#055 – Marketer, runner, and podcast host Richard Conner shares his story about how he was inspired to run again and faced his fears by running obstacle course races. His Spartan Coach, Kevin Gregory, takes the host chair as they walk through why Richard signed up with a coach and what led him to take on one of the biggest challenges of his life – The Spartan Trifecta.
- Facing fears and taking on big challenges
- Importance of not setting “a number” as your primary goal
- Finding the right coach to help you reach your goals
- Building daily habits and letting go of the guilt
Richard is a strategic marketing professional with experience in B2B marketing. Richard is the founder of Inspire to Run and is passionate about helping others reach their goals. He is a Connecticut native and is a husband, dad, writer, Star Wars fan, and of course – runner! Richard recently discovered obstacle course racing and has fully embraced this new obsession.
Kevin has been a fitness trainer since 2013 and runs Underdog Fitness Inc – a personal training and small group training gym specializing in functional fitness and Obstacle Course and Hybrid Racing. Found Obstacle Racing in 2011 with Warrior Dash. Since has multiple Elite Level Podiums at Spartan Race including a 7th Place finish at Ultra World Championships in Iceland, Achieved a Silver Bib (75 Miles) at World’s Toughest Mudder and most recently seeded 3rd at the upcoming DEKA Strong World Championships with a time just 5 seconds off the current world record. Kevin also broke the DEKA Fit Co-ed Relay Record earlier this year with partner Cassandra Carroll.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Fitness and Wellness Leadership from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Has a Master Level Training Certification with the International Sports Science Association, Nutrition Certification from Precision Nutrition, and an SGX (Spartan Group Exercise) Certification through Spartan Race. Also have certifications in Corrective Exercise, Exercise Therapy, Sports Nutrition, and Strength and Conditioning.
Follow Kevin Gregory:
- Instagram (Kevin Gregory) – @bubblestheclowne
- Instagram (Underdog Fitness) – @underdog_fitnessct
Listen to Inspire to Run Podcast:
Hey everyone, welcome to episode 55. Today I’m going to be in the guest chair and I’m going to be interviewed by my good friend and coach Kevin Gregory from underdog fitness. We’re going to talk about my journey to Spartan trifecta. The reason why I got a coach and all the fears that I faced along the way, hope you enjoy. Intro/Outro Welcome to Inspire to run podcast. Here you will find inspiration. Whether you’re looking to take control of your health and fitness or you’re a seasoned runner, looking for community and some extra motivation. You will hear inspiring stories from amazing runners, along with helpful tips from fitness experts. Now here’s your host Richard Conner. Richard Conner Hi, everyone, welcome to Inspire to Run Podcast. Today is a special episode because I’m joined here today with my good friend and coach Kevin Gregory from Underdog Fitness. And I want to take the opportunity to share a little bit about my Spartan Trifecta journey. And Kevin has been with me for most of that time. And I’m excited that he’s here to kind of talk to me about it. And I’m going to be in the guest chair. So Kevin is going to ask all the questions. And I’m excited to share my story. So why don’t we just kick things off. And I’ll let Kevin introduce himself and what he’s all about and what he does with Underdog Fitness. And we’ll kind of get into the conversation. Kevin Gregory Well, Richard, I’m very excited to flip the script today, and interview on your journey to Spartan trifecta. A little bit about me, I’ve been an obstacle racing since 2011. First as an athlete, and still as an athlete, but also as a coach. So I have a lot of perspective to share. And it’s been great being along Richards side on his journey and watching him grow, as we’ll talk about today, to where he is now and even more, so what’s in the future for him. So before we go, I just want to set the stage, everyone needs a goal, that goal is going to determine your path. And like GPS in your car, if you’re trying to drive from where you live to California, for example, if you just get in and start driving, you’re not going to get to California, most likely, you got a 75% chance, you’re not going to drive in the right direction to start. So your goal becomes your GPS, you’re not going to drive in a straight line, you’re going to have to take some turns right and left, over under, etc. But that GPS is going to guide your overall overarching path to your goal. And also, before we dive in on talking about destination syndrome, destination syndrome is where you are so focused on what you’re gonna get at the end of your journey that you don’t allow yourself to find joy in the process. And all that’s going to do is ruin the journey, you’re going to quit, you’re never going to get there. So beware of that. To learn to find joy in the journey, you’re going to learn so much along the way that you’re going to make so much progress, you don’t even realize day to day. And true happiness is in the pursuit of something worthwhile. Once you arrive, celebrate, and then find a new goal because you need to know where you’re going next. I have a question for you guys. Before I start asking Richard things. So how do you get good at anything? Take a second to think about that. Sure you have a quick answer. Were you always good at walking? Think back to when you were a baby. Probably can’t. But you probably weren’t