So much great information can be found in our past coaching calls.

Grab your favourite beverage and have fun bingeing on all of these audio recordings from past discussions since November 2019.

November Group Coaching Call Content

The first 20 minutes were spent introducing ourselves. From 20:20 to 1:05:20, I covered,
  • Aerobic base building
  • How/why to do a maximum aerobic function (MAF) test
  • Injury prevention, and
  • Nutrition.
There were also some excellent questions asked, including:
  •  38:55 - How do I determine my easy running pace if I don't know my 5k pace?
  • 1:05:26 - What if I can't do SAM right away? Is it okay to wait 20 minutes until I get home?
  • 1:08:29 - How will I know when to move to the next level of SAM?
  • 1:10:16 - Can SAM be modified if it's unsafe to complete in slippery weather conditions?
  • 1:13:49 - I don't always trust myself to eat intuitively. How can I structure my eating to make sure I get enough of what I need (e.g. protein from plant-based sources) without overeating?
  • 1:31:36 - Can you eat carbohydrates and still be a fat burner?

Questions for December Q&A Call

  • 4:38 - What does it mean if my 5k + 1:30 pace is way different than my 180-age pace?
  • 18:37 - What are your thoughts on using a run/walk approach during a race?
  • 21:24 - I know you want us to run by feel but I'm compelled to check my data (pace, HR). Is that bad?
  • 25:43 - What are your thoughts on treadmill running?
  • 31:14 - I feel great. Can I add more mileage and/or make my long run longer?
  • 34:28 - Are strides like sprints?
  • 39:07 - Considering we are in cold/flu season, how do you decide when to skip the workout and when to push through?
  • 46:23 - Do I need to strength train in addition to SAM? If so, what exercises do you recommend and when should I strength train (e.g. easy days vs. hard days)?
  • 56:18 - I just watched the movie Game Changers. Should I be eating a plant-based diet? (If you're curious to learn more about another perspective not offered in the film, check out Chris Kresser's Revolution Health Radio podcast from Nov 7th titled "Why the Optimal Human Diet Includes Animal Protein.")

Questions for January Q&A Call

  • 7:00 - I like to run with my local run group. What if their workout is different from the one you prescribed?
  • 10:10 - What if I feel like I'm putting in the right effort but due to weather conditions the pace is much slower?
  • 13:50 - I have a race coming up. Can you talk about warm up and race strategy? (There is a video of me performing the warm-up & technique drills on our resources page that you might want to check out)
  • 24:05 - I have a race coming up and I'm worried that I haven't done enough challenging workouts yet.
  • 25:30 - I am foam rolling my IT band but it doesn't seem to be working. Do you have any recommendations?
  • 29:17 - Is there anything special I need to eat/drink around hard workouts, long runs, or races?

Questions for February Q&A Call

  • 0:10 - Review of 25-30% rule for long run
    • 40k/week…10-12k long run
    • 45k/week…11.25-13.5k long run
    • 50k/week…12.5-15k long run
    • 65k/week…16.25-19.5k long run
    • 90k/week…22.5-27k long run
    • 100k/week…25-30k long run
  • 3:30 - Why I don't often recommend recreational runners run a marathon.
  • 7:12 - Creative ways to add more weekly mileage (if desired).
  • 16:30 - Is there a difference between the chest strap heart rate monitor and a wrist-worn device? Is one better than the other?
  • 21:43 - What should I aim to keep my heart rate at during races?
  • 23:43 - What incline should I set my treadmill to?
  • 24:35 - Can you explain the purpose of the harder workouts like hills, sprints and tempos? What happens in the body with that kind of training stimulus?
  • 38:45 - Review of race strategy (1/3-1/3-1/3).
  • 40:30 - How do you build mental toughness?

Turning Disappointment Into Opportunity

  • The global COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to all of our March/April races being cancelled or postponed. May and June races are not officially cancelled, but stay tuned.
  • 3:35-34:40 - One of your fellow runners, Melanie, discusses a recent marathon experience that didn't go according to plan, how she moved through a range of uncomfortable feelings that followed, what she learned from her "failure," and how'll she'll modify her training/racing going forward.
  • 34:58-53:00 - We discussed alternative race options if your race has been cancelled (e.g. virtual races, time trials, race your friends, delay until a late spring or fall race), as well as how to adjust your training if your race has been pushed to the fall.
  • 53:04-57:52 - How to deal with the disappointment of injury.

