Podcast

How The Rambling Runner, Matt Chittim is smashing his 10k PR before turning 40

Episode Highlights (aka Why You Should Listen aka TLDR)

  • Matt Chittim aka The Rambling Runner is documenting his journey to get a personal record in the 10k before turning 40
  • His journey might be similar to a lot of people out there with injuries over the past few years not allowing him to get to his potential
  • He has an amazing story about endurance running history
  • How white people/brands can do better for the BIPOC endurance athlete community
  • His Virtual Summit 2021
  • Accountability through showing the world his journey via his podcast and blog
  • How it felt to be injured while talking to other runners on his podcast
  • For Parents – Some tools and tactics to staying on track while training with kids
  • Interesting facts about his mom and dad and how that’s helped him to get where he is
  • What he will do if he doesn’t make it (spoiler – it’s all about the journey!)
  • Much more

About Matt Chittim, The Rambling Runner

  • Founder & Host of The Rambling Runner Podcast and brand
  • Helps amateur runners reach their potential through his podcast and blog
  • He has a rating average of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Apple Podcasts
  • He’s a master interviewer. Seriously check out his podcast! Some great questions being thrown at the guests
  • The Rambling Runner podcast is always in the top 10 of USA sports podcasts
  • Has published 300 podcast episodes to date and…
  • Has reached 2.5 million downloads to date
  • Is a Run Coach with Mckirdy trained runners
  • Has had on his podcast a slew of well runners including; Matt Fitzgerald, Bart Yasso, Marquis Bowden, Anne Maher, Olivia Baker, Jamison Michael, and more

Episode Quotes

  • “It’s actually more frustrating to be coming back from the injury – than the injury itself”
  • “People having timeliness to their goals is the biggest issue. I think goals are great – long term, short term, process and progress goals are great. Where it can start getting tricky is with progress goals. Attaching a timeline to a goal can be really tough. It can lead to potentially overtraining and tamp down the motivation”
  • “How many top triathletes are really good runners? All of them. That’s why they are top triathletes. Don’t be afraid that cross train will hurt your running. It won’t.”
  • “It’s not about how much you can fit into tomorrow and then having exponential growth later. It’s step by step. you cannot skip a step. You cannot ride the escalator. If you’re looking for a way to skip a step, you will end up falling back on your ass”

Episode Links

Original Music Used Here

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Transcription

Transcript is 90% accurate. Please excuse all typos and erros. Download the PDF Here

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:00:00] Part of, it was just based out of pure. Like I am so sick of like being injured and not reaching my potential. I’m sitting here, like, gosh, I just haven’t been able to put together. As sustained effort to really maximize what I think I’m capable of doing from a running perspective, I just haven’t done it.

And that has weighed on me for a very long time. That was the foundation.

Daren: [00:00:34] That’s Matt Chittim of the rambling runner podcast. And we’ll talk about getting a 10K PR before reaching 40 years of age on this episode of Master of some.

DLake Creates Song: [00:00:46] Let’s go!

Welcome to the show, I’m your host, Daren So. 

Tips and tactics so you could train like a pro.

This cast will help you run faster than you could go.

Right. [Don’t you agree?!] 

Endurance sports a metaphor for life. It’s that metaphor baby.

Eating clean so you can rest and sleep all the night.

Don’t master a lot. 

Don’t master a little, just stay in the middle. 

Don’t master all. Don’t aster none. 

Just be a master of some. 

Daren: [00:01:16] What is up. As stated in the intro I’m Daren and sometimes go as DLake, your host of master of some. The Internet’s most exciting health and fitness podcast.

We tell people’s endurance sports stories so they can master some of the health. Fitness and even some of their life, it’s all the same. We also want to show you how to perform better as you get older. And we do all of that through podcast conversations and stories. 

A few things before we start first, based on that intro, you could tell that we do not take ourselves too seriously.

Think audio meme or crazy YouTube explainer videos. There’s a bunch of music, sound effects, internet samples, and jokes. We also use some adult bad language. Endurance sports are fun, and the podcast listening experience should be too.

Second, this was created in Sydney, Australia, because of that, we acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation who are the traditional custodians of this land. We pay our respects to the elders past present, and future.

Last – this show is accessible and has transcription go to the show notes or master of some pod.com/show notes to find the transcription PDF a quick overview of what to expect in this episode. First, I’ll do an intro of the guests. Next, we’ll move into the warm up set with some fun fast questions. Then it’s the main set based around the theme of the podcast title. Last we’ll wrap it with a cool-down section to get to know the guest more outside of health fitness.

[SFX Transition]

In this episode, we focus on how the  podcast host, Matt Chittim of The Rambling Runner podcast is  documenting his journey to get a personal record for the big four zero. Matt’s journey is interesting. I’ll let him put it in his own words as it’s based around a very personal answer to the very curious question of.

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:02:58] If I dedicate myself for a full year and go all in as much as I can while at the same time, not stepping away from my parental duties and my professional duties and anything along those lines. How good can I be putting all that stuff together?

Daren: [00:03:12] A bit about Matt Chittim – he helps amateur runners reach their potential through his podcast and blog.

He’s a run coach with McCurdy trained runners. The rambling runner podcast is always in the top 10 of USA sports podcasts. He’s a master interviewer. Seriously. Check out his podcast. 

His podcast has had a slew of amazing runners, including world famous Bart Yasso, author Matt Fitzgerald, basketball player turned pro runner Marquis Bowden, USA track and field star, Olivia Baker, YouTube reviewer, Jamison Michael.

And that’s all just to name a few, so many more, more people on there.

[SFX Transition]

Episode we speak on how his journey might be similar to a lot of people out there with injuries over the past few years, not allowing him to get to his potential. He ends up telling an amazing story about endurance running history that I didn’t even know about. 

How white people and brands can do better for the BiPOC endurance athletic community.

His 2021 virtual summit.

Accountability through showing the world his journey via his podcast and blog, how it felt to be injured while talking to other runners on his podcast. I could only imagine.

