Q&A: Fueling During Endurance Exercise, Losing Fat Quickly, Calcium Scans For Athletes, Adjusting MAF Heart Rates

In this Q&A, I share the story of an ultra-endurance athlete who improved their health and lowered blood pressure by adding meat to their diet, if we need to consume fat (bacon and avocado!) during ultramarathons (short answer: no!), and whether or not I recommend eating fruit and high protein every day, regardless of athletic goals?

I also share the story of a couple who lost lots of excess body fat in two months by using keto and intermittent fasting and talk about the importance of looking at the big picture of heart disease risk factors and doing further testing if necessary. Finally, should longtime extreme endurance athletes consider a CAC (coronary artery calcium scan), and can fit, older athletes add five beats or more to MAF heart rate? Maybe, but as you will hear in this episode, it’s also important to be conservative with MAF.

TIMESTAMPS:

Joe is asking about the changes he has made in his diet and what they brought about.

If he is doing marathons, ultras and Ironman, it is not a good idea to introduce fasting into his regimen as he might not be getting enough protein. [00:24]

If you are concerned about weight gain, remember that protein calories are not going to add body fat. [04:18]

Participation in high endurance sports, even for 25 years, can bring high blood pressure, but you can find it decreases by adding red meat into the diet. [05:19]

Joe is asking Brad if he is recommending fruit and protein every day no matter where you are in your training cycle? [07:10]

Remember that snacking during endurance activity is not the best time to digest foods because the blood is diverted from your digestive system into your working extremities. [09:10]

Chris shares how he and his wife found amazing changes in their lives after following Brad’s information on diet. [14:13]

Ideally your body measurement should look at waist to height ratio. We want the waist circumference to be less than half of your height. [17:07]

Scott in Palm Springs talks about one’s heart disease risk factors. He is recommending the CAC, Coronary Artery Calcium scan, especially for long time endurance athletes. [20:04]

Brian, a cyclist, is asking about adding five beats to your maximum aerobic heart rate in certain circumstances. [24:36]

Fat Max is the point where you are burning the maximum number of fat calories per minute during exercise. [29:46]

Brian asks about what should he do when sprinting about keeping his heart rate under or over maximum heart rate.  [32:42]

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TRANSCRIPT:

Brad (00:00):
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 PrimalEndurance.fit to join the community and enroll in our free video course.

Brad (00:24):
Hello, listeners. It’s time for another Q and A show. Oh, thank you so much for writing in these very thoughtful and interesting questions, comments, success stories, lengthy presentations of what your training in health and fitness status is like. So, we accept and enjoy and appreciate hearing from all of you in every way, even constructive feedback of any kind. It’s great. Always nice to hear the accolades too. If you send me a super long presentation, I’m gonna skim through it really fast and try to keep an eye on, uh, the relevance and the benefits for everyone. So, with that said, here goes Joe’s lengthy presentation with some interesting questions too, and we kick off right into it. Joe’s 50 did his first marathon long time ago, have done Marathon, Ironman’s, Ultras every year since 30 years as a vegetarian. Sorry to hear that.

Brad (01:24):
Has trouble in the heat in long races. I read about your keto information, and I decided to reintroduce meat in 22. Uh, hopefully you’ve had some good success with that. I also started fasting, cutting out breakfast, and I would eat from noon till 10:00 PM So right there, I’m gonna add some color commentary where someone who’s doing Marathons, Ironman’s, Ultras, and then decides to introduce fasting into the regimen. I’m going to second guess that right outta the gate, because if you’re performing at that level and doing those extreme endurance events, you might have trouble getting enough protein to recover if you are limiting your intake to gfa specific time window. And the great commentary from Dr. Don Lehman, who’s been on a couple shows,. Peter Attia had a great show with him.

