Dr. Phil Maffetone & Dr. Mark Cucuzzella: Be Your Own Health Advocate (At Any Age), Minimalist Marathoning, and More on MAF vs. Race Pace

By July 15, 2017 July 23rd, 2017 Podcasts

On this show we dive into a fully holistic and integrative chat about what it really takes to be your best self with health and performance!

  • Mark Cucuzella shares his incredible journey that’s led him to overcome injury and run 2:24 marathons, and at age 49 he’s still running sub-2:50 making him one of the best master’s marathoner alive.
  • How MAF training helped Mark overcome years of overtraining, and still allowed him to have major success in the marathon.
  • How and why Mark switched from a high-carb diet to a low-carb diet five years ago, while still training, leading to better management of his insulin resistance, health and more positives.
  • Mark and Phil discuss MAF Method principles, progression with MAF, and more.
  • The very important role of a healthy diet in making progress with the MAF Method. However, Mark still got results with MAF on a high-carb “unhealthy” diet; why?
    Comparisons with Lydiard-style training
  • On health markers like HbA1C – Mark says normal and healthy would be 4.5-5.0%, while pre-diabetic is 5.7%-5.9% and diabetic is 6.0%
  • Mark is a doctor who takes a different approach to health than what we see in Western medicine–because we can see more clearly that Western medicine is failing us as it relates to chronic disease, etc.
  • Instead of dissing high cholesterol look to the ratio of triglycerides and HDL.
  • Healing without drugs, and instead: Food as medicine.
  • Mark has to manage insulin resistance and poor glucose tolerance (in his genetics), and how he does this effectively.
  • “A Beautiful Medicine”
  • On taking charge of y our health and well-being and problems with mainstream medicine
  • Running Boston in Vibrams, and the Harvard research that’s being done by Irene DavisLoading rates: lower loading rates equated with less injury issues.
  • Discussing minimalist vs maximalist shoes and injury.
  • Shoes don’t cause injury, the dysfunction does.

Special thanks
Endurance Planet


  • fazal ahmad says:

    very Helpful post, many things are clear now.

  • Dana says:

    I would love to listen to the podcast, but clicking on this link only gets me to this page with the comments and what looks like an abstract of the podcast?

  • Rachel says:

    This is so inspiring. I would like to see the Doctor and talk to him about health.

  • Louw van Riet says:

    As a long distance kayak racer of over 50km or 5hrs at a time, we must take supplements from a 2 litre bottle through a pipe to the mouth. The normal sports drinks used to be taken but the type of carbs will reduce the fat burning as a source of energy. The normal race would be at between 160 to 180 heartbeats/s at a pace of 5m per km spending on the flow of the water in the river. In the past we took water or water and coke mixed 50/50. Later we raced on pure commercial supplement carbs. I have now prepared for 4 day kayak race of 240km through the MAF method and have determined my best pace at between 160 and 180 hps. As the body cannot store enough energy for of 5 hrs what slow release supplement is covered in the term ‘fat’. One cannot really put the paddle down to eat and must use the suction pipe. Drinking olive oil sounds unrealistic.

    • Louw:

      The body has enough energy stored for hundreds of hours of exercise in body fat. For reference, an hour of fast running uses around 800 calories, and an ultramarathoner with 5% of body fat might have 110,000 fat calories stored.

      That aside, you don’t need to ingest much fat during long races—only enough to help digestion. This is because once the aerobic system is going at full throttle (30-45 minutes into exercise), any subsequent sugar intake just helps regulate your blood sugar, rather than becoming the primary fuel for your muscles. So glucose is just fine.

      I don’t know if anyone has experimented with high-fat, easily digestible fluids, but I’ll keep my eyes open.

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