115 Things You Need To Know As A Primal Endurance Athlete, Part 2
In part 2 of this multi-part presentation covering 115 key insights about the Primal Endurance approach, we discuss the next 15-24 items under the category of Aerobic Training (part 1 introduced the six categories: Aerobic Training, Periodization, Primal Eating, Strength and Sprint Training, Complementary Movement And Lifestyle Practices, and Recovery).
In this episode, I continue to provide some color commentary on each insight to provide you with more nuanced knowledge of everything you need to know if you want to have fun and go faster. You will learn why high-intensity workouts are not advised until you’ve built a strong aerobic base, why even a slight stimulation of anaerobic metabolism during a workout can compromise your fat reduction efforts, and what causes endurance athletes to be at high risk for overstress and burnout.
You will also learn which types of workouts can actually improve mitochondrial function and protect you from stress-induced oxidative damage, the benefits of nose breathing during exercise, and why wearing a wireless heart rate monitor is essential to conducting proper aerobic workouts. We also touch on how slowing down to perform better in endurance competitions has actually been proven to be an effective strategy by the world’s leading athletes for over ﬁfty years and the seven habits of highly effective primal endurance athletes (sleep, stress/rest balance, intuitive and personalized schedule, aerobic emphasis, structured intensity, complementary movement and lifestyle practices, and periodization).
High intensity workouts are not advised until a strong aerobic base is built. [01:08]
If you are constantly dipping into the sugar burning zones, you are going to promote carbohydrate dependency eating and lifestyle patterns. [03:58]
Besides exceeding maximum aerobic heart rate, some athletes are guilty of an overly consistent regimen. [05:35]
Aerobic and anaerobic workouts and primal aligned eating help improve mitochrondrial function. [09:18]
Mitochondria burn fat and ketones more cleanly than they do glucose. [12:42]
Nose breathing during exercise ensures the most efficient exchange of oxygen on each breath. [14:56]
The black hole designates an exercise intensity that is slightly too strenuous to be aerobic, but not difficult enough to qualify as a peak performance speed workout. [21:28]
A wireless heart rate monitor is essential to conducting proper aerobic workouts. [26:20]
Slowing down to perform better in endurance competition has been proven effective by the world’s leading athletes [29:19]
The seven habits of highly effective primal endurance athletes are sleep, stress, rest, balance, intuitive and personalized training schedule, emphasizing aerobic development. [33:33]
- Brad Kearns.com
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- The Oxygen Advantage
- Shift Adapt
- BOHR Effect
Welcome to the Return of the Primal Endurance Podcast. This is your host, Brad Kerns, and we are going on a journey to a kinder, gentler, smarter, more fun, more effective way to train for ambitious endurance goals. Visit primal endurance.fit to join the community and enroll in our free video course. Welcome to part two of the 115 things you need to know to be a Primal Endurance athlete. Download the free ebook at primalendurance.fit to get a written account of these insights for handy reference. But for now, we are working our way through the list. We are in the first of six categories of insights called aerobic training. So part one, we covered the first 14 insights and we got a bunch more. We’re gonna burn through and give you that complete picture of what it means to have a training program that emphasizes aerobic development without the risks of breakdown and burnout that are so common.
So as we jump to insight number 15 on aerobic training, high intensity workouts are not advised until a strong aerobic base is built as evidenced by steady improvement in MAF test results. So you can go back and listen to a few of the insights from part one if you have no idea what I’m talking about here. Hopefully you’re working through this in proper progression. But the high intensity workouts are so valuable and can deliver really quick and profound fitness improvements. But you have to be very careful with how you integrate those into your training schedule. I made the comparison between taking the time to build a giant efficient energy burning Tesla versus fine tuning and putting new spark plugs in a crappy old car that’s billowing smoke and will never go as fast as the big engine. So you want to build that big engine, and that term base is so appropriate because what you are doing when you build your aerobic system is you elevate the base from which you launch your impressive high intensity workouts that give you so much gratification and sense of satisfaction, running the intervals, doing the time trials, doing the hill repeats, getting tough and competitive and honing and, and fine tuning for the, uh, the season ahead or what have you.
