PodcastTrees and DLake

Everything you need to know about run energy systems, with Mike Trees

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Aerobic, Anaerobic… adenosine diphosphate phosphocreatine or ATP-PC.

These are greek and Latin words. They are also all different energy systems that we use in endurance sports (and life).

I’ve been in the endurance sports game for 25 years now and it wasn’t until the last few years that I started to get a better understanding of energy systems.

In this episode, we’ll explain (in simple metaphors and analogies) exactly what they are, when they are used and how you can use them to train and race your best.

Listen on to find out more on this episode of trees and DLake.

What You Will Learn

  • The importance of aerobic base building
  • What ATP actually is
  • How to utilise anaerobic training to help you at the end of races
  • What energy systems are used when you train at Vo2 max and threshold
  • And a bunch more!

Episode Highlights and Timestamps

[02:59] Our latest training report

[06:03] Sandwich analogy of threshold

[09:43] The goal of threshold

[11:14] Breaking down the “burger” to the basics

[13:02] Focus on the aerobic base

[16:00] Fueling the aerobic system

[17:41] Why man is the most efficient species in covering long distances

[18:44] Defining the aerobic level

[24:25] The ATP system

[27:25] Can you add a heartbeat when getting older?

[29:44] Building aerobic and anaerobic bases for different runs

[32:50] Common mistakes for new runners

[34:15] Fun fact about the ATP system

[37:58] Developing the lactic system

[39:30] The Cooldown: Would you rather be healthy or fit?

[43:52] Maffetone method

Notable Quotables

Question Of The Episode

You can only choose one; Would you rather be healthy or fit?



This episode is brought to you by NRG – Coaching which is Mike Trees’ coaching service. Mike coaches beginners to pros and all levels in between.

No one is too fast and no one too slow. They just want a desire to learn and improve.

They focus on 1,500m to marathon running and triathlon training.

NRG Coaching is constantly overbooked, so Instagram and this new podcast venture, gives Mike and the rest of his NRG coaching team a way to reach out to more people.

Contact mike and his team NRG-COACHING.com for more info


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Original Music Used Here

Full Transcript Below (or download pdf here)


Darren  0:00  

Aerobic anaerobic, adenosine, diphosphate, phosphocreatine, or ATP, PC. These are all Greek, Latin and acronym type words. They’re also all different energy systems that we use in endurance, sports, and even life. I’ve been in the endurance sport game for 25 years now. And it wasn’t until the last few years that I started to get a better understanding of energy systems. And this episode will explain in simple metaphors and analogies exactly what those confusing words are, when they are used, and how you can use them in training to race your best. Listen on To find out more on this episode of Trees and D Lake. 

What is up Welcome to Trees and DLake a podcast series by Mike Trees and yours truly Darren DLake Creates. In this series Our goal is to educate and entertain smart and committed runners a bit more than that from Mike Trees.

Mike  1:12  

And the aim of this podcast is to give in a light hearted, amusing and entertaining way hints and tips to help your run better and enjoy your sporting life more. So let’s see how we can go with that.

Darren  1:26  

Mike’s been pretty modest. He has over 50 years of running and doing triathlons under his belt. And if you’re wondering about me, I’ve been in the endurance sport game for about 25 years now done a sub three hour marathon and completed an Ironman Triathlon in 10 hours. We appreciate all the help and support that we can get. So if you can please share this episode to someone that you know, that would like this, oh, quick language warning. In some rare instances, we might use some bad words. So apologies in advance for that. So I have this sandwich analogy, right that I love to use to explain energy systems. Like most things, I end up over complicating it. But Mike Trees comes in and gives me a much better analogy. It’s fun to hear me stumble through it. Besides my food metaphors for endurance sports. Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode, the importance of aerobic base building, what ATP actually is how to utilize anaerobic training to help you at the end of races, what energy systems are used when you train FBO to max and when you train a threshold, which is also tempo, and a bunch more. So here’s what’s going to happen in this episode. We’ll start off with a quick warm up to see where we’re at in our current training, then get into the main set of the episode, which is energy systems explained. And we’ll end it with a cool down around our subjective Would You Rather question of choosing being healthy or being fit? Yes, there are two different things. Let’s get into it.

Hey, Mike, what training have you been doing this past week?

Mike  3:03  

Well, today’s any arrest, they actually just had my second vaccine. So fully vaccinated. And there’s been actually the case of a baseball player shocking, that train hard after his vaccination and died. They wouldn’t link it directly to the vaccination. But you know, put two and two together, he was pretty healthy before it. So I’m under strict instructions off the wife not to do anything for a few days and make it really easy the rest of the week. So if people remember the last podcast, if they’ve not listened to it, go and listen to it. You’re going to do four days hard training in a row. Well, I smashed the whole week. I didn’t actually say anything last week. But I put a whole week together of hard training because I know I’ve got an easy week this week. So last week was hard. I’m a little tired now from some long hard training. But this week, I’ve got some few few off days and then gradual build up the end of the week server cool. And how to do hard training going, go.

