An Inside Look At Timothy Olson’s PCT FKT With Coach Jason Koop

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Topics covered in this episode:

  • Behind the scenes of Timothy Olson’s Pacific Crest Trail FKT
  • The critical mindset necessary when taking on such a large challenge
  • How does an athlete prepare for a goal that goes way beyond normal event distances
  • How to approach your strengths and weaknesses
  • Learning to take what the day gives you

Guest Bio – Jason Koop:

Jason Koop is the Head Coach for CTS-Ultrarunning and is the author of Training Essentials for Ultrarunning which has become the benchmark book for ultramarathon training. Read more about Jason Koop here.

Read More About Jason Koop:

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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Speaker 1 (00:00:06):

[inaudible]

Corrine Malcolm (00:00:07):

My guest today is maybe the person who has had the greatest influence on my coaching career. Mr. Jason coop. Jason is the head coach for the alternative side of CTS and the author of training essentials for ultra running. How to train smarter race faster and maximize your ultra marathon performance. And most recently spent just shy of 52 days out on the PCT, helping our friend Timothy Olson establish what is an insane new fastest known time. Welcome Jason.

Jason Koop (00:00:35):

Uh, thanks for being here, but I have to correct you. Mr. Cooper is my father, Mr. Cooper’s birth father. I’m just coupe.

Corrine Malcolm (00:00:41):

We’re not, we’re not retaking it. You are now Mr. Jason coupe. So fair enough. Um, so I think what everyone wants to know what I want to know. How has coming back to the real world, Ben?

Jason Koop (00:00:57):

Um, well, Corinne, you know, me, I like to stay busy. And so when I put this project on my calendar two years ago, by the way, cause we initially started this pre COVID and then COVID hit and we kind of kick the can down the road and then settled on a date sometime early this year. When I put this thing on my calendar, I put it on my calendar, just like I do any other athlete project and okay, I’m going to reserve this space. I’ve already committed to this project with this athlete, where are all the other open holes in my calendar. And so I had an open hole the week after that, that week after that, the weekend after that. So, I mean, getting back to real life, I I’ve always found that when this is my fourth trip across the country with athletes, I’ve always found that I just do better everywhere if I just get back into life and yet sucks for a little bit and you’re kind of playing catch up and things like that. But I like to take just a look, a little teeny bit of celebration, you know, maybe a day and then just jump, jump back into things. So I preloaded my calendar. I paced an athlete the week, you know that I got back, I’m pacing, my wife this weekend, going back out to Washington, driving all the way back out to Washington the week after that to work with an athlete at Bigfoot. So it’s just, you know, there’s no rest for the wicked. I get, I, I stay busy and I just get back after

Corrine Malcolm (00:02:20):

It. How’s Lee like how’s Liz doing, having you home after being you being gone for two months?

Jason Koop (00:02:26):

Well, Liz, my Liz, my wife is awesome. So that’s the first thing to say. She is absolutely awesome. She has been, we have been together either as boyfriend, girlfriend, or husband, wife throughout all of those other three, those previous three, uh, expeditions that I was on. And so she knows the gig. You know, I always invite her to come out, uh, for these things and she declines because she knows how intense they are and they’re not for her. Therefore the athlete and my focus is on, on them. They’re, you know, 15 to 18 hour work days and everything. And so, you know, being a strong, independent woman, she went out and backpacked and hiked and trained for, you know, this a hundred K that she’s doing this weekend. And you know, she’s, she, she has no problem with it. She obviously misses me, but you know, she takes it. She takes the time and just does cool things for herself.

Corrine Malcolm (00:03:20):

I get it. I never went to a single one of Steven’s national or world championship races for very much the same reason. It wasn’t about me. And so it’s like, you know, you have to do, like, I think that is, that is a way to show support for sure as Noah is knowing when, when it’s a good invite to take. And when you’re like, no, it’s, it’s, I’ve got, I’m going to support from here. I can support from home pretty, pretty easily.

Jason Koop (00:03:43):

So yeah, you’re right. It’s the highest form of support because it’s sacrificial support, right? I’m going to give up time with my loved one in order for him to, you know, help out this athlete, advanced his professional career and on and on. So I’m very, very grateful that I married up. Let’s put it that way.

Corrine Malcolm (00:03:57):

Well, we, we love, we love Liz for people who don’t know Liz you’ll, you’ll see her. She’ll be, she’ll be at, at an event. And, uh, she’s the most, I don’t know. She, I think she’s phenomenal. I got to see her at Western states and at hard rock and, um, was so good to get to, to get to see her out in the real world. But I guess, you know, we’re talking about Tim’s PCT effort. That’s what you’ve been gone on. And I totally forgot that you’re right. It was supposed to happen last year and the pandemic totally derailed it. So this question I think is even more, um, I don’t know, is it as like monumental qualities to it? So we’ve been talking about this a little bit. We talked about 200 mile races earlier this week, um, on your podcast. And we talked a lot about, you know, you gotta make a jumping distance, you’re making a jump from the 50 miles to the a hundred mile, you know, you’re doubling right. You’re doubling the distance, but how do you take that? And then you’re not even doubling it. It’s exponential growth. How do you get an athlete to wrap their mind around it? And then how do you get an athlete to wrap your mind around it and then push it a year and have to wrap your mind around it all over again?

Jason Koop (00:05:01):

Well, I think the key is, is to actually not try to wrap your mind around it because it’s so in comprehensible. And if you start to dissect these really big things too much, it becomes one of those things where you start to become paralyzed just by the analysis that, uh, that, that kind of goes into it. You know, we, we use this cliche to stay in the moment, you know, a lot in athletics, you know, be present and stay in the moment and things like that. And I think that that becomes an exponentially more important skill as the duration of the event, uh, goes up and the science actually teases us out. And I’ve written about this before, where we’re actually quite good at doing tasks where we can consistently evaluate where we’re at, how much longer the task is going to take a time trial or a race or interval or something like that.

Jason Koop (00:05:58):

Immediate, immediate during our efforts based off of that, it’s called the perceived exertion and point interaction. And we’re very good at that so much so that during a workout, you don’t really have to think about it. You’re always constantly taking these evaluation points of how do I feel, how’s my breathing, how am our legs doing on and on and on? Okay, I have this much further to go. And usually that’s on the scale of minutes or maybe an hour, right. For a normal workout. And we’re good about adjusting and metering our efforts in that fashion, taking that evaluation point, drawing an imaginary line in our head from that point to the maximum amount of exertion that we’re willing to tolerate and then adjusting the effort accordingly when these races get so big that the space between that evaluation point and the end point, it’s almost esoteric, right?

Jason Koop (00:06:45):

Cause you’re talking about 51 days and the first day is hard. The first day is like 55 mile day in 95 degree weather. I mean, that’s a hard run right there. Like that would take, you know, three, four days for most normal people to recover from that’s just day one. So when these, when these things are so big, that concept of being able to just stay present and be in the moment as really as cliche as it sounds, that actually is a critically important skill. So before the event, there was very little VR almost done. In fact, I would venture to say there was not discussion or anything like that, about the pacing strategy or anything like that. We kind of metered out the miles more from a logistical standpoint, not from a pacing standpoint. Um, and that was very deliberate because I didn’t want the focus to be on, okay, I’m going to push here.

