In this episode, John Honerkamp talks about all things running.
John Honerkamp, affectionately known as Coach John, has coached runners of all ages and abilities for more than 20 years. A graduate of St. John’s, John was an eight-time All-Big East and six-time All-East (IC4A) athlete while running for the Red Storm. He earned 12 Big East All-Academic accolades and was the youngest semi-finalist in the 800-meters at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Today, we hear some of the mental blocks and physical issues that John often sees with his students, and how he creates milestones to motivate himself to keep running.
John tells us about choosing the right shoe, when to replace them, and he gives some advice to new runners, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
- “Everyone’s a runner. Some people just choose not to run.”
- “You can’t change overnight.”
- “It takes 3 or 4 weeks to find a rhythm, sometimes even longer. Just be patient, slow down, and make sure it’s fun.”
- “Taking care of yourself is really important. There are a lot of little things like massage, stretching, eating right, and all these things that are small things that add up to bigger gains.”
Running, Coach, Exercise, Jogging, WaterPik, Massage, Wellness, Health,
More about John:
John Honerkamp, affectionately known as Coach John, has coached runners of all ages and abilities for more than 20 years. A graduate of St. John’s, John was an eight-time All-Big East and six-time All-East (IC4A) athlete while running for the Red Storm. He earned 12 Big East All-Academic accolades and was the youngest semi-finalist in the 800-meters at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials.
He is the Co-Founder of November Project in New York City, a lululemon running ambassador, and a member and manager of the NYAC Running Team. John started his own consulting firm, J. R. Honerkamp, LLC.
John is deeply involved in the New York City running community. He launched the Off the Hook Track Club, a local training group based in the Red Hook neighbourhood of Brooklyn and created The Run Collective — born out of a desire to unite the running community and connect, collaborate, and celebrate all efforts from various clubs, crews, and people in the city.
Resources from this episode:
Website: Run Kamp
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Read the full transcript here:
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hey, John, welcome to the podcast. I’m happy to have you on.
Speaker 2 (00:05):
Thanks for having me. Yes.
Speaker 1 (00:06):
A fellow new Yorker, just over the bridge in Brooklyn.
Speaker 2 (00:10):
That’s right. I’m a couple blocks from prospect park. So I do a lot of my running and activities and in prospect park. So I feel fortunate to have access to that space.
Speaker 1 (00:20):
Perfect. Perfect. So now let’s talk a little bit more about you before we go on. So people know you’re a run, a running coach and you’ve been running for the good portion of your life, but can you kind of fill in some of the gaps and let the listeners know a little bit more about kind of what led you up to where you are today in the running world?
Speaker 2 (00:40):
Yeah. I was fortunate to have an uncle that lived next door to me, and he was trying to lose weight and training for the marathon. Either the New York or the long Island marathon or both, this is probably like 1982, 83. And to DeVos’s neighbor, he would just bring me along to some of these 5k and 10 K races. And that was kind of like in the first kind of first a second running boom. And, you know, I do the kids fun run, which to be honest, not a lot of kids were doing, it was usually about a mile distance. And then it gradually, I would, you know, after a year or two, I would, you know, take a stab at the 5k, which was a pretty far distance for seven or eight year old. But I just got exposed to running at an early age and, but not really, I mean, competitive against myself, maybe the clock, but not super serious.
Speaker 2 (01:24):
I did other sports, but when I w when I got to high school, when I went out for the cross country and track team, and we had a pretty good high school in sports in general. And I kind of had a leg up as far as I’ve been running for races for a couple of years. And I kind of had, you know, a little bit more experienced than the average freshman, but I definitely was better at running than basketball, football, baseball. I was very good on defense and I realized that equates to like, not scoring a lot of baskets, but it really annoying the other competitors where I had a good engine. And so, you know, I ran very well in high school. I got recruited and I went random, got a full scholarship to St. John’s in Queens and ran there for four years.
Speaker 2 (02:10):
And I was fortunate enough to get better each year. And I had a really good year, my junior year and 1996, I qualified for the Olympic trials and the 800 meters. And that was also the year that the Olympics were in the U S and Atlanta. So it was just actually that kind of a perfect year. It was 20 years old. I got, I just advanced really, really well. That’s, that’s that’s spring season dropped about four seconds of my 800, which is a pretty good chunk of time for that distance. The next thing you know, I found myself at the NCAA at the Olympic trials competing in Europe as the 22 and as a 20 year old. So that was kind of the beginning of it. And then obviously I got into professional running post-collegiate Lee. I ran for a team Reebok team based out of Georgetown university, but the legendary coach, Frank Gagliano.