Darren  3:59  

Oh, yeah, so my four to five days hard training went went well. And it went better than expected. I did it in a very smart manner. I knew myself and it was it started the last one. The fourth one, I was like my legs were really heavy. I think I did. It was a Temple Run. It was a sub sub threshold. So slow tempo, which we know t empo was the most. It’s the most ambiguous damn word. I did about like a little bit faster than marathon effort for 20 minutes, and it was super hot and dry. And I felt it and it was the every time I do a Temple Run. I’m always like, it’s not that hard. Then the next day I’m like, holy shit. That was hard. Yeah. So and on top of the three workouts from before accumulating to five days. And yeah, I’m glad I took off. I like you got a vaccination. And I just got my second vaccination and I also knew about the whole training around the vaccination and that causing issues. So I didn’t want to deal with that. I said, You know what, I rather just take a week off when I know I’m going to take it off and not have a mess on my schedule, and that’s where we got. But interestingly enough, we’re talking about tempo and threshold. And this, this episode is actually about energy systems, which we’ll get to in a second.

Mike  5:14  

Warm up complete. 

Darren  5:17  

Alright, so in this episode, we are talking about my favorite, I’ve just found out about energy systems. And I haven’t just found out about them. I’ve been in this endurance game for 25 years 10 Seriously, and you know, really like doing my research and figuring out what works and tweaking things. And I like to call myself a What am I I’m a biohacker. You know, in a sense, we’re around endurance, endurance sports, and an endurance athletics. But energy systems are quite interesting, because it’s the training that affects the energy system and how you use the energy systems. And then what event so it’s like this, this puzzle, and you know, it’s almost like a choose your own adventure, and how things are so different for every individual person, and how it can change depending on humidity and what you ate, and all these different things. So with that said, I have a interesting analogy. I love analogies. And I’m sitting on this one for like, maybe the past two years. And I was like, how do I, how do I convey in a really simple way, all the different workouts and what they do. So I came up with what I call, I don’t have a great name, but it’s the gluten free sandwich analogy of threshold. So the reason why it’s gluten free is because if I call it a regular sandwich, I might offend the gluten free people. And I was gonna call it a hamburger, but I might offend the vegan people, the vegan, you know, it’s just a sandwich with whatever protein you want. So you can put mushrooms in there, you can put eggplant, you can put whatever fake meat you want, or not fake meat that that’s your call. So this Saudi so I’m gonna have a visual for this. And you know, maybe if we do video of this podcast, I’ll have a cool like video image happening. So you start off with the protein Patty, that is the threshold. So that’s, that’s the burger. That’s the thing, the literal meat in it. And that is your threshold. So I want to explain the goal was to explain how your threshold works and how the training works. Because the threshold is, as I would say, and I’m totally open for you to shoot this down after I’m done Mike, because you are coach, you’re an exercise scientist, you understand this way better than I do. But I’m trying to like I call it dumb it down and sum it up. So I’m trying to dumb it in Summit for for the listeners who just want this like this. This doesn’t make sense, you know, threshold tempo vo two max you know, like a real quick, easy aerobic, you know, improvement, anaerobic steady, do not like it’s really, really confusing. So we got threshold as the patty, because that’s the goal. You want to raise everyone’s goal, and most people’s goal is to race as fast as they possibly can. And you’re usually racing around your threshold for most events. Yes, there’s Ultras, and you’re not reaching a threshold and Ultras, and yes, there’s a 5k, or one mile race, and you’re way above threshold, I totally understand that. But threshold is probably where most people do their 10k Most people didn’t marathon, you’re around the threshold in some way. So we got the protein Patty, right. And your aerobic base, ends up being the button at the bottom. So let’s start with the start at the bottom, the aerobic base. And let’s say the easy run is the base, right. And then we say the aerobic building, or steady or IMAT as you you’ve coined or MAF, you know, whatever pacing that is, the higher the higher robic pace, that is the sauce on top of that bottom slice. So you know, if you like Manet’s, if you like Matt mustard, whatever it is, so we got we’re at the the robot base, then you put on a robot building, and then you got some sub threshold work. And this is quite new to me. The sub threshold is interesting, where the sub threshold is, its weight, when you start to get into zone three, but you’re you’re not really tapping into that lactase system. And that’s the piece of cheese. Alright. And then you got your threshold, okay. And then you’ve got on top of that threshold, you have the piece of cheese that goes on top of that. So we got do always have two pieces of cheese on the sandwich, that’s proper sandwich. And that is your temple work. That’s your faster tempo work. Alright, so sub threshold, I’d say is your slower tempo work. And then your faster tempo work, which is more 10 kg stuff is is the cheese on top. And then you got the sauce on top of that cheese, which I would say is your anaerobic sessions, your 200 400 800 sprints. And to end it all, the top piece of bread is your all out sprints 10 to 22nd, you know, just totally depleting the ATP system, which is what we’ll talk about. And that completes the sandwich. So to sum all that up, and actually there’s one big point I wanted to put on that was the goal of threshold from what I understand is all the aerobic stuff pushes it up. So you can push your threshold and you can pull it up depending on your training. And when you push pushing is obviously easier from physics and you end up actually it takes longer to push that threshold up but at least last longer, like you said, 16 weeks you can hold your your fitness, you know, you can, I think you can even go a few weeks without doing anything. And you’ll hold most of your base fitness, obviously you lose a bit. But when you start pulling, that’s when you get gains much faster. I didn’t even talk about the VO two Max sessions, I could throw those in there, those are somewhere around the top piece of cheese and probably the button. But when you pull, you pull up your threshold, but you do it fast, and it also has higher risk. And the danger is injury, illness, sickness, burnout, etc, etc. So you want to do a combination. This is where the 80-20 principle comes in. So you can almost say your sandwiches, 80%, bottom bun and 20% kind of top stuff. There’s a lot of ways of looking at it. And the goal of today’s podcast is to talk about how those energy systems effect or sorry, the training affects those energy systems. So that’s my whole analogy. I got it out of my system. Feel free to shoot it down Mike and and tell me why it is ridiculous or great. I’m open to all of

