WIRED Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson on Running and the Future of Media
Wired’s chief editor, Nicholas Thompson, has thought a lot about the intersection of technology, media and society. As a long-time journalist and editor at the The New Yorker and Wired, Nick can talk about media and tech the same way many pro athletes can recount in vivid detail a moment from an event that happened decades ago.
Nick has almost always been a runner, finding ways to log eight miles a day on his daily commute. Just enough that with some training he could get to consistent 2:40 marathons. But he never took the time to think about why he runs and how it intersects with his past, his relationship with his father, and a cancer diagnosis when Nick was 30.
After an incredible 2:29:13 at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, Nick decided to try to figure out why he ran just under 2:44 at age 30, and just under 2:30 at age 44. He joined us to talk about it all — running, media, and overcoming mental barriers you might not know exist.
Listen to our podcast with Nicholas Thompson on The Common Threads: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify.
David Swain, @prokit: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Nick Thompson: I had the same thing I have for breakfast pretty much every morning which is oatmeal with walnuts, almonds, raisins, and a cup of coffee.
What’s your morning routine?
I get up at six, go for a run, and come back around seven. We make breakfast and around 8, we wake everybody else up in the house by screaming, “Breakfast!” Everybody comes down and has breakfast. I start my workday around 8:30.
I’ve been up in the Catskills since quarantine started. Up here, we have another routine. Almost every morning, we catch a chipmunk on the porch in a little trap we’ve made because there can be lots of chipmunks on our porch. One of the kids and I will carry that chipmunk to the top of the road and let it loose away from the house. So that is the other part of the morning routine: chipmunk release.
Navigating Two Major Moments in History
How long have you been in the Catskills? What was that adjustment like?
We came up around March 11. It’s all been very interesting. The work adjustment has been less hard than I anticipated. It’s a little bit easier to run Wired remotely than I thought, but, it’s a little harder for my kids to be without their friends than I expected. They’re certainly incredibly blessed. We have a house with a lawn, and we put up two soccer goals and basketball hoop. They have a way to be outside. If they had been in New York, we would have been stuck in a small apartment, looking out the window, and never going outside for weeks or months. They have a huge advantage, but it was really hard on them to not get to see their friends and to interact socially. It’s such an important part of childhood. They’re six, nine and eleven, and as brothers, they play with each other, thank goodness. But that’s been one of the difficult things to manage.
Are you at the point now where you’ve been able to do things outside with friends?
We’ve played soccer in the yard with some friends. We had one playdate for my nine year old. Tonight’s big night. I live in this place called Bovina, a small former cow town, as you can probably guess from the name. There are a bunch of kids who play soccer and adults who play, too. Tonight we’re doing the first town soccer game, so that’s exciting.
This is the first interview I’ve done since the death of George Floyd. I’ve been thinking a lot about these issues. As a platform, Prokit gives athletes a voice, and I want to make sure we’re giving all athletes a voice and doing extra work there. To be honest, it’s very much a work in progress. What have been some of the conversations within Wired, and from a technology publications perspective, how do you think you can cover the issue of race in a way that moves the wheel?
These issues that have been brought to the forefront and the reaction to George Floyd’s murder are all-encompassing. In a way, they touch everything. At Wired, we have to be a little careful. People don’t come to Wired for analysis of issues outside our area of expertise. The way we’ve tried to cover the protests is by looking at the tech angle and looking at the way they intersect with our stories.
The first piece we ran when the protests got really heated was on digital surveillance, how it works and how to keep yourself safe. If you’re protesting and you don’t want to have your identity learned, or if somebody arrests you, here’s how you use signal. That is very much a Wired story. We have the world’s best experts on how signal works, how end-to-end encryption works, why it matters and what it means. We feel good writing about that. We feel good writing about technologies of police surveillance. We feel good writing about the way information spreads online and about memes and disinformation. What we don’t want to do is write a speculative piece on how Donald Trump will respond to the protests, which gets into politics. That’s just not our area of expertise. We want to be part of the conversation. We feel strongly about racial injustice. Anti-racism is something everybody at Wired believes in deeply, but we want to cover it from our perspective where we have things to add.
What has it been like to manage a team through two major moments in history?
It’s very hard. Coronavirus hit and it changed the way the team runs, in a bunch of ways. First of all, everybody’s remote. That’s complicated. Secondly, we’re reporters, and we can’t report. We can’t go out and talk to people. Our photographers have to shoot people behind windows. We have to figure out a whole new way of reporting and presenting the story.
