#140: Tom Hughes

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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 MobilityWOD.com 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] 

Check out this episode!

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