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Tawnee Prazak embraces the MAF Method on her popular podcast show, and also uses it to balance fitness and health, for herself and coaching clients

Tawnee Prazak is well-known in endurance sports circles as a coach and host of Endurance Planet podcast. But her journey to health came only after training and a super busy lifestyle had left her drained.

With a master’s degree in exercise physiology and strength and conditioning, and numerous certifications as well, today Tawnee uses the MAF Method in her own training program as well as with her coaching clients. She also often mentions the program on Endurance Planet and frequently includes Dr. Phil Maffetone as a guest on the show.

“I have been an athlete my whole life starting with recreational exercise and got into endurance sports in 2006,” Tawnee says. “Right away triathlon became my life. I wanted to be part of this sport for the rest of my life, and for the first time it felt like something that was just me and I was in control of everything.”

For the next six years, Tawnee says she raced dozens and dozens of races. She went back to school to get her master’s degree, and she started a business.

During this time she was a top-ranked amateur triathlete with more than 50 podium and top-10 race finishes to her name. She competed in dozens of endurance races, including 13 half-Ironmans, short-course triathlons, full Ironmans, cycling time trials, ultra mountain bike races, road and trail running races, ultra swim events, outrigger and SUP competitions, and other events.

Initially, she found really great success with this high-energy lifestyle.

“I had really good results and was a high-stress person. I think the stress was sort of what kept me going,” she says.

But then the strain began to take its toll. As it started to catch up with her, Tawnee would experience epic performance crashes in both training and athletic competition, and notice that her health was failing.

“I reached the point where I realized I wasn’t healthy,” she says, noting her menstrual cycle has also ceased.

“I thought, I want to have kids some day. I’ve got to fix this — I don’t want to continue down this avenue, and need to take some time to figure out the health side of things.”

After a year of declining performances in 2013, her doctor told her she needed to put on the brakes and recover. The writing was on the wall.

Then she met Phil.

“When he and I finally met, I was already at this point of embracing the road to finding health. Phil and I hit it off and I knew right away that it was going to be a long-lasting connection.”

She invited him on Endurance Planet, and afterward he said, “I could tell you are stressed out when you were talking today.”

And thus began Tawnee’s road to recovery.

“Spending time with him, talking with him doing podcasts, it started to make sense,” she says. “I started to embrace the concept.It finally started to click and to make sense how it all integrated.”

It wasn’t long until Tawnee’s health improved. In 2014 she got her period back and started to see improvement in health results. In 2015 she decided to test it and through proper heart-rate monitoring and using the MAF Test she was able to qualify for the Boston Marathon and then finish it in the same year.

“You can fix yourself the right way,” she says.

Tawnee now uses the MAF Method with her coaching clients, and discusses it on her podcast. In addition, as MAF moves towards developing a coaching program she will play a central role in developing a certification program for the organization.

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Jill says:

    Love Endurance Planet, I’m only a beginner, midlife crisis runner but I love listening to Tawnee’s podcasts, it’s my go to for entertainment and education. Started following MAF then found EP through this website. EP has helped a lot, expanding my knowledge and motivating me.

  • Dan Montplaisir says:

    Tawnee is a talented broadcaster and communicator that is concerned primarily with your overall health and helping her listeners find their own path to what healthy living means to them. Endurance Planet brings together the best collection of experts and is willing to try new things to keep it interesting. I feel like Tawnee, Lucho, Phil and Ben are my own private coaches (part of the family) that go along with me on my long runs and bike rides to offer sage advice. Thanks for the chance to learn and test the information with my own training/eating everyday.

  • Kurt says:

    I’ve noticed the change in Tawnee just through her podcast over the years. I started listening regularly to EP because of her interviews with Dr. Maffetone. Great podcast Tawnee! I had been a steady runner for 40 years but was starting to not enjoy it as much. After listening to Dr. Maffetone on podcast, reading many articles on this website and wading through his Big Books, I’ve found I am back to enjoying my exercise and positive effects on my health. I’m so glad I took his advice and suggest his methods to many people. Thank you Dr. Maffetone and Tawnee!

  • George says:

    I am a physician and avid runner of 35 years and counting. For the past couple years, I found that every time I started adding miles to train for a marathon I would tear a hamstring or have some other sort of disabling injury. I could not figure out why this was happening after decades of largely injury-free daily exercise.

    Then I read Chris McDougall’s “Natural Born Heroes” last summer and encountered the MAF Method. It’s changed my life. Once I added a HR monitor to my regimen I discovered the problem: I was training much too hard. The same training pace that served me well in my 30s and 40s resulted in a HR way above MAF for a fiftysomething like me.

    Slowing down and cutting back on carbs has made all the difference. I’m back to running 12 or 13 miles on the weekend and feeling as if I could repeat the circuit–a big change from a year ago.

  • Danny Aaron says:

    Love endurance planet. Especially when they have you on Phil. Both you and Tawnee have been a great inspiration for my midlife crisis over the past couple of years and for years to come I am sure.

  • Tim Castle says:

    I am very interested in the coaching program and certification, please keep me informed at my email below. Thanks.

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