Born to Run, Donkeys & Community – Christopher Mcdougall

Today Molly is extra excited because Christopher Mcdougall is on the show! He is the author of Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes, two amazing books you need to read as a consummate athlete!  We talk about all things outdoors, community, sport, and writing.


If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting it through … there are bonus episodes and bonus goodies if you do, your donation helps fuel better audio gear, more guests, and higher quality episodes.
Christopher McDougall
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?


Let’s start with your twitter bio: Author of BORN TO RUN and NATURAL BORN HEROES. Currently working on a new project with a donkey named Flower. Any spoilers on what the new book is going to be about? (

When you wrote Born To Run, what were you hoping the impact would be? What do you think made it hook people attention compared to a lot of books in the same genre?

So many people took up ultra running and swapped out to barefoot shoes (ahem Molly did both basically immediately)… How did that feel? (Did it seem like people missed the overall message?)

In both books, what was the initial *grab* for you—why those primary stories?

Of everyone you interviewed in both books, who are the two or three that stand out the most & why?

Anyone you wish you’d gotten to add in? Anyone you wish you left out?

Quickly for my nerdy edification: what does the general process look like for your book writing?

Going back to you—were you an athletic kid? What’s been your athletic life trajectory?

Which book got you in better shape?

What practices from either book do you still keep up?

What does training look like now?

What about eating? In BTR, the diets that sort of became noteworthy were largely vegan, and then in NBR, we got into foraging and being fat-adapted. Where are you now?

Urban Poling – Nordic Walking – Barb Gormley

Barb Gormley talks about being a personal/fitness trainer, health & fitness writer and urban poling instructor. As Urban Poling’s Director of Education, she produces the company’s educational fitness materials. Barb has written numerous magazine articles on the benefits of Urban Poling and also presents at conferences, tradeshows and health fairs across the province.
Find out more about Barb on her website:
Find out more about Urban Poling / Nordic Walking at

Have you gained access to Wide Angle Podium Bonuses?

If you enjoy the show, consider joining other listeners who have supported our show. Consider supporting it through . There are bonus episodes and bonus goodies if you do, your donation helps fuel better audio gear, more guests, and higher quality episodes!



Show Sponsor

This podcast is supported by Health IQ, a life insurance company that celebrates the health conscious, including cyclists. Visit to learn more & get a free quote, or check out their life insurance FAQ page to get your questions answered.

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

Barb’s Book =

VIDEO of Technique = =


1) Quick Professional Bio –
   = YMCA
  = Group Exercise instructor and Corporate Fitness … working with public
   => Year sailing and then couldn’t/didn’t want to re-enter the corporate world so went out on her own for fitness and training Marathon Walkers
  -> Urban Poling called several years -> couldn’t get a good workout, poles/DVD … then took cert. course and realized the techniques
2) Why Nordic Walking/Urban poling?
  •   why decide to try?
  • 40+ running,
  • Mandy Shintani -OT from
  • ‘Perfect amount of challenge’ – enough for those who like group exercises and routines but not so complex that someone without interest could do
  • nordic walking is like swimming/tennis … it can age with you. Intensity and speed vary
3) similarities and benefits to cross-country skiing? 
 *My introduction to ‘pole running’ was through xc skiing
  • similar but not exactly the same … and NOT like hiking.
  • hiking poles are different -> hiking poles minimize effort while urban poling whereas URBAN poles add challenge
is this just walking with poles? How does technique/instruction come into the process?
  • Nordic technique – the length should be set to marking on URBAN POLING POLE based on height
  • land poles out front with a straight arm to have a straight arm  **SHAKE HANDS ***
  •  press down on outside edge of hands
  • poles landing beside foot but angled back at 45 deg
4) Gear Needed =  Difference in Poles/tips?  
  – can you get ones that are suitable for offroad and urban settings?
  – setting the length of telescopic poles
  •   rubber boot tip on pole + a rubber handle
  • poles will telescope (get longer/shorter)
5) What are classes like?
  = GTA classes at Mt. Pleasant and High Park -> what do these sessions look like?
   = mix of social, technique and walking adventure!
  =  some calisthenics
  => Double Poling exercise with Nordic Poling  – both pole landing and big push
6) Certification courses– who is the ideal instructor to come to these courses? (clientele they work with, area they need to work in etc)
      = 1/2 day and online course to cert
7) Common Mistakes in Poling? 
  = 1500 cert instructor will say keep your arms straight with a pendulum swing from the shoulder … don’t shorten the leaver.
   = ELBOW’s get a break today
   = HANDS TO handshake position and  thru so that hand is to thigh or past (all the way down)   => This informs and is affected by stride
      = dragging poles behind you … pickup poles a bit
9) How to look/feel prepared your first time poling? (how to not look like a newbie!) 
  =  don’t bring your xc ski or dh poles!
10) What’s next for you, the fitness industry and/or poling? 
 = ultimate guide to nordic walking -> working on revised edition =>
  = Activator pole for those will balance and stability issues =>

BackPacking, Camping, FKTs – Eric Batty


Eric Batty shares his camping experience on the show today. Eric has won the team 24 hours OCR Championships in Vegas, Set FKTs on many trails including the La Cloche Silhouette Trail in Killarney, raced mountain bike at an elite/pro level for many years and now works as an Arborist (he climbs up trees all day!)


Check out to learn about the upcoming book series by Molly Hurford and for phone consults, coaching, training plans and bike-skills sessions.