Brad (02:22):
Notably, he’s a respected researcher in the, in the protein field. He contends that two of the best times to ingest protein are first thing in the morning after a long period of fasting, because if you don’t, you possibly will go into a little bit of gluconeogenesis that’s stripping down lean muscle tissue to make glucose in the morning. If you don’t, uh, consume protein. So, uh, you want to, if you’re engaging in gluconeogenesis, what you want is sufficient amino acids in the bloodstream rather than having to break down lean muscle tissue. So, morning protein is key. And Dr. Lehman also said that evening protein is key because it sets you up for a nice evening of recovery. So, uh, morning and evening precludes one from having these highly lauded, compressed eating windows in the name of health and autophagy and all those wonderful benefits.

Brad (03:27):
So, as you know and from listening to the show, I have, a second guessed my practice of fasting, uh, for the last, uh, almost two years now, uh, inspired by Jay Feldman, Tommy Wood, and others. I go outta my way to have a nutritious breakfast featuring my whey protein super fuel plus creatine smoothie with a whole bunch of other ingredients and a big bowl of fresh fruit. Sometimes I’ll make up the eggs and the fresh sourdough bread from the farmer’s market, the highest quality and have a huge breakfast, but at the very least, um, the protein smoothie is a centerpiece every single day in the name of trying to get more protein in. And I haven’t been great about having that extra scoop in the evening. But now that I’m recording this message, I think I’m going to, uh, jump on that too.

Brad (04:18):
Remember, if you’re a calorie counter or you’re sweating out a goal, like trying to drop excess body fat, that your protein consumption can basically be completely eliminated from the equation. You’re just not going to add body fat, by way of consuming protein calories. So when we’re counting calories, protein should be completely in a separate category as we systematically blow up this calories in, calories out modeled that we’ve followed for so long, but is highly oversimplified. I’m not discounting the thermogenic Law of Nature but I am talking about how protein is allocated for, uh, different use in the body. And so, let me get back to Joe’s long message here. I’ve slowed down. I’ve embraced the primal endurance approach or the Maffetone approach of training at this 180 minus your age below the Fat Max heart rate.

Brad (05:19):
And I’ve also, uh, getting more of my calories from red meat, starting to feel better, uh, including lowering high blood pressure. So, whew, interesting. Here’s someone who’s been for 25 years hardcore into the ultra endurance training and still had high blood pressure. So that’s a message or an anecdote in support of the idea that extreme endurance training is not necessarily healthy. Yes, indeed, it’s a super impressive fitness accomplishment to do a Marathon, Ironman or ultra every single year. But it doesn’t help you with, necessarily help you with things like high blood pressure, thanks to, for example, some other stress factors like the excess training load, especially if you’re not slowing down. Like he mentions that he started that only recently doing the 180 minus your age math heart rate training. The vegetarian diet might be considered a success factor.

Brad (06:18):
I mean a risk factor. Um, and same with blood sugar. Everything’s looking better for the, the listener. Blood pressure down from 1 25 over 85 to one 15, over 70 blood sugar down to 91 weight is down. I feel fantastic. I tell all my running buddies or anyone who will listen, what a huge difference following this these methods have made on my life. Even, chronic pain at a site of surgery, inflammation, these things are gone away. My nerve pain has gone away. I finally found a formula that works for me. Now, I see that you are, Brad, I see that you are, uh, now promoting, your journey back to more additional intake of nutritious carbs, such as having fruit for breakfast. And now you’ve been an elite athlete. You’ve been focused on performance. And now I’m left questioning my own endurance goals as well as my goals for wellness longevity.

Brad (07:10):
Um, I’ve qualified for Western states. If you don’t know what Western States is listeners, that’s the 100 mile run across the Sierra Mountain range. One of the most celebrated ultra marathon runs in the world, I think the oldest 100 mile run in the world. And so Joe is training for this. Did a 74 mile training run, went really well, and looking forward to, uh, that big opportunity to hit the bucket list item of, uh, doing Western states. I’m reluctant to change things that are working for me, uh, but I am a little unsure about fueling during extreme endurance events. The past event I survived on bacon and avocado at the aid stations. I literally didn’t have enough saliva to chew the tortilla or the quesadilla. Oh, man, people, that sounds, sounds rough out there. I also need to slow down a little more to avoid nausea during the heat of the day.

