62. Exploring the Paradoxical & Elastic Limits of Human Performance | Alex Hutchinson


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In this fascinating show, we talk about how the mind can sometimes play tricks on us and unlock the elasticity of human performance, especially when it comes to elite athletes and endurance runners.


Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience) is a runner and author who covers the science of endurance for Outside magazine’s Sweat Science column. His latest book is the New York Times bestseller Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance. Before becoming a journalist, worked as a postdoctoral physicist with the U.S. National Security Agency, and competed for the Canadian national team in track, cross-country, and mountain running. He lives in Toronto.


0:15 Ketogeek Membeship information

6:43 – How did you get into running and your career?

9:19 – What’s new in the world of endurance running?

13:16 – Experience with Runner’s World and Outside Magazine

15:00 – How is your perspective different between a journalist vs. as an athlete?

18:54 – Experience vs. science when it comes to athletic performance

23:40 – How do elite athletes differ from the rest of the people when it comes to boosting performance?

25:31 – What is the purpose of the book you wrote: “Endure”?

29:02 – Glycogen and paradoxical ways performance is boosted and the brain is tricked when you are about to “bonk”.

33:14 – Why does the brain want to “bonk” you even with fuel remaining in the body?

36:15 – What kind of pacing pattern do endurance athletes have during a race?

39:30 – Do you undergo physiological changes you’re pushing beyond your limits?

42:26 – Can words make a difference in performance?

45:30 – Does your emotion, music and perspective boost performance?

51:15 – What is “Runner’s High”?

57:31 – Does running on a treadmill burn enough calories to expedite fat loss?

1:03:52 – Where do you start running?

1:08:30 – How do you run when you’re traveling?

1:09:58 – What are some of the biggest misconceptions and myths about running?

1:17:15 – VO2 max and health outcomes

1:18:35 – How do you counteract misinformation in health, performance and nutrition?

1:24:02 – Final Plugs



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