True Yoda Of Health – Dr. Phil Maffetone – Visits For Free Seminar Friday November 3 At Restored Charles Washington Hall

It is a privilege to host my good friend Dr. Phil Maffetone as he returns to West Virginia as we continue our mission to create a healthy community. Dr. Maffetone was an early challenger to the standard American diet and the food pyramid. His books in the early 1990s challenged the low fat diet and encouraged citizens as well as the best athletes in the world to slow down and eat real food, including healthy natural fat.
For over 30 years the best athletes in the world have sought out Dr. Maffetone as they entered the zone of fatigue, overtraining, and burnout. About to quit the sport, 6 time Hawaii Ironman Champion Mark Allen went to Dr. Maffetone after losing 6 times in the event to rival Dave Scott. Dr. Maffetone reset the mind and body of someone who would become the best endurance athlete on the planet with the simple principles he has taught me and thousands of others. I heard Mark Allen share this story when we both presented at a conference in Boston several years ago. It was an honor to speak on the same stage with the vibrant Mark Allen then in his 50s and the picture of relaxation and health [recentinterview with Mark Allen ].

Dr. Phil Maffetone & Dr. Mark Cucuzzella
My own personal journey into the Maffetone method began in 2000 when I read Mark Allen’s story in an airline magazine. I reread it several times as it challenged everything I thought to be true. The title was “Want Speed Slow Down”. What!? Get fast by slowing down? Surely this could not be true. So I bought my first Heart Rate Monitor and did the calculation for the effort I should run. 180 minus your age is the Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate and when the monitor beeps as you reach this threshold you must slow down.
So I started running around Washington Park in Denver in this way and I found out painfully the monitor would beep at about a 10-11 minute mile (where I used to run every day at 6 to 7 minutes a mile). I drank the cool aid and after 3-4 months was cruising effortlessly around the park again at 6 to 7 minutes a mile, but now at the nice relaxed low heart rate where you could run all day. I was becoming super-efficient and a fat burning beast. You burn fat at low heart rates and that is good for endurance as we all have lots of energy rich fat on our bodies, even if you are lean.
That fall I lined up at the 2000 Marine Corps Marathon without having done any traditional hard interval style training. What happened was the most effortless marathon I had ever experienced. I went through the half way in 1:15 feeling like out for a jog and closed the last half in 1:13 to finish a few seconds over 2:28 and 3rd place in a field of 30,000. The important lesson was how I felt at the finish. I honestly felt like I could turn around and do it again. Usually after a marathon the brain and body say “never again”. I’ve not looked back since and have run over 50 stress free marathons all below 3:00 since this day. I have Dr. Maffetone to thank for my health and longevity.
Dr. Maffetone’s credo is “everyone is an athlete.” He has worked with endurance athletes of all types, professional baseball and football players, adventurers, NASCAR drivers, and Olympic medalists in a variety of sports. Perhaps more notable, Dr. Maffetone has helped thousands of weekend warriors achieve personal-best performances in their chosen sports.
Outside the sports arena, Dr. Maffetone has coached a variety of people in the entertainment field, including musicians James Taylor, Johnny Cash, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and producer Rick Rubin, and has also provided a system of success for some of the world’s top business executives as well as the United States military.
Phil’s latest research outlined in his new book, “The Overfat Pandemic,” shows that excess body fat is alarmingly prevalent in developed countries where up to 91 percent of adults and 60 percent or more of children may suffer from this condition. Our state of West Virginia displays this daily.
Schooled in the fields of human biology, kinesiology, physiotherapy and Chinese medicine, Dr. Maffetone is a true pioneer. He is an internationally-acclaimed author, having published more than 20 books including the first on heart-rate monitoring in the early 1980s, and the first on the benefits of barefoot running in the 1990s. His “Big Book of Health and Fitness” serves as a bible for the healthy and active lifestyle, and his textbook, “Complementary Sports Medicine” is published in four languages. He continues to write extensively and lecture worldwide on health and human performance.
We have had the privilege of hosting Dr. Maffetone here twice to share his wisdom (and to play his music). Join us for a free seminar where Dr. Maffetone will share some life lessons and stories and answer questions from the audience.
The Newly Restored Charles Washington Hall
100 E Washington St, Charles Town, WV


In August 2016, three of my friends and I formed a Ragnar team, named The Dudes Abide Racing Team, for the Ultra – Open Category.