Brad (08:07):
Long story short, here’s my final question. Are you recommending eating fruit and protein every day no matter where you are in the training cycle? And no matter what your goals are thanks for the clarification. Yeah, let’s put our training goals aside for a moment and try to establish a foundation of baseline health that we can then apply to our, in this case, extreme endurance training regimen. But however you’re training, you got to nourish yourself properly and strive for what Jay Feldman calls maximum cellular energy status at all times. So the notion of mixing and matching intermittent fasting and ketogenic eating with endurance training just doesn’t hold water because that’s too many stress factors. It’s gonna affect your performance, your recovery, and you’re meeting your baseline protein needs to be healthy. I’m also curious about fueling a long distance endurance event with bacon and avocado, which arguably could be difficult to digest.

Brad (09:10):
And I know there’s a pension in, especially in the extreme, the ultra endurance events where they have these wonderful smorgasbord presenting you with all kinds of interesting, delicious, indulgent foods. The century bike rides are famous for having the pies at the halfway mark and ice cream and things like that. But remember, when you’re exercising in an ultra marathon event or any type of endurance activity, it is not the best time to digest foods because the blood is diverted from your digestive system into your working extremities. Your body temperature is elevated due to that. You also are in a state of leaky gut while you are performing. That’s right, your intestines become permeable as a way to dissipate heat when body temperature elevates during exercise and body temperature elevates even in moderate temperatures. I’m not talking about a hundred degree day where your digestive system is really messed up.

Brad (10:09):
So the idea here is to get highly fat adapted through nutritious eating habits and sensible training, especially working at or below your Fat Max heart rate, such that you don’t need to inhale a ton of food during a long distance workout or performance. And especially consuming fat calories, realizing that there’s plenty of fat on your body. Even if you’re one of the leaders at 8% body fat and skinny and running for a hundred miles, you have enough fat on your body to fuel a hundred mile event, you don’t need any bacon or avocado. And it’s pretty easy for the body to mobilize stored fat triglycerides into the bloodstream as fatty acids to burn. So the reason for consuming bacon and avocado during endurance training or racing, is purely psychological. I’m not going to discount the importance of arriving to an aid station, seeing your loved ones getting some cheers from the crowd and having a delicious avocado to give you some pleasure while you are suffering for 16, 24 or 30 hours.

Brad (11:18):
But, metabolically physiologically, that can only be a possible risk factor for digestive distress when you are throwing down bacon avocado on the Western States course where I used to live in Auburn. They would go and get, um, In-N-Out Burger and drive 20 miles down the hill, get the In-N-Out burger and surprise the athlete with hamburger fries and a milkshake at the 63 mile mark. And it seems ridiculous to me in so many ways that the athletes are putting this stuff into their body while they’re trying to perform. And it’s, you know, it’s a purely for a psychological boost. So ideally is you would get by in a minimum amount of calories, and the calories that you are going to require during an extreme ultra endurance event are carbohydrates. Because remember, you can only store so much glycogen in your body. And even when you are exercising down in the lower fat burning, zoned heart rates, I just did this research for the new book I’m working on with Mark Sisson.

Brad (12:18):
Even when you’re down at a highly aerobic heart rates, you’re still burning about 50 50 aerobic, uh, aerobic carbohydrate metabolism and fat metabolism. So you need to have a steady stream of some form of carbohydrate, preferably the easiest to digest forms, uh, while you’re performing to enable healthy fat burning. So the idea is just to spare glycogen, uh, and dispense, dispense the carbs throughout the event by consuming extra carbs because you’re gonna hit the wall if you don’t consume anything, at some point, even if you’re highly trained, you’re gonna have a hard time going, uh, 50 miles on no carbs. Although people have done it, we know it’s possible to perform ultra endurance exercise without any onboard calories. Michael McKnight ran a hundred miles in 18 hours consuming, I believe, only water and amino acids, amazing performance.

