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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May 25, 2018

Host Brad Kearns welcomes pioneering physician and legendary endurance runner Dr. Mark Cucuzzella of West Virginia. Mark has run a sub-3 hour marathon for 30 consecutive years! With an all-time best of 2:24, he is still going strong at age 51. And he is doing this stuff in barefoot/minimal footwear. He opened the nations first minimalist running shoe store called TwoRiversTreads. In this show, Mark talks about his high carb, running machine past and his evolution into a healthy, fat-adapted runner. He advocates for doing short bursts of sprinting frequently, called "alactic sprints". When you accelerate for several seconds, you teach your central nervous system the optimal movement patterns to maximize propulsive force and prevent injury, but you aren't overstressing the body with longer duration sprints. Mark is big on going barefoot and being active instead of being a "zoo human." 

He discusses his truly revolutionary effort to rid his local hospital of sweetened beverages and enhance education in the diabetic community as to the benefits of ditching processed carbs and increasing intake of healthy, nutritious fats. Mark's journey was turbo-charged six years ago when he learned he was pre-diabetic, despite decades of elite level marathon performance and being a lean, mean machine. He read Gary Taubes's work and embarked on a low-carb lifestyle, also embracing the aerobic training principles of his longtime friend Dr. Phil Maffetone. Mark mentions that is the stuffy medical world, we need convincing for dietary transformation, and that Continuous Glucose Monitors are now easily accessible for all. The small effort he is making in West Virginia (the most obese all US states in fact!) is spreading quickly in the medical community as Mark spreads the word. Enjoy these insights from a truly exceptional endurance performer who is doing transformative work in his hospital environment!

After performing at a fast level and having the accompanying injuries, is there a way to analyze the future potential you have to improve or surpass your previous record?  [00:05:14] 

Does the development of the athletic ability in a youngster really help prepare for adult competition? [00:09:22] 

How does one work on their form? [00:14:43] 

The body loves variability. [00:20:08] 

How has the medical world failed in keeping up with the new information on diabetes? [00:21:22] 

What happened when Mark was diagnosed with pre-diabetes? [00:35:03] 

What about the lower heart rate training program? How did the fat burning capacity develop? [00:42:11] 

The importance of sleep is often overlooked.[00:43:48] 

What is hypoglycemia? [00:45:02] 

Can a person still eat carbs at all? [00:48:56] 


FreeStyle Libre

Mark Cucuzella

Natural Running Center

True Form Runner

Two Rivers Treads

May 18, 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.

Estelle asks about her plantar fasciitis. Rest doesn't work, why? What can she do?? [00:00:33]  

Mark is using the adjustable desk. Is there any research of endurance athletes with desk jobs benefitting from the standup desk? What can the guy with the desk job do?  [00:06:53] 

What about chest freezer cold water therapy? What is a Hexbar?  [00:18:41] 

Ryan asks: Does it make physiological sense to perform a few sets of relatively heavy squats before my morning run to burn off muscle glycogen and get into ketosis faster for the run? [00:21:44] 

Whit asks: Is the MAF calculation is affected by altitude? What about high altitude training in general? [00:23:40] 

Brad Kearns Daily Routine

Brad Kearns Freezer Therapy

Dr. Kelly Starrett

Rethinking Recovery

Plantar Fasciitis


May 11, 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.

Andy in Germany asks:  After a history of minor but annoying injuries, I started to train the primal way two years ago and made it to Kona. I keep measuring my heart rate. Now I am wondering what causes a huge difference in my training heart rate and my racing heart rate? [00:01:19] 

Adam wants to know how to regulate his weight gain/loss cycle. What about lactic acid changes in the muscles? [00:12:45] 

Wade is a plays hockey which is an extreme stop and start sport. He asks:  What is the Primal Endurance approach for training for this type of situation?  [00:17:03] 

Emma (60) Does your aerobic base differ for each sport: swimming, biking, and running? [00:22:32] 

What is the reason for breathing only through your nose while training? [00:25:10] 

Can I still incorporate the nose breathing during swimming and bicycling training? [00:28:12] 

Pader is a runner and asks about the P-90X training in conjunction with the primal training. [00:29:02] 

Jonathan asks: Is it possible for an athlete to come back after burnout? [00:31:41] 

May 4, 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.