Discussion for April's Call

We had a fun discussion on what to do now that your spring race is likely cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.
You have several options.
  1. Stage a time trial.
  2. Participate in a virtual race. (The Rambling Runner has a whole series)
  3. Take a break. (essential if you're feeling burned out/injured)
  4. Do an 8-10-week speed segment.
  5. Go into a holding pattern with bread-and-butter workouts. (lots of easy mileage, tempo running, long runs, hills/drills/strides)

Interview with Carolyn's Husband, Johnny

  • 0:10 - Intro and bio.
  • 4:00 - Tell us about your sports background and when you started running.
  • 9:54 - It took you 2-3 seasons of running (mostly hard workouts, low volume, little structure) to shave 1-min off your 5k, but then you started to plateau. What did your coach say that caused you to take running more seriously?
  • 16:23 - What made you finally buy into slowing down?
  • 23:25 - What made you question your "no pain, no gain" mentality?
  • 31:27 - Do you think spending several years mastering the 5k contributed to your success at longer distances?
  • 35:12 - Let's talk about nutrition. What foods do you eat (or not eat) for athletic performance?
  • 39:24 - You seem to be very mentally tough. What do you tell yourself when things get challenging in a workout or race? How do you work with yourself in order to detach from doubt, fear, and tiredness?
  • 47:33 - What is it that you like most about short/hard workouts?
  • 55:00 -- Do you go into a race knowing it's going to be hard?
  • 56:35 - 5 key takeaways (1. Listen to your coach 2. Keep your easy days easy; make your hard days hard 3. Slow the bleep down 4. Be intuitive 5. Prioritize the 'non-running' work).
  • 58:34 - What do you do for cross training?



Interview with Carolyn's Client, Shawn

In this interview, Shawn shared the fascinating story of dropping >135 pounds over the past 2.5 years (big shout-out to his dog, Friday!) and taking over two minutes off his 5k personal best over the past ten months! Find out how he went from almost 300 pounds to running sub-21 minute 5k's.



Top 5 Running Mistakes I've Learned the Hard Way

  1. Running my easy days too hard
  2. Paying only lip service to the non-running work
  3. Being a slave to my data/gadgets
  4. Overvaluing the long run
  5. Thinking I had a free pass to eat whatever I wanted

Inside Carolyn's Marathon Training

  • 2:55 - My "why" for running another marathon
  • 10:30 - My goals and how I set them
  • 16:05 - What aspects of my training went well
  • 23:30 - What aspects of my training didn't go so well
  • 31:40 - What I'm most nervous about
  • 33:45 - What I'm most excited about
  • 37:40 - What shoes I'll be wearing
  • 41:40 - How I'm planning to fuel/hydrate
  • 54:55 - How I'll work with myself (mentally) throughout the taper and during rough patches in the race
  • 1:01:30 - What's next?

Lessons Learned

Carolyn shares lessons learned from her recent marathon DNF (and redemption run!) and covers how best to use this time of year to remain injury-free and set yourself up to race well next spring

A review of the fundamentals

Here are time stamps to locate the information you most need to hear.
1:55: Periodization - what is it and how to apply it to your training. Some great questions came up around this from individuals on the call.
16:50: Why do aerobic base building? What's the point? Can you overdo it? What's the 10% rule and does it always apply? How fast should the brisk walk be and what's the point of it?
28:30: Carolyn's "sink analogy" to explain how to get exceptionally fit.
46:45: How slow should you run your easy days? What's a progression run and how often should you do these?
54:30: Subjective ways of knowing if you're in the right "easy" zone for aerobic running (Zone 1)
58:10: The two objectives right now are to become aerobically fit and muscularly strong. I discussed 2-3 great hamstring exercises I've discovered lately.

Train Like the Elites

Locate the information you most need to hear:
0:00: Clearly defining a problem can help to identify the solution. I shared a real life example since I often struggle to do SAM consistently.
1:40: Forget about the perfect solution. The trick is to optimize for the start line.
3:10: I'll be hosting live mini Zoom workouts this winter (form drills, foam rolling, SAM, plyometrics, etc.). Sign up on my homepage for my newsletter to make sure you get the invitations.
6:00: Elites do things that recreational runners don't. Knowing what they do and why will help you adopt these important practices, like:
9:12: Form and technique drills
16:10: Strides
21:30: Hill sprints
Unfortunately the info on core/hip strength, hip mobility, balance/coordination, plyometrics, warm-up routines and your Q&A was not recorded due to technical difficulties.

Nutrition for Runners

Here are time stamps to locate the information you most need to hear.
0:00: The trouble with blanket nutritional (or running!) advice
5:30: 3 main eating goals: 1. Eating enough calories 2. Eating the right calories 3. Eating calories at the right time
8:00: Fuelling for easy runs vs. hard/long runs
8:30: Optimizing for performance/recovery
8:55: 5 key areas when it comes to timing your fuel
9:25: Key area #1: 90 mins before the run
17:45: Key area #2: During the run
18:50: Key area #3: Within 30 mins after the run
24:30: Key area #4: Within 2-hrs after the run
26:40: Key area #5: All other hours of the day (Two resources on our page 1. Nutrition Around Workouts, Long Runs & Races 2. Real Food Pyramid)
28:30: What about fruit?
30:00: No one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition (e.g. vegetarian or Paleo can both work)
33:10: Q&A - What if I don't buy any of the powders you suggested (e.g. whey, BCAA, collagen, greens)? Which (if any) should I buy?
35:16: Q&A - What if my primary focus is performance but I also want to lose a few pounds?
47:05: Q&A - What is a typical day of eating for Coach Carolyn?