This podcast is supported by Health IQ, a life insurance company that celebrates the health conscious, including cyclists. Visit to learn more & get a free quote, or check out their life insurance FAQ page to get your questions answered.

The Consummate Athlete Podcast is part of the Wide Angle Podium podcast network. Check out, listen to the shows, and consider becoming a member to get free bonus content and prizes. Check out the new Wide Angle Podium t-shirts and kit at

Thanks as always for tuning in. If you’re enjoying the show, would be a huge help to us if you subscribe, rate and review the Consummate Athlete Podcast show on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @mollyjhurford and @peterglassford or over on and
You can explore the rest of our episodes on You can support the show and this site by checking out our swag in the Consummate Athlete Shop.
Have a question, comment, complaint or suggestion for a guest?

Social and Links

Brooklin tree care = Eric’s Business for Ontario Tree Removal and Care


camping – basic skills,

tents = shelter systems – reliable (rain, winds, thunderstorms)
– often too warm sleep for summer,
– sleep mat = close cell (Thermarest), reliable
– backpack – 90 and 100L perhaps too big for a few days

water – filtration – aqua tabs
– UV – light stick

socks/ shoes?
= consider lighter trail runner for short

= Peter and Eric have used Salomon Trail Runners

Food – hang it in what?
= bear hanging options videos

food – best lightweight ‘dinner’ ‘ breakfast’?
= dinner in a bag
= JETBOIL – small, quick, canister, pot, built in Flint

bugs =
= superlight bug  hat/cover
= sun / wind effect
= off/Deet – hard to say still bug you … maybe not bite

first aid = Can get kits

= clean, gauze, bandaid, safety pin, tweezer, crazy glue for blisters, tape, pills (gravel, Imodium, NSAID)

How to Parkour – Adam McClellan

Keywords: parkour, certification, fitness, classes, extreme, walking, running

Adam Mcclellan talks to us about parkour. How to go to you first class, what parkour is, why it is a great sport/activity to pursue. What to expect at your first class and many more things you can use to prepare for parkour and also transfer to other sports.

Adam McClellan of Parkcour Generations talks about what Parkour is and how it can benefit your other sports as well as have a tremendous effect on your mind and body. We get into the rigorous coaching certification that Parkour has and also what a first class might look like when you try it. As usually we find out tips on how to fit in your first time trying the sport and a few ‘tricks’ to practice before you go.


Adam runs the Parkour Generations located in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. He is a level 2 Coach in the A.D.A.P.T. Coach education program. You may also recognize his name from the Christopher McDougall’s Book ‘Born to Run’ (LINK)

Social / links 

-Adam McClellan
Parkour Generations  –
Leighigh Valley Parkour –


Bio/how did you find Parkour? 
Quick explanation of what Parkour is?
-David Bell talks about efficiency in time, energy and sound. Many ways to define
– mind body are strength challenged and strengthened to overcome obstacles -> Overcome with movement
How can pretty much any athlete benefit from some Parkour skill?
 – All sports have a mental/physical aspect. Think about how a trail runner might benefit from the precision and confidence in technical areas. Same for mountain biker.
  – The physical aspects of jumping, running, strength training and mobility transfer to other sports and, at worst, balance the overuse of many sports.
What would you consider the three key moves in Parkour? 
-> many movements as always adapting to environment
-> Run, jump, swim , climb etc.
What equipment MUST I have? (specific clothing/what’s the best practice place?)
– many athletes will wear ‘hammer pants’ and a tank top
– there are a range of shoes used ranging from barefoot to trainers, likely wise to be in the middle to start.
– first timers = aim for comfortable fitness clothing
  -> often will be at school playground after hours or some indoor gyms can be found
-> always leave area cleaner then you left it .
How do I find people to train with?
Google ‘parkour’ and your area to find meetup groups or classes
Travel to best place to do it or immerse yourself in the sport?
Colorado, Pennsylvania, D.C., London
coach vs watching youtube videos? 
 – Careful with videos as generally will see most extreme, back-flips off roofs etc. and miss the years of progression and very approachable first sessions
 – good coaching in ‘certified’ parkour sessions given the rigorous certification program 
 – a coach will help make sure you avoid overuse, do appropriate strength/mobility and help you set goals for your age/ability
What would a normal “training” week look like / is it competitive?
Best advice to someone just starting out? First class ?
This is basic coaching / training philosophy to remember with Parcour
1) safety – inspect area
 2) Progression – start with foundations and progress to ensure proper form
3) Repetition  – practice makes permanent
4) precision  – ensure can do often
 5) Control  – under pressure, extremes et.c
exercises/training drills?
– lots on web and many qualified communities to help get started. Google “Parcour Warmup and techniques”
 – Routine is typically Warm Up + Conditioning = watch bad habits
 – Adam’s favorite move – Quadrupedal movement -> Uses lots of muscles and is low impact (Crab walk , bear crawl etc. )
What’s the one cool move I can do to make it look like I know what I’m doing?
 -> Lazy sit – stand beside handrail, put both hands on and swing legs over then back on otherside completing a 180.
Best way to avoid getting injured?
– Parkour has a relatively low injury rate
 – ensure obeying progression and precision
 – ensure balanced training week with mobility, endurance and more skill oriented days
Any weird/surprising etiquette? 
  – Handshake by grabbing wrist
Follow up from above comment on mind = How is Parcour more challenging to the mind then other sports ? 
 – Stanford Marshmallow study on delayed gratification 
 – Essentially parkour trains for long term commitment to progressing and practice and body awareness .
 – It is portable and adaptable to wherever you are .