Magness & Marcus on Coaching

Steve Magness

An in depth look at training, coaching, Sport Science, and anything else that relates to enhancing endurance performance.

All Episodes

What’s it mean to be fit? What about to perform? Is there a meaningful difference? In this episode, Steve and Jon explore the continuum from fitness to performance. As we make our way from fitness to performance, the psychological demands shift. From high control to low. From low threat to high. Give this episode a…

Sep 14

66 min

What’s it mean to improve the lactate threshold? What about lactate buffering capacity? In this episode, John and Steve take you down the rabbit hole of workouts designed to improve every part of the lactate curve. You’ll learn why traditional tempo runs push the lactate curve up, but you can also pull the curve. You’ll…

Aug 30

56 min

The NCAA and college sports are in disarray. Facing a mass pandemic, postponement and cancelation of fall sports, and a growing understanding by the athletes the leverage that they have. With many of us wondering what in the world is the future of college sports, this week we brough on an expert, Dr. Roger Pielke…

Aug 17

77 min

The Middle Distance Events. That combination of speed and endurance makes them one of the most enjoyable but also challenging events to train for or coach. In this episode, we dive deep into the challenges of training for the 800m and 1,500m.We walk you through: The wisdom of Percy Cerutty on coaching the mid-distance events.…

Aug 10

69 min

It’s time for a deep dive into training. This week begins a multi-part series on the development of an athlete. We start with the intake process and deciding where to go with the athlete, and move on to what kind of training the athlete should do. For this week, we focus on the 5k and…

Jul 27

67 min

Fartleks, the wonderful invention of Gusta Holmer in the 1930’s, is something we are all familiar with. Run hard for a minute, jog for a minute, repeat twenty times. But in today’s world where everything is measured and coaches rely on that feedback to adjust workloads, the fartlek is becoming a lost art. In this…

Jul 20

64 min

Do the fastest athletes always win? The ones who come in with the best seed time. The athlete who threw down that fast mile at Mt. Sac or a blazing 5k at Stanford? If not, how come? In episode 114, we explore the world of racing. What does it mean to be competitive and can…

Jul 13

64 min

“He’s really fit! They’re going to run really well!” How many times have you heard a coach excitedly proclaim that, only to see their athlete perform poorly? It happens to all of us. We’re left scratching our heads after the race. They were crushing workouts, we might think. How could they not put it together?…

Jun 29

66 min

One of my pet peeves when discussing endurance work is the concept of losing speed. In the middle distance world, this concept of losing speed is widespread. Go to any coaching conference, hang around enough coaches, or just talk to your athletes and you’ll hear this concept over and over. It’s used as an argument…

Jun 22

73 min

Highly motivated athletes are the best to coach. You don’t have to worry if they got their run or workout in, they are always eager to train, perform, and do what’s necessary to get better. But, there are pitfalls that even the most well-intentioned athletes need to be aware of. The higher the motivation, the…

Jun 15

66 min

Should we start with speed first or endurance? Do you start with a large base of easy running before layering on the speed work, or do we start with running fast before extending it? Those are the questions we tackle during this weeks On Coaching Podcast. Highlights include: What lens are you seeing training through?…

Jun 8

68 min

Are you serious, committed, willing to put in all the work? If so, you’re a coaches dream. But your commitment can hold you back if it comes from the wrong place. In episode 109, we discuss the difference between being serious and obsessive about your craft and how that impacts your long term development. Topics…

Jun 1

58 min

In episode 108, we dive into what it takes to become a championship level athlete, whether that championship is at the high school state meet, the NCAA championships, or a national or international title. covered include: The importance of developing the athlete, the person staring back at you. Raising the Floor versus Ceiling It matters…

May 24

68 min

In episode 107, we dive into what the sport will look like when we emerge from our current pandemic, and how it will have to change. We dive into a slew of topics, aimed at re-imagining our sport. Major sports (NFL,NBA, MLB) change their rules and playoff structures while keeping their history intact, how do…

Apr 20

55 min

In episode 106, we bring on author Ben Cohen to have a discussion on streaks, the role of science and expertise in decision making, and our propensity to see patterns where they may not exist. His new book, The Hot Hand, is a fantastic read. We hope you enjoy the discussion, as it’s filled with…

Apr 5

80 min

Normally running is an achievement-focused sport. We’re trying to win races and run PR’s. We’re not going to have any achievement opportunities for the foreseeable future. How do we frame running and keep athletes motivated when achievement isn’t on the horizon. In this podcast we discuss: Adopting the “Old” model of racing and competition. How…

