Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life

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Articles, Lifestyle

Endurance athletes are unhealthy.

I'm just sayin'.

Sure, on the outside we may look like pristine, spandex-clad Greek gods and goddesses out dominating Ironman triathlons, Crossfit games and ultra-runs, but on the inside, we deal with depleted hormones, overstressed hearts and broken guts from our physically demanding lifestyle.

We tear-up, trash and tank our bodies for the sake of enhancing endurance, while sacrificing our health and life.

I first began to realize how damaging endurance exercise can be when at a 2012 event called the “Ancestral Health Symposium“, I sat in on a lecture by Dr. James O’Keefe, a cardiologist from the Mid America Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Hospital. Dr. O' Keefe reported on findings that exercise can be harmful, especially when performed as exhausting long cardio efforts and racing in extreme endurance events such as an Ironman triathlon.

During his talk, he reviewed many studies of physically active people, including those who trained for and raced in endurance events, such as marathons, triathlons, ultramarathons or long cycling events. No surprises here – the people who exercised regularly experienced significant benefits, including the ability to live seven years longer than those who were not physically active.

But when the data of extreme endurance athletes was isolated, it was found that the health effects of regular physical activity became less pronounced, and were instead replaced by significant heart damage.

Specifically, completion of an event such as an Ironman triathlon (or even a relatively shorter marathon) was shown to cause structural heart changes and elevations of “cardiac inflammatory biomarkers”. You can think of these markers as a pretty dang good indication that your heart has caught fire.

And most of these health issues return to normal within one week after completing a tough endurance workout or race. But for an individual who is frequently competing in such events (as most triathletes, runners and endurance athletes do), the result can be days, months and years of repetitive cardiac injury. This can lead to development of serious heart issues, such as atrial fibrosis (thickening and scarring of the heart's connective tissue), interventricular septum (holes in the heart), increased susceptibility to atrial and ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and calcium build-up in the arteries (which increases risk of plaque formation and a subsequent heart attack).

For example, distance-running legend Micah True – better known for his role as Caballo Blanco in the book “Born To Run” – died while on a trail run from cardiomyopathy due to an enlarged heart. True was just one example of seasoned endurance athletes who have experienced sudden cardiac events during exercise. Marathoner Ryan Shay and Ironman triathlete Steve Larsen are others, and most recently professional Ironman triathlete Torbjorn Sindalle was forced into unexpected retirement due to premature wearing of his bicuspid valve.

Want more examples?

Eddy Merckx – named “the greatest cyclist of all time”: Merckx had a non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a genetic condition in which the heart muscle thickens abnormally, causing shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, lightheadedness, fatigue, and fainting. This condition is actually the leading cause of sudden death in young athletes.

Hamish Carter – 2004 Olympian Champion in Triathlon: Atrial fibrillation due to heart scarring.

Emma Carney – Australian former professional triathlete and two time World Triathlon Champion: cardiac arrest in 2004, diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia (electrical abnormality in heart) and had to have a pacemaker fitted for life.

Sam Warriner – professional female triathlete: Ventricular tachycardia, treated with a special technique called electrical ablation therapy, used to destroy small areas in the heart that are causing trouble.

Greg Welch – multiple triathlon world champion: Ventricular tachycardia, with a need for nine open-heart surgeries from 2001 until 2003.

Hayden Roulston – Tour de France professional cyclist: diagnosed with potentially lethal heart arrhythmia.

Norman Stadler – Two time Ironman World Champion: Heart valve failure and aortic aneursym (in which the main artery from the heart balloons and “explodes”).

Based on the data from O’ Keefe, it appears that the cardiac remodeling induced by excessive exercise can lead to heart rhythm abnormalities, and in extreme endurance sports, this has been associated with as much as a 5-fold increase in the prevalence of serious heart problems – especially when the cardiac damage is repeated year-after-year as a habitual occurrence.

In a later 2013 article published in British Medical Association Journal, O'Keefe proclaimed:

“Evidence is accumulating to indicate that exercise routines that are best for conferring Cardiovascular (CV) health and longevity are not identical to the fitness regimens that are best for developing maximal endurance and peak CV fitness. The potential for CV damage secondary to extreme endurance exercise appears to increase in middle age and beyond. Thus, it would seem particularly important to avoid chronic excessive exercise doses after age 45 or 50 years.”

In that study, “Cardiac Overuse Injury” was the term used to describe the heart issues, which basically consist of fibrosis and scarring of the myocardium (heart muscle), disruptions of the heart's electrical rhythms, and accelerated coronary atherosclerosis (a constellation of abnormalities that termed by medical scientists as a “Pheidippides cardiomyopathy”).

For those of us wanting to be around to see our grandkids, this is important information to consider.

In all fairness, any kind of exercise can damage your heart if you overdo it, and there are many good refutations of O ‘Keefe's findings, including the excellent series “Can Cardio Cause Heart Disease” on

But regardless of how serious we should take the suggestions that endurance exercise may be bad for your heart, one conclusion you can draw from these studies is that endurance exercise, especially extreme or ultra-endurance exercise such as marathons or Ironman, does not seem to have all the cardio-protective effects that we might expect, especially if you already have pre-existing heart issues.

But the damage from endurance training can go beyond your heart.

For example, in my job as a wellness consultant and triathlon coach, I spend lots of time looking at biomarkers of very physically active people, talking to endurance athletes on phone and Skype, and conversing with athletes from my teams, clubs and gyms, and typical frustrating problems I see or hear repeatedly include:

-Low testosterone (especially in men), combined with low drive, frustration about bedroom “difficulties”, constant tiredness during the day, and lack of motivation, competitiveness and drive.

-Low luteinizing hormone and progesterone (especially in women), combined with brain fog, appetite cravings (especially at night) and a seeming inability to shed fat despite lots of training.

-Embarrassing bloating and gas after meals, despite eating seemingly healthy foods, and a constant feeling that something just “doesn't see right” with digestive function, bathroom trips, and overall gut health.

-Trouble getting to sleep at night, or waking up multiple times during the night, often despite being tired during the day at the office or driving around in the car.

