Host Brad Kearns covers the complementary benefits of deliberate movement practices like yoga to balance the repetitive, fight or flight stimulation of endurance training. Pursuing assorted forms of play and toning down your linear, Type-A mentality to endurance goals will help ease the stress and increase enjoyment.
Andrew MacNaughton on the ideal coach-athlete relationship
Host Brad Kearns and Andrew MacNaughton talk about the most important dynamics of a successful and enjoyable coach-athlete relationship. In particular, the personal and intuitive elements differ from the common dynamic of the coach as a workout programmer. Andrew’s coaching operation, The Athlete’s Potential (TAP), embodies this evolved approach based on authentic interpersonal relationships looking at the big picture view of succeeding in life and endurance sports in tandem.
The process starts with a mutual interview to determine a good fit. Expectations, goals, and life stress matters are all presented so an action plan can take shape with mutual input. Andrew helps his athletes escape from the “falling behind” trap by programming sequences of workouts instead of days. If you miss a day of training, you just strive to complete recommended workouts the next day. This is a huge difference from applying workout patterns to a calendar. Andrew also recommends a cafeteria-style workout schedule where the athlete knows its a recovery day, and can choose from an assortment of actual workouts that meet the recovery objective—or the race preparation key workout objective if the case may be. If you are a coach, are looking for a coach, or wondering how you can improve your relationship with your existing coach, check out this episode. Oh yeah, Andrew reminds coaches and athletes alike that this stuff should be fun, not drudgery. Enjoy, and check out more at theathletespotential.com
Andrew MacNaughton discusses coaching techniques keeping the long-term view in focus. [00:01:01]
What are the good characteristics of a coach? [00:02:51]
What does a good coaching relationship look like? [00:04:40]
What is the best way to tune the relationship? Is there a budget concern? [00:08:20]
What are the important things you are stressing on this day-to-day coaching contact? [00:10:19]
Health before endurance aspects are all in the package of Andrew's style. [00:11:57]
What are the patterns that he sees recurring in his athletes? [00:12:25]
Do athletes often look to the coach as an authority figure that they are just to follow submissively? [00:15:07]
What is the ratio of time spent on discussions of physical training workouts and the bigger picture of life, behavior, and attitude? [00:18:42]
How does diet and personal stress play into the endurance athlete's overall performance? [00:20:20]
Why is the person seeking help? What is the best way to bring in the knowledge and training principles? [00:23:20]
Do people still over train? What is this "fun" theory? [00:26:53]
How does one lose that magic of having fun? [00:28:57]
What does Andrew think it would be like it if he could take this "have fun" attitude back twenty-five years to his professional racing career? [00:32:03]
If you are an athlete and thinking about getting coached, what should you be looking for? [00:34:11]
Get some “movement nutrition” as Katy Bowman says and ditch that lazy endurance athlete’s mentality that gives you a hall pass to sit around all day just because you did an impressive workout. Remember there are 168 hours in a week and that increasing all forms of daily movement will give you cardiovascular health, as opposed to the cardiovascular fitness for a narrowly focused task of endurance performance—a fitness that can actually compromise your health when you overdo it.
Escaping the Type-A struggle and suffer approach to training
Host Brad Kearns welcomes favored recurring guest Andrew MacNaughton to present a landmark show about developing the proper mindset and decision-making strategy for endurance training. This podcast might have a important influence on your big picture approach to training and should be listened to repeatedly. Some topics discussed: The advantages of an intuitive, less stressful training schedule over regimented workout programming. How high intensity training indeed delivers quick and impressive results, but comes with increased risk of injury and burnout. Best to integrate high intensity strategically and conservatively, building your base and protecting your health in pursuit of fitness.
The flawed “struggle and suffer” mentality of the endurance athlete is exposed, with speculation that Type-A endurance performers aren’t truly satisfied unless they are exhausted. To escape from the peer pressure and overly stressful ethos of the endurance community, as yourself important questions about your highest ideals and goals, and align your behavior accordingly. Take Olympic gold and silver medalist Simon Whitfield’s comment to heart, “Today, I’m coached by my 80-year-old self.” Andrew mentions the benefits of training with slower athletes, because it’s “easy to go hard, but hard to go easy.” As discussed on many shows, you can benefit greatly from training at way below MAF heart rate. Andrew used to spin his pedals on the flatlands at 100 bpm (his aerobic max was 155 then). Many hours of this easy effort each week built a phenomenal base from which to launch racing time trial efforts. Don't bother yourself with justifications to increase your MAF heart rate for whatever reason. Slow down, enjoy the journey, and get faster!
