Primal Endurance Podcast

Welcome to The Primal Endurance Podcast, where we challenge the ineffective, overly stressful conventional approach to endurance training and provide a refreshing, sensible, healthy, fun alternative. Going primal frees you from carbohydrate dependency and turns you into a fat burning beast! Enjoy interviews from elite athletes, coaches, authors and scientists on the cutting edge of endurance training and performance.
RSS Feed Subscribe in iTunes
Primal Endurance Podcast



All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 2
May 5, 2017

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.

May 2, 2017

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!

Apr 28, 2017

Host Brad Kearns covers a few questions, going deep into some of the most important themes of successful endurance training, including: not stressing about how slow your aerobic pace is! It’s all about becoming more efficient at the low heart rates. Yes, going below aerobic max is just fine and develops those important aerobic energy producing enzymes and muscle fibers. Regarding dietary macronutrients, it’s a great idea to do a little bit of food journaling and entering into online macronutrient calculator so you can then ballpark your daily totals on the fly over the long haul.


Submit your questions at and they will get covered on the air.

Apr 26, 2017

Host Brad Kearns picks up the Interval Show series covering the content of the Primal Endurance book with part 1 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!

Apr 21, 2017

Host Brad Kearns returns to the series of Interval shows covering content in the Primal Endurance book. Here we review Chapter 7 on strength training, detailing the Primal Essential Movements, Maximum Sustained Power workouts, and the ideal strategies and guidelines to follow for endurance athletes. Specifically, avoiding the "blended" workouts that are too long, not intense enough, and deliver an unnecessary cardio effect that you are already good with; secondly, making brief explosive efforts that are functional and using many muscle groups

Apr 14, 2017

Host Brad Kearns tackles more interesting Q&A from Primal Endurance podcast listeners and book readers. Submit your questions at and they will get covered on the air. Some recurring themes are coming through with many questioners. While the questions relate to the specific needs of the individual, the answers are presented in a manner that applies to a broad audience. 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.

How do you calculate the aerobic heart rate according to my tempo and age? [00:02:12] 

Mike asks if bouldering and the local rock climbing gym is a good form of cross training? [00:04:02] 

Mike asks about running cadence and how important that is. [00:06:35] 

What happens when low frequency predominates over high frequency? What is the ideal LF to HF ratio? [00:09:05] 

29-year old female is asking about her over training and working above her maximum aerobic heart rate. [00:15:23] 

53-year old female who has been performing at a high level in Ironman used to carbo load and now has gone sugar free, gluten free and low carbs. What should she think about when she is racing? [00:20:22] 

What fuels should I use in my races now that I am keto adapted? [00:22:49] 

Gabo from Slovakia asks why she often feels not ready for a race now that she is on a low carb, high fat diet? [00:26:30] 





Apr 11, 2017

Host Brad Kearns returns to the series of Interval shows covering content in the Primal Endurance book. Here we review Chapter 7 on strength training, discussing the rationale and benefits of strength training for endurance athletes: preserving good form while fatigued and reducing injury risk, getting a desirable pulse of adaptive, anti-aging hormones into the bloodstream, and delaying the aging process.

Apr 7, 2017

Brad Kearns tackles more interesting Q&A from Primal Endurance podcast listeners and book readers. Submit your questions at and they will get covered on the air. Some recurring themes are coming through with many questioners. While the questions relate to the specific needs of the individual, the answers are presented in a manner that applies to a broad audience. 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.