Jason Koop (00:07:34):

I’m going to go easy here. This is a, you know, so-and-so what, you know, kind of whatever day, because all the focus just needed to be on that mile. That day, that section, whatever little compartmentalized component that we could, that we could really focus on. So if anything, you’re trying not to wrap your head around, especially from an athletic point from, from the athlete’s perspective. No, from the cruise perspective, we took a logistical wraparound and the anchor of those logistics was where could we get all three of the vehicles that we had? We had an RV, we had a suburban type of vehicle. And then we had my, uh, my four wheel drive van. And so based on the data that exists around the PCT and where all the little different access points where we took those three kind of critical puzzle pieces, and we just looked at where we could get them right where it can, can this vehicle go on this road? Can that vehicle go on that road? And we started to piece together the logistics kind of from that anchoring point of where could all the vehicles go.

Corrine Malcolm (00:08:33):

Yeah. I feel like that’s like being stuck between mile 60 and mile 80 of a hundred, four 50 days. Like you’re so far in and you have so far to go that mentally, it’s a really hard place to be. And you’re right. If you’re not just in the moment, I can’t imagine, you know, you talk about like, well, like you can, to a certain point, you know, how much further you have to go in, uh, in a F K T like this, where you’re going beyond, you know, a couple of days you have no idea where that end point is, right? Like it could go on indefinitely.

Jason Koop (00:09:07):

Yeah. You know, it actually kinda manifests with the through hikers as well. And it’s really interesting, uh, this really interesting way. So the through hiking community is great. You know, there’s about 5,000 people that get permitted for this in any one given year, maybe about 80% of them end up doing some or some or all of it, then different people kind of come back and piece together through hikes. But one of the, one of the really interesting things that kind of unfolded is the community as they’re going through, we’ll make mile markers out of like sticks and rocks and things like that. And so at the very beginning, you’ll see them every a hundred miles, you know, mile 100 mile, 200, you take a little selfie mile, 300 mile, 400, everybody’s really enthusiastic. Then you get to 500 miles and they happen like every 500 miles.

Jason Koop (00:09:55):

So 500 miles, 1000 miles, 1500 miles, 2000 miles. And then all of a sudden they just disappear right there. They’re just gone. Like, there’s nothing past that they take like 1500 miles or something. And so, you know, I think that that, that illustrates the spec that everybody’s really enthusiastic early on and they’re kind of counting their miles. But then after a certain point in time due to so many people just kind of drop it off the trail or nutrition rate and things like that. And they just don’t care anymore. Right. They’re just using their, just their logistics become where’s my next resupply, where can I get food? When can I get a ride into, you know, some small town or whatever, they just stopped caring. So it it’s, it was really interesting in the same way we were trying to keep Timmy in the moment, the entire time, these through hikers were, who were less experienced athletes, right? And in almost all cases, these through hikers, they were going through that perceived exertion and point interaction literally in the outward manifestation of that was creating these, you know, ad hoc mile markers with sticks and rocks on the side of the trail. And then after a certain point, they just stopped caring. So anyway, I thought that was a really interesting parallel to see, to see unfold throughout the entire three weeks, just in these like mile markers that the community would, would come up with.

Corrine Malcolm (00:11:14):

That’s so interesting. And I can like picture this happening out on the trail too, and just get a huge kick out of this, like this like middle section of just like, oh, we are in Oregon. And we have so far to go to get into Washington and get up to that Canadian border.

Jason Koop (00:11:30):

Yeah. I mean, you tend to want to spike the football pretty early, you know, like, you know, halfway through, there’s a, you know, there’s a little, there’s a little trail marker. You want to spike the football. You get, you get out of California, which is a really big state and into Oregon. That’s a pretty big marker and you want to spike the football and then you get into Washington where there’s, you know, four or 500, some odd miles to go. And you think that that’s insignificant because you’re comparing it to the whole. But with these types of things, you always have to remind yourself that every day is hard. Every day, every single day is hard. It doesn’t like there are no easy days. The train might be easier or less hard is the word that we always used out there. Um, but every single day is hard. And just because you’ve accomplished 80% of the trail, or even 90% of the trail, even last day, when we’re going through the last 10 kilometers, it’s still hard. I mean, it’s still, we’re two miles an hour is about downhill is about as fast as Tim could. Locomote so, anyway, I think it just, once again, it just kind of reemphasizes this fact that you can’t really get too far ahead of yourself. You always have to stay in the moment and it, and that strategy just really shines the harder and the longer these events are.

Corrine Malcolm (00:12:44):

Yeah. Abby hall. So an Adidas Terrex teammate of mine and a Timothy’s and an athlete of yours who were, we’re all very close with. We had a discussion about this, about how, like Abby and I are both very detail oriented. Like when I did TRT, obviously a much shorter thing or her JMT like we, we knew, we knew where we were basically at every single moment on the trail and a lot of ways until we got delusional and we were talking about Timothy’s approach to this kind of stuff, we felt was very different in the sense that he didn’t necessarily know where he was or what was coming or what laid ahead. And we didn’t know if that was an inherent Tim quality or if that was an intentional move for the PCT. And I don’t know if you have any insight there, but I think it ties into this notion of being present real, like really specifically.

Jason Koop (00:13:35):

Yeah. So it was both, I mean, Tim, Tim’s a very, you know, he’s kind of known for his internal internalization and his meditative types of properties in his, in his meditation practice and things like that. And a lot of that comes through in his athletic endeavors where he’s, he’s, he internalizes things very much. He’s very in tune with his own body. He likes to do his own body work and a lot of situations. And, and you can kind of run through the list of, of, of the way that, that internalization actually, uh, gets displayed and manifests in his, in his athletic life. Um, but we also took it operationally to, you know, one of the things we did from the get-go because Tim was trying to set a record on this from, from day one. I mean, he outwardly said that we set up the, kind of the whole operational sheet to, to, to, to facilitate that.

Jason Koop (00:14:25):

And I had, uh, our intern Addison Smith shout out to him. He was fantastic through this whole project. He definitely got thrown into the fire. He was our, you know, kind of, uh, ground operations based in Colorado Springs that would pull any number of different logistical information up for us while we were out there. What I had him do is I had him put together where the previous record holder, which is curl, um, shout out to him cause it’s really good seeing, uh, seeing an actually out on the course unfold, but he put together a spreadsheet based on where he had stopped during the previous record attempt. And we use that as a basis of comparison for where Tim was stopping, uh, every day. And so I had Addison keep track of that as we were going through it. And I, I did not unveil that information until I absolutely needed to, when we had to make a logistical decision on, do you push further or do you hold yourself back?

Jason Koop (00:15:25):

And we kind of stay put where it, where it was. And so it just goes to show you that you’ve got a once again, I could have told him from day to day, three day, four day five you’re X miles up on the record, your X hours off, however you wanted to internalize it. But I held that that party foul cred, I have that piece of help that feeds of information back intentionally in order to facilitate this overarching strategy of we’ve always got to stay in the moment. And even then, although I had all that information at my fingertips, I would still only pull it out very selectively when we absolutely needed it to make a decision. I’d never used it as motivation, right? Hey, you’re, you know, you’re half a day up on the record. You’re 30 miles up on the record or whatever. I would never use that as a piece of motivation either while I was hiking with them or Kering them or whatever, we were only using it in various selective situations to kind of make operational decisions and then pull out like the deepest of the deep holes that, you know, that inevitably happen.

