The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 3-285 – Akshay Nanavati – Epic Running

(Audio: link) [audio:]

Link epi3285.mp3

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Introductory Comments:

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 3-285 of the RunRunLive podcast.  

Well, it’s been a relatively boring couple of weeks since we last chatted.  I haven’t run any races or done anything stupid.  Since the Umstead marathon I’ve been focusing on getting less fragile.  Umstead was a wakeup call for my fitness level.  It wasn’t horrible but it certainly was more ‘show up and suffer’ than I would like.  

But, out of disillusionment springs commitment and focus.  I may not be able to train as hard as I’d like, but there’s no reason I should be just sitting around letting myself go to pieces.  The week after Umstead I was traveling but I managed to do a few core workouts and spend some time on the stationary bike.  

I sat down and wrote out a workout plan to take me through to Boston that focuses on getting less fragile.  My ankle is still a bit sore and I’m overweight but I think I can coax out 3 runs a week and that’s what I’ve been doing.  I did a 13 miler with some folks from my club the Sunday after Umstead and the last 3 miles were a struggle.  I wasn’t recovered yet, but I’ve been sticking with it and I’m feeling ok. 

For my plan I want to get 7 days a week in.  Sunday is a long run. Monday is a core workout with focus on abs and upper body.  Tuesday is a mid distance run of 1 hour plus.  Wednesday is a leg strength workout. Thursday is a slightly longer mid-distance run of 1:30 or so. Friday is an hour plus of cycling with some pushups and crunches thrown in.  Saturday is a swim. 

That’s a nice mix of activity that won’t get me a qualifying marathon but will burn some calories and get me much less fragile by the time Boston rolls around.  On top of this I’m trying to stretch.  My visits with Eric and the chiro pointed out that I need to get some mobility.  My hamstrings, my quads and psoas are all supre constricted and contributing to my injuries. 

The first swim was interesting.  I haven’t been in the pool for over a year.  I started with just 500 meters and it felt like I had never swum before in my life!  Working in some biking is very complimentary as well but I’d much rather do it outside.  The bikes at the gym cause my undercarriage to fall asleep and it’s quite uncomfortable.  Unfortunately it’s still cold and snowy here.  We’re mid-march and the morning temps are still in the teens and there is still a couple feet of snow on the ground. 

My kids came home from college and blessed me with a cold.  It’s not bad enough to chase me into bed but it is enough to make me feel crappy and struggle with everything.  I’ve got a busy March and April with a bunch of travel, the Boston Marathon and the Groton Road Race.  

For those of you who still get Runner’s World magazine you may have noticed that the Groton Road Race was featured in the Races and Places section of the March issue.  I guess we’re in the big time now.  We’ll see if it causes a bump in registration.  

I tried to go out for a long run Sunday but made it to the end of the road and decide I couldn’t do it.  With the head cold, the frigid weather and the dicey ankle it was too much.  Instead I went over to the pool and did a long pool run.  Once I got started I felt ok and it was very peaceful in the pool so kept going and ended up pool running for 3 hours.  

I listened to a podcast on the history of the crusades.  I like queuing up history podcasts and binge listening to them. It gives you a good continuous story of events and story arc.  

People have been acting stupidly for the entire arc of history.  They still are today.  We like to think that we can choose strong men and women to fix our problems.  That’s just another form of entitlement.  We are the only ones who can fix our problems.  It starts with us.  You and I, the common men and women of this world are the ones who are in charge.  

We are blessed with the opportunity and we are cursed with the responsibility of pulling continuously against the drag of stupidness, away from the brink.  Do something that changes the world for the better today.  It starts with you. 

Today we chat with Akshay Nanavati about lots of stuff including his project to run across every country in the world.  In section one we’ll talk about the importance of white space in your life.  In section two we’ll talk about optimization of food and time!

On with the show!

Section one:

White Spaces -

Featured Interview:

Akshay Nanavati

Here is a bio about me and some of my adventures:

After recovering from a life of drugs that killed two of my friends in high school, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps despite two doctors telling me that boot camp would kill me because of a blood condition I have called Thallasemia. But I survived and since then I have served 7 months in Iraq, been mountaineering all over the world, glacier caving in the Himalayas, cave diving, ice diving, skydiving, rock climbing with and without the safety of a rope, and in 2012 I quit a corporate job to spend one month dragging a 190 pound sled 350 miles across the second largest icecap in the world in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. I returned from the icecap after spending 15,000 dollars and built up my company Human Potential Development LLC. from the ground up. 