Todd (age 33) has Lymes disease and he's had many surgeries but still is a fit specimen. He is now getting ready for a sprint triathlon and is asking about how to prevent burnout. What is the best way for him to train? [00:00:59] 

Paul is new to Primal Endurance life. He went on a 24-hour mountain bike ride. He suffered from GI problems and had to stop the race. He also asks about keeping his heart rate where he wants it to be when he is going uphill on his bike? What does he need to do differently? [00:08:10] 

Sometimes you just have to relax about the competition. [00:15:31] 

What are some suggestions about fueling during race? [00:18:05] 

Warren asks "How do apply the 180 minus age formula to children?" [00:23:44] 

Bradley asks if people would consider refereeing soccer an endurance sport? [00:27:20] 

Bruce has trouble buying into Dr. Maffetone's 180 minus age training formula. [00:30:34] 

Doug asks about the run-walk formula that he is using. [00:32:38] 

Apr 27, 2018

Host Brad Kearns welcomes favored recurring guest Andrew MacNaughton of TheAthletesPotential. It's been a while since we caught up with Andrew, so he details his dietary experimentation with keto, his return to training after a year of minimal exercise, and the usual assortment of juicy asides and insights about adopting the proper mindset for endurance exercise. Andrew went deep with some 24-hour and even 48-hour fasting, saying that it was no trouble--even while doing moderate aerobic workouts during the fasting period. The show discusses the great potential of functional medicine to help athletes get healthy, the necessary first step to pursuing fitness goals. Gut dysfunction is so prevalent these days, and functional testing can go where traditional medicine does not. Andrew does complete testing every two years so he can track his progression of aging and make sure he is doing the best he can to sustain peak function. 

Andrew recommends that athletes ask themselves the important questions of, "what would be best?” "how can I do better?" (for health, for peak performance, etc.) and then work toward the best accommodation of those goals. Putting health as the absolute #1 priority is a good start. Enjoy the show. Please take a moment to leave the show a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts and spread the word to your peeps on social media.

What did Andrew learn when he tried the Keto experiment as well as trying fasting? [00:01:18] 

It takes less time to recover from no meal than it does to recover from bad food! [00:04:08] 

What about damage from the vegetable oils? [00:08:07] 

What happens as you age when your childhood eating habits were poor? [00:10:06] 

What kind of functional testing does he do with his clients? [00:14:24] 

What are some of the results Andrew finds in his own testing? [00:16:05]

Can one always tell when they have a problem like in the digestive system? [00:19:33] 

When acknowledging that our bodies aren't functioning perfectly, it is important to at least learn what would be best for you as you move forward. [00:20:45] 

It is very common in this current lifestyle to be so busy that you ignore your body. [00:24:24] 

With Andrew's experimenting in diet, what were the effects on his exercise and training? [00:27:39] 

Comfort food will eventually make you uncomfortable. [00:39:07] 

Do you know what it feels like to feel good? [00:40:35] 

Apr 20, 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.

Candy is a coach and she is asking about training young kids and how to prevent injury and burnout. [00:00:53] 

David asks about aerobic vs. anaerobic training. He has slowed down his training and now he wants to compete. Will he have to start all over again after he competes using maximum speed? [00:07:30] 

Another David, age 28, finds it difficult to contain his heart rate when something beyond his control comes into the picture. What happens to his heart rate? [00.19.12]

Ward asks about skipping workouts. He asks about muscle loss in older people (sarcopenia) and whether your skills get depleted if you are not consistent. [00:22:35] 

What about de-training due to illness or injury? Can you get it back? [00:30:05] 

Travis asks, "Does ketosis protect me from injury?" [00:32:53] 

Josh is asking about a massive Navy Seal challenge he participated in and whether such an event is damaging. How can you go about participating in Primal Obstacle Race? [00:35:43] 


Apr 13, 2018

Brad continues to discuss topics of recent interest and new strategies he is trying out in training experiments, including his plunging deep into the world of temperature therapy. In consult with Dr. Kelly Starrett, author of Becoming a Supple Leopard and founder of, you’ll get tips to start using cold water therapy as well as heat therapy to pursue the vaunted benefits. 

Brad has a chest freezer filled with near-freezing water for both morning and evening plunges. For morning, it’s a hermetic stressor to boost adaptive hormones and naturally sharpen central nervous system function. For before bed, a quick plunge helps facilitate a good night’s sleep by lowering body temperature. Brad’s game is to stay for ~3 min at temperatures 36-40F. Not long enough to suffer or shiver for hours afterward. 

Check out his YouTube videos: Check out his YouTube demonstration coming soon!

Short demo to get you started: Coming Soon!

A detailed description of benefits and demo: Coming Soon!

The deal with cold therapy is to keep it far away from training stimulus. You want the inflammatory process to run its course after a workout, despite the fact that it feels great to cool your legs in an icy river after a hard run or the like. 