-Constantly sore joints, nagging injuries that won't go away, missing workouts from getting sick or getting annoying sniffles all the time, and occasional strange ghost symptoms, like random headaches, heart flutters, or tingling and numbness.

Strangely, many of this stuff is accepted as normal or even worse, kept hidden because we're embarrassed about having these health issues despite appearing to be fit and healthy on the outside.

But when it comes to enhancing your body and building endurance, there's a better way to do things…and while I've certainly talked about underground methods you can use to avoid chronic-cardio self destruction and get extremely fit with the minimal effective dose of training, there are a ton of nitty-gritty details that simply get left out of endurance training and nutrition manuals.

And it's time things changed, because let's face it:

Being the best you can be is difficult when you’re held back by frustrating issues such as brain fog, body fat, an irritated gut, depleted hormones or constantly sore joints, so most of us endurance athletes live our lives at just a fraction of our peak capacity, completely powerless to tap into our full potential or achieve our goals as quickly as possible.


So I am writing a book.

And this is not just any book.

See, traditionally I've written books that are based on something called the long tail. What do I mean by that?

While you can really get the gist of the long tail by reading Chris Anderson's book “The Long Tail“, the basic idea is this:

In all my previous health, fitness, endurance and nutrition books I've focused with laser-like specificity on really niche topics, such as getting rid of pain on the outside of your knee or lifting weights for triathlon. Those would be considered “long tail” solutions.

But what I've always wanted to create for you is a more comprehensive atlas that teaches you everything you need to know to how to dominate your endurance performance without destroying your body – including exact training protocols, nutrition blueprints, supplementation details, detoxing instructions, blood testing walk-throughs, lifestyle, travel and time management, self-quantification knowledge, anti-aging strategies, and more.

Rather than beating the body up through training, this book will teach you how smart healthy living combined with the informed application of exercise and nutrition science can allow for enhanced performance with minimal training time and maximum longevity –

In other words, whether you're a triathlete, marathoner, Crossfitter, swimmer, a cyclist, a runner, or an ultra-runner, this will be the last book on endurance, health and life you will ever need.

You don't need to get scared away from endurance sports. You just need to train for endurance the right way. I'll admit that most extreme athletes, Crossfitters, avid runners, swimmers, cyclists and triathletes maybe already realize that they are not necessarily engaging in their sports solely because of perceived health benefits.

Let's face it: most folks do not scale mountain peaks, skydive out of airplanes, or race motorcycles and cars at high speeds around a track for any perceived health benefits. They do it because they find it to be exhilarating, or love the competition, or want an “escape”, a sense of accomplishment, or an adrenaline high.

However, if you're also concerned about maximizing your longevity and health, you have to be smart about things. It's not that you can't perform extreme exercise. But you definitely need to wear your helmet, so to speak. Or significantly back off your physical activity, which just isn't a fun or exciting option for many of us, right?


What's going to be in the book?

As you're going to find out later in this post, in which I ask you for your feedback, the book won't necessarily be limited to the following, but this is the basic layout.

Part One: Introduction/Overview

-Expound on what you've just read about why this book is needed, and the importance of proper balance between performance, health and life…

-My personal story of being a typical unhealthy athlete eating whole wheat bread and protein shakes to learning how to do things the right way…

-An example of two triathletes, contrasting lifestyle, training and nutrition methods, and future pacing to paint a picture of what each triathlete looks like as they age in terms of performance, health, career, happiness, etc. (this book is not just for triathletes, but this will be a good example)…

-Lay down foundation of understanding for why triathletes need so much more than just “training” if they're serious about health, longevity, optimizing performance, time, career/money, sex, mental power, etc…

Part Two: Training

-Detail the performance parameters that define success, specifically endurance, strength, speed, power, balance and mobility (and when to stretch), including an explanation of why most endurance athletes are lazy, and find it easier to do a 2 hour run than 30 minutes of intense intervals or a focus on any of the important brain-bending parameters that go above and beyond just “pointing and going”…

-Teach how to optimize those parameters using proper training protocols, outlining the two primary methods that work: polarised training/Maffetone method/80% aerobic + 20% intensity approach OR HIIT training using a more ancestral health method…but not both combined…

-Intrigue, enchant, amaze and solve limited time problems with stuff that flies “below the radar”, such as minimalist training, electrostimulation, isometrics, super-slow training, overspeed, cold thermogenesis, etc…

-Explain the effects of endurance training on cardiac markers, both good and bad – and teach about how endurance exercise could technically be bad for your heart if you don't train properly…

-Considerations for the aging athlete…

Part Three: Recovery

-Highlight importance of when training adaptations actually occur (during the rest and recovery period) and show how to recover with lightning speed, including every beginner-to-advanced method such as ice, cold laser, PEMF, compression, electrostim, grounding, earthing, cold-hot contrast, ultrasound, etc…

-Explain overtraining and exactly how to identify it, avoid it, and bounce back from it as quickly as possible, including a focus on self quantification methods such as heart rate variability and pulse oximetry, and biomarker testing for hormones, vitamins, minerals, etc…

-Teach beginner-to-advanced stress relief techniques, relaxation and sleep techniques for both home, as well as for traveling – including managing late nights, loss of sleep, napping, jetlag, etc.

-Teach advanced sleep-hacking methods using artificial light mitigation, binaural beats, etc…

Part Four: Diet

-Show how to fuel the body with thousands of calories necessary for endurance performance without destroying body…

-Outline BOTH vegan and omnivore approaches to success, including some notes on biophotonic energy creation from diet…

-Show how to hit the reboot button, detox and fix your gut, and discuss optimization of fat loss and fasting methods when necessary…

-Develop a big training day and race day fueling scenario based on science, not branding, and also include eating guidelines for off-season, base training, building training, taper and event/race weeks …

-Outline the basic science behind eating right, choosing your groceries wisely, properly interpreting nutrition labels, and the basics of healthy food prep in minimal time…

-Considerations for the aging athlete…

Part Five: Supplements

-Why supplementation may sometimes be necessary and common nutrient, vitamin and mineral deficiencies…

-How to test and track blood, urine and saliva and supplement with a “sniper rifle rather than a shotgun”, and choose which labs/doctors/services to use for this type of testing…

-How to navigate confusing world of dietary supplementation…

-When to time your supplement intake…

-What to use for basic lifestyle vs. training vs. racing…

Part Six: Lifestyle

-Introduce the concept of environmental triggers that can decrease performance and health, including EMF exposure, pollutants, toxins, molds, water, etc….

