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On episode 601 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Martinus Evans and discuss his book, Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run.
[00:02:48.550] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are you?
[00:02:50.540] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:52.540] – Allan
I'm doing all right. I'm traveling to see family. We're doing a family reunion on my father's side. First time I'm probably going to be around all of my brothers and sisters on that side of the family in it's got to be 15 years. No. They all came to my wedding. So there was the wedding, which I guess was a little over eight years ago. So eight years ago we were all together. But this is extended families, so my father's brothers are going to be there with their families and my stepmother's sister is going to be there. There's going to be all the nephews and nieces and all that. So what turned into what was going to be just probably about a dozen of us is now going to be something like 30 or 35.
[00:03:41.990] – Rachel
[00:03:43.110] – Allan
[00:03:43.580] – Rachel
[00:03:44.390] – Allan
It's kind of crazy. Yeah. And you may have recognized that last week I didn't really talk a lot about my life, about what was going on, and I apologize. I did that on purpose. I was going through a pretty rough week. I lost a really good friend, and it was very frustrating because he was staying with us at Lula's, and he was supposed to stay through July 5th, and then he left two days early, and he died of heart attack on the morning of July 5th. Now, the thing was, when he got to Lula's, he wasn't feeling well. He told us he wasn't feeling well, stomach issues and that kind of thing. And so we were like, okay, you got a parasite, go get some medication, that kind of thing, because it happens down here. It just does. But he started complaining about heartburn, and then he justified that in that he had had spicy soup the night before. There's a Japanese chain here. It's the only chain restaurant we have on the whole island. And I don't actually like their sushi all that much, but he had one of the spicy soups, and as spicy as they'd make it, that's one thing he and I had in common, was we like spicy food.
[00:05:11.570] – Allan
But he was complaining about heartburn, and then he was complaining about just difficulty breathing, and that's what I heard. And I was like, okay, well, just try slowing yourself down, slowing your body down, and try breathing through your nose. If you can get yourself to where you're breathing through your nose, you're going to regulate your sympathetic nervous system, and that should help calm you down. That's why people will, if they're hyperventilating, will breathe into a bag. It's all about slowing down your sympathetic nervous system anyway and getting a balance of CO2 and oxygen. But I wasn't in the conversation where he talked about the arm pain, so I didn't know about that symptom. But my wife had tried to talk him into going down and seeing the doctors and having a conversation, getting an EKG or something. Again, had I known this, I think I have an EKG at the house somewhere. I still find it, but I have one. And we could have sat down with him and done that, or we could have just made him go to the hospital, which we didn't. We didn't do either of those. And so it's kind of one of those things where you're like, I should have paid attention to the symptoms.
[00:06:25.870] – Allan
I know the symptoms. He had poo pooed them as being the soup, and I should have paid a lot more attention. So I was just saying, the only reason I'm bringing this up today instead of I didn't bring up last week because it was still really raw, was just pay attention to the people around you. If they're not feeling well, tell them to go get checked out, particularly if they're over 50, over 60. Just tell them, don't play around with it. Don't play around with it. Just go get checked out. In our little hospital, it would have cost him I shouldn't even probably say this on the air $18, $18 to get an EKG. He'd gone down to the emergency room. They'd have brought him in. They'd have hooked him up to an IV, because that's what they do. They would have hooked him up to an EKG a little bit later. They would have probably seen some problems, enough problems to tell him, we've got to ambulance you to Changanola or David, where he would have gotten proper care in time. And as a result, now he hasn't, and he passed. So I'm only saying that to bring you down or anything, but I just recognize your body tries to tell you when it's hurting.
[00:07:44.380] – Allan
It tries to tell you when things are wrong. And if you feel things are wrong, things are wrong. So listen to your body. Listen to what's going on, and then just go get checked out. It's not that big a deal. And yeah, there's a little bit of expense, even more expense maybe for you up there in the US. But just realize that if you don't get checked out, what's the alternative?
[00:08:11.790] – Rachel
I'm sorry, Allan. I'm really sorry for the loss of your friend. My heart goes out to you. And I think just to emphasize your point again, I feel like we're in our 50s. Most of us, and a lot of our listeners are certainly over 40, but we're not as invincible as we used to be. And it's easy to dismiss common aches and pains because we're weekend warriors or we're doing these really big projects around the house and we hurt our joints and we're fatigued and stuff. But I think that once you hit 40 or maybe even over 50, those little aches and pains can also signal something else. And you're absolutely right. I'm not a doctor, and I need a doctor to help diagnose what's going on, and it's just a quick trip to the hospital. I'm a better safe than sorry kind of person myself. Good to listen.
