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Frank talk and expert advice for runners from novice to elite. Learn how to run faster, smarter and healthier!

Frank talk and expert advice for runners from novice to elite. Learn how to run faster, smarter and healthier!
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Frank talk and expert advice for runners from novice to elite. Learn how to run faster, smarter and healthier!






A Visit to The Secret Lab

Not everyone has a chance to visit Coach Diaz at his “Infamous Secret Lab” those who do generally end up performing beyond expectation. I thought it might be fun to have one of my clients share his experience and allow you to not only hear his thoughts on the visit but see what went down with the associated video clip that accompanies this episode. Of course, the only way you’ll see it is if you visit the home site of this podcast:


Making the Transition from Heel Striking to Forefoot Running

It’s a pretty well known fact in most running circles that heel striking and over striding leads to injury. Many runners have made the shift to forefoot running and in doing so have migrated to zero drop shoes. Unfortunately for many, this transition has not come easy and has lead to a variety of new problems such as debilitating calf and achilles soreness. Coach Richard Diaz addresses these concerns, and offers some advice on how best to approach this transition and sheds light on the...


What are you doing with your athletic kids?

We decided to take more questions on training was we often do, our favorite this time relates to our children in sports. Are we doing the right things to encourage their enjoyment, desire to compete? Are we trying to live through our kids and causing more harm then good? Coach Diaz has had years of experience in this arena and shares his insights. He also touches on his preferred shoe selection for racing OCR, heart rate training and how to fit it all in if you have a life and a 40 hour...


Interview with Brian Carney founder of The Bone Frog Challenge

The Bone Frog Challenge Race series aere obstacle course races designed and directed by Navy Seals. These obstacle course races are gaining widespread popularity on the eastern seaboard due to their quality and unique challenges many drawn from Navy Seal Training. Richard Diaz has invited Brian Carney, former Navy Seal and founder of the Bone Frog Organization to share what makes these events so unique. If you enjoy Spartan Races or Tough Mudder, you'll love The Bone Frog Challenge! Learn...


Spartan San Jose and Tough Mudder TMX Weekend Recap

Back to back OCR events 100 miles apart and I hit them both to show support for a few of my athletes in Veejay Jones and Hunter McIntyre. I invited a few talented athletes in Mike Ferguson and Race course expert Steve Hammond on the show to share their views on the weekends competition. The Rock Stars this weekend were Rea Kobal, Ryan Woods and Hunter McIntyre. Tune in to get our views on two distinctly different challenges. Learn more......


Veejay Jones Young Gun on the Spartan Pro OCR Circui

Veejay Jones is the youngest athlete to win a Spartan Race overall and is currently a member of The Spartan Pro Team. He is also an athlete coached by Richard Diaz. In this episode, we discuss the prospects winning against the competition at the NBC Spartan Series season opener in San Jose California on March 24th, 2018. This season, Veejay has posted two wins and a second place finish in Spartan Race elite competition with his last event being 2nd (by just over a minute) behind Cody Moat...


Diets vs. Endurance Performance

Have you been talked into making a change in your diet? Decided to go Vegan, Paleo or Keto? Did someone sell you on the promise of weight loss and greater performance as a benefit of making this radical change in your diet? Are you hoping to become “fat adapted”? Richard Diaz asked Matt Fitzgerald, author of The Endurance Diet, Diet Cults and Racing Weight to come on and share some thoughts on the topic of fad dieting. Before you do anything you may regret learning into you're “A” race,...


Compression Wear, Yes, No, Maybe?

Ever wonder about the use or potential benefits of wearing compression wear in a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder? Does it help circulation while running, does it help with recovery? Whats your take on the subject? Zoe Szczepanek asks these questions of Coach Richard Diaz. Be warned these are opinions and they may not be shared or validated by any of the manufactures in question. Many claims are made on the increase of circulation, recovery and injury abatement, you be the judge. Learn More at...


How to Buy the Right Running Shoes!

The most common questions presented to me (Coach Richard Diaz) is “what Running Shoes Should I Buy”? One would expect that my answer might be to name off a particular brand. In this episode, we try to address the How to and what to look for when looking to purchase your next pair of running shoes so that you the inquisitive OCR athlete or Runner can make a better informed decision. One that makes sense for you, beyond all the marketing hype you have to sift through. The answer may surprise...


How too much exercise can kill you! The Haywire Heart

Have you ever asked yourself… "Am I doing too much, training too hard too often?” In this episode, Richard Diaz interviews Lennard Zinn and Chris Case the authors of - The Haywire Heart a book that reveals… How too much exercise can kill you, and what you can do to protect your heart. We all take pride in our athletic accomplishments, participating in Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, Ultra Marathons etc., we work hard to achieve lofty goals. This interview will make you pause and think which...


