Why Does Running Suck?

Why does running suck and how can I make it fun like burpees?
-by Nick Mounce-

There is probably only one part of that question that makes sense right now. By the end of this post I will, hopefully, explain what that means and put a nice little bow on the answer for you.

First, why does running suck? Well, my guess is that you are not particularly good at it. If this is news to you I’m deeply sorry you had to find out this way. Don’t worry though there is a way to fix it and who knows...you might even find yourself looking forward to going for a run.

Before we get to the answer let's go back a few years. There was a time in my life when all I did for “fitness” was run. I followed the LSD (long slow distance) training model. Gradually increasing the distance of my 3-4 runs during the week and 1 long run on the weekend. Following that approach got me through 12 marathons and several half marathons and 10k’s. It also left me broken and sick of running by the time race day came around.

I know you are sitting there thinking, “What happened? Why did you change from distance running to being amazingly strong with such a beautiful beard?” Thank you for asking such a thoughtful question sprinkled with unsolicited compliments. The answer is simple. My terrible running form and constant “pounding of the pavement” got me a couple sweet stress fractures in my right foot. Being gifted in the art of not taking advice from doctors I refused to wear the boot they prescribed and kept running. Bad idea, the foot is still a little shitty from time to time. Enter picking up heavy stuff then putting it down.

For a couple years I kept telling myself I’m not meant to be a runner. Clearly I’m built for picking up heavy shit and growing a beard. That was my mind set until I started hearing about Brian McKenzie, and the pose method. Mr. McKenzie’s blog and subsequent book introduced the idea of treating running as a skill.

Brian MacKenzie: Not your typical-looking/thinking endurance athlete. And that's why I like him!

Brian MacKenzie: Not your typical-looking/thinking endurance athlete. And that's why I like him!

Running is a coachable movement that can be taught and learned. MIND BLOWN. Since I learned how to move my feet faster then my face is moving towards the ground I haven’t given one thought to how to run.

Earlier this year a couple coaches from Travis County Strength went to the Crossfit Endurance Certification where we spent a good amount of time learning to run using the pose method. Retraining your body how to run is challenging to say the least. The thoughts, "This isn't right!" and "What the hell are you doing? This is not how we run!" kept running around my head for almost the entire first day. Then it happened. It clicked. I was weightless, it felt effortless, I was running. Then I freaked out kind of like when you string double unders together for the first time. Fart and fall down, start over.

So where does that leave us in our attempt to make running fun like burpees? But burpees aren't fun. I hear you and I agree, burpees aren't fun...until you are given the option of burpees for time or a run for time. Honestly both options suck, until the airdyne bike is thrown into the mix. Then running and burpees sound like great options to most people.

My point is this. Running can suck less. Running can be a new skill. This will take practice, patience, and a "little suck it up". The resources are out there. Videos, articles, books, podcasts, and coaches probably pretty close to where you live. So where does that leave us? It’s up to you.

To Run Faster...Get STRONGER!

Today I want to share Coach Jen Shaw's blog that she posted a couple days ago on lift4women.com. I think will speak to many of you that have the desire to improve your endurance running abilities but don't want to spend the majority of your time mapping routes and grinding out ridiculous mileage each week.

TCS/LIFT Athlete, Jen C is the perfect example of how becoming stronger makes you faster and more durable.

TCS/LIFT Athlete, Jen C is the perfect example of how becoming stronger makes you faster and more durable.

You don't need all that mileage. You don't need to pound your joints into mush. You don't need to spend countless hours planning, prepping and running....

In order to run faster....get STRONGER! - by Jen Shaw

Zilker Relay Takeover

The TCS community was out in force on last Friday night at Austin's Zilker Relays. This is a huge event that temporarily draws the masses away from 6th street and on to the trail for one Friday night each year.  

This year there were nearly 1000 participants - 12 of which were TCS athletes!


Each of the 4 members of each team (3 teams) had to run a 2.5ish mile leg of the relay. This may not sound like much, but when you are placed in a team environment and you're responsible for getting your job done to the best of your abilities --- aka. As Fast As Possible --- it leads to some all out work!

