Addicted to Running -Interview with Dr. Rachel Tambling

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In this episode we discuss exercise addiction and disordered eating in runners with Dr. Rachel Tambling -licensed therapist, college professor, and lecturer for the Road Runner’s Club of America.

And in the quick tip segment Angie answers a listener question about whether or not to redo a final long run before race day.

Interview with Rachel Tambling

Rachel Tambling is a professor at the University of Connecticut with a background in trauma survivorship and addiction work. She’s also her state representative for Road Runners Club of America and an experienced marathon pacer with 100+ marathons under her belt.

I did the course work for my RRCA Level 2 coaching certification this summer and took Dr. Rachel’s online course about Understanding Running and Addiction.

As I was doing this course I thought that this would be such an excellent topic to tackle on the podcast as it’s something that you don’t hear discussed very often.

Six Factor Assessment of Addiction

  1. Exercise is the most important thing in my life.
  2. Conflicts have arisen between me and my family and/or my partner about the amount of exercise I do.
  3. I use exercise as a way of changing my mood.
  4. Over time I have increased the amount of exercise I do in a day.
  5. If I have to miss an exercise session I feel moody and irritable.
  6. If I cut down the amount of exercise I do, and then start again, I always end up exercising as often as I did before.

Resources (Addiction)

Resources (Eating Disorders)

Finding a Therapist

Also Mentioned in This Episode

RXBAR -a whole food protein bar made with a few simple, clean ingredients, which all serve a purpose: Egg whites for protein. Dates to bind. Nuts for texture.

Health IQ -Marathon Training Academy is sponsored by Health IQ an insurance company that helps health conscious people get special rates on life insurance. Go to to support the show and learn more.

Rolling to Boston! Runner collapses short of finish, crawls, then rolls, to a Boston qualifier. Link:

Shout Out! Congrats to Melissa on running her first marathon!

I ran my first full 26.2 yesterday in my hometown of Erie, PA after following an MTA training plan since May..I stayed right on pace and finished with a time of 4:13! Couldn’t be happier and can’t wait to put that sticker on my car! Thanks Trevor and Angie for your great training plan and inspiring and entertaining podcasts! -Melissa

4 Responses to Addicted to Running -Interview with Dr. Rachel Tambling

  1. Karen Petersen September 23, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    When I was listening to this podcast today while I was running I kept thinking of this sketch:

    • Angie Spencer September 23, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

      That is a funny sketch! …”Soon 5k’s weren’t enough, he started getting into marathons…” 🙂

  2. Tred Eyerly September 28, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

    Don’t understand the problem with dairy in a runner’sndieat. I eat some cheese and Greek Yogurt a couple times a week. Is this a problem?

    • Angie Spencer September 29, 2017 at 10:59 am #

      Good question! For most runners there isn’t a problem with including dairy in the diet. However Dr. Rachel was talking about how dairy gives her gastro-intestinal distress which can be problematic during running/races (like too many trips to the port-a-pot). If the cheese and Greek yogurt is working for you then it sounds like a great thing to continue.

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