For parents, some tools and tactics to staying on track while training with kids. 

Interesting facts about his mom and dad and how they helped him get to where he is with his fitness. 

What he’ll do if he doesn’t make it spoiler, it’s all about the journey and much, much more.

And without further babbling onto the conversation.

But first let’s get to know Matt a bit more with the new segment called…

The Five Fast and Furious Fitness Facts

Audio Logo/Sound FX: [00:04:30] The five furious fast and furious… fantasy, 

Cuz I be up in the gym, just working on my FITNESS. 

Daren: [00:04:38] Facts. Five fast and furious fitness facts. 

That’s five fs too. I really liked that.  AKA get to know your local Cornerstore master of some.

Cause you know, we’re just hanging out at the corner store and you’re like, I want to know more about you. This is what this podcast, segment is for

Fast Fun Fitness Fact # 1

Dead or alive – Who would you want to go for an easy one hour run with? 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:05:10] Okay. Two runners, dead would be Emile. Zatopek. Because that guy is an absolute legend. People don’t know him. Look him up. His first marathon ever was at the Olympics after winning the 5k and 10 K and then he won the marathon in his first one ever just an absolute legend.

And like, not only was he the best in the sport during his era, by a, by literal and figurative mile. But in addition to that, he was also the nicest guy in his sport, in his era, which is like such a unique combination. 

If I could pick someone living, it would be Allison Felix. 

Daren: [00:05:44] Well, I’m gonna definitely research, uh, Emile – [Google that] you hyped him up.

And I love when people get really energetic about it. I’m like now I’ve got to check that out. So yeah, I’m going definitely a YouTube him used to 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:05:54] do, he used to do 400 meter 400 meter ish type fartlek workouts on all 400 years on 40 meters off in the snow, in the woods in Russia while he was, while he was in the army.

So he basically wear his army boots and would do it in the forest. Wow. That was, that was a typical training workout for him.  and again, just to kind of what your appetite is like, this guy is absolutely insane. Well, you can look at this time, then this is, you know, we’re talking almost a century ago. So if you look at his times and compare it now, like they’re not going to be the same as like the best elite runners.

Now this wants to be fast to answer. This is not a fast answer. Emile ran lot faster than I’m talking about him, but in terms of you can only judge people on their era and in his era, he was a legend. Fair. 

Daren: [00:06:38] Now it’s apples and oranges. You can’t go like Elgin, Baylor. I know, you know, you’re a basketball player, uh, but you can’t go like, all right.

Was Michael Jordan better than Elgin? Baylor, who was actually who he based his game off. And it’s like totally different games, you know? And, and the whole LeBron Kobe Jordan thing, like, yeah, I totally get it. And you just gotta respect it for what it was. 

Fast Fun Fitness Fact # 2

All right. Next one. How has the podcast rambling runner helped your actual running?

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:07:03] It’s helped keep me accountable now with that  said, I am not better right now than when I started the show, but usually that’s because of the injuries that have affected me was kind of laid the groundwork for mastering 40. So we’ll get into that later, but definitely if I’m going to talk about running twice a week for over three years now, I better get running.

Daren: [00:07:24] Fair fair. I absolutely agree with that.

Fast Fun Fitness Fact # 3

So next one. You have on your podcast, a diverse cast of runners.  and I absolutely applaud you for that. So what’s one thing that white people and white brands, you know, and companies, and it’s a, it’s a loose term. And, but it’s more like a runner’s world. They had a whole big thing. Like they don’t have, you know, any people of color on their, on their,  their covers.

And I think they changed that because it was a big black backlash around June, July. So what do you think brands and just people in general can do to better serve BiPOC endurance athletes and better represent them in the mainstream. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:08:04] Yeah. I mean, it’s a loaded question for sure.  I guess, I guess I would say this is that,  first of all, just, just start doing it.

I mean, I, I think ultimately there seems that I feel like people start to view this as like there’s a barrier to entry here. But there just isn’t right. You just talk to people, you have them tell their stories, you have them tell you where they’ve been, what they’re doing, where they help, where they hope to go.

If you do that with somebody. You’re going to get these through lines that connect people, even if they have very divergent backgrounds or current circumstances, what we hope to do in our lives, aren’t really that different. Even if we have differences in terms of where we come from, who we are and the circumstances of our lives.

I think ultimately when we sit down and talk to people, once we get. Through those things, which are very important too, or what do you want to do with your life? What kind of impact do you want to have on the people around you, on the people that you hope to have around you in the future and those sorts of things, it can really be a galvanizing thing.

It can bring people together and there can be a lot of unification there. And it also sets the stage to then look back on what someone’s done in the past or the circumstances of their past and say, wow, like. We there, there is so much unification here. That’s possible. If we don’t get hung up on feeling like, Oh, but I don’t know how, or what if my audience won’t like that?

Or what if, what if, what if just knock it off? You know, I think a lot of the people who have that sort of hanging up or they, they feel like they they’re, they’re not sure if they should do that or something along those lines are the same people who. Would espouse those virtues in the ballot box. And I’m just saying, just live that life as opposed to, you know, championing it on social media or maybe voting for it, just live it.

And ultimately you’re going to be better for it personally. And if you do that, then it will have, I think, a broader reach, uh, generally. 

Daren: [00:10:09] Yeah. And, and I definitely agree. I like the way you said, just do it. It’s very, uh, very Nike 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:10:15] I’m wearing Tracksmith right now. If anyone cares, you know? No, 

Daren: [00:10:20] actually, you know what, that’s the next question.

Fast Fun Fitness Fact # 4

Someone will steal all of your Tracksmith gear and make you run in old baggy basketball shorts. So you have to pick one. All right. What’s your what’s you rather do, uh, uh, Would you rather do a VO two max workout, or would you rather do a tempo workout? 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:10:39] Oh God.  it’s funny. I mean, ultimately I would want to do a VO two max workout because I feel like I, at least I know when it’s going to end to some degree.