Brad (13:20):
But this is a highly adapted elite runner for most of us out there. We’re going to need the easy-to-digest carbohydrates. That’s why the, uh, the product categories of energy drinks and gels and things like that, energy bars were invented. But you gotta find something and experiment with it in training, whether it’s dried fruit or whether it’s a engineered product, and to get that in your body and be able to digest it as you go for hours and hours and hours. So I’m going to second guess the avocado and bacon diet during an ultra marathon run. And, think about training sensibly so that you’re a really good fat burner and you just assist the process during your race with occasional ingestion or regular ingestion of small amounts of carbohydrates in the form of energy drink or something solid if you need it.

Brad (14:13):
Okay, Chris says, Hey, Brad, I feel like I know you, man. I’ve listened to every book you and Mark Sisson have on Audible. I’ve also listened to hundreds of other audio books, and I must say you were one of the best narrators out there. Why Thank you Chris. Chris and his wife started intermittent fasting and keto a while back in February. Chris weighing at 220, wife at 128,. Two months later, Chris, 193, a loss of 27 pounds, and the wife losing 10 pounds. We’re forever indebted to you and Mark for educating us and gifting us a new way of life. I’m excited to be following you and Mark on Instagram. We’re grateful for the work At 42 years old, my wife and I have a whole new outlook on life and living our lives going forward. Even our three kids love all the food that we make from scratch.

Brad (15:00):
Thank you very much. PS I also loved your, your cookbook, Keto Cooking for Cool Dudes. And if you haven’t bought Keto Cooking for Cool Dudes and Carnivore Cooking for Cool Dudes. Check those out on Amazon. They’re hilarious and also packed with great recipes. You’ll see what we’re talking about when you look at the cover on your favorite online bookstore. So anyway, it’s nice to see a success story from the couple implementing these wonderful tools like ketogenic eating and intermittent fasting. And I want to make the point to congratulate them and emphasize this because you’ve heard me talk for a lot on the show about how I’m rethinking my use of those restrictive dietary strategies. Because I don’t need to lose excess body fat, and I wanna be highly focused on performing and recovering. So it really matters what your current metabolic and overall health is right now.

Brad (16:00):
And if you are into the category of overfat or energy toxicity, then we have a huge problem as seen in the vast majority of modern citizens on the planet, which is storing too many calories and not burning enough calories. So that is the first intervention is to determine whether you’re in this, in this, in this category. And the best way to determine that is looking at belly fat, especially if you’re over 40 or 45 years old. The accumulation of visual fat around the abdomen is the single most visible and item of most concern to support or compromise your path to aging gracefully and longevity. So visceral fat is vastly more dangerous and more health destructive than carrying excess subcutaneous fat in all the problem areas around the body, wherever you happen to store it. But we wanna absolutely fight this battle against the accumulation of belly fat, more so for men than females.

Brad (17:07):
’cause males are more likely to store visceral fat than females. Why? Because females are more likely to store subcutaneous fat. And their genetic and hormonal profile is causing them to store a higher percentage of body fat in general, obviously. Uh, but, uh, visceral fat is also dangerous for females. So we want to calculate that waist to height ratio, and we want our waist circumference to be less than half of height. So if I am five, 10 and a half, that is 60 and a half inches, that means I want my waist to be 35 inches or less. And if you are over fat, by the definition of having a waist circumference, that’s more than half your height, that is the immediate problem to correct. And intermittent fasting, ketogenic eating, any type of dietary strategy that gives you sufficient protein to meet your daily health and biological needs.

Brad (18:19):
’cause if you don’t get enough calories, you’re gonna slow down and, uh, engage all these compensatory mechanisms that are not healthy. But what we wanna do is create a natural caloric deficit by eating the most nutritious foods and eliminating the processed foods that are the true culprits, driving that accumulation of visceral fat. And then because visceral fat is associated with, um, chronic overproduction of stress hormones, we wanna manage all these other stress factors in life that contribute to, for example, choosing processed foods because you are energy deficient and having trouble concentrating the afternoon, getting enough sleep, because that definitely disregulates appetite and satiety hormones and clean up your act in every way possible to try to get that visceral fat off your body so that you can optimize hormone production, especially as you age and start producing less of the adaptive sex hormones anyway.