Speaker 2 (02:51):
And I did that for a couple of years training for the trials in 2000. And in 2001, I moved and I was living in DC for those three years. And then I moved back to New York and I was still competitive. I ran for the New York athletic club, but I had to gradually kind of turned from competitive runner to not necessarily weekend warrior. I was still running a fair amount and I’m still competing, but I was focused on other things and then got into coaching and initially at running camps over the summer as a college kid, and then I coached high school was my first gig when I was coaching. When I was running professionally, I coached high school down in Virginia and then got up here in New York. And next thing I know I was coaching. I worked for the New York Roadrunners for five plus years and handled all their training and education and launched virtual training platforms where I was coaching 5,000 runners for the New York city marathon. At one time, the life I was just emailing people all the time, but it really gave me a nice quick you know, again, it’s just different. I mean, there’s a lot of same principles and at whatever level you’re at and running, but coaching the folks that maybe aren’t elite or don’t have two hours to take a nap every day and do all the recovery things that we’ll probably talk
Speaker 1 (03:55):
About are most people.
Speaker 2 (03:58):
Absolutely. I got a really, you know, a crash course in coaching, like the everyday adult who has two jobs and has kids and running as again, as I can sneak it in on the weekends, trying to get in before your kids get up, I’m finding I do that myself now being a father too. Yeah, so I started early and I never got burned out from it. I always had great coaches that didn’t run me into the ground. And there’s plenty of stories out there where kids, whatever sport we’re talking about, or even other disciplines like music or dance or art or whatever, if you do too much, and it’s not fun anymore, and you start not liking it. And I was able to, even though I didn’t enjoy it all the time for the most part, I really enjoyed running throughout my life and at different levels of competitiveness.
Speaker 2 (04:40):
And and I’m very proud that I, I do, I do call myself a I’ve run races and stuff, but I’m not offended anymore when people call me a jogger or they asked me how my jog was. I actually realized that I was doing a lot of jogging, even when I’m at the elite level, the recovery runs were very easy paced. So I’m quite proud to be a jogger. And but yeah, that’s kinda like my quick and dirty version of how I got into running and the kind of trajectory that I’ve been on. And again, I’ve been running for about 35 years and probably kosher for close to 25 at various
Speaker 1 (05:12):
Amazing. So you’ve coached, we can easily say you’ve coached thousands of people.
Speaker 2 (05:17):
Absolutely. Yeah. The technology and the online platforms recently, it does make it easier, very scalable. And you can say, yeah,
Speaker 1 (05:24):
Yeah, amazing. And just so people know the way John and I met was through so people who who listened to this or see me on social media, you know, that I’m part of the water Waterpik water for wellness council as is John. So they’ve got two new Yorkers and we’re both council members. And one of the things that we have been working with is a Waterpik power, pulse, therapeutic strength, massage, shower, head, try and say that 10 times fast. But we’ll talk about kind of how, how John sort of incorporates that with his runners and any benefits that they’re seeing from, from switching a shower head, which is pretty easy. But before we get into all of that, John, let’s talk about some of the common complaints or common issues that you’re seeing with your runners. And just so people know, we spoke a little bit before we went on the air here. And the one thing I really want to hone in on first before we get to the physical things that everybody thinks of that happens with runners, but there’s the mental side of it too. And sometimes that could be the more important side. So talk to me about what kind of mental blocks you’re seeing from your, your students.
Speaker 2 (06:40):
Yeah, I mean, mentally it’s it’s funny because people, when they find out that I’ve given coaching all these years and been running and maybe I was faster and fast and slow is a relative term, but you know, competed at the Olympic trials, they’re always Oh, well, you wouldn’t want to coach me because I’m not a real runner or, Oh, I don’t run like you. And I’m like, how do you run? You put one foot in front of the other, you leave the ground and move forward. It’s very simple. And so people often have a love, hate, or just hate relationship of running because either it was a punishment for other sports growing up, we had to do laps. Oftentimes it had to do with pre-season conditioning. And if you’re coming off the summer and like, you like me in high school, the first couple of years, you didn’t do your homework over the summer. So you show up and you’re, you know, you’re out of shape and you’re doing laps and it’s hot. I remember that in football practice as an eighth grader, just being like miserable and like running was, was, was terrible,
Speaker 1 (07:30):
Especially in the Northeast when you’ve got the heat and the humidity and everything else. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (07:34):
So or they, you know, it was a gym class and they had it, they know the presidential fitness test and they had to do a time tomorrow on a terrible thing. But like, I was actually good at that because I liked running ahead at like an early traction to running. And I was doing pretty well at it, but for the most people, it was not fun. And it was just an awful experience. So whether they come to they’re new to running in their adult life, or they were even if they were faster and fitter and did other sports as a, as a youngster that maybe they took 10, 20 years off based on whatever. And now they’re getting back to it. And they’re really the mental block of, Oh, I’m not a runner and maybe I shouldn’t do this. And you know, and that is really oftentimes getting people to accept that they, that they’re falsely claiming that they’re not a runner when they’re really just, I always say, everyone’s a runner.
