Is Cigarette Smoking the Key to Marathon Domination? 🚬

A subscriber pops the question:


I trained all summer and did speed work. I had a not so great marathon last weekend. A friend ran the same marathon. They didn’t train and they are a smoker. The friend beat me by 16 minutes. I’m salty as hell.

What gives?



Hopefully, this will ease the sting…

Some people are naturally gifted runners. Period.

I once read a comment from some guy that boasted, “it’s BS that people can’t run a 10k in under 45 minutes. I’ve smoked my whole life, eat garbage all day, I’m in my 50s, and I just ran a 10k in 41 minutes without training”

Good for them ^^^

But what if they put in even a little bit of effort, they probably could have been an unbelievable runner? Right?

For us mortals…

It can hurt like hell when an effort isn’t rewarded with a finishing time you believe you deserve.

But make no mistake, the effort you put in did make a difference.

Aside from traversing 26.2 miles, a feat that puts you in the upper percentile of all humans beings on planet earth…

You dedicated yourself to a goal that sharpened your resolve, self-discipline, and belief in yourself. These attributes were enhanced during training. And these enhancements will no doubt benefit other aspects of your life.

That’s why judging performances (or anybody else’s) is a slippery slope. Because if race day doesn’t go as planned. All that positive cultivation can be forgotten.

The point?

It’s the day to day progress that counts.

Journey before destination.

That’s why I created the Runner’s High Newsletter. It’s a means to severe attachments towards workouts, data, and PRs. Delivered in old-fashioned paper an ink, this newsletter’s purpose is to help transmute this fixation into a healthy appreciation for placing one foot in front of the other.

If this resonates, I encourage you to check it out. To do so, go here:


Barefoot Alex

Obscure Endurance Secrets from a Sleep Deprived Long Distance Running Swede​

This morning I read a post on Facebook from laz lake, the infamous race director of the Big’s Backyard Ultra. It included a short interview with this year’s winner, Johan “The Swift Swede” Steene.

In Johan’s own words, here is his 68 hours 283-mile reflection:


“If there had been a predestined finish line at Big’s Backyard my money would have been on Courtney to win, she would beat me at any such race and distance.

But at the Backyard you draw your own lines.

As long we are at least two remaining there is a feeling of purpose, that this painful game has a meaning.

That illusion disappears in a blink when only one remains.

The actual winning needs to be the sole focus if that is what you’re after. That focus was feeding me and let me put all other things aside.

At the moment when Courtney congratulated me and remained in the coral as I jogged away alone into the Tennessee night I didn’t feel joy. I felt empty and without purpose. You can not carry the illusion by yourself. It takes at least two to play.

Thanks Courtney Dauwalter for taking us this far. We are good at playing this game.”


What I love most about Steene’s response is his acknowledgment of illusion. And how it 1UP’ed his motivation when the race was down to it’s final two competitors.

Because of what it brings out in the other. The other becomes of a source of inspiration. It prescribes meaning to pain. It makes the suffering worthwhile.

But when that inspiration dies (the myriad forms it takes) going forward, even if it’s an inch, becomes almost unbearable.

That’s why Yiannis Kouros, arguably the greatest ultrarunner of the modern era, says:

“Like a tree that grows stronger with more branches and roots, you need to find more and more ways to be inspired”


So when one branch is severed from the tree…another must take its place.

Though it may look like an ordinary branch, it’s unique to itself. And must be experienced without comparing it to other branches.

That’s why I created the “Runner’s High” newsletter. It’s a daily reminder that these branches of inspiration exist. And when you take action on the content inside. The potential of becoming more and more inspired grows. And when inspiration is present you are capable of accomplishing remarkable things.

But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself here:

Later alligator,

Barefoot Alex

There can only be one 👑

It’s nutzo on a stick.

After 67 hours and 283.335 miles…the Big Backyard Ultra crowned its champion.

All hail Johan Steene.

In spite of his 2-day nightmare trip to the race, which ended with him driving overnight to arrive just in time for the start…

Mighty Johan, the Swift Swede, ousted Courtney Dauwalter earlier this morning at 4 a.m.


On a 4.16-mile loop, Steene waged methodical warfare. Dealing blows to his opponent’s armor one step at a time.

Speaking of steps…

If 2,000 steps make up a mile. Then it took 566,000 foot falls to claim victory.

But in time of war, it’s by any means necessary.


To quote Scott Jurek, the GOAT of ultrarunning:

“Sometimes you just do things!”

Even if those things demand you to squeeze every ounce of energy you have into seeing it to fruition.


Maybe your warfare isn’t being the last one standing at an obscure ultramarathon in rural TN.

Maybe it’s getting out the door to log a brisk walk around the block.

Whatever form it takes. Remember…You have it within to conjure the confidence, grit, and inspiration necessary to make it happen.

The question is….how bad do you want it?

Are you ready to cut the excuses that bind you?

If you’re ready to go the distance, but need a little help along the way, let the “Runner’s High” newsletter be your endurance ally.

But be wary…

Your investment will demand everything you’ve got. Shortcut seekers are advised to look elsewhere. Only the most eager are to apply.