Mike  10:55  

it. Okay, so the lot as you know, I was a teacher. And the point of teaching is keeping things simple. I think what we’ve done is we’ve lost everyone introduced all the terms, and not really explained any one of them. So to get everyone back, they’re all interested eating these burger, and I’m quite sure it’s going to be the tastiest burger they’ve ever had. But we have to break it down to some basics, and say what are the basic ingredients of the burger. So when we make the perfect burger that you’ve got, you’ve got to get the ingredients. And as you know, if any recipe that you have, if you put the ingredients in in the right order and the right quantities and follow the recipe, you get it at the end in a good cake, a good pie or whatever you’re making. If you get the ingredients in the wrong order, and the wrong amount, it can be a disaster. So we have to look at the ingredients that go into the burger that you just described, and what are the really important ingredients. And for me, I think it comes down to sort of four basics that you need your aerobic work, which is building the engine, the heart and the lungs, the mitochondria, the capillary development, getting the oxygen to the muscles quickly, you need a little bit of strength and conditioning. Because running actually at race pace doesn’t really build up that many muscles. So we need the core strengthening, we need the power and force though we need some strength conditioning, I would say you need a little bit speedwork neuro muscular development, it’s called technically, you need to get the muscles used to firing quickly firing efficiently. So that’s another little bit of work that we need to add in. And then the other one, we need some vo to max and all we caught you know, there’s lots of ways of doing it, anaerobic threshold, where we were going be on what we can produce energy wise from an aerobic system. So for some races, we can get some extra energy by using the stored energy in the muscles. But fortunately, when we create this energy, it’s created without oxygen being present. So that’s why it’s called anaerobic energy. So there, the the four different elements we need to put in the most important one is the aerobic base. So that’s your bond. So you want to make your burn at the bottom as big as you can. So focus on getting the ingredients that go into the bone to make the bond really good. So the aerobic base is lots of easy slow running to get strong. It also strengthens the ligaments, the joints, the bones, the bone density goes up, but there’s so many benefits from this long, slow, easy running, and it’s healthier for life in general. So that’s where I would start the aerobic base, then probably what you’re going to say actually is we need to go back another stage at how these energy systems work. And you can then say, how are they fueled? Even you know, we need to look at the fueling for the energy systems, you know, so in terms of how we get, you know, the the energy to fire the systems. So the the, the simplest way to try and make a little bit simple again, is if you sprint for, we’ll say five to 10 seconds, you’re actually not doing a lot of damage. You’re doing a lot of neuromuscular development, helping the body get used to it in quicker. But you’re using the ATP system, the Drina same triphosphate system as it’s called, which is stored energy in the muscles and cells. So this is the basic level of energy and it was probably used for fight and flight so that in the olden days, a caveman was chased by a dinosaur. He was able to run away really quickly use that sword energy, but he couldn’t go too far.

Darren  14:36  

I love this. The only thing is, humans and dinosaurs didn’t exist the same time. You’re joking.

Mike  14:43  

I’m joking. I said lies but you study Saudi it’s just a nicer analogy. But I do actually appreciate that. There was a long gap that they were wiped out. But anyway, so so we’ve got the fight and flight syndrome. And then on top of that you’ve got, we need to jump really to the A lactic be as well as a lactic because not building any like ticket, then we need to work to a system where he, he could run so far on this free energy. And then he needed to keep going and running even quicker and keep going. And he could last about a minute using the stored muscle energy in the muscles, which is separate from the ATP, and this use the lactic system. And so what he was doing, he was running away without oxygen, but the byproduct was lactic building up in the body, which ultimately caused him to slow down. Because the aerobic muscle up the air, the oxygen to keep it simple, the oxygen couldn’t get to the muscles to keep fueling him. So then he ran away, he was safe in his cave, he was good, that’s fine. But what humans are very good at is a very efficient at going for long periods of time. And the energy system we like to use the most is the aerobic system. And so long as we fueling that, and can get enough fuel, such as fats, we don’t really need many carbohydrates for this, we get the facts in and we’re fueling it, we can run pretty much ever if we’re going slow enough aerobically. And so it’s this aerobic system, that going back to the basics that we need to work to develop the best we possibly can going forward in our sports. And the other systems are to add to it.