Brad (19:17):
So, this weight loss accomplishment in two months by Chris and his wife has most likely led to improvement across the board on all their blood profiles simply by dropping excess body fat. So it really is, by any means necessary. And fasting and keto are two of the best ways because they’re sustainable and, and keto is highly satiating. And so you can handle it for in, um, in Chris’s case, two months, uh, enjoying their eggs for breakfast and their steak for dinner and not starving, and not feeling exhausted and kicking into all these compensatory mechanisms, which is a good sign that your diet is ineffective and gonna set you up for a rebound effect if you’re consuming too few calories.

Brad (20:04):
Okay, Scott, who’s written in a lot from down in Palm Springs, the fruit eating machine, loving everything that’s offered down there in the desert, he wants to point out that it’s important to, uh, talk in big picture perspective about one’s heart disease risk factors.

Brad (20:25):
So if we talk about LDL and statins being ineffective, and LDL being not the best indicator of your heart disease risk factor, these are general statements not meant to be construed as medical advice. And there are also some occasions where, especially in the athletic population, we need to do further investigation because you might have acceptable blood work, but still be walking around with elevated disease risk factors. So Scott recommends the CAC score, the coronary artery calcium scan. And this is a particular concern for long time endurance athletes who have really stressed that heart muscle with repeated inflammation and scarring due to the strenuous workout patterns, especially when you’re in that mode of chronic cardio or chronic over training where you’ve really pushed your body hard pursuing these big challenges and that repeated scarring and inflammation of the heart muscle.

Brad (21:24):
Just like when you overtrain your bicep or your hamstring can cause damage, and the accumulation of plaque on the walls of the arteries, just like the sedentary person who smokes too much and eats a bunch of junk food, you get this calcification of your arteries and it’s become a prominent, uh, phenomenon amongst longtime endurance athletes. So go get your calcium scan if you’re in this high risk category. And I deem myself to be in the category because of my many years of extreme endurance training. I went around town and tried to get a calcium scan, and it was extremely hard to find a resource to go and pay cash and get the test done because it’s sort of outside of the mainstream medical thought process, especially for me. I had to beg my doctor to order the test. I got denied by my insurance company because they said I wasn’t a risk factor population.

Brad (22:21):
And I said I was, uh, they said F*** you go away. So I had to pay $300 cash and find a facility that would take me to come in and scan, uh, my cardiovascular system, and I got a favorable score. So that was really nice to know that my years of heavy training, have not resulted in calcification of the arteries. Uh, but even many athletes who do have a higher calcium score when the, when it’s hardened, when it’s calcified, it’s less risky than the unstable arterial plaque that represents elevated heart disease risk. So athletes who have gotten up in the high calcium scan scores generally fair better than unfit folks who have that high score because of oxidation and inflammation in their cardiovascular system, driven by adverse lifestyle practices, inactivity, eating a lot of processed foods.

Brad (23:22):
So Scott says that he indeed had an elevated CAC score and some other risk factors shown with advanced cardiac testing. So he’s on top of it, and he wants to recommend that to everyone else to really dig deep, especially if you’re in the higher risk factor categories. And this is a guy who’s super healthy, super fit, 61, 6 foot one, a hundred seventy five pounds, 11% body fat. And yet I have these conditions that I talked about above, and I’m certainly not alone. I’m glad to be proactive about it. But when he remarks here, if he eats too many eggs, he will see an elevation of lipid levels that could be possibly increasing his risk factors because of his unique position. So when I recently talk about, my boy Andrew over at Power Project Podcast eating 10 eggs a day, and isn’t that so much, good nutrition and good protein, uh, not for everyone. So Scott’s, putting in a nice plug there to you know, think reasonably about all the, uh, information you’re hit with these days, and, um, do some further personal testing to get yourself in the clear.