[00:09:07.150] – Allan
Go get your regular tests, the things you're supposed to do. If there's blood in your urine, go talk to a doctor. Urologist, if your chest is a little tight, if your arm is hurting, if you're having trouble breathing, if you have what you think is heartburn and it lasts more than a tums, go to the doctor. It's worth it. And you don't even have to make it a 911 thing. It's just a simple, hey, let's head on down to the emergency room, let them know I'm having this symptom. And I can tell you from experience when you go up to an emergency room and you're over 40 years old and you walk in there and tell them your chest hurts, you go in first.
[00:10:01.020] – Rachel
You get attention.
[00:10:02.330] – Allan
They just walk you back there. There's no questions about, oh, go sit in the no. They just come on with me. You're literally sitting down and you're hooked up to an IV and an EKG. Boom.
[00:10:15.070] – Allan
Like that. They're handing you a nitroglycerin and saying, here, take this. And you ask them what it is. It's a nitroglycerin is it just a precaution. Doesn't hurt you if it's not a heart attack, but could really help you if it is. For me, that one was dehydration and water poisoning. I collapsed and I threw up, and I defecated at the same time, which is not a nice thing to do. I don't recommend it. Probably was really close to going into a coma and didn't know it. Went home and I told my coworkers, don't call 911 because it's kind of the thing. I got dirty underwear now, I didn't when I came to work, but I do now. I'm going home and getting cleaned up. And I went home, got cleaned up, I rested, and I didn't feel any better. I went to the emergency room, but I didn't call 911. I just got in my car, calmly drove down to the hospital, walked in and told him I have chest pains. So we'll kind of get off that topic because we are going to talk about running and new runners and health and things of that.
[00:11:24.860] – Allan
So, yes, let's have this conversation with Martinus.
[00:11:29.310] – Rachel
[00:11:55.350] – Allan
Martinus, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:11:58.190] – Martinus
Hey, man, thank you for having me.
[00:12:00.250] – Allan
So your book is called Slow AF Running Club: The Ultimate Guide to Anyone Who Wants to Run. This is a family-friendly kind of show, so I'm not going to spell out what AF is. But even if you're not one of the hip kids, I think you kind of know what that is.
[00:12:16.250] – Martinus
And fabulous. Slow and fabulous.
[00:12:18.910] – Allan
Slow and fabulous. I'm really glad that you took the time to write this book because so many of the books that are out there and I think you even mentioned it, they're written by previous Olympians. They're written for someone who wants to shave 30 seconds off their time so they can come in with a PR on their half marathon or whatever, and where they're going to get that one, two or three place in their run. But you're this person that's in the back of the pack that doesn't fit the mold, if you will. When I was doing my longer runs, I weighed about 195 pounds, and that was called a Clydesdale. In those days, we'd call those Clydesdales because there weren't a lot of us that big running marathons and ultramarathons. And you kind of saw it because I was probably a good 60, 70 pounds heavier than just about everybody else out there. But I was also somewhat of a back of the packer then because I just couldn't run as fast as most of them could. But I still ran. And I think that's what was so awesome about your story is you were basically told you need to do something or you're going to die.
[00:13:31.420] – Allan
And then you told him what you were going to do, and then he says, you're going to die. You mind telling that story?
[00:13:38.230] – Martinus
Yeah. So approximately ten years ago, I was working at Men's warehouse at the time. Let's give it a little context. Working at Men's Warehouse was on my feet eight to 10 hours a day in hard bottom dress shoes selling suits. And I developed some hip pain because of this, right? Like, who wouldn't in your hard bottom dress shoes walking on concrete. So I go see a doctor. First time he ever meeting this doctor. He has no previous experience with me, and he goes, I know why you in pain. Okay, what's that? He's like, you're fat. And then he goes on to say, fat, you need to lose weight or die. And I remember being frustrated, just being a person of size, and just going through all of this again. Like, you telling me to lose weight or die, but you don't know me, right? Like, you're here to figure out what's going on with my hip. So then he's going like, you need to start walking. You need to go buy walking shoes and all this other stuff. And I was like, screw that. I'm going to run a marathon. And then he laughs at me and tells me that's the most stupidest thing he has heard in all his years of practicing medicine.
