#151: Mark Cucuzella

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Host Brad Kearns welcomes pioneering physician and legendary endurance runner Dr. Mark Cucuzella of West Virginia. Mark has run a sub-3 hour marathon for 31 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 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

Check out this episode!

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