Mar 30

59 min

Adversity, challenge, tough times; all experiences that we proclaim sport teaches us how to manage. Well, now is the time to put that experience into action. While we’re talking specifically about dealing with the cancellations, shut-downs, and disruption of life caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), in this episode we want to explore how we can…

Mar 12

52 min

In episode 103, we explore why training knowledge seems to come from the top down. We take our training cues from the top and then water down the training for our college, high school, and recreational athletes. Is that the right way to do it? We argue no. In this episode, we explore: Why we…

Feb 4

79 min

In episode 102 of the On Coaching Podcast we take on the never-ending argument over volume versus intensity of training. We go back into the history books to look at the poster children of high volume training and high-intensity training to try to get to the root of the argument. A few key takeaways include:…

Jan 13

77 min

In episode 101 of the On Coaching Podcast we bring on special guest Tony Holler. Tony is a succesful high-school sprint coach who’s teams have won three state titles. He is known for his “Feed the Cats” program where he focuses on what matters in sprinting and keeping athletes engaged in the training. In this…

Dec 2019

130 min

In episode 100 of the On Coaching Podcast we bring on special guest Alan Bishop. Alan is the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Houston men’s basketball program. In this wide-ranging conversation, we tackle everything from nutrition to what a proper squat looks like to developing buy-in. We go from the physiological to…

Nov 2019

109 min

Is it all about the shoes? In this episode, we look at how recent shoe technology has changed the marathon. Is it all hype or is their substance to it? We dive into the research on the performance benefits and look at the performance of Kipchoge, Kosgei, and the American athletes for clues on how…

Oct 2019

63 min

Lydiard, Daniels, Maffetone, Canova, Pfaff, Tellez. In the world of running, we tend to throw out names of well-known coaches and say that we train utilizing their method. Their model of training. But what often happens is that a coaches method gets simplified to the extreme. Lydiard becomes about 100 mile weeks. Daniels becomes about…

Oct 2019

70 min

It’s time for a throwback episode. When we started this podcast it was about two coaches having a conversation. Join us for a discussion on all things performance as we talk about what we are struggling with as coaches, what we’re reading, and how we are trying to innovate in our own coaching. We cover…

Sep 2019

65 min

This episode of the On Coaching podcast is my favorite type. A rant on hot topics in the coaching and sports world. Our goal is to give you the truth, the behind the scenes answers without any fluff. We start off with Athletic Scholarships. We cover everything from how difficult it is to obtain one,…

Jul 2019

84 min

Injuries are the bane of any coach or athlete. They derail our seasons and sometimes our careers. In theory, injuries are relatively easy to deal with. Rest, recover, take time off. But in reality, coaches and athletes are met with much more uncertainty. Can we “train” through a bout of tendonitis? When do we pull…

Jun 2019

67 min

Peaking! Do we drop the volume and intensity a bit and hope that our performance skyrockets? Or do we perform an exacting sequence of workouts designed to get you ready for race day? There are a lot of misconceptions on what exactly peaking entails. At its most basic level, it’s simply about putting the athlete…

May 2019

74 min

It’s time for a moment of reflection on the coaching profession. What are the things we are doing well? What can we improve on? What are some of the things we are doing now that we might look back upon in 30 years and wonder why we did that training? Coaching is a process of…

May 2019

69 min

Note: Today is the last day to get exclusive running bonuses with the purchase of my new book, THE PASSION PARADOX! Check them out here. On this episode, we take on a very important topic, digging ourselves out of burnout. Both Jon and I have suffered through the ills of burnout. What we’ve found is…

Apr 2019

75 min

Note: Today is the last day to get exclusive running bonuses with the purchase of my new book, THE PASSION PARADOX! Check them out here. On this weeks episode, we bring in a special guest, Mario Fraioli of The Morning Shakeout to discuss the IAAF’s latest rule changes, how it impacts the Us Olympic Trials,…

Mar 2019

42 min

A special episode of the On Coaching Podcast featuring NYT bestselling author David Epstein. In this wide-ranging conversation covering all things performance, we start off by discussing my new book The Passion Paradox and the similarities with David’s new book Range. From there we dive deep into the psychology of performance before ending on a…

Mar 2019

77 min

In this weeks On Coaching Podcast, we get into the details of burnout, both as a coach and an athlete. It’s easy to fall for the effort trap. Where we convince ourselves that out working others is the key to success, and that we have the capability to push through anything to do so. Such…

Mar 2019

52 min

In this weeks On Coaching Podcast, we cover how social media influences performance. The ever-growing influence of social media and our online interactions change how our athletes (and our selfs!) relate to performing. Our comparison point has changed. We now have to judge ourselves against a never-ending supply of ‘friends’ on Instagram and Facebook. Our…

