ATC 214: Side Effects of Using Energy Drinks To Fuel, Tools to Predict Marathon Pace, Structuring Your Weekend ‘Long’ Workouts (and When to Switch it Up), Plus More

July 22, 2016


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Episode 214 of Ask The Coaches with Lucho and Tawnee providing answers to your questions and discussing the latest and greatest for your endurance training and racing.

Announcing Ragnar SoCal 2017! We are building the team(s) now and plan to finalize within a month or two so if you’re interesting in a life-changing epic experience running with Lucho, Tawnee and the Ragnar crew email us at to lock in your spot right away. We hope to have a normal 12-person team and also introduce an ultra team for the 2017 event!

  • We discuss results of the new study ‘Effects of Energy Drinks on Economy and Cardiovascular Measures‘ in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
    • Drinks used: Red Bull, Monster and 5-Hour Energy (with the placebo as Squirt soda).
    • Protocol: Drink, wait, run; what was measured; and outcome.
    • Energy drinks don’t increase performance but do raise systolic blood pressure.
    • 5-Hr Energy decreased RPE… is this a good or bad thing? We discuss.
    • “First, there were no improvements in economy noted in this study. Second, energy drinks impact cardiovascular function at rest and during exercise. The small increase in systolic blood pressure (3.84 mmHg at rest and 8.81 mmHg during exercise) may not have a negative health impact. However, it is recommended that individuals be aware of the increase in blood pressure.”
    • Take-homes, practical application and our two-cents!
  • On switching from ultras back to marathon road racing, and how to dial in marathon pace for fast and flat racing that is so different than ultra trail pacing?
  • How to predict marathon pace using a field test of 3 X 4 miles at goal pace (or something close to that workout)
  • How to predict marathon pace using your MAF test. Read Phil’s full article including years worth of data they’ve accumulated.
  • Fitness has gone south, and feeling like MAF may be the answer to come out of the rut. But skeptical and still feeling like Joe Friel’s “use it or lose it” makes sense. Move forward with MAF?
  • How old was Lucho when he dialed in his MAF pace to be 5:55/miles? And other variables that led to Lucho’s killer MAF pace!
  • Our EP podcast with Phil Maffetone addressing when to add intensity with the MAF Method
  • Scheduling long run and long bikes for the weekend: Which one would be best to schedule first if you can’t do ‘longer’ sessions during the week?
  • Doing the run on Saturday–is it better to run on fresh legs to limit any injury caused after a long ride day?
  • Vs. doing the run on Sunday to simulate the run portion of half and full distance triathlons?
  • And what about doing a big brick on the weekend–long bike and long run all on one day with the added bonus of practicing race nutrition!
  • Followup from a listener who’s implemented MAF and more carbs to decrease stress, help performance and be healthier–and is seeing the benefits.
  • “I have been strictly MAF’ing it on the run and am now at an 8:45 MAF from 9:45…. I have found that I really need to add in some CHO in the evening meal.”
  • Tawnee rants a bit on carbs and fat-adaptation–athletes don’t have to be very low carb to get fat adapted!
  • Nose breathing as an additional way to gauge your pace, avoid too high stress, and run smoothly.
  • MAF and the effect of heat! Argh! Do we adjust MAF HR? Flub it ~ 5 beats allowing HR to increase? Stick to strict MAF and slow down, or what?!
  • Using MSP (maximum sustained power) workouts, but getting really bad DOMS. What to do?
  • What does an MSP (maximum sustained power) workout entail?
  • Case study: 59-year-old female, with chronic Achilles injury and recently diagnosed Hashimotos thyroid disease, now taking hormone medication. Goal is to do a half marathon in 2017. MAF HR is super low at 106 and finding it near impossible to run, bike and hike keeping HR at or below this; it’s affecting quality of life! Should she give up everything for a while? Still bike and hike and allow HR to go over 106? Go back to 121 HR that was being used before the adjustments to MAF for illness, meds? Lost on what to do…
  • Prioritizing goals: Health first including healing the autoimmune condition, meanwhile still be active doing what you love (hiking, etc), and have patience with structured running training until condition improves. It’s hard to heal a health condition while trying to train for a race!
  • Also a note on natural healing and alternatives to traditional hormone meds.

Resources on Autoimmune Healing (for thyroid, etc):

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