management tool that he actually uses himself - the Pomodoro Technique. This increases productivity, BUT with Jake’s little twist it also improves your physical wellbeing!  Get your hands on a Pomodoro timer here on either Apple Appstore  or Google Play.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Charlotte wants some tips on bladder control (hers keeps "sloshing around" when she's on a long run).  Here's Jake's answer, in the form of a handy VIDEO!

“If you don’t fill your life with challenges that inspire you….. it will get filled with challenges that don’t!"

Episode 012 - "Change of plan: Coronavirus and it's impact"

This episode was planned to be a 'Marathon Special' - That had to change then!  

With the delay of so many Marathons due to the coronavirus outbreak, Jake offers advice to you if your event has been postponed and you're feeling frustrated.  He talks about being in your "maintenance mode" and how this extra training time doesn't necessarily need to be seen as a bad thing. 

We've got Lindsy James on the show, who's a massively motivated record breaking runner and Director of Active Fusion.  Jake chats to her about her thoughts surrounding all of the marathon postponements and how it affects her training.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Tom's in a "panic" about the rescheduled London marathon date being too close to Berlin and wants to know if he'd be able to compete in them both.

"Remember : Success come to those who are willing to get their hands dirty....But just DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE!"

Episode 011 - “X Factor exercises, and a Random Act of Motivation”

With Jake still on the injury bench he is determined to pick the brains of as many injury experts as possible, and on this episode we chat to Physiotherapist Rob Smith at RS Therapy in Derby. Rob is all about ‘bullet-proofing the body’ BEFORE an injury strikes. He’s got some great little exercises you can do while watching X-factor…. although he also confirms that they aren’t ’show specific’. Check them out here :  WATCH NOW

We put a call in to an unsuspecting runner who has lost their mojo and Jake flexes his motivational muscles to get them back on track, in Random Act of Motivation!   Don’t forget to pay particular attention to this episode’s cover photo.  I’m tellin’ you man… she is DEFINITELY leaning up against a slice of burnt toast!

Don’t forget, if you know of someone who is in desperate need of a little encouragement to help them find their mojo then drop us a message at plodcast@runningwithjake.com and tell us a little bit about them.

#AskJake: Each week, we’ll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  On this episode, Natasha wants to know if it’s a good idea to stretch before a run.  Jake thinks dynamic stretches are better before you start, and to save your static stretches for after the run.  For the complete answer skip to 21.55.

“Remember that tough people DO NOT last, but tough times DO! ….Wait that’s wrong.”

Episode 010 - Injury, sports therapy and a Buzz Lightyear problem.

Jake's managed to injure his ankle, in a BIG way.  His aim of sub 3 Hours at Manchester is NOT going to happen😥.  On this episode you'll hear all about his time at A&E and a bizarre injury involving Buzz Lightyear (with flick out wings!).  If you don't understand the Spanish reference, watch THIS 🤣

We catch up with Jen Wilson from the Human Performance Unit at The University of Derby who explains about gait analysis and talks about rehab plans and the importance of movement quality.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  On this episode, Coleen wants to know the best way of warming up for a 10k.  Jake advises to always warm up for a 10k if you're intending to run it quickly, and to base your warm-up on time rather than distance (so rather than warming up for a mile, warm up for 10 or 20 minutes).  Hear the explanation by skipping to 25:25.

"The pain that your experience today will be THE STRENGTH that you feel tomorrow"

Episode 009 - “The ratings rant and an injured friend”

On this episode Jake and Pete the Producer get ‘bent out of shape’ over ratings. “Just let it go boys!"

You'll hear Jake's theory about the 18 mile point in a marathon being more challenging than the 20 mile point.  It (kind of) makes sense, when you think about it!

Jake finally catches up with his mate Darren - a man desperate to see two things… the finish line of a marathon and "the penis under his belly”.

#AskJake:  Each week, we’ll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, John wants to know “Is it better to take short strides or big strides when tackling hills?”. Find out the answer by skipping to 29:43.

“Running with Jake - The PLODcast.  Please rate and review..... WE'RE DEFINITELY WORTH MORE THAN ONE STAR!"

Episode 008 - "The Star Baker and a plod across Oz”

We catch up with one of Jake’s runners who continues to take herself well and truly out of her comfort zone.

After getting lost somewhere in Nottinghamshire we finally manage to catch up with adventure seeker Nikki Love about her next big a thing - a world record attempt with a little 'plod’ across Australia!  For more details check out Nikki’s page and lend her your support. 

#AskJake Each week we take one of your questions and Jake answers it. In this episode Tom wants to know the best way to choose a target time for his half marathon.  Skip to 31:26 for the answer (that means fast-forward… don’t actually skip!).

“If you fail to prepare, then you are preparing to fail….. SO YOU BEST GET PREPPING!"

Episode 007 - "Time obsession, and adrenaline junkies"

Pete the Producer quizzes Jake on his obsession with timing EVERYTHING, from post run stretches to cups of tea! Note: 4 minutes for a brew is optimum. 👍🏽

We chat with fellow podcaster Ben Sheppard, host of Why in the World - a show all about extraordinary people who thrive on a life of adventure! Go on, have a listen here (It's not cheating on us!)