[00:14:44.340] – Martinus
So now you didn't call me fat, now you didn't tell me I was going to die. And then he goes on to say, well, if you run this marathon, you're guaranteed going to die on the course. So I'm just sitting here with all these options where it just ends up just me being dead, for lack of a better words. So, like, lose weight or die. All right, I'm going to run a marathon. No, you can't run a marathon because you're going to die then. So I just left that doctor's office very frustrated and very irritated, and on my way home, I just happened to drive by a running shoe store, and I went in there and told them, I need running shoes. I need them now.
[00:15:20.410] – Allan
And that's awesome. It's funny. That what will actually trigger us to basically say, we've got to do something different. We're going to do something different. And I love stories like that, because yours was one of being a rebel of just saying, screw it. I know what I can do. Don't tell me who I am. I'm going to prove you wrong. Now, when you decided, okay, then you had those new running shoes, and you put them on, your first running story didn't quite go as planned. How does someone get started doing this? Because I see a lot of people thinking about it the same way you did as well. Just jump on this treadmill and go, can you talk a little bit about that, your story? And then how does someone get started?
[00:16:06.470] – Martinus
Yeah. So I get home, I got these shoes on. I was like, I'm going to run a marathon today, and I'm inconveniently sandwiched in between two gazelles on a treadmill. These guys are going nine and ten on the treadmill. They made it look effortlessly. And here I am, 300 pound guy who haven't been on the treadmill in years, and trying and sizing these guys up to figure out, all right, how fast do I need to go? So I thought to myself, where these guys is going nine and ten, I can at least go seven. And next thing you know, 15 seconds later, I fell off the treadmill. Mortified, embarrassed, because the gazelles all on their pedestal. They just looked down at me as they're still running. I just feel like they just look down on me like, hey, bro, are you all right? So I went home, tears in my eyes, embarrassed. And it's something about that, right? I have this tattoo on my right wrist, and I talk about this in the book of like, I have a tattoo that says no struggle, no progress, which is a famous quote from Frederick Douglass. And the portions of the speech that stands out to me is where he goes, if there's no struggle, there's no progress.
[00:17:22.330] – Martinus
Men who favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation is men who want crops without plowing the land. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want ocean without its roar. He goes on to say that the struggle may be a physical one, a moral one, or even a mental one, but there needs to be some type of struggle in order to get progress. And I think for myself, going through that and hearing that speech rang true in my head in this situation and being like, okay, I really know what this quote really means. This really means that, all right, I have to go through this struggle in order to figure out what's on the other side. And I think that's one of the things I want to mention to the people who are out here, right, where you're starting to get started. Hopefully, you don't fall off the treadmill like I did.
[00:18:10.220] – Martinus
Hopefully. I pray that you don't, but I think that when it comes to most individuals, when they do start out, they do what I call the terrible twos. They start out too fast, too soon, or do too much. So if they do too much too soon and too fast, you're still going to have that fall off the treadmill instance because they are going out the gate and not necessarily going at a speed or at a rate that can be healthy and something that their body can get used to.
[00:18:42.710] – Allan
Now, the run plans that you do have in the book, I like how they kind of start someone out where they are. So not everybody's going to jump right into maybe your twelve week program for the 5K. They might need to do a little bit of base building first. And you kind of have almost like a four week plan in there that they can repeat and do until they feel like, okay, now I can do this and now I'm ready to do this. And so it's kind of stairstep built. So I really like how you put that together because I think it makes it, I'm not going to say brainless, but at least makes it to where someone knows, okay, I have to conquer this thing first and then I'm ready for this thing. And I just like how you did that.
[00:19:24.240] – Martinus
Thank you. And I think that really just goes from the amount of experience I have coaching individuals as well as the experience I had when I was going through this journey when I first got started running, is that most training plans start you off with, let's start running with a slow ten minute mile. And it's like, wait a minute, this is what you're assuming is slow and this is what you're assuming a beginner should do? And I think that's where a lot of people get tripped up at.
[00:19:58.940] – Allan
Yeah, I think that's important because for some people who have never run and you say ten minute mile, that doesn't actually mean anything to them until they get out there and actually get on their watch and they do a mile, and they're like, okay, well, that mile took me 20 minutes, so I'm not ready for a ten minute mile yet.