With heat therapy, the infrared sauna causes a mini-fever effect to enhance cellular function and improve cardiovascular function. Starrett likes the hot sauna where you can really sweat and even get uncomfortable before getting out. Brad is doing Chris Kelly’s Nourish BalanceThrive detox protocol of going into a sauna for a big sweat, and immediately scrubbing off with Dr. Bronners soap to clear toxins (since his NBT tests showed residue of toxic metals and rubber by-products in his blood! Possibly a consequence of growing up in smoggy LA or perhaps even drinking from plastic water bottles that have been exposed to heat - like a sunny car.)

In furthering the concept of a more varied and relaxed approach to training, Brad references the podcast where he discussed the Simply Running approach of New Zealand Olympic 1500 meter silver and bronze medalist Nick Willis. The takeaway message is to design a training program that is enjoyable, fits conveniently into your other life responsibilities, and tone down the obsessive need to hit arbitrary time or volume standards. Consistency in the context of building fitness is simply not as important as we think it is. Don’t compare yourself to the elites. They are out there for hours every largely because they do have plenty of time to spend on training and are looking for those incremental benefits. 

Take a page from the bodybuilding scene. Ridicule the bro science if you must, but bodybuilders respect and appreciate the importance of balancing stress and rest—breaking down muscles with intense training and then resting and hyper-nourishing to come back with huge muscles. 

On the other hand, realize the disastrous consequences of a chronic approach, as we now see the elevated cardiovascular disease risk factors in hard training. 

Brad also refers to his super nutrition morning green smoothie, also available on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Great topics to get you thinking about ways to optimize your approach to training!

Nick Willis Show:

Muscleheads ripping on cardio article:

Cold water - long:


Cold water - quick demo:


Smoothie - long:


Smoothie - quick demo:


Mobility Workout


What is cold temperature therapy and what are the benefits of it? [00:01:44] 

How does melatonin work in helping one sleep? What else helps one sleep? [00:09:51] 

You do not want the cold exposure anywhere near your workout. [00:13:17] 

What is the role of heat therapy? [00:17:00]

How does Brad start his day? What motivates him? [00:24:20] 

Kickstart your digestive circadian rhythm with a green smoothie.  [00:29:16] 

Do we need to eat more calories when we are focused on Keto dieting? [00:32:59] 

How do we know if we have a carb dependency problem? [00:37:09] 

Apr 6, 2018

Brad updates you on topics of recent interest and new strategies he is trying out in training. Included is his experiment to bring more downtime into his exercise patterns. This means periods of 24-36 hours where there are no formal workouts; this is in order to perform at a higher level when he pushes himself with challenging endurance or high-intensity workouts. That said, Brad also discusses the importance of establishing a baseline routine of general everyday movement, mobility/flexibility exercises, random strength/explosive efforts, and not worrying as much about filling in all the blanks of a training log. 

 Brad reports that despite reduced overall running frequency and monthly volume, he felt stronger than ever delivering a maximum effort to get his first win in a Speedgolf tournament—playing 18 holes on a hilly course in San Luis Obispo in 52 min and shooting 85 for a Speedgolf score of 137. Brad credits being fully rested, along with having some good sprint workouts, for a strong endurance performance at the tournament. Yes, high-intensity sprint sessions will greatly improve your endurance if they are conducted properly and not in an overly strenuous manner. Then, you pair occasional hard stuff with very comfortably paced aerobic workouts that are safely below MAF heart rate or perhaps WAY below MAF heart rate. Don’t worry; you still get a significant aerobic stimulus even if it’s a brisk walk or a cruiser bike trip to Farmer’s Market. Dr. Maffetone details these concepts in his series of outstanding videos in the Primal Endurance Mastery Course at


Brad lets us in on some of the fitness routines that keep him in shape. What?? Downtime?? [00:02:21] 

Does slowing down interfere with the competition? What happens when Brad plays Speed Golf? [00:14:39] 

"Simply Running" is a book about modifying training by Nick Willis suggesting the same slowing down theory. [00:18:30] 

Is excessive cardio really unhealthy? [00:20:54] 

What happens if you are sleep deprived? What is Leptin?  What is Ghrelin? [00:24:06]  

Are endurance athletes at risk? [00:26:44] 

Does genetics come into play? [00:30:21] 


