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Science Of Ultra | Ultra Marathon And Trail Running Expertise | World Leading Endurance Science And Coaching

Ultra marathon running physiology brought to you by the world’s leading scientists, coaches, and athletes. Science Of Ultra host, Dr. Shawn Bearden, brings you interviews and more to deliver everything you want to know about all facets of training, nutrition, hydration, environment, psychology, gear, and much more. Become your ultra best!
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Now displaying: November, 2015
Nov 24, 2015

My guest today is Cody Lind. He's sponsored by Scott and, at age 20, is a rising start in the ultra marathon community. He set five course records and placed second in the U.S. Sky Running Series.

We talk about his training, racing, and his perspectives on running. From big weekly mileage to big weekly vertical, Cody trains hard. Learn about his special connection to the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run and what it takes for even a gifted runner to do well in Sky Running in the U.S.

Nov 17, 2015
My guest today is Stuart Phillips, Ph.D. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Human Physiology. He joined McMaster University in 1999 as an Assistant Professor and is currently a full Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Medicine. He is also the inaugural Director of the McMaster Centre for Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Research. His research is focused on the impact of nutrition and exercise on human protein turnover, specifically in muscle. He is also interested in how exercise and protein impact body composition, strength, and function in aging. His research is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. He has authored more than 190 research papers and several newspaper and magazine articles.
 
In this episode, we learn:
 
  1. What are the overall (daily) protein needs of endurance athletes, and will this differ for ultra marathon runners?
  2. Does it matter if we get it throughout the day vs mostly at one or two meals?
  3. Does our daily average need to be daily or can it average over days?  
  4. Is there a protein hunger, per se, that is reliable and will we self regulate sufficiently?
  5. What is protein used for in an endurance athlete? How much protein is used for energy /ATP?
  6. What do we know, or can we expect about protein needs and use during and following an ultra?
  7. Is protein immediately before, during, or immediately after training handled differently?
  8. Is it beneficial to consume protein immediately after a training bout?
  9. Are there adverse effects of excess protein?
  10. Are all proteins equal?
 
And, as always, we what up with an advice question:
 
  • What advice might he give to an ultra marathon runner concerned with their protein intake?
 
Nov 10, 2015
It is defensible to say that no molecule has as much controversy and misunderstanding in all of exercise physiology and sports than lactate.
 
We start with the basics:
  1. Where do lactate and lactic acid come from - how is it produced?
  2. What happens to lactate / lactic acid once it is produced - what is it’s fate?
  3. We go through some common statements and talk about what’s correct and what is not:
    • "Lactic acid build up is what causes muscle burn."
    • "Lactic acid stays in muscle and causes soreness."
    • "Doing some sort of stretching, massage, or exercise will ‘wash out’ lactic acid from a prior training session."
    • "Now the big one: lactic acid build up causes fatigue."
  4. The ‘lactate threshold’ has had many definitions. These are as disparate as the onset of blood lactic acidosis to the maximal lactate steady state - very different exercise intensities with regard to endurance performance. Dr. Gladden gives us a brief history and explanation.
  5. Gas exchange is a different topic but many attempts have been made to correlate gas exchange thresholds with lactate thresholds and, ultimately, performance capacity thresholds. This is a big topic area, but Dr. Gladden briefly relates gas exchange concepts/thresholds to definitions of lactate thresholds.
  6. We learn the answer to: Is it necessary to exercise at or above the lactate threshold (whichever definition one uses) to increase it or can sub-LT exercise improve the LT?
  7. There is controversy over the source of H+ (hydrogen ions; protons) in exercise ‘acidosis’. Does it come from lactic acid, splitting of ATP, or some other source?
  8. While the maximal lactate steady state is at least a rough idea of the work load that can be sustained for a ‘long time’, ultra marathons last 4-5 hours on the short side and 24-36 hours in the longer events. How long can the workload of MLSS really be sustained even if every other aspect of performance (hydration, core temp, etc.) could be maintained perfectly?
  9. If lactate / lactic acid doesn’t cause fatigue and the MLSS is not sustainable for ultra marathon distances, to what extent is lactate / lactic acid relevant for ultra marathon training or performance?
 
We wrap up with two questions as take-home points:
 
1. What is the biggest misunderstanding that endurance athletes have about lactate / lactic acid? And, what is correct?
2. What advice does Dr. Gladden give to an ultra marathon athlete interested in their LT to apply to their training for ultra marathons?
Nov 3, 2015
My guest today is Luke Nelson. This episode was recorded on location at the Pocatello Running Co. in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. Luke is the race director for the Scout Mountain Ultra Trail race in Pocatello (held in early June each year). He is a Physician Assistant with a full time job. He is the 2012 US Ski Mountaineering Champion. He won El Vaquero Loco seven years in a row and he is a winner of the Big Horn 100. He’s an Ambassador for La Sportive, Patagonia, and Ultraspire. He’s sponsored by First Endurance and Smith.
 
Luke tells us all about his training, his experiences over the past year, his approach and experience to the mental side of our sport, and what 2016 has in store. He is a phenomenal athlete and an exceptionally kind and generous person, committed to promoting and preserving wild places. You’re going to love this episode.
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