Darren  16:32  

Just to just to jump in really quick about Yeah, like your cavemen analogy, it’s a bit better than my hamburger analogy for the for the sake of this, but let’s say the cave cave person is chasing after what do they like a deer or whatever it is, you know, some sort of an animal that will feed its own tribe, the way that they would run, they would actually do like an ultra marathon shuffle. You know, they weren’t running marathon pace, they were actually running much slower. And because a lot of animals, they one can’t sweat, and they also can’t run as long as humans, they would actually tire out over the course of many hours, two days. So it would be you know, a few people, whatever it was, they would chase this animal and just follow it, they literally just follow it, they didn’t chase it with like, you know, you know, they were like, Oh, I’m coming after you, they just follow it follow an animal knew that the humans were coming after it, but then would just literally keel over and die because it one either couldn’t sweat or it just didn’t have the capacity to go as far, you know, I’m talking like, this is like in between a fast walk, slow run, if not very fast walking. And that’s what you mean, I’m going to assume that’s what you meant by, you know, carbohydrates, but for that, where it’s extremely slow, correct,

Mike  17:41  

super, super efficient, yet going long distances and probably, you know, genetically, species wide. We are the most efficient species in the world that covering long distances.

Darren  17:52  

Yes, yeah. Because one because we could sweat into because we’ve got Achilles tendons, and we can stand up. Like, there’s so many different things that we have that allow us we have got good run economy, and I won’t go into all that. But um, you know, compared to actual animals, they might be able to sprint way faster than weekend but they can’t get they can’t just, you know, go 100 kilometers like weekend. So, you know, at a steady pace. So I’ll end it cuz I’m sure I will say something that will not be factual and your your, your coach friends will shoot me down for this. But yeah, keep going. Sorry. Do you go in and robic?

Mike  18:27  

No. So that’s what I’m saying. So a, what we need to look at is is a good training program that combines all the different systems. So in a year, if we look at the year that we were building up without training, most of the training needs to be at an aerobic level. And then how do we fact define what that aerobic level is? You need to go to a lab and get tested if you want to know the actual right answer. So therefore, most people can’t go to a lab and have lactic test blood tests, run on a treadmill and work out the answers. So a lot of clever people in me have tried to work out the answers to get it right. And yet, Dr. Phil Maffetone, he’s come up with a very good theory of hitting your maximum over aerobic pace. It’s the math actually, although it’s his name, marfy. It actually stands for maximum aerobic function. And he said yesterday, if you take a heartbeat of 180 minus your age, that will give you the maximum pace you can work out at aerobically. And when we say aerobic, it means not building any lactate. Technically, those who want to know he’s probably meaning to millimoles of lactic in the blood, which the base level lactic in the bud is probably what we’re talking about as the maximum aerobic case. And the interesting thing with this is it can be trained, you can actually run faster and faster if you work at this pace aerobically. So getting slightly off the track. People say to me about you know, my heart rate being so low Well, I can’t actually run at my math pace. That often, because my math pace is probably around about my half marathon race pace, I’m so efficient that at a 123 to 130 heart rate, I could probably run a marathon in 120, sort of a half marathon 120. So I can go pretty fast. So I become very efficient. So for me, that’s not an easy run. I think when people start training, and running at math, it’s actually an easy run, because they’re inefficient. But the more you get efficient at these things, the harder it is to do it. So that’s why these terms suddenly become really complex, because someone say, oh, yeah, that’s an easy run. Well, it’s not technically an easy run, it might be an easy run, if you just started running, and you’re not used to this. But if you’re very efficient, you know, Mark Allen, I think he raced Ironman, it is math pace, you know, he was, he was super efficient. So there’s, there’s lots of complexities. But math is a very good way 180 minus your age, a lot of people come across it, it’s a good starting point. To get you going, what I realized that I like the theory about it, but 220 minus your age to get your maximum heart rate, it’s not really the best model in the world and more runners that you come across the older they are for the running a long time, their maximum heart rate is a lot higher than people think. And genetics, 220 minus your age, as a group population, like average out to be quite nice. But on the specific level, there are no average people, you’re either taller than average, you’re shorter than average. But there’s very few actually average average people. So 220 minus your age doesn’t work that well. So I thought, well, those people that are a little bit more clued in and have been working and actually know what their maximum heart rate is not what their theoretical maximum heart rate is, that’s a difference. A lot of people say I know my maximum heart rate, it’s 220 minus eight, no, that’s a theoretical number, have you run until you virtually thrown up, say 3k, and then sprinted a little bit more to see how high it goes? Probably not. But if you have and you’re that serious, then you have a rough idea what your maximum heart rate really is, then I would suggest it’s probably maximum heart rate minus 40. It’s the following exactly same principles as much theory in terms of trying to define it. So it’s based on math theory, in that sense, it’s just that it’s using an absolute maximum heart rate. So those people that know the maximum heart rate, this might be a more efficient way of doing it. Neither those tools are perfect, they all have issues. And so again, you have to go back to the lab to work out your maximum pace to work aerobically, but they’re a great start, I would say combine that with going for a little run. And if you if you could breathe through your nose, if you can hold a conversation happily with your friends. And the key word here is really this is super science. If it feels easy, it’s probably a nice aerobic run. I mean, this is what people get wrong, an aerobic run has to feel easy. And if it doesn’t seem easy, you’re probably going too fast. So that’s how we get designed, you know, really you combine them all use a heart rate monitor, use either math or IMRT you know, maximum heart rate minus 40 or perception perceived effort, you know how hard is it feels it feels easy, I’d probably an easy one then. Then somewhere along the way, you’ll probably find that you’re working out where easier with your ad break.

