Phil Maffetone Pt.2 (Rebroadcast)

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Listen in as Brad Kearns and Dr. Phil Maffetone have a casual chat about an assortment of interesting topics related to endurance training and general health. Brad complains about his crash and burn patterns, where he feels great for a while and then has down periods of diminished energy and training output. Dr. Maffetone speculates that the cause could be an inappropriate maximum aerobic heart rate value, and urges a conservative approach when calculating your number. He also mentions low vitamin D as a common cause of fluctuating energy levels, and that athletes should strive to get up around 60 or 70 ng/mL. This is way above the mainstream recommendations and a very interesting insight for many sun-starved athletes to consider.

Regarding sleep, Dr. Maffetone urges everyone to get at least 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If you find yourself awakening in the middle of the night, it’s a sign of elevated cortisol levels and an overly stressful lifestyle. With high quality sleep each night, napping should be minimally necessary, but a nap of 30 minutes and no longer than an hour can be restorative.

Dr. Maffetone’s book, 1:59, discusses the possibility of a human running a sub-2-hour marathon and how it will happen. Maffetone suggests that a smart athlete backing off of the ultra-high volume of today’s elites (and running barefoot!) might gain some performance benefits. Maffetone also discusses the difference between the desirable overreaching in training to improve fitness, versus the undesirable state of overtraining (fatigue, depression, hormone imbalance). Brad and Phil discuss the interesting and confusing phenomenon that occurs in the first stage of overtraining. Here, sympathetic (fight or flight) activity is elevated, the athlete feels energized and aggressive, and PRs can even happen. Without a reasonable and intuitive approach, the athlete is headed for a crash when stress hormone production becomes exhausted. Enjoy this informative discussion with Dr. Phil Maffetone, including his own music framing the show! Learn more at

Show notes:

Brad asks: when I have been able to perform great athletic feats, why do I feel a crash and burn afterward? [03:06] 

  Brad talks about his stress while playing Speed Golf and how he found his heart rate higher than normal. [07:44] 

  The importance of Vitamin D testing and the vitamin’s optimal levels. [12:19] 

  How important is measuring heart rate variability for attending to your heart health and ability for recovery? [15:14] 

  A big part of recovery is getting a good night’s sleep, meaning 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. [17:40]

  Dr. Phil talks about departing from extreme overtraining, as mentioned in his book, The 1:59 Marathon. [21:52]  

  What is the difference between overreaching and the undesirable state of overtraining? [25:36]  

  Brad talks about his own experience with crashing and burning. [29:51]   

  Are recovery and rest more important than the training? [34:00] 

  We have to look at diet, rest, circadian rhythm, Vitamin D, and stress all together. The Kenyans are a good example. [37:42] 

  Even shoes are a problem for slowing your pace. [39:28] 



The more we recover, the stronger we get!

Selected Links from this Episode:

1:59 Marathon
The Healthy Golfer
Phil Maffetone


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