-Show how to live a clean life and mitigate the damage, including how to detox your home, office and workout environment, limit dirty electricity, use proper water filtration methods, personal care and household cleaning products, etc…

-Show how to stay healthy while traveling, focusing on the things that weren't covered in sleep/travel/jet lag section of Part Three…

-Expound on concept of ancestral health, staying physically active throughout day rather than sedentary with exercise “micro-doses”

-How to combine commuting and training, specifically a training scenario for those who may be able to bike or run to work…

-Managing training with kids and family obligations…

-Lifestyle hacks that can free up lots of time, including food prep methods, combining workouts, VA's, e-mail filters, to-do buckets, and everything that I personally do to free up as much time as possible during the day…

Part Seven: Mental

-The importance of a clear mind for enhancing physical function, and how this can form one stark difference between a busy age-grouper athlete vs. a pro who may live to train…

-Show how to enhance focus, get into the alpha brain wave zone, go into the pain cave, and enhance mental productivity.

-Show how to de-stress using cohesion methods, heart rate variability, apps, breath methods, etc…

-How to balance neurotransmitters to enhance mood and motivation

-How to increase IQ and focus using specific mental activities, brain games, and apps…

-Supplements, foods and smart-drugs for maximizing mental function and motivation…

Part Eight: Putting It All Together

-Putting it all together with examples, how-tos, a training calendar, etc. with a walk through “day in the life” (or “week in the life”) of doing it the right way…

-Links to online training plans, logs and additional resources…

-Sample 7 day block of training that includes all aspects of training, recovery, nutrition, meals, hacks, fasting, etc…

-Sample 4 week block that includes rest/recovery/detox weeks…

-Sample meal plan with the best recipes you need for simplifying everything…

-Instructions for accessing TrainingPeaks version of sample Sprint, Olympic, Half and Full Ironman plans based on book concepts, with additional plans eventually available for Crossfitters, swimmers, cyclists, runners, etc.

-Instructions for accessing TrainingPeaks compatible version of meal plan based on book concepts…


So do you want to join me on this journey?

If so, I need your help. There are three ways you can support me in this endeavor:

1) I want your permission to release rough draft chapters of this book at as I write it, even if that means that every Saturday you gotta get a mega-post from me.

2) I need you to hold me accountable, call me out, and get in my face via Twitter or Facebook if I ever miss a weekly chapter, because this book is scheduled to launch during Ironman Hawaii, which means I must finish it by September.

3) I need you to comment on any of the book posts (including this one) if you feel I'm missing crucial information, leaving something important out, or saying something that's hard to understand.


If so, let's do it. Let me know in the comments section below if you're in (and yes, I will be acknowledging my top contributors, critics and commentators in the final version of the book!).

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

257 thoughts on “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life

  1. Dwight Tiedeman says:

    Hi I’m 66 years old but I lived an oilfield and cowboy rough kind of life and at 57 I slammed my rum and coke on a bar table in Thailand and said to my friends that’s it tomorrow I change my life no more drinking and partying with you fools I’m starting the gym tomorrow going to dial in my diet and get healthy again. I contacted Jim a friend of my who has been a bodybuilder for 25 years looking for advice. He laughed at me too mf said ya right old man and he gave me a work out regime to follow but thought it best at my age and overweight that I contact a man who’s a legend in the body building world and trained many including 5 times Mr Universe Ronnie Coleman. Ron Rowland was his name and the slingshot diet was his design! I thought I had two great guys in my corner and my journey began but not till after Ron R asked me my age and he told me my body was like a rusted out car in a farmer’s field and if I hoped to reach my goals I would need steroids, and a lot more bodybuilding drugs to enhance my body. It did I lost my fat body 23% body fat beer gut and all . I weighed 185 fat pounds at the start one year later I was 203 lbs and 12% body fat I felt great mostly because my buddies had to take my reticule of I told you guys I had enough and I needed to get in shape for the rest of my life. People where amazed at what I could lift and the power of someone now 58. At 60 I achieved what I wanted without damaging my body to much from the drugs I was cautious then one day at the gym leg day I was doing power squats and on my third rep I heard and felt what sounded like a gun shot and hit the floor weights and all. An ambulance came and picked me up and I headed for a neurologist for examination. I had exploded L2-3 lumbar to pieces so surgery number 1. 6 months later L4-5 needed surgery so back to Thailand when I was able an ambulance from BNH picked me up at the airport gave me a shot of Fentanyl and I was on the table getting spinal fusion number 2, then S1 and L1 now my whole spine is fused and my life drastically changed. I joined Palapon fitness Center and they improved my mobility immensely and I golf again but I think I’m jumping on board with you guys and going to give it my best shot I’ll 66 now drastically back out of shape and need something common sense to follow! After reading a paragraph you wrote that it’s about time things change for the better and your explanation sold me. Old way thinking must make room for improvement but as you know there are strong powers against doing things right and changing to a more scientific and common sense approach. So after writing a book on here I rest my case and I too am in. Thankyou for your guidance.

  2. Matthew Loranger says:

    I’m in!

  3. Brandi McKenna says:

    Yes yes yes! Great idea and it’s going to be a book I will want to read and so will several of my family members! I share many of your articles and podcasts with my 13 year old son, as he loves learning about fitness, health, and training as well.

  4. Carlo says:

    Sounds awesome and I would love to be a part of this

  5. Ijeva Bambridge says:

    Looking forward to getting results!

    1. Sammy says:

      Keen to get on this!

      1. Jared says:

        Interested in this info!

  6. Alexei says:

    I need this in my life! This is exactly what I have been looking for! I’d love to practice some endurance sports in my 20s as a former swimmer but also do it in a way that doesn’t take years out of my lifetime! Would pre-ordering the book help you? If so, take my money now! September is almost here

  7. Christine says:

    I would love to be in, if it is still possible.