#AskJake:  Each week, we’ll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Rob wants to know “How to avoid blisters during a long run?”. Anti-chafing lubricant can be a good place to start, but for the full answer skip to 34:30.

“Remember, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it….. SO STOP ACTING LIKE A D**KHEAD!?”

Episode 006 - "Lost mojos and the 'tiny' coach”

On this episode we chat to Morph - an experienced runner, coach, and Physio - about the cost of carrying a few extra pounds has on your marathon pace, and the ’small man syndrome’ he had as a teenager!

Jake shares his best tips and tricks to help you find your running mojo. This is audio from a Facebook Live that Jake did a few weeks ago. If you want more FB Live tips. then just head over to the Running with Jake Facebook page.

#AskJake: Each week, we’ll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Rebecca wants to know “How much water should I take with me on long runs?”. Find out the answer by skipping to 28:15.

“Even if you ARE on the right road… if you just sit there you’ll get run over”.

Episode 005 - "The Ben Smith 401 Special"

We're REALLY EXCITED to give you the first of our special episodes..

This is an in depth chat with Ben Smith (Yeah...the fella who did 401 marathons in 401 days!). Since the record breaking challenge, Ben has appeared all over the TV, Radio and in numerous publications. He's also a motivational speaker and spreads his messages of positivity by making school visits.

On this episode, Ben speaks openly about his reasons for running, the importance of spreading positivity and tells us all about his awesome new challenge, "USA 2020"

If you know somebody who thinks running can't change lives, get them to listen to this episode! 

Find out more about Ben by hitting these links, and please support him in his brilliant charity work.

Official website : https://www.the401challenge.co.uk/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/the401challenge/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/the401challenge
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/the401challenge/
Buy the book : https://www.amazon.co.uk/401-Marathons/

Episode 004 - "Injuries, goals and healthy flapjacks"

On this episode, we chat to Lisa; after a big injury, life got in the way of her running.  Will Jake help her back on track to find her mojo again?

Why a slight shift in mental attitude can make all the difference to your training and why it's so important to really care about your goal.  This is audio from a Facebook live that Jake did a couple of months ago.  If you want more FB live tips, check out the Running with Jake Facebook page.

Jake chases a complete stranger round a park and shouts "Excuse me...who are you running from?" again (and somehow doesn't get punched!).  VIDEO EVIDENCE is here!  Thanks for being an awesome sport Rebekah, from The Event Foundry (If YOU let Jake chase you around a park, we'll plug your business too!)

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it. On this episode, Amelia want to know whether she can still run if she's got a cold".  Jake's not a doctor but says that if you feel the cold above your neck, then yes you can train to a lower intensity.  If however you can feel it on your chest, it's a "no no"!  (Skip to 26:10 to hear it)

"Everything that you ever wanted is just outside of your comfort zone.... so get out of YA GODDAMNED COMFORT ZONE!"

Episode 003 - "Defying age and a frantic Grandma"!

On this episode, we chat to Michelle from https://plogolution.com - She'll tell you how to make the world a better place whilst running.

Jake gives his Top Tips for time trials and discusses the benefits of including them in your training.  

We catch up with the LEGENDARY David Lloyd - who's defying the ageing process through a new found love of running - He's often seen overtaking younger people at the Nottingham Parkrun.

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  On this episode, Lisa wants to know about the benefits of "strides".  Find out the answer by skipping to 31:20

"Run when you can, walk if you have to, CRAWL if you must, just never, ever, EVER give up!"

Episode 002 - "Chasing a Paralympic Gold Medalist"

Jake and Pete have finally agreed on the name of the PLODcast and they're in search of Paralympic Gold Medalist (and top man), Richard Whitehead.

Jake gives his 3 tips to feel less pressure and more enjoyment from your runs, and we talk all things running with Ultramarathoner Jacki Johnson 

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  On this episode, Steve wants to know whether running with music is a good thing or a bad thing.  Jake thinks it depends on the type of music you're listening to; higher octane music naturally will help you increase pace, but that can lead to burn out if you're on a long run.

"A comfort zone is a beautiful place, BUT nothing ever grows there"

Episode 001 - The Pilot

Meet the team:  Jake Lowe is your host.  He's been a running coach for the last 10 years, training his clients one-on-one.  He's really excited to launch The PLODcast because it'll give him a chance to inspire and train his audience en masse.

Pete is Jake's Producer - In his own words, he's "not a runner guy" (but who knows what the first few episodes hold!)

On this episode, we investigate whether Jake's upbeat and motivational techniques as a coach actually boarder on harrassment or not 🤣.  We have a very honest chat with @TomWatts about his reasons for running, and Jake approaches a stranger who's running in a park and asks "Excuse me...who are you running from?"

#AskJake: Each week, we'll take one of your questions and Jake will answer it.  On this episode, Frankie wants to know how often she should take carb gels during her first marathon. Find out the answer by skipping to 28:30

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