#21: Dr. Phil Maffetone, Part 3

Host Brad Kearns welcomes popular guest Dr. Phil Maffetone to the show for the third time. Dr. Maffetone brings along both his insightful commentary and his ultimate endurance wisdom about balancing stress and rest while emphasizing aerobically-paced training. In this conversation, Phil talks about his incredible new smartphone app—called the MAF App—that does an assortment of evaluations to help you track health, fitness, disease risk factors, and stress levels.



Brad also challenges Phil on his profound assertion that endurance athletes need not ever exceed 90 percent of their maximum heart rate. Phil explains that the additional stress of going up to a maximum level does not deliver a sufficient return on investment. A healthy athlete can dig deep on race day and give a respectable 100 percent effort. Phil details the metabolic and endocrine effects of the stress response, and how to guard against the overtraining syndrome. “The game is how to moderate stress while training hard enough to perform your best,” Phil explains. Phil mentions how, for tracking aerobic improvement, time trials and other performance trackers are inferior to using a sub-maximal MAF test on a regular basis. Enjoy another lovely and informative show with Dr. Maffetone!


Show Notes:


  • Phil describes his exciting new app (MAF App) that can monitor amazing things about your health and fitness. [00:00:55]
  • How does this app work and what does it track? [00:04:22]
  • One of the big red flags is the reduced desire to train. [00:07:07]
  • What is the best way to evaluate an athlete? [00:09:42]
  • When doing an anaerobic workout, how much should you exceed your maximum heart rate? [00:14:05]
  • What is the cost of training too hard? [00:22:10]
  • Can you rely on performance to gauge where you are by doing time trials? [00:24:32]
  • Even if you have been training at a slow rate, don’t worry about not knowing what to do when you go to a race. You’ll be surprised at your performance. [00:28:08] 
  • In Maffetone ‘s book, 1:59, he speculates that the ability to run a marathon under two minutes will not come from more training miles, nor from more intensity, but a reduction in both. [00:31:48]
  • From a health standpoint, are there some athletes who would have been better off staying couch potatoes? [00:35:46]
  • There are more overweight athletes these days. Is the main reason they are in poor health because of their dietary habits? [00:40:15]
  • What is the two-week test? What role does diet play? [00:41:56] 



Selected Links from the Episode:


Phil Maffetone

Maffetone Music


1:59 (Book)



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