Training Zones

3:55: What are the 5 training zones?
8:05: What's the difference between slow twitch (Type I) and fast twitch (Type II) muscles and how does training impact fiber type distribution?
15:30: What is the "aerobic threshold," why is Zone 1 running important, and how do you know if you're running slow enough (or too slow)?
34:35: What is the "anaerobic/lactate threshold," why is Zone 3 running important, and what are some good Zone 3 workouts?
39:30: What is VO2 max, why is it important, and what are some good Zone 5 workouts?
43:30: What are the physiological limits on Zones 1, 3 and 5?
44:30: Case study of two runners and how their training would differ based on their training history and genetic predispositions.

Race Strategy & Building Mental Toughness

You can be physically fit but fall short of your potential on race day if you don't execute it properly or leave your mental preparation to chance. Learn how to set up a mental training program that will make you more resilient and harder to knock down.

1:50: Developing a "growth mindset" about your running makes you bulletproof
4:24: Race strategy -- divide the race into thirds. Race the first 1/3 with your head, the middle 1/3 with your training, and the final 1/3 with your heart
7:08: Helpful mantras for each 1/3 of the of race
10:25: 3 most common mental mistakes
14:04: 11 practical takeaways for becoming more mentally fit
35:05: Q&A - How would you modify your physical and mental training plan when life throws you a curveball?
37:35: Q&A - How would you modify things if you get a stitch/cramp during a race/time trial?


0:40: When should I take caffeine and in what form (e.g. coffee, sports nutrition) in order to get a performance boost?
15:00: What's the best day(s) for runners to lift weights?
26:10: How can I get started with lifting weights if I'm intimidated in a gym? How do I know what movements to do and what weight to select?
34:20: How do I overcome anxiety and pre-race nerves?
38:10: What if my "hard days" don't feel hard? Can/should I push harder?
43:40: What should I do if I feel sick/injured a few days before a time trial?
47:25: Carolyn's hang-up with the phrase "listen to your body."
50:00: How do I build an optimal time trial route?
54:20: A caution about "adapting to mileage" as a marathoner or half marathoner.
58:00: Reminder about pace adjustments for running in the heat/humidity.


0:15: What adjustments should I make to my running after receiving the COVID vaccine? (Here's a nice chart to follow. Here's a great article if you want to learn more.)
5:12: Should I count cross training (e.g. cycling, brisk walking) towards my weekly running mileage, and if so, is it a 1:1 relationship?
9:45: What kind of feedback are you looking for about my runs?
12:35: When doing short hill sprints, should I count the time walking back down toward the total assigned running time (e.g. 45 minutes)?
15:40: Can you describe strides? I'm not sure I'm doing them correctly.
20:30: Do I have to do SAM if I follow a strength training plan that includes many of the same exercises?
23:30: If you assign me a distance for the long run but I choose to do it on the trails, should I still go the same distance even though it will take much longer?
28:30: What does a safe return-to-run plan look like following time off from an injury? Here's a great reference article.

Understanding the Taper & Race Execution

0:15: What is a taper? What are the goals and guiding principles related to this phase of training?
8:16: How long should the taper be? Is it different if I'm training for a 5k vs. a marathon?
11:15: How should I bring down my volume during the taper?
15:40: What kinds of workouts are best during the taper?
20:00: How can I deal with "taper madness"?
25:00: How can I prepare my mental toolkit for the taper and race day?
31:50: What is the best way to execute a smart race?
35:30: Examples of race mantras.
37:30: Q&A. Can you talk about the importance of warming up and give a sample warm up routine (see video on Resources Page called Warm Up & Technique Drills)? How do you carry your fuel during a race? How do you know if you're overtraining/overreaching and can you overcome it by backing off training?

What's Next?: Planning Your Next Training Cycle

0:20: The post-race blues and why it can be a disorienting time
2:05: The four phases of training
3:05: The base phase - goals & timeframe
9:53: The aerobic strength phase - goals & timeframe
17:40: The race specific phase - goals & timeframe
21:25: The taper phase - goals & timeframe
23:50: Sample 7-month training schedule for a goal half marathon
28:15: Q&A

The "Aerobic Strength" Phase of Training

5:14: The four (+1) phases of training.
8:00: Goals of the Aerobic Strength phase.
9:45: Training zones and thresholds (Aerobic Threshold, Anaerobic/Lactate Threshold, VO2 max)
23:30: Sample workouts - Aerobic
35:10: Sample workouts - Anaerobic (+ mental training tips)
44:25: Sample workouts - VO2 max
48:15: Q&A

Speed Development

  • 1:11: What is speed?
  • 3:12: Why is speed important?
  • 17:00: When to focus on speed work?
  • 19:45: Sample workouts - Pure speed
  • 26:25: Sample workouts - Speed endurance
  • 41:03: Sample workouts - Time-based (non-track)
  • 42:30: Q&A