Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 129 - Cory Jennermann - THE RUN GUIDE

Vancouver Beer Mile Director, definitely the thing I’m most proud about.

I feel like it’s the feather in your cap. Like you [crosstalk] should be able to retire now, and say I did everything I could possibly do.


CORY: [00:00:00] Vancouver Beer Mile Director, definitely the thing I’m most proud about.

JESSE: [00:00:05] I feel like it’s the feather in your cap. Like you [crosstalk] should be able to retire now, and say I did everything I could possibly do.

CORY: [00:00:13] Yeah and as I was saying to you before we started here too, as a business, it’s terrible. Like I make absolutely no money doing it. But the glory in producing that event, I mean, oh, it’s priceless. It truly is.

[Intro Music]

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JESSE: [00:01:20] Welcome to the Smart Athlete Podcast. I’m your host, Jesse Funk. My guest today normally should be coming from Canada, but today he’s in Mexico, because he’s a cool guy, likes to move around. He’s an endurance sports enthusiast. He’s co-founder of which you may have seen or used if you’re in the running community. He’s also probably most importantly, the race director for the Vancouver Beer Mile. Welcome to the show, Cory Jennermann.

CORY: [00:01:46] Jesse, thanks for having me. I am very excited to be here. Yeah, Vancouver Beer Mile Director, definitely the thing I’m most proud about.

JESSE: [00:01:58] I feel like it’s the feather in your cap. Like you [crosstalk] should be able to retire now, and say I did everything I could possibly do.

CORY: [00:02:06] Yeah and as I was saying to you before we started here too, as a business, it’s terrible. Like I make absolutely no money doing it. But the glory in producing that event, I mean, oh, it’s priceless. It truly is.

JESSE: [00:02:23] I always wonder, you know, I know I’ve never done beer myself. I’m not much of a drinker. So, I just — There hasn’t been a whole lot of allure for it for me. I also feel like I almost definitely would throw up if I attempted it. But I know — I mean, I know it’s a thing, obviously people compete at it. People set up races so that it can be done in a group and not just as a solo endeavor like a weird sad beer mile by yourself. But it’s just — For whatever reason, I’ve never been drawn to it. And I know guys I ran with in college, they’re like, oh, this is my beer mile time. I’m like, number one, when did you do this? And then why? If you allow me a tangent a little bit.

CORY: [00:03:11] Yeah, absolutely. Please.

JESSE: [00:03:12] I always kind of wonder because there is this like undercurrent or pinning somehow between beer culture and running culture. [crosstalk] If I ran in my other room, like I did an off road race several months ago called Beer and Bagel. And so they’re like, they started in Nebraska. And they’ve kind of expanded across the Midwest. This is the first year in our area. And their shirts every year say I’m a drinker with a running problem. [crosstalk] But this is so — Maybe you’ve got more insight as the race director. Where does the history come from? Do you have any idea or do you just absorb yourself in it?

CORY: [00:03:55] Yeah, that’s a great question. And I don’t know the answer. I have my theories into why beer mile is such a thing for sure. And because there is as you said, an undercurrent of your mile and an undercurrent in like high performing track athletes too. Because I’ll sort of meet people who are at the top level of track and we’ll kind of mention beer mile, oh, they perk up. They’re like oh, yeah, I did the beer mile. And it’s this real thing.

And I think — So, I guess first, the beer culture of running, you’re right, it totally does exist. I mean, it’s, you go do your race, you have a brew. A number of the run crews that I run with in Vancouver, that’s kind of, you know, we start and finish with different breweries all over town.

And I’ve seen that in a number of run crews that we’ve come across through my main business, the which helps people find running races and clubs across North America. It’s super common, it really really is. But I don’t know why.

Now for beer mile, in particular, I think that there’s that kind of undercurrent in elite running athletics because it is really hard, and it is kind of stupid. And anything you’re doing when you’re hammering out this track workouts or pushing yourself to the limit in a race. That’s really hard and also kind of stupid in a way. So, I think it’s just the next step in challenging yourself in like type two fun. And that’s kind of where — why I think it’s a bit popular.

JESSE: [00:05:48] I think that’s a good theory because I think it’s, in some ways, it may be the same mentality that kind of gave birth to obstacle course racing. [crosstalk] Where like, yeah, it’s like, or go back a little bit further, the steeplechase.

CORY: [00:06:08] I’ve never done the steeplechase. I know a few high level steeplechasers, but I’m a big fan of the steeplechase. I love it, right. Like, we hammer out a bunch of laps and then we throw in this giant hurdle and you have to go over the water and yeah, everyone falls in it.