We took on the Ragnar Trail – Appalachian WV course during a blazing 90+ degree weekend. We arrived with our bathrobes, our sandals, and our white russians (made out of UCAN). The "dudes" were ready to run. We ended up running the fastest time any 4 man ultra team has ever run for that course, finishing our 120+ miles in just over 20 hours. I learned a lot that weekend about the challenges that a Ragnar Trail event can present and weaknesses it reveals in fitness, and I find it very interesting from a training standpoint that CrossFitters will be a division now. Many aspects of a CrossFitter’s constantly varied training will set them up to do well with the Ragnar Trails, however, what I think is more interesting are the weaknesses Ragnar Trail events could reveal for many CrossFitter’s due to the longer time domains that will be experienced; bringing along with it, the repetitive demand for elasticity that is the nature of running.

Running with the sunrise during the last day of the Ragnar
Here are some general weaknesses I think Ragnar Trails will reveal in CrossFitters:
#1 – RS.RE.RS. – running strength, running endurance, running skill
#2 – Gear Game – performance apparel, socks, and shoes
Going out there and hoping for the best is one approach, one of which I think many CrossFitters will take because their training is designed to keep them physically fit across a broad set of skills, and not specifically preparing for a Ragnar will put their current state of well rounded-ness to the test. This is the approach I took during my first trail Ragnar when I was part of an 8 person team. Depending on the size of your team, either 2, 4, or 8 of you will be sharing 120+ miles running around some mountain. With that amount of volume in repetition ahead of you, a little specificity shouldn’t seem like a deal breaker in training. While I did not mind participating in the event without specifically preparing for it, I walked away understanding a few things about RS.RE.RS that I could work into my training without making it specific to a trail Ragnar.
Running Strength – increase trunk, ankle, & foot strength.
Pretty simple ancillary training concepts here:
1. Weightlifting barefoot or in ultra minimal shoes.
2. Single leg lifts and overhead unilateral carries.
3. To really tax the trunk, ankles, and feet, try overhead unilateral carries barefoot on the TRUEFORM RUNNER.

Running Endurance – increase ability to use fat as fuel
– Incorporate longer time domains in running workouts on the TRUEFORM RUNNER or outside. Twenty+ minutes of running without exceeding ventilatory threshold (the pace at which you begin huffing and puffing ). To remain at a pace below ventilatory threshold, try running while only breathing comfortably through your nose, even if this means slowing down to walk/run. Try adding this breathing technique to all of your daily WOD training in the weeks/months leading up to your Ragnar.
Running Skill – increase body awareness and elasticity. Spend time running for the sake of feeling how variances in body position affect your ability to absorb shock as well as create forward propulsion. There is no better man made environment to hone this body awareness then on a TRUEFORM RUNNER due to its engineered shape. Furthermore try adding barefoot skipping, hopping, leaping, bounding, backwards running to your time on or off the TRUEFORM to engage more balance and coordination to your skill training.
before and after running a 120+ mile relay trail race
CrossFitters love them some weaknesses because it presents them a challenge to begin improving upon, which they ultimately want to turn into another strength in their lifestyle and training. CrossFitters also love them some gear!
Sorry to say it, but Reebok and Nike "box" apparel won’t cut it here on Ragnar trail events. Gear to set you up for a great experience at Ragnar Trail is really simple – gear that will help prevent chaffing and help you remain springy.
Apparel – XOSKIN – without question the best base layer apparel I have ever worn. Chafe – free ever since I began wearing it 2 years ago.
and INJINJI socks – the separated toe slots help prevent blistering and also do not cause any restrictive pressure against the forefoot during running.

Shoes – Ragnar Trail events terrain suck the springiness out of you, especially the Appalachian, WV course. The weight of shoes are a huge part of remaining light and springy on your feet. My go to light weight trail shoes come from VIVOBAREFOOT, VIBRAM, and INOV8.If you are not yet able to run in ultra minimal shoes; INOV8, ALTRA RUNNING, and MERRELL RUNNING shoes will provide lightweight cushioned trail running shoes. I highly recommend you go to a specialty shoe store that carries some of these brands to get properly fit versus ordering online, most likely getting a pair shoes that doesn’t fit correctly. If visiting a store isn’t possible, look up sizing information on the company websites and then call some specialty shoes stores that carry these brands, ask them about sizing in regards to your FOOT size and get their recommendation on size.
For more learning on shoes watch our shoe video with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella and read this
And for further learning in training running endurance, strength, and skill visit our blog and training video pages!
Go get you some Ragnar Trail events, CrossFit!

FEATURE BLOGPOST: What The Health: The Ultimate Rebuttal by Onnit Academy

This week we’re sharing a blog
post on a topic that resonates with us in the realm diet and nutrition. We are firm believers that diet is the most important aspect of healthy running. Without healthy nutrition optimal running for a lifetime is impossible. And because we believe strongly in this relationship among food, running, and health, we were dumbstruck when we saw Netflix’s disastrous documentary – What The Health?, which was released earlier this summer.
Enter, ONNIT ACADEMY, (a comprehensive database of information related to Unconventional Training, a unique new form of fitness methodology that focuses on functional strength, conditioning, and agility using the most efficient means and tools possible. Give them a look!) who posted a rebuttal blog article to the false claims made by What The Health?
After reading it…we couldn’t have said it any better. Enjoy!