[00:20:18.550] – Martinus
[00:20:19.750] – Allan
I'm ready for a 20 minutes mile. But here's the key of it. You put in the 20 minutes of work and you got that mile behind you. And every mile that you do after that is just another one that's building on the one you're going to do next. And I think that's when you talked a lot about how you got started and then you were going and there are times even when you were well trained, that you struggled and you fought. And so I appreciate again you saying that this is about the struggle and running for anyone that's done it for any amount of time knows that that's what most of this is, is a struggle and it's an internal struggle because no one else is going to pick up your foot. You got to do it, and you got to take that step in the next step. And the next step. And I liked how in the warm up, because everybody will say this, okay, well, do your warm up. And so you're going to put a warm up in there. But your warm up is not just physical. You have a mental component to your warm up.
[00:21:22.810] – Allan
Can you talk a little bit about your warm up process?
[00:21:26.330] – Martinus
Absolutely. So running is just as mental as it is physical. And I personally think that running is 90% mental and 10% physical because anybody, if you do it consistent enough, you can lift this bottle of hand sanitizer and get something out of it. Right. So the actual movement part, I think it's the easy part. I think it's the mindset part that a lot of people struggle with. Right. Like, anybody can be a runner, but not everybody do it. And it's because of the mindset aspect of it. So when it comes to my mindset, warm up, it's one of the things of really just getting yourself mentally prepared for this bout of movement. You're understanding, how do I feel in this moment? Did I get an argument with my significant other? Did my dog bite me? Whatever may happen, right. To really figure out, all right, where am I at mentally right now? So then you can figure out, all right, do I need to have a mental adjustment to really get into this? Because for a lot of people, when it comes to running, it's like, oh, I don't want to do this. The weather is not good.
[00:22:39.430] – Martinus
The wind is blowing in the wrong way, like all these other things, right. So first is where are you mentally and do you need a mental adjustment? And then the second thing is really understanding, all right, let's go through your body. Let's go through from head to toe. How are your legs feeling? How are your arms feeling? So that way, once you start to go into the physical aspect of it, you'll already know where you need to add more focus.
[00:23:08.620] – Allan
And the reason I think all that's really important is this is not a straight line. You're going to have great training runs, and you're going to have some that just suck. And it's your energy level. It's something. But you got out there, and it wasn't your day, and you've got to kind of accept that because that one day doesn't define you unless you let it. And so I really liked that idea of checking in with yourself beforehand, because that kind of gives you some precursors to know, my energy level is not 100% today. Maybe I didn't sleep as well as I needed to. Maybe I haven't been recovering as well as I need to. Maybe my nutrition is off. And you talk about a lot of all this in the book. So that's why I liked the book overall, because it was not just a just do it kind of thing. It was, here's everything that you need to consider as you go into this, because for you, a lot of what's out there isn't designed the way it should be for a runner that's going to finish back of the pack or maybe not even finish before time.
[00:24:17.730] – Allan
And I think that was another important thing that I kind of took out of this, was for a lot of people going out to run their first five or 10K, they don't really take into consideration, well, what happens if it takes me over the 50 minutes for this 5K and I'm not finished? What are they going to do then? And there's a lot of other considerations that you brought up that I thought were really important. Can you talk about some considerations if someone's looking at their first five or 10K, maybe even first half marathon, that they should consider looking into before they get started?
[00:24:51.500] – Martinus
Absolutely. I would say the first thing is really understanding what is the pace limits? Like, what is the pace cut offs for this particular race? And then that way you can understand, all right, where are you at physically to understand if you're either going to have a good time with this pace cut off, or you're going to have what I like to call a bad time with this pace cut off? So I think that's the first thing that you think about. And then you ask yourself, all right, can you do it within this pace time? The answer is yes. Great. If the answer is maybe. All right, now let's see what happens to the runners who fall behind the pace limit. Do they let you continue to run? Do they put you on a sidewalk? Do you put you on a bus? You really need to understand what is the ramifications if you don't make it to the finish line in the allotted time. And then you have to ask yourself, are you okay with those ramifications? Are you okay with having to run on the sidewalk because they're open the streets up? Are you okay with getting on a bus because they're like, hey, the race is over.
