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303Endurance Podcast

Apr 24, 2021

This week - Michael Murphy is a motivational speaker, paralyzed athlete, and writer. His journey began in April 2007 when he fell off a roof in college, shattered his spine, and was paralyzed.  Michael is now a 12-time marathoner with Top 5 finishes in New York and Boston. He was also featured on NBC after completing two Tough Mudder competitions in 2012 and 2013 with the help of his teammates and an off-road handcycle.. 


Show Sponsor: VENGA

Hey Guys, We’ve got some great news this week!


We have talked about how important sleep is on this show.  We've even had sleep specialists as guests. Sleep is so key for athletes!


Our friends at Venga CBD have an all-new product to help athletes with their sleep because they know how important it is for athletes. And like all things Venga, they went over the top for athletes - they went into the lab and created a triple threat to help you get better sleep tonight.  They call it Venga Super Sleep because man, this packs a punch.  Get this - It’s got Melatonin, CBD AND….an all-new cannabinoid CBN that’s been shown to promote sleep.  You get all three in Venga Super Sleep and it’s available now. I think they sold out in the first couple of days but are sure to have more soon.


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In Today's Show

  • Feature interview - Michael Murphy
  • Endurance News - Future of Fitness Tech
  • What New in the 303 - A couple of Van Life stories - Megan Hottman and Andy Schmidt
  • Bill and Rich's Excellent Adventure - We Ride 4
  • Video of the Week - Michael Murphy in Snow to Sand


Interview Sponsor: UCAN

Take your performance to the next level with UCAN Energy and Bars made with SuperStarch®  UCAN uses SuperStarch instead of simple sugars to fuel serious athletes.  UCAN keeps blood sugar steady compared to the energy spikes and crashes of sugar-based products.  Steady energy equals sustained performance!


I got a chance to try the UCAN EDGE product this week on my 50 mile ride.  I had two 1.87 oz packets with me.  Each has 15g of SuperStarch Energy and 0g sugar.  They are not a gel consistency, which is awesome!  Is much more like a liquid.  I gave it a shake, tore off the top and just rolled it up.  It wasn't sticky like gels.  The flavor is like the tropical orange flavor of the Energy SuperStarch powder.  I may not have to take my extra test tubes of UCAN SuperStarch.


1.) UCAN launched a Vanilla flavor of the really popular plant-based Energy + Protein. Fans have been raving about how good the existing Chocolate flavor and the Vanilla flavor promises to be just as good!


2.) The Training Bundle now has a box of UCAN Edge included in it.


You put in the training, so don't let nutrition limit your performance.  Use UCAN in your training and racing to fuel the healthy way, finish stronger and recover more quickly!  Use the code 303UCAN for 20% off at or


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Interview with Michael Murphy

1.6 seconds. That's how long it takes to fall two stories. That's how long it takes for life to change.

When Michael Murphy was 21, he fell off of a roof at college and landed flat on his back, severing his spine. They say that nobody understands their own traumatic injury just after it happens―but Michael did. Every person falls. They fall short in school, in love, in work, and in life. Their lives sometimes feel punctuated by those downfalls―the rejection letters, the unrequited love, the missed promotions, the life altering traumas. Everyone falls. But then what?


When I Fell is a true coming-of-age tale of going from abled, to disabled, to empowered. It combines the story surrounding Michael's recovery with the science of resiliency and thriving―what psychologists are now calling Posttraumatic Growth (PTG)―to teach readers how to hit home runs when life throws them curves. Befitting new mainstream acceptance for disabilities, When I Fell is as much a memoir as it is a message. It features the five principles established by Drs. Tedeschi and Calhoun―the pioneers who coined the phrase in the 1990's―for scientific validation to bring PTG further into the public eye.


A Northern Virginia native, Michael resides in Denver, Colorado, with his wife, Casey, and dog Gunner.  He now trains with the Competition Team at the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) in Winter Park, CO, with every intention to make the US Ski Team…and go to the Paralympics.


