How to Start a New Habit

sunday with sherpaherb Oct 28, 2018

Last week I had a dentist appointment for a cleaning and exam. Every time I go, when they are done, they give me a new toothbrush and some floss.

Now we all know that flossing removes plaque and prevents gum disease. Which is great except I normally don't floss, so I have quite a supply in my cabinet.

But while I was driving home, I decided I needed to start flossing regularly, a new habit.

I've learned a couple of tricks when it comes to new habits. 

One, you need a trigger to attach it to, and two, start very small.

So for my trigger, I decided that when I grab the tube of tooth paste, I would also grab the floss, so both would end up in front of me on the counter.

Next, I would start with only flossing one tooth!

Now that seems pretty silly, but the idea is to make the new habit so easy, that there isn't a barrier to completing it. The goal is to make it automatic, so you don't think about it anymore.

As I progress, I can add more teeth or just dive in and do...

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The Objective Approach to Training

sunday with sherpaherb Oct 21, 2018

Last Sunday, I was talking about world champion marathoner Eluid Kipchoge and how his training regime actually follows MAF principals. He runs about a hundred miles a week at a comfortable pace(for him).

If you got all excited about that and wanted to adopt the same training plan for your next marathon, it would be a huge mistake.

The difference is following the traditional approach to training rather than an objective approach.

Traditionally, training plans are based on mileage and pace, which means the effort can be much greater for you overall than an elite athlete. 

In the case of Eluid, the total amount of time running his 100 miles per week at 6 min/mile is 10 hours. If you tried to run 100 miles a week at 12 min/mile, you would be training 20 hours a week! 

This is an extreme example but it shows why many of us end up over training and getting injured following traditional training plans based on mileage.

The objective approach is based on your...

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The World Champion and MAF

sunday with sherpaherb Oct 14, 2018

Hope you had a great week last week.

I recently listened to Bran Kearns' Primal Endurance podcast about the training routine of marathon world champion Eluid Kipchoge. 

Like most elite marathoners, Eluid puts in the miles, 100 -130 miles a week. But unlike many competitive marathoners and probably a lot of us, he does most of his training at a relatively easy pace.

It's estimated that most of his weekly runs are at 10 to 20 beats below his MAF heart rate. He trains 1:30 per mile below his marathon pace which equates for us around 2 - 3 minutes below our marathon pace. And his intensity workouts are short with plenty of recovery. 

So he doesn't beat himself up training to compete at the highest level.

He knows, and his competitors know, that when he shows up on the starting line, he has a lot more in his tank than the others. Heck, he doesn't even taper for his races!

He is proof that no pain, no gain is not true, even at the highest level.

"When I run, I feel good, my mind...

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Mr. Pipeline

sunday with sherpaherb Oct 07, 2018

This week we’re enjoying some vacation time in Hawaii. We like to hangout in Kihei in Maui with some good friends to get some surfing in and enjoy the island life. 

On the flight over, l checked out the Hawaii Airline magazine and an interesting article about the migration of Hawaiians to Bend Oregon, another one of our favorite hangouts.

The article featured famous surfer, Gerry Lopez  “Mr. Pipeline”, who in the 1990’s went to Bend to ski Mt. Bachelor and ended up staying.

He embraced snow boarding and now host’s the Big Wave Challenge, an annual event each spring for snow boarders only up at the mountain.

I was struck by his quote in the article:

“Where everything in the ocean is constantly moving, on the mountain is where you find stillness “

Earlier this week, after being churned in some waves like in a washer machine while surfing.  I remembered this quote, and it brought me back to earth with the realization at how...

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Schedule Some Down Time

sunday with sherpaherb Sep 30, 2018

A good training plan should always have a chunk of down time built in. 

Not only as a time for complete rest and recovery, but also as an opportunity to do something other than running for a bit.

For me, my racing season is over in September so I usually take the month of October off. Not totally from running, but scaled way back.

This month I’m spending more time playing pickleball and going on a surfing trip for a week.

Pickleball is great as a change up from running with all the explosive, lateral movements you don’t normally experience from running.

Surfing is the ultimate balance sport with some upper body work from all the paddling.

After a month’s “rest”, I’m ready to get back to run training which is normally a 3 month base building of easy MAF paced runs.

So I recommend you incorporate a good month of rest and recovery every year and take that opportunity to try something different.

Be a multi-dimensional athlete, it will pay...

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My Morning Coffee Routine

sunday with sherpaherb Sep 23, 2018

This is the first in a series of thoughts I'll bring each Sunday morning.

I thought the best place to start was how I start every morning... that is my morning coffee routine.

Now there are a lot of benefits to drinking a cup of coffee, including improving cognitive function, (which is important for us older folks!) and it actually can improve performance on your runs.

Coffee is also a great source of antioxidants, ranking just behind most berries.

But I think the major benefit is just the taste and the great feeling it gives me to start my morning. 

So here is my morning coffee routine, when I first get up, I chug a glass of water first, then a cup of coffee. Now coffee doesn't really dehydrate you, but I like to start hydrating first thing so I don't forget.

I usually drink my coffee black. since I often fast in the morning. Adding cream, butter or sugar would break my fast. I've tried Bullet Proof coffee, adding butter and MCT oil to get a healthy fat...

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5 Common Challenges with Mafffetone Method Training

aerobic training Feb 19, 2018

Survey Results from 137 Maffetone Method Training Participants


Welcome to the Maffetone Method training. It's surprising how such a
simple concept can be so challenging to follow. There are thousands of
success stories, but not everyone takes the same path.

Rather than writing about my personal challenges with the method, I
decided to survey runners doing Maffetone Training and find out what
their real challenges they were facing. The following is a compilation of
the survey and my recommendations to common challenges.

Composition of participants

Number of runners at each weekly mileage

Number of runners at each weekly min/mile

Most common words


Survey Results

From the survey, I found that by far, over 80%, were challenged by
having to run slow and still having the patience to stick with the
program. Older runners felt their calculated heart rate was just too low.

About 20% were concerned about being socially isolated by not being
able to run with friends and lastly, about...

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Know Your Why and Run Forever!

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2017

Why do you run? To stay fit, lose weight, or for the competition? Those are all good reasons to run, but if you are struggling, not running faster, not losing weight, or training consistently, then you need to get your head straight. Otherwise, you will continue to drift until you revert to being a jogger or worse yet, quitting running altogether.

I have witnessed this first hand, as I've watched former competitors slow, and eventually quit racing as they get older.

So how do you stop this downward spiral?

You need to find your why. You see, your reason for running may not be enough to:

Get you out the door on a cold, dark, rainy day.
Get you out to the track or weight room.
Get you to eat healthy.
Challenge you to run further and longer than ever before.
So instead of having a reason to run, you need to find your why, the core belief to drive you beyond your limits to get what you desire and deserve.

I Found My Why
I found my why about a couple of years ago when I helped my father move...

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Does MAF Training really make Runners Over 50 Faster?

aerobic training Dec 17, 2017

I get asked that question all the time. Is it really possible for runners over 50 to run faster with MAF training?

Well, I just received an email from Dr Phil Maffatone with the article "The Science of Success". In the article, he shares the story of 52 year old Biophysicist Martin Gruebele. Martin won the masters division of Cycling's 2014 Race Across America and also a couple of master wins at 50 mile ultra runs all as a result of MAF Training. According to the article, his improvement was impressive:

Over a seven-month period, Martin improved his MAF Test from about 9:10 to 6:55, while his resting heart rate fell from about 60 beats per minute to 40.

One thing particularly striking was the scientist had been tracking data on his workouts for years. Now with the new MAF numbers pouring in, he was able to scientifically plot the improvements in his performance. Plus, he was now injury-free.

<Read More...>
Now your results may vary, but for me, at the age of 63, I improved...

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The #1 Hidden Secret to Run Faster over 50

aerobic training Dec 17, 2017

How hidden stress is holding you back and what you can do about it!

Did you know you can still run faster over 50?

Imagine as a 50 or 60 year old you can still charge up the steeps and fly down the down hills without pain!

I certainly didn’t feel that way when I turned 50. You see, my midlife crisis then was a heart attack and triple bypass surgery! But I recovered from that and went on to run over 50 ultra marathons in the next 10 years. But those 10 years took their toll. I was constantly stiff, sore and plagued with injuries.

My real crisis was when I turned 60. Suddenly I was facing getting old and slow. Some of my friends were already quitting racing and running altogether. They were just feeling too old and beat up to carry on. But I didn’t want to stop. “There’s got to be a way to keep doing this”

So I dedicated the next two years implementing the latest in training techniques for running, building strength and fueling my body. As a result, I...

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