JESSE: [00:06:24] I watched it with my wife for the Olympics this last summer and she’s like, why — I’m like, this was my event in college. She’s like, why is there a water pit? Why is there… I’m like, you could ask that about anything. Why is there a track? Why are we throwing a ball? Why anything? The history is that it was a horse race, but then you could say the same thing. Why did we have the horses do that?

CORY: [00:06:54] Right. Right. Okay. So, this is news to me. I didn’t know the distinguished history of the steeplechase. So, it was a horse race. [crosstalk] And then —

JESSE: [00:07:02] Yeah, So, I think. I could be wrong. And if you’re listening and know the correct thing, please correct me. The way it is in my brain, and this is where we need — like with Das Shepard’s podcast, Armchair Expert he has like [inaudible 00:07:20] checkers at the end, we need — [crosstalk] So, somebody be my fact checker. But the way it is in my brain is that it was the very first one, I don’t know if it was at Stanford or something.

But the very first, like, kind of modern style steeplechase was a bet between some — It was like a bar bet between a runner in somebody who rode horses about who’d win, like who was going to be faster, the horse or the runner? And I think the runner one because — I mean, a horse can out run you but with the barriers and stuff that slows the horses down [crosstalk]

Now there is more history to it in that I think like old school steeplechase or like the more accurate historical origin is like churches in the countryside running from steeple to steeple, it’s a steeplechase and then there’s obstacles in the countryside to cover. So, I think it’s kind of likely, this is me extrapolating here, I think it was likely like taking that countryside, church to church kind of run name and idea, applying it to the track environment with the horse or whatever, there’s got to be some connection in there. I don’t know. But that’s kind of the history as I know it, I guess.

CORY: [00:08:42] I mean, that sounds pretty good to me. So, I’ll take it. And it is kind of — It’s kind of funny how a lot of these running events probably originated as bar bets. I was recently learning about the lost sport of long distance walking that used to happen in old England. And this is kind of the origin of — Well, I shouldn’t say origin. But this original guy names something like John Barclay or something back in —

And again, I’m going to get a few of these dates, we need the fact checker to get the dates correct, but it’s like 17 something and he makes a bar bet. He’s known for going for really long walks. He makes a bar bet with another person. And then he says, I can walk one mile an hour for a thousand consecutive hours, and I will make a bet of whatever it is, 500 guineas, which you know, in today’s money is half a million dollars or something really substantial like that.

And someone takes it up or takes him up on it. And you can read about this online. It’s fascinating. And he goes out and he starts to do one mile an hour every hour. And so you know, he’ll kind of first [inaudible 00:10:05] doing it 20 minutes then he’d rest for a while, and he just keeps going and keeps going. And he fuels off of, I think it’s mutton and wine mostly, because that’s what you would fuel off of in the 1700s or whenever they’re doing this.

And his legs get all swelly and he gets — he’s in really rough shape, and it’s raining, and they bring out this big chair that they kind of sit them on. And I can’t remember if he’s going from — in a straight line, or he’s kind of just looping around this one mile loop.

And as he approaches the end, and it becomes apparent that he’s probably going to finish this thing, all the people that bet against him start trying to sabotage him. So, he has to hire bodyguards to then guard him against the people that are trying to make them fail and he ends up doing it. And then I can’t remember what happens afterwards, a huge controversy, I think around the bet, and he probably dies penniless. But it’s like the origin of strange long distances. But yeah, there we go. Perhaps beer mile was a — originated on a bar bet as well.

JESSE: [00:11:22] I mean, given the content, beer and running, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least that it was probably a bar bet at some point and then became standardized after enough people took it up. And like no, no, we need some rules.

Because yeah, that’s the next level of any good bar bet, right, is like, here are the official criteria for this particular situation — it’s not whatever goes, it’s no, this is it. Because you have the — it’s the — here’s the initial bar bet. Oh, I bet you can’t drink a beer and run a mile. And they’re going oh, no, well, that was too easy. Like, yeah, no, no, you have to drink a beer for every lap. And they’re like, fine.

CORY: [00:12:08] Yeah. And it’s got to be 355 milliliters, which I believe is just 12 ounces — [crosstalk] mainly milliliters —

JESSE: [00:12:16] Right, yeah. It can’t be like a shot glass of a beer. It’s got to be — [crosstalk]

CORY: [00:12:18] No, no, you can’t open it in advance. No shotgunning, no wide mouths, no [inaudible 00:12:23] It needs to be a minimum of 5% ABV. A lot of very specific criteria. And, it gets kind of crazy too at the elite level. So, to give you some perspective, how I initially was introduced to beer mile was, my friend Andrew Hall called me up one day, he said, hey, Cory, I am trying to qualify for the World Championship in the elite division of beer mile.

And this happens in Austin, Texas. We’re in Vancouver at the time. And I’m like, what is beer mile? It sounds kind of cool. And what, there’s like a World Championships in Austin. I think this was back in 2015, maybe 2016, sometime around then.

