Chris Carmichael, 56, out of the saddle and climbing strong. Photo by John Segesta.

Long before Chris Carmichael became Lance Armstrong’s coach and friend he was an accomplished professional cyclist and a successful and sought-after coach.

In 1984 Carmichael made the Olympic Team and in 1986 he was part of the first American team to ride in the Tour de France. And then in 1992 and again in 1996 he was the U.S. Olympic coach.

But it was his association with Lance Armstrong, perhaps the sports’ greatest talent that brought Carmichael to an even larger international stage. As Lance’s coach he played a significant, if at times disputed role in Lance’s success. And when Lance confessed that he had been taking performance enhancing drugs Lance’s reputation and career came to an abrupt if not tragic end.

Carmichael survived those dark times. As a cyclist he was used to bumpy roads and taking spills, sometimes at high speeds. And while there may have been some road burn, like the professional, like the champion he is, he was able to get up and ride strong again.

Today, Carmichael Training Systems is a world-leader in endurance athletic performance development. The company’s coaches are among the best anywhere and its coaching philosophy and methodology are cutting-edge.

If it weren’t, top performers like Greg Daniel, the 2016 U.S. Pro Road Race Champion and Mara Abbott, a 2016 U.S. Cycling Olympian as well as Katerina Nash, a three-time Olympian and World Cyclocross Bronze medalist would not be working with the company.

And let’s not forget client Kaci Lickteig, the 2016 Western States Endurance Run Champion, of one of the toughest and most prestigious ultra’s in the world. Kaci, by the way, was also the 2016 Ultrarunner of the Year.

Craig Alexander the two-time Ironman World Champion was a client. And the list goes on and on.

I first met Chris and interviewed him years ago for a local magazine and it was a privilege to interview him again. The timing was good too. He and co-author Jim Rutberg, an acclaimed coach and one of Carmichael Training Systems early employees, were on the eve of releasing the third edition of The Time Crunched Cyclist.

Well, I just got my copy today and I’ve already poured over the ultra-distance cycling event training programs. I thought I knew what I was doing, (I’m training to do the Triple Bypass) but it looks like I’ve still got a few things to learn.

I’m also signing up for Carmichael’s very generous offer of an essentially free month of world-class coaching. It costs a buck. If you want to give it a try, I mean, for a buck why not? Then here’s the link. The Coupon Code is: STRONGER1

In this interview Chris and I cover a variety of topics from what’s new in The Time Crunched Cyclist to special considerations for recovery by older athletes to some good and disappointing news for people who like to eat, on body weight and performance.

If nothing else, listen to Chris’ harrowing story of being attacked by ‘ponies with teeth’ i.e. two large dogs while out for a mountain bike ride. It’s right at the beginning of the podcast.

As always I really appreciate your listening and support. If you like what you hear please leave a review on iTunes. As a new podcast doing that is a huge, I mean HUGE help in getting the word out.

I’d also love to hear what you think about the site and podcasts. If you have any topics that you’d like covered, or any inspiring athletes, coaches, trainers or researchers you’d like interviewed please let me know, here or on Twitter.

Thanks in advance and remember to help each other age stronger.



Show Notes & Resources

Age Stronger special: one month of Carmichael Training Systems for just $1.00. Use coupon code STRONGER1 (btw in case you are wondering, I don’t receive anything for this recommendation. I’m just happy to do it.)

Being knocked off bike and attacked by ‘ponies with teeth’

Why come out with a new edition of The Time Crunched Cyclist and what’s been updated?

New nutritional information and recipes from cycling chefs Michael Chiarello and Matt Accarrino

New time crunched ultra-cycling distance training plans for events like Leadville 100 and the Breck Epic

Tips for doing an ultra event with just 6 to 8 hours of weekly training and how to deal with time limitations.

How does the Time Crunched Cyclist help athletes who are already doing lactate threshold training?

How can the nutrition plan take you to the next level?

The impact of weight loss, even just 10 pounds, on endurance fitness.

What more to do if you are already eating healthy?

How the ‘time crunched’ approach applies to older athletes

Arrhythmias in older athletes.

Knowing when to call it a day, a good day.

The importance of proper recovery.

Normatech Compression Boots and how they work.

What Chris puts in his homemade recovery drink.

Importance of skin care for older athletes.

Challenges of coming back from injury.

Unavoidable injuries and those we inflict on ourselves.

Exercising while sick.

Robert Marchand, setting a new world record at age 105.

Wait… we’re all going to die?

Choosing to be an athlete as you age.

Professional cyclists pushing the age barrier.

Joop Zoetemelk, winner of the 1985 UCI Road World Championship at age 40.

We’re all athletes, some of us are in training, some of us aren’t.

Thoughts on future performance gains by aging athletes.

