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Running 101 with Chaski Coach Tyler Andrews

Updated: Jul 28

Note: This article was originally published by V Magazine


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Chaski Coach and HOKA sponsored pro-athlete Tyler Andrews has built an impressive career. V Man got the running 101 with Andrews for those looking to pick up a new and healthy hobby while social distancing.

The perfect running coach, Tyler's complicated health history has helped him form an "overcome-anything" mindset. Through patience, practice, and pacing Andrews has not only crushed the goals he set — but ran past them. Tyler has attended the Olympic Trials, set world-best records, won championships, and orchestrated running groups. Giving you the push you might need to start your own journey, Andrew offers tips, tricks, and at-home workouts to help you to continue putting your best foot forward. In addition, Tyler Andrews' disclosed his favorite brand for running shoes, HOKA ONE ONE.


Check out the exclusive VMAN interview, down below.




VMAN: With social distancing limiting our exercise, many people have taken up running as a form of solo fitness. What advice or steps do you recommend for beginners that don’t have much experience?


Tyler Andrews: Well, normally, my #1 piece of advice for new runners is to find other folks with whom you can run, which advice is obviously less applicable given our current circumstances. That said, our world has become so interconnected that you can apply the same principle -- the motivation of a partner or community -- without actually meeting up in person. Say you’re in your apartment by yourself and can’t physically run with others -- try to find someone else who’s also a beginner runner (or a few friends; the more the better!) and start a virtual group. You can all chat before/after your run (video-chat post-run beer, anyone?), you can share your runs on websites like Trackster.us or strava.com (which both have group functionality), you can even sign up for “virtual races” if you want some extra motivation.

And that really gets to the point of all this: motivation. You need to find the answer to the question “why?” which question pops up when you’re debating about whether you feel like going out the door for a run. I’ve found that for many beginners, spending time with another person can be the answer to that question (hence the previous paragraph), but there are tons of reasons: I want to get fitter, I want to finish a 5K or a marathon, I want to run faster than I could last week or last year, etc. It’s all about addressing that “why”.

V: If we are not able to get outside, are there any exercises indoors we can do to improve stamina and keep the momentum going?


TA: Oh, I’ve gotten excellent workouts in the aisles and galleys of long-haul airplanes, so you can absolutely get a good workout at your house or apartment. When I’m exercising in a confined space (like the dark aisle of a trans-pacific 787), I first of all try to look at it as a relief -- something that I GET to do even though I’m stuck inside this small space. Having a great audiobook, podcast, or music playlist will help with all of this as well.


Honestly, running in a very small space can be a challenge. I find that the best workout methodology is to combine some light jogging (perhaps in place) w/ a simple circuit: a set of exercises that you can do with just your body and some space.


I actually recently wrote a blog post on this very topic with an example workout.

V: What are some of the benefits of running, both physical and psychological?


TA: You mean, besides the joy of a post-long-run Sunday brunch?! But really, there are myriad articles out there about the health benefits of moderate exercise, including running, so I’ll try to focus on the things that might not be so obvious.


First -- and maybe most important -- is the sense of community you get from being a runner; and let me be clear that one who runs is a runner. There is no gate-keeping, there is no minimum requirement. If you’re running, you’re a runner.


Now, I’ve had the joy of meeting people from all over the world in my decade and a half of running and the immediate connection you have with someone in Bangkok or Berlin when you’re both just running is powerful and lasting. Even now, without the physical companionship, the running world still feels like a tight-knit community, one where strangers can reach out with questions or encouragement alike. Though it may seem intimidating and your running (right now) feel might be solitary, it’s a community you can join online (for now) and then in person down the road.


I’ve learned an enormous amount about life from running. I often start sentences in serious conversations by saying “I’m about to make a bad sports metaphor,” but the truth is that’s how my brain has grown to think, which shows the universality of something as simple as running from Point A to Point B. I know runners of all levels who run for so many powerful reasons: busy professionals or parents for whom running is their “quiet time”, folks who run to connect with nature or their spirituality, or runners who look internally and see their workouts as a way to test themselves physically and psychologically.


I could write a whole book about the benefits of running (and others already have), so I’ll leave it there for now!


V: Is there a certain way to breathe to support longer distance running to get our lungs accustomed?


TA: Deeply! Really, though, I think your breath is more of an indicator than something you