very good at walking. If you have kids, you’ve watched your kids struggle to stand up and fall over and stand up and fall over and you help them up and then they fall down. But eventually they’re walking adults. There are some adults out there that have had catastrophic accidents, and they have to relearn how to walk. Imagine how frustrating that is when you’ve already known how to do something. And now you have to relearn how to do it again. Want to introduce the Victoria Ireland story. She’s an ESPN anchor now, look her up on YouTube, you’ll probably cry just watching the story. Victoria was in a coma vegetative state for four years. And after coming out of the coma, she’ll learn how to walk again, she I’ll show give you the shortcut, she ends up being the champion of Dancing with the Stars and a Paralympic champion. And now if you watched watched her on ESPN, you wouldn’t know her any different from the next person. But the point of that the point of reason I share that is no matter how far you are, from your goal, and how far you may seem from your goal, someone with a worse situation has overcome all the things that you need to overcome all their circumstances to achieve what you set out to achieve. My dad, when I was growing up, had a picture of a prayer in his bathroom called the cross room. To summarize it, this guy walks in, goes to God with his cross says God, I can’t bear all these problems anymore. And God says My Son, take whatever cross you want. And you can go you could trade yours in for whatever you want. And he walks around the classroom and realizes he has the smallest crest. So he ends up leaving with the cross that he had because there’s so many bigger crosses out there. So no matter what your circumstances, there are, there is somebody out there who has already overcome it. So don’t be afraid to take the first step Richard onto your your journey. I’m sure all your friends and family see you as a runner. That’s become your identity. Every Monday show up to work and your colleagues are probably Richard Richard, what race Did you run this weekend? Where did you go? What did you do? And it’s not uncommon to see running in extreme weather conditions, hurricanes, snow storms, all kinds of stuff. So Richard, I want you to Rewind a few years, think back to before you started your journey. I’m going to ask you to paint us a picture of the Richard prior to becoming a quote unquote, runner. What did your life look like? Where are you at with your fitness, work life, stress, etc? What else you want to share? So paint us that picture? Richard Conner Yeah, thank you, Kevin. For the question. I’m excited to share my story. Because, you know, I’m hoping through my story, I can help inspire others. Because even though I am a runner, I don’t consider myself as a very experienced or elite type of runner. But yeah, I am in runner, and I’m proud of kind of where I’ve come over the last few years. So you know, my story goes back to when I was in high school, it was running cross country, rather, was one of those sports that I got into, and I felt like I could do versus some of the other sports. And I did through high school, but not so much afterwards, it kind of ran as part of my workouts, but not really that much. And then, you know, just a few years ago, I got back into running through running races at my old high school, which was very nostalgic for me to kind of go back and see my old school and some of my teachers and, and it just kind of reminded me of the love that I had for running back then. But I still didn’t take it that seriously. And then it really wasn’t until I just fell into obstacle course racing through a family friend. And I was just like, you know, this is something that I think would be interesting for me, because I’ve never done it before. And a lot of the things you have to do an obstacle course racing scares the life out of me. And I’m like, I never really felt like I was good at any of this stuff. And you know, I was good. I was okay at running, but not really great. So obstacle course racing really just gave me an opportunity to just really kind of face my fears and do things that I never thought that I could do before. And, and that’s really kind of what got me into it. And honestly, I’ve been in okay shape over the years, but really not great shape. I used to eat and drink, whatever, whenever I wanted to. And you know, my fitness level would just kind of go up and down over the years, but not really great, I would say until I took control of my health and fitness and really kind of focused on, you know, just getting getting fit, getting into sports and get getting running again after, you know, just a few years ago. Kevin Gregory Awesome. Thanks for sharing it. I think a lot of people can resonate with at least one part of that story. Because we’ve all been that couch potato that used to be more active or back in high school, I used to play XYZ sport and now I’m, I have a family and I have a job. And I have this and this and this. And I think being able to know somebody else has been in that boat really helps like, let our guard down and increase our confidence that we could also take the first step, maybe not become you overnight, but at least move on our own journey. So my first, my next question for you, because we already mentioned goals, what was your first goal when you started running, if you had to define it, it doesn’t have to be super specific, but what was in your head as your first goal if you identify that, Richard Conner gosh, you know, back back in high school, my goal was just, it was just do play a sport, really, it