Chris’ new bike, the Pinarello F10

What does a time crunched cyclist read? Some of Chris’ current reads: Jim Harrison, Rick Bass, Cormick McCarthy, For inspiration: Bill Walton’s Back from the Dead

Changing his mind about the New England Patriots.

The Lance Armstrong question.

Why drug enforcement won’t truly solve the problem.

To learn more about Chris and his company Carmichael Training Systems

The Mavic Haute Route Rockies

 

Patrick Cox, a confidant of Noble Prize winning scientists and top biotech CEOs.

Patrick Cox calls it flipping the demographic pyramid. And as he explains it, the effect and extraordinary consequences slowly sink in. The western world and parts of the developing world are rapidly aging while birth rates globally are plunging.

Simply put, this means there are fewer young people to support a growing population that is living longer, but not necessarily healthier lives. The costs of providing healthcare to this burgeoning population is threatening to bankrupt governments across the world.

Cox says there is a solution. And it does not involve giving workers time off and paying them to have sex, in the hopes they will sire more young children, like the Swedish town of Övertorneå has recently proposed.

As tempting a solution as that might be, there is a better way according to Cox. A biotech insider and publisher of both a free and an investment-level newsletter, Cox has become one of the most esteemed and respected reporters on the rapidly transforming world of biotech and its implications for aging and population economics.

Over the years Cox has become a confidant of biotech CEOs and Noble Prize-winning scientists. He’s written extensively on what he’s learned for USA Today, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal among others. And he’s been a sought-after guest on programs like CNN’s Crossfire.

In our free roaming conversation Cox explains the rapidly changing global demographic shift and offers a startling fix.

Increase healthspans, he says, so that aging populations can remain healthy and active longer and their societal impact can be mitigated by prolonged productivity.

He also delves into a new class of drugs called rapalogs that you’ll surely be hearing more about in the near future. He talks about the supplements he’s taking and his exercise regime. And he gives us new insights into the powerful benefits of fasting.

Cox was a delight to interview and I hope you enjoy and benefit from the conversation as much as I did.

If you enjoy this episode, please take a moment and give it a rating on iTunes. I know this is a big ask but it really helps to get great guests. And it also makes the show more visible to others who might like to join us in aging stronger. Thanks in advance!



Show Notes & Resources

Use Patrick Cox’s free Tech Digest to keep up-to-date on biotech developments. It’s a great read and an amazing free resource.

Transformational Technology Alert, Patrick Cox’s industry insider’s guide to cutting-edge biotech company and product information. A real value, especially if you are or want to become a biotech investor.

Poem by Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (discussed with Patrick prior to recording of podcast)

Warren Thompson’ Population Problems

The global impact of increasing lifespans and dangerously low and continually decreasing birthrates on the U.S., Japan, Ireland, Singapore, Portugal, most of Scandinavia, Germany and France.

The U.S. experienced it’s lowest fertility rate in history in 2016.

The implication of ‘Peak Babies’ to the developed world.

India’s population is still growing but for only another 15 years or so.

How this affects what economists call the ‘Dependency Ratio’ i.e. how many working people are contributing to the economy versus those considered dependents.

What’s really driving the increase in health care costs?

Why with the Dependency Ratio declining we’re ‘pretty much hosed’ unless we fix this problem.

Why Patrick is skeptical that Trump will be able to increase revenues to offset projected increases in medical costs.

The two-part solution to this problem.

Heritage Foundation predictions that all these systems (Social Security and Medicare) will go bankrupt.

Why social benefit costs are unsustainable and will lead to a national and global fiscal crisis.

The implications of being in the 21st century with a 19th century health care model.

Why treating disease is no longer the best option.

Nir Barzilai, MD at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine

The study of Metformin as an anti-aging compound

Geroprotectors, compounds that delay the onset of age-related disease.

Why drug companies have no economic interest in seeing such studies go forward.

Brian Kennedy at the Buck Institute

Will Metformin show a slowing of biomarkers that represent aging?

Intrestingly, Metformin is not the most effective aging protector known

Promising compounds that not only slow aging but in older animals provide rejuvenation.

The change in how aging is being viewed by bio-gerontologists.

Is aging really non-reversible cellular damage?

How this view among leading scientist has changed.

How systems failures lead to what we call aging.

Rapamycin discovery.

Use of Rapamycin for organ transplants.

How Rapamycin increases healthspan by about 15 percent in animals.

The difference between longevity and healthspan and why this is an important distinction.

What is the goal of biogerontologists?

The role of genes in being what’s called a super-ager.

The cholesteryl ester transfer protein and longevity

How the expression of just one gene can protect from Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and other disorders associated with aging.

How this could be a solution to our national health care problems.

Patrick’s grandmother and the trajectory of her health.

Oliver Wendell Holmes poem, The Deacon’s Masterpiece and how it relates to healthspan

Half of all health care expenses are spent at the end stages of life.

How traditional preventative medicine actually raises health care costs.

How geroprotection is different and how it can save health care.