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Endurance News:


Fitbit co-founder: Future for fitness is well beyond the wrist

CNET Health and Wellness

A Fitbit used to be a little gadget to count your steps. Those days are long gone: Fitbits are now continuous heart and sleep monitors, with aspirations that go even deeper. Now owned by Google, Fitbit is still creating new fitness trackers, like the new Luxe. The company's subscription-based Fitbit Premium service continues to add new wellness routines, including celebrity guides such as Deepak Chopra.


Where do things go next? Will Fitbit ever venture off-wrist? How can these trackers possibly assist with diseases like COVID-19?  Fitbit co-founder and CTO Eric Friedman offers some insights on where Fitbit is at now, and where things are headed next.


Fitbit plans to continue exploring more advanced sensors on its bigger watches, while letting sensor tech trickle down over time into more optimized, smaller, lower-cost bands. "Because they have a larger battery, and kind of more mass, it's easier to try out brand new sensors in them and learn," Friedman says of last year's sensor-studded Fitbit Sense -- which added temperature, a stress-sensing electrodermal sensor and an electrocardiogram, or ECG -- compared to the much more pared-down new Fitbit Luxe, which leans mostly on its optical heart-rate sensor for things like sleep and stress measurements.


Friedman makes the comparison to where heart rate on wearables was years ago, living mainly on big watches while smaller bands just measured steps. The optical heart-rate sensor is also where the most evolution has happened, adding a lot of extra algorithm-based insights that didn't exist before. "When we first launched heart rate in our smartwatch, it was really about a kind of workout experience," Friedman says of where things were seven years ago. "But as things progressed, we started to be able to tease out more and more from heart rate."


He sees heart-rate variability as an important new metric, and related to that, atrial fibrillation. Fitbit recently finished a 500,000-person AFib study, but unlike the Apple Watch, most Fitbits don't measure estimated atrial fibrillation through the optical heart-rate sensor. For that, you'd need a Fitbit Sense with its ECG feature.


What's New in the 303:

Megan Hottman: Prescott, AZ Racing and Forest Bathing

By Megan Hottman, courtesy of


This van trip kicks off with a lovely dose of #americana – some ball sports, some lively hockey, some bike racing, kids running around, the requisite amount of dirt and dust, loads of campers and RVs, ample flag flying and one helleva sunset . I took the @canonusa out to capture all the feels.


Life these days offers glimpses of normalcy and it feels really *really* good.  Also can I get an amen for @dippindots ?! I haven’t had these in probably 20 years. What a treat.


Ok so where are we? We’re in a large sports complex park in Prescott, AZ. Here for a mountain bike race, I’m experiencing for the first time this parking lot-event style camping vibe.

This wouldn’t be my top vanlife venue choice on a regular basis …but for this event and experience it’s totally fine. This location boasts temps a full 20-25 degrees than in Phoenix so we’re enjoying the nice cool evening temps and the escape from the big-city-heat.


Pros: restrooms close by, lots of friendly humans around, safe.

Cons: all the humans. And pavement.

Saturday’s race went GREAT! I actually warmed up for this race and implemented lessons I learned in March’s bike race … and took the win! I raced women intermediate 40-49, won my age group.  More importantly I felt great – I executed food, warmup and race strategies. I hit the opening stretch and hole shot into the first climb, at the front, and it paid off. I got more and more comfortable with the fast & flowy portions of the course as the race went along. We raced at noon so I did some yoga and a walk beforehand. Not normally things I’d do pre race but I wanted to keep my face out of my phone as I sat there nervously waiting for my start.


Van-Life and Endurance Sports

By Andy Shmidt


Renting a van offers the endurance athlete an opportunity to experience the outdoors in a new way, with the potential to do a self-contained local or regional race. And if you’re thinking about purchasing a van, renting a few different configurations may help you BETA test available options.


Even with night-time temperatures dipping into the low 30’s, high 20’s it was still comfortable in the van. Granted I did “warm the place up” with the included LP gas powered Mr. Heater, before going to bed. Even with the provided battery-operated carbon monoxide detector, I wasn’t comfortable going to sleep with it running. Friends who were tent camping nearby at the James M. Robb campground reported being cold and the high winds interrupting their sleep. Neither were an issue for “Johnny.”