Speaker 2 (08:22):
Some people just choose not to run or they don’t know how to start. So I really enjoyed that process of getting people over that mental hump, if it exists of, Hey, you’re a runner I want to find out where you’re at, and then we’re going to take you from there to where you want to go. And you need to know where you are before, you know, where you’re going. And so it’s really like, I think oftentimes changing their mindset and saying, it’s okay to run 10 minute miles or 12 minute miles or seven minute miles. I don’t care. I like numbers and data when I’m crunching numbers about your training and maybe how you paced properly or improperly. So I’ll get geeky about that. But I don’t really care. I, I coach someone who runs 15 minute miles the same as I would someone coaching seven minute miles.
Speaker 2 (09:01):
And so it’s just the mental space that they’re in of, Oh, I shouldn’t be here. I don’t belong. I’m not really doing it right. And oftentimes they’ll say, Oh, I’m not running is not for me. I get this all the time. I can’t run more than a block. And I’m always like, well, what block you running up? Is it uphill at altitude when you’re carrying a backpack of weights? Because probably most people could run a block and they’re just running too fast. And they think of running as being painful. So that has to hurt. But to be honest, most of my training, especially for like a marathon, for example, I have a lot of first-time marathoners and most of the running is actually easy. Pace. Marathon pace is actually quite easy. It’s just hard to do for 26 miles. So the barrier of like not pacing yourself or not going out too fast for a couple of minutes where they have to stop, those are quick fixes in my opinion. And that’s the mental side of things. And then there’s a couple of common physical issues that come up, which I can talk about for sure as well.
Speaker 1 (09:54):
Yeah. I know. I love the, that sort of mental barriers, because I think if we’re talking about new, new to new to running folks or folks who maybe took a year, five years, 10 years off, and they’re coming back to it, like you start and you think to yourself, God, it’s taking me 15 minutes to run a mile. I feel like such a loser, everyone else, like, cause you hear Oh, eight minute mile, seven minute miles. Like that’s where you should quote unquote, should be. If you want to run a marathon, you don’t want to be running for seven hours. This is, you know what I mean? And, and I think that that’s, that can be really difficult for people and kind of turn them off before they even start. So what kind of techniques do you have for someone like that who’s coming to you saying, I feel like such a loser. I can only run a 15 minute mile or 18 minute mile, whatever it is.
Speaker 2 (10:48):
Yeah. I think I also encourage people to have a running log or a diary, which is an extra step, but it also helps you get progress. It also helps you with injury prevention and to deal with injuries when you do have them, which I’m sure we’ll get into, but I often buy I’ll run by minutes. So it’s like today you’re doing 20 minute run versus a three mile run or a five miles. So they don’t honestly know how many now, if they have a GPS watch and they’re tracking things, they’ll know after the fact that, Oh, that was the 13 minute mile or whatever, but I’ll run by minutes. So you don’t, you know, and then that, I think sometimes it’s a different mindset or a way of tracking where it does free you up a little bit of not having to do the three miles in 30 minutes.
Speaker 2 (11:23):
That’s easy math. That’s only 10 minutes or whatever it is. You just run for 20 minutes or whatever it is, 30 minutes, 40 minutes. And even when you get in your longer runs for longer distances, you’re, you’re, you’re increasing by five or 10 minutes, not a full mile. Sometimes I liked that worked and that’s kind of how I’d run anyway. I’ll just do a 30 minute shakeout run or something and I’m not right. Especially if it’s not a workout, it’s a workout quality day where I’m doing six times 800 or I’m doing something like that. It’ll, it’ll be more important to know the pace and effort, but most of the running, just getting out there and doing it. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (11:55):
So it’s like, you, you can accomplish that 20 minutes. You get that win and you gradually build your confidence, right? Yeah. No, that makes perfect sense. I really liked that. And I also like keeping a running log or a running diary. It’s the same thing. We tell people if they want to lose weight, one of the, almost every nutritionist or dietician will tell you to keep a food diary. I do that with patients with chronic pain, I’ll have them keep a pain diary so that they can kind of keep track of maybe what they did and what their pain levels were and things like that. So it doesn’t work for everyone, but I think it works.