The way families work has changed. My family went from a family of five to a family of seven because my in-laws moved in with us. They wanted to be in a safer environment than they could have been without us. For a lot of people, the way their personal lives work has changed. A lot of parents are homeschooling their children which makes it harder to work from nine to five. You have to figure out different pockets of the day when you work. All those things happen with the coronavirus, so that’s level one.
Level two is the changing story. From the beginning, Wired approached the coronavirus story like it was the story of our lifetimes, and that for many of our reporters, it will be the most important story they ever work on. I said in a staff meeting in early March that the Pulitzer Prizes of 2020 will be awarded to people covering coronavirus. I wanted to make the point that this is the story of the year. We jumped whole hog into it, but there were a couple problems. One, everybody’s work-life balance changed. People are working themselves to the bone, fighting for every story. Covering the virus is an emotionally intense thing because you’re covering death. You’re covering sickness, and you’re afraid.
Then the murder of George Floyd happened, and suddenly there is another layer of intensity and fear. It’s emotionally wrenching watching that video, particularly if you’re not white. It is incredibly hard and an emotional strain. Seeing people’s reactions can be an incredible emotional strain for everybody. Suddenly, the staff has all these different pressures. There’s the pressure of the way life works now, the pressure of reporting the story of 100,000 people who have died, and the pressure of reporting and living through this moment of racial crisis. It’s complicated, and the question is, how do you manage it? You try to understand, and you try to think about every individual. You try to think about one’s own blind spots, and try to think about how the organization is working.
There’s also a fourth level of pressure in media, which is that our business model has collapsed. Most media is supported by advertising. Wired, fortunately, has other revenue streams, including subscriptions and reviews. We review, say, the best headphones and if you buy one, we get a small amount of money. But the central revenue source for the media has collapsed because nobody is advertising. Nobody’s advertising because they’ve cut their marketing budgets and also because they don’t want their stories to appear next to news about coronavirus or protests. Now everybody’s stressed. Everybody’s working in new environments. Everybody’s worried, and we’re running out of money. What I do about that is try to evolve the business plan and make it as financially viable as possible.
Is your team finding more motivation by focusing on the day at hand or is there a vision that’s mobilizing people towards something bigger?
It’s probably 60% what’s happening today, 40% identifying the big trends and trying to get to them early. We’re working on identifying what industries are being remade, identifying how the world will work differently when we’re out of this, but also, we need to correct that misinformation that’s spreading because of the unclear statement by the World Health Organization.
A magazine goes to the printer weeks ahead, but current events have been changing so quickly. How do you deal with that?
It is very hard for us. Our April issue came out in the middle of March, and it was about climate change. There was no way to go back and put anything about coronavirus in it. We closed it before any of that hit. Our May issue closed around April 1st and came out on April 15. The stories were all filed well in advance, but we added essays about the coronavirus. I wrote a story about my running career in the May issue. I started writing it in November, put it aside for a while, and revised it through March. I had a question about whether to put coronavirus in and how to deal with it, so that was complicated.
If I’m going to assign a coronavirus story, I try to assign one that will be timeless and relevant two weeks after it closes and ideally, three months after when somebody might pick up that issue. For example, we just ran a story about the first look at Moderna vaccine trials. That story will be totally irrelevant when Moderna has either gotten a vaccine or failed. It might be kind of irrelevant when somebody else has a vaccine, but we were pretty sure when we assigned it that no one’s going to have a vaccine by the time it ran. At most, Moderna was going to have moved to Phase II trials. That’s how you time it.
Evolving as a Runner
The story you just wrote is called “To Run My Best Marathon at Age 44, I Had to Outrun My Past.” Walk us through growing up, and how you found running and journalism.
That story is really three stories that I’ve tried to interweave appropriately. One is the story of my father and his extremely complex, interesting life. The second is my relationship of my own psychology to running, how it evolved and the moments in life where it gave me confidence. The third is a training guide and a physiological guide to understanding what it means to go faster even as you get older, even as you’re well past the point where your body should peak. Those are the three lines I tried to intertwine.
It begins with my introduction to running by my father. He had been an unathletic child, but his father, my grandfather, was a Golden Glove boxing champion. My grandfather had not been particularly generous to my father, and my father had a huge emotional scar. My father never felt he was good at any physical activity. He discovered running as his father was dying, and it became an outlet for him. It was a really important emotional commitment for him, and he got good at it. When I was five, he would take me for a run. I remember running a mile with him. I remember running through the streets of Boston with him. I have this weird recollection that I ran three miles with him once, but that just can’t be true. My dad left when I was six, and I can’t imagine a six-year-old running 3 miles.