Mar 30, 2018
Lindsay welcomes Simon Marshall, Ph.D., one half of the brain trust behind Braveheart Coaching ( and co-author along with his wife Lesley Paterson of The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion. Simon is an expert in helping athletes of all levels wrangle their inner "chimp brains" so they can pursue their sports with the heart, wings, and fight of a truly brave athlete. In this episode, Simon discusses with Lindsay the importance of developing an athlete identity, as well as how to know when you're getting waylaid by a "gremlin" (an unwanted thought, feeling, or belief that threatens to derail you on your athletic journey). Whether or not you currently think of yourself an athlete,* Simon is here to share his wealth of knowledge gleaned from years of conducting his own scientific research, racing as a competitive cyclist, and acting as professional sherpa and founding member of Team S.H.I.T. (Supportive Husbands in Training) for Lesley, who is a professional mountain biker, three-time world champion in off-road triathlon, and Ironman® triathlon champion.
* Hint: If you're listening, you're probably an athlete; and if you're not comfortable calling yourself that despite evidence to the contrary (a hefty budget set aside for race fees and equipment, an early-morning alarm set for training, and a love of your sport), read The Brave Athlete.
To find out more about Simon and Lesley's work, visit:

Dr. Simon Marshall

Lesley Paterson

Mar 23, 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.

Chris asks if the problem people have with running at the "brutally slow place" has anything to do with body composition. [00:02:21] 

What about nose breathing? Do we need a heart monitor?  [00:05:31] 

Ben asks for advise for those folks who are only able to get out there a couple of short runs per week. [00:13:27] 

Tom says he is only a year into running and I really loved it BUT after getting into Maffetone's Yellow Book and Primal Endurance books, he doesn't have any fun. [00:17:33] 

What happens if we don't acknowledge that our bodies aren't at 10 percent well? [00:21:41] 

Rob is asking about his 13 year-old son's development as he is getting into competitive sports.  [00:26:53] 

What about fast twitch vs. slow twitch muscles? [00:32:03] 

If you do a lot of endurance training will you loose something on the fast twitch side? [00:33:41] 

Mar 16, 2018

Host Brad Kearns welcomes the Brock the Renaissance man from Vancouver, Canada. Brock is deep into the podcast scene as a producer and host of numerous health/fitness/primal-paleo/biohacking style shows, and also a longtime endurance coach. His Workplace Hero podcast helps those with sedentary office jobs make the best of their surroundings and minimize the health challenges of office work. Having been around the biohacking scene for a while, Brock states that he is generally the ultimate skeptic and non-responder to much fancy cool stuff that he has tried. This wide-ranging conversation unearths some memorable insights and clarities for those seeking an effective diet, exercise and lifestyle regimen. 

 This show covers: The state of the union and future hopes for the medium of podcasting; how Brock transitioned from a strict endurance athlete to hit the gym and get jacked! (including the top secret, highly questionable supplement that he obtained through a sketchy supplier that worked so well it scared the crap out of him!); the new trend of top endurance athletes passing on stretching, icing, massage, and foam rolling, because they’d rather feel the tightness and inflammation that is a fundamental component of the training effect. On that note, post-workout heat therapy is proving to be an excellent way to boost fitness, while cold therapy might be best in the early morning (per K-Starr), at least 2 hours after workouts to not interfere with the training effect, or in the evening (especially when paired with hot, like Brad in wintertime at his parents cold pool, hot spa in LA!). Along these lines, the pair discusses whether the benefits of yoga are overblown, and how pursuing broad-based fitness competency with functional mobility/flexibility exercises and increased general everyday movement might be the best winning ticket for athletes. 

 Brock geeks out with a great insight about Hebbs Law - where “neurons that fire together, wire together.” Translation: If your swim stroke or running form sucks, training will ingrain these technique flaws further. Enroll in the Primal Endurance Mastery Course and learn how to run with the grace and beauty of a deer! We end with a frank discussion about bio hacks - the pure nonsense out there, how lots of expensive high tech stuff lacks relevance to the average athlete, how bad lifestyle habits will render your hacks useless, and how Brock’s muscles got so big, so fast, he washed his fake essential oils down the toilet and stuck with the basics. This is a very entertaining show with both philosophical questions to ponder and practical tips to implement. 

What going on in podcasting in today's community? [00:04:09] 

How did Brock transition to strength training from his focus on endurance work? [00:13:06] 

Is there a benefit of massage or yoga on athletes who are trying to bulk up their bodies? [00:17:52] 

How does one know what level of fitness they have? [00:23:17] 

What do we mean when we say the word "fitness"? What are you thinking when you hear that word? [00:29:51] 

What holds people back from getting the proper fitness routine? [00:35:15] 

How does Hebb's Rule affect technique and how can it work against you if you are learning? [00:36:59] 

Don't we just know how to run naturally? [00:41:22] 

Aren't there some shortcuts to fitness? [00:42:52] 

What about cryotherapy? [00:51:14] 

What is the benefit of the sauna? [00:53:32] 

What are peptides that Brock was using? [00:59:37]

Mar 9, 2018

Host Brad Kearns welcomes Tom Hughes of Tri Mechanics in Great Britain. Tom is an expert in skill development and technique for endurance sports, and discusses the benefits of using barefoot/minimalist shoes to refine good running technique. Interestingly, wearing comfortable, cushiony shoes causes more actual impact trauma to your joints (you just can’t feel it), more instability with your balance, and a loss of explosive propulsive force. Tom makes a food analogy about shoes called the “Chocolate Brownie Theory.” Yes, the brownie tastes great at first, but has adverse long-term consequences. 