If this is you…subscribe in time here:


Barefoot Alex

Only in Canada 🇨🇦

Knock knock

Who’s there?


Ottawa who?

Ottawa get a passport for Canada.

I know… lame joke.

But it may be a good time to get one. Because at the toke of midnight our friends up north became the second country to legalize recreational marijuana.




Besides the economic boost and becoming even more appealing to 4/20 friendly Merican’s south of the Canadian border…


It’s time to stop treating weed like a deadly drug when science and public opinion agree that cannabis is relatively safe for adult recreation.

Here’s my 0.02 cents:

Ganga has many benefits like combating chronic pain, curbing depression, regulating seizures, and helping arthritis.


It can also lead to disillusion, paranoia, lack of motivation, and over-dependence.

Which goes to note that anything done in excess can be harmful.

That goes for “healthy” hobbies as well. E.g. running, lifting, biking, etc

When these activities start invading your thoughts. To the point where it disallows you to feel genuine joy. Then its best advised to reevaluate your relationship with them.

Instead, seek balance.

Get hooked to the natural high.

It’s plentiful and readily available.

Just last week I had an episode.  It happened while running. I had to choke back tears of joy, I couldn’t stop grinning, everyone and everything around me was so beautiful.

And that’s what I want you to experience.

To find out how to make this sensation an ongoing reality, check out the “Runner’s High Newsletter”. It’s won’t instantly cure injuries or deliver a huge PR. But it will help you reconnect to why you fell in love with running in the first place.

Subscribe in time here:


Barefoot Alex

How to Turn Your Next Run into Cold Hard Cash 🤑

Want to hear something interesting?

Recently, I was talking to my sister who told me about a new app called RunBet.

Here’s the deets:

RunBet is made up of players who commit to a specific running program while betting real money on themselves. If they complete all the requirements, they’re a winner and get their money back (and most likely make money funded by the players who didn’t finish the game).


You can run outdoors or on a treadmill.

If you choose to run outdoors, you need to have a GPS-enabled app like Garmin, Strava, or RunKeeper sync with the RunBet app.

If you prefer to run indoors you need to take a sweaty selfie and a picture of your treadmill’s readout after your run. You upload both photos, and the referees will look over your submission.


My sister bet $40 that she could run 4x a week for 4 weeks for a chance of sharing the jackpot of $90k with whoever remains in the game.

So far she’s still in the game and is excited about the chance of making some extra moola.



What about you?

Want to turn your next run into cold hard cash?

If so, give the app a try. And while you’re at it. Check out October’s ‘Runner’s High” newsletter. It includes an easy to implement morning routine that will gently nudge your butt out the door on those “I don’t want to” days. Subscribe in time here:


Get that dough,

Barefoot Alex

Beware of “The Beijing Cocktail” 🍹☠️

Ever see the movie Crank?

It’s the one where Jason Statham plays hitman Chev Chelios. Though he’s good at what he does. He wants to get out crime for good so he can spend more time with his lady. But things go south when he learns he has been injected with a poison called “The Beijing Cocktail”. Which will kill him if his heart rate drops.


Chev must keep his adrenaline levels elevated to stay alive.

To keep himself keyed up he picks fights with other gangsters, takes illegal drugs, and brawls with the police.


No matter how much he wants to sit down and relax. He can’t. Because if he does. He dies.

Ok, so what’s the point?

Before being injected with “The Beijing Cocktail” Chev was a relaxed crime fighter.

But after injection, his fight or flight response was set on overdrive.

Speaking of fight or flight…

In the modern world, many things can trigger the fight or flight response in the body. This include:

* Unanswered texts/emails
* Junk food
* Toxic relationships
* Poor sleep
* Rush hour traffic
* Missing a deadline
* Bouncing a check

When this response is stimulated too often it causes us to become aggressive, hypervigilant and overreactive. E.g. punch out your boss, middle finger road rage, etc.

Or worse…

Excessive stress can lead to disorders of our autonomic nervous system. E.g. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and allergies

That’s the bad news.

The GOOD news is… In the next “Runner’s High” issue, I am going to show you 3 ways to handle this “problem” so you (1) don’t spazz out at your spouse and (2) fall into unnecessary depression. This baby goes to the printer soon. So there’s no time for dilly-dally. Subscribe in time here:


Barefoot Alex

Grandpa Ditches Nursing Home for a Heavy Metal Festival 🎸

Here’s a pretty little doozy to perk up your Saturday.

Check this out:

Recently, I read a news story about a couple of old men who went missing from a rural nursing home in Germany.

Bewildered by the disappearance of the two men, nursing home staff set up a search party. But despite enlisting law enforcement, the men were able to evade police for several days.


The men were spotted headbanging at the Wacken Open Air festival AKA the biggest metal festival in the world.
When they were finally nabbed (albeit dazed and confused)…

The senior citizens admitted to hitchhiking the 25 miles from the nursing home to the festival.

Digging the aging metalhead’s vigor, the Wacken Open Air festival Twitter account posted:

“There no discrimination against seniors …because you’re never too old to rock.”

The same can be said for running.

