Episode #162: Are You Exercising Too Hard?

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In this September 7, 2011 free audio episodeAre you exercising too hard? Organizing your gear, intravenous vitamin therapy, polycystic ovarian syndrome, training with Jack Daniels, giving blood while training for marathons, training too much, using a sauna for heat acclimation, and trouble with knees.

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Featured Topic: Are You Exercising Too Hard?

In this week’s interview, I speak with Dr. Phil Maffetone, an endurance expert and someone who developed many of the protocols used today in aerobic training, including the Maffetone Method. Dr. Phil Maffetone is described as “one of the most sought-after endurance coaches in the world.” He entered the endurance sports scene in the late 70’s.

In addition to working with some of the world’s top endurance athletes, Dr. Maffetone has written dozens of books and articles on health, fitness and nutrition, including The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing and In Fitness and In Health.

During our interview, Dr. Maffetone discusses:

-using heart rate variability to track whether you are training too hard

-using aerobic testing to track whether you are training too hard

-what to do if you find out you are training too hard

-how to know if you are overtrained

-and much more!

One tool Dr. Maffetone mentions during our interview, is the ithlete app for measuring heart rate variability.

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Listener Q&A:

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Craig has a call-in question about how to organize your gear when you are training.

Dave asks: What's your opinion on Intravenous Vitamin Therapy, like a Meyer’s Cocktail? Is it an effective alternative for an athlete to do instead of taking 10-20 pills a day?  Should it as a one time deal to get your levels back to normal or more of a maintenance thing? I think it would be extreme for a healthy athlete to get an IV once a week forever.

Kassidy asks: I was diagnosed with PCOS a year ago and my doctor prescribed Orthotricyclen so it would regulate my hormones. I was very low in progestin, estrogen and the FSH hormone. I am sure there are others but those are the hormones that my doctor mentioned are the most important. I’ve become more health conscious since then but I am now figuring out that putting synthetic hormones into my body probably isn’t the best way to treat my PCOS. I’m 23 years old and I would eventually like to have kids so I want to treat my body well so that I can live a long healthy life as well has have children. I just did what my doctor told me to, but now that I have more knowledge I’m questioning what I should do. Do you have any advice as to what supplements, diet, exercise, lifestyle habits, etc. that I should change?

John asks: What is the deal with VDOT and the Jack Daniels training method? As I understand it, you train your running to a pace and not necessarily heart rate or perceived effort.  I have calculated my VDOT and  paces and the paces seem slow to me, especially the interval pace.  Is this method worthwhile?  Do you use or others you know use it?  Are the suggested training volumes correct?

In my response to John, I mention this VDot Calculator

 

Mike asks: My question is related to exercising and giving blood. I am 53 years old, a larger runner (~215 – 6'1″) and normally run marathons to mid distance ultras (albeit now nearer the back of the pack) and was working my mileage back up after 9 months of struggling with injuries and inconsistent running. I thought I was starting to make good progress and then I gave blood. I have given blood for 35 years so I thought I was used to the effects but I did the double red blood cell donation and it seemed to set back my stamina more than I remember. I know I can't give blood for 16 weeks, twice the normal 8 week period and I get that the red blood cells carry oxygen but I was still surprised that after 2 weeks it seemed to still be effecting me. The first week was really a struggle, week 2 was better but not normal. So I guess my question is, is this normal and how long does it take for the stamina to return after giving blood and is there any positive effect from exercising while my red blood cells regenerate?

Matt asks: What are your thoughts on Smart Balance Peanut Butter?   Do you think this is a better choice than regular Smucker's Natural PB?

Anonymous asks: I was listening to an episode of Endurance Planet in which you were a guest. You talked about how many people unintentionally over train for races and that there was no reason to do a 20 mile run 10 weeks out from a marathon. I am following a marathon training program that has me doing just that. What type of marathon training program do you reccommend?

In my response to anonymous, I mentioned Marathon Dominator.

Jim asks: You mentioned on the last podcast you are spending a significant amount of time lately in the sauna to prepare for the 70.3 world championships.  I plan on doing the same thing to prepare for Kona in 5 weeks.  What do you recommend in terms of frequency and amount of time to spend in the sauna as the race gets closer?

Darren asks: I wanted to ask three questions: 1) I had been building up my mileage from zero. I didn't run very far but I made the stupid mistake of pushing my pace beyond my bodies ability and ended up injuring myself. I'm going in for surgery on Thursday for cartilage damage.  That won't knock me back but I wanted to ask am I mad getting into Triathlons after one ACL reconstruction and then this surgery on my other knee? 2) What kind of supplements would you recommend for someone with a history of bad knees who is trying to get into triathlons 3) Your BulletProof Knee knee programme is designed for people with an IT Band injury.  Would this be beneficial for people with other types of knee injuries?

Finally, listener Luke has a call-in question about Triathlon Dominator and Bulletproof Knee programs.

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Remember, if you have any trouble listening, downloading, or transferring to your mp3 player just e-mail [email protected] And don't forget to leave the podcast a ranking in iTunes – it only takes 2 minutes of your time and helps grow our healthy community! Just click here to go to our iTunes page and leave feedback.

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