Corrine Malcolm (00:16:33):

I’m just like, I, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around, around Tim’s feet and it might take, I think it’ll take all of us a long time to do that. And I love that you point back to, to Karl’s F Katie previous MKT holder of the PCT saying like, I didn’t necessarily realize how stout it was until I watched it unfold with Tim. And I think that speaks volumes and that will probably speak volumes to Tim’s record going forward. And the next person that’s going to take it. It’s going to be like the 82. It’s going to come down by a couple of hours, if anything, right. It’s going to be, we’re chopping away at an hour at a time, potentially, as opposed to days at a time at a record like this at this point, which is kind of baffling as we push that like limit of, of human kind of ability over the long haul, particularly locomoting via your feet for so long.

Corrine Malcolm (00:17:18):

But one thing I think that’s really interesting about Tim’s FK T2, and this is part of this is their family and their maybe the way that they, they function as a family, um, the Olson, the Olson family. Um, and I look, I look to, you know, Scott directs 80 and how it was supported by having a crew, but it’s also supported by having basically people around at all times, like new people coming in new energy and breath coming into the attempt, which might speak to a stylistic, um, motivator for every individual athlete. But I think it’s really interesting, obviously Tim’s F Katie is, was very much supported. You, you Addison, Krista, you know, the crew was out there, but it was kind of a lean mean crew in the sense that it wasn’t this community thing partially driven by COVID. And I don’t know that that would have benefited Tim. And I’m kind of curious to get your take on that, like on that choice to, to limit information coming out and limit outside energy coming in. And does that help keep him in the moment or was that like purely a COVID decision? Like I, I think that is so interesting.

Jason Koop (00:18:28):

Well, the biggest part of it was, is we just didn’t want all of these different people kind of coming in and touching the project because the way Tim, Tim operates, he’s very independent. And he, you know, although he realizes that he had to, in something like this, he has to rely on other people to get him food and water and things like that. I mean, he’s still got to cover every single last mile of the entire trail with his own two feet. You know, we’re not gonna pick them up and spike them like football or anything like that to use that analogy again. Um, and, and so part of limiting the crew was just that it was just the style that Tim wanted to want it to do. There, there was a consideration because, you know, Chris does, you know, seven and eight months pregnant during this entire time.

Jason Koop (00:19:16):

And having a lot of people, people come in during this COVID era kind of puts them and their kids at risk and puts the project risk is the kids, obviously aren’t vaccinated, but Krista wasn’t vaccinated as well. And so we had that consideration because we don’t, we literally don’t want anybody to get sick and anybody that actually did come in on the crew, we, you know, we made sure that they were vaccinated, had their second dose at 14 days after it all, like all that other stuff. Um, but a lot, but a lot of the, the lean mean crew, which is way leaner and meaner than I think you’re portraying it. A lot of the lean mean crew was just to fit the style that, you know, that Tim likes to run in, which is, you know, he likes to run by himself and do it on his own two feet and just kind of like rage in the woods and get all internal. And don’t, you know, I don’t want to deal with other people.

Corrine Malcolm (00:20:04):

Yeah. I mean, the, the crew is, was so lean and so mean. And I don’t know, like when this will really like necessarily come to light or just like be seen by the public was like, I was personally worried that you were going to get injured or something was going to happen to you. And that the, like the project would fall apart, because I know that you were, that you were huffing in, you know, a big pack with a bear canister in it and all that kind of stuff. And we can kind of jump ahead of some physicality or we can come back around to this topic too. But like, I think you learned a lot out there about supporting athletes potentially. And I, I just, I find this concept really interesting of like Tim had to be in charge, right, Tim, like you had to give that, that responsibility back to the athlete, but at the same time, like you can take care of yourself out there. And I don’t know how you can, like, that’s a very fine needle to thread as far as like this thing working, you know, over, over 50 plus days.

Jason Koop (00:20:59):

Well, okay. So let’s take a step back, right. But let’s talk about what your crew in the most idealistic situation should like look like in these projects. So you’ve got an athlete that’s running, you know, over 50 miles a day for 50 days. It’s incredibly hard. It’s very logistically complicated. You have to, you know, navigate in, you know, on and off technology, paper maps, you know, electronic maps on roads on trails. Uh, and you have to physically be able to schlepp gear around, right? Because you’re throwing boxes of heavy stuff here and there, you have to physically be able to go out on the trail and create rendezvous points and things like that. And you need, you need people that are like Swiss army knives, right. They can do a lot of things reasonably well, they’re strong. They can lift stuff. They can hike, they can act like a coach.

Jason Koop (00:21:48):

They can cook, they can navigate, they can drive on, you know, ridiculous, stupid technical roads you need, they need to be able to kind of do all that stuff. And when Tim was kind of setting up, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to have my seven month pregnant wife. I love Krista. Right. But come on. When you’re talking about somebody who’s a Swiss army knife, it’s not somebody who’s seven months pregnant. Right. Because they can’t lift stuff. They can’t do the physical side of the work. They can do the logistical side, but they can’t do the physical side. So they had Krista and we had Tim’s in-laws that were there for the entirety of the time. So Krista’s parents who were lovely people, but not Swiss army knives, you know, they’re re they’re reasonable athletes. They can go and hike out a couple miles and things like that, but definitely missing some kind of some skillsets.

Jason Koop (00:22:32):

So what I’m looking at this from the, from the onset, I’m like, well, like a lot of this is going to kind of fall on my shoulders, which is fine. I mean, I revel in that type of, in that type of pressure when people are like, kind of relying on me for whatever it is, but I knew that I had to come into the event healthy because I’m going to do a lot of hiking and a lot of running, I knew I had to come into it with all the skills that I’ve ever developed as a coach, both from a physical toolkit, you know, being able to run and hike all the backpacking skills that I’ve developed over the years, but also this, a lot of the psychological and organization and people management skills that I’ve developed over the, over the years as well.

Jason Koop (00:23:10):

And I just knew that that was going to, I just knew that that was the situation going into it. And so, you know, I was, I kind of was fine at it, or I was kind of fine with it, but make no mistake. Like, you know, when you’re trying to run with a very good athlete with 35 or 40, 40 pounds on your back, and that athlete doesn’t have nearly, nearly that much weight, maybe a few pounds on his back, even with a thousand miles or 2000 miles of fatigue, it’s easier to roll an ankle. It’s easier to catch your toe on a rock. It’s easier to, to have some sort, you know, some sort of incident out there because of the speed, the combination of the speed and the weight that you’re carrying. And I, I took that very seriously. It was very, uh, mentally and psychologically challenging for me because I could not make a mistake cause I couldn’t be the liability.