Why is this blog-worthy?

Well, first, we love the fact that our athletes take on new challenges outside of the gym. We strive to develop our athletes in a well-rounded, "swiss army knife" way so that they can take on any challenge, at any time.

Secondly, we don't necessarily train endurance as it's own special category or goal. Again, this goes back to the "swiss army knife" mentality/methodology. At TCS, our workouts focus primarily on building strength and performing high intensity tasks for relatively short durations. But, by placing these short, intense pieces back-to-back for an hour-long class.....the endurance and the ability to push through longer time domain is developed with out you even realizing it.

This step away from "Long, slow" training is becoming more and more popular in the endurance community. In fact, many of the top endurance athletes are now incorporating strength and power work in to their programs. It just goes to show that having a solid foundation of strength sets you up for success.....regardless of your specific goals or sport.

See ya in the gym!


Introducing RuckFit


Some of you may heard recently that I....yes, me - "Mr. Cardio" did a Go Ruck Challenge a couple weekends ago.  If you know what Go Ruck is all about, I know you're very impressed, given my admittedly neglected oxidative/aerobic system.  If you haven't heard of Go Ruck.....you probably have some questions.

I would first encourage you to follow this Go Ruck Challenge link to watch the video and discover what it's all about. 


As for my experience, I will briefly say that the GR Challenge is an outstanding way to test yourself.  It's not about moving the fastest, lifting the most, or any of the traditional attributes fitness-minded individuals seek.  It's a grind.  It's a mental and physical grind that tests your will - your mental toughness - more than your physical strength or ability to perform cardio-based work.  It also demands that you let go of selfishness and rather focus on the man or women to the right and left.  It's also about team.  Talk about value....

If you know anything about me or the way I coach my athletes, you know that I value a strong mind more than a strong body.  Both can be built and strengthened, but when it's all said and done - The mind dictates the body.

This is exactly why I decided to do this GR Challenge with my friend and fellow coach, Nick Mounce.  It was a way to test ourselves in a new way.  And I gotta say, I loved every second of that grind - both the training leading up to the Challenge and the Challenge itself.

Our participation in this Challenge was also a fact-finding mission.  We wanted to see, first-hand, what this was all about before we unveiled RuckFit!


Coach Nick Mounce, a former Marine and former Firefighter, knows what it is to train hard for a job - a mission.  He's obviously had a unique perspective that will prove extremely valuable to you as your prepare for your very own Go Ruck Challenge.

Coach Nick is very excited to kickstart this Go Ruck training program and has put together a brief description of what the RuckFit is all about....

A 12 week course focused on getting athletes ready to tackle a Go Ruck challenge. Two class times will be offered on Saturday morning. Athletes can choose to attend the 630am or 10am class. Classes will last between 1.5 and 2 hours. The focus will be on strength-based endurance training. Special attention will be paid to nutrition, mobility and recovery work.  Athletes will need to have a ruck or backpack capable of carrying 35-45 pounds.

The class fee of $450 includes the registration fee($90) for the challenge held in Austin on April 11th. Also included is an exclusive class t-shirt and custom patch that will be designed by and produced for the athletes that take on this challenge.

**$450 minus $90 Registration = $360
That's $30 per 2hr. class!
Not too bad for A LOT of Rucking Fitness!**

Class size is limited to the first 6 people that sign up. No time to sit on the fence. Act quickly or miss this opportunity to challenge and apply your fitness.  If you're looking for a Challenge to kick start 2014 we have got you covered -- RuckFit class 1A.

• Registration for the April 11 Go Ruck Challenge in Austin ($90 value) is included

• 12 training sessions focused on increasing athletes endurance through strength work

• Special attention paid to Mobility and Recovery

• Nutrition for pre, post and during the challenge

• Gear/Equipment reviews and recommendations

• Proper loading of Ruck for efficient carry

• Class-specific t-shirt

• Custom class patch

• You never forget your first Ruck
(challenge that is)

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at
nmounce@gmail.com or 512-560-7053
If you're ready to take on the Challenge

** SIGN UP **