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The Extramilest Podcast

Oct 3, 2019

Larisa Dannis (Strava | IG) is a very strong runner from New Hampshire. She has ran a 2:44 marathon, a 5:59 50 mile race and she has won several ultra marathons. She knows a tremendous amount about heart rate training so that always excited me. 
Larisa was never very active as a kid. When she started her first job, she wasn’t moving much at all and her weight started to creep up. 
She knew she had to do something to improve her fitness and through hiking she got into trail running and road running. 
In 2012 Larisa discovered MAF low heart rate training and this changed her entire approach to training and racing. She is extremely knowledgable about heart rate training and listening to her body. She shares a lot of honest insights about her journey to improve as an athlete. 
  • How Larisa started adding speedwork to further improve her race times
  • Larisa’s heart rate strategy for different types of races
  • Recommendations for other runners looking to improve 
Before we dive in, one quick note that I’m setting up several group runs in the coming months around the Chicago Marathon, New York Marathon, CIM Marathon in Sacramento and more. These are free group runs, mellow pace, good times with other runners from the community and friends. More info can be found on the Extramilest Events page. I would love to see you at any of these events. 
  • Larisa’s background and transition from hiking into trail running [3:30]
  • Her first road marathon with MAF training at 3:07 [7:00]
  • Larisa’s first experience with MAF low heart rate training [7:55]
  • Mental frustrations when starting out with MAF  [10:00]
  • Larisa didn’t do any high intensity runs for 2 years when starting with with low heart rate training [12:20]
  • How Larisa started adding speedwork to further improve her race times [13:15]
  • Larisa’s heart rate strategy for different types of races [14:50]
  • Floris’s heart rate strategy in marathons [18:00]
  • How Larisa figures out the HR she can maintain for longer distances and races [19:40]
  • Larisa’s experience with blowing up in a race, pushing her heart rate much too high [21:30]
  • She finds chest heart rate straps more active [22:20] 
  • 2 tips to improve accuracy with heart rate training [23:10]
  • Using trial and error to figure out race HR’s, marathon HR 160 to 165, 50 mile HR 145 to 155, 100 mile HR 130’s [24:35]
  • How Larisa changes her training in New Hampshire long winter snow conditions [27:25]
  • The importance of focusing on strength training [29:10]
  • Larisa’s strength training 5 x 5 approach with squass, deadlift, row, bench press and overhead press 5 sets of 5 reps [31:20]
  • The injuries she has experienced [34:10]
  • Larisa’s dogs are her training partners 95% of the time [37:20]
  • The importance of prioritizing recovery and what she does to limit the risks of injuries [39:00]
  • How her body changed over the years [42:25]
  • Larisa sleeps 8 to 10 hours a night [43:45]
  • What she learned about nutrition over time, keeping it simple and listening to her body [44:50]
  • Recommendations for runners looking to improve [47:45]
  • Running gear she uses [51:00]
  • Her goal of going back to Western States [54:40]