Andrew MacNaughton is the guest today discussing the coach/athlete relationship and how they can best relate. Brad and Andrew compare and contrast the training styles. [00:01:40]
Does high intensity training deliver the best results? [00:03:13]
Is it true that endurance athletes, in general, are uncomfortable unless they are in a state of overtraining? That is what they think feels normal. [00:07:53]
What are you doing this for and what are you all about? Is this fun for you? [00:10:14]
How does one balance rest and stress? [00:17:25]
If you train below your aerobic heart rate, how can that help a performance? [00:23:39]
Do you need to train your anaerobic muscle fibers? [00:27:34]
Once in a while training is okay. [00:29:26]
Athletes who aspire to a top level of performance their whole life can learn from this “slowing down” coaching style. [00:29:50]
For part two of the sleep chapter, Host Brad Kearns focuses on the benefits of napping and how you can target sleep deficiencies—either deep sleep or REM sleep—and how naps actually don’t mess up your evening sleep. Then we pull it all together and get marching orders to cultivate excellent sleeping habits and a calm, mellow, dark sleeping environment.
Brad Kearns tackles more interesting Q&A from Primal Endurance podcast listeners and book readers. Submit your questions at www.primalblueprint.com/endurance and they will get covered on the air.
Listen and enjoy learning about the challenges and successes of your endurance peers, and come away with plenty of practical tips to help improve your training and competitive results.
Shane is 44 year old. He keeps his heart rate low on runs so he is not worn out when he's finished like he used to be. He asks should I increase the distance and the frequency? [00:02:27]
Katie is asking: I am wondering about all the theories emerging about high intensity interval training. Do I throw this out the window since now the emphasis is on aerobic? Is total calories burned at high intensity now trumped by low intensity exercise emphasizing fat? [00:07:02]
Laura has thoroughly covered the Maffetone books, podcasts, and blogs. Six weeks into this lifestyle change but one area I can't find much information on is racing. She is a marathoner at a pace of 3:38. Her MAF tests have dropped her from 9:50 to 9:00 minute miles. What does she do for the next marathon? [00:11:54]
What should she use for fueling? Should she ever use sugar in races? [00:17:44]
Mike is asking about maximum sustained power workouts (those high intensity training sessions) we talk about in the book. Should we weigh these primal essential movements with a weighted vest or something? What sort of exercises can he do? [00:20:18]
How do I schedule my high intensity phase related to my races? [00:28:21]
Mike who is 59 years old is wondering about lifting heavy things? This questioner has such a schedule routine of sprinting, strength session, kettle balls etc. and wants to know if this is too much? [00:31:13]
Tune in as Host Brad Kearns discusses how sleep is more important to endurance athletes than anyone! If you aren’t getting adequate sleep, you shouldn’t even be training. Minimize artificial light and digital stimulation after dark.
Host Brad Kearns covers more Q&A, particularly the importance of having a flexible, intuitive approach instead of trying to adhere to a robotic schedule. It’s fine to plan and schedule important workouts around other life responsibilities, but your workouts must always be subject to adjustment on the fly. We also talk about fueling strategies in the race, particularly the dilemma for fat-adapted athletes to stay with high fat fuels like nut butters or turn to sugar on race day. Brad surprisingly says it’s okay to slam a Coke, but also that the best fueling strategy is to get in good shape so you don’t live or die by your nutrition particulars.
We pick up the Interval Show series covering the content of the Primal Endurance book with part 2 of Chapter 7 - Sprinting. Pick the ideal training period/time of year, the ideal day, workout type (weight bearing is the best, but low or no impact works if necessary). Warm-up properly, choose the proper sprint duration, recovery periods, and reps. Brad says you need not do much more than 6 x 100m or 2 x 200m + 4 x 100m. Brief, explosive, and consistent quality efforts!