So, I said okay, well, how do you do it? He goes, well, in order to qualify for elite division, men’s elite division, you have to run a 5:35 beer mile. And he explains to me how it works. And just in case any of your listeners don’t know how it works, it’s you have your four beers with all that criteria that I just sort of spelled out sitting at the track and you’re on a standard track, you chug a beer, run a lap, chug a beer, run a lap, chug a beer, run a lap, chug a beer, run a lap.

And then if at any point, you puke, you do have to run one final lap. And you don’t have to drink any extra beers because I mean there’s some humanity, I guess in the beer mile gods and they decided to be merciful in that rule. But that last lap is going to kill your time. Right? And he said, okay, so I have to run this 5:35 beer mile.

Now, because I’m trying to qualify for men’s elite. It has to be very official. We have to have all this criteria about the beers. We have to have two cameras going. One camera is filming the timer. The other camera is just following me all around the track. And then zooming in and then I slam this beer and I hand it off to someone, they take it with the second camera, and they follow that beer and they pour it out into a measuring glass.

And at the end, the sum total of all of the leftover beer including foam cannot be more than four ounces. And if it is, you’re disqualified. And so yeah, like really, really tight criteria for these things, and he went out and I think he was like three seconds off. And so he ended up getting to run in sub elite which was pretty awesome down in Austin. He didn’t get to the top, top, but it’s super official. It’s crazy.

JESSE: [00:15:00] I’m trying to remember what the usual — not I’ll say usual but like, average conversion is because that’s like for the listener 5:35 may seem like okay it’s quick but it’s not that quick. And you’re like, no, it’s actually very quick because you’re drinking beers and running. I’m trying to remember, the guys that run 5:35 beer mile, I think end up running like mid to low fours typically if they’re just doing open miles if I remember right

CORY: [00:15:31] I think so. If you’re really — it’s a great — it’d be a great formula to put up there like your beer mile back to your regular mile time. There pretty quick. They’re doing their beers usually in a think about five to seven seconds of beer, possibly even quicker. And then they’re running not too far off their pace. So, yeah, so if we go, let’s say we go for beers by five seconds or about 20 seconds of total chug time. So, now you’re down to 5:15. And then you’re going to have to add a little bit time — your right, they’re probably mid to high fours or just just below five. And then they just have a hero day. Like I am — [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:16:19] I just can’t imagine running with all that liquid, like foamy liquid all my — Like, I think I can run — not right now. But my fastest mile time is around like the 4:30. mark. But even in that shape, like I just can’t imagine. I’m like, no, I think 5:30 with all that liquid on like, I just don’t know — Because I mean, the faster you run I feel like the more likely it is you’re going to throw up.

CORY: [00:16:45] Yeah, there’s a whole technique behind it as well. And there’s actually like, people laugh when I tell them this but there’s a training regime. I did a whole video about it for the Vancouver beer mile that I do, and it’s kind of like a big joke, right? It’s me with some funny in a weird costume doing what’s called the kitchen water mile.

And so what you do is you have an empty beer bottle, and you just fill it up with water and you start a stopwatch, you slam the water and then you kind of like do jumping jacks or kind of, you know, just run in place for the length of time that you think it would take you to run a lap and then you it filled up while you’re doing that as well slamming again. And you just do those. And man, the kitchen water mile for some reason, I think is even tougher because you can’t really get any burps in. So, that’s one way you train.

Another way that you train and this was a technique that I learned from watching YouTube videos of Lewis Kent, who is one of the top beer milers in the world is you’d get that same water or an empty beer bottle by your sink. And just like three four times a day just walk by and you just slam it and you keep getting used to that chugging, chugging, chugging. You do that, you can, and then you know get really fast to your mile. And if you do those things, you’ll be able to at least contain the volume a bit because it is totally a volume game. There’s some stuff you do with the chug too. Like, if you take that bottle and just slam it straight back, it’s going to glug, glug and you’re going to get all that foam and that foam is you’re done.

Like, third lap, if you have too much foam, yeah, you’re — that’s coming up. But so you do this kind of — this little — you just open — you tilt your head back, you open your mouth as wide as you can, you slowly tilt the beer back and you just start drinking as quickly — The pros again, the pros they have this technique. They fire it up. They do a little tornado and they just… and then it’s gone if you watch any of the videos they do. I had a guy we — So, the last, usually every May I do Vancouver beer mall in Vancouver. It’s this renegade event. We get it like — I mean it started with — You were alluding to like a sad lonely beer mile. It started as a sad lonely beer. So, I did this year mile with Andrew when he went to try to – [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:19:12] When you got another person. I think it’s less sad when you got another — I’m just talking about like, one person out there drinking beers and running by themselves. That’s what I meant.