was just to be on a team and be part of something and learn the sport and just run I didn’t have any real specific goals. And of course, you know, whenever, especially back then you you want to be the best. So you want to be good at something you want to be known for something. And not that was really it. But you know, if I if I just fast forward two years later, and it was just a few years ago, I was in a very different place. So it was I wasn’t in a place where I wanted to be again, an elite athlete or be the, on the podium and get awards. It was, hey, I want to do something different with my life. And I think running, you know, I can get back into running through obstacle course races. So my goal at that point was to do things that never been able to do before and be successful at those things, whether it was the race distances, or whether it was the obstacles. Those are my goals. And then I had some personal goals about, you know, my own fitness, I wanted to get down to a certain body fat percentage, I would think I was I don’t know, 18 or 20% when we met and I was looking to get down to 10% was like a huge drop and you wouldn’t even think I was 20% You know, back then but I was so you know, fitness wise. That was also kind of one of my goals back then. Kevin Gregory Alright, I have another quick question to follow up that you mentioned body fat percentage now. People that are looking to quote unquote get in shape or 90% of the time as much as you won’t admit it have some number on the scale that they’re trying to hit and as As a fitness professional, I strongly encourage people to make that not their number one goal, and simply make that a byproduct goal. But what tips would you give for someone who is so hung up on, I got to lose five pounds, or whatever that arbitrary number is to have them start their journey with running and fitness to keep them encouraged because they’re gonna lose five pounds, and then they’re gonna gain back and then it’s such a yo, yo, so their emotions are a roller coaster. So what tips do you have on that? Yeah, and Richard Conner that’s, you know, honestly, that’s why it was more focused on the body fat percentage, because the weight itself, the number itself, I know fluctuates. And it will drive you crazy, if you are weighing yourself every day or even every week, because it drove me crazy. So you know, a couple of tips were really look at a little bit more holistically, not just as you know, a number as how much you weigh. Number one, it’s also about how you feel how you know how maybe you look, you’ll start to notice changes in your body, which will happen over time, not overnight, and then not measuring those things so frequently. So if you do it, maybe once a month, I think you’d have me weigh in like once a month, then it was great, because then I could work throughout the month. And I had that anticipate anticipation of how am I progressing? Right when I got to that check in. And some months were good, and some months weren’t good, but I’m like, Okay, well, now I know, I need to change what I’m doing. Or I need to do things a little bit better or differently. So those are some of the tips don’t focus just on the one number, maybe just how you weigh. But really think about maybe a little bit more holistically in terms of what your goals are, and then stick to your plan. Because honestly, those daily habits that you have, are going to lead to the results that you want. So I know at the end of the month, if I don’t hit my goal, I could probably tell you, yeah, okay, well, I didn’t do all the training sessions I was supposed to, or I didn’t really stick to, you know, kind of the nutrition plan that I had exactly for the month. So you can see it in the results. So anyway, so those are some of the things I would say. Kevin Gregory I’m glad you brought up habits, because that’s the key to a lot of things. Now, can you touch on? How do you have grace with yourself? When you do fall off the plan? How do you make that fall off the plan B, maybe one day instead of I screwed up today, my little just start over next week? So how do you have grace with yourself and like Pat Dust yourself off after maybe had a no work dinner and had a few too many drinks and a few too many apps? Richard Conner Yeah. You know, so the way I did it, which I know doesn’t work for everybody, I would track what I ate every day what I ate and drank every day. And that would allow me to make better decisions throughout the day. So if I see that I’m tracking, you know, my breakfast and my lunch, and I’m trending probably in the wrong direction, then I need to be a little bit lighter in dinner. But if I, if I’m hungry, or whatever the case is, I might say forget it, I’m just going to eat what I want today, then that’s that day, then the next day starts over for me because I’m going to track the next day as I did the day before. So for me, it’s not just about the week or the month, but I really track things on a day by day basis, which I know like if there’s some philosophies around like intuitive eating or other philosophies about kind of managing your nutrition and your weight. For me, it helps to track it. For others, it can be something different, but really think about it. If you let’s say quote unquote, mess up one day, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, you have the next day to kind of get back on track and get back on your plan. Kevin Gregory I’m glad he talked about that. So I think streaks and habits and streaks. If you think about any professional sports team, whatever your sport is, the more wins in a row they have the more self