It’s when I, when I, based when I stopped breathing, I feel like a tempo. And like, I feel, I feel like it’s going to end. And then it’s like the David Goggins effect. It’s like, Nope, you’re only 40%. They’re like Dave and David Goggins came up with the 40% rule. He had tempo runs in mind. And for that reason, and that reason alone, I shoot the VO two max test, just, just go out and you’re like, I’m just going to absolutely hammer myself.

Whereas like the tempo runs like, yeah. You’re like, all right, well, I’m not going to like, you know, I’m not really going to go to the well here, right? I’m not going to like really be crushed myself. This isn’t like, repeat for hundreds with like a 100 meter walk and then I’m doing 20 of these suckers.

Right? Like, I feel like a temple run and get in your head, be like, all right, like I can handle this. It’s only 20 or 30 minutes. Like this isn’t going to be that big of a deal. And then you’re 15 minutes in and you’re like, what is going on? Yeah. 

Daren: [00:11:40] Yeah. Yeah. I definitely, I come from more of a speed, uh, background, just like you.

And every single time I stopped at temple, I’m like, I’m going to slow. I’m going to, and then I get 10 minutes. I’m like, eh, and then it’s enough. And I’m like, Oh my God, this burns. And then,  and it’s usually slightly slower than my race. Pay. So I’m like, how did I do this in a race? How did I do the rest of 40 minutes?

I started getting all my head. Absolutely agree with your VO two max all day long.  all right. 

Fast Fun Fitness Fact # 5

Last one. As you get older, what does the word consistency mean to you as a runner? 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:12:12]  it’s, it’s a long, it’s a long-term thing. You can’t view it in the short term, uh, missing a run here and there ultimately is not gonna have an effect on your running.

Just doesn’t, uh, but running consistently for six months and then taking two months off will have an enormous impact on your running. So I would say when you talk about consistency, if you run again, if you look at it in the aggregate and you say, Hey, I miss 10% of my runs over a year. It’s two very different things.

And those 10% were all smashed together in this big gap of time. Like that’s probably going to affect you. Whereas if it’s sprinkled here and there, it really won’t. And I think that’s, what’s ultimately affected my running several times in my life is. You know, really just taking this, like the same, basically the same, the same tactics that I use when I was, you know, in high school, trying to study, instead of like keeping up with things over the course of the semester, I would like just try to smash it at the end and try to really make it work.

Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn’t, but ultimately I would be much better served, kind of pacing it out a little bit at a time and then really getting it down. And, uh, I think there are times where I have not done that in my running and I had paid for it. Every single time. Yeah. 

Daren: [00:13:29] Running it’s really like, I feel like running is one of those things that tells a lot of cyclist.

I’m like, Uh, I coach a cyclist and he went out and just rode like, you know, 40 miles and hadn’t written it. And I was like, you can do that. Running’s not as forgiving. I was like cycling. You can do that. I was like running. You decide to go out and run 20 miles after not running for three months, you will pay for that, you know, in a week or two.

So I think running consistency is extremely important. So I, I agree with you there.  we’re going to end it there. I’ve got a million questions. Want to go into the main set? So, uh, Thank you for playing. 

Congratulations, wound up complete onto the next set based around the topic of this podcast. But right after the [SFX] AD BREAK.

MOS COACH – AD BREAK

This episode was brought to you by MOS COACH. We show you as you get older, how to perform better in health, fitness, wellness, endurance sports and life. We’re all getting older. So rather than being like most humans on the earth and declining, why not be better, stronger, smarter, faster, and more wise than the 10 years ago version of yourself?

Our NLP trained coaching experience will help you live your best life through habits and intentional decision making. Go to https://masterofsomepod.com/coach or email us talk@dlakcreates.com. Spelled the normal way to book a free consultation call today.

MAIN SET

Audio Logo/Sound FX: [00:14:56] Main set 

Daren: [00:14:58] Onto to the main set with Matt, where we speak more in depth on mastering 40, where he’s at, what led him to it and where he’s going after. 

Hey Matt. So how’s everything going, man? Thanks for coming on to the podcast. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:15:08] I’m so excited to be here. I record so many of my own and get, I barely get to talk about myself and what’s going on.

Uh, I’m so excited to talk with you here today. And, uh, you’re doing such great work. I mean, the people who don’t know. You’re like on, I’ve been on a lot of podcasts, just like, but what we did before we started recording shows that you’re a true professional. I’m just so excited for this. This is like really like prime the pump for me to really get it going.

Daren: [00:15:32] I appreciate it, man. I really appreciate your enthusiasm. And,  I’ve honestly been trying to get you on for, for a while. And, uh, I know based on what’s been going on that, you know, it’s just hasn’t happened, but we’re on it right now. So, uh, let’s just get into it. 

How did it feel to be injured and talking to all those runners on your podcast? Uh, well, like you talked about it a bit. I know in, I think it was episode three at mastering 40, but I’m like, what was that feeling like? I want to get kind of the nitty gritty because you, I can imagine how frustrating that could. Yeah. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:16:03] I’ll tell you what, it’s actually more frustrating to be coming back from the injury than the injury itself, because the injury itself, there’s some sort of like, that can be galvanizing.

It’s like, Oh, you hurt your knee. I got to hurt me. Like, Oh, you can’t run cause this, Oh, I can’t run because of this. All of a sudden we’re in the same boat. Like we are, we’ve been there. Right. The harder part is like, Hey, I’m doing walk, run. For six weeks to come back, check me now. Right? It’s like, it’s not enjoyable.

It’s not fun. And it’s not something that ultimately I want to discuss. So that was exactly where I wanted to start. This whole thing was to try to like, you know, get over that at least for my own personal self. So, you know, the, the hard part for me was. Trying to connect with these runners in a way that first of all, I’m not trying to be the show.

They’re the show. In addition to that, it’s like, you know, especially if I’m talking to somebody who like, I have like a pretty long relationship with, so I’ve been, you I’ve been, you know, commenting back and forth and we’ve known each other for a long time. Cause I’ve had some people on this show who were like, you know, three or four years ago, we were the same.

