Tom “Tinman” Schwartz on Smart Training and the Secret Sauce of Tinman Elite

What qualities come to mind about athletes participating in team sports? Perhaps you’re thinking cooperative, supportive, uplifting, or energetic. Now what about individual sports?

learning from teams

Solo athletes may appear more competitive and self-focused, but we can’t overlook the team nature of virtually every single sport. Behind most professional athletes is a group of coaches, therapists, and teammates.

In running, as in any other sport, the team spirit is fully alive. There are countless examples of incredible sportsmanship, from high school athletes to professionals helping their opponents cross the finish line. Having a support system lifts people up to perform their best.

How to Support your Solo Running

You may be thinking – that’s great, but we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and I have no team, no coach, and not even a buddy to run with. Times are certainly challenging right now and the emphasis on community (and lack thereof) is at its peak.

Understandably, there appears to be a lack of options to support your running, but here is another approach to consider: if you are running alone and don’t have a team surrounding you, what are the parts that you may most benefit from?

Is it the peer-to-peer encouragement? The expert guidance of a coach? The momentum to keep pushing yourself?

While joining an in-person team or even a local running group may not be an option right now, there are many creative routes to help your running:

That last point is exactly where we’re focusing today. We are getting to know a coach with decades of experience, who applies lessons from running to our daily lives.

Wisdom from Expert Coach Tom Schwartz

Tom "Tinman" SchwartzTom Schwartz, also known as Tinman, has over 30 years of coaching experience. He has worked with youth runners, masters, and professionals. Along his coaching journey, Tom has developed dozens of D1 collegiate athletes, national champions, and national record holders and works with athletes across every distance and on every terrain from the track, road, to trail. 

Tom has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Coaching, a master’s in Human Performance, an MBA, and is currently working on his PhD in Health & Human Performance. You might recognize Tom as the coach of Drew Hunter, one of the fastest high schoolers ever a few years ago. Drew is now running professionally for Adidas on the Tinman Elite team in Boulder, CO.

In today’s podcast, we talk about all the things that make teams special and how Tom works with his athletes to create a greater good in our world. We cover topics on:

  • Elements of a successful team
  • Life skills we can learn from running
    • Delayed gratification
    • Self discipline
    • Modulation
    • Purpose
    • Specificity
  • Coaching athletes of all ages, abilities, and events
  • Tom’s training philosophy to “keep the ball rolling”

And of course, Tom shares so much wisdom and inspiration for all of us involved in the sport.

Tom’s athletes are extraordinary, his team offers a unique approach, and Tom himself is a wealth of knowledge. I hope you will find this episode to be thought-provoking and inspiring.

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Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank You InsideTracker!


Our show is supported by our longtime sponsor InsideTracker. Today, more than ever, it’s essential that we’re making the right decisions to keep our bodies healthy. To help us be resilient, prevent over-training, and optimize our running to get the most from it.

InsideTracker is the ultra-personalized nutrition platform that analyzes your blood and DNA biomarkers along with your lifestyle habits to help you optimize your body and reach your goals.

InsideTracker’s patented system will transform your body’s data into knowledge, insights, and a customized action plan of science-backed recommendations. The data can help you determine whether you’re running too much, not enough, or have some other issues that could be affecting your recovery or performance. I recently had my own blood drawn and am glad to report that my results indicate that everything is in a healthy range.

If you’re ready to take control of your health and optimize your training, InsideTracker offers a selection of plans that best suit your needs. Use Code STRENGTHRUNNING at InsideTracker to save 10% of any of their tests.

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