Darren  23:32  

This episode is brought to you by energy coaching, which is Mike Trees coaching service. Mike and his team of coaches work with beginners to pros and all levels in between. No one is too fast and no one is too slow. They just want a desire to learn and improve. They focus on 1500 meter races to marathon running and triathlon training. Energy coaching is constantly overbooked. So Instagram and this new podcast venture Trees and D Lake gives Mike and the rest of his energy coaching team a way to reach out to more people and help them contact Mike and his team at the letters nrg-coaching.com Or go to the link in the show notes.

And back to the show.

Mike  24:17  

And somewhere along the way, you’ll probably find that you’re working out where easier mobi blends are. And then going for Sprint’s when we’re talking about the ATP system. It’s generally accepted that 10 seconds about the maximum can really go and the interesting thing with that is I could put a sprint session in of say 75 meter strides for an elite athlete and put that on his easy training day because he Sprint’s he’s not going to build up lactic. He’s getting used to the euro muscular development. He’s getting used to moving the body quickly, but he’s going to walk back he’s going to take his time to recover, make sure that the ATP has regenerated within his muscles before doing another sprint and then can do another and so we can use that on easy days even To get some speed work, and this where people don’t quite understand, they think, Oh, if a little bit skewed a little bit more, even better, so then they might start doing 20 seconds 20 thought, well, let’s do 200, let’s do six by two hundreds, and all of a sudden, they’ve tapped into a whole new energy system and the building, they’re not getting enough rest. And they’re, they’re building up lactate in their, their blood, and then not developing the aerobic system anymore.

Darren  25:22  

About the about people getting too, too used to it, or you know, they don’t do it correctly. I know a lot of people that don’t know, they don’t know why they do the rest. So they go, Oh, I feel fine. I’ll do these, you know, 15 second hills. And then they’ll just like, they’ll have like a 10 second recovery, five, second recovery, and then go back. And I’m like, No, you’re supposed to have like, it should be three to four times longer than you did. And then like, but I felt fun. And I’m like, No, this isn’t to smash it out as hard as possible. It’s actually to, to be able to sprint when you’re 100%. So that’s, that’s a very, very good point. Back to your, your IMAT. Your I think you you came up with IMAT. Right? IMAT

Mike  26:01  

it. Yes, yes. But it’s just it’s a modification of the the math system based on people who know their maximum heart rate that was all. So it’s not that I’m trying to create any any rocket science here. I’m just sort of looked at how math was put together and thought, Well, yeah, it doesn’t fit a lot of people. A lot of people were saying this doesn’t work with me. And so I was just saying, Is there any way we can help those those sort of people and I found that those people that didn’t work for tended to be in running along the time, and often were older as well, but they knew their maximum heart rate. And this seemed to work a little bit better.

Darren  26:33  

And it actually worked for me, we touched on this much earlier a long time ago, when we first got on this podcast back in Yeah, about six, six months ago. But it’s funny enough, your your theory and your formula works perfect for me, because I know that you know, the the also the problem with the the Mafa tune, heart rate theory where you know, you should be running around this zone, it’s your age minus, what is it your 180 minus 180?

Mike  27:00  

Minus Minus? Yeah, so

Darren  27:01  

as you get older, you lose a beat. And, you know, I started when I was 30. So my, my, my ma F was 150. So I should technically be at 140. That is way too low. And I knew that. And I kept going, oh, you know, maybe that’s that in the other, blah, blah. And he says, Oh, if you haven’t been injured for a year, you can add another beat. You know, which which

Mike  27:22  

two years you got four b eats. Yeah, there’s exceptions. But in theory, and he accepts this himself. I’ve read a lot around this that he says that it was developed on youngsters in the past before the the running boom, where where people ran to win sort of thing, as opposed to the fundamentals that coming in. And so mostly using kids in their 20s, maybe early, early, early teens, late teens or early 20s. And so now he accepted, I think it’s over 60-65, he says you can add on a beat over 65, he’s he accepts that it doesn’t work as efficiently as we get older. And that’s the issue with it. And so it’s trying to come up with these things. And also hot humid weather, I found that it’s not scientific at all. But I’ve spent a lot of time in hot climates and everyone I talked to when when they’ve been in hot climates and cooler climates, they all seem to accept that there’s about 10 beats different. So if you’re in a hot, humid climate, you know, in the tropics, you need to add 10 beats onto both of the systems and simply put to explain why is you’ve got half the blood. Yeah, this is not scientific explanation. By the way, half the blood pumping around the body trying to go make you go quicker, and the other half around the surface trying to cool you. So it’s like driving the car with the air conditioning on, you wouldn’t try and rev the car up and do 160 miles an hour with the car with the aircon on because it’s taking too much power. So you wouldn’t try and run really well and fast in a hot day because there’s too much blood being used for the cooling system to keep you cool. So we need to add a factor on for hot and humid weather. How much do we add on? I mean, I’m just guessing around 10 beats, but most people come back and say yeah, that seems to work for them. So that’s another little issue that all these things have little issues. Yeah, but the aim, what we’re trying to do is the bottom line is we’re just trying to find an aerobic pace that we can all work out. Because that is the burn. That’s the biggest and most well I’m not the most important, but it’s the biggest factor of this burger that we’re making. Bringing it all back together is building a big aerobic base,