  8. nhlanhla Sithole says:

    Am in

  9. Michael says:

    Yep i am in

  10. Mark Bush says:

    In the 70’s. Joe Henderson, Editor of Runner’s World magazine, published “The 5% Solution.” Basically, you should race, or run hard, no more than 5% of your weekly miles (never more than 10%) without risking overstressing your body and risking injury. Less than 5%, or no interval training, and you won’t improve. More than 10% and you risk injury. I ran a 3:47:58 marathon after 6 months of running and 3:12:55 a year later. The only fast runs were racing 5 to 10% of my miles with the New Orleans Track Club.

    Even if you do interval training for 20% of your miles, time, whatever, you are actually doing no more than 10% of your time as high intensity because it is interval.

    Also do yoga and weights because strength and flexibility is good to be all around fit. Too much of one thing makes Jack a dull boy. Live long and prosper (I’m now 60 1/2). Oh! Avoid sugar!

  11. Kevin MacDonald says:

    59 year old endurance and strength athlete. Going to be the baby in my new 60+ division next year and will be podium hunting. Career leader In the fitness biz world, I want to participate. Count me in.

  12. Janet says:

    This is great – I’m in!

  13. Fred Wagner says:

    count me in

  14. Erdal Can says:

    What a great article!!

    Just wondering how bad crossfit is ?

    Crossfit is also an endurance sport but on a very high level.

  15. Bruno says:

    Great book, when can we get it?

    1. You can get it now –

  16. Rafael Cruet says:

    Im in late also. Is the book available?


  17. Jana Rugg says:

    I finished my first two HIMs at age 49 and my first full IM at age 50. I would love to learn how to keep doing this for the long haul!

  18. Sherry Minoletti, says:

    Finally a well rounded, comprehensive, readable resource encompassing ALL aspect of fitness, nutrition, and wellness!

    Can’t wait to dive in and read it!

  19. Stef Cornelissen says:

    Hi Ben, discovered your book when I was looking how to interpret HRV. Amazing stuff! Compliments. Although I am late definitely count me in. Will start reading the other chapters this weekend.

  20. Jerry says:

    198 th person in

  21. Alan says:

    I am late to join this but am in.

  22. Dougie says:

    Hey Ben,

    I read part of the beyond training book (I forget where I got the excerpt, might have come in one of your emails for free or something), and it was the bit on PVCs, thus how I got here (checking out several links).

    Having speed read through the comments here, I see you’ve clearly outlined this book is mostly focused on endurance training. I know you have a bodybuilding background, and work with heaps of different athletes……………any chance you could write a similar book on high intensity intermittent exercise (eg. footy) ?????

    I have a ton of questions for you, and everytime I go on this site and see the “ask ben a question” tab on the side, I’m so tempted to spend forever on it. But I assume you answer them via podcasts and I’m so far behind. Heard today’s ep on HRV with james heathers. Really cool that you’re mates with so many aussies!!

    1. Dougie says:

      Also, would like to hear your thoughts on HIIT (or similar training) vs LSD/endurance training for heart benefits, if we have to be specific, in general population (but I wouldn’t mind knowing about athletes as well).

      I have seen the ted talk by James O keefe btw, read the wall street journal, and a few other things and am still looking it up. Just want to hear your pure thoughts on it, based on your anecdotal experiences with yourself and training others, and based on the science.

      Jesus, I ask for a lot, dont I…….

      1. I have a hidden chapter about [email protected]. If you own the book you should be able to find that chapter and access it with a special username and password. It's all about heart issues, how to test your heart, etc.

    2. great feedback. You'll be interested in my podcast with Mark Sisson when it comes out on February 6, 2016.

  23. Joe F says:

    Still writing? I’m ready to read!

  24. hoyfoys says:

    Really good article – thank you. The one thing I find confusing is that, as someone who has cardiomyopathy, I've been told is worst for me is interval training, and that endurance is safer. Your artical makes it sound like I need to limit how far I take that endurance, and I thank you for this, but if you're advocating interval training over endurance could this not cause people worse problems, particularly if they have an unknown underlying heart condition? Thanks!

    1. BOTH can cause issues if overdone, but interval training if NOT overdone carries less risk of cardiomyopathy issues related to overtraining. Short and sweet, in and out, easy on the heart.

      1. Eric says:

        Sign me up Chief

  25. Susan Anderson says:

    I’m in

  26. Katygc says:

    Sounds great- thanks so much!

  27. cspratt2013 says:

    I'm in Ben.

  28. cspratt2013 says:

    Sounds good.

  29. Stephen Baker says:

    Count me in.

  30. Hi Ben! What’s the progress on your book? I have been trying to figure out how to push my cardiovascular edge and I’d love to read your perspective. I tend to hit my edge and ‘shut down’ which is a deep, habituated pattern that I want to change. When is your book available?

    Thank you!


    1. The book comes out in March but it will be available for pre-order staring in Oct at Ironman World Championships in Kona.

  31. Mike Morgan says:

    I am way late jumping on this train, but will be reading this book! I am doing my first 70.3 in 3 weeks and trying to balance my marriage, 50-60 hour a week job, social life and training. Looking forward to your insight!

  32. johnm says:

    Sign me up. Will it be different than Tri ripped?

  33. Rebecca says:

    Let’s do this!!! Please write it.

    (I type this as I’m falling asleep at my desk, totally drained, and trying to figure out how to muster up the energy to go run tonight)

  34. Andrea says:

    Yes! I’m totally in for it! Would love to get it.

  35. Jason Marinovich says:

    hahaha! talk about the ultimate act of accountability! love your work. book is looking great. keep it up. one more month to go. you can do it!

  36. Miguel Esparra says:

    Love the book idea!

  37. PSousa73 says:

    Greetings from Portugal! Only saw this post today (and just last week knew Ben Greenfield's work), count me in! Best regards

  38. Nick Jonsson says:

    I am in as well. Pls sign me up!

