The Run The Edge Interview with Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher

Looking for some extra motivation? The Run the Edge Interview might help. I talked to the authors of Running the Edge: Discover the Secrets to Better Running and a Better Life, Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher. They both ran at the storied University of Colorado CC program and Adam Goucher was a professional runner for over a decade. Here's the question and answer session with David Tiefenthaler from

Tim, you don't coach HS track or CC anymore. Why did you stop coaching and what is your current line of work?

I taught overseas for 7 years and came back to go to school and write this book. I am currently a PhD student in Educational Leadership and enjoying promoting Running the Edge with Adam.

Adam, you are currently training for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. How is your training going?

It is going ok. Like always my limiting factor is how hard will my body let me train without getting injured. I have been having some knee and foot problems since the half marathon in Philly but I am optimistic that I will be healthy and ready to roll in January.

Tim, I was a middle school and HS CC and track coach for years, and I never did anything as remotely crazy as you and your team did. From running Bear Peak to the "Summer of Challenges," how come you didn't get fired? Seriously! Did you ever get reprimanded for some of the things you were involved in?

Haha! No I was never reprimanded or in any trouble. The Bear Peak run was certainly a lapse in judgement on my part and I am very lucky that neither of those boys got hurt. I should have turned the team around half way up the mountain when the weather got bad. Everything else we did that seems "crazy" was part of the personality of the team. We played capture the flag at night with flashlights. We ran icy trails all winter long, and many other adventurous things that attracted runners to come out and stay out for the team 12 months a year. I always maintained a great and open relationship with parents so they knew what their runners were up to. The entire atmosphere was positive and being on the team was a far more "healthy" alternative to what those kids could have been doing after school and on the weekends. I honestly never had any trouble from parents or administration for what we were doing.

Adam, you advocate for runners to "run the edge" which seems to be a line that you have to dance between toughness and stupidity. It seems you crossed that line often. Have you become more adept at "running the edge" in your training now?

I wish I could tell you that I have completely learned my lesson. Each of us has our weaknesses and this one is definitely mine. I am better at being aware of when I am being stupid but it does not always stop me. I continue to try to find that balance but it is not easy for me when my mind believes I can do things my body can't.

Tim, much of this book feels like it was born from not only your running experience, but from your education and background in psychology. Was this idea of the "distance maven" something you have talked about for a long time?

Yes a lot of the philosophy in the book comes from my educational background and love of Psychology but Adam and I were talking about many of these ideas since long before I was a teacher or coach. We have always said we wanted to do whatever it takes to be excellent at everything but we never called it being a "Distance Maven" until we started working on the book. We got the term "Maven" form Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point and loved the idea of a distance running version. It just seemed like a good fit!

Adam, running sometimes is a very selfish quest. Is training harder or easier now that you and your wife have a child to care for? It seems almost impossible to be excellent in all five areas: education, career, family, friends, and passions if you other people are dependent upon you.

Yes. Running is a selfish quest and it has certainly become more difficult to balance with the addition of Colt. But like it says in the book we need to be adaptable and change with changing circumstances. You can be excellent in all five life stories once you decide where your priorities are and become aware of your strengths and limitations in each area. The key is constantly striving for excellence even in those times where we fall short.

Tim and Adam packing and shipping their book, Running the Edge

Tim Catalano is on the left and Adam Goucher is on the Right.

Tim, where can people purchase the book? Is it in stores or at Amazon?

The book is available on our website: Run the Edge, and also on Amazon, Kindle, and nook. It will not be available in stores until July.

Adam, is running professionally your job now?

I am lucky that two of my life stories have been combined in running. For most of my adult life running has been my job as well as my passion. I am still a professional runner but now also an author and starting to branch out as I transition into the next phase of my life.

Tim and Adam, It seems that the idea of the distance maven was a product of your conversations back in college. Was it simply the case of acting instead of talking about doing something with your life, like writing this book instead of just having it as an idea?

Taking action and "Making someday today" have certainly been two recurring themes in our friendship and the concept of the distance maven has some roots in that philosophy. We had a lot of fun applying this philosophy to writing the book. Once we agreed that it would be a fun thing to do "someday" we got right to work and kept at it with responsibility, determination, adaptability, integrity, person-ability, and of course initiative. Like most hard things, this entire project has been super rewarding.

Tim and Adam, what kind of relationship do you both have now with Coach Mark Wetmore. He isn't your coach anymore, but do you stay in touch?

We both owe coach Wetmore a huge debt of gratitude for all of his time and effort he put in as our coach. Even if we don't talk to him on a regular basis, we both hold the man in high esteem.

Tim and Adam, You had to be very honest as you went through writing about how you see yourselves in the six mirrors. Was this a cathartic process?

Definitely! Part of the fun of writing this book was "walking the walk" taking a hard look at ourselves in the six mirrors and learning about what we do well and where we need to improve. It was very cathartic and reaffirmed our love of running and life! We hope people enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

Tim and Adam, Do you think other HS coaches will have their runners read this as a source of motivation in the hopes they create their own runners guild?

We hope so!! We think this is an excellent book for high school runners and coaches!

Tim and Adam, Do you stay in touch with any other distance mavens or runners guilds?

Yes. But we keep them private and personal. The main public guild we keep is "Run the Edge" on facebook! That is a great community with a lot of positive energy!

Tim and Adam, "Running the Edge" is obviously about improving at running, but I found it even more motivating as far as taking charge of other aspects of life. Did writing this book and developing this mindset have a bigger impact on your running or your personal life and relationships?

It was tremendously helpful in both. We do not really separate running and life. The attributes that make you successful in one will make you successful in the other so in that sense running is life and life is running.

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