But until you have a strong aerobic base, until you’re progressing steadily without interruption from setbacks like illnesses or injuries or fatigue, uh, there’s no call to introduce high intensity workouts. There’s great examples from my time on the triathlon circuit, my own experience and great athletes like Mike Pigg, who famously didn’t do any speed workouts for a period of a couple years in training. All he did was train at a comfortable aerobic pace and then fly to the races on the international circuit and win and win again and win again because he was finally taking care of his body, uh, under guidance from Dr. Phil Maffetone, who has preached this for so many decades, that you can slow down in order to go faster on the race course. And it absolutely works, and the insights have been validated by the performances by all elite athletes in every endurance sport for at least 60 years.
Now, going back to the time of the great running coach Arthur Lydiard in New Zealand, who first popularized over distance training for his track and field athletes, and then they went on to smash world records and win Olympic gold medals with this new style of training where they were building the aerobic base instead of just killing themselves every day, running circles fast around a track. So be patient and wait to introduce those high intensity workouts until you have some good aerobic development and test yourself frequently with that maximum aerobic function test to track your progress.
Number 16, even a slight stimulation of anaerobic metabolism during a workout can accelerate sugar burning for up to 72 hours after the workout compromising fat reduction efforts. So the metabolic function that’s happening during your workout is sending a strong signal to your hormones, to your genetic switches to behave that way in the aftermath. So you’re teaching your body to become a good fat burner. When you burn fat during workouts. When you do those high stress, high intensity workouts, those prolonged cardiovascular sessions where you’re in the sugar burning zone, exceeding maximum aerobic heart rate that is going to have a metabolic effect for up to four days, excuse me, three days after the workout, according to research as is cited by Dr. Maffetone. And so if you are constantly, uh, dipping into the sugar burning zones, you are going to promote carbohydrate dependency eating and lifestyle patterns. And that’s a tough way to go because it goes hand in hand with fatigue, mood swings, energy swings, appetite cravings, especially for quick energy carbohydrates. And so your ideal approach is to emphasize fat burning in your training and emphasize fat burning in everyday life. That’s how you can, uh, maintain stable energy, mood, and especially appetite and succeed in dropping excess body fat with a strategic approach, including sensible workouts rather than chronic overly stressful workouts.
Number 17 is, besides exceeding aerobic maximum heart rate during chronic cardio patterns, endurance athletes are often guilty of an overly regimented, overly consistent approach, which brings a high risk of overstress and burnout. That term consistency is so frustrating to, to me at times because it’s bantered about, like it’s the ultimate end all to be a successful human being, an athlete as well as everything else. You just gotta be consistent. You gotta be consistent with your daily routine. You gotta be consistent at work, answering all your emails. You gotta be consistent with your workouts and your weekly mileage, and your goal next year is to be more consistent. Well, in a certain context, of course, that’s a relevant insight. We wanna consistently live a healthy lifestyle, make good food choices, show good sleeping patterns, and of course get sufficient exercise and training appropriate for our competitive goals.
But when you fixate on a consistent application of stress to the body day in, day out, without regard for the many, many other variables that might influence your training decisions, that’s when you dig yourself a deep hole of overstress and burnout. And because of the high competitive intensity, the high work ethic, the type A mindset, the type A personality that’s attracted to endurance goals, we often fall into that trap of looking at a piece of paper or a spreadsheet or all the wearables in the technology that we have access to. So we want to have a consistent application of wattage when we’re pedaling our bicycle every time we exercise or have a similar time every time we go into the swimming pool and swim laps. That can easily override the vastly more important and more effective intuitive approach to training. And boy, the, even the world’s elite athletes that I’ve, I’ve observed for decades have this flexibility and this intuitive aspect to their training.