Then in 1982, when Alberto Salazar won the Boston Marathon, my dad ran it. It was just after my grandfather had died, and my dad did great. He was trying to break three hours, and he ran a 3:01. I handed him shoes in the middle of the race and gave him a glass of orange juice which is what they drank before sports drinks. My introduction to running was being there and watching my dad.
You found running in high school and then you had a big pause.
I ran from age five to six and then I stopped. I played basketball and soccer. I went to Phillips Andover, a big high school in New England, and I showed up thinking I would make the varsity basketball team. Not only did I not make the varsity team, I didn’t make the JV or JV2 teams. It was super embarrassing to show up thinking I was going to play varsity and then not make any team. We had to do a sport, and the only sport at that point was track, so I walked on the track team. They had me run the two mile at practice because I’m thin and obviously don’t have the build of the shot putter. I ran around 11:40 for two miles. By my sophomore year, my PR was 11:35. At the New England Championships that year, the coach entered me in the two mile. The track was kind of crazy and I didn’t understand the splits. Somehow I ran a 10:48. Beating a PR by 45 seconds in a two mile race is huge. I had the realization years later that had the track been standard and had I known the splits, I would have been too afraid. I needed someone or something to trick me into running that fast because I couldn’t run that fast without the trick, and the trick was the track. That was what led me to go faster. That was a very important moment.
From there, it was a linear progression. I got better through high school, and won the New England Championships in the mile and two mile. I was pretty good, but not super elite. I went to Stanford, where the recruiting class of the team won a national championship, but I was the worst kid in the recruiting class. I ran for a year and then I quit. I didn’t really run again until my late 20s. I ran a couple marathons in between, here and there. My times ranged around 3:18 to 3:40. I was not good.
At about age 30, this is where it gets interesting. I ran a 2:57, so I finally beat my dad’s time. Then I ran a 2:43. I went from 2:57 to 2:43 basically by just joining a club team. I was elated because as a kid, I thought breaking three hours was the insurmountable barrier since I watched my dad run a 3:01. When I ran that 2:57, I was thrilled and then I ran a 2:43. I was like, “Holy cow.” Almost immediately afterwards, a matter of days or weeks, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 30. I went through a horrible series of multiple surgeries and radiation therapy. It took a long time to get back to feeling good and healthy again. Two years later, I ran another marathon, and I ran it exactly the same. I ran 2:43:51 at age 30 and then at 32, I ran 2:43:43 or something like that. Over the next 10 years, I ran marathons basically every fall, and the times were all identical. They’re basically all 2:43.
When I turned 43, I got a call from Nike and went through their training. My marathon time dropped down to 2:29. My question that animated the training part of the piece I wrote was, How come for 10 years I couldn’t break 2:40 and then in one year, I was able to go 2:43, 2:38, 2:34, 2:29? What the hell happened? That was the idea of the story.
We talk a lot about how much of success in sport, work, and life is genetic versus a combination of training, mindset and self belief? What have you learned through your training and racing?
I’ve learned about a thousand things, but mostly ten small things and one big thing. First, the small things. I wore the Vaporfly shoes. Those help. Clearly having lighter shoes with a metal plate helps you recover and helps you go faster. Some people perform significantly better with them on and some perform only slightly better. I definitely benefit from them, for sure. I learned some new things about diet. I drink beet juice every morning. As you can tell from what I had for breakfast, I keep a pretty strict diet now.
More importantly, I started doing more structured speed workouts. When I was training on my own in my thirties, I would do fartlek and tempo runs, but suddenly I had very specific workouts from my Nike coach. I would have to hit a very specific goal. I’m goal-oriented and pretty organized. I file my stories on time. I do workouts the coach tells me to do. I also started using Strava. It’s a good way to run against yourself and to understand what your peers are doing. I started using a heart rate monitor and think that’s the most important intervention of them all. It allows you to really track your effort. You know when you’re going too hard or too easy, and it helps you to see improvement over time. For example, I could run, say, six miles at 5:45 pace three weeks ago, and today I ran six miles at 5:45 pace, but my heart was beating two beats per minute slower. That’s actually a significant improvement.
I started doing some strength exercises, planks and pull ups, flexibility, and dynamic stretching. That probably helped. I became a little more structured about all of it, in general. I have a much stricter sleep regimen that I had before. I pretty much go to bed at 10:30 and get up at 6 every day. For me, that’s a pretty good night’s sleep. If I don’t get that, it’s harder for my body to recover. Those are all the small things.