  39. Josh says:

    I’m so mad I just found this today! I’m a first yr med student and looking at your website everything is spot on… I’m racing IM Kansas 70.3 on Sunday… Any tips for me before then Since I haven’t had time to implement much of this?

    1. View my previous race reports at and in future check out consulting options at!

  40. Samantha whitfield says:

    Looking forward to it. My new bible beside the bed.

  41. Tsk, tsk, folks – I just released the latest chapter of my book a few days ago but very few of you responded. And very few of you "called me out" about missing a few weeks of writing. I NEED YOUR HELP! Keep me on task, and let me know if you're still reading, OK? ;) Ben

    Here's the latest chapter:…

  42. Bryan says:

    Would like to see it

  43. Kelcey says:

    Ben, the book sounds great. I hope you will give suggestions for those of us who do shorter distance events like olympic and even sprint distance tris as well as the longer races. Thx.

  44. Marcus Alexander says:

    All your best performance ideas in one reference will be marvelous. Sign me for the first copy hot off the press.

  45. Tom Thaller says:

    This is timley as my wife and I (at least one of whom is an aging athlete :) who will be greatful for your considerations) prepare for our first ever full Marathon. I'll be curious to read about your big picture take on endurance training especially as it relates to diet and nutrition.

  46. Simon says:

    yes im in thanks

  47. @armilegge says:

    Interesting project Ben, I look forward to seeing what you think.

  48. Daniel says:

    I have read each of your chapters thus far & I find them intriguing. I have finished 3 ironmans- first one in 2002- & my training over the years has evolved quite a bit. I no longer have interest in ironman- but still do shorter triathlons. My exercise now consists of the following: running, cycling, surfing, paddleboarding, yoga, walking my German Shepard, & weightlifting. I shifted to more HIIT style of training about 2 years ago- found definitive benefits there, but almost over did it following Crossfit Endurance. I can relate very well to what you have written so far & look forward to each chapter. As an aside, I turned 40 this year.

  49. Steve Kavalin says:

    All In, Great job

  50. I WILL buy this book!!

  51. KOSMom says:

    Can't wait for the finished product

  52. Teresa says:

    I'm in, send it my way please!

  53. Buck says:

    I'm a little late but definitely in!!!

  54. JayAy says:

    Sounds great. I'm in.

  55. drrafe says:


  56. George Grass says:

    yes to the book

  57. Gary says:

    Sounds great.

  58. Jason Dierking says:

    I'd love to be a part of this! I'm excited to read the chapters each week as you write them. I'll try to give helpful feedback!

  59. Faith says:

    I'm in. Yes please. Start now?

  60. Martin Davies says:

    Sounds great ! Looking forward to it.

  61. steve says:

    Sounds great!

  62. Karin says:

    Can’t wait to read it.

  63. I'm late to the party but i love the idea and will contribute if i can.

  64. Ben says:

    This is a fantastic idea and I can't wait to binge-read the entire thing.

  65. John says:

    Sounds like fun, I'm in

  66. Dave says:

    I'm in! I would look forward to the info in my inbox.

  67. Andy says:

    Awesome. Can't wait to read as you write.

  68. Jim L says:

    I'm in!

  69. Sam Nicaise says:

    Count me in!

  70. Jerry says:

    Okay. I realize that this is probably just a way to build traffic, but I'll bump it. I always enjoy your stuff, Ben…and as an MD and long course triathlete, I agree with about 85% of it! I've got some of your other information products and books. I'll add another.

  71. Alyssa says:

    Sounds great I am in!

  72. Joel says:

    I could use this book. Audio Version for us long commuters???

    1. Yep, we plan on it. Narrated by yours truly.

  73. Corinna says:

    Sounds awesome. I can’t wait to read it! :)

  74. Tom says:

    Ok. I am very interested.

  75. Peter says:

    Do it Ben! I'm in!

  76. Pam White says:

    I am in.. Bring it on, and don’t make me tell you twice :)

  77. rob says:

    sounds like the exact book I need

  78. jamie says:

    I am in! Would love to see the full posts and learn more about healthier training!

  79. John Bennett says:

    I’m in!

  80. Joe says:

    I'm in, sounds exciting

  81. Monique Marco says:

    Yup, I’m in & impressed with your weekly goal & declaration of public accountability.

  82. Joseph.c says:

    Im in :)

  83. El Omar Mtz says:

    Count me in, Ben. I would be honored to help out and learn from you in the process.

  84. carrie says:

    II hope you include advise for the master athletes.

  85. tony a says:

    Looking forward to it!

  86. michael mihalick says:

    I am in.

  87. Kimo says:

    Ben, this sounds like an amazing project. I am in.

  88. Jose says:

    I will love to participate as a reader

  89. Jose says:

    I want to be able to participate on this book as a reader, thanks

  90. Kim says:

    I'm in too!

  91. txus7 says:

    Looking forward to taking part too

  92. Dylan Karger says:

    Great call. In.

  93. Steve says:

    Good stuff! Having done my first (and only) Iron Man 3 years ago and still trying to recover from it, hopefully you can provides some answers

  94. Maria says:

    Do it! I don't have time or know-how to figure this stuff out.

  95. Rui says:

    I´m in Ben. I´ve been waiting for you to put out a book like this.

  96. James says:

    Count me in!

  97. Andree says:

    I'm in. Already looking forward to this book. Much needed. Thanks for all you do Ben!

  98. RunnerGirl825 says:

    I'm in! Can't wait to read it. I definitely experience some of the issues you mention and am ready to change how I do things!

  99. John Cantrell says:

    Count me in. I’ll be happy to help!!!

  100. kathryn says:

    I'm interested. Sounds like a challenge.

  101. Rich says:

    I'm in!

  102. Rob says:

    Sounds like a fantastic idea.

  103. David Waller says:

    I’m in mate – can’t wait!!

  104. Richard says:

    Looking forward to taking part

  105. Dave says:

    Sounds good :o)

  106. Heidi says:

    I’m in. Sounds like a great project and book full of important information for every triathlete.