Cooking was as easy as being at home, though it did require a bit more planning / prep work. I’m pretty sure I could have made hot apple pie, had I taken my Alpine Oven along on the trip.

Titus Adventure Company is a family-owned business located in Denver, offering outdoor adventure focused trucks, SUV’s and camper van rentals. Visit them at:

For 303 Endurance readers, Titus Adventure Company is offering 10% off any rental. Just use promo code: 303ENDURANCE when you make your reservation.


Bill & Rich's Excellent [Endurance] Adventure

  • Bill
  • Rich
    • Let me tell you about my rides in Tucson.  50 mile ride around Tucson on what is called "The Loop".  It's a series of well paved and lane lined bike paths that goes around Tucson.  Cool windy paths through the desert and cactus.  A similar ride would be Confluence Park, Cherry Creek Trail, 470 Trail, S. Platte back to Confluence.  Only Tucson faster and wider.  More open for sure. 
    • 1st - a huge shoutout to Tucson Endurance Performance Center.  I rented a 2021 Cervelo R Series and it rode beautifully. 
    • I showed up at Sharon's house in Tucson and met one of the other We Ride 4 Denver Club Members named John.  And then met Sharon's boyfriend John Genell.  John and I had a common background in Big 5 consulting firms, so we hit it off right away.  It was John who explained his background on the Board of Wish For Wheels.
    • We Ride 4 is a community of cyclists that create unique experiences for our members through weekly rides, participation in cycling events and social gatherings throughout the year. All rides are led by experienced ride leaders. Weekly rides range from social-pace no-drop formats to advanced-pace training rides.
    • WR4's Denver Charitable Partner is Cottonwood Institute.  Cottonwood Institute believes that students can't be expected to care about the environment if they never have a chance to explore the outdoors. Your donations empower students to be environmentally aware and civically engaged.
    • WR4's Tucson Chapter Partner is the Road Warriors Club.  Sponsor Ernesto Somoza adamantly encourages Pueblo High School students to join the Road Warriors Club if they are looking for something to do after school that’s a little bit different than just joining a sports team. Pueblo High is a Title 1 school and funding for the club is reliant 100% on donations and fundraising. One of their goals this year is to be able to have matching jerseys for all the members. We Ride 4 wants to help by designing a jersey and raising the money to buy the jerseys for all club members. Please consider helping by donating!
    • Story of Angelina who Sharon just stop and met along the side of this bike path.  Sharon befriends Angelina and learns about this Pueblo High School.  Angelina needs a bike.  Sharon gives her the money to get a bike.  She ends up buying a bike from Tucson Endurance Center because Angelina's mom works with Brian Grasky in the Air Force.  Brian Grasky our guest from two weeks ago.
    • So while we're on this ride, I see these two guys running on the trail and they are flying.  Clearly look like pro triathletes.  Coming from Boulder, I know what that looks like.  From the back, the first pro that came to mind was Ben Hoffman.  When I passed him and looked back, it really looked like Ben Hoffman.  When I DM'd Ben on Instagram, he confirmed it was not him. More on Ben later.
    • Thanks Sharon, John and We Ride 4 for a really enjoyable ride around Tucson and a nice steak burrito at Seis afterward.
    • Thanks UCAN EDGE for fueling my ride and VENGA for fueling my recovery!


Video of the Week:

"Snow to Sand" Full Documentary


Upcoming Interviews:

Coming Soon:  Author of "The Athlete Inside" Sue Reynolds and Coach Bobby McGee who has played an integral role in the development of top athletes with USA Triathlon, as well as several olympians and top-ranked ITU stars. He is the author of “Run Transformation,” The World’s Best Run Training Course.

Plus Ironman St George is coming up next week.  One of the guys going there to win is Ben Hoffman.  We're going to hopefully catch up with him after the race.


Thanks again for listening in this week.  Please be sure to follow us @303endurance and of course go to iTunes and give us a rating and a comment.  We'd really appreciate it!

Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!