Dr. Tim Noakes discovered running by accident decades ago and since doing so he has run more than 70 marathon and ultra-marathon races, including 7 Comrades Marathons (56 miles) and 15 Two Oceans Marathons.
Tim holds both Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Science degrees from the University of Cape Town, is rated an A1 scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa, and is a Professor in the Discovery Health Chair of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Cape Town.
He is also the author of Lore of Running, Waterlogged, co-author of Running Injuries, has more than 450 scientific publications to his name and is one of the most respected endurance sports research scientists in the world.
Tim has challenged many existing dogmas in his quest to understand how the body responds to exercise and the associated challenges. He has built a career around sports medicine and medical service given to athletes using research to develop sound nutrition and injury prevention strategies.
In this episode Tim and I discuss a variety of topics in depth related to his own running and lifetime of scientific research including:
- How he got into running on accident
- Going from unable to run 3 miles to completing the Comrades 56 mile Marathon at 7 min/mile just 3 years later
- The importance of running negative splits in your racing
- A key difference between how elite Kenyan runners approach their training compared to the rest of us that you can follow
- Why everyday runners can benefit tremendously from a running coach
- What is critical to run the fastest pace you are capable of
- What makes a great runner
A discussion on his research into The Central Governor Model:
- How your brain determines before you race how you will finish
- Warning signs that you are going out too fast in a race
- How much you really have left in the tank when your brain says stop running
- Ways to expand the time until your brain signals to stop
- How the sensation of fatigue is just a sensation and not your true physical state
Nutrition for runners and why he has changed his long held position on the importance of carbohydrates in running:
- How to determine if a high carbohydrate diet is safe for you
- Why the best diet for running might not be optimal for your overall health
- The case for a high fat, low carbohydrate diet
- Which class of runners might benefit from reducing carbohydrate intake
- Tim’s views on Matt Fitzgerald’s advice on nutrition for runners
- How a high carbohydrate diet impacts your performance as you age
The problem of overhydration by runners in the marathon:
- How to avoid becoming overhydrated
- His thoughts on proper hydration
- The myths of dehydration causing issues
- The influence of the sports drink companies to push hydration products
In all, an hour with one of the leading and status quo challenging minds in endurance sports of our time. And of course, Tim telling you in his own words to get out and crush it!
Tim believes that if you train hard enough and want something bad enough you can achieve it.
I share strategies for acclimating to warm weather running after a cold spring, or anytime you might go from a cold running environment to a warmer one than you are accustomed to.
Links Mentioned in the Show
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance
Eating Academy – Peter Attia’s blog on eating
The Lore of Running - Tim’s flagship book on running
Waterlogged - Tim’s latest book on overhydration in endurance sports