  107. Kimberly says:

    This book sounds amazing and I would love to be a part of it. I started running again last year at 46 years of age and have moved into trails and am training for my first 30k. I have been plant-based since last May and I am very interested in all of these topics especially the hormone aspect of a woman my age.

  108. Rich Moore says:

    This sounds AWESOME!!! I really would like to be a part of it.

  109. Keith says:

    I’m in!

  110. Matt says:

    sounds interesting. cant wait to read it.

  111. Patti P says:

    Sounds very interesting. As someone who works in the medical field and also a triathlon coach, I would want to see documented where and how you gather any facts. Unfortunetly I have become a little jaded because there are so many people speaking as experts with no studies and facts to really back up their claims. That being said, I'm very intrueged by some of your topics because I haven't seen these being talked about by anyone else before. Especially interested in the cardiac info and the training specifics. I look forward to the updates.

    1. Patti, here's a great article series for you:

  112. Gillian says:

    Can't wait. Sounds like a perfect combination.

  113. Bree says:

    Bring it!

  114. Lisa says:

    Can’t wait!

  115. Brian Doherty says:

    Count me in Ben! Looking forward to the journey….

  116. Eric says:

    Yo Ben.. I'm in!!

  117. Danny says:

    Sounds good I'm in,

  118. Wendy Lyon says:

    It sounds like you have included everything I’ve been looking for in one book!! I look forward to getting the mega post every Saturday.

    You are one focused, determined man!! Good luck!

  119. Linda says:

    YES that is fabulous! I've learned so much from you already!

  120. Aubree Holt says:

    I would love to support you in this journey.

  121. Edward says:

    I will be interested in what you have to say!

  122. Melissa says:


  123. Louie says:

    I'm going through all the symptoms you mentioned. You described me perfectly. I am looking forward to reading the chapters and buying the book when it's available.

  124. Kathy says:

    Can't wait to start reading this!

  125. Mark Begemann says:

    I’m in. First suggestion: at the end of each chapter, include a short overview of the most valuable info; most valuable meaning the best combination of benefit, ease of implementation, and cost (time and money).

  126. Stephen says:

    Great project! I’m in. Done the right way, I believe endurance sports are not that hard on the body. It is not much different than old day’s farmers or loggers who were spending long hours working very physically…but again, I guess their life span were not that great.

  127. Meghann says:

    ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT IDEA. I have done enough damage over the years through motorcycle mashups and other mishaps that the ONLY way I'm going to be able to do a triathlon is to do the training shorter and smarter. You book is just in time too!! I've given myself another year to get ready.

  128. Michelle says:

    Ben, so glad you are putting all (well, most of) your knowledge in one place. Looking forward to the product. Would love to see in both the nutrition and training/recovery chapters something for the athlete with an autoimmune disease, such as MS or Lupus. As someone with M.S. (diagnosed since 1999) I try to eat a low inflammatory diet — no gluten, night shades, nuts, eggs, dairy, etc… It can be extremely limiting. Even supplements contain some of these! So, diet and then the recovery as well…I'm finding as I get older, recovery is tougher and I have to figure out how best to ensure I have energy for "life" as well as training!

    1. I'll definitely be going into diet/inflammation, Michelle!Ben

  129. Found you recently says:

    I'm in!

  130. Katrina Popham says:

    I suspect many of us will be waiting with bated breath for the publication of this book. It sounds like an excellent and comprehensive "how to" manual, not just for training but for life in general. Count me in, I can't wait to see it in print!

    1. Rock on, Katrina. Of course, you get the inside scoop as one of my coached athletes. ;)

  131. Brian Beaven says:

    Sounds great, count me in.

  132. Meghan says:

    Absolutely! It looks amazing.

  133. Christian says:

    I'm definitely in!

  134. Lorrie says:

    I'm in!! Looking forward to the info that will be presented

  135. James says:

    I have been a competitive cyclist for 30 years. 7 years ago I got into Crossfit while still doing the cycling. I completely unraveled at the seams. I experienced everything you talk about plus some. After a lot of rest and a dramatically changed training régime I have finally started to feel human again and once again have a desire to compete. It will be interesting to read about your approach to training and fitness.

  136. David says:

    Sounds good, I'd buy that!

    I've experienced a lot of those symptoms. I feel so good when I take a couple weeks off of training- sleep improves, no mental fog, mood is way better…But, of course I'm kind of out of shape after not working out in 2 weeks. I'd love to feel like that AND be in shape!

  137. fishflyruns100 says:

    Great idea, Ben

  138. ryan says:

    Great book idea! I'm in.

  139. Ruth says:

    Ambitious! What I like about your approach, Ben, is that you try to synthesize information across disciplines and across different approaches within disciplines. The book sounds like a great extension of that. I'm in!

  140. cogrick2 says:

    I am in and admire your courage in setting a deadline for this challenge. Since you asked for comments to even this post, I wonder if you have taken on too much. Perhaps you might focus more time on those topics in this post that interest you the most as well as what interests readers. Like many in your audience, I assume, I lack the time to listen as carefully as would like to our podcasts and that contributes to me being very curious about your story with eating a "typical" healthy diet and over-training. I am also looking forward to reading about blood-testing. There are so many tests out there, and so many possible deficiencies (zinc, omega-3, sex hormones, ferritin, etc.), I could use some help! I would love to see what you think about the frequency of testing as well, especially for the vast majority of us who are budget-conscious. Also jumping out at me: Heart rate variability, everything under Training, self-quantification under recovery, supplement timing, good personal hygiene and home cleaning products, lifestyle hacks. Please allow me to emphasize that hearing your personal story will help me connect with your advice. I was happy to hear on a recent heart rate variability podcast that your LF/HF ratio indicated a good balance of your parasympathetic/sympathetic nervous system, although I understand this ratio is still a topic of great debate. On the other hand, hearing about areas of your life that you are still working to enhance would be valuable. I am a lower-30 something training mostly to enhance my master's track times (400 m or lower) who a doctor believes has problems with the stress response. Yet I crave intense exercise because it gets me going! Thank you for considering this long post.

    1. I've chosen the topics that interest me the most and also the things that are going to get athletes the most “bang for their buck”. Don't worry, I'll keep this blog up to date too!Ben

  141. Darth Drummond says:

    YES!! I'm in

  142. Jason says:

    I'm in as well, would love to help!

