Author: Scott Semple

What is HRV? Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is technology that claims to score our HRV and predict how long we need to recover from a given workout and when we’re ready to train again. Whether it’s an app or a program built into a watch, it is wonderful to think that one metric is all we need. But inaccurate recommendations, especially false positives, mean that this technology must be treated with deep skepticism. Our experience as coaches and as athletes In this article, Scott Semple and Scott Johnston relate their independent experiences with this technology and give you some warnings…

Read More

A recent debate article solicited opposing expert arguments about exercise and immunity. The researchers wanted to know whether “arduous exercise” compromises immune function. But for practicing athletes, the answer doesn’t matter. And it could be detrimental to know for sure. The important thing to realize is that training stress is only one stressor among many, and for non-professional athletes, it’s the one stressor that the athlete has complete control over. Athlete immunity is about more than training Imagine that you’re playing a game of Jenga. You pull away the plastic pile guide. One by one, you pull out blocks and…

Read More

Training endurance is like building a sandcastle. You need sand, water, the sense not to overdo it, and both the expertise and creativity to build something great. Basic endurance is like piling dry sand. It can’t be shaped, just piled higher. For every inch of height, it takes a greater volume of dry sand than the inch before. Adding intensity is like adding water. You can increase the angle of repose of the sand, steepening the cone, getting higher with the same volume. Artists (great coaches) can get the saturation just right, creating amazing sculptures. But those sculptures will always…

Read More

UPDATE March 10th, 2020: While sporting contests around the world are being canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, training can–and should–continue. Besides the obvious risk to ourselves of contracting Novel Coronavirus 2019, we put others at risk should we become carriers. So we owe it to those around us, especially the sick and elderly, to take every precaution. So let’s review how to stay healthy whilst training and continue to improve our hygiene habits so we all can enjoy greater health. For endurance athletes, staying healthy while training represents more money in the fitness bank. Imagine that for every day…

Read More

Skimo racing is hands down the hardest aerobic work I’ve done in my endurance career. The full-body engagement and use of both legs and arms to propel myself uphill causes me to taste blood much quicker than in any running race I have ever participated in. I love that about the sport, and without a doubt it’s imperative to work hard on preparing your heart and lungs as best you can before your first (or 10th) skimo race season. With that said, you can have the world’s highest VO2max, but if you do not know how to do a quick…

Read More

I love The Matrix. In my favorite scene, Neo straps himself to an archaic dentist’s chair. He’s learning martial arts by downloading them into his brain. Once they’re installed, he can use them in the digital world. To make the downloads, Neo’s colleague plugs a thick cable into the back of Neo’s skull. He taps a button on his screen, and Neo’s “training” begins. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Instead of dedicating a slow, tedious decade to one martial art, we could plug in, download it, and be awesome. But life isn’t like that, is it? To master something, a slow,…

Read More

When I first started skimo racing, I started races way too fast. The gun would go off, and I’d bolt forward. I’d feel great for about 60 seconds, and then as if I was running through molasses I’d have to slow way down. With that kind of start, the rest of the race felt horrible. When I asked Uphill Athlete co founder Scott Johnston why this was happening his response was:  “You have insufficient aerobic base. Said anther way; the capacity of my aerobic metabolic system to produce energy to propel me was too low so I was having to rely…

Read More