[00:25:57.410] – Martinus
You got to get on this bus because this thing is done. Are you okay with that? I know for some people, they'll be devastated if they participate in their first race. And the bus is like, hey, you're too slow. We got to open this course up. You got to get on this bus. We're sorry, but your race is over with. And some people will be devastated. They might not even run ever again. So making sure that they understand, what are the ramifications if you don't make it to the finish line in that certain time period? And then I think there are other ancillary things that you can also think about the time of day the race start. Like is it a morning race, is it a night race? I think about for longer distances. Say you're training for a half marathon or a marathon. Are you training for a spring marathon, which means you have to train throughout the winter, or are you training for a fall marathon which means you have to train throughout the summer. And those have their own ramifications as well. Whether you're training throughout the summer months and I don't know if you're down south or whatever, but that's something you also need to think about as well.
[00:27:04.390] – Martinus
And I also think about the last thing is for individuals who enjoy traveling to know how easy is it to get to that particular place. So for example, I went to a race in Montana, I live in New York City. You would think out of all the places, there would be a straight shot or a non stop plane to Montana, to New York City because it's one of the busiest cities in the world. That wasn't the case and I ended up getting delayed on a stop and all types of things that goes along with that. So it's also understanding where are you going and what does the airfare looks like or the travel look like to get there as well.
[00:27:50.580] – Allan
Yeah, I was running the Big Sur Marathon. They had the expo the day before and I went to the Expo and they had this speech and the director did not say anything about the four hour limit for the finish line. So what they were doing was they said okay, because they had some mudslides. So they were having to close this particular road, this particular bridge for the race, and they didn't want to shut it down any longer than they had to. So they were looking at the first finishers finishing in 2 hours and a little over 2 hours. And then at 4 hours they said, okay, well, we're going to have to open up the bridge. And so I'm running and all of a sudden they divert us and now we're running through this artichoke planting. This is down a gravel road into the middle of nowhere. There's no fans down there, there was no nothing. You finished the race and it's like, here you are, here's your medal. And it's like, okay, there's two guys standing down here besides the people that were just running in with me. So we're walking back up to where the finish line is, which was now about another mile and a half away.
[00:28:55.800] – Allan
And then all the people that had come to watch people finish, they didn't see us finish. So there's these things that happen because 4 hours, that was a slower marathon for me at the time, but it was that whole thing of had I known, I could have run just a little bit faster pace, particularly for the last few miles, and I probably would have made. Their cut off. But you brought up a couple of other important things in the book as far as they may run out of medals, they may not have your Tshirt size. There may be all these other little things that are going to somewhat be little digs into you and being a slower runner or your size or those different things. And that can really mess with you as a runner because you did finish the race, and now you don't have the medal to hang up in your closet or wherever you hang up your medals. And so there's a lot of considerations that you had in the book that I agree you want to make sure you're paying attention to because we all do it. We're all going to make mistakes as we prepare for our race.
[00:29:58.180] – Allan
Like you said, not having a nonstop flight. I had my luggage lost when I was flying to the DC marathon, the Marine Corps. Fortunately, I was wearing my running shoes. But I had to go into the Expo and break your primary rule, which is nothing new on race day. My shorts, my shirt, everything else I was wearing besides even my socks, all I had on was I had my running shoes on on the plane. And that's all I had going into the next morning for the race. So I had to stop at the Expo and buy everything I needed. And that was not the funnest race because I broke your rule. And I agree it's an important rule, nothing new on race day. Now, another area that you got into, a lot of runners kind of skip because they think, okay, well, I'm running, so that's my exercise for the day. I'm done. And they're going to run even if it's just I'm going to run three or four times per week. That's all I need to be in good shape and be able to run. But you're a big proponent of cross training. Can you talk a little bit about why you're a proponent of cross training and what someone should consider doing for cross training if they're running?
[00:31:12.680] – Martinus
Absolutely. So what I like to tell people is the things that you don't do as a runner that actually makes you a better runner. And I have this phrase that I tell all the people that I train, and that is you make time to cross train or you're going to make time for doctor's appointments and physical therapy appointments because you're going to get injured. And it's not if you get injured, it's when you get injured. So that's something I always tell people, is that make time for cross train. Are you going to be making time for doctor's appointments? Because that is the true fact about running. And this sport that we do is a very repetitive sport. I think that a lot of people forget about all the other ancillary muscles or accessory muscles that needs to help keep you upright while you run and get injured a lot. So I'm a big proponent of cross training, more particularly, most people, since we all have jobs that makes us sit on our butt. There's this phrase called gluteal amnesia, dead butt syndrome. And this is thing, this is real. And it's the fact that you sit on your butt for so long that your glutes don't fire properly or don't fire at all when you're running.
