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Matt Fitzgerald on Winter Running Motivation

I wanted to get something down on the blog about attending a running seminar at Fleet Feet Old Town on Saturday morning--since I did the same thing for hearing Joe Friel speak awhile back. These events sometimes strongly influence my current thinking on exercise in general, diet, training, etc..

Matt's talk was actually amazing. Not that I thought it would suck. I'm very familiar with him and overall like his approach to almost any related topic. But I'm mostly familiar with his thoughts on triathlon since that is how I first learned about him. I read his excellent introduction to the sport then found my way to his training plans and nutrition info. And most of my experience with what he has to say about running has been the tidbits I've seen online.

He's very research based and very practical/reasonable. Which, sadly, isn't fashionable in every circle of the endurance sports world. I'm a big fan though. And you could see his style on display Saturday. He was talking about winter running, specifically, and finding motivation. But it morphed into other things as he went over about a dozen tips and ideas.

In reality, it was a guided tour of brain science and a heavy dose of study-based evidence for how to improve your training and performance. He's not as data-driven as Joe Friel or a few others. The details of research into exercise science can sometimes be boring and hard to focus on so I appreciate his ability to distill down to the key concepts.

But what surprises, perhaps, is Matt's level of humor, how easy he is to relate to, the personal stories, how intelligently he can speak to a variety of skill levels...the talk did nothing to knock him off the pedestal of my endurance sports-world favorites. His talk was insightful, entertaining, and did the job of making me want to keep going despite the cold, dark days of winter.

A few of his bits of wisdom...put together a running streak, start with just 10 minutes and a short workout because something is better than nothing, do something different, eating right can help prevent the small muscle tears that cause soreness, finding the right diet is unique to individuals and nothing works for everybody, accurate workout feedback is key to performance, and you're very unlikely to reach your actual physical limit while racing/training...it's all mental.

If you have a chance, I highly recommend picking up one of his books or using one of his training plans. He's a great way to be smart about exercise and completely moderate about finding what works for you. Nope, not being paid to say nice things about Matt, just an admirer of his ability to keep the "rest of us" in shape and racing. I'd like to thank him for being around. Much appreciated!


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