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We are back with an interview with another one of my favorite podcasters – Tina Muir. RunnersConnect Run to the Top podcast holds a special place in my heart. It was the first running podcast I ever found, and I’ve been hooked ever since. While searching for running podcasts on iTunes, this Run to the Top podcast got my attention. They interview runners and give advice on how to be a better runner. So, I decided to check it out, and was instantly captivated. The first episode I listened to happened to be an interview with a podiatrist. Everybody who has been following me knows that I had a bad ankle injury, so this was a great jumping-on episode for me. Tina is such a great interviewer. She asks great questions that I would never think to ask. And she listens very well. Somebody could be speaking about something pretty technical or scientific, and Tina is able to ask something, or interject, and take something that could be complicated and clarifies it and makes it simple enough for an average person to understand. It is also obvious that Tina does her homework on her guests. If they have a book, she asks about something specific from it. I’m sure the guests love her because of this, and because of her knowledge. The podcast has a great variety of podcasts. There are doctors, runners, and coaches, and I learned something from all of them. I have not heard a bad episode yet. This podcast is perfect for beginning runners as well as elite runners. New episodes of this weekly podcast are posted on Wednesdays.
The Run to the Top podcast is part of a great web site called RunnersConnect (http://runnersconnect.net/). RunnersConnect was founded in 2011 by Jeff Gaudette. After years of coaching individual runners online, Jeff realized there was an important piece missing to his athlete’s training – team support. So, Jeff essentially created an online running community. There are 7 coaches, a team doctor, nutritionist, writers and an awesome development team. Tina is among those coaches. She is an elite runner, so she knows what she is talking about!
Tina, can not only be found at RunnersConnect, but she also has an outstanding blog called Fuel Your Future, and can be found at www.tinamuir.com. She not only writes incredible articles, but she also posts recipes.
OK, enough of me going on-and-on! I’ll let you meet Tina herself. She was so kind to answer several questions for this article. She was just married in August, and went away on her honeymoon last month. I’m sure she’s been busy catching up on her own things, so I am so grateful that she took the time for me.
A. I started running when I was 14. In England running is different to the US as everything is done through clubs. I was running for my high school, and was doing reasonably well for my age, but it was only when one of my teachers recommended that I joined a running club where I really started to fall in love with the sport. I joined a running club, met my coach Brad Plummer who was fantastic and helped me improve a lot (I went from 222nd at Nationals my first year to 40th the second year to 16th my senior year!). Brad was all about running for life, so he made sure we were never overdoing it because he wanted my best years to be ahead of me. Looking back, I realize how lucky I was to have a coach who cared that much about my future when he could have taken advantage of my talent.
Q. Do you have a favorite race that you ran in, either because of a PR or because of the location of the race?
A. Without a doubt, the London marathon in 2015. I had dreamed of running that race my entire life….well….since I started running and first learned the name Paula Radcliffe. I thought about the day I would get to race there. Running through the streets of London as a marathoner, seeing some of the worlds most famous landmarks, it really was a dream come true!
Q. I noticed that you are an elite runner. How do you become an elite runner? Is it a certain number of races you need to do, or do you need to finish a race in a specified amount of time?
A. It is funny, I do not really know what classifies an elite runner, and sometimes I wonder if I am even an elite runner when there are runners out there who are so far ahead of me! I think about the best marathoners who finish over 20 minutes ahead of me in a marathon, now THEY are elite runners! But yes, I would be classed as an elite. To me that means that you have run times or finished in a place that puts you in the top of your country. If I was a US citizen, I would say anyone who has qualified to run in the US trials would be an elite, but Great Britain does things a little differently, yet being ranked in the top 15 in the country for any distance would be another way of classifying it….but again, its hard to put a distinct limit on it as there is no such thing 🙂
Q. Why did you decide to podcast? Were you already a member of the Runners Connect team when you started?
A. I actually did not decide it myself, my boss (CEO of Runners Connect Jeff Gaudette) told me that he wanted me to bring the Run to the Top Podcast back at the start of 2015 and wanted me that to be my little project. At the time I had only been working for him for a few months as the community manager. I knew nothing of podcasts, and it was absolutely terrifying, but pretty quickly I found that I loved it. It soon became my favorite part of working for Runners Connect and has kind of taken a life of its own since. i love seeing how much it has grown!
Q. Do you have any dream guests for the show?
A. Paula Radcliffe is my idol, and she would be a dream come true for me to interview and have a chat with. I would also love to talk to Meb [Keflezighi] and Kara Goucher as they are both very inspirational and relatable. I am trying hard to get all three, but so far no luck 😉
Q. I’m only 3 races in to my 50 state journey, and I have already seen some inspirational people at those races. For example, there was a 90 year old woman doing her first 5k. And at another race, there was a 5 year old who performed the National Anthem. He had lost his father in Iraq just 2 days before he was born. Have you come across inspirational people at any races you’ve done?
A. Wow how exciting! I can only imagine how many more amazing people you will meet! I love hearing the stories of runners out there, everyone has their own unique journey, and it’s so fun to hear. Thank you for sharing those!
I have come across so many inspirational people, especially people who do not even believe they are inspirational, or think they have nothing special to offer. I often get people saying to me “I run x….but thats nothing compared to you”, yet their background and their setbacks have given them multiple opportunities to quit or back out of the sport, yet they haven’t, and that, to me, is inspirational!
Some of my favorite inspirational people are Kathrine Switzer and Dick Beardsley who I interviewed on the podcast. There are too many everyday runners to name on here. Each person has their own unique story!
Q. Along that same track, who are some of the most inspirational people you have interviewed on your podcast.
A. I answered this above. I also recommend Fernando Cabada.
Q. Do you have anything coming up on The Run to the Top podcast that you would like to share?
A. I have so many exciting ones coming this year, I am especially excited for Julie Benson, which is going to be in mid February. She was stopped at mile 25.8 when the bomb went off in 2013, she also shares an inspiring story of her eating disorder. I also have a great story from Trent Morrow, which is another great story.
Q. Would you like to share any final thoughts?
A. I just want to tell anyone reading that they should never be afraid to be who they are. Don’t ever think you are not a runner because you “don’t look like one” (there is no such thing!!!) or you are not fast enough. If you are out there, you are a runner, and you have your own unique combination of strength to offer this world, so don’t doubt it. Be Brave. Be Strong. Be You!
Thanks so much Paul 🙂
Isn’t she great?!?! Thank you so much, Tina!
You can subscribe to RunnersConnect Run to the Top podcast from anywhere that you download your podcasts from. You can also go through the RunnersConnect site at http://runnersconnect.net/running-podcast/.
You can also follow Tina’s blog, Fuel Your Future with Tina Muir at http://tinamuir.com/
You can also follow Tina on:
Please let me know if you like any of these interviews, or if you listen to the podcasts I am covering. Are there any that you listen to that you would recommend?
Until next time, I’ll see you out on the Rhode.
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