Speaker 2 (12:28):
I have a quick story about that when I was just just first year as a professional runner, I had all these shin problems. I got down to DC and I felt like this kind of like loser, cause everyone was just professional runners. They’re all qualifying for the Olympics and trying to qualify for the Olympics. And I had shin splints. So I was like running 20 minutes by myself and I couldn’t work out. And I was seeing like a, you know, PT person and I was doing exercises and just seemed like I wasn’t getting anywhere. It wasn’t improving. And then the PT said, Hey, you should really just monitor your pain on a scale of one to 10. And obviously you have a left shin and a right shin and both were hurting me. So I thought that was really silly and kind of stupid as a, as a 22 year old.
Speaker 2 (13:05):
And but I started doing it cause I had nothing else. I wasn’t running riding much of my youth log. Other than I ran 20 minutes. I didn’t have to take me a long to write what I did cause it wasn’t a lot. So I had stuff to write about and to be honest, you know, say I had a six out of 10 or seven out of 10 was the pain level. And then all of a sudden, as I was ranking it throughout the weeks I was doing these PT exercises and, you know, strength exercises. And I’m like, are these really working kind of going through the motions? But then I did realize like one week or so in the sixes were fives and the fives were four weeks. And so I w if I didn’t have that to document, I wouldn’t know, I wouldn’t be able to see the trend of in the right direction.
Speaker 2 (13:43):
So then I got more excited and I was more diligent about the exercises and I did them correctly. It was more intention. And that was really helpful because I could see progress where if I didn’t have that, I would just be like, Oh, my shins hurt and not, you know, see, you know, again from five to four and everyone has their own relative scale of that, but it’s just for that each person. And so that, I always tell that story. It was, I thought it was really silly, did it anyway. And it really helped me kind of snap out of that mode where I was like, wow, that really I could see progress. And I wouldn’t be able to do that without having the data or the, or the documentation that I have it writing it down. So I’m a big believer in that. And I really it’s, it’s fun to see that you’re, you’re doing that with your patients as well, because that’s one way to, you know, this, you can’t remember everything and it’s, we’re all busy.
Speaker 2 (14:29):
And so if you can write it down and go back to it, even if they don’t see the trend that you look at their, their, their diary, they might not see. And they’re not going to be able to remember all these things, but if you can like read through their notes, you oftentimes, the coach will we’ll pick up stuff before the athlete. And that’s just like being a detective. Oftentimes I’m a detective as a coach, try to piece together. And the more information we have as coaches or detective detectives, you can get the root of the problem quicker. So document everything, it’s, it’s kind of like old school, but I, I can’t speak more highly about that because that’s really a game changer for me as a young 22 year old, but even to my athletes today.
Speaker 1 (15:09):
Yeah. Awesome. And now you mentioned shin splints. So let’s talk about it. One of the common complaints that you get from your runners are shin splints. So as a running coach, what do you do with that?
Speaker 2 (15:21):
Yeah, it’s funny. I was thinking about this in prep for this. And I got the same similar injuries as an elite athlete, as I do now is like weekend warrior. You know, dad, Bob jogger you know, shin splints and, and that’s, shit’s meds are pretty common because someone who’s new to the sport either they’re doing nothing. And now all of a sudden they’re running 10, 20 miles a week, or they’re someone who maybe was jogging and then they’re training for a marathon all of a sudden, and they’re upping their volume. So it’s usually just an overage, an overuse issue. It can lead to stress fractures and things, a little more serious, but for the most part, if you have a good pair of shoes, which is super important, you don’t need a lot of equipment, although it is getting colder here in the Northeast, and you do need to layer up a little bit, but you really just need a good pair of shoes.
Speaker 2 (16:04):
So that’s really important and making sure that you’re not doing too much too soon, because if someone is not shepherded you know, they’re worried about calling themselves a runner and they get excited. If for whatever reason they get into the New York city marathon through the lottery or something, it’s very easy to get overexcited and do too much too soon. And then you’re kind of sitting on the sidelines. So it’s really just kind of, and then I think a lot of new runners or new athletes, it’s tough for them to decipher between pain and injury or soreness being uncomfortable. It’s a guy I got to run through it that could lead to like, well, actually that pain is telling you something to slow down or to back off. And sometimes it is kind of navigating through aches and pains that just come with doing something new and doing it more often. So that’s something that’s always tough to decipher first time through, like, if you’ve never had shin splints, you’re like, what are they? Like? You can ignore them and they don’t go away and they become bigger problems. So shin splints, plantar, fasciitis, Achilles issues muscle poles it band with junk currently dealing with now my knee. Those are just kind of the common things that any runner will get, whether you’re a professional at being or someone just starting out.