Jason Koop (00:24:01):

Right. Cause then that’s the story that comes out. Not only just Tim set the record, but then, you know, I have to push my SOS button because my tibia is broken. Cause I, you know, create a false step on, you know, some something or I had some other mistake out there. So yeah. I mean, it’s a, it’s a lot of, it’s a lot of cutting coaching depression or when it’s there, but you know, I kind of took it for what it was. And I actually, I actually really, I actually really enjoyed it because as it was mentioned to you kind of a couple of days ago, it from a coaching perspective, this puts every skill and everything that I’ve ever learned and developed as a professional on display every single day with the biggest magnifying glass possible, not to say the right thing at the right time. I have to shut up when I need to shut up and put your poles in the earth and go forward. You have to manage people. It’s a, it’s a very stressful work environment, but that’s for everybody out there. I mean, this is Tim’s job too, right? It’s a very stressful work environment. 17 hour days, day after day after day, I don’t care what you’re doing,

Corrine Malcolm (00:25:03):

Huge project. And we should mention too, that it’s like you were trying to keep up with this guy as he continues to run a thousand, 2000 miles into this thing as well. Like that’s Tim, Tim is naturally very, I mean, he is a gifted runner and like, if it was me, I’d be, I’d be power walking my face off. And that’s just like, my we’re stylistically very different athletes, but to have to keep like, you’re also fatigued, like going into that and knowing that one, like there’s, you know, there’s pressure on everyone in this situation to have to like juggle all of that seems almost impossible.

Jason Koop (00:25:37):

Well, so here’s the deal though. Tens days are always harder. Like, yeah, the crew gets fatigued and it’s tiring and you’re kind of sleep deprived and you get frustrated because you have a flat tire or whatever, all those things kind of happen, but you always have to realize that the athlete’s day is harder. What they’re doing is physically harder. It’s, it’s more important to the project and it’s more difficult physically, psychologically kind of all those lines. And when you frame it up like that, you just suck it up. Like there’s just, no, there’s just nothing else around it. Like these environments there, there’s not the time to go. Okay, let’s talk about your feelings. And you know, like let’s, you know, let’s sit down and have an intervention and okay, I’m going to compliment sandwich. Somebody, you know, try to psychoanalyze kind of what’s going on. It’s like, no, let’s just get the job done. Let’s put our heads down and go to work because there’s not enough. There’s not enough time to, for any of that, you know, excuse this term for all the sports psychologists out there. There’s time, enough time for a lot of that, like psychobabble and babying people just because you’re physically moving for 17 hours a day. And that doesn’t, that doesn’t a lot of time for anything else.

Corrine Malcolm (00:26:44):

What was the job? It was a job. Like you’re out there, you’re close with this family. Obviously I know that you have a long history with the Olsen, the Bolston clan, let’s say, and it’s, you know, but at the end of the day, it’s a job. The days are hard. They’re days where you’re frustrated for sure. But at the end of the day, it’s a job. Like you guys are out there to accomplish this very specific mission. And it’s like, the mission comes first, which

Jason Koop (00:27:07):

Makes sense. I approached his work trip, right? I mean, I looked at it in every sense of the word as a work trip every day is a work day. There are no days off it’s, it’s a work trip. It’s not a vacation, you know, because people would contact me. Oh, is it so cool? Did you get to see anything awesome? Like how are you training for the Tahoe 200, right? Like worried about like, no, this is a work trip. I won’t give a about my training. It’s not my camp. It’s not my, you know, it’s the phrase we use at our training camps. It’s not my event. It’s Tim’s event. I could care less whether I ran one mile or a hundred miles or 200 miles or whatever, it’s this is a work trip. And that, I think that I can, it’s easier for me to say this because I’m a professional, right? This is what I do for a living. But other people that are crewing athletes in this other situation, that’s kind of the trap that they fall into is they don’t view it as a work trip. They view it as, oh, I’m going to get in a 50 mile training run and paste my friend at, you know, kind of whatever. And that is a source of a lot of conflicts that we actually see out, out in the ultra marathon, all that

Corrine Malcolm (00:28:10):

At Western states, we sell a bunch of Pacers disintegrate at Western states. Not only did the runners disintegrate the Pacers disintegrated because everyone was excited to be out there. The community was back together. It was hot. They didn’t take care of themselves. Users were getting dropped left and right. And it was, you know, I thought that personally, like that was embarrassing because it’s like, you had a job, like you were there to help this person and you didn’t take care of yourself in order to help this person. So maybe, maybe that’s one of the lessons to take away from this, right? Is that like, if you are being asked to be in this position, even though it’s not your job, let’s say in your normal life, but if you’re being tasked by someone and you’re agreeing to go and support X, Y, or Z person at Hardrock, Western states liability, whatever, it might be like that you’re, you’re taking on this responsibility. And so I’m wondering if there’s anything, you know, that you took away from this experience that you think that, you know, myself, my partner who gets the crew me, unfortunately at events, like what, what can, what can we take away towards supporting our friends? Colleagues loved ones at their, at their ultras.

Jason Koop (00:29:18):

It’s what we say at camp all the time. Right? It’s their race, it’s their camp. It’s not your camp. So this is something that I kind of take for granted. Cause I’ve, you know, I’ve run a lot of camps. I crew my athletes a lot. I pace my athletes a lot and things like that. And so I kinda get, I kinda, I kind of lose sight of the fact that a lot of people don’t think about it like this, but you said something really poignant. When you, when you agree to crew somebody or pay somebody, you have to understand that there’s like an understood handshake that they’re putting their performance in your hands to at least some extent, right? They’ve still got to run the miles, but they’re relying on you to show up to the eight stations on time, have what they have, what they need, think on your feet, you know, motivate them when they need to be motivated, let them go down the trail when they need to go down the trail and make sure their headlamps are charged.

Jason Koop (00:30:10):

Like any kind of like number of things like they’re like, yeah, it’s the athletes ultimate real responsibility. But you’ve got to take that. I think that crew has to take that as a job. Yes. It’s fun. And yes, it’s entertaining and yes, it’s a cool thing to be a part of, but those aren’t mutually exclusive. Right? You can have fun at your job and you can be entertained at your job and you can get a kick out of it and don’t get me wrong. This project was hard, but I had a blast at it. Um, it’s the same thing. Whether you’re crewing or pacing, your athletes, you have to realize that first and foremost, like go into it with like, I, I think people need to go into it with like a work mentality, like, okay, I’ve got this role and responsibility. And if I have a great time and if, and if I fulfill that role and responsibility, it’s going to be a great time. Not the other way around, I’m going to have a great time. And then these roles and responsibilities are kind of the side show, you know, to me having a good, good time out there. I think that’s where things just go arise. There’s just that, that, that, that flip-flop of priorities ends up happening.

Corrine Malcolm (00:31:07):

Yeah. And I, I think that you could probably attest to the times that you were being eaten alive by mosquitoes was probably not the best, the best time of your lives. I’ve got this great, like forever saved, like list of texts from you from deep, deep into the PCT attempt that I’m just going to keep for forever for all of those reasons to pull back out as needed, um, down the road, but kind of switching gears here a little bit in this case, I think this will continue to tie into coaching and working with athletes, but we’ve talked about the mental side of things and staying really present. And maybe this goes into working with your strengths and the physical side of things, but you know, obviously a big, a big jump. And I think that you, you harp on this a lot. And I harp on this a lot that it’s not about one big run, one big training experience, one big workout. How does an athlete prepare to do something that is so much bigger physically as well than they’ve ever done before?

