Recently, there was an article on a recent Kerfuffle in Triathlon between IronMan GOAT, Mark Allen, and former ITU World Champion, Tim Don, over a training modality called “The Norwegian Method”. I had a deeper look into this methodology as well as the ongoing debate between Mark Allen and Tim Don regarding training and recovery, and here is some important information for you to know.
What is The Norwegian Method
Essentially, The Norwegian Method focuses around Lactate (many of you know this as Lactic Acid). Now Lactate is a proxy for glucose metabolism in the same way ketones are a proxy for fat oxidation. The more you burn glucose/carbs/sugar the higher your lactate. In a metabolically healthy person blood lactate sits at less than 1 mmol/L and a fat adapted person should see their lactate at or below 0.5mmol/L. Add any kind of stressor and blood lactate rises to 2.0 mmol/L or more depending upon the metabolic demand for energy. This is well established in the published literature and this is the floor for Norwegian Training or Lactate Based Training.
So the range for Lactate based training is that Zone 2 & 3, the higher level ‘work’, are performed in a range between 2.0mmol/L and 4.5 mmol/L . The tradeoff and balance though are that the higher the lactate the exponentially greater the fatigue and need to recover.
Put another way, the more sugar you burn, the more damage you are doing on a cellular level ... .oxidative stress, glycation, lactate load . . . .a small amount creates little to none of this damage, your body has adapted to it. A moderate amount from time to time can be adaptive, but a lot not so much.
OFM and Lactate Based Training
The point here is OFM is superior because it approaches Lactate Training from your metabolic foundation, fat metabolism. Build that foundation to its potential and you will minimize lactate and maximize ‘Training Effect’. Every. Single. Time.
Increasing fat metabolism is the unseen foundation of Norwegian and Lactate Training. This is because optimizing your fat metabolism minimizes the lactate load so you can train and compete at a higher level sustainably and have the metabolic capacity to leverage competition level glucose utilization for the win!
And this doesn’t just show up in training and competition but in a recovery you have to experience to believe is possible.
And this is where Mark Allen and Tim Don come into the conversation over the Norwegian Method. Mark’s observation on recovery is spot on. There are no shortcuts at this level but there are ways to mitigate the impacts and reducing lactate which, by default, means increasing fat oxidation, sharply reduces the damage you need to recover from!
Who Wins The Debate
And what I find humorous is that in stating “I think the game has moved on. The science is just light years away from what Mark was doing back in the 80s and 90s, it really is. Taking absolutely nothing away because back then the training philosophy and load was just phenomenal.” Tim Don contradicts himself…..it’s not that the science is light years ahead, it is that people like the Norwegians are catching up to what we’ve been refining for the past 20 years . One of the main factors of Mark Allen’s dominance of IronMan was his shift to increasing his fat oxidation rates under the guidance of Phil Maffetone, who developed Maximum Aerobic Function Training using Heart Rate instead of lactate. I would not be surprised at all if there is a strong correlation between Heart Rate data from MAF Style Training and the Lactate levels of Norwegian Training.
Point is, Mark and Tim are not at odds as the news feeds would like you to think. Drama, conflict and crisis sell. Both bring up valid points on recovery and performance from different perspectives; Mark from the viewpoint of decades of experience and having that experience corroborated by the emerging technology of TriDot AI, and Tim adopting a ‘new’ training modality that, in essence, is millions of years old, improving fat metabolism through the lens of Lactate.
So whether the data comes from AI, Heart Rate, Lactate, Ketones, HRV, Oura Rings etc. always remember this to empower yourself:
“The data corroborates the Experience, it doesn’t drive it . . . that driver is you and your limitless potential and energy you have locked inside.”
Matching Your Training Load To Your Life Load
ALWAYS remember, When you have your metabolism working as it should and build metabolic capacity via a fat based foundation, your own intuitive experience is THE finest feedback mechanism to guide you. Through gaining knowledge and understanding you will empower yourself
OFM Disruptive Periodization Training, is a conceptual model which can be tailored to the athlete and their training so they can match their Training Load to their Life Load, using their own feedback and the tools of modern technology. Yet training is just one dimension and why it has to be fully integrated into your multidimensional life. This is why OFM is a multidimensional program so the athlete can achieve and enjoy “Higher Health & Peak Performance”
Start by taking a pouch of Vespa to reduce your Lactate by jump starting your fat metabolism which, as I have articulated, is the unseen foundation of the Norwegian Method and Lactate Training.
You will ‘experience’ that in your recovery and the data from your device and results will corroborate your experience. We’ll even give you a no brain deal to help make that happen. . . we’ll send you 2 pouches of Vespa CV-25 & 2 pouches of Vespa Junior for the $20 cost of Shipping and Handling.