Now, they’re also very, very consistent. And as you’ll learn further in the show, analyzing the training schedule of the great marathoner, Eluid Kipchoge, he is incredibly consistent and delivers a very impressive week of training that is very similar week in and week out as he builds and builds, but never overt taxes himself and never digs himself into a deep hole. So consistency in that context, hey, that’s wonderful, but essentially he’s backing into that concept by making good decisions along the way. And so he would never sacrifice, no elite athlete would ever sacrifice increased risk of injury just for the sake of consistency. Yet we make these mistakes all the time. Uh, raise your hand if you’ve ever had an overuse injury like a stress fracture. I have one in college, and upon reflection, it’s it absolute mark of stupidity that I put myself into that pain and experienced that level of pain over and over at repeated workouts until finally the stress fracture occurred and made the pain intolerable to be able to run a step.
But I, I, you know, inched there over and over again in the interest of maintaining a consistent training schedule, rather than feeling that intense pain along my shin and saying, gee, I better not run it all until this pain resolves. Okay, so there’s the knock against consistency or second guessing, expanding your perspective about what that term means, and beware of an overly consistent approach.
Number 17, here we go with number 18, aerobic and anaerobic workouts, as well as primal aligned eating all help improve mitochondrial function, protecting you from stress-induced oxidative damage and helping to delay the aging process. So again, a burgeoning field of alternative health and medicine is this idea that the mitochondria, uh, are the, the essence of health and longevity and dysfunctional mitochondria represent the root cause of a incredible variety of diseases, including the major killers like heart disease, cancer, and so forth.
And so the mitochondria are the energy producing powerhouse that’s located inside of most cells in the body, and they allow you to process energy efficiently when they are utilized. And when you are burning fat, you are utilizing mitochondria. On the contrary, glucose can be burned directly in the cell without the activation of mitochondria. So it generally, uh, is considered a dirty burning fuel in this context, especially when you’re doing this at high level high energy expenditure. And that would imply, or that would characterize a typical endurance training session, especially if you’re going at a high heart rate, right? So you’re burning a lot of glucose in the muscle cells, you’re doing it quickly. You’re working hard for an hour, hour and a half, two hours, whatever you’re doing. And that is generating a lot of reactive oxygen species, aka free radical in the bloodstream the smoke from the fire.
Remember that important analogy? So when we get good at mitochondrial function, we are very efficient at processing the energy from the foods we eat rather than, uh, experiencing the variety of problems that are so common today when we have, uh, diet heavy and processed foods that cause, uh, dysfunction in the mitochondria, in particular, the refined industrial seed oils that are the most toxic, uh, agent in the modern food supply. And when we consume a lot of those, they, uh, immediately and directly compromise fat metabolism. So they compromise the mitochondria’s ability to burn off to burn stored body fat, to mobilize it into free fatty acids to use for fuel. So when your mitochondria are fine-tuned and optimized through all types of all types of workouts, as well as making healthy food choices, you have this wonderful effect of anti-aging and improved health and protection from oxidative stress.
However, there’s that very important balance beam to walk on because when you overdo it, you can damage the mitochondria from an overly stressful, chronically stressful training approach. There’s a good passage in the book, primal Endurance from Dr. Peter Attia talking about how the mitochondria can leak out into the bloodstream, which is a really bad thing to happen when they’re chronically overheated. For example, doing a lot of difficult, challenging, stressful workouts with insufficient recovery. So there’s a little lesson on the importance of fine tuning mitochondrial function.
And then we go to number 19. Mitochondria burn fat and ketones more cleanly than they do glucose. Glucose burning generates more free radicals causing oxidative damage and accelerated aging. And of course, these are generalizations. And when I talk about the damage throughout many of these insights, I’m talking about taking things to excess. So of course, when you’re going and doing a properly conducted sprint workout or a strength training session glucose is going to be your preferred fuel because you’re working at high intensity. Anytime you work at high intensity, you’re gonna be preferential to glucose where fat metabolism is gonna be de-emphasized because it’s not quick enough to supply the appropriate amount of ATP to the cells when they’re trying to work hard and really do powerful explosive performance. So the fat is prioritized when you’re going for long duration and glucose and other fuel sources like ATP, creatine phosphate, when you’re going really fast. So there’s this wonderful account of the substrate utilization at various exercise durations and intensities. So when you’re going in the book, when you’re going all out from zero to seven seconds, so pure maximum explosive performance, you are using the atp creatine phosphate system.
