ATC 248: Mastering Your Central Governor, Diagnosing Gut Woes, How To Push Harder on the Ironman Marathon and More

November 24, 2017
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On this episode of Ask the Coaches:

  • Reasons for seemingly getting slower (or not progressing) despite several years of training?
    • Taking into account immunity (how often are you getting sick?), stress levels and mindset in gauging your fitness progress or lack thereof.
  • Defining speedwork and aerobic sessions – make sure you’re not training too hard on your aerobic sessions or too easy on speedwork!
  • When MAF seems like a great idea but it results in a walking pace that doesn’t improve.
  • Is it true that ketosis should only be sustained for a limited amount of time? But what is the goal of MAF is to switch your whole body to burning fat instead of sugar?
  • Dealing with serious gut issues for years, and it’s time to get answers: How do you ultimately determine if you have candida and/or something else, and what steps do you take to eliminate the symptoms?
    • Test don’t guess!
    • Gut tests recommended: GI MAP and GI Effects.
    • In times of gut healing that is necessary, it’s best to put racing on the back burner until you’re better to allow for more effective and faster recovery.
  •  Tips on how to “beat” the central governor (CG), which during races wants to protect your from hurting yourself.
    • A little CG history – The central governor is a proposed process in the brain that regulates exercise in regard to a neurally calculated safe exertion by the body. More here.
    • Lucho and Tawnee’s give their take on the importance and validity of CG, with examples of how to train to overcome it.
    • Tie in’s with the placebo effect – the mind is a powerful thing!
    • Study mention by tawnee: Placebo Effects of Caffeine on Cycling Performance.
    • Paraphrased quotes from Tim Noakes’ appearance on EP in 2013:
      • Training – vigorous hard training, convinces the brain that you can do what you didn’t believe possible. Whether conscious or unconscious. Noakes speaks to the comrades marathon – training hard and training with people who were faster, built belief. You have to convince the brain you can do this.
      • We all get to the point where brain says it’s time to stop; at ~65% of race, “you’ve done enough now you can quit.” You have to override that. Mark Allen is good example – failed 5 times at Kona, won 6th, then kept winning. He solved his mental problems. We each have to solve our metal problems. Every time you fail and quit, it makes it harder.
      • Signs that CG coming into play? How can we override… Judge the first 400m of a workout or race – you can tell it’s going to be a good day or bad day. Brain will tell you what it’s going to be like going forward. Any indicator that tells you something is wrong, is indicator that you’re going to have a bad day. Only when your body tells you things are ok – that’s the day to go for it.
  • First-time ironman and went faster than expected, with a 10min marathon PB.
    • Average HR lower than MAF during Ironman marathon, what does that mean?
    • Cardiovascular fitness base vs. muscular endurance – we need both to have a faster marathon.
    • How do you train to be able to push harder on the run (relative to HR) in an Ironman?

Comments (2)

  • mmmsm says:

    I've been listening for a few years and I appreciate all of the great content and I felt today was no different, I always like the central governor conversations but I have a question. My question is about the comment MAF heart rate correlating with the rate you can run breathing through your nose, I am 61 which puts my MAF heart rate at 119 and breathing through my nose I run at 138 bpm according to my Garmin, is this just an example of MAF not being perfect for the chronologically older crowd or did I hear what I wanted to hear instead of what was actually meant?

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