Feb 2019

59 min

In the endurance world, we’ve come to believe that there are certain intensities or paces that do more than others! If we run at these specific zones, we will improve, and if we run bit too fast or too slow, we are in a grey zone where workouts don’t help as much. VO2max, Lactate Threshold,…

Jan 2019

62 min

When it comes to training, workouts seem like the be all end all. As coaches, we obsess over the details of each repeat, or when we should perform tempo runs or short intervals. Workouts are what we worry about. Yet, how much does it matter? In this episode of the On Coaching Podcast, we discuss…

Jan 2019

52 min

Are you taking the time to get to where you want to be? In today’s instant gratification world, we want to be great NOW! Not in a couple years, but as soon as possible. As we strive for the top of our field or our job, are we missing some crucial development pieces? In this…

Dec 2018

76 min

What holds you back? What keeps you from performing to the best of your ability? That’s the topic of this weeks On Coaching Podcast with Magness & Marcus. We dive into identifying and then fixing the common issues we see in athletes that prevent them from taking that next step in performance. And, as you’ll…

Dec 2018

65 min

Breakthroughs. It’s what keeps many of us going. The knowledge (and hope) that a leap in performance is just around the corner. But what do performance breakthroughs look like? Are there signs that a breakthrough might be around the corner? In this weeks On Coaching Podcast, Jon and Steve take a deep dive into the…

Nov 2018

73 min

In this weeks episode of On Coaching, we tackle how to define success (or failure) in workouts and races. Far too often we operate in a time or performance framework. We judge a workout based on whether we ran faster than was written on the paper. How we define success has a direct impact on…

Oct 2018

58 min

This weeks guest is elite runner Brian Barraza. Brian rose from a solid high school runner to the top of the ranks in the NCAA. In this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss how Brian dealt with failure on the biggest stage, the coping strategies he utilizes to get through the pain and discomfort of racing, and…

Aug 2018

69 min

In this episode of the On Coaching Podcast we go back in time, to our high school coaching days. Both of us got our start coaching in the high school ranks and we take a look back at what we got right, what we would change, and the challenges that coaches now face. We cover…

Aug 2018

65 min

The Inner Game: Decision Making, Choking, Focus and Attention, Skill acquisition: All of that and more on this weeks episode of the On Coaching Podcast with Magness & Marcus. We have renowned sports psychologist Leonard Zaichkowsky and mental performance consultant Dan Peterson on to provide a deep dive on the cognitive demands of the sport.…

Jul 2018

71 min

What does it take to be great? What about just good? When it comes to performance, we all start near the bottom. Being “okay” or average, but then we make jumps along the way. How far up the ladder do we go and what allows us to make those jumps? In this episode of On…

Jul 2018

60 min

You can’t force Fitness!  In this weeks episode we talk about the trap of trying to force our way to racing fast. It’s a tempting trap to fall into. Train the athlete for how fast they want to be, not who they currently are. Yet, what we’ve noticed as coaches is the minute you start…

Jul 2018

63 min

We have a special guest for this week’s episode, Daniel Herrera. Dan is a 3:56 miler who trains under Jon Marcus at High Performance West. In this episode, Dan talks all about transitions, in coaching, life, and training. Dan drops a lot of knowledge and provides a unique perspective on running and racing. What was…

May 2018

74 min

It’s all about recovery! On this episode we take on the topic of easy days. The oft neglected cousing to the more “important” hard workouts, easy days are essential for improving performance. We have a tendency to “check the box” and the only consideration we take is how much mileage we need. In this podcast…

May 2018

54 min

Special Guest Alex Hutchinson has written the defining book on endurance and fatigue. His latest book Endure is a must read that blends storytelling and science to explain the intricacies of fatigue. In this weeks episode, Alex takes us through not only the surprising insight of his book but to his own athletic career. While…

Apr 2018

68 min

In this special episode of the On Coaching Podcast, we dive into the lessons learned from the recent Boston Marathon. First, we take you through the race from a coaches point of view. What does preparation look like, how do you train for Boston versus other marathons. Then, we dive into the lessons that Desi…

Apr 2018

61 min

When someone has “it” you know it when you see it. It’s hard to explain, and even more difficult to wrap your head around, but “it” often refers to the intangibles. The unmeasurable quality that we often use to describe individuals who are able to make the difficult seem plausible. In this episode, we delve…

Apr 2018

50 min

In this weeks episode, Jon and Steve go on a rant. How do we utilize science in coaching? Inspired by a twitter rant, we start off taking on the bioenergetic or metabolic view of coaching. As endurance coaches, we almost always start with “How aerobic or anaerobic is your event?” Go to any conference or…

Apr 2018

55 min

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