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No Pain All Gain with Amelia Vrabel

By December 20, 2019April 14th, 2022No Comments

Amelia Vrabel (Strava | FB | IG) is a Senior Certified Instructor at ChiRunning / ChiWalking. She has trained and worked with Danny Dreyer, Founder of ChiRunning/ChiWalking.  

Amelia is also an active member of the Marathon PR Program and the Extramilest Community. It has been very exciting to follow her running progress over time.   

We discuss the things she has learned over the years, both as an athlete and running coach. What I really like about Amelia is how honest and humble she is about challenges as an athlete.   

When she started out with low heart rate training, she had to slow down a lot, from a 9 min / mile to (5:35 min / km) to a 14 min / mile (8:40 min / km) There was and still is some walking involved in her workouts, especially where she lives at altitude, in hilly Colorado. We discuss her mindsets and strategies for training and racing.   

I have 1 quick favor to ask. If you have ever gotten any value out of the Extramilest Show, please take 10 seconds to rate the show on Apple Podcasts, or even better, take 30 seconds to write a short review here.

Currently there are about 40 ratings for the show and it’s my goal to get this to 100+. It really helps legitimize this show. In 2020 there are several high profile guests on my wish list. Your help with a rating or review will definitely increase my chances to bring these guests on the show. 

Hope you enjoy this conversation with Amelia Vrabel!

Watch this full interview on YouTube.

Listen to the conversation on Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercastStitcher or your other favorite podcast platform.

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Find Amelia Vrabel here:

Links and tools mentioned

Show notes:

  • Amelia’s background as a runner [4:00]
  • How Amelia’s mom peer pressured her into running the Boston Marathon [8:05]
  • How Amelia’s approach to running has changed over time [8:50] 
  • How ChiRunning has changed her approach to running [10:20]
  • Amelia’s first experience with ChiRunning and why she didn’t initially practiced it. [11:55]
  • The importance of learning how to walk well before you run + the walk / run workouts [15:50]
  • Learning to relax more to go faster [18:30]
  • What her first experience with low heart rate training and the 2 week test was like [19:10]
  • How Amelia deals with frustrations when having to slow down significantly with low heart rate training [24:10]
  • How she uses hills to mix up her routes and speed [27:00]
  • Amelia trains a lot in cold winter conditions, this is how she deals with it [32:00]
  • Importance of having the right winter gear with different layers of clothes [34:20]
  • Buying a pair of waterproof shoes and wool socks was a game changer [36:10]
  • Other winter running essentials: gloves, mittens, hand warmers, hat, buffs to keep face warm [37:50]
  • How Amelia warms up with 5 minute walking and jogging to MAF -20 for 10 minutes [38:40]
  • The type of speedwork Amelia integrates in her training [42:45]
  • The thought process about running (or not running) longer than 2.5 hours to train before a marathon [46:30]
  • What was Amelia’s experience like training as a ChiRunning / ChiWalking instructor with Danny Dreyer [51:00]
  • Importance of correct arm swings for efficient running [54:00]
  • Garmin HRM Run monitor that shows left right balance clearly [56:00]
  • Optical heart rate monitor vs chest strap [59:40]
  • The recommendations Amelia would give her younger runner version of herself [1:01:40]
  • The misunderstanding about the value of real easy running [1:02:40]
  • Any other recommendations for others looking to become a stronger, healthier, happier athlete [1:04:10]
  • Why No Pain No Gain doesn’t work and how to go about training instead [1:06:00]
  • When running starts to become a stresses, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate [1:08:10]
  • What’s next running-wise for Amelia [1:09:00]
  • Final thoughts from Amelia to improve as a runner [1:13:10]

You can find me, Floris Gierman, here: 


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