confidence they have an after they went to three games in a row, they go to the next game knowing they’re gonna win. They know beyond the shadow of doubt, they’re gonna win, eventually, they’re not, but they’re gonna keep winning and winning and winning. So the doing the same thing with yourself, the more of those promises you keep to yourself, no one else has to even know about them. But that’s going to build your self confidence and help you win the next day and win the next day. And the more you can stretch out those win streaks, and the better you can keep those losing streaks short is going to be the key to longer term success. For sure. Well, I’ll touch back on some fears. Richard, when you mentioned the obstacle racing kind of pulled you back into the fitness game? And you mentioned being scared of a lot of the obstacles? What was it about the obstacles or the distances or the race in general? Share some of your fears of that. And then why you did it anyway. Richard Conner Yeah. Well, some of my fears are I feel like I’m afraid of everything but some of my fears are so number one, I’m afraid of heights, definitely afraid of heights and that just stemmed from my childhood. So roller coasters, mountains, like you name it, I don’t want to have anything to do with it. So so that’s that’s fear, number one. Fear number two is really try doing anything that’s overhead like anything that requires me to climb, pull myself up anything like that. And that’s probably less of a fear other than the highest piece but more of I didn’t think I could do it. Like I don’t, I don’t have a lot of upper body strength. I’ve always been very thin, like, a little athletic, but not very strong. So So that’s more probably more self confidence, maybe self esteem, just Can I do this or not. So those are the things that I’m afraid of, or thought that I couldn’t do anything that’s overhead, climbing myself, you know, climbing up things, and anything to do with heights. Now, what got me into it, is I just got to a point in my life, where I’m like, I’ve been this way, my whole life. And it’s not just with sports, right? It’s with a lot of things. And I really felt like, I need to change my mindset, whether it’s in fitness, whether it’s in business, whether it’s personal, I need to change my mindset and tackle the things that scare me. And I don’t know, it was just one day when the opportunity came up. I’m like, this is how I’m going to start to do that is kind of through these races. And that’s kind of how I got started. And I even find it on my own. Like I said, it was it was through the family. And they were looking into these types of races. And I started to research. I’m like, this is cool. Like, I think this again helped me. So that’s how I got started. Kevin Gregory That’s incredible. There’s a lot to fear and everything you just described as pretty much the whole Spartan Race. So Oh, really the running or we’re doing things that were climbing or going over your head or hanging from things overhead. So well, that’s great. So how did you transition that into just doing a Spartan Race into making turning the corner and making decision to go after the trifecta, which is three different race distances, all in the same year, the sprint which is a 5k, the super which is a 10k. And the beast, which is a half marathon distance race, a little over 25 of those scary obstacles. Richard Conner
Man, well, that is a that is a four year so journey. So it really started with the very first race before we met. And I didn’t know how to train for that race properly. I did what I thought I could I was running, I was doing some of the some of the exercises. But I had no idea what I was getting into, until I did the first race. And I remember we were in Arlington, Virginia. And we started the race up feeling really great. And we do the first three obstacles, which were just some walls. And I think we had to climb under some stuff. And I’m still feeling great. I’m like, I could do this. It’s a 5k it’s 20 something obstacles, I could do this. Well, the fourth obstacle came, and I failed, it had to do 30 burpees, which was a penalty at the time, and I literally lost my will to live. I’m like, I have to do, I don’t know three more miles because I don’t even know how far we had to go a bunch of obstacles that I’m sure I’m not going to pass or didn’t think I could pass at that point. And you know, I just I did it, I got through the race, I did all the obstacles, I did my penalties, I got to the very end. And you know, at the very end, I’m like, I could do that better. For sure I could do a race like this better. But I need help. And honestly, that’s kind of what led me to you. So, you know, that was kind of my first experience. And then just working with you. You know, one of the things that I had realized is I my perception of a coach was for me was I need a coach to help me do the technical work. I don’t necessarily need somebody to push me, or helped me with my mindset, just show me what to do. And I’m gonna go and do it. But what I’ve realized is that you’ve been so much more, right, you’ve inspired me to do way more than I set out to do on my own and motivated me and helped me get to that goal. So really the idea of doing the trifecta, I owe it all to you and inspiring me to just do more than what I was considering doing because you believed in me. And that’s kind of what led me to this year. And, you know, we could talk about like what’s happened over the last two or three years to get here. But that’s, you know, the answer your question. That’s kind of how I got to the point of doing the trifecta.