Peter's question is about nose breathing and about integrating strength training into endurance training protocol. How important is the heart rate monitor? [00:02:48] 

Peter also asks about maximum sustained power works. How do you integrate those into a marathon training program? [00:06:32] 

Do maximum aerobic function training benefit young runners, ages 12 to 13? [00:13:12] 

Explaining the difference between the MAF 180-age formula and other calculations. [00:15:43] 

What happens with MAF test versus cardiac drift? [00:19:58] 

How long can one drift above maximum aerobic heart rate before you negate the training session? [00:21:39] 

Could I train exclusively at maximum aerobic plus strength training and count my races for anaerobic training?  [00:25:35] 

What is happening when my hands seem to be much colder since I have been eating primally? [00:26:40] 

Can strength training and sprint workouts be done on the same day? [00:27:09] 

Are longer single aerobic sessions more effective than the same volume over multiple workouts in a week? [00:32:44] 

This question is from Ryan in Tennessee who asks about long strength training sessions. What is MSP pattern mean? [00:35:35] 

In episode no. 37 in the Primal Blueprint podcasts, you mention a stretch you did with plantar fasciitis. What was it? [00:38:04] 


Polar FT1

Mar 31, 2017

Host Brad Kearns welcomes back Lindsay Taylor, Ph.D., for part two of their meeting together. Enjoy today's show as they discuss many common questions among endurance athletes, such as, how to maximize training without being too stressed, the importance of genetics, and how to achieve the best time.


Does all the new technology out there really help our performance? [00:01:58] 

How can one maximize training without being too stressed? [00:04:18] 

Is it necessary to struggle and suffer to become a good athlete? [00:09:14] 

Does living in this modern time bring us more information, more expectations, more pressure to perform and keep up with others? [00:13:35] 

What if others have more than I do or do better than I do? How would that change things? [00:19:16] 

How important are genetics? Is this all I can give?  [00:24:23] 

How is the best way to go forward and have the best time? How do I know when it's too much? [00:29:42] 




Mar 28, 2017

Brad Kearns joins Foreigner on stage for a bit of Cold as Ice, then talks about his typical daily eating patterns during his nutritional keto journey: Fasting in the morning until experiencing feelings of true hunger; using an assortment of ketone supplements - especially before workouts (these products are the real deal, and deliver drug-level anti-inflammatory benefits); enjoying nutrient-dense dietary centerpieces of eggs, nuts, quality meats, and abundant servings of a variety of vegetables; snacking on 85% dark chocolate and coconut butter. Brad advocates a casual approach where you see how things go each day. Use your intuition to guide your eating decisions, but make a commitment to log many hours of fasting or keto aligned meals in order to experience the profound health, immune function, fat loss, cognitive performance, athletic performance and recovery, and disease protection benefits of being fat- and keto-adapted. 

Mar 24, 2017

Host Brad Kearns welcomes back Primal Blueprint Publishing's own Lindsay Taylor, Ph.D. to discuss the controversy surrounding aerobic heart rate, how to compete in races when we've been training so slowly, and whether we should ever incorporate cross-over point workouts into our regimen.

What is the controversy about aerobic heart rate? What does aerobic threshold mean? [00:02:22]

What does it mean "cross-over point?" [00:08:32] 

How are we going to compete in races when we have been training so slowly? [00:22:02] 

So what about anaerobic training? [00:25:16] 

Should we never do cross-over point workouts? [00:29:42] 

When is it time to go hard?  What is the best thing to do? [00:30:12] 

How important is scheduling? [00:33:16] 

Summarizing: Fat max vs. crossover point [00:38:35] 

If the crossover point occurs at a higher heart rate it is good. [00:38:58] 

We are not recommending high intensity workouts every day. [00:39:12] 

Mar 21, 2017

Brad Kearns honors Tupac with a long serving of memorized rap lyrics and then talks about going keto. Maffetone suggests you restrict more carbs as you age, since we become more insulin resistant as we get older. Brad discusses his first effort at nutritional ketosis, which lasted only 3 weeks until he bombed out and had a week-long bout of fatigue. This was likely due to a prolonged fight or flight response making glucose to fuel energy since he was not fully fat- and keto-adapted, but had restricted carbs from historical patterns. Dr. D’Agostino says many people bomb out after three weeks because this is the toughest period to adapt, but the full benefits have not kicked in yet. Brad then relates how his second foray into keto, 126 days and counting at the time of recording, has been much more successful.

