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The Extramilest Podcast

Aug 30, 2019

Today I have my friend Andy Hooks (Strava | IG | FB) on the podcast and we take a deep dive into heart rate training, nutrition and improving your running. He used a MAF HR based training approach to improve from a 4:22 marathon to a 2:53 so far and he is aiming for a sub 2:40 or 2:45 marathon in Berlin in a few weeks. 
Andy is a full time emergency room nurse in San Antonio, TX and he has a great understanding of nutrition, hydration and a holistic approach to training and racing. He is a very solid athlete and we had a long and honest conversation. He shares how many times he failed to reach certain running goals, but accepted these setbacks to not only meet but also exceed his goals. 
He shared many great insights, once again I learned a lot from this conversation. He talks about sodium and potassium intake, this reminder and change in nutrition has already made a big impact on my energy levels in training this week, during increase in training volume and running in warmer weather.
Before we dive into Andy’s podcast, I wanted to give a short update from my world, because it has been a while since my last podcast. 
  • I’m very exciting to train for my next race, I’ll be running the CIM Marathon in Sacramento in December. Gradually building up my training volume, currently at about 6 hours a week, will be increasing from here and start to add some speedwork soon. 


  • This summer there has been a lot of exciting things happening with our running clothing company PATH projects. Besides that I have spent a lot of time and effort on finishing the Marathon PR Program. There are no ads on this podcast, but I do want to mention some info about this heart rate based training program.
  • I have been asked many times to coach athletes. Instead of 1 on 1 coaching, I’ve developed a training program based on the fundamentals of low heart rate training, limiting stress, the right nutrition, mindsets and race strategies. The program includes more than 30 new videos + 8 editable training schedules for different race goals. 
  • The program has just launched a month ago with runners from 25 countries and the feedback has been very positive. More info is available at

Hope you enjoy my conversation with Andy Hooks! 

Show Notes:

  • Background in running and his first experience with marathon running [6:40]
  • What changed when Andy discovered low heart rate training and building an aerobic base [10:20]
  • Some of the injuries and experiments that didn’t go according to plan [13:40]
  • Improvements Andy started seeing [15:40]
  • Andy’s experiment with a 48 hour fast, followed by trying to qualify for the Boston marathon fasted :D [18:40] 
  • Andy’s nutrition and race strategy for his current 2:53 personal best [24:40]
  • Importance of hydration and getting in enough sodium and potassium [30:10]
  • Andy drinks bone broth before and after some of his long runs in hot weather [33:10]
  • Energy gel discussion with Myspring, GU, Vespa, Ucan, etc [34:10]
  • What Andy’s training looks like for the Berlin Marathon, Houston Marathon and Big Foot 200  [37:30]
  • How Andy integrates the MAF 180 formula in his training [39:10]
  • Andy values his training consistency over intensity, since it’s less stressful on the body [31:00]
  • Integrating speedwork into you [42:25] 
  • Andy’s thoughts on different types of nutrition [47:10] 
  • Impact of weather on your training and racing [54:02] 
  • Andy uses water aqua plyometrics a few times a week [55:40]
  • How Andy’s job as emergency nurse has opened his eyes about the nutrition [59:40]
  • HR specific training at higher intensity [1:05:10]
  • Recovery tools and workouts that Andy uses with hot epsom salt baths, hot sauna, light stretches and the right micronutrients [1:10:10]
  • Andy sleeps 7 hours a night and gets into REM sleep quickly, this feels enough [1:12:10]
  • Recommendations for runners training mostly at low heart rate [1:14:21] 
  • Floris talks about getting back into his training cycle and gaining fitness again [1:17:55]
  • Recommendations for runners looking to improve in their training and racing [1:22:20]
  • Importance of proper running form and how to improve it [1:25:20]
  • For athletes in their 50’s, 60’s and older who train at low hr, proper running form at low HR can be challenging, some thoughts on this [1:27:50]
  • How to think bigger with running? Our imagination is our limitation [1:33:34]
Items and people mentioned:
People mentioned

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You can find me, Floris Gierman here: