MAHR and Leadville 100

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

The Leadville 100 trail run is coming up in about 3 weeks (August 22) – so I’ve spent the last month training exclusively at my maximal aerobic heart rate (MAHR) to improve my fat-burning engine. After Leadville, I’ll need to make a quick change in training back to more high-intensity lactate threshold work so I can defend my title as “World’s Fittest CEO” a month later (Sept 18-20).

Why MAHR? Dr. Phil Maffetone does a good job of explaining how to find your MAHR and why it’s a good idea to train in this zone. Training at your MAHR takes patience – many endurance athletes simply can’t do it because they feel like they need to be “going harder” so they feel like they got a “good workout” at the end of their session. Training at MAHR teaches your body how to burn fat more efficiently, increases levels of fat-burning enzymes, and generally gets your body ready to “go steady” for a long time (like the 100 miles of trails across Leadville). Contrary to popular belief, however, training in this “fat-burning zone” is NOT the best way for the average person to shed body fat or to lose weight in general (more on that topic in a future blog).

My biggest challenge during this last month of MAHR training has been to keep my heart rate below 140 beats per minute – but it’s been tough because I’ve also been in startup phase for my new nutrition company, EQQIL. I generally run with a small voice recorder so I can keep track of to-do items and product ideas that come to me in my “brainstorming” workouts. I’ve been finding myself getting so excited about the new company and our new approach to helping people achieve their best selves – that I keep running faster than my MAHR should allow (thanks goodness for my HR monitor to alert me to dial it back).

Today, Aug 3, is the first time that the entire EQQIL is getting together – and we plan to have our first products and programs introduced to the market in Sept – so please stay tuned for more information.

Thanks for reading,



Shawn M. Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

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The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic

The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House)

The Cortisol Connection Diet – The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House)

Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House)

Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books)

The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012)

The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens)

A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press)

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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