Brad (24:36):
Brian writes in, Hey, Brad, I’m a cyclist. I’ve been listening to your podcast for years. You’ve changed, I’ve changed my training based on your suggestions. Thank you very much. In a recent Q and A, you mentioned that adding you can add five beats to your maximum aerobic heart rate, because you’re so old. 58 <laugh>. Can you please elaborate? I know that Maffetone’s, adjustment factors that you can read on his blog articles at philmaittone.com, he talks about being over 65 and being able to add 10 beats to your maximum aerobic heart rate. So what’s going on here is the 180 minus age formula devised by Phil Maffetone to be an accurate way to estimate your Fat Max heart rate.

Brad (25:20):
Of course, this can be determined in the laboratory, but saving, getting a VO two max test, uh, you can calculate it 180 minus age, but there are an assortment of adjustment factors to help further pinpoint your best training heart rate for Fat Max. There are subtractions. So if you’ve had a lot of illness injury recovering from surgery, you’re gonna subtract 10. If you’re taking prescription medication, you’re gonna subtract 10 because of the side effects of almost all prescription medication. You’re gonna subtract five, if you’ve had some recent setbacks in training, you’re gonna use 180 minus your age if things are going okay, and you’re gonna add five if you’ve been really successful in training really well, uh, over the past year or two. And then you’re also, when you get a fit older athlete whose heart maximum heart rate has not declined at the expected rate, respected by the formula of 180 minus age, that’s when you can consider adding five or even 10 beats.

Brad (26:29):
So I’m giving myself credit, at age 58 that my maximum heart rate is still pretty high. I’ve seen it over 180 beats per minute, and so therefore I have a little more leeway and can, if I take 180 minus 58, that’s 122, I’m adding five to have my, uh, Fat Max training heart rate at 127. Another article that was, or another adjustment factor that Maat tone discussed on one of his many appearances on the Endurance Planet podcast with Tawnee Prazak Gibson. He said, for people, training successfully that are over 45 or over 50 years old, they can consider adding, just, subtracting just two to three beats instead of five beats for every five year chunk, as they climb over the age 45 limit, right? So if you take 180 minus 45, that’s a training heart rate, a math heart rate of 135, but then if you’re 60, that’s 15 years above 45, right?

Brad (27:41):
So there’s five, three chunks of five. So instead of subtracting another 15 beats, perhaps you’d only subtract another six beats that would put you at 129 instead of 120 if you are a fit 60-year-old. So everyone’s trying to find an excuse or a rationalization to add five beats to their math heart rate. And it’s also important to put in a plug here for the benefits of being conservative when you do aerobic training and not exceeding your Fat Max, and also getting a lot of aerobic stimulation, a lot of aerobic benefits at heart rates well below Fat Max. And I wanna reference my time when I was competing on the pro circuit and really fit cardiovascularly, I would do a ton of exercise, 20, 30, 40 beats below my Fat Max heart rate. Obviously I had the high capacity, I could run six minute miles at my Fat Max heart rate of 155 at the time.

Brad (28:49):
So when I was out there running eight and a half or nine minute miles for recovery, my heart rate was probably 110, 115, forty beats below my Fat Max. Today I’m running 10-minute miles at my Fat Max so If I would go 40 neats below that, I would be having a leisurely walk down the street. Guess what? It’s kind of ridiculous, but I’m still getting an excellent aerobic training stimulation even when I’m walking. So the benefits of slowing down and being good to your body, especially when you’re are performing a recovery style workout are fantastic and shouldn’t be discounted. So I’m strongly advocating that you slow down, take it easy. You don’t have to always push right there at the limit at your Fat Max number and then hear the beeper alarm and then slow down, or sometimes ignore it for a while because the hill is too steep to be able to pedal, uh, below Fat Max heart rate.

Brad (29:46):
I know that happens sometimes, and if you can get a bigger gear on your bike, that’s nice too, or find a way to go slower up some of those steep hills or get an e-bike if you have to. I’m thinking about it, believe me, anyway, training at or below or well below Fat Max is very beneficial, but when it comes to dialing in that calculation, sure when you’re over in those older age groups, you can probably get away with adding back a few more beats. Now, um, I just did get a, uh, VO two max test at Dr. Judson Brandeis, fantastic anti-aging male sexual wellness clinic, former podcast guest. And he put me through the ordeal, breathing through the mask and pedaling that stationary bike till absolute maximum exhaustion. And, it showed on my report that my Fat Max was 118.

