Podcast 003 – Bob Kennedy

Bob Kennedy joins us for the third episode of the Run Faster Podcast. Bob won both the high school national championship, which was then called the Kinney National Championship, and won the NCAA Division I Cross Country Champions as both a freshman and a senior.

Bob Kennedy was the first non-African to break 13 minutes for 5k. Many of you may remember when he took the lead of the penultimate lap of the 5,000m at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA. Some runners may have even raced in the shoe Nike named after him, the Zoom Kennedy.

You can listen to the podcast below, you can download it here or you and listen via iTunes. If you like the podcast, please rate it on iTunes. Thanks!

Run Faster Podcast 002 – Dathan Ritzenhein

Dathan Ritzenhein is a three-time Olympian who is working hard to make his fourth Olympic team in 2016. Prior to becoming one of the best professional runners in the U.S. and in the world (with a marathon best of 2:07:47 and a half-marathon best of 60:00) he won both the Footlocker and NCAA titles.

He twice won the Footlocker Cross Country Championships in high school, beating Alan Webb and Ryan Hall his senior year. In 2003, he won the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship in a brutal dual with Ryan Hall.

I got to know Dathan and his wife Kalin during my time as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado. Dathan is one of the toughest, most focused athletes I’ve been around. It was a pleasure to reconnect with him in this interview.

Thank you for your time, Dathan, and I wish you the best in your quest to make a fourth Olympic team.

You can listen to the podcast below, you can download it here or you and listen via iTunes. If you like the podcast, please rate it on iTunes. Thanks!


Run Faster Podcast 001 – Jorge Torres

Jorge Torres joins me for the first episode of the Run Faster Podcast.

Jorge won the Footlocker Cross Country Championship in 1998 as a high school athlete and went on to the win the NCAA Division I Championship in 2002 as a collegiate athlete. Only five men have won both championships (Bob Kennedy, Adam Goucher, Dathan Ritzenhein and Edward Cheserek being the other four).

I got to know Jorge during my time as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado where he was an athlete. I’m fortunate to count Jorge as a friend and, as you’ll hear in this interview, he’s both serious and playful, a mixture that I believe helped him take his training seriously when he had to, but also allowed him to relax when it was time to rest.

Thanks, Jorge, for your time and for a great interview.  Listen below or go to the iTunes page.  If you like the show, please leave a review on the iTunes page.  Thanks!


Run Faster Podcast

I want to share my new podcast, the Run Faster Podcast,with you. This podcast will be a bit more focused than my previous effort, the Coach Jay Johnson Podcast.

Each week I will do my best to give information designed to help you run faster. At the end of each episode I pose a simple question to each guest: “What do you think runners need to do to run faster?”

The first four guests are fantastic. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing four of the five men who won the High School National Cross Country Championship and NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship . Those men are Bob Kennedy, Adam Goucher, Jorge Torres and Dathan Ritzenhein. Oregon’s Edward Cheserek is the fifth man in this elite group and perhaps in the future he and I can chat on the podcast.

The first interview is with Jorge Torres and the second interview is with Dathan Ritzenhein.  Bob Kennedy follows, then Adam Goucher, my roommate in the dorms our freshman year at the University of Colorado, rounds out the first four interviews.

I hope you will take the time to listen to these interviews. You can find them on iTunes at this link, or you can simply search “Run Faster Podcast.”

If you like the show, please take a few moments to rate it and write a comment on the iTunes page. The more popular the show becomes, the more time I can devote to putting out more shows and bringing you interviews with the best minds in the sport.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the Run Faster Podcast.

Two things you need to know about the Boulder Running Clinics February 2015 Clinic

Here are the two primary things you need to know about the Boulder Running Clinics February 2015 Sports Science Clinic, which starts tomorrow.

First, you don’t have to be in attendance to get your FREE pair of Newton Kismet shoes, which retail for $127.  The wear testers at Competitor magazine have raved about these shoes and we are fortunate that Newton is giving a pair to everyone who signs up for the clinic.

Second, we will video all the presentations and, by mid-March, will send links so you can watch the videos on your computer, tablet or phone.

The list of speakers is fantastic, as are the topics they will be presenting.  Click here to check out the schedule.

Registration is $147 but if you use the code “blog20” you will get $20 off your registration.

This means that for $127 you will get a pair of great shoes and you will get nine videos showcasing some of the brightest minds in the world of running, talking about topics they think you need to understand.

To register, click here.  Registration ends at 4 pm MST tomorrow (Friday, February 20th, 2015)

Have questions?  I can answer them at coachjayjohnson@gmail.com .

Thanks for reading.  New blog posts coming next week.



Balance running training with a busy work schedule

I just had an online client finish several weeks of intense business work, putting in long days and having little time for sleep.  He was able to train during this time, but looking back on it, I probably should have lowered his running load.

Now he has a much lighter schedule.  It’s by no means an easy work schedule, but nothing like the previous weeks.

I’m sharing this because I’ve asked him to go easy this first week.  His brain needs a break, even though his workload has gone from crazy to normal.  Your brain has to be fresh before you can train.  If your brain isn’t ready to go and you’re trying to run solid volume with good workouts and long runs, you’ll be able to do it for a few weeks, but then you’ll have issues.  You could get sick, you could have a little injury flare-up or you could simply start to feel flat in training.

What does this look like in terms of training?   [Read more…]

How should I run now that I’m over my sickness?

Most of us are going to get sick at some point during the year.  You might get the flu from a child or you might get a case of the common cold as a simple result of being in public places.  For your running training, the key to getting better is simple.

First, don’t come back to running until you are 85-90% better. Just lay low and take time off.  Don’t rush coming back to running until you feel well.  You will find other information on the internet about sickness “above the head or below the head.”  My experience with coaching runners, both in person and online, is simple: when they follow the 85-90% suggestion, they don’t take any steps back in their training once they resume training.

Once you’re feeling 85-90% well, you must have the discipline to run easy for the next few runs.  You have to be 100% before you run your next workout or long run.  And you also have to be 100% the day before that workout or long run.

Let’s say you were on a Tuesday workout/Saturday long-run schedule (the schedule I like for busy adults with hectic lives). [Read more…]