  143. @tchazzard says:

    I look forward to being a thorn in your side.

  144. Michael Davis says:

    I am not even an endurance athlete and am interested in the book. No matter what your topic seems to be, I always learn something that I can apply to my life. Very much looking forward to it Ben!

  145. Alysia Mossburg Pfeiffer says:

    Yep love it but can you hurry up????? Lol

  146. Tom says:

    Count me in – that sounds like a great idea. In particular, I am looking forward to the part 8 in which you put it all together. After all, I guess that most of the readers are just looking to KISS instructions on how to train, recover, eat and repeat – to the extent possible simplifying the planning side of our active life (and leaving more time for the fun part). Go, get it/them/us, Ben!

  147. Eric says:

    sounds like a great book! can't wait for it to be out. thank you for doing this.

  148. Mark says:

    Sounds like a great reference book. I'm in.

  149. Clayman says:

    Being held accountable for work product will get you to the end with fans cheering. Spot on! I'm In!

  150. Sounds great Ben.

    All your ideas sound great. I wish i could do them all. Would you consider ordered lists? I'm am extremely tight on money. I would like to see a list of your top recommendations for performance ranked based on 1) $/minute saved (or unit of performance) and 2) outright return ( not considering cost.)


    1. What do you mean by “ordered lists” ,Bob?

  151. Josh says:

    Sounds awesome – would love the chance to take part!

  152. Nealy says:

    I'm in

  153. Gary says:

    Sounds like a great idea I would love to be included. Gary

  154. Jasmine G. says:

    totally in!

  155. Aaron says:

    Yeah, I’d love to check this book out! I’m down!

  156. Scott Jag says:

    Love to help out…and learn.

  157. Rick L says:

    Let's do this!

  158. Colleen Hutchings says:

    I'm in ! I have time on my hands now because I recently fractured my femur training for Ironman. I love your book idea and have followed you for a couple years now. I would love of course to see specific training tips, problems, strategies related to women especially the hormonal aspect in your book. I'm am finding out how important body fat/estrogen / progesterone play a part in bone density and performance.

    1. That will definitely be in there Colleen.

  159. Benoit says:

    I`m in Ben, i would love to try these methods while in training camp next month.

  160. Andrew Eastman says:

    Sounds frickin awesome, I am definitely in and support your efforts!! Just started reading the Perfect Health Diet and am LOVING it-turned on to that by your recent podcast. I’m a returning bicycle racer after not riding for 15 years, planning to race this season and using your methods along the way…cheers!!

  161. Liam Mitchell says:

    Love your idea!! Something I’ve thought a lot about in recent years and I’m thoroughly convinced enduros don’t need to complete the amount of volume they do. TRAINING IS CUMMULATIVE – I think people struggle to realise the little effect of a few weeks rest within a macro cycle. I also think there is gap in the market for this type of information especially with the increasing knowledge being made available on stress responses and the effect sub maximal work has on it. My concern is that the enduros don’t will not want to hear about it as the main reason they choose these sports are simply because they are good at them! Being able to go for a long run/cycle/swim gives them a great ego boost where as going through an S&C program will mean them starting at the bottom and working up!

  162. Chad says:

    Sounds fantastic. Keep me posted. I travel across multiple time zones on a monthly basis with 10hr. – 72hr. breaks between trips. Long flights, low sleep, poor nutrition, hostile environments and have to be mentally prepared for it all. Sounds like endurance to me :)

  163. Laura Ann Reznicek says:

    This sounds wonderful! I'm in! One question? Will you have some information via female fertility/ hormonal health (exp. low body fat etc)?

    1. Oh definitely! That will be in the recovery chapter.

  164. Cynthia says:

    Count me in, Ben! This is very intriguing, and sounds quite comprehensive. It would nice if the book included information for the older athlete, especially those of us who have been at this for a while, through the whole "long, slow distance", "low fat, high carb" thing, and who need to adapt a little more slowly and carefully to new training and diet regimens, because of age and the damage done from years of overtraining and not eating right. Can't wait to see the evolution of this project, and the end result!

    1. Awesome idea, Cynthia. I will add this in.

  165. Christian Jensen says:

    Wow what a deal! As usual Ben you go above and beyond everyone in your profession to help your athletes out. This sounds like an incredible journey. Lets begin!

  166. Brian says:

    Definitely here to support you, Ben.
    I am looking for a safe way to go from sprint tri's to a half IM, and I'm sure this book will offer insight toward that goal.
    Best of luck and Godspeed to you.

  167. ChrisO563 says:

    Count me in mate, what a great idea

  168. billywayne says:

    Definitely IN!!

  169. Todd says:

    I'm in too

  170. Hugo Bermudez says:

    Can't wait to start reading. Go for it, Ben!

  171. Tim says:

    Ben, sounds like an amazing reference for any endurance athlete, I might buy a copy for my doctor. I am very interested in the part 6 – lifestyle section about juggling kids, spouse, work, etc. I look forward to helping any way possible.

    1. Any doctor who works with endurance athletes will need to read this book!

  172. Chris says:

    Sounds like a great book concept.

  173. Dave Stark says:

    Ben, I’m on board! My wife and I, like you and Jessa, are promoters of good health (wife is a holistic nutrition specialist) and we see lots of unhealthy folks in our coaching practice. Can I suggest you delve a few pages into exercise addiction? I see lots of super “fit” endurance athletes who simply can’t psychologically pull back and its sad to see them dig into such a deep hole, often unable to ask for help.


    Dave Stark

  174. Matt Meline says:

    Looking forward to the learning, please include me in your chapter reviews.

  175. Minsk Gretzky says:

    I'd love to read and comment along the way, sounds like a great project, you got my support.
    on the food chapters, hoping to see things of interest for us plantbased eaters (vegans) as well.