Speaker 1 (17:13):
And what are your thoughts on cadence? So oftentimes we’ll all read or I’ll see that if sometimes if you up your cadence and shorten your stride length when you’re running that it’s beneficial for some of these injuries, what are your thoughts on that?
Speaker 2 (17:32):
Yeah, I think if there’s a chronic issue that keeps reoccurring, I definitely will kind of look at that, but oftentimes, and actually this is a good kind of tip for someone who’s new to running. They often want to me to see them run the first time and like fix their form. And if they’re 45 years old, like I am, you’ve been running for 45 years a certain way, or maybe 44 years because you didn’t run as a six month old. But and my son just took his first steps this week. So that’s exciting, but it’s, you know, you’re gonna get you, I, if you gotta get chased by a dog, you’re gonna run a certain way. And so you don’t need to change something you’ve been doing drastically, unless it’s a chronic issue. That’s always happening. People often say there’s a breathing.
Speaker 2 (18:15):
How do I breathe in through the nose, the mouth? I said, however, don’t even think about it. It’s when you have a side cramp, that’s keeps reoccurring that I tell people to kind of pay attention to that. But for the most part, don’t worry about your form. Don’t worry, your breathing just kind of get out there. And if it’s something where you want to pass the time and count your steps, or there’s some GPS devices that help you count. I really just pay attention to that. If there’s something that’s reoccurring, because otherwise I feel like you’ve been doing something and creating all this muscle memory for all these years and to drastically change form. And I often I’ll hear this a lot where, Oh, my doctor told me I should run on my toes. I’m a heel striker. Well, then I see people running on their tiptoes in the park.
Speaker 2 (18:55):
I’m like, what are you doing? I know you can’t just go from that to that. Yeah. When you run faster, you’re naturally up on your toes. There’s obviously certain shoes will help facilitate that. But like this, a lot of fast runners that run up their heel strikers, you don’t have to be a toe runner, but I, I hear that a lot where my doctor said, or my coach or someone said on my toes and I’m like, not like a ballerina. So those are things where I think if you hear someone say, do this or work on your form, I think there’s things to work on, but it’s it’s not something we want to change overnight because that could lead to overcompensating. And just other issues that I think people may make you maybe worse off than you were with just kind of figuring out something else, but your current form.
Speaker 2 (19:37):
And you can always improve things with drills and stretching and flexibility, which obviously the the power pulse therapeutic strike massage is, has helped us do. And we do even in my mid forties where I’m spitting up and spending a couple minutes a day focusing on that. But you can’t change things. Even if you’re 25 years old, it’s still a lot of muscle memory made it. So you can’t change it overnight just to be patient with that. And don’t worry about it until it’s kind of a problem that you see a persist, you know? Totally.
Speaker 1 (20:07):
Yeah. And you mentioned shoe selection. So this is always a question that I get as a PT. I’m sure you get it all the time, multiple times a week or hundreds of times a season, what shoes should I get? What sneakers should I get? And everyone wants to know what brand, what this would that. So what is your response to, what shoe do I get? Do you get, do you have like some guidelines to follow or what do you tell your, your athletes and your runners?
Speaker 2 (20:34):
Yeah, that’s, you’re absolutely right. I get that a lot. And it’s really, I always tell folks, there’s like, you know, everyone knows they’re running brands, you know, there’s new balance, Nike, this Brooks, you know, they all Saccone Mizuno, Hoka is on. Elena is new on running as a new, at a new company out of Switzerland. All those shoes will have the gamut. They’ll have super neutral shoes, neutral being like you don’t, you have a high arch, you don’t need a lot of support. They have kind of the middle of the road where you have some support, some cushion, then you have like, you know, the Brooks base, for example, it’s called the Brooks beasts or the new balance nine nineties. They’re, they’re meant for heavy duty. You know, someone might have a flat foot. And so there’s the whole gamut. So there’s usually, there’s a shoe that’s in that line.
Speaker 2 (21:24):
That’s going to work for you. And you might not know that. And I was people tell people to go to a running store if they can, because, and they get intimidated by the Wallace shoes and they go for the pretty ones, oftentimes, but every shoe brand will have the same kind of like kind of small, medium, large, or they’ll have the categories of neutral cushion all the way to really support and really corrective shoes and some shoes that are going to fit certain feet better. You know, and I’ve done some brand work for my business where I’m affiliated with a certain brand and I have to wear those. I’m always hoping that I can wear those and they’re going to keep me healthy. But even when I’m repping those brands, I’ll say, I don’t, you don’t have to wear the shoe that I’m wearing, even though I’m getting paid by that company to do various things, the shoe companies should want you to be healthy because then you can run and do more and more.