Mar 17, 2017

Host Brad Kearns goes back to the mailbag with some great Q&A submissions. Can I do strength training during the aerobic base building phase? What if my endurance goals are not competitive, but rather to have fun and get some thrills on a mountain bike (even if this means elevated heart rates?)? How do you reconcile the Primal Blueprint fitness approach of move frequently, lift heavy things, and sprint, with the Primal Endurance approach of periodization?

Brian asks how to tell if chronic cardio problems are due to diet or exercise? [00:00:28] 

If I go a long time without doing the strength work while I am training for high intensity, won't I lose some of my strength? [00:06:25] 

Can I train exclusively Maff plus strength training and count my races for anaerobic training? [00:16:03] 

Can you mix anaerobic with aerobic in the same session? [00:23:24] 

Are longer single aerobic sessions more effective than the same volume of multiple workouts in a week? [00:23:23] 

I've been using the Maff method of aerobic heart rate monitoring and was wondering when I should alter the "180 minus your age" as I get older. [00:25:32] 

From Blake: I want to balance health and fun in getting in as much mountain biking as possible which would mean I am going over my aerobic heart rate. What do you think? [00:27:26]

Mar 14, 2017

Brad Kearns warms up his voice with Tupac and then covers a topic that hasn’t been mentioned much - how to taper for a peak competitive event. Here’s what NOT to do: don’t training chronically for weeks on end and then crash on the couch for the final couple weeks before the event. Instead, pretend the race is a week earlier than actual and be chomping at the bit as the clock counts down. Maintain intensity, high blood volume, and an active lifestyle, but dramatically cut back on volume - you don’t need a 20-mile run two weeks before your marathon because it takes two weeks to recover from a 20-mile run! For diet, you best be eating optimally at all times instead of pondering some magic regimen to give you a competition boost. Finally, get over yourself and the importance of your event so you don’t waste mental energy stressing. 

Mar 10, 2017

Host Brad Kearns connects with Peter Defty, promoter of Optimized Fat Metabolism and Vespa energy food: Peter is a very early promoter of fat adapted training, and is a successful ultra distance athlete, with many marathons and a Western States 100-mile Endurance Run finish. Since the early 2000s, Peter has coached other athletes to optimize their fat metabolism, including some world-class performers like Zach Bitter, Nell Stephenson, and many others. 

This is a lively show with an analysis of some contentious issues in the current fat adapted training scene. Defty is promoting a “MMAF” - Modified Maximum Aerobic Function. Basically, the idea is that fat adapted athletes can increase their aerobic training heart rate by some 20 beats, because of their optimized fat metabolism and improved cardiovascular system function. This is a pretty big deal because MAF is being promoted as the end-all for aerobic conditioning. 

Defty suggests that fat-adapted training improves cardiovascular function to the extent that athletes might even see an increase in maximum heart rate. This is some provocative stuff that will be interesting food for thought for endurance athletes out there who are dedicated to aerobic training and fat-adapted eating.

Who is Peter Defty and what is his Optimized Fat Metabolism and Vespa food promotion? [00:00:40] 

Do carbs have a place in this endurance world? [00:05:56] 

Using the Vespa supplement in races has what effect? [00:08:46] 

People are meant to be fat burners so what happened when the carbs came into the mix? [00:11:08] 

What is Modified Maximum Aerobic Function? [00:14:23] 

When we look at the some of the greatest athletes in the past and know that their diets were different, what happened to their hearts that they were able to perform like they did? [00:20:42] 

If you are fat-adapted and you are getting better performance from your cardio-vascular system does it increase your maximum heartbeat? [00:25:19] 

What about the idea of bumping up your heart rate increasing the stress level of training? [00:29:00]

Isn't it confusing to think that the diet can increase the heart rate? [00:34:19] 

What are the strength athletes getting from this high fat diet? [00:37:54] 

How does insulin come into play? [00:42:41] 

What is a strategic inclusion of carbohydrates into the diet to optimize performance? [00:46:05] 


Mar 7, 2017

Brad Kearns raps with Ludacris and Bieber and then discusses concepts relating to maximum aerobic heart rate and how to escape carb dependency and become a fat burning beast. Brad reflects on Peter Defty’s recent appearance on the show and his suggestion of increasing your maximum aerobic heart rate if you are fat adapted; how Dr. Phil Maffetone reminds us that even slow paced aerobic workouts support peak performance at all speeds; and his propensity during his professional triathlon career to train very slowly in order to moderate the overall training program stress, but still support peak endurance performance in races. Bottom line: Slow down, eat primal-style, make your easy workouts easier and occasionally hit it really hard with what Mark Sisson calls, “Breakthrough workouts.”