And then when you go from seven seconds to 30 seconds, you are burning ATP directly through slightly different ATP lactate pathway. That’s where you get that lactic acid accumulation, but it’s also used for fuel. It’s recycled into fuel, uh, for all out efforts up to 30 seconds. And then when you exceed 30 seconds and go up to around two minutes, you are burning primarily glucose. So glycolytic exercise for high intensity efforts lasting very short duration. And then once you hit an all out effort, again, we’re talking about, so an all out effort of up to 30 seconds and then 30 seconds to two minutes. Once you get over two minutes, you’re burning a mixture of glucose and fat, and of course, that ratio changes and alters all the way up to exercising for 24 hours or what have you, where you’re burning mostly fat and very little glucose.
Okay, so there’s the substrate utilization lesson and then back into the insight. So you got that insight number 19, that mitochondria help you burn fuel more cleanly, especially fat and ketones. Number 20, nose breathing during exercise ensures the most efficient exchange of oxygen on each breath and helps you maintain an aerobic pace. So that’s an interesting, uh, very useful technique to, uh, bring into your training where you decide to breathe through your nose only during these comfortably paced aerobic workouts. And that definitely keeps you honest, because if your pace escalates for whatever reason, you’re not paying attention, you’re going up a hill, whatever, it’s gonna be very difficult to obtain sufficient oxygen while breathing through your nose only. So that is going to get you to slow right back down to maintain this comfortable breathing pattern. And when you use your nose only, you’re compelled to draw a deeper breath, so you’re utilizing the diaphragm appropriately to get a full exchange of oxygen activating the oxygen-rich, rich lower lobes of the lungs, which are on the bottom.
So you want to use your entire lung capacity rather than the typical narrow the shallow panting breath that we often, uh, kick into when we’re opening up our mouth and taking in an excess of oxygen more than we need, and not even being that efficient with the exchange. And I’ve gotten so much more interested in this topic since writing this insight into the Primal Endurance book many years ago and great work like The Oxygen Advantage from Patrick McKeown and Breath by James Nestor, go deep into this concept of improving your breathing effectiveness to generate improvements in athletic performance and reduce the stress impact of the workout. So nasal breathing, nasal diaphragmatic breathing help trigger parasympathetic function and help tone down the fight or flight response that is associated with the shallow panting breath. And there’s way more on this.
We’ll do entire shows dedicated to breathing, where if you start to get interested in this concept and start implementing some advanced breathing practices as advocated in those two books. And also in Brian McKenzie’s wonderful Shift adapt program. So you can visit that website and see what he’s doing where he’s very interested in breathing as a centerpiece of athletic training. Uh, he’s also the guy responsible for CrossFit endurance. So he is been a big figure in the endurance scene for a long time. And the idea quickly here is that when you can get good at breathing in a minimal amount of oxygen necessary, you improve your carbon dioxide tolerance. And when you improve your carbon dioxide tolerance, you deliver more oxygen to working muscles throughout the body. So by breathing minimally rather than breathing maximally and just sucking in a ton of air, that’s when you have reduced carbon dioxide tolerance.
And breathing in a whole bunch of air is actually resulting in delivering less oxygen to the working muscles that really want it. Paradoxical as it may sound, and I’m just giving you the basic insights here, you can learn much more by digging into those books. Uh, it’s pretty wild. But this is not some funky new training strategy. This is a fundamental of human biology. And the thing I’m speaking about right now is known as the BOHR effect B O H R effect. That is when we can improve our carbon dioxide tolerance. The red blood cells let go of more oxygen, delivering it to target organs and tissues throughout the body, and improving carbon dioxide tolerance entails breathing minimally. So if you wanna know what to do instead of get more and more into the why and get confused, I love this takeaway insight from Patrick McKeown’s book, where he instructs us to breathe through our nose as minimally as possible at all times for the rest of your life.
