Skip to main content

Mark Allen went from 9's to 5:15's. At the same heart rate.

I just finished listening to a great podcast on Trail Runner Nation, on a brisk six mile jog around the town of Boone.

The interview is with Dr. Phil Maffetone.  "Dr. Phil" holds a doctorate degree in chiropractic and expounds on a host of topics.  Here's the link:

I don't want to unpack the details, but I do want to tease you with the premise of his argument. Maffetone discusses his fitness training work with triathlon icon Mark Allen. Allen was working with Maffetone on heart rate training, which in 1983, was quite the process. Maffetone states that prior to our modern chest strap and watch technology, heart rate monitors were contained in a cumbersome vest with various straps and riggings. Allen would climb into this contraption, then run laps for analysis.

Allen was able to benchmark his heart rate and then work from that foundation to alleviate stressors that were pulling down his performance. According to Maffetone, that can play out in work stress, family stress, bodily stress related to bad food choices, etc.

Maffetone states that Allen went from running 9 minute miles to steady-state 5:15 miles - at the same heart rate. It's all about "aerobic function" and the efficiency of your performance.

This throws my former paradigm on its head. I believed if you're not going fast enough, speed up and learn how to take the pain of a higher heart rate.  Running at 130 bpm?  Jack it up to 160 and hang on, bro.

There are many other interesting points made, but this learning gem was enough for me.  Maybe I can build off what I have and keep the thump rate where it is.


Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…