How to be a Happy Runner – David Roche

Accomplished runner and coach (and dog lover) David Roche joins us today to talk about running, coaching, law-degrees and being happy as a person. David brings HUGE enthusiasm to this episode so be ready to be PSYCHED no matter what sport you do.
david roche (1)
If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting it by
a) rate and review on your preferred app! Easy and Free! Thank You!
b) Pre-Order Shred-Girls by Molly Hurford
c) Donate to the Podcast



Show Sponsors


Want to re-energize- Unplug, put airplane mode on, and immerse in nature's finest.

Get in Touch With Your Hosts

Follow @peterglassford or visit his coaching website at
Have a question, comment, complaint or suggestion for a guest?

Social and Links


30-second bio – Law school to Coaching

David is the 2014 USATF Trail Runner of the Year at the sub-ultra distance. He is a two-time national champion and a three-time member of Team USA. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Environmental Science and received a master’s degree and a law degree from Duke University.

David started the SWAP team in 2013, with the premise that he could help athletes learn to live like puppies and run like rockstars while not giving a f#ck about things that aren’t important.


Dogs – Positivity and Writing Books


MORTALITY – Why start a book about being a happy runner with death?

  • “We all have the same finish line”

MENTAL SHIFT vs. Physical training – Coaches

  • Commit to the long-term process, delayed gratification
  • Need to derive meaning and purpose from prizes, or immediate things
  • It takes years, Running between the ears

Sports Analogies? Starting as a Football Player

Questions to help with your WHY?

  • not just running or sport but for life
  • It is easy to stay on ‘assembly line’ without asking WHY?
  • Are they your answers?
  • You want to achieve “X” but then what?


  • We don’t care about your results
  • Training is the process, racing is the result
  • Help facilitate and find long-term fulfillment
  • you are enough NO MATTER WHAT.
  • The enthusiasm around DAILY wins, daily process

How do you stay so relentlessly positive!?

  • Life is hard
  • Entropy – Everything Falls Apart. Without energy, things fall apart
  • small acts of kindness can make HUGE differences in people’s lives
  • Positivity is a Performance Enhancer

What to do if You are Not Winning, Not the Best, ‘just’ competing or participating?

  • Long term focus on YOUR potential.  YEARS 
  • Some people might win worlds, some people might make the time cut-off
  • We are all chasing our own potential in the context of our lives
  • Trying to be something you are not is where happiness is lost
  • Thinking of yourself as an athlete, even an ELITE athlete

Signs a runner has plateaued, and how do you help them get out of it?

  • Constant progress is not a reality, there will be epps and flows
  • The trial of Miles – “Once a Runner” book referenced adding miles/aerobic miles and double days (this is for an advanced athlete)
  • For injury prone, newer runners and time-crunched it is important to actually get fast

Running Strides

  • Think of a kid in a playground running sporadically, need to practice that natural, fast stride
  • Short, Fast, Bursts that teach you to go fast
  • Several studies showed 3-4 weeks of ‘speed endurance’ 6-10 x 30sec fast caused vVO2 and at LT to improve by 4-6%, (LT and Vo2 not improve but SPEED / Economy did)

Common Mistakes in Running Training (running is not cycling)

  • You can reinforce ‘go fast biomechanics’ and develop the aerobic system by going easy enough

DREAMING BIG – Molly and Leadville

  • These goals to get you out of the door
  • BUT the big thing is not the thing, it is a means to an end

2 thoughts on “How to be a Happy Runner – David Roche

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.