Awesome. I have so many more questions along those lines. But we’ll talk about coaching for a quick second. Sure. So as a coach, I can only help people that come to me. If it was up to me, I’ll break into everyone’s house and rip them off the couch and get them exercising. Now exercising for some people might be burpees. For other people, it literally just walking. Sure. And then that walking slowly becomes a shuffle and then a jog. And then that might be it. But you work up to the next level. But everyone’s at the level they’re at. So as a coach, I’ve really aspire to find people meet them where they’re at. Because everyone thinks of a coach. Well, maybe everybody at least growing up. I thought of the coach like a drill sergeant. I didn’t want to be in the military. But you see him on TV, they’re in your face. They’re screaming, they’re spits flying in your face. They’re demeaning you and you’re getting down and doing 20 Push Ups. That was my like vision of a coach. So I’ve had many coaches in my experience. I played sports in high school, I played football, lacrosse wrestling, I played roller hockey. I went to college for lacrosse, and then I ended up wrestling my 50 Here I played semi pro football. I’ve had a variety of coaches. There sports specific coaches that teach you to position and the technical skills they just talked about. So an obstacle racing is the obstacles. I’ve had fitness coaches, that have helped me develop my aerobic engine across multiple disciplines running bike, ski row, and things for hybrid racing about nutrition coach to optimize my nutrition. There’s this race called World’s Toughest Mudder. It’s, it’s only a 24 hour race, and you just run as many laps of a five mile obstacle course as you can in 24 hours. I did it a few times. And I realized to go to the next level, I need help. I mean, I reached out well before I did it multiple times. But I needed help. Especially, I had been working with running coach and an obstacle course racing coach for a couple years. And I was like, what else am I missing, there’s another piece of this puzzle. And I found that recovery from workouts is critical. Because if you’re always beat up and always sore, you’re not going to be able to perform as much tomorrow, but also nutrition coach, not oh my god, I gotta measure every ounce of food that goes on my mouth. But I found that I was drastically under eating, for what my goals were. And my nutrition coach, he told me that I didn’t believe him. And then we started doing his little, little stuff, tracking and measuring and body fat percentage, and this and that. And I found out that I was missing my goal by over 3000 calories a day. Wow, you know how much energy you have when you’re running with an empty tank. Imagine driving your car to California back to the GPS thing. Regardless of the GPS, if you start out with an empty gas tank and try to drive to California, you’re not going to make it. So put that in fitness. Proper fueling is huge. So these are just more things I didn’t know that I didn’t know. And there’s things that you know, that you don’t know, which is great, because then you can go learn them, like Richard knew he wasn’t good at obstacles. So he’s like, I need to find a coach to help me learn something I know that I don’t know. And then they become something that you know, but there’s things out there that you don’t even know that you don’t even know. So that’s where a coach comes in huge for perspective. So I knew there’s other things. And that’s why I reached out to the I got a nutrition coach on top of my obstacle course racing coach on top of my running coach, because I’m like, There’s got to be something missing here. I know a lot about nutrition. But a lot of my coaching clients were all weight loss clients, I wasn’t trying to lose weight I was trying to perform. So a whole different perspective. And with Richard and my other clients, I really aspire to see what their skill levels at and then dangle a carrot in front of them. Richard, you did a super, I think you could do a beast, you did really well that you didn’t die. Sometimes it’s literally the the baseline goal, you didn’t die, or let’s try something a little harder. So I have lots of things for Richard to try and upcoming years. But, Richard, when you were seeking me out as a coach, or any coach, what did you initially you’d mentioned you initially needed help with the technical aspect. But what did you need from a coach? What did you look for in a coach other than just being able to teach you the technical piece?