CORY: [00:19:20] Yeah, yeah. Well, it almost was. So, it was him doing his and then me trying it for the first time and going wow, that was pretty, pretty fun and weird. And so then we said okay, we’re going to do Vancouver Beer Mile, this is what we’re going to do. And yeah, the first Vancouver Beer Mile is for people. The second one was, it was two of us. It was actually me. And then a couple of no shows. And then one of my friends took pity on me and sort of sympathy did it.

And then kind of like we had 20 people, then 40 and then it was kind of 100 and that’s — I mean, that’s where I’d capped it at. This is a community fun time event. Everyone’s in costume. Yeah, we get like chip time. It’s all underground. Then we have to do it at an unnamed track that I released the day of, and then it happens. And it’s done and there’s a bunch of weird prizes and stuff. But yeah, it’s quite the strange production. I had a point to that and I totally forgot the point when I started rambling about it there. But hey.

JESSE: [00:20:20] Welcome to my world. I often — I’m on this show talking. I’m like, I had a point. I don’t know what it was anymore. And away we go. Yeah. So, no, if you think that we can come back to it. Just feel to interrupt me at any point. So, I obviously want to ask you about Run Guides. I have a lot of questions. [crosstalk] I mean, obviously, very helpful. You know, so one of the biggest challenges in being a runner is how do you find runs, right? Like how do you find a race? Because, yeah, I mean, so like, you have to have these different race aggregators like you guys. And even — I find they’re often not even all like, complete. So, my first question is just like, how do you aggregate all of the races? How do you find them all?

CORY: [00:21:17] For sure, for sure. So, initially what we do with Run Guides, and I mean, how I started it initially, was I had a background in online marketing — I was, this is 2007 to 2012, I was working for a company that helped people — We had a directory that help people [inaudible 00:21:36] nightclubs in cities across North America. So, I was somewhat familiar with the directory space and I liked running. I ran a fair bit and was running with a buddy. And he was asking me about what the next race or next 10K in Vancouver was. And I did a little bit of Google searching that night, after I said, oh, didn’t you Google [inaudible 00:21:55] I had some tough time, and I sort of ran into that same thing. I went oh, some of the directories here are only listing races that they do the registration processing for, or whatever. And I thought, let’s build something.

So, the way that Run Guides is growing and has grown, because it’s got quite a lot of coverage across North America. But there’s still some holes there is, we pick a region that we want to create a calendar for. And yeah initially, we’re just doing a bunch of Google searching and finding the four or five other sources that are listing upcoming races. And this can be other directories, it could be a lot of communities have a community directory of what’s happening in that region. And then we are manually adding that onto our site. And so it’s a whole process. And we also, while we do that we audit it to make sure, okay, are these actual runs, that runners — Like, Run Guides is specific to running events.

And so if it’s kind of like a — If it’s a triathlon or something, for example, even though I know there’s a huge crossover there, and one of these days we’ll spin off a triathlon. So, we’re like this is just runs only. And it wouldn’t be like a — maybe it’s a weekly kind of walking tour thing. Like that wouldn’t be quite the right fit for what our users are looking for. So, we manually add all that stuff in there. And then it kind of just sits, right.

Eventually, as our site starts to rank for those regional keyword terms, we find that’s when people start to contact us. And they say, Hey, you’re missing this, hey, this might need to be edited, like cool. We have a whole content management system built into the backend of the site that allows our team of contractors to go in and take a look at any edits that have been submitted just by the public and make adjustments where we need to.

The second thing we do is, again, like we have this content management system that allows us to review any races that don’t have a confirmed date. So, as you know, runs are, yeah, I mean, the recurring yearly events that don’t change that much year to year. So, once you have a calendar listed, if you’ve got maybe 70-80% of the races in a region, 90% of the races in a region, that content’s not going to change too much year to year.

And we have all these automated flags and processes built into the back end of the site that allow us to say okay, every two or three weeks each person on our team is assigned to a number of different regions, like at a state level, and every two or three weeks go through.

And any races in the next X amount of time is three months, six months that do not have a confirmed date, add them to this audit [inaudible 00:24:57] that they have. And if the race is, say 1,000 people or more, or 5,000 people or more, just add it in there because we know those ones are going to probably announce their date a 12 months, but probably a year in advance, right? And then we kind of, again, it’s this manual process that we do to ensure that the content is actually up to date. So, manual process to initially get it, and then a manual process to maintain it.