Darren  29:23  

especially for endurance sports, which if you’re listening to this podcast, and you’re most likely doing a sport adored sports that lasts longer than 20 minutes, you know, and shorter than five hours this the aerobic system is used for for most if not all of that. I think the marathon uses 99% aerobic and the 5k uses 75% as you would say aerobics. Okay,

Mike  29:44  

so, but let’s let’s just interrupt a little bit. The 800 is 60% anaerobic, depending on the level of the athlete, 60%, anaerobic and 40%. Aerobic, so my burn would be reversed work related with meter runner IBC. Let’s let’s get out three times a week and do some speed work, some power works and strength works and lactic work. We mustn’t forget doing some aerobic work. Remember, it’s still 40% aerobic. So that’s the 800. And that’s why you tend to get 400 800 runners, then there’s an interesting crossover because you can get 815 100 runners. Now, the 1500, it switches, it’s 60%, aerobic and 40% anaerobic. So already, the 1500 is the start of where I come in as a coach, really, I tend not to go down to the 800, but the, the 1500, it’s 60%, aerobic, and only 40% anaerobic. So we need the big burn, we’ve already switched it round the bunnies on the outside and the burgers on the inside the 800, the bunnies on the inside of the burgers on the outside. So now on the 1500, we need to do a big aerobic base, but we still need to do a lot of that lactic work, so we still have to do a lot there, then we get up to 5k the park when it’s become really popular, that’s sort of a vo to max level, well, that’s 75%, aerobic and 25% anaerobic. And we can talk argue about the figures, you know, is it 80 is 8020 or 7525 is about there are there abouts. When we get to the 10k is going even more maybe depending on the level of the runner, 85%, aerobic, 15% anaerobic, possibly even like most fun runners, I would suggest it’s even more 90% refund when these numbers are much, much lower, could even be 99 for for a fund runner, and doing a 10k. And then with the half marathon, of course, you know, 95, five in the marathon, you know 99 One sort of thing. And as I just to recap, if you’re a novice runner, just getting into it, you haven’t developed that threshold, that lactic coping, so you basically are running aerobically the whole way, because as soon as you go across that threshold, you can’t cope with it, you have to slow down. So a lot of these distances are more aerobically based than the others. So it’s even more important develop the aerobic engine as much as you possibly can, which comes back to running at math pace, running it, or lower. I mean, that’s math paces to develop the system. Easy runs could be even slower than that, you know. So if I run it math, it’s for me, it’s around about you know, 59 121 doing the math quickly. So technically, housing is math formula 121, if I’m using IMAT, I’m running around 130. Because I know my maximum, I’m going for an easy run, it’s around about 105 to 110. So it’s much lower than math. So it doesn’t mean an easy run, it means your maximum aerobic function. And those are different things. They’re not necessarily the same. So spent a lot on aerobic in this podcast, but I think that’s where most people need to be most of the time.

Darren  32:50  

Yeah, which goes back to you know, a podcast from Two episodes ago, whenever it decides to publish, which is a common A common mistake of new runners and you know, most runners is they don’t respect and do easy runs are they easy runs turn into medium runs and moderate runs or hard runs or whatever. So you know, I really respect an easy run, because that’s your that’s literally your bread and butter. You know, we’re gonna go back to the sandwich analogy and metaphor, it’s your bread and butter of being an endurance athlete is your easy run. So, you know, getting comfortable with that in as many different ways as you need to, as Mike said, so how would we sum sum all this up? Because we’ve got we’ve got the three energy systems, the three main ATP, got anaerobic, and we’ve got aerobic. I’d say let me let me sum it up really quick. And then you can jump on. So I’d say this anaerobic from what you’ve just said, is using the glycogen sugar stores, you know, and that’s a loose word. I know it’s glycogen is glycogen. But you know, for some people, for most people, it’s sugar, you know, aerobic is using oxygen, it’s Greek, of oxygen, anaerobic is not of oxygen, it’s when you tap into glycogen. And then ATP is the the short sprint work. You could also think of it as when bodybuilders, they lift one one rep max, you know, and they do a really big lift, and they need five minute recovery after doing that, that’s that’s your ATP, it takes five minutes. Here’s a here’s a fun fact about the ATP system. Again, feel free to cut this down. But sprinters use it. And you can only use it once in 24 hours, and it comes back rejuvenated, but it never comes back 100% in that 24 hours or 48 hours or whatever. And sprinters know that and it’s that first five seconds when they come out of the block and you never get it back again at the same way. So that’s another way to look at ATP. It’s just that like, boom, right? Right on the blocks you’re going and and you know, like I said, again, weightlifting, you know, you need to just really get all that up. But when you run it’s a combination of all three systems that are being used. And what I found out which was really interesting is when you start thinking Eating. It’s because the other two energy systems. So ATP is that’s your like fundamental. That’s how your muscles move and how you, you get the moving, and you know you’re running. And that’s how you get up to speed and all that. But when you lose glycogen, and when you’re losing oxygen or you don’t have any available, the ATP stops firing as efficiently. And that’s when you start fading. And even though you want to push faster, you can’t because you don’t have any ATP left or you have very low amounts left, because you’ve ran out of glycogen and oxygen. That’s a very rudimentary explanation of it all. Feel free to sum it up and chew it up and spit it out.