Speaker 2 (22:12):
So you know what one or two shoes might brands might work better for your foot? And some shoes are just run bigger. Some run wider as far as the shoe brands, but if you’d like a certain brand, historically, that’s what you will and others haven’t. But try on a bunch, take notes, document how you feel in them, but that every, every shoe company will have something for you. It’s just going into a shoe store or doing some research of asking questions. And I was people that always afraid to go into a running store. They’re there for mainly for beginner runners, because once you’re like me and you know what you like, you just, you can, you can either get it from the store or you order it online shoes. I it’s, you know, and obviously if I work for the new brand, I need to kind of re if I have to familiarize myself with different options, but it’s really, I can’t tell you, I mean, I can look at your foot and kind of see, okay, you’re have a wide foot, you have no arch.
Speaker 2 (23:06):
You probably need a supportive shoe, but that’s not like a blanket thing. You know, you also look at the wear of people’s shoes from previous shoes and you can see where they’re wearing down and I’m a podiatrist. But again, back to being a detective, you can, if you can look at things and say, but even my neighbor, the other day was like, what shoes should I wear? I don’t like these they’re too squishy. I’m like, well, you probably need a little bit more support. They’re probably not too soft for you. Sure enough. I gave him the middle of the road running and these are great. It’s also probably, I don’t know how old the ones he was wearing were. So that’s another problem. You go to the running store, you try on something a, maybe you’re wearing heels all day at work, and then you go and try this awesome shoe on it’s fluffy, and it’s great.
Speaker 2 (23:45):
Then you go home and run out on a couple of times. And it’s like, ah, maybe this is rubbing me the wrong way. I’m getting a blister. And oftentimes there’s also the sizing. If you’re a size 10 dress shoe, you might be a 10 and a half running shoe. And I’m someone who actually is 10 and a half in dress shoe and running shoe. But some of my spikes and performance shoes like flats and more racing shoes made it might’ve been a 10 because you actually want them either. So those are some other things to kind of think about sizing.
Speaker 1 (24:13):
What is the, what is the running, the mileage that you put on your sneakers before it’s recommended to change?
Speaker 2 (24:21):
Yeah. I think the industry says the two 50 to 500, which is a big range. So it also, it depends on how often you’re running, what surfaces, if you’re running on the treadmill every day, then obviously you’re probably getting less wear and tear than if you’re running on the trails, getting them all dirty and stuffing them up on rocks and stuff like that. So, I mean, I would say close to the, and sometimes people say, I’ll just say you should get shoes depending how much you’re running like two a year. If not more, if some people would wear the same shoes for three years, I’m like, you probably be, yeah. So you need to invest in that, put that on your, on your shopping lists for the holidays or whatever. But I mean, I’ll, and I also do this where I don’t wait for the one pair of shoes to kind of run out, especially if I, if I like a shoe and I’m especially to train for a marathon, I might be, I might have one pair of shoes for a couple of weeks.
Speaker 2 (25:09):
I’ll get another pair of shoes and I’ll start alternating them. Actually one gets cycled out because you kind of know, people often say, how do you know, well, your knees start hurting more. You shouldn’t start hurting more and it’s not an injury. It’s just more of an achy soreness and that’s usually stuff. And also I get much more motivated when I put new shoes on you kind of like, you’re more anxious to get out there and you know, you do have to break them in sometimes depending on what type of shoe they are. And, you know, I would just jump in, in a marathon without breaking in those shoes. But I mean, I’ve heard, I would say two 50 or 300, I feel better about, but I’ve read and I’ve seen, you know, up to 400 to 500, which is a little higher than I liked, but depending on what type of running you are and how hard you are on the shoes and what surfaces you, you, you could last, but definitely I think, you know, more than one pair of shoes for sure for the year. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (25:59):
Great, great, excellent advice. And now before we start to kind of wrap things up, what I’d love to hear is maybe you have a new runner, right? Because the majority of people, like we said, let’s be honest, are more recreation. Runners are not professional runners. They might be new to running, or they’re running after a little bit of a break. So if you could give that runner who you’ve probably seen thousands of times what would your top three tips be for those new runners?
Speaker 2 (26:34):
I would say, give it have some patience. It’s like, you know, again, even if your S your pace is too fast at first block and you’re stopping, you know, I always said, like, it takes three or four weeks to kind of find a rhythm sometimes even longer. So just be patient slow down, make sure it’s fun. Whether that’s, you know, I love the running community here in New York. It’s so vast. It’s actually a card to keep track of all the things that are going on. And even if you’re in a smaller city, it’s usually like their local running store and there’s, there’s, you know, you go get a beer or coffee afterwards. It’s a great community sport. Cause it’s, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot less barriers involved in entering the sport and you can also be a Walker everyone’s kind of invited to the party.