Running wise. So we were running the same times and they are coming to the show. They’re like, Hey, you just broke three hours in the marathon. Right. And we’re talking. And like, the thing that’s unsaid between us was like, Hey, what are you doing Matt? Same the two years ago. Uh, you’re not, you’re not really there and the other way.

 so you, you get that every once a while, and it definitely can amplify the menace of imposter syndrome and you just kind of. Try and forget about it. Right. You just kinda, you know,  you know, tamp it down because ultimately a lot of people have been in similar circumstances and if that’s the, that’s the hardest part of my life and I’m living a pretty privileged life.

Daren: [00:17:48] Yeah, yeah, yeah.  that that’s, the imposter syndrome is a tough one. And I, you did talk about that, but,  I think you pushed through it. Well, you either fake it till you made it. Or, uh, you know, you, you, you compartmentalize your yourself as like podcasts, their journalists,  which by the way, you’re an amazing journalist, like your, your questions and the way you pivot with you did with Matt Fitzgerald.

Phenomenal.  that last question, even, he was like, damn good question. When you’re a good question from a journalist it’s like, yeah. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:18:18] From a writer. Let me tell you, because the hardest part for me was when I, when I started the virtual race series. In the spring. Cause I was coming back from like not running now, all of a sudden we’re having like this podcasting series where I’m like, we’re, we’re, we’re eating, you know, there’s basically four teams, two people to a team it’s like me and Mario, we’re a team.

And then we’ve got these other Lindsay hives there Lauren’s there. And the hard part was is that like I’m with Mario. So he’s like the best runner on the slowest. And then you really combining the times, but like your cross country races, he was going to be like the best team. And I’m like, By far the worst.

I’m not even close to people. And even the 5k, it was so demoralizing because like, I’m the one putting it out. Then I’m like hyping up, like how the races went, which was basically me hyping my own deficiencies, which was what, some of the harder content I’ve had it. 

Daren: [00:19:11] Yeah. Yeah. Fair. Well, I mean, you’re great with being vulnerable, so I dunno like you, you really put it out there and I’m, uh, I’m a big fan.

And I think obviously everyone that’s listening to you, there’s not too many people that are also into podcasting. I’m definitely in the weird niche of it all, but I’m like, wow, you’re, you’re doing it very well. And, and that’s something too to look up to. So again, you, you, you did the whole injured while talking to people extremely well props for that.

Uh, what’s a similar thread that you see as a coach that hurts new runners. Because you obviously are coaching people. What do you see that that’s, that’s similar in that, in that 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:19:45] vein. So here’s where I’m going to be hypocrite because I have a timeline on the mastering 40.  but ultimately I think that people having timelines to their goals.

Think that can be the biggest issue. I think goals are great. I think having long-term goals that are maybe more audacious short-term goals. Process goals, progress goals. I think that if  appropriately applied, those can all be very valuable for a number of reasons. I think where it can start getting tricky is if you have a progress goals.

So process goals are like, you know, I want to run six times a week, you know, do six, two hour runs in my next marathon buildup. Right? So those are process goals. As you progress goals like, Hey, look, man, I want to break 40 in the 10 K. By next summer, right? Attaching a timeline to a goal can be really tough because all of a sudden it can lay the groundwork for not only potentially over-training, but ultimately it can kind of go the other way where a progress isn’t happening, the way someone wants it to happen on some sort of preconceived notion of a timeline.

Right. That can be very demoralizing, can really tamp down the motivation.  which we’re in winter right now. We’re just starting winter here in North America. And, you know, I did a run today and it was 21 degrees windchill. Right. And that was with the sun out. Right. Like it was also windy. Like I was not.

Was not so excited when I stepped out the door. Right. So if I’m sitting there like, Oh my training, isn’t going the way I want it to, like, that can be tough. Right. It just makes that makes that first step out the door a little bit harder. So I would say it’s great having goals have them, but try to divorce them from any sort of timeline or if you do have a timeline, be understand that that can be, you know, break your timeline in pencil.

And if you don’t have a pencil, write it in sand, do not write it an anchor summit. 

Daren: [00:21:41] That’s a really interesting way of putting it.  cause I, I fall victim to that and I’m always like, you know, I’m going to do in this time and I get really stressed.  I’ve always said it slightly ambitious. I’m the type of person that.

I get motivated by what I did. And I have a friend that gets motivated by what he can do,  or what he hasn’t done. And I realized it’s like, kind of the same, same, but you know, if I get like a tiny bit, I’m like, Oh yeah, like, you know, basically. I’m doing a, over the next 10 years while I’m in year four right now, uh, I’m trying to get 1% better in the half marathon.

That’s about long-term goal because a lot of things happen. I ended up gaining weight about three, four years ago. I didn’t know I gained weight. I never actually checked my biomarkers and all those things. And then I was like, you know what, I’m gonna get 1% better. And you know, I started running the math and I was like, all right, this is going to get me to here.

And because of, of all that, I was able to then go, all right, any shorter term goals, short term goals here and there, but,  I never, I didn’t think about it actually hurting me and that you, you can actually see gains, but it might be more ebbs and flows. So this is me actually working out what you just said.

You’re like a therapist right now and I’m like, like, wow. But,  that’s, that’s, that’s really, really interesting. I actually. I have issues when I plan my training week and I have a, you know, I have a one and a half year old. I know you have kids that are a bit older, basically whenever they get sick, or if something happens on my kid, it derails my whole training plan and I get quite upset.

So I know that just happened to you. What are some tools and tactics that you use to deal with? Uh, like a crazy schedule change. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:23:18] All right. I’d say the first thing here. And this is the one that’s hardest for me is communicating with your partner. Okay, because. This is something again, I am speaking from experience.

And when I say experience I’m talking about today is, you know, this happens to me. Not just any day it happened today is the idea of expecting your partner to be able to read your mind, not only about what you want to do today, but when you want to do it. So your partner is probably going to be receptive to the things that you want to do, especially if it’s like, Hey, I want to stay healthy.