Kirk DeWindt “The Bachelor” turned Elite Spartan

Kirk DeWindt is the real deal. He may have done his stint on reality TV on various episodes of The Bachelor but when it comes to athletic prowess, Kirk is ready to bring it. He has had some success early in Spartan Race events but this is the year he intends to show the world what he’s capable of. Of course, I had to dig to satisfy my curiosity regarding the reality show experiences so regardless what may be your curiosity where Kirk DeWindt is concerned this is an unvarnished interview...


Zoe Szczepanek's Road to Recovery

Meet Zoe Szczepanek, the new co-host to the Natural Running Network Podcast. Anyone who has attended a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder has most likely seen her. What you may not know is that she has an on going battle with a debilitating hip injury associated with her lust for competition. Zoe comes clean and shares her story, how she was injured, The mistakes she’s made and how she has taken an aggressive approach n her road to rehabilitation so that she can get back to running and the sport...


The Live Q&A Show! Answering the burning questions for OCR Athletes

One of most favorite things to do and most popular for our audience is to answer questions! At the end of the day, most obstacle course racing athletes who tune into our show do so to pck up training tips and pearls of wisdom. What could be better than to come ont our show and pose your questions live? If you're too shy, simply write your questions down on our social media feeds @zoeszcz or @diazhp and we'll try to address them during the show. The best questions qqualify to win a free...


Elite OCR Athlete Faye Stenning visits The Secret lab

Faye Stenning is arguably the fiercest competitor on the Spartan Race circuit. Aside from her racing career, she runs a successful OCR coaching business. To her credit, her openness to step outside her experience to learn from her colleagues provided some powerful insight for her leading into the 2018 OCR Race Season. Faye recently attended Richard Diaz's OCR Run Clinic in Southern California in this episode Faye shares her opinion as it relates to this experience and visit to "The Secret...


Prepping for the New OCR race season, what to do and why

Its been weeks since our last podcast, forgive me. I had a big birthday and left the country to celebrate followed by a few weeks on the road putting on running clinics but... We're Back! In this episode (to be continued in the next episode) we discuss: What it feels like to hit the wall in a Marathon and how to avoid it.First steps in prepping for the new OCR season, what to do and why.Its a relatively short episode but we're coming back to nail the New Season topic in just a few days,...


The Best of Episodes Review for The Natural Running Network

The Natural Running Network has consistently delivered cutting edge information for endurance athletes for a bit over 5 years with over 300 episodes doled out weekly. As a show of gratittude we decided to host a Black Friday "Best of Episodes" contest. The winners will recieve gifts ranging from free entry into diaz human performance's OCR Run Clinics (valued up to $500) and gift certificates to Human Octane, the finest OCR Training and Racing apparel. Three episodes were elected, during...


Worlds Toughest Mudder Recap with Team US-“AY

What do you get when you mix an American flag with a Canadian? You get an US “Ay” instead of a USA! Team US-Ay members Miguel Medina and Austin Azar join us to share thoughts on their 2nd place finish at Worlds Toughest Mudder and the conversation goes way of point. For example, whats the dating scene look like for the studdly Canadian? Will he move to the States? Listen to shared comments about the state of Worlds Toughest Mudder given the shift in prize purses and a whole lot more....


A Conversation with the Fittest Runner I’ve ever met

It may seem like a heavy statement to say “The Fittest Runner I’ve Ever met” but in all the years of assessing the fitness of athletes (over two decades) this runner, Blue Benadum has consistently tested off the charts in a VO2max test, I’m talking over 85 mls/kg/min! To put this in perspective, a score that high would rank in the top 1% of the fittest athletes in the world. This does not necessarily mean the top performer in a category but, Blue is no slouch. He won the Lake Tahoe Triple...


Allison Tai - Ultra Beast World Champ 2017

It may seem like a play on words but Allison Tai is one Tough Mudder in every sense of the phrase. Just recently coming off of the win at The Spartan Ultra Beast World Championships this year (2017), she is setting her sites on the win at The Toughest Mudder World Championship in a matter of weeks. Her story is one of fables, having been taken out by a car while riding her bike, suffering a broken back, hip and arm to return to ultra endurance racing is simply amazing. We talk with Allison...


Spartan World Championships, Were you Prepared?

Did you barely survive or thrive when crossing the finish line this weekend at Spartan Race World Championships Tahoe? Richard Diaz and Shan Khan dive into what was seen from those finishing the race, how ankle stability and foot strength is crucial to these distances, when and how you should start training for an endeavor like this, how grip intensive it was along with talk about what the live feed and the weekends event does for the future of OCR, and much more. Does single malt Scotch...