Jason Koop (00:32:00):

Yeah. Um, so if you want to try to relate it to normal ultra marathon training, there’s always going to be a gap between the amount of miles and time that you can do and how much that prepares you for the event. There’s always a gap. You can never close it. You can never be completely prepared. You can get as close as possible. That’s what we try to do as coaches. And that’s what smart athletes tried to do with smart training programs. But there was always going to be a little bit of things that are just left on the table. Maybe it’s mileage, maybe there’s some intensity, maybe you didn’t quite go through all your nutrition stuff. There’s always a gap. Sometimes that gap is very small and that’s what creates great performances. And sometimes that gap is really big and that’s what creates DNS in this situation, you have no choice, but to have a big gap, it’s almost set up for failure from the get-go because of that, because you can’t do enough miles, you can’t do enough time to completely physically prepare for this because it’s just, it’s just so big.

Jason Koop (00:33:03):

So as an example, you know, Tim did a training camp in advance of this and it was seven days. We did it out on the Kokopelli trail, seven days. It was kind of 50 mile days. And I remember looking at that and we, I can’t remember the exact timing of it. Maybe it’s like eight weeks before the event or something like that. And I remember looking at that going, I think that this is too much, like I looked at it from a coaching through my coaching lens and seven can 250 miles a week on the Kokopelli trial, which is isn’t the hardest trail in the world, but I kind of felt like that amount of training would be too much and he wouldn’t have enough time to recover from it. And it was only a week, you know, it’s, you know, 300 miles or 350 miles or something like that.

Jason Koop (00:33:45):

And so to say that that, that is going to be too much. And that’s just, that just represents a small fraction, one eighth, right, one seventh or one eighth of the entire event. It kind of makes it kind of brings out the absurdity of the, of the whole event itself. And so that’s, I think that that’s the first thing is you got, you just have to understand that there’s going to be a gap between the amount that between the amount of miles and the physical preparation that you can do and the event itself and what that then sets up. It takes all of the training pressure off because that’s the instinct that everybody has when they go into an event where that gap exists is they want to do more. They always want to do more. And at the a hundred mile distance, and even the 200 mile distance, you see this where people, they want to stack up 40 mile training days.

Jason Koop (00:34:38):

And these, you know, back-to-back long runs and things like that. And they’re doing that in an effort to close that, to close that gap down. And that’s what creates a lot of over-training or too much training types, types of situations. So if you realize that there’s going to be a gap from the get-go, you reduce that you kind of reduce that pressure. And what I told Tim was is like, listen, you’re going to rely on the entirety of your professional career to get through this. It’s not the last six months. It’s not the last 12 months. It’s not certainly not going to be the last eight weeks like this training camp. That’s why I was doubting the training camp so much because it’s such a small fraction of his whole lifetime of experience. And that was kind of the attitude that we went into it with, where I was giving him very little, if any precise prescription.

Jason Koop (00:35:28):

And what I mean by that is go run exactly two and a half hours with 3000 feet of climbing or something like that. The training was very generalized and hike more, you know, less run with your pack more, go out and set up your, you know, Bibby and your backyard. Those kinds of like generalized things are what we do, what we do for training. And the reason I could do that is cause I, I mean, I just realized that as specific as I was going to, as I could get as specific as I wanted to, but that wasn’t necessary in this type of situation, because the lean is on an entirety of, of, of mileage. Not, not necessarily the last six months.

Corrine Malcolm (00:36:02):

Yeah. A life, a lifetime of preparation. And I I’ve been, I’ve got a couple athletes who are dealing with niggles right now and they’re, they’re close to a big event and I’m like, you know what? Like this weekend of training doesn’t matter as much as all the training we’ve done leading up to this point and trying, trying to lean into that. But I think the natural inclination, right, is that you want to close that gap. I don’t know how many athletes are training for a 50 mile race. And they’re like, well, I need to do a 40 mile training run. And they’re trying to close that gap really, really tight, which is impossible as the distance goes up. Um, so the one thing I think that’s interesting with this training camp though, is this idea that maybe it gives you an opportunity or maybe like these back-to-back weekends, give you an opportunity to practice some of the things that you want to put into action during the long race or the long event, like nutrition and that kind of stuff. And I’m wondering if that is, that is the one, even though physically, it might be too much. Are there things that you can get out of it that are really important to event time or race time?

Jason Koop (00:37:00):

Yeah. So what we got out of that was th there was probably a little bit of a training bump. You know, I don’t want to, I don’t want to trivialize that because it is a big ask, right. A week of 50 mile days. But the bigger thing was the routine, which he wasn’t used to. So Tim’s not a morning person. And just by default, you have to wake up early and start your day, right? I mean, that’s just part, part of the deal. And then there’s this wind down process of I’m going to come back to my family, which is a complicating factor of this whole thing I need to eat. I need to get a little bit of bodywork. I need to take care of myself. And then I need to get to sleep. Optimizing that wake up and wind down period is actually a big deal in these types of events because they’re time spent zero miles an hour.

Jason Koop (00:37:46):

And, um, time spent zero miles an hour are times that you could be spending going even one mile an hour or two miles an hour over the course of 50 days, 15 minutes, 30 minutes an hour here or there, when you’re repeating that process over and over and over actually makes a big deal. And that was something that was completely foreign to him because Tim doesn’t even have backpacking experience. Right. So finding a camp, setting up your camp and a minimal amount of time, do I put my clothes on first or do I eat first? Like those kinds of things, like he knows no degree of familiarity with them, which you can translate those into. You can translate those types of backpacking skills into an event like this pre pretty, pretty well, just in terms of the order of what has to occur to create the best efficiency.

Jason Koop (00:38:27):

So that’s the biggest thing that we got out of camp is just him, him kinesthetically learning. And he’s a kinesthetic learner. I can put the frigging spreadsheets and, you know, you know, bullet points and do this and then do that first and second and third like that on paper. And it just does it sink into him. He has to physically experience it. So for him to physically experience what the process was going to be like, waking up with his family there, leaving his family for 14 hours, coming back to his family, which is really, which was really important to him after that period of time playing dad for whatever period of time he could play dad for taking care of himself for whatever period of time he needed to do that for going to sleep, getting back up and repeating the whole process. The fact that he actually physically got to experience that time and time again was, was by far the most meaningful part of that entire camp.

Jason Koop (00:39:19):

And not saying a lot because it was a lot of miles, right? That’s a big, that’s a big mileage boost that mileage boost was very, very trivial in the whole outcome of thing. It was the operational side to experience that time and time again, that was the, that was the biggest thing. And that was really illustrated in the feedback that I would go over with him afterwards. It’s not, Hey, how your legs are feeling, Hey, do you understand the routine? Right? That was a very deliberate part of the feedback loop. Cause I knew he could, you know, those miles are hard. I’m not, once again, I’m not trying to trivialize it, but I knew he could handle that. The foreign element to him was the, what was the wake up and the wind down routine. So it’s, Hey, how do you feel about this? Do you want to change this? Do you want to change that? Do we need to do something different in the morning? The physical side become, became just a very, very, very small piece of that whole feedback loop during, during that actual camp.