Now, we invested a lot of time in, in development into the backend of our site to allow us to do that without spending hundreds and hundreds of human hours to do it, right. We can do this fairly efficiently and manage a large number of races. But it’s a very interesting issue for — or I mean, because at the core of a directory, you have to have helpful content for people. And that’s like, our number one priority is we want to help you find runs, we want to have a full calendar, and we want the calendar to be up-to-date — [crosstalk] Yeah, yeah, that it’s accurate. Yes, thank you. There’s a whole process and system and everything that we’ve built on the back end of the site to allow us to do that.

JESSE: [00:26:17] That’s what I was just thinking about. I was like even though I don’t know how to do it, my brain automatically goes, okay, how do we get some kind of like program written that’ll like, fetch things with an API and just start stacking all in. But then you probably know better than I do that that would likely end up with all kinds of erroneous data that you still have to go in and manually go, okay, that’s not real.

And that doesn’t — [crosstalk] So, I was just like how are you solving the problem, especially when it doesn’t happen often? It may feel like it happens often to you, since you guys probably aggregate thousands of races. But sometimes race dates change for whatever reason, the venue is booked or something happened. And then that’s an adjustment you guys probably have to make too. And then if it’s changed then you don’t know, then again, information is not accurate. And people go back, Cory, why don’t you tell me — [crosstalk]

CORY: [00:27:22] They do. Yeah, no, for sure. And with us, again, I mean, we have a calendar of events in a region, you move the map around, see what’s kind of going on there. Then you click on an event, it gives you an executive summary of what it is, some main data points, date, distance, approximate event size, rotor trail, does it have a kid’s race, that sort of stuff, a very small, maybe a video, a few lines about generally what the race is about.

And then we send you to the official race website, because of course, they’re going to have the most up-to-date information. They’re going to have all the info about the swag and everything like that. And so that is where if we — let’s just say yeah, you have a date or a race that’s on April 14th, and then three weeks out, they have to shift the day by — the date by one day and now it’s on the 15th.

So, yeah, someone comes to us, sees April 14th, clicks through, goes to the official race website, sees a difference. We’ve been very lucky in that most of the users that come to our site, end up messaging us and just saying, hey, you got this wrong. And we go, oh, okay. No problem. Done, fixed. And on our end too keeping the information that we present about a race to an executive summary level, that also allows us to have really relevant information without inaccurate stuff. Like, we often — race directors will often ask us to put in info about swag, start times, things like that. And we say, look, we would love to, but that is going to increase the probability that we’re going to have incorrect information because you might change that.

We want to send people to your site, we want to give them just — When someone comes to our site, they’re what we see in our, in our data, when we look at analytics is they’re they’re looking sort of three months, six months out, they’re looking for general distances, and they’re looking for geographic regions. And then they’re kind of — they’re shopping around a bit. They go, hey, what are the 10Ks, what are the 5Ks, what are the half marathons you know, happening in this time period in my area, and now I’m going to click on them and we send them to the official race website so they can get the information.

So, that’s kind of some of the inside stuff on, yeah, how we’re managing all this content, because it is — it’s, I think we’re seven or 8,000 races on there right now. And it’s going to continue to increase. I tend not to see the number of races. Like for me, if I was to say, oh, we’ll be at 30,000. That’s not my measuring stick. My measuring stick is, do we have the right races on there of people that are coming to our site, feeling like they were able to find runs rather than just pure numbers? Because again, sometimes there’s some stuff, say if we were taking data from API feeds, that isn’t quite relevant to what a runner is looking for when they’re looking for a run.

JESSE: [00:30:26] Yeah. It’s, in some ways, it’s kind of, I’ll say refreshing, I don’t know if that’s quite the right word, but just that there is still almost like an old school approach to it, right? Which is, to me, almost feels like running in itself. Like, obviously there’s everybody’s using GPS watches, and they log all their workouts on Strava. And there’s all this tech stuff that people get obsessed with, but I feel like, often not always the more involved people get with running, the more like, I’ll just use pencil and paper. Like, just the less involved they get with how technical everything has to be.

Sometimes they still love the data, thinking in particular of a gentleman who wrote some content for me, he’s been on the podcast, Marco Nicoli. He’s a coach, big data junkie, he loves all the data. But at the same time, like the data doesn’t rule what he does. So, just — I don’t know there’s something about, number one, how just like, bare bones the sport is. You need some shoes, you probably need clothes, unless it’s a nudist run for some reason.

CORY: [00:31:45] Those do exist. [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:31:50] I know. That’s what I was going to say you need clothes, but I was like, well —

CORY: [00:31:55] Bear Buns Fun Run was one of them. There are a couple on our site, and I just thought they were great. I think we’ve recommended them in our emails once. If you’re in this area, go check it out. That would be like right on.