Mar 3, 2017

Host Brad Kearns welcomes Andrew to the hot seat as they tackle more Q&A sessions. Topics include: how quickly one can improve when slowing way down to stay aerobic, using perceived exertion in anaerobic type races like mountain biking, how to best consume calories during sustained workouts (including fine-tuning fat adaptation by consuming minimal amounts) and how the “cheat day” mentality is totally ridiculous.


42 year old firefighter asks about how much improvement should he expect in months or a year after I have switched to the slower method of training? And what about the pace in an upcoming race? [00:00:53] 

As a firefighter, I am obligated to stay strong in the gym lifting weights. How will affect my racing? [00:05:51] 

The next question is about training partners who keep a faster pace. At what point do I know to shift my focus to a more intense workout? [00:06:51] 

A mountain bike racer is asking will the fat adapted approach still provide enough glycogen for all the anaerobic work? [00:08:19] 

Do I keep the commitment to aerobic as I enter the racing season? [00:12:27] 

Will a No Sugar Branched-Chain Amino Acid drink mess with my attempt to stay fat adapted? [00:14:54] 

Should I eat to build volume during the base building period? [00:15:54] 

How much is too much when we are talking about training at these aerobic heart rates? Should I use HRV to per iodize my schedule? [00:16:56] 

How should I use these starch products and high quality carb sources for fueling during training and racing? [00:22:28] 

What about cardiac drift that comes when you get really fatigued? [00:33:28] 

How long a drift above maximum aerobic heart rate does it take to negate the training session? [00:36:12]

Feb 28, 2017

Host Brad Kearns talks about the various options for how to use keto as a long-term tool for metabolic optimization. Long term nutritional ketosis is recommended by oracles like Dr. Phil Maffetone and could be a good option for many. Cyclic ketosis is a reasonable choice, where you enjoy the benefits of fasting/keto-aligned meals and also enjoy higher carb meals that bump you temporarily out of ketosis but help you recover from exercise stress and enjoy life and you can stay in a primal-aligned mode and not bother with the regimentation and strictness of nutritional ketosis, and still enjoy assorted health benefits.

Feb 24, 2017

The popular Q&A shows have a new twist and Andrew MacNaughton, former elite pro, The Athletes Potential coach, and popular podcast repeat guest, tackles questions from listeners. Some of the questions lead us to hitting some big picture philosophical points hard. Andrew urges athletes to ignore the struggle and suffer mentality that is embedded in endurance culture. You don’t have to suffer or feel routinely tired to progress as an athlete.


Focus on going faster at aerobic heart rates rather than inching up training heart rates. There are assorted dangers of training in the black hole. Furthermore, you implement and refine good technique at slow speeds (true in all sports). You can mix in a bit of strength training during aerobic periods, especially if you have goals like obstacle course racing. 


Is there a propensity to over train? [00:01:09] 


In order to feel good about being in shape should workouts and training be a painful punishment? [00:05:22] 


Should we have "make-up workouts?" [00:06:40] 


Alicia asks what kind of heart monitor should she use? [00:09:46] 


Is it a good goal to try to bump up our heart rates? [00:11:25] 


What is the right level to shoot for in order to train BELOW my Maximum Aerobic Function? [00:15:05] 


Is it important to do "quality" rather than "junk miles"? [00:19:44] 


Can one apply this theory of going slow in training in swimming or golfing? [00:24:00] 


What are some techniques one should use for preparing for Obstacle Course Racing? [00:29:57] 