Corrine Malcolm (00:40:14):

And then I guess on top of that too, it was an opportunity to practice. Like, how do I want to, how do I want to carry food? How do I want it eat food during this? And I’m sure that changed dramatically between the early, the early days in the early weeks of this project and the end of it. And we’ve seen that before and other big, long trail attempts, right, where they’re like, give me a hamburger. Like I want, I want fast foods. I’m just, I’m curious to know too, like obviously this, this very naturally probably changed throughout the course of a big, long attempt like this, but I know that you, you all went in with a plan and I’m just curious to know how, how you all adapted very quickly and as needed until like, well, things worked or didn’t work. I don’t, I mean, in terms

Jason Koop (00:40:57):

Of like, he basically, we basically had a pretty short menu of stuff that he was eating on the trail that the linchpin of it, where these just gluten-free wraps that were easy to make. We had three or four different varieties of ’em, but they’re all, you know, sandwiches type of stuff, ag avocado, bacon Turkey, like you’re kind of standard deal, um, between that. And these like, particularly because it was hot, these like smoothies that, uh, that we would make, those kind of became the linchpins and things. And to be honest with you, I really didn’t have to like change course all that much because we took this, we took this approach of do it until it stops working. We weren’t trying to predict, you know, oh, well he’s gonna want pretzels. And you know, 12 hours, like that type of game is a fool’s errand.

Jason Koop (00:41:46):

Like you like this whole prediction game is just totally like total nonsense. And these types of environments, you need to be prepared, but predicting is, it always gets you in trouble. So we stuck with those things and just kind of rotated them in and out. And, and in Tim, you know, full credit to him, he realized that that was part of his job was to eat. And even when he didn’t want to, he just sucked it up. We had very little times where it was like, dude, like let’s, let’s, you know, let’s try to, let’s try to do this radical thing or whatever. We’d very, very few times of those from a nutritional perspective, everything was multitask, right? You’re getting a massage, you’re eating, you know, we’re, I’m working on his feet, he’s eating, you know, he’s tying his shoes, he’s eating, walking down the trail, he’s eating at the same time. So that, that became an essential part of the multitask. I was actually really happy for it. I think that was one, I liked the Lynch pins and success. The fact that he, he probably only lasts maybe like, I don’t know, 12 or 16 pounds throughout the entirety of the, uh, of the deal, which is, which is not that much considering the caloric output. And you just can’t, you just can’t stay on top of your calories. It’s just impossible for that.

Corrine Malcolm (00:42:49):

Yeah. And he’s not a, he’s not a big person inherently, but I do know other like other thru-hikers who will intentionally gain a little bit of weight before they go out on the PCT because they like, they will, um, particularly people who are, who are more traditionally backpacking it, like they will, they will lose weight over time and just trying to maintain, maintain some of that definitely becomes harder. And it’s exponential. I feel like with someone like an athlete, like Tim who’s, who’s moving, covering so much ground during this, um, which is just kind of baffling that he only lost that much weight. Um, yeah,

Jason Koop (00:43:18):

He did a good job eating. He didn’t do the best job gaining weight in advance. That was something that I wanted him to do. One of them do is just put on some body fat and advance. And that, that, that didn’t happen. I mean, it happened, but just not to the extent that I really wanted to, that I really wanted to see it, but it was fine that, like I said, he did a great job managing his, his caloric intake. And there were very few times we’re really trying to, we’re really trying to force it. And fortunately he had people on his team that kinda know him really well, right. His wife who, you know, sees a meat every single day, you know, she could tell me, Hey, let’s do this. Um, cause I’m not there for that day-to-day type of routine as much as she is very, yeah. Very intuitive. Right. Um, and so then I had the capabilities in my van to kind of basically do everything because I’ve got a cooktop and a fridge and stuff like that. And so I was able to just basically follow her lead and follow her pattern on that stuff and do the same thing, do the same things there as we were kind of like alternating down.

Corrine Malcolm (00:44:16):

Yeah. And so I guess one kind of final thing to wrap a bun on Tim’s PCT before we kind of wind wind to the showdown for today. Although I feel like we could talk about this crazy endeavor for a very, very long time, is, is going to something that you wrote about, um, last week in the, in the train ride about this was about, about playing to your strengths. And I think this is a lesson that we can all take into, into our, um, and our own personal races that are, you know, much shorter endeavors, you know, like just trying to speak to that. What, what did that mean for Tim as far as this big, long effort, continuing to continuing to play, play to his strengths and working on his weaknesses and doing what he needed to do to get that the whole project done.

Jason Koop (00:44:55):

Yeah. I mean, th this is honestly I have to, I have to give full credit to my early coaching mentors for really drilling this into my head when I was a 25 year old knucklehead, trying to like figure out this coaching game. And in particular Dean college who works with a number of, uh, of elite athletes as I started to take a lead athletes on. And he was like, counseling me through how to manage that because nobody’s ultimately prepared to do that. Right. Cause they don’t have like a fricking school to start working with Olympic caliber and elite types of athletes. So it’d lean on his experience a lot. And one of the things that he would always emphasize to me that was just, uh, uh, that really stuck out to me was elite athletes in the highest, in the, at the highest level of competition, they’re always going to win in their strengths.

Jason Koop (00:45:46):

They’re not going to win in their weaknesses because the competition, the competitive field is so good. And so that means in like a cycling type of format, if the race is hilly, those elite athletes that are good at climbing are going to win on the climbs. They’re not gonna win on the sense that athletes that are good at sprinting are going to win in the sprint. They’re not going to win on the climbs because the field is so good. And I’ve carried a lot of that philosophy with me throughout my coaching career, not only with lead athletes, but, but with everyday athletes. And what this boil down to with Tim was, is Tim is a really good runner. Like he, he’s obviously, you know, a former Western state champion, former record holder before I started working with him, by the way. And he’s good at he’s good at running.

Jason Koop (00:46:33):

He’s not good at backpacking. He does not have that experience either from a physical standpoint, I’m going to put a heavy pack on and then walk for the next 14 hours. That’s not in his, that’s not a physical strength of his, but also in the experiential piece, as I was alluding to earlier, I’m going to go and set up camp and I need to do this first in this second. And here’s the type of gear I need. And all that, like the whole run of show from a backpack perspective was absolutely one of his weaknesses. And so realizing that going into it, the whole operations, as I kind of started this, this conversation with was based on where can we move the vehicles and in gain access to Tim. The first point that we always started with is where can we put the RV? And does that make a CRE, does that make a logical or is that going to make a logical stop point for the day?

Jason Koop (00:47:24):

Because what that created was a situation where he didn’t have to backpack. You could run as much as possible. He could put on a small pack and he didn’t have to worry about the am I going to eat a Snickers bar for dinner type deal? Um, so that strategy unfolded throughout the entirety of the event, not only in moving the vehicles around, but how we would support him, how we even looked at the days. There were a lot of days where if he were a better backpacker, just walk another five or eight miles down the trail, you set up camp and you need you there. But since he’s not, since he’s not the most proficient backpacker, you stop a little bit early you to have a little bit earlier, you make that time or that Marla JOP later down the trail when it’s more runnable, uh, train and things like that.

Jason Koop (00:48:12):

And so it became one of those things where, because the event is so hard, you have to do a better job at keeping the athletes away from their weaknesses, because the more stressful and the more physically demanding the event is those weaknesses get harder exponentially. So their strengths don’t necessarily become weaker exponentially because they’re really good at it and they can adapt it. So Tim can run in the heat, he can run in the cold and there’s very little difference, right? If he backpacks in the heat and backpacks in the cold, that’s a really big difference because he doesn’t have the experience and it’s a weakness of his. So in these kinds of events that strengths and weaknesses kind of play out was even more dramatic. And it was even more dramatic with Tim. Cause you know, being honest, there was a big gap between those two, between those two skillsets running skill skillset, and a backpacking skillset.

