I’m a podcast junkie and I have a new favorite running podcast – Road to the Olympic Trials. It’s all about elite runners’ build-up to the marathon Olympic Trials next February. It’ll be so interesting to learn about their training and know more about them to cheer them on during the trials in Atlanta. Here’s an inside look from the podcast host all about this sure-to-be very popular running podcast!
I’m thrilled to welcome my friend, and host of the Rambling Runner podcast and now host of the new Road to the Olympic Trials podcast, Matt Chittim. I got to know Matt after he had me on his podcast a couple months ago to talk about training for Boston and navigating marathon training around some big career changes.
I asked Matt to answer a few questions about his new podcast since I’m super excited about it, especially after spending four days at Zap Endurance running camp. (Zap running camps are for everyday runners but hosted by an elite training group, including the coaches and pro athletes! You can see highlights from my camp experience on my Instagram account. And I’ll be updating the blog post soon with my personal experience!)
I asked Matt for a quick overview of his new podcast:
The Road to the Olympics Trials podcast features eight elite runners, four men and four women, who are excited about pulling back the curtain about the pro runner experience. They’ll be open and honest about their training, racing, and goals in their lead-up to the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta in February, 2020.
The athletes who will be sharing their journey are Jared Ward, Kellyn Taylor, Roberta Groner, Parker Stinson, Lou Serafini, Sarah Bishop, John Raneri, and Stefanie Flippin.
Here’s what Matt had to say!
It’s certainly wasn’t a planned thing, that’s for sure. Three years ago I helped start the Providence College podcast, one of the first college-based podcasts, when I was working there. Then, when Anchor.fm created the first phone-to-phone podcast recording and distribution app, I decided to start the Rambling Runner podcast. At the time there were a lot of great podcasts that focused on elites so I decided to focus on dedicated amateur runners.
Originally, I had no expectations that anyone would listen – and that is exactly what happened. There were only 8,000 total downloads in the first six months and I was totally fine with that. Then starting in January of 2018 the Rambling Runner podcast started to take off. In total, the show had 1 million downloads in 2018 and that fact still shocks me.
Just like with Rambling Runner, it was me scratching my own itch. Road to the Olympic Trials will take a deep dive in to the preparation, physical and mental, of some of America’s best runners as they prepare for the Olympic Trials in the marathon scheduled for February 2020.
Like most running fans, I am awed by the performances that the elites do at race time but I’m equally, if not more, interested in how they prepare for those races.
The first thing I did after I came up with the idea was reaching out via DM, email, and third-party acquaintances to some of the best runners I could think of. In addition to trying to attract the best runners to the show, I wanted to have as many different storylines as possible.
They were on board immediately after I reached out. Several knew about Rambling Runner and all of them know their fans want to learn more about their training.
As the interest in social media and podcasts explodes, these runners know that by sharing their journey, they can foster a stronger connection with those fans. And that’s good for the sport as a whole.
To provide an intimate look into what it takes to prepare for the race of a lifetime. I also want to help showcase these amazing athletes in a transparent and open way.
We shall see! My guess is that we will learn different things from each runner, but I’m sure there will be several characteristics that they will all share. Here’s a sneak peek!
Elite runners is something I’ve become even more interested in the last few years – and honestly, I think it’s mostly because of podcasts and getting to “know” them a bit more that way!