Mike  35:38  

I want to put it into more of a assisted people understand for the training rather than losing So ATP, I think that is short term Sprint’s which is what you’re saying about the firing of the muscles. And we use that for Neuro muscular development to get used to quicker running. And we can use that system all year round, if we’re clever with it, because we can just do like leg speed work and it doesn’t really tire us too much. So it’s a nice thing we keep in the back pocket for certain fact kind of training, the aerobic system, we’re also working all year round, and we’re trying to build that up. And there’s, it’s basically burning of fuel with the presence of oxygen. And we can use fats for fuel for that. And maybe the top end of it might depend with a bit of glycogen might be used as well, as you’re saying, but it’s mostly using the fat stores for fuel. Then once we got past the threshold, we’re then using glycogen, as you said, licensed as a fuel source, the sugars the carbohydrates, to fuel us. But if we’re going really fast, we’re what we’re doing is we’re actually using up the energy and if that’s burnt without the presence of oxygen, and we’re using that and I said this analogy before where it’s snowing, imagine it’s snowing, and it’s it’s a warm day that we can absorb, we can get past threshold and cope with that for quite a while using these carbohydrates as energy source, we can get into this homeostasis, where we can run for a long time at a really high tempo run using carbohydrates as a source of energy, and it’s creating lactate. But the body’s efficient, and we’ve trained it at this pace. So it actually reabsorb as the lactate, so it never really builds up. So we might be running around this this three 3.5 level of millimoles of lactate in the blood. But we’re really super trained. And it just means that we’re using a lot of carbohydrates to maintain this pace, and he’s building up lactic and we reabsorbing it, we’re coping. But once we get past about four millimoles, that seems to be the critical point of lactic in the blood. It’s like this curve, it just takes off and it shoots up, and it goes 5678. And that’s when you send it wow, my legs are burning, everything stops. And that’s when you’re coming towards the end of the race and you’re pushing harder, you’re getting slower and slower, because you just built up too much lactic in the body. So now we understand that, to develop that lactic system to its maximum, we only really need about six weeks of work. So when I’m training someone for a hard race, I’d have them doing six months of short little sprint, some strength work and aerobic work. And then the icing on the cake. Or since it’s a burger, it’ll be the mayonnaise and the ketchup on the burger. That’s my six weeks of speed work where I’m pushing the lactic threshold and trying to get them to cope with higher amounts of lactic so they can run more efficiently at that higher pace. But you can’t go on all year round doing that it’s it takes a high toll on the body. And it only takes about six weeks to reach your maximum development at that level. So sometimes I might extend it to 10 to 12 because we’ve got racing to keep it going. And really, you can start getting an effect after three weeks. As long as I’ve got more than three weeks and someone comes to me I say yep, I can still do something. But less than three weeks. It’s like yeah, just continue what you’re doing like so that’s how I build the plans up. And that’s how I develop their year with a big big quantities of aerobic. Lots of I like just dipping into speed work virtually all year round just to keep it there. Strength, strengthen conditioning, mostly around, although I tend to drop it off for those six weeks of real speed work. And then six works where I’m getting ready for a specific race targeting a race and doing that specific race pace work, which is above threshold oftentimes

Darren  39:30  

We’re at that part of the podcast episode part three. So we just finished a main set and now it’s the cooldown and we got a fun question for the audience. There’s no right or wrong answer. We will also be posting this on our socials so make sure you follow us at Me, DLakeCreates on Instagram and Mike is run.nrg Why I know confusing or just type in mike Trees into Instagram. And you can also answer us in that kind of poll or however we do it. So the question is, drumroll Would you rather be healthy or fit, you have to choose one you cannot be both. This is a hypothetical fun situation, an example of healthy is eating well getting your blood markers done being at the right weight, you need to be at feeling good sleeping well. And being fit is smashing all your races. And you know, being whatever you want to be super jacked really skinny, whatever you want to go for, you know, running 100 mile races as fast as possible. So those are the two differences. Mike, what would you rather be healthy or fit?

