Finding Jenn Shelton

photo credit: Jenn Shelton @sheltonjenn

She was the gifted, fearless wild child featured in “Born to Run.” Fourteen years later, Shelton still leads a “crazy life,” following her passion in pursuit of the next endurance challenge.

By Henry Howard

Jenn Shelton became well known for her appearance in Christopher McDougall’s best-selling book about ultra running, “Born to Run.”

In the years since the book was published, Shelton has matured but still embraces a Bohemian lifestyle as evidenced in the new documentary, “Outside Voices.” 


At the end of the documentary, Shelton is in her small van under a moonlight sky. She’s on her cell phone, learning Italian. It concludes, with her repeating a translation, “You do not know who I am.” Continue Reading →

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When to Wear Compression Gear

Compression socks can provide more oxygen, improve blood circulation, muscle and joint stabilization, an improve metabolization of lactic acid, and speed recovery. Plus you get a good warm-up just trying to get them on!

So when is the best time to wear compression gear? During a run or after a run?

We featured this question in the quick tip portion of podcast episode 207.

Thanks to Academy member Rajesh R. for sending this in . . . Continue Reading →

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Goodbye Ed Whitlock, You Will Be Missed!

photo credit: Todd Fraser/Canada Running Series)

We were saddened yesterday to hear of the passing of marathon great Ed Whitlock of prostate cancer. He was a Canadian runner who held multiple world records for age group finishes in the marathon. His most recent feat was to break 4:00 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon at age 85.

We interviewed Ed about his world records, training, and philosophy of life on MTA podcast episode 195. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ed’s family. He was truly an inspiration to the entire running world!

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“Slow Runners” are Still “Runners”: How I Embraced the Title From the Back of the Pack

When I started running, I was pretty sure that crossing the 5K off of my bucket list would be enough for me.

I was never athletic, my childhood had been spent tormented because of my lack of athleticism, and my body had never conformed to what I thought an “athlete” needed to look like.

I had plenty of reasons to assume that I could never be a “runner,” and simply huffing and puffing my way through C25K wasn’t enough to break that mental barrier. Continue Reading →

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How to Train for Marathons While Traveling

I am writing this while literally 30,000 feet in the air.

It’s been a busy week of travel — Monday and Tuesday in Washington, D.C., then back home for an 11-hour layover (seriously) before flying Wednesday to Las Vegas, where I worked — and exercised — until returning home Friday.

Traveling for work is not unusual for me. As a runner, I have learned how to properly prepare for maintaining my workout schedule whether I am on the island of Puerto Rico, in the mountains of Colorado or in chilly Des Moines in January. (Yes, I have been all of those places in the past year.) Continue Reading →

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From Baseball to Ultra Running

Former major leaguer Eric Byrnes was known for his hustle and speed. Now he has transformed himself into a passionate endurance athlete.

By Henry Howard

Baseball fans who saw Eric Byrnes play recognized his exuberance for the game — chasing after line drives in the outfield, sprinting around the bases and playing with an enthusiastic abandon for the game.

“Authentic is a word that I use a lot when I talk about Eric,” said Tarah Byrnes, describing her husband, now an analyst for Major League Baseball Network. “And it can be an overwhelming concept, if you think about who Eric is. His intensity as a baseball player, his intensity as an athlete, his intensity as a broadcaster — all of those things show it’s true, it’s authentic.”

His authenticity and athleticism are on full display in a 45-minute documentary, Diamond to the Rough, which chronicles his transition to ultra running and completion of the Western States 100. Continue Reading →

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The Treadmill Episode! -Listener Q and A

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In this episode we are joined by special guest Chris Galaty to talk about the joys of treadmill training and answer listener questions about training on the treadmill (#dreadmill). You will learn about pace conversion, stride length, the 1% rule, mental training and more! See how you and the treadmill can become BFFs! Continue Reading →

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The Thrill of the Run; Passion for the MTA Community

Longtime MTA member Foti Panagakos enjoys a packed racing season and interacting with fellow members on Facebook.

By Henry Howard

Fotinos “Foti” Panagakos has been regularly running for about eight years. In that time, he has transitioned from 5Ks and a “one and done” marathon to a prolific racer who has finished 38 marathons.

For Panagakos, it’s not the competition that drives him. It’s the thrill of the run.

And it’s also the passion of the running community, which is what keeps him drawn to the Marathon Training Academy crew. Continue Reading →

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Interview with Gretchen Rubin -How to Make Time for Running through Knowing Yourself Better

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The month of February is often a time when many New Year’s resolutions end up abandoned by the wayside. And this can be a major happiness stumbling block if you had high hopes for accomplishing certain goals this year. This episode can help you gain new insight and motivation to continue pursuing your running and fitness goals. And to help us dive deeper into this subject we were excited to welcome back Gretchen Rubin.

Gretchen is the author of multiple New York Times bestselling books like The Happiness Project, and Better Than Before. Her books have been so helpful and I consider her my personal happiness guru. I know you will enjoy this interview as we talk about some key productivity tips for busy people who want to pursue marathon training! Continue Reading →

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American River 50 Combines Roads, Trail for Spectacular Ultra Race


Gloria Takagishi has a long list of running accomplishments — Boston Marathon, Western States, etc. — but will always remember and treasure her first ultra marathon, the American River 50 in California.

Now 70, Takagishi has started the race every single year. In fact, she finished AR50 each of the first 30 years of its existence.

On April 1 of this year, Takagishi will again line up at the starting line in Folsom for the race that is close to her heart. Continue Reading →

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