Jason Koop (00:49:12):

We tried to round it out as much as possible in advance, but it’s just to be honest with you, it’s not something that he likes to do. He doesn’t like to go out and backpack and sleep in the dirt. And you know, there’s some people that just get a kick out of that stuff. He, he likes to spend time with his family and be there for his kids when he wakes up and things like that. And so the, the gist of the whole pacing strategy and operations kind of revolved around those, that strengths and weaknesses, and it’s really no different from any other athlete. Anybody else listening to this can, can really take this approach that when you’re training one of the philosophies, not the only philosophy, but one of the philosophies you need to implement when you look at a long training arc. So 12 months, right?

Jason Koop (00:49:55):

Long training arc, nine months, 12 months, two years, whatever you’re kind of looking at four year, this Olympic cycle right now, the Olympians look at this as well. Whenever, whenever you have a long training arc, you want to start with your weaknesses and move to your strengths. It’s the same thing for every single normal athlete out there, you start with your weaknesses and you move to your strength is one of the philosophies that you’re using when you’re implementing an entire training program. And then when you get to the race, you get to play to those strengths as well. If you’re a good uphill hiker, take advantage of those situations. If you’re a bad downhill runner, don’t try to bomb the downhills like those types. And it’s interesting that we try to do the opposite or a lot of people try to do the opposite and races.

Jason Koop (00:50:34):

And the reason is is you can push yourself a little bit more in those strengths because you’re better at them. And you have more physiological reserve for that particular activity. If you’re putting your, if you’re pushing yourself during, during a part of a race, that’s in one of your weaknesses, the cost, not only energetically, but psychologically is so much greater because you suck at it. I mean, we see this play out. I saw this play out high at high lonesome last weekend, where athletes that are not proficient over mountainous and technical train, they’re killing themselves, trying to go through it. And what that creates is this exponentially greater cost of locomotion, not only from a physical standpoint, but also emotionally because they’re like, I suck at this. So I’ve got to push harder when really they just need to back off more like, just take the time, hit, just take the time, hit back off. You’re not very good at it. Pick your way through the train. Great. You get on the other side, there’ll be better trade. And then you can get, take advantage of that. So the like the learning lesson applies for, for everybody is that you’re always, you always need to take advantage of your strengths and war when the chips are down and not try to push so much during your weaknesses because the cost is so much greater to do so.

Corrine Malcolm (00:51:45):

Yeah. I think we see this play out with someone like Casey, like tag, not using polls at UT and B, because it’s an energetic cost for her when the chips are down, it’s Dylan Bowman, not pushing the downhill, downhill as hard at hard rock because there’s an energetic cost for him as, as opposed to going on pellets. Sometimes it means that you’re, I think, you know, I go into a race thinking I’m going to crush the uphills, cause my strength. And then it’s not my day on the uphills. And it’s like, well, the downhills feel good. So I’m going to not worry about the uphills. And I’m going to, you have to be adaptable to like, you can go into an event and be like, you know, today I’m actually a better downhill runner than I am a pillar runner, or today I’m a better on flat. And I think that that taking that mentality both from a, what your inherent strengths are when the chips are down, but also what the day gives you has to be, you know, a lesson from the PCT, but also a lesson that we can all take in our day-to-day training. And then, you know, the race day that we’re given and just not fighting it, I think is a, is a huge lesson from, from the PCT that we can all just, uh, you know, bring into our training and racing.

Jason Koop (00:52:45):

Yeah. Taking what the day is going to give you, I think is a big one too, because it, out on the PCT, we didn’t have the best way to predict what the trail conditions were going to be in. The PCT was really, and I didn’t understand this in advance. So it’s poor recon on my part, right? That it changes quite dramatically from mile the mile to mile like some miles are great. They’re super smooth buttery trail. It’s really fast. And then all of a sudden there’s a hundred down trees in their way, like really in very dramatic, in a very, in a very dramatic sense. And a lot of times we didn’t have a sense for how those trail conditions were actually going to change. And the impact for that is, is okay, there’s a five mile section. We think this is going to take about an hour and a half, but then there’s 5,000, you know, down trees in the way.

Jason Koop (00:53:29):

Now it’s going to take three hours. So there’s a time cost to, okay. We thought Tim was going to be here, you know, and be able to set up in the RV like we were talking about earlier and now this house in, and now this has to happen. And so we took this approach where we’re going to just take what the trail gives. If the trail is really smooth, we’re going to take it and just run with it. If it’s really hard, you’re not going to force it. You’re just going to take your time and you’re going to pick your way through it and just kind of is what it is. And we’ll correct things from a support standpoint and rears, cause we can watch the little blue, you know, in reach Carmen dot and see what the progress, see how the progress is being made.

Jason Koop (00:54:03):

It’s the same thing in any other race, right? You’ve got to take not necessarily what the trail gives you, but what, what the day gives you. If you’re feeling really good, take it and keep running. If you’re feeling really bad, you don’t have to push it, but you need to course correct. And then once you’ve course corrected, take what the day gives you. Again, those, those ebbs and flows are always going to happen and all, all too often, we see people not taking what they’re given and just trying to like brute force their way through something. And that’s what create that. That’s what makes one problem five problems, right? When you see, when you see that out in an ultra marathon setting. So I think that’s a big learning lesson. We kind of took that to heart operationally from the get go. And I think we did a good job managing it, but from people from the outside, looking in, you know, a lot of this is just what’s in front of you. Okay. We’re going to take that. Okay. Something bad, your stomach turns, okay. Just solve the problem. Don’t force the issue, just solve the problem, get the problem solved and then move on from there.

Corrine Malcolm (00:54:59):

Yeah. So what, I’m what I’m hearing from like our kind of our big, our big summary takeaways from the PCT or things about staying in the moment, staying really present, you know, not, not getting ahead of yourself, playing to your strengths, particularly when the chips are down taking what the day gives you and not, not fighting it, like not trying to fix, what’s not yet broken. And then particularly from the support standpoint, right? Like it’s, it’s your job. If you are, if you are being tagged and to help someone, it is, you know, you’re, you’re there to do to do something that’s very specific and very important. And you got to kind of take that seriously. And so to me, like, am I missing anything there? Is there anything that anyone else should be taking away from this besides kind of those, those big, big key takeaways,

Jason Koop (00:55:40):

That’s a brilliant summary. Korean and people wanted to apply the lessons. That’s uh, no, I’m not going to add anything to that. That was really good. Awesome.

Corrine Malcolm (00:55:48):

So I guess one thing that I would love to do B before I let you go for today, um, as we kind of run out the clock here is you, I mean, I mentioned earlier that you’re an author and, um, I’m very acutely aware of this because it’s been, it’s been a project that we’ve both been tasked with over the past year. And I know that things are just kind of finishing up on it now is that there’s a second edition of your book coming out. And I’m wondering if you can tease it a little bit and, or, you know, what, what do we have a publishing date? When, when can we get our hands on the second edition of this book slash a very, you know, new thing for the book too, with that an audio book coming?