I want to go for a run. Right? Maybe you can’t do the full workout you were planning, or maybe instead of doing your hour run, you’re going to run for 40 minutes or half an hour, right? Like there’s ways to mitigate the damage or not the damage, but mitigate,  the complete loss of the day and get something in.

But ultimately if you keep it to yourself, And you just have it inside of you and it’s just kind of like lingering and then it causes some resentment and then it’s like, all right, well, you know, you do like the baby’s sick. I don’t want to mess with that. And I don’t want to be mad. I’m now mad that I’m getting mad and he just, it can just be this snowball.

It was growing, growing, growing. And ultimately I think if you’re able to communicate with your partner, if you have one in these situations yeah. Ultimately there’s some, there’s usually something that that can work. All right. So that’s the first thing. Second thing is it’s not. I’m doing the workout that’s planned or it’s nothing, it’s almost never that black and white, it’s always some sort of gray area there.

 whether it’s, Hey, I’m going to run half the time that I was planning on running or like, Hey, I wanna, you know, I’m just hoping to do a workout today. Well then maybe like you’re going to do a shorter up and cool down and maybe instead of doing. Six half mile repeats, you do four, right?  or something like that, or maybe you’re like, you know what, forget the cool down.

I’m just going home after the workout.  I’ve done that many times, even if I wasn’t busy.  and there are plenty of things that you can do to mitigate that. Or you just say, you know what, that’s it, I’m just going to do a hit workout at home. I’m just going to 10 minutes of burpees. Whatever, right? Like, I’m just going to get the heart rate and just kind of get it going.

So I would say communicate with your partner, if you have one in those situations, especially if it’s like a baby involved, if it’s a little bit more generalized in terms of, Hey, I’m just having a time issue here. Don’t view it as I’m sticking to the schedule or nothing. There’s always going to be something in the middle that you can do to be active.

And you know, the last thing here is that, Hey, how many, how many top triathletes are really good runners? All of them. That’s why they’re top triathletes. 

Let me tell you this. They run probably as bout about as many miles as you do. Why? Because they’re also swimming and they’re also biking and yet they are some of the best runners in the world.

All right. So don’t be afraid that cross is going to hurt your running. It’s not, it’s just not, especially if you’re going to say I’m not going to cross train, I’m going to do nothing instead. 

Daren: [00:26:21] Drove that that’s a, that’s a good play on,  James clear his, uh, you know, I call them the habits, habits King, and,  he has something like there’s no zero days.

And I, you know, I really always say like, even if it’s five minutes, you know, of doing something like, are you supposed to do quality work on that date? Burpees? Let’s just, like you said,  because doing nothing is the worst thing you could do and getting out the door and literally doing something is always better than nothing.

And 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:26:45] let me say this. There are, there are plenty of times for rest days. We’re talking about, like I’m ready to run. I’m not, overtrained I’ve had enough sleep, right? Like all of a sudden, you know, this is not one of those things where like, I need a rest day. Should I push myself? We’re saying, okay, no, you’re ready to go.

But your schedule is the impediment, not lack of sleep or something like that. 

Daren: [00:27:03] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s, it’s like, all right. You know, I have, I have one cheat day a week. It’s like, that’s the day I’m going to eat garbage. And I, I don’t, I try not to eat garbage any other day because I’m like, I am. So if anything I do is, you know, resting or anything else, it’s like, I’ve planned to do that.

It’s not because I was like, Oh, I don’t feel like doing the actual thanks. So fully, fully in agreement with you there. 

So what were your parents like in regards to their endurance sport? Health fitness background. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:27:29] So my dad was a good high school football player. Uh, went to college and played one year of college football at a small school, uh, in upstate New York.  but was really a sprinter background. 

So he ran. The 100, he ran the 200, his four by one. I think it was all Western mass, all Western Massachusetts, which is like a big deal in, in, in, uh, in that state.  and you know, if you’re, if you’re, you know, the top, top four by one team in Western mass, that’s your, your high quality athletes.

So that was a big deal, uh, for him and my mom. Wasn’t an athlete. It just wasn’t so,  but, but ultimately my dad didn’t start getting into,  into endurance sports until after he quit smoking. So he quit smoking when I was like fifth or sixth grade. So he was two packs a day,  quit smoking and basically started running two as basically a trade.

So, you know, he basically started running then, and then I would tag along at his 5k. So you go do a 5k and then I would be like, Oh, I want to go to, so I would, I did that, uh, again, found a fifth, sixth, seventh grade,  And did that, but ultimately, uh, they didn’t really have an endurance background. Cool. 

Daren: [00:28:38] So you, you jumped in and I heard a bit about that in the,  you were talking with the psychologist,  and you did speak a bit about your, your dad, uh, that that’s really interesting that how do you think that affected you with your mom?

Not being active? Was that just like a normal thing? Women weren’t active and guys were, do you think that you just accepted? No. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:28:57] Cause it w it wasn’t, it wasn’t a big deal in our family.  because it wasn’t like. It wasn’t as if she had like, regret about not being active. Right. So she wasn’t active, but it was because she didn’t want to be mean she just wasn’t into it.

So that was her choice. So it wasn’t as if there was like this repressed feeling of like, Hey, I wish I could do X, Y, Z, but the way our family structure worked out is made it this impossibility or something along those lines that just wasn’t her style. It just wasn’t, she just wasn’t that kind of person, she wasn’t that kind of person growing up.

She just wasn’t that person. Then she’s not that kind of person. Now. She’s an extremely. Like go get her type. So she like at age, like 50 went and got like her, uh, real estate license and then like transitioned to like going full-time in real estate. And even later that when she was 60 and then she did that and now she’s like, full-time real estate now.

So I’m 39. My mom had me when she was 30.  so she’s almost 70 years old now. And she’s like busier than she ever, ever has been. So she’s just kinda like that.  but ultimately,  she was. Very supportive of my athletic pursuits. 100%, 100% between her and my dad. They were always, they were, they were totally into it.