That is how you’re going to, uh, moderate stress hormones and how you’re going to gain an athletic performance advantage by needing less breath. Now, if you’re doing an interval workout or in a race, it’s not going to work to close your mouth and breathe through your nose only. So we’re asking you to breathe as minimally as possible at all times. So what I have been integrating into my workouts is a nose breathing strategy where I’ll do my warmups, easy jogging, whatever dynamic stretching, and my mouth is closed the entire time. By the way, when you’re breathing through your nose, you’re getting improved filtration, moistening and purifying of the air, especially, optimizing the temperature. So if you’re out in the cold and you’re burning up your lungs by breathing through your mouth, you wanna definitely utilize the filtration that we have in the nose.
The nose also helps us generate nitric oxide into the air that comes into our lungs, which makes it much more efficiently distributed throughout the body. So that’s the great, uh, benefit of breathing through your nose. But if you finish your interval and your second air, of course you’re gonna open your mouth. No matter what someone says on a podcast what to do, you’re gonna open your mouth and breathe in whatever air you need to recover from a hard effort. But then the objective here is to start paying attention to this idea of immediately, and as quickly as possible gearing back down. That’s why Brian McKenzie uses that term gearing down, down, and they have five gears described. You want to gear back down to eventually minimize breathing, going back to nose only breathing, for example, during the recovery process. And this has been a, a wonderful experience for me to implement this new strategy into my training.
And I’ve noticed over time some great improvement at my ability to tolerate carbon dioxide buildup in the bloodstream, thereby through the BOHR effect delivering more oxygen to my working muscles and tissues. So I encourage you to learn more about that subject and we’ll have more content here for you. Uh, but to the quick insight, nose breathing during exercise allows for an efficient use of oxygen on each breath.
Number 21, the black hole designates an exercise intensity that is slightly too strenuous to be aerobic, but not difficult enough to qualify as a peak performance speed workout. Unfortunately, the black hole heart rate range is the default landing area for many exercisers ranging from novice to competitive athletes. So the black hole is when you exceed maximum aerobic heart rate and start to drift up toward your anaerobic threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is that point where a lactate accumulates in the blood faster than it can be buffered, and that is associated with your ability to perform in an all out racing effort of around an hour.
So that’s kind of your time trial pace, if you’re imagining a bicycle time trial lasting for an hour or a running race lasting for an hour. And when you train to improve that anaerobic threshold, this is a very popular and effective workout for endurance athletes. But it’s quite difficult. You know, imagine holding your potential hour long all out pace for a series of intervals, like six times three minutes, was a popular anaerobic threshold session that I did a lot when I was in triathlon, six times, three minutes with 30 seconds rest between these efforts. It’s a difficult workout, and so it happens only at the appropriate time in your training patterns and infrequently, and then you get a great fitness boost from doing a properly conducted anaerobic threshold workout. However, if you are drifting up near there repeatedly during routine training sessions, you are going to experience inferior aerobic development because your workouts are slightly too stressful and they are not emphasizing fat burning in this black hole area.
You’re burning an increasing percentage of glucose rather than recall the definition of maximum aerobic function, heart rate, the maximum aerobic benefits, the maximum fat oxidation per minute with a minimal amount of anaerobic stimulation. So now in the black hole, you’re getting a little bit more anaerobic stimulation, you’re still burning a lot of fat, but it’s not the highest point of fat oxidation per minute. So these workouts are slightly stressful as Dave Scott calls them “kind of hard.” And they basically, uh, help you develop into a mediocre athlete where you’re working at a “kind of hard” pace over and over and over fine tuning that small engine rather than allowing the aerobic development to occur appropriately. And then when it’s time to hit it hard and you go and work the threshold, hey, you are pounding those pedals and you are going fast, or you’re cranking that rowing, rowing or, or you are running, uh, nicely flying down the trail rather than having trouble with the high energy output areas because you’re just, uh, constantly fatigued from working a little bit too hard at most, at most training sessions.
Okay? Um, yeah. Why is the black hole the default landing area for many exercisers from novices to competitive athletes? Well, perhaps the novices don’t know any better, and so they feel like they wanna get that subjective sensation of getting a good workout. And what happens there is you’re going to accelerate your pace until you feel that slight discomfort associated with excess from aerobic maximum but below anaerobic threshold. Everyone’s smart enough not to go up to the red line and think that’s a normal routine workout. But when you see the population of people sitting on the exercise bike in the local neighborhood fitness facility doing the group workout, they don’t know any better and they feel like they should be getting a sweat, they should be breathing, with a little bit of labor, a little bit of difficulty during the workout in order to get an appropriate workout.
