Final Surge Podcast Episode 27: Mario Fraioli

In Episode 27 of the Final Surge podcast we talk to Coach Mario Fraioli. Mario is the former Senior Editor of Competitor Magazine and now works for an online coaching venture called Ekiden. Mario discusses his new job transition, why he doesn't like the word "goals", and answers some specific training questions.

Welcome to Episode 27 of the Final Surge podcast where we kick off 2017 by talking to Coach Mario Fraioli. With the new year here we talk about goal setting, new year resolutions and setting yourself up to have the best year of running yet. We also dig into when a runner should get a coach and talk about his new coaching venture. Last week we talked to Olympian Nick Willis and I want to remind you about the contest we have going where you can enter through January 6th to win one of two boot camps with Nick at the Miler Method. Head over to and look for details under Nick's podcast. Dozens of you reach out to us every week on Twitter @FinalSurge and we thank you for your interactions. Follow us and ask us any questions about Final Surge or let us know what questions you would like us to ask future guests.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Stitcher if you have an Android device.

Stream it right here:

Mario recently made a transition from Competitor Magazine to Ekiden, a new coaching service. He talks about why he made the transition.

This episode will launch right after the first of the year. So, most people are thinking about their goals for the year. Let's talk about those a little. We ask Mario when he has a coaching client come to him and ask about goals, what advice he gives them in setting those goals. Mario does not like the word goals and he explains why.

Someone on Twitter recently asked, how do I go about figuring out which event I am best suited for and should focus on? Mario talks about how he recommends experimenting.

We talked some about online calculators and how to use them to see what you need to work on.

We talked about goals, and if someone has a goal how much of that goal is geared toward just training vs all the other things like diet and sleep? We also discussed setting long term versus short term goals. Mario talks about making a daily check list that you can do daily to help you reach your goals that you have set for yourself.

Mario discusses what he learned from Alberto Salazar and breaking the training for the year down into two parts.

A couple of questions I got via Twitter and Direct Message for you from listeners:

I am a 38-year-old runner who has been running for 4 years. My current PR in the 5k is 18:03 and has been since January of 2016. I cannot seem to break the 18-minute mark. What can I do to make the next jump. … Now I did ask him some follow-up questions to get a little more information. Right now he runs 5 days a week and averages about 35 miles a week. His long run is 8-10 miles. A typical week he runs a 4-mile tempo run at 10k pace and does one day of repeats on the track that vary from 400m up to 1600m. Sounds to me like he has plateaued. What advice do you have for Jim?

Mario answers Jim with some good info including how to possibly get more power out of each stride.

We also talk about some pacing for Jim and what he should be doing on recovery days and how Mario uses half marathon pace to determine that pace.

2nd question that came in: I have been running for just over a year now and want to run a half marathon. My problem is with my family and work schedule I do not have as much time to train. My local Crossfit gym I go to is telling me there is a Crossfit endurance program that they claim is a better way to train because it allows me to train more intense but with a lot less volume. Have you seen this program and what are your thoughts?

We talk about his new coaching company and why he started it. Coaching is not something for just elite athletes but is really for anyone at any point in their running career.

I ask Mario about when a runner should think about getting a coach, and, why a new golfer will get a golf coach or tennis player will get a tennis coach, but many runners seem to think they need to be elite before they hire a coach.

Rapid Fire... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? - Once a Runner
Current trainers you are wearing? - Brooks Caldera Trail Shoe, New Balance Vazee Pace
Favorite race? - Boston Marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? - Burger and Beer
Your favorite piece of running equipment that is not your shoes? - Hat

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

Ekiden Training
Greg McMillan Pace Calculator
Tom "Tinman" Schwartz Calculator
Greg McMillans's book, You (Only Faster)
Runners World Piece on Goals for 2017
Book The 12-week Year
Mario on Twitter Website


Team Final Surge

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