Uh, my dad, uh, had a busier work-life history when I was little.  he basically commuted like two hours, one way to work. So he wasn’t around a lot. Uh, during the week I basically see him like, you know, after dinner he would leave around four 30 in the morning and then you’d come back around dinner. So, I mean, I’ve seen him plenty, but it was like, you know, my mom was like kind of raising us in the middle of the day type stuff.

Uh, but she was always into it for sure. And then I grew up in a neighborhood with like kids everywhere. Yeah. Just, I mean the kids, our age, they were like, I’m not even kidding within. 400 to 600 meters of my house. There were 12 kids my age, which is insane. I mean, it didn’t, we didn’t live in an urban area.

This wasn’t like we lived in this big apartment building and there was just a lot of people that close to me. We lived in a suburban neighborhood and there were that many kids. So we were just always active period. 

Daren: [00:31:08] That’s cool. Yeah, it was the same.  I can totally relate. It was the same. I, I lived in a dense apartment in Queens, New York city.

 but I just remember all the kids being together and we would like play basketball or we’d like play football. And that, that was what I did, you know, pretty much every day.  and I I’d say that definitely laid the foundation. So that, that, it’s one of those things where it is nurture versus nature and your environment and all that.

And that just getting out and sprinting, you know, as a kid, that’s huge for you and, and you’re running for them and all these other things, and that leads you to, to other sports. 

So,  yeah, that’s, that’s really cool. I really do love your journey. And,  like I was saying before, uh, I feel like. People overestimate what they can do in a day.

And they underestimate what they can do in a decade. It’s kind of a saying,  I’m on my 1% journey, as I said, to get faster than the half marathon every year, every year, 1% over 10 years. And then it can compound over 10 years. 

 you’re on a one-year journey. What was the spark. And w why did you want the round number? So I know that, like, I know that it was a round number.  it’s, it’s a slightly, it’s not a loaded question, but it’s a big question because,  why did you pick it? And then also, why was it the 10 K and not the half marathon or the full marathon or 5k? 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:32:20] Yeah. So first of all, part of it was just based out of pure. Like I am so sick of like being injured and not reaching my potential. I’m just sitting here, like, gosh, I just haven’t been able to put together a sustained effort to really maximize what I think I’m capable of doing from a running perspective, I just haven’t done it. And that has weighed on me for a very long time.

So that kind of was the foundation of all of it. 

So it was the summer I’m like, all right, what’s going to happen now. And it was kind of like, all right, as a someone who’s, you know, Trying to be creative within this space, uh, wrote him a big trials. The other podcasts that I was doing had just come to an end, uh, in the, in the fall, I’m sorry, in, in,  in the, in the late winter, early spring, and, you know, the Olympics had gotten postponed, so I’m like, what am I going to do here?

I want them to like, all right, I want to do something big. I want to get to this next level as a runner. Do I document it? Or is it just something that I do? Right. 

So I reached out to a bunch of people.  I was doing a different kind of listener survey, but I actually talked to 50 dedicated listeners to the podcasts,  which was exhausting.

It was like a really busy two weeks. I started talking to a lot of people during that time, and I really enjoyed the conversations in the last, the last question of every conversation was like, Hey, I’m thinking about doing this. Is this something that I should publicize? Or is this something that you wouldn’t care about?

And it was like that, that’s what I want to hear. That’s what I want to do. And that’s what every single person said. And these people were all very different level of abilities and backgrounds and all of this stuff, but each person was like, that’s what I want to do. I want you to put that out. So then I can learn from the people you’re talking to because I want to do the same thing.

So that was kind of how it came together. And then from a decision on, all right, well, what, what’s the goal going to be? And, uh, in terms of what race am I going to do, but distance, and then what time it seems appropriate. So the idea is to come up with a stretch goal, not something that I could, you know, if I was consistent out easily get,  So there’s I hate the marathon.

I’m just not, I’m closing it into the marathon. 

Daren: [00:34:30] Thank you. Thanks. Sorry. Sorry to interrupt. I all my God, I, I, I feel like I’m the weird guy saying, you know, like everyone’s mom is fat or something like every time I’m like, why is everyone so hung up on a marathon, man? And I’ve done it. I’ve done three and two of them were horrendous.

And, uh, it was just like the bad one is a whole other beast. And every time someone jumps into running, I want to do meth. I’m like, How about the 5k? How about the 5k first? How about get really good at the 5k and then promise you that training will carry over to your half marathon or marathon. I promise you, so, yeah, keep going.

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:35:02] And I might do the marathon again, but ultimately I needed to get, I needed to do something else. I just was not excited about doing the marathon. So then it was like, okay, what can I do? I have just, I just, haven’t done a lot of 10 Ks. This has happened. So,  there’s just not as many around here either.  you know, I live in new England, live in Rhode Island, uh, in the United States and you know, it’s just not a typical distance for a lot of races.

A lot of them you’ll see a ton of five Ks and then you’ll see it every once in a while, 10 K. So for me, it was kind of like uncharted territory. And then the tie breaker for me was just the symmetry of the numbers, frankly. It was like, okay. A stretch goal for me would be to break 40 minutes. So I broke in 20 minutes in the 5k.

Uh, several times I’ve, you know, based, I haven’t broken 19, but I’ve come very, very close to broken that breaking 19 when I was at my best from a fitness perspective. So I, you know, if I had run a 10 K at that time, I could have gotten close to 40. This was when I was at my absolute pinnacle of fitness. So I was like, all right.

That might be the best goal to get there. Like, can I get back to my best and then maybe a little bit more. And then if I were to do that, then the 10 K at 40 getting a time before to your breaking 40 would be right in that mix for sure. Uh, so I guess that’s kind of how it all coalesced. 

Daren: [00:36:24] That’s that’s a great why not! I mean, it all makes sense. And that’s a very, you know what, it’s funny, you say that about the 10 K because it is a weird one. And,  they aren’t, I was thinking about that. There’s actually only like a few 10 Ks around here in Australia. Like we’ve got some super fast runners. Like I was not expecting them.