JESSE: [00:32:07] So, pretty much you need — and you don’t — even me saying you need shoes is not controversial, but not even technically accurate. Like another guest, Steven Sashen, he’s the owner of Xero Shoes, which they’re shoes but they’re minimal shoes. And people wear, you know, just go barefoot. So, I guess you could show up to a nudist run and just have no clothes on and no shoes. Which makes it even more bare bones. But just this sport is so non-technical by nature, that there’s something — I don’t know if it’s synergistic, but just like, thematically appropriate for it not to be just sitting by computer with a bunch of software like, aggregating — there’s actually people looking things up.

CORY: [00:32:54] Yeah, we have real humans that do that do look at every piece of event content on the site. I like it. I like how you frame this. This is how I’m going to look at it now. Run Guides, we are thematically appropriate in the way that we manage content. It’s a very interesting, relevant point, I think you made about data. And I mean, yeah, I’m a big fan of run data as well. Like I Strava everything. And especially when I’m looking back on very successful training builds that I had, for example, in 2020 — 2017, I had some amazing races personally, and hit some of my kind of lifetime goals. And then I’m doing a couple of the same events in 2022. And so yeah, for me, it’s great to go back over the data and okay, what where was I at? What was going on?

And, yeah, I mean, I’m sure at the elite level, it’s like, that’s a few other things. But that’s pretty much probably what’s giving you some of the edge, right? Your data and your nutrition, your genetics. But on the flip side, I do see it a lot where people get to, and even people who are new to running just get way too in their head about data. [inaudible 00:34:16] going, it’s like, oh, well my heart rate is this and I should be at this and my pace is at that and I should be here and it’s like, hey, I mean, how are you feeling? Like, just how are you feeling right now? Are you feeling good? You know, my training schedule says I should do this today, but I’m not feeling that great. It’s like, well adjust. Like you can — I think that there is a — that component of running that is beyond the data that’s just that mental component.

And that almost I want to call like the heart where you sometimes, I think it’s beneficial just to ignore it. And if you’re racing really, really hard, you’ve got — your data’s probably going to say eh, you should probably scale back at some point in the race. But if you’re going for maybe a big PR or something, maybe you got to take a risk. Or at the same token, if you’re feeling really good, but your data is saying, oh, this is a little bit higher than it should be. Just kind of like, see what happens. You’ll surprise yourself. Don’t ignore the data, just don’t rely on it. And yeah, you don’t need all that technical stuff. Like if you’re getting into running too, right, get just get a pair of shoes that are comfortable and like start going for a run. Don’t worry about the GPS watch that programs your blender as well. Like, just get out there. And yeah.

JESSE: [00:35:47] I’m a big proponent of running based on RPE, which is Rate of Perceived Exertion if you’re not familiar with it. So, I don’t know, you know, I do another show just on running. It’s just me in front of the camera talking about running, various topics. I feel like I spent the entire season two, so I break them up into years for seasons. I feel like I spent almost an entire year just like, let me tell you about RPE. Like this is — and I haven’t really talked about it much lately. But just it’s so important. Like I made adjustments. We did a time trial to kind of get a benchmark time for me on Wednesday morning. Didn’t any problems.

But then I like kind of felt like I tweaked something later on in the day kind of feeling it, working on it. I had a run this morning and I was like mmm, this is supposed to be the end of my week too, and then rest week next week. And I was just like, I think I’m going to cut it in half. And I maybe even should have taken the day off. I’m not sure. We’ll see how things shake out. But just I know that based on like, I’m not married to well coach said it has to be this.

So, it has to be the inhalants like, no, there’s obviously some little issue that needs to be addressed. And if you push too much further, like at least, if I push too much further, then it can become more of a problem. And if I’m only focused on like, these are my numbers, and I even felt good for the time trial. It wasn’t like, I felt dog tired, none of that. But just to paying attention to the feelings I have of something’s off, you know, I don’t think I’m adjusting my stride. But I obviously — I feel something when I’m running and I know it needs to be strengthened or whatever. That’s why paying attention to how you feel I think is so important, because even in — not in my case where like, maybe you strain something or pull something, maybe the case of just like, you didn’t eat enough.

Or you’re stressed somewhere else or whatever, and you’re just not feeling it that day, just taking a breath and going like, it’s okay to probably take it a little easier today because you got a new baby and you’re not sleeping. Or you went through a divorce or you just got married and you’re on a honeymoon or whatever it is, those life events that affect you, your body will tell you if you pay attention. It’s not a skill that we — I think we all have innately so to speak. I think some people come by it easier, where it’s like it’s easier to feel now I am tired. Like I’m just going to… I think some people it takes a lot more practice to kind of strengthen that internal feeling muscle. But I have faith that most people can do it if you spend time. And sometimes that data helps inform you like…

CORY: [00:38:42] Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, yeah, and again, I’m not saying a bad — all data. It’s great — And I think the other thing — [crosstalk] all data, let’s go. I mean, I think the other thing you can do as well and personally, this is something that I’ve experienced is you can start to create limiting beliefs for yourself sometimes. And the example that I would have would be for, and it’s still something that I battle with. So, for me as a recreational runner, if I’m running sub four-minute kilometers, and I don’t know what the conversion is to miles. I think that’s like a 5:50 mile, but I’m going to —

JESSE: [00:39:31] I can tell you in a second.