Brad (30:45):
Holy crap, what are you talking about? I’m training at 125 thinking that’s my Fat Max. So, perhaps I need to rethink that if I did get the accurate value identified in the laboratory, and again, for review, the maximum aerobic function heart rate as Phil Maffeton calls it, or, a more simplified way to remember this, when I say Fat Max, that is the point where you are burning the maximum number of fat calories per minute during exercise. So this is the point where maximum aerobic benefits occur with a minimum amount of anaerobic stimulation. So it’s a very, very important heart rate value to respect at the vast majority of all your aerobic cardiovascular workouts. You want to be at or below Fat Max because the metabolic effect of the workout changes dramatically when you start to drift above Fat Max. So we wanna get a fat burning workout with minimal stress hormones, minimal anaerobic stimulation, and that is the way to improve our aerobic conditioning base.

Brad (31:50):
And that is the launching point from which we launch all workouts of higher degree of difficulty when it is time to go hard. So that’s my answer to yes, if you’re old and older and fit, you can consider adding back, but why, why not just be a conservative and, and take it easy, especially if you’re a competitive type <laugh> like myself. I might as well set the alarm for five beats lower and slow down a little bit and make sure that I don’t, um, you know, get into a chronic state of fatigue and stress hormone production from going a little tiny bit too fast at the vast majority of my workouts. And that’s the pattern that we see many, many endurance athletes fall into, unfortunately. Okay, I’m gonna wrap up the show, but I’m gonna wrap up Brian’s letter here because he has a couple more finishing questions.

Brad (32:42):
So, Brad, regarding sprints, should most of my sprints be short enough in duration to keep my heart rate under my maximum aerobic heart rate? Oh, should I incorporate sprints above my maximum aerobic heart rate? If so, when, what, what frequency? Okay, so we get this confusion. Often, I field so many questions, so I want to hit this point and be really clear that when I talk about sprinting, when I talk about brief, explosive, high intensity efforts as a fundamental element of a overall fitness program and the wonderful benefits you can get from incorporating sprinting, this has really all to do with your heart rate monitor. It doesn’t matter. You don’t need to measure your heart rate when you’re out there doing a sprint workout where you’re performing for six or seven or 10 seconds or 20 seconds recovering for a long time.

Brad (33:34):
There might be some benefits if you’re really techie and you wanna see how far your heart rate drops after a three-minute recovery period and track that and see if it’s, uh, not recovering sufficiently after your sixth rep. That can be valuable. But generally, I leave my heart rate monitor home when I go do a sprint workout because the whole main reason for monitoring heart rate is for the intended benefits of an aerobic training session to take place. In other words, to control your intensity such that you stay below Fat Max for the duration of the workout. In sprinting, what we’re going for is explosive, precise technique and a consistent quality of effort with each rep. So you want to be just as powerful, just as explosive, deliver a similar finishing time throughout the set, and that will comprise an effective sprint workout.

Brad (34:28):
Heart rate, basically irrelevant because the sprints are lasting. So, for such short duration. So, with the question being asked by Brian, should I incorporate sprints, uh, under my maximum aerobic heart rate <laugh> above my maximum aerobic, aerobic heart rate? Of course, when you sprint, you’re asking your body for all out maximum performance or near maximum. So your heart rate’s going to, uh, skyrocket. It might happen on a delay basis. If you’re only sprinting for 10 seconds, you might see that heart rate climb while you’re walking for recovery until it reaches a peak 30 seconds later, again, doesn’t matter, you’re, you’re giving your body, a brief explosive all out effort working the anaerobic system. And don’t worry about heart rate. Okay, <laugh>. So hopefully that stuff, we got a little technical on some of the answers. We got a little big picture. We’re reading about some great success stories from some of the listeners. So all in all, a fun show. Thanks for contributing. Love to know your thoughts too, podcast@bradventures.com. Thank you.

Brad (35:37):
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