Tom also echoes Katy Bowman’s Movement Nutrition work in discussing the importance of building good “movement habits.” Brad talks about how he makes housework a killer full body workout. Mopping on all fours makes for a sliding plank session. Any time a stair ascent is called for in everyday home living, why not make a commitment to sprint them, every time! Kelly Starrett of argues that endurance athletes should spend 15 minutes of every workout hour doing mobility/flexibility. Add this all up and it’s a mind blower for endurance athletes with ‘one track minds.’

The conversation extends into other interesting areas, including how Tom improved his testosterone readings by honoring the concept of a circadian digestive clock promoted by Dr. Satchin Panda. Tom started making a nutritious smoothie in the morning, which he believed helped kick start his digestive system and get energized for a productive day, and also lower his stress hormone production that might have occurred during his morning hours in a fasted state. The show also covers concerns about overtraining and compromised recovery, advancing the idea Brad discussed on his recent show with Joel Jamieson about recovery debt and the importance of actually devoting time and energy to recovery instead of just taking it for granted.

Why is a runner's technique so important? [00:00:57] 

How does swimming technique make a difference? [00:06:53] 

What is wrong about the comfortable shoes we are used to? [00:11:48] 

If a runner switches to the minimalist shoes or barefoot, isn't he going to have some pain while adjusting? [00:20:43] 

How does one progress into this new running style? [00:22:33] 

How does one pick a good shoe? [00:27:33] 

How does he work with clients to improve technique? [00:30:50] 

What kind of drills does one need to do to improve balance? [00:34:10] 

What are some ways to keep in shape that one can work into the busy day? [00:41:21] 

Fitness is multifaceted. Even some athletes are not in the shape they think they are. [00:46:57] 

What is digestive circadian rhythm? How does when you eat have an effect? [00:51:52] 

Some time being very lean is not the ideal. [01:04:23] 

Mar 2, 2018

Hosts Brad Kearns and Dr. Linsday Taylor get deep into the psyche of the endurance athlete and address some of the common challenges. For happiness and well-being, it's critical to behave in a manner congruent with your stated goals. When you are overtraining and dragging you and your ego thru ill-advised workouts, you depart from high minded ideals and are succumbing to rat race mentality where, as bestselling author Brené Brown says, "fatigue is a badge of honor in modern culture, and self-worth is determined by productivity". Or as frequent podcast guest Andrew MacNaughton comments, "Endurance athletes are most content when they train themselves to exhaustion." Hmm, ring a bell? There is a better way! Hang with the Primal Endurance podcast and enroll in the Mastery Course to get the guidance and expert insights you need to succeed with endurance goals without compromising your health.

View full video:


Brad and Lindsay discuss aerobic emphasis training and the carbohydrate intake problem. [00:00:16]

How can it be possible that going slower can make you go faster? [00:03:35] 

What about the bursts of high speed? [00:06:53] 

Are you not satisfied until you are exhausted? [00:13:16] 

How important is the recovery phase? [00:16:41] 

What is your desire to train? Are you taking care of your body?  [00:18:47] 

What happens when your focus is improving your technique rather than the speed? [00:26:28] 

Why is it so tough? Why do we feel inferior if we are not pushing it? [00:28:02] 

Are you a person who can tolerate uncertainty? [00:32:06] 

Learn how to trust in your own ability to understand your needs. [00:34:41] 

Understand why you are doing this. [00:35:02]


Feb 23, 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.

Gentry McGrath, 48-year-old chiropractor asks about the confusing messages one gets listening to the various podcasts with the often differing theories of how best to train. [00:00:55] 

Chad asks can running strides be added throughout the aerobic base building period? [00:10:33] 

Matthew asks what are signs of overtraining? [00:14:16] 

With reactions to food and training varying between individuals, doesn't it make you question the universal application of the MAF formula? [00:19:49] 

Marco ran the Paris marathon. It was pretty easy up to kilometer 32 and then the last 10K it was harder. What happened? I have plateaued at my MAF heart rate. Shall I try to add 5 beats? [00:25:46] 

The body responds really well and the mind responds well to epic over-distance training sessions. [00:33:47] 

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

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