CORY: [00:39:32] Yeah, let’s find out.

JESSE: [00:39:33] No, no, no. Yeah, 624 miles.

CORY: [00:39:53] Is that 624 miles? Wow.

JESSE: [00:31:56] Four times 1.6 because it’s kilometer to mile So, then you get 6.4, 0.4 times 60 seconds is 24 seconds set.

CORY: [00:40:04] Okay, okay. So, yeah, so for me like this four-minute kilometer, if I’m running faster than that, I’m feeling pretty good. You know, sub 40 minutes 10K. I’m like, all right, all right, this is good. But then at the flip side, what starts to happen is I start to think, oh yeah, if you do this for too long, it’s going to be too fast and you’re going to blow up. And so you start to equate, in my own head, I start to equate sub four-minute kilometer with, eventually this is too fast and you’re going to blow up.

And it took me a while to get past that, and kind of go wait, you have to remove this data point from your mind. Because you are potentially missing out on your potential. Like what — I mean — Yeah, just don’t even worry about that. Yeah, if you feel bad, you’re going to feel bad. But maybe you can run a 3:45 for a lot longer than you think. Maybe you can go for 3:40. And yeah, I think you can start to create these limiting beliefs if you think, oh, this is the benchmark. And if I exceed this benchmark for too long, I’m going to blow up. On the right day, you will like you can’t just manifest a bunch of speed.

JESSE: [00:41:24] Can’t just will it into being.

CORY: [00:41:26] You can’t will it into existence. I can will a few seconds per kilometer into existence. But yeah.

JESSE: [00:41:31] Right. But jump in, like down to three minutes or something — the difference in here. I think a good, I’ll prescribe a particular method of practice for you. I don’t know how often you do speed work, go to the track and do intervals and stuff. But like, this is how I do every speed work set. It doesn’t matter if we’re doing tempo, if we’re doing miles, if we’re doing 200, 400, doesn’t matter what it is. This is always my goal. And the reason is partly just physiologically, it works out better for you in the long run this way. But also, mentally, it starts to break does — like chip away at those barriers, is focus on a progressive negative split set. So, if you’re — 1000-meter repeats was like my favorite workout in college.

So, if we’re running five of them, say I start with the first one at 320. Then the second one, maybe I just try to just nudge it a little bit, I go 319, 318, then I go 317, then I go 316. And so I went 320 down to maybe 315 for the day, five seconds faster. It’s not, you know, which adds up over time, but within that one set, it’s like, I only took off a second at a time. And there’s usually a point where you go maybe in that example, say I hit like 317, and I try to nudge a little bit on the next one.

And then I end up having like, nudge back. I pull back on the lever a little bit during that interval, I still end up with 317. Then I go okay, like that’s the limit today. And by doing that, you’re not — you kind of avoid that big like, that monkey on your back of like ah, four-minute. It’s just like, no it’s just a second, it’s just a second. I’m not doing anything too dangerous, like I can deal with a second. But then you do that. And then all of a sudden, say again, we’ll go to my example. I started at 320s, now we’re 315 by the end of the run.

Then maybe next time you do that in a couple of weeks. Well, maybe you’re going to start at 317 today. And then we’re going to go 316, then we’re going to go 315 and then 14, 13. It’s only a couple seconds. But it just, it snowballs over time. And then you not only like kind of get rid of that mental barrier of like, especially those hard times, right, like four minute mile, five minute mile, four minutes, whatever — those hard barriers stick in people’s brains. So, you get rid of that. But you also really get in tune with like your internal pacing and negative splitting. So, that like when you start race, you start off quick, but comfortably quick so you don’t blow up and you’ve got plenty of legs left. So, that’s what I would prescribe if you don’t already do that.

CORY: [00:44:43] I love it. I love the — it’s funny. I do the exact same thing in speed work is, yeah, attempt to slowly go faster, a little bit, a little bit faster, a little bit faster, a little bit faster throughout the entire session of intervals. I do the opposite in racing. I go for put yourself in a position to win. And then — [crosstalk] just try to hold on. And it’s actually again as a recreational runner, it’s actually served me pretty well. But I have a few spectacular blow ups as well. And it is that it’s a very fine line. It’s put yourself in a position to win, not too much. But that’s, yeah, it’s —

JESSE: [00:45:31] And that’s another thing too, is like, there is — Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of [inaudible 00:45:40] this negative split everything, obviously, given my diatribe I just gave. But like, there are some people that just — you got to coach them and say, you just need to go out hard. Like you can’t coach them to go out easier and speed up.