The big thing is mental. I didn’t even realize it until I was well into that 2:29 race. Basically what happened to me during my training was the same thing that happened to me at that track in high school. I don’t know why or when exactly, but somehow my psychology switched and I no longer was obsessed with breaking 2:40. Somehow, I convinced myself that I could go a whole standard deviation better. I had this moment of self discovery during the writing process of that article. I remember I was running across the Brooklyn Bridge and this question kept going through my head: “How can I run 2:30 at 44 and 2:44 at 30?” I realized it basically had to do with my sickness.
For the 10 years after I recovered from being sick, I wasn’t trying to be the fastest version of me that I could be. I was trying to run as fast as I had run before I got sick. At some deep psychological level, all I cared about was going as fast as I had done before I had gotten cancer. Somehow all this training, all the interventions, and the coaching got me to believe that I could go faster. It tricked me into believing that I could go faster, and that opened up this whole new avenue of running. It took me to 2:29. Now I wonder where it could take me eventually. We’re in quarantine and there are no races, so maybe this is the end, but I’m really glad I got that experiment and miraculously dropped 15 minutes. Of course, it makes me wonder what I could have run if I had done all this stuff when I was 29.
You have a big job, kids, and running. How do you build the structure for all this to happen?
I have a lot of life hacks to make running work with my life. The principle one is I run commute. I drop my kids off at school, and I run to the gym, which is about four and a half miles away. I shower there and then go to the office. It doesn’t take that much longer than taking the subway. At the end of the day, I run home in reverse. I incorporate tempo runs and speed workouts into my commute. The advantage of a run commute is that it’s not taking additional time out of the day because I have to get to work anyway. One of the risks when you have a busy job and a busy life is thinking, “I don’t need to run today because it’s raining, it’s cold, I’ve got a big podcast I need to be on.” There are always 50 reasons not to do it, but if you lock it into your commute, you’re much less likely to cede to any of those reasons. I also try to use my running time as essentially work time. I listen to technology podcasts and listen to books about technology. I listen to stuff that is helpful for my job.
Then there’s the question of family. I hate the idea that I would go for a run when I could be playing with my kids. So I drop them off at school, and then run, or get up before they do and run. I try to incorporate my kids into my cross training. My real cross training is playing hours or soccer with my kids. I don’t know what the cross training benefits are, but they must be substantial. I try to take on as much of the family burden as I can. My wife understands it. She’s a professional dancer and has a full time job as a professor. We trade off, and we have a lot of routines. Sometimes it doesn’t work, like any parent knows.
The piece I wrote touches on how my father got into running. He started running as a rebellion against his father because his father had made him feel bad about sports. I got into running for the opposite reason. I was following my father because it made me feel good. That makes me think about the effect my running will have on my children. Will they hate running? Are they gonna write a memoir about their weird, obsessed, oatmeal-eating father? Or are they going to become runners themselves too, and we’ll be drinking beet juice together in 15 years? I don’t know, but I hope it’s the latter. I don’t know how I’m influencing them, but I hope it’s benign.
You went to a great high school, one of the best colleges in the world and you’ve worked at some of the most respected organizations. How have you made those choices? Does your path create pressure for your kids to follow in your footsteps?
I hadn’t really thought about it like that. Is there a parallel between the choice to go to Andover and the choice to go to Stanford and the choice to work at The New Yorker? For me, it was always apparent that if you have the opportunity, you go to the best place you can and try to do the best you can there. It felt better to be the number nine recruit at Stanford versus being the number one recruit at an equally great academic school. It just always seemed natural to try to go to Stanford, but sometimes it doesn’t work. Clearly my running career at Stanford was a total failure. I feel like, if possible, I’ve always made that choice. When I was a journalist, I always wanted to go to The New Yorker. I was fortunate to be offered a job, and I jumped at it.
I think my path will definitely create pressure for my kids. My wife and I both went to Stanford, so it will be interesting when it’s time for them to go to college. I think you’re always measuring yourself against your parents, and you always see where they succeed. This is one of the subtexts in my piece. My dad went to Andover, too. He grew up very differently. I grew up in a very loving family in a nice neighborhood outside of Boston. My dad grew up in a very difficult family and moved around. He spent his central years in Oklahoma and ran away from home to Andover which is very different from my experience. From that point forward, he went to Andover, went to Stanford, and then he won a Rhodes Scholarship, and he went to Oxford. That put pressure on me, but I didn’t win a Rhodes Scholarship, which seems like an absurd thing to have pressure on your back for because it’s practically impossible. But you measure yourself against your parents.