[00:32:35.860] – Martinus
So then while you run it, you rely on some of the smaller muscles versus some of the larger muscles in your body. So you rely on calf or mainly your calf and your soleus muscles to help push off versus using your glute muscles, which is like one of the larger muscles to help move your body. So that's one of the things that I like to tell people and let people know that you need to strengthen your glutes. And then the last thing is like engaging your core. I think that comes with another thing. We're just sitting down for so long is that a lot of people forget how to necessarily engage their core and really think about that. When people say core or like AB workout, they think about like sit ups. Right? But your core moves in multiple directions. It just don't go in that crunchy format. It goes to the side, it goes left to the right, to the front and the back. We need to make sure that our core is stable in order to make sure that everything else is grounded while we run as well.
[00:33:42.380] – Allan
Yeah, I like to explain the core to people I train and say think of it as like a soda can. And when that soda can is full, it's solid, you can put something on top of it, you can move it around, it's not going to crush. But you take that fluid out, which is how most of us are walking around, or worse, put a kink in it and it's going to collapse. And so any kind of training volume you put on yourself, if you don't have a strong core, it is going to break, it is going to break you at some point. So I totally agree with that. Strength training, core training, and then even doing some of your endurance training off of your feet or off of the road so that it's not so much extra repetitive effort on your body just to have a certain level of cardiovascular strength.
[00:34:29.150] – Martinus
Yes, and I think that's a great thing to mention right inside the book. I break up cross training in like two ways, right? You have strength cross training and you have cardio cross training. And I think a lot of people tend to forget that cardiovascular fitness can be brought on through various methods of exercise. It don't necessarily have to be running, it can be swimming, it can be cycling, it can be a plethora of things. But all of that still helps you with running as well.
[00:35:04.060] – Allan
Yeah, well, when I trained for my first one, I was in Washington, DC. And I was training during the winter because it was a spring, it was a February marathon. So I'm like, okay, I'm in Washington, DC. It's cold January in December in Washington, DC. And I was from Mississippi, so I was flying up there, but that's when I had to train. So I'm like, well, I'm going to go over here to this YMCA and go in there and just do some training. There some cross training inside and they had a 20 minutes limit on the machines. So I would get on one machine like an elliptical, and I'd do that for the 20 minutes, and then I'd have to move over to a different machine like a bike or a Stepper or a treadmill or whatever. And then that's how I did a lot of my training was just to cross train there. And I think one of the core advantages of it was that I got my cardiovascular endurance way up without putting so much stress on my knees, particularly running around Washington, DC. Where the pavements like granite. Oh my, yeah, it's not a fun place to run, even when I was in a safe part of the town.
[00:36:11.450] – Allan
But it was cold and it was hard, and I was like, no, I'm not going to do that too much. I did get out some and run, but for the most part, I did a lot of cross training and that was enough. That was enough to give me the endurance to be able to complete the run and my goal time. So I agree with all that. And I think one of the cores and things that you have in here is you're repeatedly thinking about the needs of the runner from the perspective of protecting their investment, protecting their body. So you talk about cross training, you talk about recovery and sleep and nutrition and all those different things. So I think it's a really good book for someone who does. You call it The Ultimate Guide for anyone who wants to run. Boom. That's exactly what this book is. Now, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:37:06.190] – Martinus
Oh, man. So let's start with the happiest. Right. I think when it comes to physical activity, a lot of people get into a comparison trap. They look at you, they look at me or whoever, and it's like, oh, I'm not where I need to be or I'm not where you at, and so on and so forth. And I think that one of the things that I've learned throughout all these years of running is that comparison is the thief of joy. It's the thief of joy and happiness. And one of the things I always like to tell the people that I train is that if your life doesn't depend on winning 1st, 2nd, or third place in the race, you're here and you're running a race to get a participation medal that you've already paid for. So there's no need to take yourself so seriously and get yourself so riled up for a race that A, you're going to get participation medal at the end of it, you're not winning. So you already know that. So you got to have something else that's going to drive you to run. So that's the first thing comparison is a thing for the journey. Fittest, being the fittest that you can possibly be.