Feb 21, 2017
Host Brad Kearns nears the end of the long series of interval shows on diet, with discussion about going keto in this show and the next. In particular, this show covers the importance of doing the proper groundwork to prepare for a successful foray into nutritional ketosis, and understanding (per Dr. Dom D'Agostino) that you really should commit to 6 weeks minimum of strict adherence to nutritional ketosis guidelines. It takes that long for the benefits to really kick in and your muscles to stop competing with your brain for ketones when glucose is restricted. To do it right, you must limit carb intake to 50 gross grams per day, and also make sure to limit protein intake to the minimum necessary to ensure lean muscle mass maintenance and no more. This can be as low as 0.5 grams per pound of lean mass up to 0.8 grams per pound of lean mass - not much. 
Feb 17, 2017

Brock Armstrong on protein, strength training, losing body fat, and self-testing 

Host Brad Kearns welcomes popular recurring guest Brock Armstrong for a wide-ranging discussion, including: latest trends in ancestral health, why the protein fad is missing the boat, and how lowering protein might improve both health and peak performance (hint: shouldn't be using protein as fuel, even when you are trying to increase muscle mass); Brock's transition to serious strength training: he works hard in the gym for 45 min, Brad for only 15 min. But this could be a function of their neurotransmitter composition and optimizing workout types and workout patterns accordingly (listen to Dave Dollé show #47 for more detail on this important, but little-discussed topic). Brock's shocking DEXA scan results showing he had osteoporosis and also an elevated body fat number that calls into question all other less-precise methods as being perhaps inaccurate. The pair discuss the pros and cons of self-testing. Yes, it's important to get regular checkups and screens, address all health concerns, take advantage of online customized blood testing, and even look toward alternative healers for peak performance goals. But overdoing it and getting OCD about it can become stressful in and of itself. Reference Andrew MacNaughton's oft-discussed mantra of making training decisions according to moods, and always factor intuition into your health and training picture. Enjoy this lively and fast-moving discussion that will definitely get you thinking, especially about stuff you should test and track and other stuff you might not want to worry too much about!


Are we in the ancestral movement eating too much protein? [00:01:20] 

What is happening when you are taking in more protein than you need and ballooning up? [00:06:32] 

How does one optimize the diet to get the balance with desired body composition? [00:11:25] 

How does one know how much time one needs for a workout? Is it a genetic contribution? [00:13:51] 

What does one learn about fitness when measuring body fat? [00:22:26] 

What surprising results happened with Brock's bone density exam? [00:31:09] 

What does the regular person look for when they go to their family physician about their overall health? [00:35:30] 

Do we really need all the technology (apps, scans, etc.) to maintain our body health? [00:44:05] 


String challenge: Put string around waist. If the distance is less than half of your height, you are "healthy."[00:52:54] 

The collarbone challenge: Take a roll of quarters and place them in the space of your collarbone. If they stay put, you are efficiently skinny. [00:53:43] 

Brock Armstrong


Feb 14, 2017

Time to leverage the information from the previous shows and try out a ketogenic eating period! First, be sure you are highly fat adapted, ideally with months under your belt of primal aligned eating. In particular, you want a virtual elimination of grains, sugars and refined vegetable oils, and definitely an average daily carb intake under the Primal Blueprint standard of 150 grams of carbs per day or less. Make a minimum 6-week commitment to going keto, where you will limit carb intake to 50 grams per day or less, and limit protein intake to a range of 0.5 to 1 gram per pound (1.1 to 2.2 grams per kilo) of lean body mass. Essentially, your macronutrient profile will be high/very high fat, low/moderate protein and very low carb. 

Avoid chronic training patterns and overly stressful lifestyle behaviors that will tip your ship in the direction of carb dependency. Consider using supplements like Kegenix, KetoCaNa, Pruvit, etc. to turbo-charge your ketone burning and perhaps get you over humps like energy lulls and you recalibrate your metabolic machinery in the direction of ketone burning. 