Yeah, you know, it was subconscious. Because again, I just wanted some the best person to help me with the technical aspect. I mean, it really didn’t matter who they were right. So I really wanted, you know, preferably a Spartan coach, but really just somebody that helped me with the technical aspect. But I met a number of coaches over the years who had tried to get me on as clients. And I will say that, with the majority of them, it just didn’t click like I didn’t feel like I had that rapport with them for one reason or another. You know, not to get into any any specifics around that. But just to say that the first thing is really being able to have that rapport really have that great relationship, which which we had like the moment we met, I’m like, Yes, you can be my coach. So so that was kind of the first thing. The second is really kind of tailoring the coaching for what I needed. Because I also felt like, with other coaches that I met had like this pre programmed that they just wanted to put me through, oh, well, you could just do all of these things. And I’m like, Okay, I guess I could, but is that going to help me do precisely what I’m looking to do, which is obstacle course races and face my fears and do things I’ve never done before? Probably not in the most effective way. Right. So that was kind of the other thing is how specific would that coaching program be for me, given you know, my aspiration? So those are probably the first few things and then it just worked out that geography wise, it was convenient that we were close together. And even though you know, you’re a little bit farther away from when we first met. I’m still driving to come and see you. So but it still benefits me in terms of geography. It’s still pretty convenient.
That’s awesome. I as you’re explaining I have heard the story very similar story from my wife, who wants to this month to regular big box gym, and her mom worked with a trainer. Her sister worked with a trainer. She worked out all the time. But she’s like, I know if I get a trainer, I’ll advance better. And then the trainer is like, Alright, cool, what are your goals and she’s like obstacle course racing. And the trainer had no idea like, they like kind of researched. And I’m like, Alright, you’re gonna do this and this and she’s like, how does that apply to and I’m doing it all, but you’re having me do bench press. I don’t do bench press on an obstacle course. I literally hang, pull, run. Like that’s it. So not that you don’t need a well balanced program but specificity to the sports huge. Same reason, you’re not gonna have a track athlete do a ton of bench pressing. They’re not pushing anyone around offensive lineman in football, perfect benchpress all day. So she had a similar similar experience. And it took her a while but she ended up finding someone who wasn’t even a trainer that just looked like he was training for something similar and ended up just picking his brain and having an unofficial trainer coach. And for me, where I lived when I started obstacle racing was in the middle of nowhere, upstate New York, which has more cows than people. And fitness is not at all a priority. So when I became a fitness coach, I had a hard time finding clients because no one prioritize being healthier. So it was hard for me but as an athlete, I worked with a coach in Texas initially. And then another coach out of Albany, who was my running coach. And all this was remote coaching. We did some video, but mostly it was just programming like you. I’m just like, just I’ll do the work. I just need to know what to do when I can go look and go to the gym and lift weights and stuff. But the guy from Texas Yancey Cole, who’s still one of the like the top obstacle racing coaches, he talked to me for five minutes, like alright, what’s your goal? Get better at Spartan Race? All right, what’s your training look like? Like I do CrossFit six days a week. He’s like how many days you run and like me one or two. He’s like how many obstacles you fail in the last year and a half. I’m like, maybe a couple spirits is like you’re spending six days a week working on your strengths. And one day a week working on your weaknesses. Drop the mic see later. So I worked with him for a little bit after that. I found running was my biggest weakness as he told me and pretty obvious, but I didn’t know I was lost in the in the forest of the trees, whatever the thing is. So I started working with a running coach. And then I found out this guy Richard Diaz was the running coach of all the top level Spartans and one of his clients, um, 225 pounds. If you look at runners, they’re not 225 pounds. But Richard at a very top level Spartan racer, who was close to 200 pounds, who had a similar build to me. And I was like, I want to