[00:38:19.380] – Martinus
I think the best way to do that is through consistency. I think a lot of people underestimate the power of just being consistent, and this can be okay, I'm going to be active most days out of the week, which is, I say four days out of the week. Right. I think there's so many benefits that come with being regularly physically active that you'll get in your body even if you don't lose weight, that I think that there's still so many benefits to continue to be active. And I think that's another thing that a lot of people fail to realize as well is that we've been so taught to understand that exercise equals weight loss, right? So when people do exercise, they don't lose weight. They get all upset and sad and depressed and then stop exercising, not knowing that there's so many other benefits. Better A1C's, better cholesterol, better blood pressure, all these other things. The mental health benefit that comes with it that it's so beneficial that even if you don't lose weight, it's still a benefit, you still continue to do that. And I think that also rolls into the last part of the healthiest right by being regularly physically active.
[00:39:40.090] – Martinus
All of those markers that we look into or look at when we are going to a doctor, those markers get affected in a positive way when you are consistently being active.
[00:39:54.280] – Allan
Cool. Thank you. Martinus, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about your Run Club and more about your book, Slow AF Run Club, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:40:05.730] – Martinus
You can go to slowafrunclub.com. That'd probably be the best hub to go there to get more information so we have information about the book there. The book is available wherever books are sold. And then we also have an app on iOS and Android. So if you download the Slow AF Run Club app on your favorite phone Apple device, you'll be able to find the app there as well.
[00:40:29.080] – Allan
Cool. Well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/601, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Martinus, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:40:41.060] – Martinus
Thank you for having me, Allan
[00:40:42.050] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:40:44.570] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. You know me. I love everything to do about running and listening to Martinus share his story was super motivating. His story and his run club, I looked up his Run Club and his website, Slow AF. It sounds like a really fun group of people. It's a really great community.
[00:41:03.570] – Allan
Yeah. And that's kind of one of the cool things. Again, it wasn't one story. I think that was what I really liked about the book, was that he really talked raw about the tough things that he went through, the chafe monsters, and being told he should get on the bus because he's not going to make it. And he knew he was going to make it, particularly because the guy on the bus told him to get on the bus and kept coming back and asking him to get on the bus. And so there's a lot of lessons in there about what running means, particularly for a slower runner. A lot of the things that slower runners have to put up with. He talks about shoes, he talks about everything else. But I think one of the big stories out of all of it was that running, it's a solo thing because you have to do the work, but it's also a very social thing when you let it be.
[00:42:04.460] – Rachel
[00:42:05.450] – Allan
And so the Run Club thing, he formed that online run club predominantly because he couldn't find his tribe in real life. He was trying and he went out with a group and in a place where you would kind of expect a lot more tolerance and acceptance. And he went out to join the slow group and was informed, okay, they're running this trail that he didn't know, and they were going to run ten minute miles, which was about twice as fast as he would normally have wanted to run. That because his running is going to be more in the 15 to 18 range as a normal run, just for a marathon or any kind of longer distance. He wasn't looking to run ten minute miles. Now, he tried because that was the slow group. And then they left him.
[00:43:02.200] – Rachel
[00:43:03.080] – Martinus
And as a result of being left, he turned to go back to the parking lot and got a little lost and then found two other runners that were trying to get back to the parking lot. So they all went back together. I only say that story not that you would avoid a run club because there's a lot of advantages. And I know, Rachel, you can talk a lot more about being in run clubs, forming run clubs and all that, but to me, the cool advantages of a run club is the social aspects of it, of having friends, having those peer groups. When we talk about motivation, there's a peer group waiting for you on Tuesday night to do the 07:00 run. You guys show up and do the 07:00 run, have your beer together, and then it's a social thing, but it's also a safety thing, especially if you're doing trails or doing areas. Running with other people is a huge safety thing. But it's not either of those things if the group is going to leave you. Because, again, now there's no social. You're alone on the trail and there's no safety because you just got left alone on the trail.
[00:44:12.930] – Allan
But there are run clubs out there. And if there aren't, you could form your own.
[00:44:16.770] – Rachel
[00:44:17.600] – Rachel
And the great thing about Martinus putting his book together is that he is one of those back of the packers. He was a new runner. He made all the classic new runner mistakes and finally found his people. He found a group of people that he could form a club with and do their thing together, which is so important. And I want to point out a couple of things, is that a lot of people are afraid to start running because there are those fast people out there. There are people that run Boston, which those are only fast runners run the Boston Marathon.
