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What does it take to become a champion?  Sure, you need to have talent, and drive, and access to the sport you want to play.  

But it also takes some luck right from birth.  If you don’t have a supportive family with the means and desire to help you on the right path, your road is going to be a lot tougher.

Gwen Jorgensen became the United States’ first Olympic gold medalist in the triathlon in 2016.  But her path to Rio was not a traditional one.

She went through a lot of ups and downs and she wants to help the young athletes that come up behind her, by learning from her mistakes and learning what she did right.

But as great of an athlete as Gwen is, she knew that the talent for writing a book belonged to others in her family.  Her mom, Nancy and her sister Elizabeth, are both teachers and writers.  So the three of them set off to write a guide aimed for young girls who are inspired by Gwen’s story and want to learn from one of the best.

Welcome to the Planted Runner.  I’m Coach Claire Bartholic and my mission is to help you improve your running, your mindset, and your life with science-backed training and plant-based nutrition.

In this episode, Nancy and Liz Jorgensen tell Gwen’s story and teach some of the lessons in their new guidebook.  You’ll learn:

  • How to raise a champion athlete
  • How goal setting can be transformational for athletes of all ages, and
  • How to balance a high performance lifestyle while being a young athlete

If you are a fan of Gwen’s, you know that she just had a baby so she didn’t join us for this one, but I hope to have her on in the future.

Don’t forget to stay tuned all the way to the end for another Mental Strength Minute.  Fortify your mind in 60 seconds or less. 


Here is the book on Amazon: Gwen Jorgensen: USA's First Olympic Gold Medal Triathlete 

Here is a link to purchased signed copies:

 Free educator guide: 

 For author visits, email [email protected] or [email protected]  

Websites: and

Our family story: Go: Gwen, Go: A Family's Journey to Olympic Gold 

On Twitter: @LyzaJo and @NancyJorgensen


Love your podcast!


“I just recently recovered from a rare medical condition, that was cured from long treatment and a tough surgery about 6 months ago. I ran my first half last November, and prepping for next training cycle for first full in April. You have a wonderful way of presenting excellent information and sharing your thoughts on running and nutrition. Getting into running, I’ve listened to almost every running podcast lol 😂 and found your podcast to be excellent! I don’t find myself picking and choosing topics to listen to on your podcast…I enjoy each one! Fantastic job connecting to all levels of runners! Alan”

Run831 via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 12/17/22

Encouraging and Realistic


“I’m four weeks away from my first marathon, having started from the couch six months ago. I stumbled across this podcast and was intrigued because I’ve also been eating plant-based for a year. The first episode made me feel much better about my training and the effort I’ve been able to manage so far. I especially enjoyed the advice to concentrate on process goals instead of focusing solely on achievements. I’m looking forward to the next episode!”

Action Pants Ben via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 08/24/22

Striving upward


“Claire is amazing on how she will navigate your running to next level…no matter where you are at…she explains so eloquently her simple methods on striving upward to next level..her podcasts are so enjoyable and I ALWAYS reap the benefits of her science based information….incredible lady!!!!”

mindytinkerbell via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 08/19/22

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