SMP 109: Going Beyond Pain

 In Podcast, Uncategorized

Today’s guest is Matt Fitzgerald. He is a coach, nutritionist, and the author of “How Bad Do You Want It”. In his book Matt examines over a dozen important races and discovers how athletes use mindset and their mental toughness to become true winners. Matt is a guy who knew what he wanted at an early age and went on to pursue that. He knew at nine years old that he was going to be a writer, and when he ran the last mile of the Boston marathon with his dad at age 11, he decided to become a runner.

Matt is also a certified sports nutritionist and has served as a consultant for many sports and nutrition companies. Matt is an endurance coach, nutritionist, and writer. He is a chip off the old block because his dad was also a writer and a runner. In spite of his career interests, he didn’t realize he could put the two together, but he did and he has been doing it for a long time. Matt has written for many major publications and has a long list of published books to his credit. He has managed to take his two life interests and transform them into an impressive career.

Today’s topics include:

  • Matt’s passion for words intersecting with his passion for running
  • The psychology of mind over muscle
  • Your mind is really running the show with endurance performance
  • Seeing a chance to win helps to tap into a little more energy
  • Endurance sports are unpleasant, take away the ball and leave the running part
  • Matt was capable of winning races, but it wasn’t easy
  • Being mentally weak during endurance sports takes all of the joy out of it
  • Long distance runners are thin, Matt started lifting weights to build up his muscle
  • Matt put on a lot of muscle and fat when he stopped running
  • When Matt moved to San Francisco in 1995, he was trying to get the first decent writing job he could get, he ended up working for an endurance sport magazine
  • Being in the sport environment reignited his passion for being a runner
  • He understood a big part of it was overcoming his psychological limitations
  • Matt has written for most of the popular fitness magazines
  • Matt doesn’t look for things to write about, they just come to him
  • Matt’s new book is scientific and storytelling, he transmits the lessons through real stories
  • The psychobiological model – endurance test to exhaustion – went measurements are taken at the point of failure – everything about the physiology says you can keep going
  • People quit at perception of limits – limit to suffering capacity – thesis of science in his book
  • If you train and push yourself, you will gain experience with perception of effort
  • You are asking yourself, what is the fastest pace I can maintain to the finish line
  • Keep your passion for the sport alive

Links and resources:

Matt Fitzgerald

Books by Matt Fitzgerald

Twitter @MattFitWriter


“Running in the Boston Marathon was magical and transformative” Matt Fitzgerald

“I was always attracted to stories and writing. I wrote a poem a day for years.” Matt Fitzgerald

“It was a miserable experience, but I pushed through it. The essence of endurance sports is facing those terrible sensations” Matt Fitzgerald

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