OMM 4: Intuitive Training, Flexible Planning and Making MAF Progress

June 23, 2023


This episode is brought to you by the UCAN Company, the fat-burning fuel of choice for metabolically efficient endurance athletes and health enthusiasts.

UCAN products are powered by SuperStarch, a unique, low glycemic complex carbohydrate that delivers long-lasting energy with no spikes and no crash, keeping your blood sugar steady. It’s the perfect complement for the healthy metabolically efficient athlete. Whether you’re racing fast short-course events or grueling Ironmans and ultra runs, UCAN products have grown so much over the years, as well, to fit your needs, with everything from drink mixes to their popular EDGE gels. 

Athletes from all types of sports and levels are using UCAN these days, with top-level and pro triathletes, runners and even Crossfit athletes are using UCAN to fuel their best performances. But, UCAN is also a fantastic product for non-athletes and/or outside of training too. 

Many UCAN products are offered in both plant-based and whey protein options, all with SuperStarch, including plant-based bar flavors cherry berry almond, salted peanut butter and chocolate almond butter, as well as a variety of energy + protein powders—great for those of you athletes looking to gain or maintain strength. 

Best of all: EP fans get 15% off everything UCAN offers, click to activate your discount and shop now. You can also use the code ENDURANCEPLANET2021 if you’re shopping at for that same 15% discount.

On this episode of On My Mind (OMM) with Tawnee and John we talk about intuitive training in practice and how Tawnee has been applying this method to her return to training, when she does use data collection to monitor progress, etc.

Intuitive Training

Sample goals and approach:

  • Start the day evaluating as you feel, honestly.
  • HRV can be a tool, but HRV is not so black and white in determining recovery/readiness status.
  • Defining intuitive training: match your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) with the actual effort you’re expending eg HR, pace, data point. Learning to read your RPE and have it match your body’s state.
  • Guide intervals by effort not pace or HR.
  • For interval workouts, don’t push these if body ain’t feeling it! If you still want to run opt for an easy volume day.
  • For aerobic workouts don’t get greedy/competitive with self and run too hard (don’t race your local loop) I find this gets easy when you don’t have data however flip side is not having data to tell you to hold back when needed.
  • Flexiblity with HR and understanding volume vs intensity (and overall life stress) in the training load:
    • MAF days for most can go over MAF by prob 10 bpm… maybe even 15 bpm ie some tempo involved. But when volume is low that’s usually sustainable and still promotes aerobic gains. Meanwhile when very tired or pushing more volume be more diligent on easy days being easy and MAF runs being close to true MAF.

Research Study

  • Individualized Endurance Training Based on Recovery and Training Status in Recreational Runners – 2022
    • What they found: athletes who adjusted training based on how they felt had better training outcomes.
    • This wasn’t true intuitive training as they were using metrics to gauge what workouts they did, but it’s a good example of adjusting the plan based on body’s state.
    • 40 recreationally endurance-trained males (20) and females (20).
    • “PD trained according to the predefined program, whereas the program of IND was adapted based on measured training and recovery data.”
      • Eg) They compared the individually adjusted training prescription (volume and intensity) based on nocturnal HRV, perceived recovery, and estimated running performance VS a predefined training program.
    • “The first 6-wk VOL period focused on the progression of LIT volume, whereas the second 6-wk INT period focused on high-intensity interval training (HIT).”
      • HIT Eg) 6 x 3min on 2min recovery for intensity.
    • Testing: Blood with free T, cortisol, creatine kinase when fasted. Incremental treadmill test (increasing by 1km/hr per 3min); also a CMJ and 10k run test.
    • Adjusting training based on how you feel yields better performance results over time:
      • “Both programs improved performance mostly after interval training. Although both groups had similar training characteristics on average, the change in the 10-km running performance was greater in IND. In addition, the proportion of high responders in the maximal treadmill and 10-km running performance was greater and the proportion of low responders smaller in IND compared with PD.A more individualized training plan (based on metrics they used to alter) may increase the likelihood of positive endurance training adaptations.”


Comments (2)

  • Colleen Summa says:

    Love your podcast and especially loved the most recent one on intuitive fitness training. You mentioned making gluten free bread. I’ve been desparately trying to make one without “gums” and have not had any success to date. If you have a recipe to share me and my Celiac sister would greatly appreciate it! Thank you. Colleen

Add your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.