Sure…you may not be an escapee from a nursing home, but it goes to note that every day is an opportunity to rock your upcoming run like a gnarly guitar riff.

But, if you haven’t felt like a running rockstar for a while then here’s a simple solution…

Located in the pages of September’s “Runner’s High” newsletter is an electrifying morning routine that will have you leaping out of bed like Axel Rose in his hay day. No coffee needed. And all ages are welcome. To get your copy in time, go here:


Barefoot Alex

This is the Last Time I’m Answering this Question

“I thought you were from Brazil. Maybe the Carribean…but Ohio? Never would have expected that.”

I’ve fielded the “where you from” question for years. No joke at least 1,000 times.


To answer it for good. I’m Northeast Ohio from a small town called North Canton.

If you haven’t heard of it. It was a quick 10-minute drive from my doorstep to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. OSU and Cleveland Brown country.

Speaking of the Browns…

They lost again last night. In pure Browns fashion too. Here’s how it went down:

With the Browns trailing 21-18, the kicker, who had already missed two extra points and a field goal, missed wide right with 3 seconds left.

But you know what? I feel for the Brown’s kicker. I even read that angry fans attacked his sister on social media forcing her to delete her Twitter account.


I mean come on. I understand the frustration as a fan. But it’s life. We mess up. Even the pros. In fact, they probably have failed more time than anyone.

To quote Yoda:

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”

I think what Yoda means is without failure you cannot appreciate success.

Running is no different.

It’s the trials of miles. Miles of trials.

To get the most out of the journey. I encourage you to check out The Runner’s High Newsletter. It’s spring loaded with useful running tips and techniques that can transform “Brown kicker days” into reoccurring runner’s high experiences.

Get it here:


Barefoot Alex

One Wheel Down With the Axle Dragging

It was mile 283…and I was sulking in the pain cave.

The tendons around my knee caps were completely trashed. It was as if a tiny tornado had ripped them apart. And each step flayed them further from the cartilage.

I couldn’t take the suffering any longer. So I sat down on a bench that ran parallel to the course.

Was this what the halfway point of a 10 Day Race was supposed to feel like?

If it was. I was one wheel down with the axle dragging.

Sensing my grief, Ashprihanal Aalto, the race leader and the world’s best multiday long distance runner…

Sat down next to me, fished his pocket for a piece of paper and began to read out loud:

“Make yourself feel that you are not the runner, but that somebody else is running in and through you. You are only the witness, the spectator.”

When I asked if he had written the words. He said no. It was from Sri Chinmoy. The Indian spiritual teacher who the race paid homage to.

Aalto added that even though adversity feels like it will never end…

It is only temporary.

And when we focus on giving our best. We become lightning rods for transcendence.

We shared a fist and Aalto disappeared into the distance.

I pondered the experience for a few minutes. Got up. And started a slow shuffle. Dwelling on being the witness for the ride my body was taking.

Moral of the story:

If you’re in a running rut. There’s tremendous power in getting back on the horse. Even if you feel directionless and defeated.

That’s why…

When you subscribe to The Runner’s High Newsletter, I’ll ship you a free copy of my book “Endurance Secrets”. It covers everything from how to build a 12-month training plan from scratch to reframing your mind for race day success.

Reserve your copy here:


Barefoot Alex

The Annoying Lady at Starbucks ☕️

Earlier today, I was sipping a macha latte at Starbucks.  Editing “Endurance Secrets” like a madman when an annoying lady sits down next to me.

She unpacks her belongings.  (pencil case, laptop, 3 notebooks, and a 1-gallon jug of water).  Making enough noise to distract me from my work.

More…I can sense she’s staring at me.  So, I look up.  She has a power cord in hand and is glancing towards the wall.

This is Starbucks code for “can you please plug me in?”

She passes me the cord but it gets tangled in her mess of stuff.

But then something strange happens…

Before she has time to speak.  I hear the word “drape” echo in my mind.  It happens 2 seconds before she says:

“Try draping it along the chair.”

I sit there dumbfounded for 3 seconds and stammer…

“Before you spoke.  I heard in my head what you were about to say.”

For 45 seconds, we discuss the occurrence.  Coming to an agreement that it was a telepathic experience.

500 seconds later, I’m pouring over Google, trying to find information on telepathy.


Here are my findings…

Telepathy is the communication between two minds, separated over a distance, without the use of the five known senses.

It’s is also considered a form of premonition.  Aka the ability to know the future before it actually happens.

At some point or the other, you may have experienced this.  E.g. Maybe you pick up your cell phone only to have it ring in your hand.  And when you look to see who is.  It’s the person you were just thinking about.


Maybe you were in a race where the miles played out exactly as you envisioned them.

If the latter hasn’t happened to you…

Imagine if each time you toed the starting line you had this feeling of knowing.  No doubt you’d be nabbing PRs on a regular basis.

That’s the superhuman power of telepathy and premonition in action.

And it’s possible when you practice the easy 7-minute mental rehearsal routine found in the first issue of the Runner’s High Newsletter, to reserve your copy, go here:

Back to editing for now.


Barefoot Alex