Speaker 2 (27:13):
So, so yeah, I would say, you know, give it time patients make it fun, make it community oriented. Although I do my best thinking and problem solving when I’m running by myself. So definitely, you know, you don’t always have to make it about a group training, but that’s something that I think it’s a great way, appreciate and meet new people in a new city and then take care of yourself. I think don’t ignore the things that bother you get good shoes. I mean, my number one, when people are injured, come to me, they often come to me almost too late where it’s, so their pain is so bad and their Shannon or their knee,
Speaker 1 (27:45):
Then they’re thinking I should get a coach. Like that’s the impetus for them to get a coach.
Speaker 2 (27:49):
So you’re like, you know, take care of yourself. And to be honest, this might be a good segue for what we’re talking about, because my first line of defense is go see a massage therapist because massage throughout my running career is like, you know, you go to a doctor and they say, it hurts when I run, they’re going to say, don’t, don’t run. It’s like my mom said back in the day, mama hurts when I do this. Okay, don’t do that. That’s kind of, that’s often, but some doctors will say like, Oh, that’s bothering. You just don’t do it. Well, we want to do it. We want to be active. We want to keep doing it. So taking care of yourself is really important. And there’s a lot of little things like massage and stretching, eating, right. And all of these things that are small things that really add up to bigger gains. And it’s, it’s fun to, to improve at it. You know, I mean, I’m never going to run a PR again because I ran faster than my youth, but I have, I have to make up goals now, like fastest mile as a dad. You know, whatever. So if these are all things that I have to kind of reinvent to kind of give me the motivation to get out there, but the self hair, the self-care piece is super important and often neglected.
Speaker 1 (28:52):
Yeah. And that self care involves sleep, recovery, nutrition. I think the massage, and like I said earlier, we’re both on the Waterpik water for wellness council. And one of the, a couple of things that they’re, and again, power pulse, therapeutic strength, massage, shower, head a couple of things that they have actually been shown that clinically shown to provide, like to help soothe muscle tension, to increase flexibility and to improve restful sleep. So the way I look at it as a PT, and I’m sure you may say the same as a run coach. Like we like to keep the risk continuum a little bit more on the reward side and a little less on the risk. Right. So if you can recommend things for people that have less risk and more reward, great. And if you can recommend things to people that are economical. Great. And I think that that’s where that the power pulse massage shower kind of comes in along with, like you said, seeing massage therapists one of the things that I’m so glad that you mentioned is about the community oriented part of running. Cause I think a lot of people think that if you’re running, you’re just running on your own.
Speaker 2 (30:21):
Right. And then that’s been the biggest challenge for me. It’s just my own running is I’ve actually, I’ve been running 60. I usually run five or six days a week and it’s done a lot of mileage cause it’s, you know, being a dad and, you know, jogging stroller and whatnot. But I was running the same amount of times per week, but I was running and say 30 miles a week. And then I was running like 20 and I’m like, how am I running less? You know, I have more time to one degree. And I wasn’t like, I would actually often rely on, especially for longer runs is to go to prospect park, which is very well trafficked with runners. And I know a lot of runners, so I, I usually run into people. I know. And then we go, we can, we run a mile or two or add on, and I didn’t have that because everyone was running alone or, and so I was like, Oh, I’m not getting that extra motivation or, Hey, Hey, Karen run into Karen and we do an extra three miles because we’re talking way and catching up.
Speaker 2 (31:07):
And so that’s something that the community piece to that my mileage is that definitely I mean, I since realized that and, and try to pay attention to doing a little bit more, but I’m like, how am I running last? I’m still running six days a week. And that was the number one thing that I was different was I didn’t have the buddies and I was running by myself all the time and that you weren’t casually running into people and adding on. So but yeah, I think, and everyone says, you can run with people. It’s just doing it safely. Yeah. Certain protocols. So it’s just, and some of that was new in the beginning. And so, but there’s definitely been a second kind of volt. Second, third, fourth, depending on who you talked to like many running boom, because gyms were closed and other things, so you have less, you know, nature get outside, walk run. So I guess a lot of more questions from new runners, especially neighbors because they’re out there running and they knew, Oh, this guy runs on the block all the time and he must know something and all the questions that we went over already getting those. So it’s you know, as far as silver linings to some of this stuff, that’s going on.
Speaker 1 (32:08):
And now before we finish, I have one last question for you. And it’s when I ask all of my guests. So knowing where you are now in your life and in your career, what advice would you give to your younger self? So maybe that 20 year old at the Olympic trials in 1996, what advice would you give to that kid?