[00:44:54.680] – Allan
But not only no, because again, if you read his book, you'll know that there are lotteries.
[00:45:00.860] – Rachel
Oh, yeah, there's charity, charity groups and.
[00:45:04.710] – Allan
There are lotteries where you can be picked for a lottery. Because he went through that process, too, of lotteries, because he's run some of the big ones, too.
[00:45:15.030] – Rachel
There's some races where you have to qualify, though, have a fast time. And Boston is one of those ones. And Allan, I've been running for 25 years. I am not a fast runner. I will never run the Boston Marathon. I'd have to shave 2 hours off my marathon time, which is not meant for me. But that's the intimidating part of running. And that's why having a run club with people who are not always the fast runners is helpful because then you get to be with people that are more your speed and more your ability and have the goals that you have, which are a little different than running marathons and setting PRs. So the problem with run clubs, though, is that there are so many run clubs. The Roadrunners Club of America has a website where you can look up running or run clubs in your community or nearby your community. And most of them have a website and they'll tell you what they run and they'll give you an indication of what type of club they are.
[00:46:19.280] – Rachel
Right here by me, there's probably, I would have to guess, five, six, seven different run clubs in my area. And I know because of experience, some of them are the fast ones. There's one run club in the city that I cannot even keep up with and it twists and turns through the city. So if I don't have my eye and look which direction the guy's turning, I'll be lost for the rest of the day, just like Martinus was on.
[00:46:45.430] – Allan
That just means you get to do more miles.
[00:46:48.610] – Rachel
As long as I can find my way back to start, I guess we're okay. But with my run clubs that I participate with or that I manage on my own, is we have a local trail. It's an out and back course. And when somebody new joins us, I ask them all the questions. How fast do you run? How far do you want to run if this is your first time out? We'll run a mile together. If you're an experienced runner, I'll tag you with the faster runners that are more experienced. So I kind of watch for people in my run clubs, but not all run clubs are that way. So it's important that you kind of pick and choose. Don't just blindly show up and then not be aware, just like what Martinus had experienced with his run club.
[00:47:31.230] – Allan
And so, you know, again, it's a really good book if you're a beginner, because he does tell the stories of the mistakes and the struggles, and that's actually a big part of why he runs. He runs because of the struggle.
[00:47:49.350] – Allan
Okay? And he runs because he's not supposed to run. He's over 300 pounds. You're not supposed to run when you're over 300 pounds. His doctor even said that. So just realize that you should run if you want to run. You should do what you want to do to live the life that you want to live. And again, as long as you don't have some underlying condition that you don't know about, which he didn't. He didn't have the underlying condition other than being a big boy, a very big boy, then it was, okay, now if I want to run, I just got to do it right. He went and got shoes, and he started, but still, lesson after lesson, the chafe monster got him on one bit. And then there was this getting lost when the run club left him, and that so there were a lot of lessons that hopefully you go through and you start your journey and you've read his book, you kind of have the idea, okay, Cotton is not my friend. Once I start doing more than about 30 minutes of running, just little things like that that don't seem like a big deal, can be a very big deal.
[00:48:58.800] – Allan
But that's what's so cool about running, is at first, you just need a pair of comfortable, sturdy shoes that are going to last a little bit, get out there and start going. Then you can start investing in better shoes. Then you can start investing in better clothes, and then you can start investing in all kinds of gear and stuff and goose and all kinds of stuff. But in a general sense, it's the easiest sport to start and then grow into.
[00:49:26.040] – Rachel
It is it's a great sport. You get out of it what you put into it. It's really all on you, and it's how you're feeling, how far you want to go, what you feel like accomplishing, but it gives you so much more back. It can give you your health. It can bring you to friendships in the run clubs. And that's why I love it so much. And I could drone on for hours about how great it is, especially how great run clubs are, but also back to run clubs. That is a good place to learn, because every single one of us runners has made all of these mistakes at one time or another. And this is how we can help you become a better runner by maybe getting you through some of these mistakes so you don't have to make them all. But it is a great place to be. And his book sounds really fun.
[00:50:14.080] – Rachel
Sounds like a great read.
[00:50:15.540] – Allan
If you're thinking about running or you're a beginner runner, it is a really good book. All right, well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.
[00:50:23.370] – Rachel
Take care, Allan.
[00:50:24.490] – Allan
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