It’s like there’s just some people you’re like, no, you got to go out hard and just hang on for dear life, that’s what you — Like, that’s what’s going to work for you, your mindset, whatever. So, I don’t want to discount that either. It’s not my particular bend. [crosstalk] I would much prefer like letting people go in the beginning of the race and then picking them off, rather than getting picked off.

CORY: [00:46:20] For sure. You know, you’re someone who was raised at a much higher level than I have and has more experience there too. So, I’m not saying that what I’ve done is gospel or anything — [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:46:33] No, no, no. It’s absolutely valid. And that’s what I want to say is like, disregard — You know, I talk to people faster than me. Gosh, talking to Louis Serafini who’s brand manager at Track Smith. They’re based out of Massachusetts. It’s near Cambridge, I think Cambridge. Anyway, he’s like, mid-high 13-minute 5K. It’s like Jesus, like I wish I could run that fast. But it’s the strategies, the training methods, all of that kind of remains the same. The big difference is just like your genetic capabilities. You know, so like, how we approach things, mentally, all of that. It translates all the way down, it really does. So, I don’t want you to be like, oh, I’m not as fast. I do the same thing so I understand. So, maybe I’m lecturing myself. But it’s like, seriously, it’s six a one half dozen of another.

CORY: [00:47:44] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. For sure. Find out what works for you and then just fly out or —

JESSE: [00:47:48] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Cory, as we’re starting to run down on time, you watch a couple episodes from this season so you may know the question already. I asked a question of everybody for the same season all year, you’ll be one of the last few here for this year and this question. But I’m asking everybody this year, how do you stay motivated after failing to reach a goal?

CORY: [00:48:14] Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, I think that when you fail, acknowledge that failing to reach a goal is pretty courageous. Usually, typically, to start like, and I’m going to use a running metaphor, because it’s — [crosstalk] it’s where we are. But let’s say you go out and you go for a new personal best that is the absolute limit of your ability, and it’s something that you are not quite sure you can get. But it’s also something that you’re not sure you can’t get. Like this is right at the razor’s edge. So, you’ve put yourself in a position to acknowledge that you might fail at this, and you’ve had to be kind of vulnerable to do that. And I think acknowledging, when you look back on it, acknowledging that and kind of drawing some sort of pride from that whole process, can be helpful.

Also, I do find spite is a very good motivator. So, for your own personal goals, I have this very — just kind of yeah, man, just that hippie, like let’s look back on the positives and let’s draw motivation from the ability to be vulnerable and the ability to put yourself in an uncomfortable position. Take pride in that whole thing and use that to move yourself forward. That is a large part of, I think, motivation after failure. A second part of it that I use as well is like create a chip on your shoulder and create an idea of like, all right, failed doing that. Let’s try it again.

Let’s see what’s up. And let’s show — this is — I mean, this is almost like the Michael Jordan School of motivation, which is funny. Like, I need to concoct a story that the world is like laughing at me because I didn’t get this, but I’m going to show them that I can. And I’m going to come back and use that almost like that weird dark energy to propel yourself forward. So, there’s two things in harmony. That is how I at least personally have found that drive motivation from failed goals.

JESSE: [00:50:48] Cory, I don’t know if people can get in touch with you directly or not, but where can they find you, find your stuff, obviously, all the social media. Where’s all that located?

CORY: [00:50:59] Yeah, I mean, you can contact Run Guides through the We have a contact form there. You know, shoot us a message at, they can connect with me directly through my email at And then yeah, find us on Instagram @RunGuides. There you go. That’s how you find us and that’s how you can find me; get some more of those motivational philosophies.

JESSE: [00:51:23] Yeah. And if you guys are on Instagram, check out Run Guides there and I don’t know if Cory is the one doing all the stick figures.

CORY: [00:51:32] I am that’s me. Yeah, right on. Yeah.

JESSE: [00:51:33] Yes. [inaudible 00:51:35] we could talk about the stick figure aesthetic but check that out if you’re on Instagram because you’ve definitely got some — it’s kind of high level jokes hidden in there somewhere as well.

CORY: [00:51:45] Thank you. We weren’t sure what to make the Run Guides Instagram account because we’re like a directory site. So, we’re like — put up there and I go I’m going to draw comics about running and we’re going to put them on there. Yeah.

JESSE: [00:51:57] Yeah, that’s good. So, yeah, check that out. Cory, thanks for hanging out with me today.

CORY: [00:52:02] Jesse, thanks so much for having me on. Yeah, that was fantastic. I really enjoyed it.

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