I wasn’t really an endurance athlete until I came down here.  triathletes, they crush it cause they swim everyone swims here. Everyone’s a fish, a cyclist is crazy here, so it makes sense. And they’re running like the amateur mid pack is so damn fast here and they like, there’s a 10 K and it’s a very hilly city and there’s this flat 10 K.

And  I just remember like being really excited about it and realizing that there weren’t a lot of 10 Ks. So,  it is an odd distance, 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:37:06] Well, here’s the thing too, is that we talked, we before we were banging on tempo runs, but basically the 10 K is a temple run, which is like, Why am I doing, why am I doing this to myself?

Kind of feel, uh, no. So what are you going to do? But it’s,  it’s funny going back to, you mentioned you’re in Australia, you know, the, you know, kind of the master of the 5k 10K for a long time was Ron Clark, you know, in Australian legend, back in the day, I mentioned, uh, Emile Zatopek, you know, right off the jump from, in this podcast, one of the best things that Emile Zatopek and everybody what he was known for was he him and Ron Clark at a certain point in their careers overlapped. And he got, become very close with Ron Clark and Ron Clark, as you might know, like was kind of like he was losing anything that bloke, that choked, because he just wasn’t able to get the Olympic gold, but he was the best runner of his generation for this very long time.

So Emile Zatopek flies out of,  You know, he was in the, it was an Eastern block country. And so he finds out he actually, Oh, no, I’m sorry. Ron Clark visited him. This is what it was. Ron Clark visited him, comes visit his house at this point, he’ll have kind of like not done, but the government had wanted to do in terms of being like a propaganda tool.

So he like was living this really hard Scrabble life like this, you know, basically like he wasn’t this, but it was basically the equivalent of like being like a janitor. At like an all night gig, you know, this was the guy who was a legend in his own time. Now all of a sudden he’s 65 years old and he’s, you know, living this hardscrabble life because he wouldn’t be a propaganda tool.

Ronald Clark visits him in an Eastern block country. And then as he was leaving a meal, gives him this huge hug and he hugs him. He holds him real tight and he says, he whispers to me. He goes, because you earned it it’s because you earned it. And Ron thought it was, he was referring to this hug, this embrace between these competitors and.

He didn’t, he didn’t realize until we got to the airport, was that a meal had slipped him his gold medal. I think it was that the 10,000 meter. And that’s what he was referring to was it gets because you deserved it. So you slipped it to him.  and then Ron Clarke brought it home with them to Australia.

Daren: [00:39:14] Wow. That’s a cool story holy shit. Oh man. That’s really cool. All right. You know, what’s crazy. I’m very, very not Australian, even though I’m a citizen here. I didn’t know who Ron Clark is. Speaking of Ron Clark and choking. I went to high school with, uh, Alan Webb. And,  I don’t know if you remember he was around our age.

Yeah, he was, he was maybe 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:39:34] he’s my age. 

Daren: [00:39:35] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So,  I went to actually beat him when I was 12. I beat him in a two mile race.  and it’s only because he went the wrong way. Yeah. That’s actually a really cool story. Thank you for sharing that, man. I feel like you have a lot of those stories. All right.

Let’s talk about the future question. This is kind of a psychological question. What happens if you don’t make it? 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:39:54]  well, I guess it depends on how it happens, right? So say I get injured, then it’s like, Oh gosh, what am I going to talk about on these podcasts?  say everything goes well and I just don’t accomplish it.

Right. See I get close and don’t get it. Well, that’s just the way it goes, man. Right. I mean, if it was preordained, it wouldn’t be captivating. Right. That’s the whole idea of having a stretch goal. Right. So if it was, if it was a certainty, then none of this would matter. So the idea that I might not make it, it’s kind of baked into the whole endeavor because if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be remarkable in terms of, by that.

I mean, no one would remark about it would just be whatever who cares. 

 so, uh, so I think ultimately, yeah, that might happen, but. I’m if I can go through this and improve and improve and improve, and then to kind of lay the groundwork for, Hey, I just put in a good solid year of effort ear, then let’s keep it going.

Right. I think ultimately the goal for me is to, is to reach my running potential. I have not in my life. I don’t even think that I’ve come close to doing it. So for me, I want to keep getting there. So I don’t think breaking 40. Is necessarily reaching my potential either. I don’t think third 39 59 is the limit.

I just fuse to believe that whether it’s true or not. We’ll see. So I think ultimately I think that’s a step along the path, maybe a significant step. But that’s just a step along the path. So whether I get there or not, I don’t think that it’s going to ultimately change the fact that I’m going to set a new goal.

I’m going to try to figure out what I want to do next. I’m going to have some short term goals, short term goals and some long-term goals. And ultimately I want to be able to take advantage of this 12 month period that I’m going through to set the stage for what comes next. Cool. 

Daren: [00:42:00] That’s, that’s a good segue into,  what, what is next?

So zooming out past the 10 K uh, any bigger race goals. Do you want, uh, do you want to do obviously marathon isn’t. Right now on your radar, uh, which is fair. Like, is it half marathon is a 5k and ultra. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:42:18] Right. All right. So I’ve never, I haven’t broken 19 and a half. I mean the half in the 5k.  if I can go sub 40 in the 10 K, then I could probably go sub 19 the, in the 5k.

Right. So for me, I’m like, you, I’m much more of like a sprint background type. So if I, if, you know, if I can do well at the longer distance than I, then I got it for the shorter distances. So maybe it’s like, Hey, can I get how close to 18 can I get for the 5k? Right. I’m gonna tell him about this things continue to go.

Well, uh, one thing I’d love to do is break one 30 in the half.  one of the things I did at when I was really fit, one race that I did do was I ran a one 32 and change half marathon. Which I was, you know, was probably one of the best races of my life. So breaking that one 30 Mark, I think would be, that was the other, those other race I was considering for this endeavor was 40 in the 10 K or one 30 and a half.

 but I think that would be, that would be a nice one as well.