Feb 10, 2017

Host Brad Kearns catches up with an old-time triathlon legend Michael Collins. Based in Irvine, CA, Michael is one of the leading triathlon swim and performance coaches in the country, and was a former pro competitor back in the late 80s and early 90s. He has been competing in assorted endurance and multi-sport events non-stop for 30 years. Michael has a casual approach to training that has fueled his longevity and offers a valuable model for all endurance athletes. He calls himself a "Lazy trainer," who is "always a couple weeks away from being in shape." Consequently, he doesn't flirt with the over-training spiral, enjoys the experience, and can still compete at a high level.

In 2016, he set a goal of beating his Ironman time from 1991 (9:48 in Hawaii). Following the primal principles of fat adapted eating and training, Michael torched Ironman Arizona in 9:34 - this on the heels a runner-up finish at the Sprint World Championships. Michael did some interesting fat-adapted training strategies like doing slow, fat burning 8-mile runs both morning and night, the better to prepare him for the fatigued slow running in an Ironman. Inspired by his swimming background, he talks about why developing excellent technique is critical to improving aerobic function, and advocates workouts featuring short bursts of faster efforts. This helps you refine technique without excess stress on the heart. Learn great practical tips and also become inspired by Michael's incredible longevity and recent Ironman comeback.


What were the early days like for Michael as a young triathlete and eventually ending up as a coach? [00:01:16] 

Why is he considered to be a "Lazy Trainer?" [00:03:23] 

Has he still been competing for the past 30 years? [00:07:31] 

What happened when he did an Ironman after all these years? [00:09:39] 

What were his different strategies then? [00:13:10] 

How is it that good athletes look like they make so little effort? [00:14:19] 

Do it right.  Do it faster. What does that mean? [00:17:01] 

Why is it important to learn how to swim in a wet suit? [00:21:01] 

How does his training differ today compared to when he started his career? [00:22:30] 

How did his return Ironman performance compare? [00:29:45] 

What is his training program like? [00:32:39]                                    

Breakthrough Triathlete Training

Michael Collins, Coach

Feb 7, 2017

Ketone burning has assorted health and performance benefits, including drug-like anti-inflammatory properties and neuro-protective benefits. As a clean burning fuel (less oxidative stress than dirty burning glucose) it’s especially helpful to the brain. When your brain gets more oxygen and better neurotransmitter function during exercise, workouts seem easier and you consequently recover faster, as validated by the Central Governor Theory, which proposes that the brain is the ultimate governor of physical performance, not the peripheral muscles.

Some of the laboratory results from keto endurance pioneers are nothing short of astonishing. Peter Attia went from burning 95% glucose and 5% fat at “all day pace” to 22% glucose and 78% after a dietary adaptation period. Ironman triathlete Sami Inkinen took his “time to bonk” value from 5 hours up to 86 hours after keto-adapting his diet. Athletes in the FASTER study burned twice as much fat per minute as was previously believed to be the human limit. WOW! Try it for yourself but give it six weeks, and get more tips in the next Interval show.

Feb 3, 2017

Lindsay Taylor—Goal Setting Starts With Sleep!

This show was intended to cover goal setting in various categories for a healthy, successful 2017. We started with sleep since sleep is #1 and never left that topic. Enjoy this fast moving show that issues up a challenge to you: Can you get your sleep handled? Don’t forget this strongly influences your success with weight loss (regulation of appetite and fat storage hormones), endurance performance, and cognitive performance. If you can’t prioritize sleep (typically this means sacrificing digital screen entertainment in the evenings), you are unlikely to succeed with your pursuit of other goals requiring discipline and sacrifice. Enjoy the show, but if it’s past your bedtime, then listen tomorrow!


How is it that she completed the Ironman in a better time than anticipated? [00:00:51] 

What are some of the considerations for preparing yourself for your busy life in this new year? [00:03:47] 

Why is sleep the most important consideration of all? [00:06:44] 

How does one monitor the goals they have set for themselves? [00:09:15] 

How can we learn to focus and prioritize sleep? [00:13:16]

« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »