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.
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Primal Endurance Podcast




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Feb 16, 2018

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.  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.

Arnie (58) asks about his fat adaptation and its impact on his performance. [00:01:37]

Do I lose my flight or fight response when I train aerobically? [00:02:24] 

The fast twitch muscle fibers that are not using oxygen do not need a high volume of training. [`00:07:22] 

How many carbs do I need to consume so that I have sufficient glycogen during high demand occasions? [00:09:33] 

What happens to us when we burn too much protein? [00:14:55] 

When you are healthy, getting adequate sleep, eating nutrient intense diet, you are going to get the most out of your body. [00:19:44] 

Paul asks why he can't walk a mile and get his heart rate below 160? [00:22:16] 

Feb 9, 2018

Host Brad Kearns talks in more detail about the importance of rethinking recovery, on the heels of the landmark post Rethinking Recovery, and also Brad's recent podcast with Joel Jamieson. The profound insight for reflection is that we kinda sorta take recovery for granted in that we don't acknowledge, understand, or account for the scientific fact that recovery takes energy in and of itself. Refreshing the sodium-potassium pumps in the muscle cells and brain neurons, digesting food in the intestines, converting ingested calories into triglycerides or glycogen in the liver, the immune system keeping infections at bay--all these command a slice of the pie chart of your total energy expenditure in a given day or month or year. Furthering this thought, could it be that world records and Olympic gold medals of the future will be achieved by athletes who train less and rest more in comparison to the amazing top athletes of today? For the recreational enthusiast who is obligated to devote energy to so many other areas (family, work, commuting, routine daily chores and errands, etc.), it follows that training less and taking more chill time could be a secret weapon to achieve performance breakthroughs and avoid chronic patterns that compromise not only your performance but your general health.

Do we take recovery for granted? [00:00:30] 

What is the additive model expenditure? [00:03:57] 

Brad talks about his training in the old days and how wrong it was. [00:08:43] 

Recovery and restoration require energy.  [00:11:14] 

Our daily energy resources are allocated to what three functions? [00:13:37] 

How can we be more productive? [00:22:39] 

What if the athletes tone things down? [00:27:00] 

When in doubt, chill out!!! [00:33:07] 



Joel Jamieson podcast on Primal Blueprint channel:

Rethinking Recovery:

Hadza Energy Expenditure Study

8 Weeks Out

Feb 2, 2018

Host Brad Kearns dusts off the age-old dilemma for endurance athletes: the relative benefits and contribution of intense efforts versus a commitment to aerobic base building to deliver best results. Brad reflects on his recent show with Dave Scott, where Dave advocated frequent brief, high intensity bursts during endurance workouts to flush the cardiovascular system and deliver rapid fitness improvements. Brad stacks this insight against Dr. Maffetone's extensive commentary in the Primal Endurance Mastery Course videos that there is a stress impact of every workout and that pursuing modern endurance goals is generally antithetical to health. Brad mentions his own experimentation with intuitive, very short duration bursts of high intensity effort, such as banging out 100 Decline Spiderman pushups every time he visits a certain dog park, and the idea that keeping things brief can prevent that breakdown and delayed recovery time from a grueling high intensity workout.  

Brad also tackles a few listener questions in this show, relating to tapering (reduce volume, maintain intensity), applying the Primal Endurance principles to team sports, and finally a success story from Suzanne where she improved her ironman time by FOUR hours following Primal Endurance principles. Enjoy!

How to reconcile the emphasis on aerobic base with Dave Scott's suggestion to include brief bouts of high intensity efforts frequently? [00:01:50] 

Todd from Australia asks about having not much time to workout so when he does, his heart rate it elevated above aerobic maximum. He asks about training volume and time frames. [00:13:23] 

Peter is a marathoner but wonders about tapering: the proper pre-race preparations like nutrition and workouts. [00:18:26] 

A soccer referee asks: How does his situation of running, jogging, sprinting, and running backwards etc. fit with primal endurance framework?  [00:22:07] 

Suzanne is wondering about her recovery after Ironman Nice where simply changing her nutrition and following Primal Endurance improved her time. [00:27:43] 

Links to publish with this show

Dave Scott Episode 119

Primal Endurance Mastery Course

Decline Spiderman pushups

Brad's Morning Exercise Routine


Jan 27, 2018

Host Brad Kearns talks with Dr. Ben Lynch, author of the book Dirty Geneswhich has hit #1 bestseller in its amazon category in January, 2018. Dr. Lynch explains with great clarity and specificity that your genes are not your destiny. He identifies individual genes that can cause health dysfunction and provides a detailed action plan to clean up your genes and promote optimal gene expression. Included is the oft-mentioned MTHFR which influences the critical cellular process of methylation. The COMT gene influences your ability to stay calm and focused. 

Dr. Lynch's programs starts with a two-week "soak and scrub" phase to promote general health, then goes into a "spot cleaning" phase where you target your particular genetic issues relating to the aforementioned as well as heart function, liver function, and mood stability. This is pretty scientific stuff, but Dr. Lynch does a great job explaining it clearly and giving you some immediate actionable steps to take to clean up your genetic function. 

Does your family tree have total influence over your genes? [00:00:16] 

What lifestyle behaviors would be mitigating these risks? [00:03:32]  

How does his Soak and Scrub protocol work to cleanse the genes? [00:06:20] 

What are some eating tips? [00:10:55] 

What is Spot Cleaning? [00:13:31] 

Is there a particular gene related to cardio vascular disease? [00:16:30] 

How do these isolated genes work regarding disease risk? [00:17:49] 

Tell us about the MTHFR gene. [00:21:31] 

Can you define methylation? [00:25:02] 

What is COMT? How does it work? What is the difference in personality with fast or slow COMT? [00:28:57] 

Where are we going with all this amazing genetic testing? [00:35:23] 

What about the Dirty Gene Summit program? [00:43:38] 

Dirty Genes


Jan 19, 2018

Host Brad Kearns talks in further detail about the provocative comments from Dr. Tommy Wood during their recent podcast. Dr. Tommy proposed that if you are metabolically healthy, at optimal body fat composition, with good blood work and with ambitious fitness goals, you may be best served by consuming as many calories as you can (of nutritious foods only of course) without gaining weight. Contrast this with the often-touted benefits of fasting and caloric efficiency, where thriving on as few calories as necessary and producing optimally minimal insulin is believed to correlate strongly with longevity. Dr. Tommy and Brad theorize that there may be a different set of decision-making parameters if you are trying to reduce excess body fat, recover from metabolic damage, or have adverse blood results. Even so, Dr. Tommy offers the profound suggestion that you should not even concern yourself with fat reduction until you become metabolically healthy. 

Brad mentions his personal experiment with an increased caloric intake to fuel his peak performance goals. After 13 weeks, he reports excellent results including body composition and improved performance, assisted by a nutrient-dense morning smoothie in place of prolonged fasting, and generally looser purse strings with total caloric intake and carb intake, especially in conjunction with high calorie burning workouts. In conjunction with a more intuitive approach to eating, Brad mentions being more fractal and intuitive with his high intensity exercise efforts--sprinkling in little bouts over the course of a day that don't really count as official workouts, but contribute to him developing a higher platform to launch from when he goes for big sprint, high jump, strength training sessions. Check the video links for his decline spiderman pushup and first-thing morning exercise routine


Where do we stand right now with all the information that is out there overwhelming us? [00:03:07] 

Why do you have a specific goal? [00:05:04] 

Your mental attitude has a huge effect on longevity and weight loss. [00:06:03] 

Focusing on only on results detracts from the experience of performance. [00:11:56] 

Every one in this arena has some kind of story about how they got here. [00:15:29] 

Are we afraid to turn down the competitive part of our personality? [00:18:07] 

What is the situation with starting this program? Is it important to find what causes your problem? [00:24:28]

Sometimes the amount you eat or the number of calories isn't what you want to look at. [00:30:09] 

Sometimes the training paradigm requires a deviation in what we are talking about regarding the amount of food you need. [00:33:48] 

What happens to folks who are carrying some excess body fat and/or some blood values that need to be corrected? [00:40:32]

Healthy physiology is needed first before concern about losing weight. [00:47:44] 



Dr. Tommy Wood - Podcast 123

Decline Spiderman pushups

Brad's Morning Exercise Routine

Jan 12, 2018

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. 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.

Carl has been on the Paleo diet for almost a year. Is there a good app with heart rate alarm? [00:01:21] 

Lisa is 48 and has been following the MAF for several months with limited results. Is it okay that my VO2 test on a treadmill showed that my aerobic threshold is 5 beats higher than 180 minus my age? [00:02:04] 

MaryAnn just started trying heart rate training.  I am slower than when I started.  Is this normal? [00:08:45]

Mike asks: Is there a comfortable maximum duration for a training run. Running is more taxing than biking. [00:10:25] 

Mike also adds: Does the aerobic base for running help your cycling base and vice versa? [00:13:03] 

From Ward: What is the efficacy for the 100-UP drill of Walter George as made popular by Christopher McDougall. Is this a good way to both build foot/leg strength and to develop good running form? [00:15:38] 

Brian asks about the Keto diet:  Can you share what a day or two in the life of Brad's Keto eating looks like? [00:18:40] 

More from Brian:  Are there any rough guidelines for the amount of aerobic training (hours in a week) to complete a given event in a reasonable time? [00:27:49] 

Kareem asks about his outrigger paddling training for the 38 mile Molokai channel to Oahu. What test should he take as an endurance athlete?  [00:31:02] 

Rick is a marathon runner and his question is about fueling with gels. [00:36:16]

Walter George

Christopher McDougall

Molokai to Oahu race

Nourish, Balance, Thrive

Jan 5, 2018

Host Brad Kearns talks to Italian amateur triathlete Stefano Passarello, a longtime listener to the podcast who has an absolutely amazing success story with low carb, slow-paced endurance training. Stefano, an accounting firm CEO based in Hong Kong, has attained the highest level of triathlon success in his very first year in the sport. A 2:26 marathon runner who turned to triathlon due to repeated injury, Stefano qualified for Hawaii Ironman World Championships and ran a 2:53 marathon off the bike in Kona! This is the third fastest amateur marathon split in the 40-year history of the Ironman! Stefano's approach is a beautiful blend of keto style eating, comfortably paced over distance workouts, and a relaxed, process-oriented approach where he carefully balances the stress of life and training to avoid chronic patterns and stay happy and inspired. 

The conversation goes deep into both the optimal approach to become bonk-proof and stay healthy (hint: slow down and cut carbs!) and the evolved mindset that will prevent the all-too-common obsessive, overly-competitive, Type-A approach that leads to burnout. Stefano entertains with some great quotes and anecdotes: how a short, hairy Italian guy was totally intimidated by the "scene" on Alii Drive but was later validated by passing the posers in droves in the latter stages of the marathon. How the endorphin rush of challenging workouts represents a "taste of your favorite drug," and is something to carefully moderate. Enjoy this wild ride with a very entertaining and talented athlete who has "reverse engineered" the MAF and Primal Endurance training methods into big-time success!

Who is Stefano Passarello? [00:00:58] 

How did he get into the sport and how did his training method work? [00:02:25] 

How did he discover Primal Blueprint? [00:07:09] 

What was he thinking when he was at his first Ironman looking at the other athletes? [00:08:34] 

How does the relaxed nature of his training and his diet payoff? [00:11:48] 

What? He doesn't even have a Power Meter on his bike!! [00:14:47] 

Training decisions need to come from your mood. [00:16:44] 

How does adrenaline become the drug of choice?  [00:18:41] 

What happens when you bonk? [00:26:55] 

Stefano talks about balance. [00:26:14] 

People in this sport need to do something to compensate. [00:34:19] 

After a certain point, your body becomes exhausted. [00:38:38] 

What does it mean..."trust the system"? What is your purpose? [00:42:05] 

How does he work his fasting workouts?  What does he eat afterwards? [00:45:49] 

Why are they still selling sugar to athletes at the Ironman Expo? [00:54:50] 

In the old days, the super athletes were sugar-burners. What happened to them?  [00:57:10] 

What are the final suggestions? [01:00:08] 

Dec 29, 2017

Host Brad Kearns leverages his previous podcast dedicated to older athletes by addressing some Q&A from folks out there fighting the battle, going for ambitious race goes in the older age categories. Everyone talks about how recovery takes longer when you get older, so let’s get into the particulars of making sound training decisions, optimizing recovery, and choosing age-appropriate goals and training methods.

Brad introduces this segment with thought provoking facts on aging. [00:00:59] 

A competitive Masters runner wants some advice on what he should do about speed work? [00:06:37] 

53-year-old Linda is asking for more information on glycogen storage while on Ketogenic diet. [00:12:51]

Larry is 56 years old and he "tests higher", even though he still uses the 180 minus my age formula for my workouts.  What is the problem? [00:15:10] 

Jim, age 65 is training for a marathon. Would it make sense to use a ketone supplement like Kegenics during endurance training and the marathon? [00:21:23] 

What about pairing of ketone supplement with conventional carbs like Gatorade or gel? [00:23:52] 

Brad closes this podcast with advice emanating from his experience as a competitive athlete. [00:25:37] 

Jeanne Calment

Nourish Balance Thrive

Dec 22, 2017

Picking up the momentum from the previous show, Brad and Andrew continue to debate the healthiest way to be a competitive athlete, especially as you deal with aging in the background. Topics include comprehensive health assessments like Brad's journey or that offered as part of Andrew's The Athletes Potential coaching services ( Another important philosophical question: how much stress should you apply to training? We know that sprinting and high intensity interval training generate rapid performance improvements, but they also come with a high stress cost. It's important to optimize the stress/rest balance, and some good ideas are served up. Enjoy! Send your questions/comments to

How do you know when your health and longevity are being compromised? [00:00:41] 

Number one marker for overtraining is: Do you have the desire to train? [00:02:59] 

What if you are always hungry or not hungry?  What does that tell you? [00:03:56] 

What does it mean: "adaptation phase"? [00:04:55] 

You usually cannot duplicate your big top performance because of stress. [00:07:15] 

Do we make too much of the intricacies of the preparations before the race? [00:09:51] 

How much do genetics come in to play for the training athlete? [00:12:25] 

Does it help to go back and look at your previous record to plan your current training plan? [00:15:50] 

How effective are the super training programs you hear about that get you ready for the races? [00:16:43] 

The final message from these two guys continues to be: train at a slow pace, relax, and enjoy what you are doing. [00:21:21] 


Nourish Balance Thrive


Dec 15, 2017

Host Brad Kearns welcomes back #1 most popular recurring guest, Andrew MacNaughton, after a long break from the show. The two get right into it with a discussion of the large looming philosophical question for passionate athletes: how to manage the inherent tradeoff between peak performance and health and longevity? Wait; is there even a necessary tradeoff between the two? Can you have your cake and eat it too--that is, can you be intensely competitive and while still preserving your health and promoting longevity? You will love this fast-moving conversation with some memorable sound bites, including how Andrew's training decisions are determined by his moods instead of strategic long-term planning; the difference between association (focusing on the present activity) and disassociation (mind drifting to beer and pizza at the finish line), a little talk about how to manage low carb dietary patterns and vigorous training, and a fresh look at concepts like everything in moderation. Enjoy! Send your questions/comments to

How can we get a tradeoff between the pursuit of health and longevity and delaying the aging process and getting peak performance?  [00:00:55] 

Andrew describes how his day of activity varies according to his mood which leads to just having fun. [00:04:45] 

If you follow this recommended "according to mood style" training, won't you get out of shape? [00:07:00] 

Endurance athletes are never truly content with their exercise until they are in a state of overtraining. [00:09:22] 

Some people only concentrate on what is going on the body at the time they are training and don't need music or other distraction. [00:09:59]

Participating in a race is constant decision making. [00:11:52] 

Cycling is one of the most dangerous things you can do. [00:16:15] 

Is the Keto scene really the best way to healthy longevity?  [00:19:32] 

What about everything in moderation? [00:26:19] 

Dec 8, 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.  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.

Alice 42-year-old took a break from competitive racing and returned to traditional race training before she found ketogenic diet and MAF training. She is having problems with MAF training. Why?  [00:02:19] 

Laura asks: Do you think there is a possibility that not everyone has a number that aligns with 180 minus age? [00:07:21] 

Could changing to a fat adapted diet be more sustainably accomplished by making small changes at a time rather than sending stress hormones into overdrive on a 6-weeks crash diet? [00:12:22] 

Ann asks: How does pregnancy fit into MAF training? [00:20:14] 

Zach asks: What about fat adaptation in alpine mountaineering? Considering the altitude, what would be appropriate nutrition? [00:23:16] 

Deva asks about her fluctuating diet from intermittent fasting, some keto diet days, and some medium and high carb days, and a cheat day. [00:30:20] 

Adrian Ballinger

Robert Lustig, M.D.

Nourish, Balance, Thrive


Wheat Belly

Dec 1, 2017

Host Mark Sisson welcomes his old friend and strength training expert Jacques DeVore, proprietor of Sirens and Titans Fitness in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA. Jacques was featured extensively in the book Primal Endurance for his innovative Maximum Sustained Power (MSP) workout protocol that helps athletes experience performance breakthroughs with time-efficient workouts in the gym that correlate exactly to their competitive goals. Yes, MSP can help both extreme endurance athletes and explosive power athletes. Jacques has worked with Olympic-level sprinters and high jumpers as well as Tour de France level cyclists. He is champion masters cyclist himself! Jacques and Mark get into some good subject matter that will interest fitness enthusiasts of all types.

Mark interviews Jacques Devore about the critical component missing in most endurance athletes. [00:00:16] 

Should an athlete focus primarily on "his or her" particular sport when training? [00:06:25] 

What is the equation for sustainable power? [00:07:41] 

What does it take to retain maximum power? [00:10:48] 

What is an example of the athlete getting up to the next level? [00:15:32] 

Is weight lifting body building? [00:23:31] 

How does diet come into play with these bikers? [00:24:33] 

How does this work with runners and swimmers? [00:25:38] 

Is this something the average person could benefit from? [00:27:28] 

What is the most accurate measure for power? [00:29:27] 

When you look at mobility, you understand what is needed for how your body moves. [00:33:28] 

What is the basic adoption of this principle in the next couple of years? [00:37:41]

All of the subsequent cardio workouts have a much greater value when you follow this principle. [00:40:11] 

Maximum Overload for Cyclists

Nov 24, 2017

Co-hosts Brad Kearns and Lindsay Taylor hit Phil with some questions, including several submitted by members of the popular MAF Method Facebook group and the Primal Endurance Facebook group. Phil sets the record straight on the concept of a modified Maffetone aerobic maximum heart rate calculation for fat-adapted athletes. “Doesn’t work,” says the MAF man himself. Strive to get faster at your “180-age” heart rate instead of cheat up to higher heart rates, more stress, and more glucose burning. Phil asserts why you should subtract 10 from your 180-age number if you can taking any kind of prescription medication. Phil talks through the pros and cons of fasting versus getting some nutritious fat calories in to start your day. Enjoy many other juicy topics in this fast moving Q&A show!

Are there modifications to the maximum aerobic heart rate (MAF formula) in relation to healthy dietary habits? [00:02:33] 

Does the 180 minus age formula apply to everyone? [00:08:56] 

Question from a listener: If I am working out at 180 minus age but I'm on thyroid medication and I am forgetting to subtract the 10 that I should, am I in the black hole? [00:12:57] 

If we are on hormonal (birth control) medication, do we still subtract 10 from the formula? [00:15:10] 

Can you explain the importance of the moderate speed workouts compared to going full speed while training? [00:16:48] 

Even the big winners find that their bodies begin to fail them when they have been doing all-out training over the years. [00:22:57] 

People complain when they have to run slower.  Then they end up complaining that they should have run faster! They don't understand what is happening in their body. [00:26:06] 

As people age, are there any special considerations for adjusting the MAF formula? [00:28:04] 

One has to be honest with him or herself about the progress of their fitness. [00:33:35] 

Is there a formula for the number of hours one should train when they are looking forward to an extra long race? [00:35:18] 

Why do people need to learn this on their own? Why ignore the experts who have been there? [00:43:12] 

Why define our world as a "no pain, no gain" society? [00:47:46] 

Will one to two beers be okay after a long run? [00:48:35] 

What do you think is the most misunderstood concept of the MAF approach? [00:50:21] 

Maffetone Facebook

Maffetone training charts

No Pain, No Gain Society


Nov 17, 2017

Co-hosts Brad Kearns and Dr. Lindsay Taylor welcome Dr. Phil Maffetone, favored recurring guest and fat-adapted endurance training oracle from Oracle, AZ. Phil has a new book called The Overfat Epidemic, and cites research showing that some 91% of the American population is considered overfat, even if they appear to be at a healthy weight. 

Phil goes deep in this program, offering up never-before-heard nuggets relating to the individual variation in approach to low-carb/keto eating, including the importance of personal experimentation and rejecting a rigid approach. Phil questions the popular practice of intermittent fasting/compressed eating window, suggesting that it could be an additional stress in high stress modern life. Younger, more insulin sensitive folks might benefit more from fasting. Phil says if you are frequently hungry while eating a healthy, ancestral style diet, consider eating more. Regarding excess body fat, this is simply a red flag that you have some issues relating to poor dietary choices. His two-week test allows you to problem-solve to discover your optimal level of carb intake. FYI since you become more insulin resistant as you age, you might envision your carb intake level on a downward slope over your lifespan. Finally athletes, don’t forget to move around as much as possible in daily life. Strive for that variable workplace environment and discover creative ways to get exercise, instead of just booking your workout and then being still all day at commute/workdesk/leisure time. This greatly enhances fat adaptation. Phil goes to town with lively engagement from the primal hosts, so do not miss this show!

What can we learn about fasting? [00:02:40] 

What are the metabolic stresses of fasting? [00:07:19] 

Should one exercise while fasting? [00:08:57] 

What if one feels hungry during workout? [00:12:30] 

What are the signs and symptoms to look at to see if the fasting is working properly? [00:15:01]

Does the quantity of food affect the ability to fat adapt? [00:17:54] 

If you want to know that best training schedule and the best food to eat, listen to your own brain? [00:18:53] 

If you are in ketosis, sometimes you are not feeling hunger. How do you know you need to eat? [00:20:14] 

What does one do when they have too much body fat? [00:25:34] 

Phil's new book, "Overfat Pandemic," sums up the overfat situation.  For example 91 percent of American adults are overfat and no one is paying attention! [00:30:21] 

What is the role of nutritious carbs and how can carb intake be monitored? [00:36:09] 

People who are insulin sensitive can find their level of tolerance by experimenting.  [00:42:02] 

If you are getting older and you have been an enthusiast for a long time, what would be the best type of training regimen just to maintain good health? [00:46:57] 


Overfat Pandemic


Nov 10, 2017

Host Brad Kearns welcomes Dr. Tommy Wood, Chief Medical Officer for, back to the show for a recap of Brad's comprehensive health and peak performance biochemical testing. Listen to the first show with Dr. Tommy to get a sense of what his cutting-edge consultation program is all about. Brad agreed to be a guinea pig and have his results detailed on the show for the benefit of listeners interested in the nuances of peak performance testing. Surprisingly, although Brad claims to eat at the highest standard of primal/keto and observe healthy exercise, sleep and stress management practices, there were an assortment of deficiencies and concerns revealed in the blood, urine, stool and saliva testing that Brad underwent. Dr. Tommy explains that every single athlete they have tested--even top professionals--have abnormalities that can be addressed through diet, supplementation, and training modification. In particular, gut health issues are extremely common, which can contribute to further nutritional deficiencies. 

Dr. Tommy offered the thought-provoking insight that Brad's immersion into keto eating lowered his appetite to the extent that he maybe wasn't consuming sufficient calories to support performance and recovery with his ambitious fitness/athletic endeavors. Brad agreed to experiment with increased caloric intake, with a morning nutrient-dense green smoothie being the centerpiece, and assess results over the ensuing weeks. Tune in a for a separate show about Brad's increased caloric intake experiment and the favorable results. You can visit and do a free self-assessment quiz to see what they are all about. 

Brad talks about alarming results from the testing protocols he participated in with Tommy Wood's Nourish, Balance, Thrive program. [00:01:06] 

How harmful are plastics in our environment?  [00:05:57] 

How do low-carb and keto diets affect the thyroid function? [00:09:45] 

How does the program work? What does the participant learn about him/herself? [00:13:17] 

Did antibiotics contribute to Brad's problems? [00:16:35]

Instead of fasting, what might be more important for a person who is trying to be primal? Are we supposed to be counting calories? [00:18:45] 

Is it important to look at what time of day we eat our meals?  [00:23:39] 

We hear about how wonderful fasting is. Even if you feel fine fasting, is it the best thing? [00:27:22] 

How can one reduce excess body fat? [00:29:05] 

When people are signed up with this individualized program, their contact with it is ongoing, at no further cost. [00:31:06] 

There are some training patterns that are bad for people. [00:37:24] 

For the listeners to consider their goals of competition or longevity, what is the right way to achieve them? [00:40:42] 


Dr. Rhonda Patrick


Nov 3, 2017

Host Brad Kearns talks about the importance of taking a break both physically and mentally from the grind of the competitive season. A physical break is essential to rebalance the body from the prolonged production of stress hormones resulting from the many hours on the road as well as juggling workouts around a full calendar of life obligations. Use the extra time in the off-season to nurture other hobbies or attend to matters that have been neglected during the competitive season. Remember that the effects of detraining are profound, but that you can regain your fitness in a very short time. When you emerge from a proper break period, you can then enter a period where you focus on complementary skills such as flexibility, mobility, and strength training. Vary things up a bit instead of just being obsessed with getting your odometer spinning again at the start of the season!

Why is a complete rest period at the end of the season so important? [00:01:03] 

What is "de-training?" Can one recover after rest? [00:05:36] 

What about weight gain? [00:10:36] 

How can one disengage from the mentality of competition? [00:11:22] 

What should one do when they are not training or competing? [00:13:18] 

Endurance athletes feel most comfortable when they are in a state of overtraining. [00:20:32] 

If you have a sore throat or your immune system is a little bit off, completely pull the plug on exercise. [00:24:47] 

VASA Swim Trainer

Oct 27, 2017

In this episode, Lindsay talks to Dan Pardi, CEO of HumanOS. Dan’s mission is to develop health fluency, giving people the skills and knowledge they need to achieve maximum wellness. Lindsay met Dan at Paleo f(x) and ever since has been wanting to pick Dan’s brain about the idea of the quantified self: What kind of data can we collect about ourselves, and how can we use that information to inform the day-to-day decisions we make about diet, exercise, sleep, and so on? How do we walk the fine line between measuring and obsessing? What offers the best return on investment? Listen in for a thoughtful discussion about when, why, and how to self-assess, as well as some of the challenges that come along with trying to optimize health.

More about Dan: In addition to spearheading HumanOS and hosting the humanOS Radio podcast, Dan conducts research with the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department at Stanford, and the Departments of Neurology and Endocrinology at Leiden University in the Netherlands where he investigates how lifestyle factors, like sleep, influence decision making, cognitive performance, and metabolism. Dan also works with Naval Special Warfare and serves as Board Member for, among other health-related appointments. As you can tell, he’s an incredibly busy person, so we’re lucky to have him sharing his insights on health and wellness on today’s episode!

Dan talks about his evolution from a young athlete into his current interest in sports physiology, optimal lifestyle practices, and human performance. [00:03:52] 

Why should you do something? How should you do it? Ask if you are doing it and ask if it's working. [00:09:36] 

How do you empower people to take control of their health? [00:11:21] 

Only you can be the best expert with regard to your personal health. We have a lifetime to learn more information.  [00:14:28] 

What are some of the challenges we are confronted with in our attempt understand our health? [00:15:58]  

What types of metrics are available in terms of measurement, and how can those measurements be used to help reach our goals? [00:20:12] 

What about FitBit and Oura Ring? Is the Apple Watch affective? How can they help?  [00:24:23]

If you exercise and you don't lose weight, what does that mean? [00:28:15] 

The idea of being a healthy athlete involves the whole day and what you do with it, not just the periods of training. [00:29:28] 

How does tracking help support recovery?  [00:30:50] 

How does HRV work? What information does it give us? [00:34:22] 

Are subjective measurements the best way to decide what way to use your body toward your goals? [00:39:29] 

How to give yourself permission to say, "Today is not my day.” [00:47:21] 

How does one integrate the information s/he has to to attain his/her goals? [00:49:05] 

How does the Mediterranean diet compare with paleo? [00:51:49]

Oct 20, 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.  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.

Male, 44 year old who had his gall bladder removed twenty years ago says he feels great and has fantastic energy and weight loss. Should he make any changes around fat intake? [00:04:34] 

When Dr. Maffetone says that the goal marathon pace is around 15 seconds per mile faster than the results from the maximum aerobic test. The questioner asks: "Is this the first mile of your MAF test, the average of all the miles, or the slowest mile, or something else?" [00:06:14] 

Should one stay in the pack when running in something like the Ironman or a marathon even when you feel that you want to go faster? [00:09:02] 

This is a question from a person who has lost 90 pounds and wants to use an Elliptical for many runs during the week. Is this acceptable? [00:12:07] 

Matt asks: "What kind of primal lifting exercises do you recommend? How many sets and reps? [00:14:22] 

When should he switch up his routine? [00:16:09] 

41-year-old male who has been living the primal lifestyle since April 2016 and asks Brad's opinion on his desire to "go faster to improve his fitness." [00:21:16] 

Do 50-plus athletes need to stop the long slow intensity training and engage in high intensity exercise to maintain fitness? Also do they need to eat carbs? [00:26:37] 

Here is a question about expanding the intuitive nature to all training. Is it possible to all the training by feel? [00:33:58] 

Here is another question from a person who lives at sea level in the UK. He wants to know what adjustments he should make because he is going to be living in Colorado at 10,000 feet for a few months.   [00:38:07] 

This is a question from a listener who has been running for 25 years. Now he has experienced cramping and wonders why this happened.  [00:40:13] 

Brad Kearns Morning Routine

Tim DeFrancesco

Oct 13, 2017

Host Brad Kearns catches up with the legendary Dave Scott, a 6-time Hawaii Ironman world champion and respected coach of both elite professional and amateur multisport enthusiasts. Dave is perhaps more steeped in the science of nutrition and exercise physiology than any other endurance athlete ever, so this show will give you insights on both cutting-edge science and also the competitive mindset of a champion athlete. Brad gives you a brief intro in case you’ve never heard of Dave, then they jump right into it. Dave describes his transition from a high carb pioneer back in the 80’s to his current support of primal/paleo/ketogenic eating patterns. He describes the science behind keto, and how it can protect your health and your heart from potential damage caused by strenuous training. On the long-standing topic of “intensity vs. volume” Dave sets people straight by detailing the huge mistake of going “kinda hard” on a regular basis. Not only will your burn out in performance, you are putting your health at serious risk. Instead, Dave details his unique methods of introducing an assortment of distinct interval patterns that help to cleanse the cardiovascular system, protecting it from damage caused by excessive kinda hard endurance workouts. Yes, Dave even advocates strength training year-round for endurance athletes! Dave talks about the problem of excess body fat on hard training endurance athletes and how to right this unfortunate trend. In the age of the internet and social media frenzy, lots of athletes and coaches are full of themselves. Dave is full or experience and wisdom so give this show your undivided attention!

When did Dave Scott get involved in Ironman? [00:01:23] 

How does Scott's record of twenty years compare with current triathletes? [00:02:41] 

How does the training differ from what Dave did in the early days? [00:04:45]

What was his thinking about fat adaptation? [00:06:48] 

Have there been long-term adverse effects to your body? [00:08:52] 

Elite endurance athletes who train at high volume are at great risk to the heart. [00:13:52] 

What are the thoughts on Maffetonne's assertion that you need to perform at a more comfortable rate? [00:16:24] 

What can happen when you over train? [00:19:23] 

When it is time to go hard, you go hard, but the pace has to be wisely monitored. [00:24:49] 

In strength training and in the Cross-fit world, the athletes need to be extremely careful with their form, balance, and symmetry to be safe. [00:27:44] 

Many of the elite athletes are not in the best condition, even though they are champions! [00:31:37] 

Why are so many athletes still suffering from excess body fat? Is it the fault carb dependence? [00:33:54] 

Ridding sweet juices from your life are a good place to start when shifting for fat adaptation diet. [00:37:20] 

How is the transition working from the mistakes we've made in the past? [00:39:26] 

Are we supposed to have a diet of no carbohydrates? [00:40:28] 

How has the scientific community's message changed about what is a healthy diet? [00:43:35] 

The current athletes are doing something right but can enhance their performance by dietary improvement. [00:51:16

Dave Scott


Oct 6, 2017

This week Lindsay helps athletes sort out questions about how to strength train while still following Primal Endurance recommendations, and she answers the burning question: Do I need an aerobic base if I'm not a competitive athlete? (Spoiler alert: yes!!) Plus stretching, elevation training, and more!

The question is: Are the benefits of building an aerobic base worth it for athletes that only have modest endurance goals?  [00:01:38] 

Would I ruin the purpose of an aerobic base-building block by adding in some lift heavy things? [00:04:18] 

David, age 49 asks: Don't you lose strength that you've built up when you stop strength training for a period of time? [00:10:05] 

Diane (29) from Bulgaria: She is training for her first ironman.  How can she build up her strength in the water portion of her workouts? What about rubber band training? [00:14:07] 

Also a question about stretching.  What are the recommendations about what kinds of stretches are best as well as when is the best time to stretch?  [00:18:12] 

Here's a question from a person who is planning to train for a 100 K ultra that has a massive amount of vertical gain. How is the best way to prepare my body for this? [00:22:34] 


Sep 29, 2017

Host Brad Kearns talks to older endurance athletes about strategies that will help you preserve your health as you pursue ambitious endurance goals. One thing to emphasize is aligning your competitive goals with your age, dude! Perhaps the extreme ultra distance events are best left to youngsters? No offense intended, but you don’t see 50-year-olds in the NFL, so it’s worth considering. Maybe its a more sensible and honorable goal to try to improve your 10k time as you get older, or become a competent sprint triathlete instead of slogging out another season of half and full iron-distance events in a manner that can’t really be described as “racing.”

Everyone pays lip service to the concept that older athletes require more recovery, but in practice we see youthful egos constantly at war with the attached older bodies. One thing that might help is to develop a morning routine of flexibility/mobility to help you absorb and withstand the intense workouts that might occur less frequently with older athletes. Enjoy some interesting food for thought as well as practical tips in this program. 

Brad shares his thoughts on why it is important to stop and think about what reasons you have for participating in sports as well as what your long term goals are. Do you need to rethink what you are doing? [00:02:29] 

What are the considerations we, as athletes, should look for regarding protecting our health? How much exercise is too much? [00:15:00] 

What are some scary things we need to know about our heart if we continue to push our bodies? [00:21:44] 

What are the abnormal heart rhythms that can happen to us? What symptoms should we watch for? [00:28:51] 

One Running Shoe in the Grave

Run For Your Life, But Not Too Far

Running on Empty

Sep 22, 2017

Lindsay Taylor 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. In particular, the questioning how "180-age" aerobic maximum heart rate limit applies to real-life goals and the desire to open up the throttle now and then and get race ready. 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.

Kevin, age 43 asks about a 50-K race he has scheduled. "Do I begin the MAF training now and just run the race with whatever gains I've made or do I continue training as I have been and begin MAF following the race?" [00:02:49] 

What are the consequences if I went over MAF for one run? [00:09:20] 

Matthew, age 28 asks, "I've been running for about 17 years but only starting training by Dr. Phil when I had my ACL reconstructed about five months ago. As I recover from this, how do I know when I can push it back to my regular heart rate of 150?" [00:12:56] 

Two questions from a listener about eating primally. Does it matter what time of day one does an intermittent fast? [00:16:38] 

This person wants to know about running slowly asking if it is okay four to six months of Zone 2 training? [00:19:32] 

How high should my heart rate be if I am beginning my Primal Endurance training after a period of time off from training? [00:20:51] 

Sep 15, 2017

Primal Endurance Chapter 11 - Hitting The Showers

Host Brad Kearns covers the profound message in the final chapter of Primal Endurance, titled “Hitting The Showers”. The premise is that we have a given amount of battery power over a lifetime (some more than others, eh?), and we must be judicious about how we dispense our energy. In particular, we must reflect on the balancing of peak performance goals with longevity. Often they can be at odds, but with a smart approach (this is what Primal Endurance is all about) these goals can be complementary. 

The Cortisol Showerhead conveys the idea that we have this reserve tank of the fight or flight stress hormone cocktail that allows us to rise to the occasion of high-stress modern life and perform at peak cognitive or physical function. [00:03:44] 

Brad talks about the idea of setting a pace for yourself to get the most out of life. [[00:05:53] 

How is it that different individuals seem to have such varied levels of work capacity, athletic potential, stress tolerance, and preferences for how much stimulus and excitement to take on over the course of your life? [00:10:28] 

What is this frantic search for happiness that this society seems to require of us? [00:15:18] 

How does it "just happen?" [00:20:18] 

How does one gauge the balance between peak performance and longevity? [00:25:02] 

Should one expect to feel burnout right away? [00:29:11] 

What happens when we decide to depart from routine in our training? [00:32:28] 

A more relaxed approach to your athletic goals will definitely pay off. [00:34:17] 

Sep 8, 2017

Host Brad Kearns talks about the importance of taking a break in the middle of a busy competitive season in order to refresh and restore for a strong finish. The cumulative stress of pre-season base building and then the introduction of intensity and the race calendar can have you feeling fit and energetic, but perhaps unknowingly in need of a break. Despite fears commonly harbored by endurance athletes, you will not lose your hard-earned conditioning if you chill a bit in mid-summer. De-training requires a sustained period of complete lack of exercise (e.g., illness, injury). If you take a week or two to unplug mentally and physically from the training grind, minimize your exercise and instead just sustain everyday movement, you will gain restoration and renewed motivation. 

What is it that happens mid-season that causes a problem?  [00:01:36] 

What is an example of the advantage of taking a break mid season? [00:08:01] 

What???? Take a break right in the middle of the racing season???? [00:10:36] 

What about the high intensity training?  What does it mean base first? [00:12:54] 

How does one escape that destructive pattern? Is there a schedule that should be followed? [00:15:19] 

Mark Allen

Sep 1, 2017

Kevin, age 43 asks about a 50-K race he has scheduled. "Do I begin the MAF training now and just run the race with whatever gains I've made or do I continue training as I have been and begin MAF following the race?" [00:02:49] 

What are the consequences if I went over MAF for one run? [00:09:20] 

Matthew, age 28 asks, "I've been running for about 17 years but only starting training by Dr. Phil when I had my ACL reconstructed about five months ago. As I recover from this, how do I know when I can push it back to my regular heart rate of 150?" [00:12:56] 

Two questions from a listener about eating primally. Does it matter what time of day one does an intermittent fast? [00:16:38] 

This person wants to know about running slowly asking if it is okay four to six months of Zone 2 training? [00:19:32] 

How high should my heart rate be if I am beginning my Primal Endurance training after a period of time off from training? [00:20:51] 

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