Master Of Some – Final Question

Daren: [00:43:21]  so yeah, that’s the final question. And, uh, This is like a fun, fun sort of thing, but it can get serious as serious as you want it to be. You’ve been anointed, anointed, a true master of some congratulations, sir. Uh, Oh, here we go. This is me doing the anointing on you.  I like the challenge, you know, jacks of all trades, uh, generalists like yourself,  to focus on one thing every now and then.

So what is one and only one thing that you would tell an amateur to focus on for gains as they age. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:43:54] Oh, this is simple because for me, I lived this life and I’ve lived this mistake so many times, and that is, it’s not about how much you can fit into tomorrow. And then having that exponential growth later, it’s step by step.

You cannot skip a step and you cannot ride the escalator. Right. You just have to go step by step. And if you’re looking for a way to skip a step, you’re going to end up falling back down your ass.

Daren: [00:44:25] Wise words, wise words from a wise man, 

Audio Logo/Sound FX: [00:44:28] Main set finished 

Daren: [00:44:30] Now onto the cool-down with our next segment, healthy, wealthy, creative, and wise.

It helps us get to know our guests a bit better outside the world of endurance, sport, health, and fitness

Healthy Wealthy Creative & Wise 

HEALTHY

Audio Logo/Sound FX: [00:44:39] [SFX sample] Health Is Wealth. You better watch your diet. 

Daren: [00:44:42] So just tell me one thing healthy that you’ve done in the last week. Or unhealthy. So you could be like, Oh, actually it wasn’t. So we can look at this from both sides.

It could be, you know, a polarized type thing. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:44:55] Yeah, no for sure. All right.  let’s see, here are unhealthy yesterday, ran on the treadmill. Wasn’t sure when I’d be able to run and then completely under fuel, I kept thinking I was about to run on the treadmill and then I was about to run on the treadmill and I was about to run on the treadmill.

And then by the time I did. I had like nothing in my system I was supposed to do for a 45 minute run. I went like 35 minutes. I went super slow. I completely bought it was completely embarrassing. And it was because I didn’t fuel myself properly today, I ran the same time. And I ran outside in the wind in the cold and I ran really, really well because this time I actually was able to roll with the punches, make.wise decisions and ultimately have a better run because of it. 

Daren: [00:45:42] Well, congratulations for learning that I, I love when, when you teach yourself something 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:45:46] You think by eight 39, I would have mastered that by now. Gosh, darn it. Yeah, I 

Daren: [00:45:49] know. I know I do stupid things too all the time. So,  please, please.

Don’t be so, so hard on yourself. 

WEALTH

Audio Logo/Sound FX: [00:45:57] Security, comfort, rich. 

Daren: [00:46:02] What’s something that you know, is increasing your wealth and wealth is in a lot of different ways. So I’m just, you know,  I’m focusing on finance, but it can mean a lot of, you know, health is wealth, but I just asked healthy already. So I’m not going to ask you that again.

Yeah. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:46:14] All right. So from a wealth perspective, I think when it comes to, uh, the future with certain entrepreneurial earlier, entre, entrepreneurial and ventures or endeavors, I’m always like looking at new stuff all the time. And I can say that right now, I’m excited for 2021, because while I’m not going to announce anything right now, uh, I think certain things I think are,  exciting, you know, new, exciting adventures are potentially on the horizon.

And, you know, there’s a couple of a couple of things that could end up happening. And even if just one of them come to fruition, I’m going to be really, really excited about it. So for me, I mean, some of the planning stages now, which a lot of people will do in December, usually later in December after Christmas people start paying for 20, 21, it’s come a little early for me this year.

I’m really excited about it. So while it may not bear fruit from a wealth perspective in the short term, I think at least from. You know,  you know, impact on other people. It will certainly be something that I think will happen in 2021.

CREATIVE

Daren: [00:47:16] So what’s one thing, creative or not creative that you’ve done. 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:47:20] And so many, so many uncreative things. My God,  I, you know, it’s funny, I feel like, and this, this, this is the, the, the funny part about the podcast that I. Know that amazes me is that we talk about the same themes all the time. And because each person is so different and tells their story differently and just has a different angle on and perspective on what they’ve done.

We hit the same themes and it always feels so different. So it’s so funny. I feel it fits into both of these categories. I feel like someone would be like, okay, you keep talking about people overcoming hurdles. And people are getting the most out of themselves or bounce back comeback stories. And then at the same time, each one of those stories is so different.

So like on some levels, like I’m not reinventing the wheel here on any level with any of these podcasts, but each person is so distinct and unique that it does feel that way at the same time. So I guess on some level that one kind of, kind of touches both of those. 

Daren: [00:48:25] That’s good. That’s good. Yeah. It’s the people that make it.

It’s not the, uh, you know, it’s not, it’s not the vehicle that you’re using, which is, you know, the questions in the podcast. It’s actually the, the humans that make it.

Audio Logo/Sound FX: [00:48:36] Here’s the reason why. The significance of this. 

Daren: [00:48:41] All right. Last one, one thing wise or, or stupid that you’ve, you’ve learned. Uh, in the last week, two weeks, 

Matt Chittim (Rambling Runner): [00:48:51] Just cause you raise your voice to your kids.

Doesn’t mean they’re going to listen to you anymore than if you were talking regular. Gosh, just parenting man. Tell you parenting.  you know, that’s one of those things where it’s like you sit there and you’re like, I’m raising my voice now. So now they’re going to listen. No. It’s not going to have any effect at all.

So how will you just be quiet and try to figure out a new way of saying it 

Daren: [00:49:15] Very wise words? Uh, I will take those on my kids. Aren’t that old yet. Oh, sorry my one kid. Uh, but I, I know whenever he does something. Uh, he, he can’t understand, like, don’t do that. He’d no mean say no back to me and gave me the finger.

So I’m kinda like, Oh man, this is going to get intense. So I thank you for it for alerting me to try to be more than like with them. 

Make sure you go and check out matts virtual running summit at theramblingrunner.com/summit 

also go to the show notes for link to some articles about my own journey, to running faster as I get older.