    1. Yes, I mentioned this above but I'm going to include both vegan and omnivore recommendations!

  176. Mark says:

    Looks like good book, I would suggest that you ad notes on picking doctors & how to interact with them. I would also like to see it not totally based on super fit people. I’m not in the world best shape I listen your podcasts for the creative health ideas . Anything on longevity,better health I would be interested in and that would drive me to buy your book of course

  177. Jacob Juul says:

    Would be cool IF it included a chapter for Pro athletes.

    1. Jacob, this is exactly what pro athletes need. This information would have saved guys like Scott Tinley from having to get a hip replacement…

  178. Tara says:

    Sounds awesome! Wish I had some of this info before my first Ironman
    Maybe I could have prevented my current health problem, resulting
    from training/racing.

    1. We, you can always do a consult with me if you can't wait

  179. Tony Kish says:

    I’m not much of an endurance athlete (two days of cardio a week), but I’d buy your book for the (just a guess here) seemingly 50% of other useful information pertaining to living a healthy life, time management, etc. Why not have two versions that you can sell to a couple different audiences? Or at least market your book in such a way that it would appeal to a larger market instead of just endurance athletes. Like I mentioned, I’m not much of an endurance athlete, but I still like a lot of your other content that you provide to your followers. Regardless, good luck, and I’m sure I’ll be one of the first to purchase it! If I wasn’t so busy right now helping one of my professor’s write a sports nutrition book I’d love to be more involved.

  180. marcia says:

    yes I’m in

  181. James pinchback says:

    I look forward to reading more about your cutting edge ideas

  182. Brent says:

    Are you kidding me this is what I’ve always wanted. Someone who’s been there, rubbed shoulders and gleaned info off of experts in all fields of body health and endurance, has a sponge for a brain to soak up and share insights. I can go on living my life and use your hard work to benefit me and my family. I feel so selfish and excited, I just hope I can pay double for the book. I am 55 and getting my healthy body back thanks to you Ben, (keep the family balance)

  183. Sue says:

    This sounds just what I'm looking for. Count me in Ben.

  184. Mike says:

    I don’t consider myself an endurance athlete by any stretch of the imagination. However, I work with & around many of them. I think this book can be a necessary resource to break the mold of “traditional” endurance training.

  185. David says:

    Sounds great! I’m in.

  186. cathleen says:

    Sounds like great information I can use. Wish I had the book in my hand now. Look forward to it. Anything to enhance and help my triathlon training.

  187. Jennifer Villa says:

    I'm looking forward to it.

  188. Kate says:

    Awesome Ben! This is so what the industry needs! As an endurance athlete and personal trainer, I feel it’s time for change in what thus industry is taught! And that is why I am becoming a Superhuman Coach! My only complaint is that September is so far away:)! Excited to see what your suggestions are!!!! Thanks!

  189. Leo says:


    I think this a good project. I will comment as you go along.
    I have been Crossfitting now for a year and love to get as much new data on improving oneself.

  190. Johnny Clemons says:

    I’m so hungry for this stuff! I’m in!!

  191. Mich' says:

    If you want a combat athlete tansistionning from pro competitive years to easying into heath and wellness at almost forty years old, I'd glad to give some feedback.

  192. Pedro Freire says:

    Seems to me an excellent project. You can count with my company on this journey. From Portugal! Goodspeed!

    1. BTW, heard from a travel friend yesterday that Portugal is AMAZING and I want to come visit!

  193. Chris says:

    Deal. Can’t wait for the first chapter. I have read the majority of your books so Part I pretty much is going to a refresher course. I like how you are discussing both Maffetone style training and HIT training. While I know you support and train more with the latter method, please give equal and balanced coverage of the pro and cons of each.

    1. This will have WAY more cutting edge content than anything I've written in my previous books, Chris!

  194. Russell says:

    Sounds like a good project to me.

    I have already started changing my diet away from the standard marathon training diet after reading Wheat Belly so this will be useful to continue my education.

    1. Wheat Belly is what changed my diet too Russell.

  195. Kurt Man Anthony says:

    Im in for sure. Get to writing fast, I do most all of the sports you mentioned, Crossfit/Running/swimming/cycling and training for a Ultra. Lets do it.

  196. Joe says:

    Ben. Do you ever get tired of answering the same questions over and over that you have already provided the answer for on your web site blog? People are lazy and want private attention for free. Write the book man! Then you say buy the book people! We will then say “what did you mean in your book when you said….” Seriously, great idea. Do it, you don’t need us, we will just slow you down. Greenfield it Bentathlon!

    1. Thanks Joe! I don't get too tired of helping people, but a centralized resource would be nice! Plus, this one is specifically for endurance athlete, which Ben Greenfield Fitness isn't necessarily…

  197. Steven says:

    I am in. Hope you emphasize how these techniques (or, better, a minimal subset) can be applied to regular 40+ folks who just want to be healthy and active – not setting new PRs all the time.

    1. This book will be definitely be good for the "everyman" and "everywoman" triathlete, Steven. ;)

  198. alan says:

    that sounds like a daunting endeavor! to get all that info from your head to paper will be a huge resource for all your listeners. excited to be a part of it.

  199. Ron says:

    Did I miss it,reson for, types and times to stretch

    1. Ron, good call. I'll get that in there!

  200. James Duffy says:

    Sounds amazing! I think this will be great, and the power of accountability is exactly what is needed to finish this in such a shirt period of time.

    I hope you stay motivated, and I’d love to help any way I can!

  201. John 4 says:

    Sounds like perfection. If it is half as good as it sounds I want it.

  202. Brett says:

    I'm in!

  203. Matty Wayne says:

    Count me in Ben! I am a big fan and would love to help. M

  204. John nestel says:

    Do you believe one should train at a heart rate below the carb burning threshold so as to build aerobic base. I'm 46 and training for my first Half marathon. I can comfortably run 10 miles now with no distress but my heart rate sits above 165 almost the whole run

    1. Depends! Not if you're combining it with lots of medium paced tempo work, which is what most endurance athletes unfortunately do…resulting in a combination of long slow efforts, constant glycogen depletion, and overtraining.

  205. Henning says:

    I am in mate ;-))

  206. Greg says:

    Love the book idea!

    1. klmckinney1 says:

      I'm late, but would love to be part of this!

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