Deep dive into Cardiac Drift and Breathing

Stephen Littlewood joins this post for an expanded look at Cardiac Drift and breathing. Stephen is a retired Marine Intelligence Officer who specializes in ultra endurance athletes and has a great practice in Virginia doing gait analysis and metabolic testing.

This expands on our previous blog post identifying what Cardiac Drift is. Check that out if you aren't familiar with it first, then dive into more detail here.

In this episode you will find:

  • 3:00 For clients using smart devices that show heart rate, when should they monitor for cardiac drift and how will they know if it may be affecting their training

  • 5:03 Cardiac drift impact on interval sessions and importance of recovery

  • 6:57 Cardiac drift is something that we can monitor and train for, and we discuss training methods to limit the negative impact of cardiac drift

  • 9:20 Heat acclimation

  • 10:50 Saunas and why I want my wife to let me get one!

  • 13:00 Non-training things we can do including nutrition, hydration, weight lifting

  • 13:45 Gear selection and why not to use sunscreen when running!

  • 15:12 A visual test (other than urine) to test hydration

  • 18:20 The use of breath training and how diaphragm is a huge part of the core!

  • 20:06 Horizontal Breathing

  • 21:40 Book recommendation - Breathing for Warriors

  • 22:18 Talk about breath training devices

  • 22:36 Book recommendation - Breath by James Nestor

  • 24:09 Measuring resting tidal volume and benchmarking

  • 28:14 How improving breathing will take stress off of the heart

  • 30:10 $5 device to test breathing

  • 33:01 Using metabolic testing with clients

Check out Stephen at or on Instagram @ultraflunkie

We have a great LinkedIn post showing one of our great tests for Thoracic mobility that you can check out here. Limited thoracic mobility can restrict breathing!

Here are some of the references mentioned during the interview:

Heat adaptations:

Beginner breathing retraining:

Cardiac Drift at Rest:

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