When you run on the TRUEFORM do you experience a skyrocketing heart rate? Quickly finding yourself huffing and puffing for more air? and ultimately needing to slow down to a walk or stop moving completely?
You are not alone! This is one of the most common occurrences when people run beyond what we call their ventilatory threshold – and fortunately there is a SIMPLE FIX to remove this life sucking reaction from your attempts at running!
Simple? Yes. Easy? No.
All that needs to be done to remove the SUCK from running on the TRUEFORM (or anywhere else) is to slow down. When we run beyond what we will call the Huff’N’Puff threshold, we begin a run-ending process of fatigue. It is at this threshold (while you are burning some fat as fuel) it is clear that you are burning enough sugar as fuel because of the Huff’N’Puff reaction you are having. This is your body trying to blow off excess carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of burning sugar as a as fuel. If you cannot blow off enough excess carbon dioxide while continuing to run your body will eventually stop itself. Your legs will begin to feel heavy and unstable. Your brain will struggle to focus. Your self talk will be along the lines of, "I can’t keep going." And if none of that stops you, ultimately your legs won’t be stable enough for you to remain upright, ending in, hopefully, a graceful collapse to the ground.

So simply slowing down to run at a pace that does not make you Huff’N’Puff is the answer? Yes. Slow the %#*$ down. Simple but not easy. Why? Because it requires patience. If you’re a patient person, great! Simple and easy for you!
Regardless of your tolerance for patience – here are the initial steps for
Our Healthy Running Program On The TrueForm
Step 1 – Grab your heart rate monitor or get one as soon as possible. Timex, Polar, and Garmin are some of the more accessible brands of monitors, typically ranging from $40 – $75 dollars for the entry level monitor. Here is Garmin’s
Step 2 – Use the MAF Heart Rate Formula of Dr. Phil Maffetone to find out how many beats per minute your heart should generally pump while running on the TrueForm to avoid the Huff’N’Puff threshold. See below.
180 – (Age) +/- (health factors) = MAF
Health Factors
A. Recovering from major illness, surgery, or taking medications regularly: 180 – (age) – 10 = MAF
B. Exercising with injury, more than 2 colds a year, allergies, asthma, sedentary: 180 – (age) – 5 = MAF
C. Exercising for 2 years four times per week, no injury: 180 – (age) = MAF
D. Competitive athlete training 2 years, no injuries, seeing progress in training: 180 – (age) + 5 = MAF
Step 3 – Set Your TRUEFORM HEALTHY RUNNING baseline. Run at your MAF heart rate for 1, 2, or 3 miles depending on your current health and fitness.
If you were
Group A – MAF use 1 mile (you’ll probably be walking).
Group B – MAF use 2 miles (you’ll probably walk/run).
Group C – MAF use 3 miles.
Group D – MAF use 3 miles.
Record the time that is takes you to complete the distance while staying as close to your MAF heart as possible.
Step 4 – For at LEAST 8 weeks, when you run, run only at your MAF heart rate. Patience. Simple? Yes. Easy? No.
Step 5 – At the end of 8 weeks, retest your TRUEFORM HEALTHY RUNNING baseline.
Step 6 – Celebrate, this is just the beginning of a lifetime of SUCK free running.
Further learning:
Want to host a TRUEFORM HEALTHY RUNNING workshop for your staff or members? Send Inquiries HERE
What is the TRUEFORM? HERE


Tim Paulson – CrossFit Pallas, Ithaca, NY.
1. Well first of all, congratulations on successfully competing at the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games. You placed 20th in the final overall standings. What are a few of the feelings that stand out the most for you from the competition, as well as now, after having time to reflect?
Tim: Honestly, the biggest one is just how incredible competing at the Crossfit Games is. The fans, the atmosphere, and the other athletes you’re with – it’s truly an experience unlike any other. Getting to experience that again in itself is another thing to add to the list of motivations to make it back next year. I also learned so much about myself as an athlete, both mentally and physically. I had a great mental weekend – I started off quite poorly, but kept my head in the right space and was able to fight back to a solid finish. Physically, we have lots to work on for next year.
2. The question everybody in the sports world has been asking…who wins McGregor or Mayweather?
Tim: I’m Irish, and I hope to hell McGregor wins.
3. Perhaps more than any other elite level CrossFit athlete, I see the TrueForm Runner being utilized in your programming. What led you to decide on incorporating its use and do you feel now that it was the right decision for your training?