My hope is that my kids aren’t measuring themselves against me. I hope that they are finding their own paths, and that they’re succeeding to the extent that they measure success, in whatever ways they want. As long as they’re generous to other people and curious about the world, I’ll be happy.
You’ve reached great heights in running and in your career, and you’re taking on other things, like speaking engagements. How do you manage the stress of all of it?
Taking on new opportunities is a pleasure. The opportunity to go on TV or to speak is easy. The stress is in the inverse of that. The most important thing that I can do professionally right now is make Wired succeed and make it the best magazine in the world about how technology is changing what it means to be human. I get stressed thinking about the time I’m spending running. I wonder if running makes me less good at editing Wired. There’s a time management stress of figuring out if I should be doing a speech or spending more time with my children. Do I need to run this workout? For anybody who is trying to do things at a high level, there’s always a question of whether you are spreading yourself too thin. That’s not just a source of stress, but a source of constant self-analysis. Part of it is trying to identify what I’m genuinely good at and what I can contribute to the world in a real way. There are some things I’m good at and other things I’m not, and adulthood is the process of figuring that out.
Wired and the Future of Media
From the outside, it looks like Wired has navigated the change in the media landscape better than most. How do you see the way people consume information changing? Where is technology taking things?
The way people consume information becomes ever more dispersed. At first they read a print magazine, then you build a website which mostly drives people to the magazine. The website eventually becomes an entity of itself with its own publishing arms. Social platforms come around, initially as a way to drive people to either the print magazine or the web publication, but then they become their own publishing platforms and they expand. Publishers over the last 15 years have needed to recognize where people are consuming content and to understand the rules of those particular platforms. They need to figure out both how you can be a participant and make money off of it. There are some platforms where it’s easy to be a participant, and some platforms where it’s easy to make money. There are not that many where it’s possible to do both.
My job is to figure out how to prioritize. I need to figure out how to make money off Instagram, or maybe we’re not, we’re just going to try to create value in other ways. Maybe we’ll make money off YouTube, and we’ll use YouTube to drive people to platforms that we can monetize at a higher rate. There’s this constant moving around of time and energy. It’s a little bit related to the topic of how I spend my day. We have a small number of people who work at Wired. How much time should they spend on YouTube, on Twitter, or publishing just on Wired.com? Will we be part of Apple News? There is no simple answer to any of the questions.
The trend we’ve seen is more and more is content being read on aggregation platforms, like Apple News, the Facebook news tab, or even on Twitter where it’s just headlines or screenshots. Basically, aggregation platforms are accumulating all the content and making all the money. Publishers are not making any money, but need to participate. One question is: will this trend continue and will all content will go to the aggregation platforms?
The second question is: what is the next format? Will virtual reality become the next platform where publishers need to exist? Will the transition to video continue? What we’re trying to do is to make Wired.com, the website, and the affiliated apps, like Get WIRED, feel essential to a certain number of people. If we can do that, we can survive financially. If we can get a million people to pay us $40 a year because they feel that it’s essential, then we can run this business. If we can’t, and we can’t. So if you’re listening, please subscribe to Wired.
What have you learned about becoming an essential media platform?
The easy, but also hard answer, is you just have to be good. You have to be different. The Internet has created infinite supply. Anybody can tell their own story, post their own pictures, or make their own magazine. Anybody can write anything they want. If you aren’t different and good, you’re doomed. In the old days, when there were limitations on supply, you could publish stuff that wasn’t good and people still read it. There used to be one newspaper in an area and whatever went in that newspaper, people would read it. That allows you to not be good. Today, if you publish stories that aren’t good, that don’t get people’s attention, and don’t get people to share them, you’re toast.
It’s similar to being an athlete. You have to figure out what you’re actually good at. If you’re a runner, you have to really figure out whether you should be running the 800 or the 10,000. If you’re a soccer player, you need to know if you’re an attacker or a left defender. You have to figure out where you fit in. At Wired, we’re asking ourselves, “What do we do that nobody else does? How do we do that?” Once you succeed, other people copy you, so you have to evolve. There’s this constant challenge of identifying the stories that are not being told and how we can tell them better than anybody else. That is the constant challenge for our editors. I think it’s fairly similar to an athlete choosing their athletic career or figuring out if they want to create a content platform and what approach they should take that will make them different.