Speaker 2 (32:30):
Yeah, well, I mean, back then running, talk about love. Hey, like it was so nerve wracking once I got the certain levels. And even that I ran the 800 meters, which is arguably one of the toughest events in track and field, they say the 400 hurdles experts today, the 400 hurdles and the 800 meters are the toughest. I think the 10,000 meters on the track is twenty-five laps. That that’s hard puzzle to me because the hard I can’t do it to cath on and heptathlon is all these different things. I think those are harder, but as far as the body and the body makeup that that event is kind of in between speed and endurance. And so but it, it just was so nerve wracking at the, at, when I got to that age, in that level, that running was and if I was running well and healthy, the world is great, but there was times where running was not so fun and I was sick or I was injured.
Speaker 2 (33:21):
And so I guess I would probably say, you know, it’s tough to say, don’t take yourself too seriously because I was training for the Olympics and it’s really scary, really focused. But and actually, I, I, once I stopped competing, I actually took on a couple of years off where I don’t even know how much I was running maybe once a week. And I definitely got out of the Cape. And I think when I was like maybe mid to early thirties, I got reengaged that there was a local team that needed some people to run for. And I kind of said, all right, I’ll help out. And then I was kind of needed again, it felt somewhat relevant, but then the community of that as well, the peer pressure in a positive way got me into the fold. And I actually got, was able to get pretty fit again in my mid thirties.
Speaker 2 (33:58):
But it was one of those things where I did it to be really good. And then once that was no longer the goal, it was like, why do it, and sort of, it’s a little bit of a gap there that, you know, probably mentally and physically, it was good to have because, you know, I get healthy and kind of cleared my head a little bit, but I wish I didn’t take that long of a gap because there was only one reason to do it was to get fast, to win races, to make limpic teams. And as we all know now, and I know now is there’s many reasons to run released best, you know, be competitive with yourself, you know, have be part of a community. See nature. Even though I started one of these things recently where I took a bunch of runners to to Ireland and I called it a run location and we spent four days and you actually can explore a lot of people.
Speaker 2 (34:40):
I coach where they’re training for the marathon, we’ll say, Oh, I can’t, I can’t run these two weeks. I’m going to be on vacation. I’m like, well, tell me more about this vacation. And it turns out that, like I had someone run on a cruise ship once and they actually sent me their GP. I’m like, there’s probably a track on the, on the cruise trip. It’s probably not that exciting, but don’t say you have to take two weeks off. I would kind of like a little tough love there. And someone, I think of some woman sent me, she was going across the Atlantic to like Norway and her GPS was over the water, three 30 pace per mile. And it said she ran like 50 miles would showing around like 10. Oh. Because she was more like, not trying to get out of running. She was just like, Oh, I have to, I’m on vacation.
Speaker 2 (35:19):
I can’t run. And I was like, you can make it a part of your everyday, regardless of where you go and you often can see more on foot then. So it’s one of these things that would just I don’t know, you can make it part of your life or it’s not such this arduous thing and horrible thing. It, most of the time it could be pretty pleasant and fun. And I mean, I don’t, I don’t knock myself too much for being so serious about it, but I wish I didn’t. I let myself off the hook a little bit and when I was younger and enjoyed it more and didn’t take it so seriously all the time, even though there’s reasons for that.
Speaker 1 (35:50):
Yeah. Oh, I think that’s great. I think that’s great advice to your younger self and John, where can people find you? What’s your website? Where are you on social media? How can they get in touch? If they have questions they want to work with you, they want to learn more about
Speaker 2 (36:02):
The programs you have. Yeah. My, of a website is run camp and that’s R U N K a M P. And I’m spelling incorrectly because my last name is Hunter camp with a K. Yeah. So nice play on words. Yeah. So run camp, you know, and you know, it’s all things running, whether a training for a race or just getting fit or travel in this case, once we can travel again. And then my Facebook and Instagram is just John Hunter camp. My name’s spelled so you can find me that way. And then email me a email@example.com. If you have any questions, you, you know, you want to get ahold of me for any reason, I’d be happy to chat and help you through your training journey as, as you see fit. And as, as, as you see necessary.
Speaker 1 (36:41):
Perfect. And of course we will have the links to everything at the podcast and the show notes for this episode at podcast at healthy, wealthy, smart.com. So, John, thanks so much for giving us a little bit of your time today. I really appreciate it.
Speaker 2 (36:57):
Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to join. You’re happy to do this again and stay in touch even though we’re so close so far.
Speaker 1 (37:03):
I know, I know just over the Brooklyn bridge but thanks so much for coming on and everyone else. Thanks so much for tuning in, have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.