work with that guy, because that guy knows how to work with big guys and get them to be good. So I worked with him for like three or four years. And that was huge. It really progressed me for it. Not that you have to do this, I’m not suggesting if I was serious about advancing, I’d fly to California and work with them. Not all the time, but once a year. And then we we talked on the phone, and I do as remote coaching for the other 12 months of the year. And he’d have clinics and I’d show up to them and meet him if he was on the east coast. But that, as Richard said, those relationships with those coaches worked really well for me where I talked to other people like I talked to the college track coach because like I need a run. And he really had no idea like what I was trying to do ran me through some drills and like, I appreciate your time. But this isn’t really working for me, I don’t feel like this is aligning with what I’m trying to do. So as a trainer, as a coach, who’s made my living around fitness and helping people take themselves from where they’re at to where they’re going. I understand that everyone’s trying to be a Spartan world champion. And that’s fine. And that’s why this year, I started a training program called podium chasers. So I could find the people like Richard who were just doing the races to do them, but also aspiring to do better. And whether that was like get better and open and shave time, or they wanted to be competitive and move up to the age group. Or if they were starting an age group and they wanted to like compete for a podium in their age group. So that program brought me five awesome people or athletes, and the five of them just gelled so much. They’re such a great family. And although Richard’s not a podium chaser he’s been super close in the family too. And we’re all at races all warming up together and talking strategy and we’re all wearing our underdog jerseys. And it’s just it’s just amazing. And it’s funny because I was just running in a blizzard last year, similar to what Richard does. And I just had this this thought like why don’t I start a racing team and find the right people for the fit and since launching that team we found so many other athletes that they haven’t become podium chasers, but they’ve worked with underdog fitness and different aspects. We’ve we’ve had some five week programs for we’ve had couch to Spartan 5k program which we had a bunch of people sign up for and we did the race together and they achieved something they didn’t think they could do. We’ve had the DEKA, DEKA is another program or another race that we do whatever you’re looking to do, there’s somebody out there and even if you Richard or myself or another coach that you might know, is not the person that gives you what you’re looking for, they probably know who is the person that you’re looking for. So don’t be afraid to reach out, everyone’s very generous with their time. And we will direct you very quickly to whoever is going to be a good fit for you. And that way you can be connected to the resources that you need to take the first step or the next step or the step after that. So, Richard, we’ve talked a lot. As far as coaching, if you are a coach, and your audience was your clients, what main tip about what to look for in a coach would you give them? Or how to go about starting to look for them?
Yes, I think I think it really goes back to what people are looking to do. You know, I talked a lot about my story in terms of, I was trying to get into obstacle course racing, and I already had a base in running right cross country running five K’s and that was it. So that’s where I was coming from. But that doesn’t mean that’s where they’re starting from, they may be starting from not running at all right, or not being active, or maybe they ran in the past. And, you know, they’re looking to get back into it. So it really depends on where you’re where you’re starting from, knowing where you’re going, and then looking for a coach to help you get there. So So again, number one around kind of having that rapport finding a coach that really kind of gels well with you. And then number two, what they’re offering is specific to what you’re looking for. Because you’re you want to get into a situation where we’re the coach, and you gave a couple of really great examples where you’re like, this isn’t really going in the direction I wanted to. And you’re you’re spending your time and you’re spending your money on the coach, rightfully so if you’re looking for help, but you want to make sure it’s the right coach. So those are probably the few things that I would say.
Awesome. All right, in wrapping up, Richard, couple of last questions. What’s next? How high? Are you setting the bar for your personal self? In 2023?