Over the past decade, the tech industry has gone through a major shift in perception and in many ways, a loss of trust. Do you believe in the good of technology? Do you worry about the ability of the media in general to hold the big tech players accountable?
I consider myself something of a technology optimist. I really do believe it can be used for good and that the harms we’ve seen are mistakes in myopia. Facebook can do an extraordinary amount of good and an extraordinary amount of evil. Which way it goes basically depends on how the financial incentives are set up inside the company, how the algorithm works, how people use it, and how the company responds. There are a bunch of human choices that are made along the way, and there are 100 different vectors. It’s not a simple thing. But I genuinely believe that technology can do wonderful things. I’m talking from my attic in the Catskills with a very strong connection going over fiber optic cables that have been laid in the land and allow us to communicate. There’ll be a whole set of other amazing technological things that will make our voices go to anybody, which is an extraordinary, democratic and wonderful thing. I am optimistic, though I’m also quite realistic about some of the harms.
As for the media, the loss of trust in the media just tears my heart apart. Part of the loss is because our president likes to control the narrative, and there are very few threats to the narratives that he creates. One of the threats is the media, so he likes to tear it down, and many of his supporters agree.
Another reason is the creation of social media. You used to read publications, not individuals, and publications would have filters and levels. Social media has their own dynamics where you can say 49 sensible things and one stupid thing, and everybody will see the one stupid thing. Suddenly, everybody has a perception that that institution is dumb. You have this dynamic where the social media platforms, the way the algorithms work, are driving people to their extreme positions. Then there are individuals untethered from their institutions using their lizard brains and saying things, and it makes the public not trust the media as unbiased and fair arbiters of what is happening in the world. Trust in media declines, that makes us less essential, and I think makes society work less well.
The ideal situation in media would be one where there’s a real diversity of opinions and viewpoints and ways of looking at the world, but everybody has core values about pursuing truth and seeing stories and issues from all angles. Then they’re trusted and people share the best stuff and not the worst stuff. I can try to do my little bit to reverse those trends, but that definitely keeps me awake at night.
Where do you get your information from? What are you reading, watching, listening to?
For my morning routine, I rotate podcasts on my runs. I listen to The Daily, The New Yorker Radio Hour, NPR News, Today, Explained, Reply All, Techmeme, and the a16z Podcast. I try to listen to the news in Spanish to improve my Spanish a little bit. After I run, I come in and read Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I see what my friends are posting. I’m trying to read everything we publish at Wired, soon after it gets published.
I check about 50 sites for technology news, but not all of them every day. I usually check about 6 on a given day. The places I go for technology news are Hacker News, Google News filtered for technology news, and Reddit/tech. I read the Atlantic, the Times, the Post, the Journal, The Information. I read a bunch of newsletters, like Ben Thompson’s newsletter, Benedict Evans’ newsletter, and the China AI newsletter so I can understand what’s happening with China and artificial intelligence. I go through Twitter and links in stories that are curated.
Every day, I do a series for LinkedIn and Facebook where I talk about the most interesting thing in tech. My assistant will curate the five most important stories in tech and give them to me in the middle of the day. I’ll choose one and talk about it for my two minute video series which I post on LinkedIn and Facebook. We check all those news sources for the top stories.
I’m trying to read books at night, too. I’m reading Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich. I just finished Bill McKibben’s Long Distance. After writing my running story, I’m reading some of the classic literature on running. I probably should have done it before I wrote my story. And of course, I love reading The New Yorker, both in print and on the web. I adored that place. I spent six years there, love all the people there, and their stuff’s awesome.
On tech for fitness and health, is there anything new you’re using?
I use RunScribe pods to measure pronation and balance. I wear a Garmin Running Dynamics pod on my waistband that will tell me left foot, right foot. I wear a Scosche heart rate monitor and a Garmin 935 watch on my wrist. I’ve been trying to do a little barefoot running every week, so I’ve been running in Vibram shoes.
I was sent this bike by CAR.O.L. It’s a 10-minute workout where you bike slowly for three minutes and then bike incredibly hard for 10 seconds and then slow for three minutes, and so on. It measures how you’re doing and changes the resistance. I’ve only had it set up for two weeks and have done it about five times, but what’s fun is that my kids love it. They’re measuring their wattage output, and my 11-year-old just beat my records. I need to figure out how that happened. I didn’t think that was going to happen for a little while longer.
Where can people find you?
I’m NxThompson on Twitter, and the same on Instagram. I’m Nicholas Thompson on LinkedIn, Facebook and Strava. NickThompson.com has a full list, if you want to be a completist.