Today by using neuroscience and psychology, I help people get out of their own way mentally in order to live a limitless lifestyle. In service of this mission, I am now on a multi-year journey to cross every country in the world on foot and raise 1 million dollars for the organization Create Global Healing. ( So far I have crossed 2 countries: 350 miles across Greenland and 33 miles across Singapore. 

The goal of this expedition is to unite the human family that is currently torn apart with strife through the the realization that despite all the unique qualities within every single human being, we are all one and our experience of life is essentially the same no matter what our background, nationality or religion.

You can also find a little bit more about me and my adventures on my website:

Section two:

Salads and smoothies -


It’s interesting talking to a chap like Akshay who is obviously on the front end of many adventures.  I think he’s doing it as much from an inner restlessness as he is for a success strategy.  

It’s so common, especially among young people to have an inner restlessness, a sense that this can’t be it, there must be something more.  I think the wrong thing is to tell them to get in line, to suck it up and get in line.  How many times have you heard some crotchety old a-hole like me say “Life is hard, deal with it!” 

Life has its hard points, for sure but how you deal with it is the rub.  Akshay has figured out how to deal with the restlessness, chaos and hardness of life by setting himself on an epic path.  He doesn’t know where he’s going but he’s smart enough to get moving and figure out as he goes.  When your boats are burnt you have to learn fast.  

Remember what I said.  There is always going to be conflict.  But there is good conflict and constructive conflict.  The creative tension should be between what is and what is possible.  That is constructive discomfort.  It forces you to move towards something.  

If you are uncomfortable with something, whether at work, in your family or in a social setting there is a reason.  There is conflict there.  If you’re Canadian you can internalize that conflict and act passive aggressive, if you’re from New York you can tell everyone how you feel and why.  Just kidding – but regardless of what the appropriate cultural response is if you have conflict don’t run away from it.  Turn it over in your mind and figure out how it can be made constructive.  

If you feel tension or restlessness then there is a disconnect between your expectations and reality and you need to figure out how to close that gap.  Instead of recoiling, move towards the tension.  Leverage that tension to learn and grow.  Help others to do likewise and all of us will be better off. 

I was able to weasel an entry into the Eastern States 20 miler at the end of March.  It’s funny how all the ‘fringe’ races I’ve historically done are now selling out.  This will give me one last quality long run before Boston if I can stay healthy and run it.  

A couple notes for those of you who may have not been paying attention; I’m running Boston for the Liver Foundation this year and would appreciate anything you can do to help –I’ll put the donate link in the show notes.  I also have a couple books I’ve compiled from all these interesting thoughts flitting about in my unsettled mind and you can get them, physical, e-book or audio on my site at

Also, one last note.  I do have a RunRunLive group on Facebook that I have never given much love but I post the shows and the articles there and would love to see some conversation around some of these topics we mull over.  So if you’re a Facebooky person just search for the RunRunLive Group and I’ll add you. 

And I’ll see you out there, 


Outro Bumper

Thanks for listening folks I appreciate your support.  RunRunLive is a free service for you because I like writing and telling stories.  

I also love to meet folks so feel free to reach out to me at Gmail or any of the other social networking sites.  I’m CYKTRussell.  And as you know that’s Chris-Yellow-King-Tom-Russell with two Esses and two Ell’s. 

My Website is and most if not all of this content is posted out there.   If you want the show notes to magically show up in your inbox when I publish a show in a beautiful HTML wrapper you can subscribe to the mailing list at my site.  It’s a useful thing if you are moved by something I say and would like to see if what I wrote is the same thing! It also has all the links to everything and everyone I talk to and about. 

Other than that, thank you for your attention, do epic stuff and let me know if I can help. 


Happy Song – Super Hero -

Other products from Chris Russell you may be interested in

The Mid-Packer’s Lament

On Amazon

On Kindle

On Audio (Read by the author) –

The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Kindle

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Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube


Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at Chris also writes for ( and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad. 

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Direct download: epi3285.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 9:59pm EDT





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