Jason Koop (00:56:26):

Well, my goal originally was to put it out before this project started and just like, let it sit on Amazon for several weeks and then I’d come back and like, you know, see, you know, see how it was doing, but that didn’t happen. Um, you write second edition. I I’ve been working on it for almost a year now. Um, I remember, I remember starting it in like September or October, right before COVID hit because the book actually got COVID like, if that’s a verb where the publisher said, listen, we’re not supporting this anymore, which is fine. And I acquired the rights to it and things like that, which is why it’s taking so long, cause I’m doing everything. Um, so I think that by the end of September, I’ll at least have it to the printers. And then it’s, uh, how long, how backed up are the printers type type of deal, which I don’t have this, I don’t have the right scope for that.

Jason Koop (00:57:20):

I want to get it out before Thanksgiving for black Friday and all that stuff. That’s my kind of new and goal. The audio book will be done by the end of next week. I literally yesterday wrapped up the final, uh, you know, fixing all the flubs and errors and things like that up at the recording studio in Boulder. But the, the physical book and the audio book will be released, uh, uh, in, in tandem. So I’ve got to wrap up the, the copy edits and things like that. So it’s coming along. Um, I’m really psyched about it. I put a lot of new content in there that I was not a, that kind of either got left on the cutting room floor and the first edition or stuff that I just didn’t do very well in the first edition. There’s a whole chapter on mental skills, which is I’d listened to it just a few days ago.

Jason Koop (00:58:06):

It’s I hate listening to my own voice, but this one, I was really psyched to listen to it. I’m, I’m really happy the way it turned out. Uh, shout out to Justin, Dr. Justin Ross, up in Denver, um, who helped me help me craft that one. There’s a whole section that you wrote Korean on, on female considerations for training, which I’m really excited about to have to have that actually carved out. There’s a whole nother section that Corinne you were largely responsible for and adapting to environmental conditions like altitude and heat, which everybody’s really keen on. There’s a whole section on training for 200 milers. So, um, it’s going to be a little bit of a brick if you’re catching my just right now, it’s a big, it’s a big book. It’s 150,000 words. I’ll be 350 pages after it’s all said and done, but, uh, I’m just really, I’m just really psyched with the w with how the content is, has, has turned out today. So hopefully end of September is when everybody can get their hands on it and know that’s a big tease right now being, you know, just early parts of August. It’s August, right?

Corrine Malcolm (00:59:10):

We’re in, it is August. It is finally, finally August or sudden late August. So

Jason Koop (00:59:15):

August for me in June and July naturally just kind of whip came and gone. Uh, but yeah, um, I’m hoping I can kick all that stuff out and have, have it on Amazon.

Corrine Malcolm (00:59:27):

No, we’ll sell at least like four copies. Right? You’ll get a copy. Jim will get a copy. I’ll get a copy. All the in-laws will get a copy. So we’ve got like a dozen books pre-sold essentially.

Jason Koop (00:59:38):

Yeah, well, you know, this one’s a little bit bigger cause I’m fronting the money for the printing. So I got to figure out exactly how many things were going on. So it’s a little bit different when you work with a publisher and you’re not, you know, forgive the checks over yourself and you’re just looking at the commissions and arrears. So, uh, I dunno, I mean, I was really happy with like how the first book was received in the community. Um, you know, having your work out there for forever and perpetuity is always whether it’s in a podcasting format or film or book or things like that has always been a little bit nerve wracking to me because that, that eternal sense of this is going to be sitting on somebody’s shelf for forever. And they can kind of like scrutinize. It just honestly makes me kind of paranoid, but it was received. It’s been received so well, I never thought in a million years that a second edition would be viable, um, because I didn’t think the first edition was going to be viable either, but you know,

Corrine Malcolm (01:00:34):

Where we’ve already signed on, we’ve already signed on for a third edition. So I think,

Jason Koop (01:00:38):

Yeah, I don’t know. This is one of those things where it takes, it takes, uh, you know, an appreciable amount of amnesia to work through, to, to T to do the first one. I forgot how hard writing is like it just got the copy edits back from an actual they’ll do respect to you and my coauthor, Jim, Rutberg an actual, authentic copy editor, and it’s the most humbling experience ever because, you know, they’re giving you advice on not advice, but they’re telling you how much you screwed up the English language that you’ve been writing and speaking for for 40 years. And it’s just a lot of red, you know, I mean, this is no other way around it. It’s a really, it’s really humbling. It’s a really, really humbling experience, but, but I’m grateful for it. And the fi the final thing that I’ll mention, and this is a Testament to you and a number of other individuals current is this was a team effort.

Jason Koop (01:01:30):

Um, the audio book has, I need to count this up, but I think it’s over 20 very short interviews with what I would consider, like the heavy hitters in the exercise science space. So we have indigo Magicka, we have Steven Siler. We, uh, we have you, we have, uh, Stephanie, how one of our coaches, and I could just go Nick tiller. I mean, I could just kind of go on and on and on about these special guests that they bring in for these very short interviews, uh, for, for the audio book that really add a layer of practical expertise, because I, I, I, I sought out people that were not only incredible sports scientists, but who also worked with athletes. And so they can connect those two pieces of explaining the science and how it practically, uh, how it practically, um, uh, manifests itself and training and intervals and things like that.

Jason Koop (01:02:25):

And in addition to that, I had two PhD level, uh, scientific reviews of the working current had to go through that as well. That’s a humbling experience too. And Nick tiller, um, who did a fantastic job. And then also Stephanie Howe, who was super smart, like, so the level of the book and the audio book, and a lot of ways just got raised by bringing in all this expertise, not only from, you know, myself, but from, uh, a variety of sports scientists and other coaches. And I think that that’s a valuable, that’s a valuable thing for the community to have. It’s not just my opinion, ultimately it’s me alchemizing and synthesizing all the information, but it’s not just my opinion on things I’m bringing in all these other people that have better domain expertise than I do in these certain subjects to, you know, tell me what they think about them. And I, I think that the way that that happened and transpired is really, really cool, and the people are gonna like it.

Corrine Malcolm (01:03:17):

Yeah. Having gotten to, to reread and re-download, you know, this huge file over and over again onto my computer has been quite the experience and I’m, so I am personally so excited to finally get to hold this thing in my hands very, very shortly. Um, I think we’ll all be waiting with bated breath to very, very true. I mean, it’s a month, it’s fine. Two months, three months. Maybe

Jason Koop (01:03:40):

I th I think that the publisher or the printers might be the, the last step, because when I initially started looking at printer timelines, they were all backed up because of COVID. Cause all the printers got shut down, right. They couldn’t like, we’re not actually printing the printers weren’t actually going. So I don’t know if they’ve worked through that backlog or not, but that might be, I’m using that as an excuse. If you can’t tell the whole, this could be the final deal,

Corrine Malcolm (01:04:04):

It will be a great Christmas present, if not anything else, you know, at our, as our, you know, our, our looking down the road to this thing, but I want to thank you again for coming on and talking with me today about this insane endeavor that you got to help, uh, Timothy Olson do earlier this summer. Um, thank you so much for joining us today and thanks for having me. This was really fun. Well, I will have you back on, I’m not too worried about it.

Jason Koop (01:04:32):

You know how to get ahold of me.


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