This episode was inspired by awesome email commentary from a devoted listener, Primal Endurance advocate, and accomplished collegiate level runner Jack McGinness. Kipchoge recently ran the Berlin Marathon in 2:01.39, shattering the previous record and closing in on the previously unfathomable 2:00 barrier. Kipchoge’s pace per mile was an astonishing 4:39. Most accomplished runners would be hard-pressed to match this pace for even a half a lap around a track, but Kipchoge can continue at this speed for 26 miles. This is truly one of the most phenomenal athletic performances of the past 100 years.
What’s interesting about Kipchoge’s story is that, just as Dr. Phil Maffetone predicted in his commentary on the Primal Endurance Mastery Course, Kipchoge has become the greatest marathoner in history by training easier than other elite marathoners. Strange as it may seem, this guy rarely exceeds what we call MAF pace. Oh, Kipchoge runs like the wind, on muddy trails and high altitude in Kenya, but he explains that he tries to never exceed 80% of his capacity, instead of saving his energy for races.
He is super consistent, super disciplined, but he never trashes himself, never gets sick or injured, and doesn’t even taper for races. He runs 110-120 miles a week with great discipline and joy. Hit some of the links in the show notes and learn how wise and thoughtful he is—far more than just a running machine! You will learn some interesting insights from this show, particularly when you compare and contrast Kipchoge’s eminently sensible approach with the ridiculous Type A chronic approach that is still the norm in America, particularly in the collegiate and high school systems. The cover of the book Primal Endurance says “Slow down to go faster,” and now Kipchoge has actualized this concept.
In the Berlin Marathon in September 2018 this runner came up with a 2:01:39 time. This computes to an average 4:39 mile!! [00:01:36]
Running is a most satisfying sport. But you have to do it right. The running community in the past has been doing it disastrously wrong! [00:04:05]
Doping continues to be common in the running world. [00:06:28]
What is Kipchoge training method? He never over-extends himself. [00:09:53]
The only thing that is in somewhat conflict with the primal theory is he has a constant schedule. [00:15:42]
If you are a person who's trying to break the three-hour mark or the four-hour mark, just apply these insights to your relative example. [00:20:28]
The general problem with many American distance runners is too many type A runners who obsess over their workouts and paces and then fail to take care of the little things. [00:21:59]
Kipchoge is going to change the game. [00:25:43]
The science of running article analyzing his training
Kipchoge training log
This show is about rethinking the basic notions of athletic training, particularly the ‘no pain no gain’ model that’s been widely criticized but is still embedded into DNA of many endurance athletes. Brad offers insights from four experts that may just blow your mind and get you to make some changes in your schedule that can lead to big improvements, and reduced risk of overtraining, illness, injury and burnout. These insights place particular emphasis on the recovery aspect of peak performance, something that has been overlooked or taken for granted by hard-charging endurance athletes. It's time to wake up and implement an evolved approach to your endurance goals, with help from four great thought leaders Brad discusses in this show. Some brief highlights:
Dr. Phil Maffetone: Honor MAF heart rate and emphasize aerobic development. Never exceed 90% of max heart rate during high intensity sessions.
Brian MacKenzie: The Power, Speed, Endurance guru and founder of Crossfit Endurance is now obsessed with recovery as the next evolution of athletic training--stuff like breathing practice, and hot and cold therapy!
Joel Jamieson: Joel's Rebound Workouts entail doing a focused protocol of movements that can actually help speed recovery by stimulating parasympathetic activity. The workout includes breathing, stretching, mobility/range of motion exercise, doing positive lifts only (dropping the weight after lifting to avoid eccentric), and doing very short intervals with mindful heart rate lowering during long recovery periods.
Craig Marker: Craig and Pavel Tsatsouline of StrongFirst and StrongEndurance suggest that the popular HIIT training is inferior to High-Intensity Repeat Training, where you rest long enough to deliver consistent high-quality efforts and don't get exhausted by the end.
Whether you are a casual or serious endurance athlete, this show can transform your approach to sport, improving performance and reducing the risk of burnout. Listen to this show like your life depends upon it!
Brad reviews the most important insights gathered from his interviews with these experts.
Dr. Phil Maffetone: It's so important to get this out there: The Maffetone formula is 180 minus your age in beats per minute is the maximum fat-burning point that should be the goal of all people interested in maintaining the best training and fitness. [00:03:36]
You need not ever exceed 90 percent of your maximum heart rate even during the most intense and explosive training sessions. [00:06:26]
Brian MacKenzie, Founder of CrossFit: Breathing, Recovery, Training, Strength and Conditioning, Endurance, Sports Programming, Mechanics, Injuries, Nutrition, and Sleep Analysis are the pieces he puts together to create the total athlete. [00:10:31]
The Ice Man, Wim Hof, trains people to overcome the resistance to cold with his breathing protocols. [00:14:57]
Joel Jamison offers ground-breaking insights: Emphasis is on recovery-based training methods (rebound workouts). Those are the sessions you perform when you are trying to recover. [00:18:07]
Craig Marker, StrongFirst.com: Recommends High-Intensity Repeat Training which is to make the effort, rest for sufficient duration in terms of the quality of the effort. [00:22:59]
Four sprints and rest combo works the best for Brad. Focus on quality. [00:28:16]
You can apply this same mentality no matter what your sport. The maximum sustained power session vs. the fatiguing session is important to understand. [00:29:31]
Brad reviews the importance of resting between the mobility work. [00:34:43]
DNAFit.com can analyze your genetic profile to see what sport you are structured for. [00:37:59]
“The record will be broken by an athlete who is doing less mileage and less intensity than today’s marathon champions.” (Dr. Phil Maffetone)