And as we talk about early on in the book, when you do these types of workouts, you get an immediate instant gratification of the endorphins flowing in the bloodstream afterward, these pain killing powerful hormones that make you feel like you had a job well done, and you feel relaxed and you feel euphoric, and you feel like, wow, my training is really working and it makes me feel great every single day. Well, this it might be better than sitting on the couch. Uh, but if you want to escalate your sophistication and reach your competitive potential, you wanna do something entirely different than prompting that, prompting that endorphin buzz, uh, frequently with workouts that are in that black hole. So let’s stay away from the black hole. This is also known as the concept of polarized training, where you’re either going very comfortable for the most part or once in a while opening up the throttle appropriately and letting it rip.
Okay, number 22, A wireless heart rate monitor is essential to conducting proper aerobic workouts because intensity at aerobic maximum is so comfortable that it’s easy to drift into the black hole. And this happens unknowingly, unwittingly because again, you’re not getting that strong perceived exertion message that, wow, I’m really overdoing it right now. You can’t tell what’s happening from a metabolic standpoint that you’ve exceeded your maximum fat oxidation per minute and are inviting more glucose burning. It just, it’s too difficult to perceive. And this is true years and decades later. I still need to rely on my heart rate monitor to keep me honest. Now, I wrote wireless heart rate monitor, however many years ago and since then I believe the technology has improved to the extent that a smart watch can give you a pretty accurate heart rate readout. Now we wanna be extremely accurate here.
So I’d still recommend getting the highest quality heart rate monitor, which I believe is the wireless chance transmission from the chest strap. And I have read research that, uh, the early Apple Watch and some of the other, uh, watches have a a error margin that’s unacceptable. I mean, even a 10% a margin is just too much when we’re talking about, uh, drifting up toward that aerobic maximum heart rate and possibly exceeding it. So make sure that you’re very accurately monitoring your heart rate and consider piggybacking the numbers, the technology with that nasal breathing, so that you can really put yourself in check and realize when you’re at risk of drifting above aerobic maximum. And on the safe side, when in doubt, train well below your aerobic maximum. When I was a triathlete and was putting in a lot of weekly hours of training, I would routinely pedal my bicycle at 30, 40, even 50 beats below my maximum aerobic heart rate at the time of 155 beats per minute.
Uh, when I’m pelling along on flat ground at 105 beats per minute, it’s not too strenuous. I’m probably going 14, 15 miles an hour, back when I was in top shape, of course, by comparison. But it was still an effective aerobic training session with very minimal stress and contributing to honing and building that aerobic base because the same aerobic energy producing muscles enzymes systems are kicking into gear when you’re going faster and faster and faster, even up to race pace, you’re still using the same systems, you’re just turning ’em on. You’re kind of taking your race car out for a spin and going 50 miles an hour instead of a hundred, but the car is still getting a workout, if I can use, uh, that analogy. Okay? So get that heart rate and be disciplined and honor it and stay away from the black hole number 23.
And we have 24 total to get through the first section of aerobic training. So we’re almost done here. Slowing down to perform better in endurance competition has been proven effective by the world’s leading athletes for nearly 60 years now. But it’s still difficult to convince many casual enthusiasts about its effectiveness. I think I just explained why, where you’re going for that instant gratification, you’re going for that endorphin buzz, and you have your ego in the mix trying to convince you that you’re not quote unquote getting a workout until you feel that strain and discomfort. So we want to embrace all the knowledge base that we’ve acquired over decades, the example set by the greatest athletes in the world, and apply that sensibly to the idea that you build a base by going very slowly and comfortably. And for comparison, if you think about the elite athlete for a moment, the Tour de France cyclists who you once saw when you were on vacation in Colorado, and they, the group passed by and were climbing the mountain pass at an incredibly high rate of speed, they were phenomenal, and boy wasn’t that amazing to see them.