Mike  40:48  

My simple answer is I’d like to be both. If I pick one, and I’d like to be healthy. But I want to actually reason it’s quick answers. I want to give you a little story to answer it in more fun. Wait, so I’m gonna call him Mark, this this guy, that he was a physio that worked on me when I just turned pro as a triathlete. And I had ankle issues and, and he was clearing them up. And I said, this is amazing, you know that you’re able to clear up my foot my problems, because the problem is, people don’t do that. Because they just don’t know every bone, muscle, tendon, ligament and how they all interact in the body. It’s very simple and easy to do. And I said, Well, you know, all this, you must be enjoy sports is No, I just want to stay fit and healthy. And I was doing some races and things and I knew jogged a little bit. Then you rode the bike, and I asked him to come with me on these runs. He’s no, I just like to go with my dog on the runs. And I just want to be healthy. And he said, that’s totally different from what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to be fit, and win races. And so that’s why you’re coming to me with these injuries because you’re not healthy. You’re injured all the time, but you’re fit and winning races, and I just want to be healthy. And that was the first time I thought that wow, yeah, there’s a difference. So I hadn’t thought about till then. Anyway, I asked him to come swimming and running with me. And he said, he actually said, I may come for a run with you. He never did. And I may come for a bike ride with you. And I said, Well, you want to come swimming and he goes, No, I hate swimming. I am not getting me in a pool. I hate swimming. Anyway, he then said Look, you’re in Japan. I know it’s a London milk and honey. I do a lot of lecturing I used to you know be at SoCal, in South Southern California University. So here’s my CV, can you see if you can get me any work to lecture and do stuff and he got he sought out all my issues and injuries. And I read it he said Is it okay if I quick scan through your CV? So yeah, yeah, go for it. So anyway, PhD and MSC all the credentials then. Wow. And then at the bottom sports 200 meters. I am 1972 world record. So we’re, we’re we’re Wait, what’s this? You told me you hate swimming. I said, I thought you couldn’t swim. He says Mike. It’s like being fit and healthy. I said, I hate swimming, I didn’t say I couldn’t swim. You’re not getting in the pool, because I hate swimming. And anyway, I wasn’t very good at it.

Darren  43:12  

That sounds like Maffetone because I don’t feel Maffetone he like very early in his adulthood. He decided to stop running marathons. He was like, he’s like, Yeah, this isn’t very healthy. And and the Maffetone method is, you know, I’ll talk about that in a second. My answer is the same as you as always, I’d have to pick healthy. And I think this is an interesting kind of brain exercise of sorts, because it just makes you think everything you’re doing to be fit is most likely to a point going to take away from being healthy. And, and there’s some people out there that I follow that really believe in this and especially as they get older, so Maffetone as I was saying before, Maffetone he just stopped running a lot of people like oh, you know, why don’t you use your mind. He’s like, ah, I’d rather just, you know, do some light stretching and yoga here and there and eat well and, you know, do some walks. And he’s like, you know, I don’t need to be smashing to our marathons or anything. And and that’s, you know, a personal thing. Everyone’s different. That’s not to say that anyone’s worse or better. But there’s another guy Mark Sisson who you probably know, I think he’s, he’s slightly older than you. But uh, Mark system was a pro triathlete that smashed himself to the point where he, he I think he got injured. I know he got sick a lot. And he burned out a lot. And he realized the training that he did in the 70s and 80s. And 90s was horrendous, you know, with all the new science we have now. So he’s very much on being healthy to live later and live a good life later. Not smash yourself when you’re 35 and then not be able to live a good life when you’re 5060 7080. So I’ve subscribed to that from reading Moffat, Jones books, and you know, following you that it’s gentle balance. It’s nice to see where your potential is, and push that and go, You know, I’ve got this talent at this event. I want to see how far I could go, but I’m not Honestly, I’m capping myself at trying to run sub sub 5k, sorry, sub 16 minute 5k, before around when I turned 40, so I’m turning 40 In a few months, and I’m going to tap out, you know if I do it or not, because I want to try the 10k. And then, you know, I want to try the half marathon and I’m not trying to run my fastest time ever, because I know that that’s going to take away from living a healthy life or living a balanced life, you know, where my family and my work and all that, like, again, I’m not getting paid, I’ve said that before, there’s no there’s no rush or urgency to do this. And that doesn’t mean I’m going to flop off, but maybe I’ll operate in a 95% level 97% Level for you know, the next five or 10 years, and I want to be able to I want to be able to do this at a 70% level when I turn your age when I turn 80 When I turn 90. I mean hopefully when I’m your age, I want to be doing it at a 95% level. But um, but whatever that that is so it’s again, it’s not it’s not a permission to slack off and sit around and eat potatoes, potato chips, and just go I’m not doing anything. i If you’re listening, I’m sure you you aren’t that person. But it also is doesn’t mean smash yourself to then mess yourself up and you know, you have no time that’s another resource, your energy money. It doesn’t make sense. So that’s my long story is I don’t even have a story on that it’s not as good of a story as yours. But it’s more like I’m doing this to to perform better as I get older. And and if that means performing the same now when I’m older, great. That means being able to do cool stuff when I get older and and you know when I’m 60 years old, doing stuff that other people in wheelchairs doing. That’s it so always always healthy over fit but a combination of both. 

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