Yeah, you know, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Because you know, the last, as with everybody, the last couple of years, has been challenging for a lot of different reasons. And just staying active and staying engaged. And keeping up with races hasn’t been easy. It’s been it’s been a struggle. So so this year, for 2022, I had the goal of doing an in person, Spartan trifecta, Spartan, Sprint, super, and beast, which is something I’d set out to do three years ago, but you know, pandemic got in the way. So I did it virtually back then I did it in person this year, I’m happy that I completed it. There’s a lot of things I was able to do this year that I hadn’t been able to do in my entire life. So totally happy about that. So next year, what I’m really thinking about is, how do I kind of shift my focus a little bit more back to running, which is kind of where I started my journey. And how do I get better and faster at that, you know, I? I never thought I could do half marathon distance? Well, in the last three years, I’ve done three half marathons. So I’m pretty, you know, feeling pretty great about that. But how do I get faster about it? How do I train better? How do I get my nutrition plan to support that? And that’s really what I’m focused on. And if I could do that successfully, and reach my goals, I don’t know, maybe New York City Marathon after? I don’t know, we’ll see what happens after that. But that’s kind of my next step is really in my journey is really how do I get faster how to improve my performance, and that kind of half marathon distance?
Awesome. Well, you definitely didn’t put the work in. So I’m excited to see where you take your results in the next year. But like we said earlier, the process and following the process, and what you learn in the in the process is gonna get you to where you want to go in the future. What still scares the bejesus out of you that you’re not ready for in 2023. But maybe you’ll take on in the next three to five years because I want to come back to this podcast episode in the next three to five years and be like, okay, Richard, let’s check all the boxes of the stuff I used to be afraid of that you’ve now done.
Well, you know, honestly, it’s like, just use the analogy like public speaking. I’ve been doing public speaking for ever right since I was a child, but it still scares me to this day. And I would say the same thing about obstacle course racing. Even though I’m able to climb a rope, even though I’m able to do you know, monkey bars or climb very tall structures. It still scares me. I’m still shaking as I’m doing it. And I’m talking myself through it as strange as that sounds. That still scares me. So you know, those are the things that I just need to do more and more and more to feel comfortable with. But those those cameras, but what scares me that I haven’t done maybe in the future, for sure. Something like a spring Ultra? Sure. Just thinking two beasts plus some. That just sounds crazy to me. But you know, I love to hear the stories of people who do it and successfully and the feeling about being able to accomplish something like that. For me, that just seems so far out of reach, even after doing the beasts but I don’t know again, maybe one day something like that or something like like a marathon scares me but I’d be looking to do it one day maybe?
Well, I want you to say those out loud, because I know you’re gonna do them much sooner than you probably think we’ll see.
I see that I see you,
surround you with other people that are like, oh, you know, I might try and alter this year. You know, Dallas is not too far away. Right there. But, Richard, thanks for having me. Interview, it’s been an awesome time on the other side of the podcast, and I know how much great value you have to share with your people. So it’s been an honor to be able to be part of that today. And I look forward to our future together both on and off the race course. And take it from there. So thank you.
Yeah, no, thank you, Kevin. You know, first of all, thank you for doing this. And being in the, in the host chair. So I appreciate that. And even above and beyond just thank you for being with me along this journey for the last few years. I mean, it’s been tremendous. Like I said, Before, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this stuff with, you know, without your help. And that’s why I saw a coach in the first place. And I’m glad I found the right one. So thank you. So that’s it, everyone. I really hope you enjoyed this episode, this, we had a little bit different format. But I hope this was very informative for you. And, you know, what I’d love for you to do is really take action, you know, if I think about some of the takeaways from from this episode is, number one really figure out like what is your why and what is you’re looking to do to take care of health, health and fitness to the next level. So that’s really number one to give it some thought. But next is take action. And if knowing what to do is a barrier for you, a coach is a great option. So so number two is really kind of take action. And number three is build those habits slowly over time. You don’t do this overnight. And I know we can kind of get caught up in Hey, I’m going to start today and I’m gonna see those six pack abs tomorrow and that’s not going to be the case or I’m going to run that half marathon that you’re going to be sorely disappointed but it’s about building those habits and being able to do that over time. So those are kind of the takeaways is really kind of doing those things, knowing your why and making that commitment, finding help in the way of a coach and building the right habits to get you to where you want to be. So I really hope you all enjoy this episode and you know with that, have a great day.
That’s it for this episode of Inspire to Run Podcast. We hope you are inspired to take control of your health and fitness and take it to the next level. Be sure to click the subscribe button to join our community. And also please rate in review. Thanks for listening
Transcribed by https://otter.ai