Guess what their relative heart rate during that aerobic training session of 70% of their maximum or whatever. Uh, if you compare that to your own effort and your own fitness level, it’s going to equate to a nice leisurely pedal through the neighborhood. Same with seeing, uh, the, you go to the Boston Marathon and you’re in your hotel and you’re out there at the park and there goes a pack of elite runners getting ready, uh, with an easy jog two days before the race, and they’re, uh, flying past you and you’re like, wow, look how fast those guys are running. They must be running six minute miles. Yeah, well, guess what? Kipchoge runs the marathon in a four minute and 34 second pace per mile. So if you see Ki[choge running by at six minute mile, that’s a minute and a half slower pace per mile than his marathon race pace.
Now let’s plug that in to your own personal example. If you’re a four hour marathoner, what is that? Is that a nine minute pace per mile? Something like that? That would mean a training session running 10 and a half minutes per mile. So for many of us who are, you know, sub competitive level, a brisk walk is a very, very appropriate and effective training session to go and run your half marathon in two hours, or run your 10 K in 47 minutes or whatever your competitive goals are. And people are shaking their heads going, wait a second, what do you mean I can’t even run? I have to do brisk walk. That is how the body works. And that is how the aerobic system develops. So we wanna set that beeper alarm. We wanna spend a lot of time training well below, the maximum aerobic heart rate as I related when I’m piddling my bicycle around at 105 beats per minute, 50 beats below my maximum aerobic heart rate, very slow, but still getting excellent aerobic development with a minimal amount of stress.
And I mentioned the Tour de France athlete, I mentioned the marathon runner. The swimmers are another fantastic example, Michael Phelps, the 23 time Olympic gold medalist swimming and training for five or six hours a day. The vast majority of his training in the pool was highly aerobic. One reason is because swimming is less physically stressful than the weight-bearing gravity sports, like running. And so it’s more difficult to get into the anaerobic heart rates. They do deliver a lot of anaerobic stimulation during those swimming workouts, but it’s much easier to recover from and so forth. But again, think about the example of swimming for five hours a day to contest events that last, uh, from 47 seconds to, uh, four or five minutes, the longest event that Michael Phelps would do, like the 400 Im, so for very, very short competitive events, they’re doing extreme over distance to build that aerobic system and hone the anaerobic system, the icing on the cake from a wonderful aerobic base. And oh boy, that’s about as emphatic as I can get with the importance of slowing down to go faster.
And then we’ll end with number 24. The seven habits of highly effective primal endurance athletes are sleep, stress, rest, balance, intuitive and personalized training schedule, emphasizing aerobic development, a structured approach to high intensity workouts, complimentary movement and lifestyle practices in place and periodization. And I have two shows, two part show detailing those seven habits of highly effective prime endurance athletes. But they get a nice cameo here on the 115 things you need to know list. So that concludes part two of this multi-part series, and we’ve covered all 24 of the insights in the aerobic training category, and we will commence part three when we are talking about periodization with numerous insights on that important topic. Thank you so much for listening.
I hope you enjoyed this episode and encourage you to check out the Primal Endurance Mastery course at primalendurance.fit. This is the ultimate online educational experience where you can learn from the world’s great coaches and trainers, diet, peak performance and recovery experts, as well as lengthy one-on-one interviews from several of the greatest endurance athletes of all time, not published anywhere else. It’s a major educational experience with hundreds of videos, but you can get free access to a mini course with an ebook summary of the Primal Endurance approach and nine step-by-step videos on how to become a primal endurance athlete. This mini course will help you develop a strong, basic understanding of this all-encompassing approach to endurance training that includes primal aligned eating to escape carbohydrate dependency and enhanced fat metabolism, building an aerobic base with comfortably paced workouts, strategically introducing high intensity strength and sprint workouts, emphasizing rest, recovery, and annual periodization, and finally, cultivating an intuitive approach to training. Instead of the usual robotic approach of fixed weekly workout schedules, just head over to Primal endurance.fit and learn all about the course and how we can help you go faster and preserve your health while you’re at it.