What is on the horizon regarding the use of Rapamycin?

Novartis and what the Buck Institute is doing.

Spinoff Mount Tam Biotechnologies

Getting the benefits of Rapamycin without the side-effects.

Why they are not focusing on anti-aging but are looking at lupus instead.

Hopes for the next FDA chief.

Patrick Cox article in Forbes on how next biotech chief could revolutionize the industry and save the economy.

The FDA candidates

Japan’s move forward for progressive approval for regenerative medicine.

The impact progressive approval could have on how quickly a new drug gets to market.

Why including genetic engineering and not just stem cell research is important.

The 23 year old bio-technology that is restoring spinal injury patients to health.

Dr. Michael West, the father of regenerative medicine.

What happens when you give Rapamycin to an older animal, like the equivalent of a 65-year-old mouse?

The two major coming revolutions: geroprotection and age-reversal.

Salk Institute’s successes at cellular age reversal.

The profound potential social disruption of age reversal.

How quickly will such drugs become available and useful to those of us who are in our 60s or older?

Under appreciated importance of Vitamin D

GrassrootsHealth, a Vitamin D resource service

What is Patrick doing personally to slow down the aging process?

Why he takes Nicotinamide Riboside

The role mitochondria play in aging.

What CoQ10 and Oxaloacetate do in terms of aging

How does Patrick decide on whether to take drugs that are not yet on the market?

Anatabine Citrate, its effect and why it was taken off the market.

Roskamp Institute

Why does Patrick fast?

Dr. Valter Longo’s research on fasting

The fasting mimicking diet

Implications for athletes.

Our two genetic states, feast and famine.

The problem with the ketogenic diet.

What we can learn from evolutionary biology.

How this could work as a co-therapy for cancer patients.

How the fasting mimicking diet differs from intermittent fasting.

The potential impact of a fasting mimicking diet on cancer.

Patrick’s personal dead lift record (set on the day of our interview).

How strength training improves cognition and neurogenesis.

The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40 by Dr. Jonathon M. Sullivan

Patrick’s new book: The Methuselah Effect: How the Trend Toward Longevity is Accelerating… And Soon will Turn your World Upside Down

The single biggest potential disruptive effect on human history is not AI, but the possibility of age reversal.

The Buck Institute as a healthspan resource.

Almost everything you learned in college about human biology has been proven wrong.

Why Patrick is a huge advocate of first person shooter video games.

The end of mortality as we know it? And why we need to start thinking about that possibility now.

 

Bob loves running the Garden of the Gods’ hills.

Bob McAndrews, who turned 77 this past November, loves to run up mountains.

He has run up 14,115-foot Pikes Peak literally hundreds of times. Often he’ll hitch-hike down and some of the stories he tells about the tourists who drove him down would make your knees shake.

He’s run the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent 24 times, winning his age group 11 of those times. He has set a number of age group records, one of which still stands.

Bob ran up Mount Washington, one of the toughest climbing events in running, coming in second in his age group. After the age of 60 he posted age group wins on Pikes Peak, La Luz Ascent in Albuquerque, the Vail Hill Climb and Turquoise Lake in Leadville. He’s raced internationally and successfully competed with the world’s best mountain runners.

At 77 he continues to run local races often beating the winners in age groups much younger than him.

Bob has become a mountain running legend.

I’ve known Bob for a long time, ever since my second year in college. And, over the years we’ve shared many a trail and a few races along the way. During his fastest years I shied away from training with Bob (unless he was injured or recovering from some debilitating effort) because his pace and intensity would almost inevitably take me too far out of my body’s comfort zone, leading to injury, occasionally, or more commonly, exhaustion.

But these were small prices to pay for our long talks ranging from world events to the impact of culture on running performance to the latest odd-ball running regimen currently in vogue.

Sometimes our conversations veered to personal or business problems and Bob, with insight and compassion, was a ready listener and thoughtful adviser.

The only topic I studiously avoided was racing. From our very first runs I learned, painfully, that any mention of a past or future race would send our pace skyward and I would soon be in deep oxygen debt while Bob effortlessly continued his racing saga or strategy.

What has made Bob an inspiring friend, not only for me but for a host of local and regional runners, is that he’s a real runner. He’s not just someone who runs. He’s a student of the sport. He can talk intelligently and at length about atrial fibrillation, which has slowed him down, V02 max and what you need to do to increase your lactate threshold. He’s an expert on injury and recovering, which he does spectacularly well.

It’s a real privilege to bring you our conversation on many of these topics on the inaugural edition of The Age Stronger Show.

I hope you find it as enjoyable to listen to as it was to record.

Your comments and feedback are not only welcome and important but are vital in order to make the show better.

Please take a moment (it would be a huge help) and share what you liked most about the show and if you have some encouraging suggestions for improvement, I’d like to hear those too.

If you enjoy this episode, please take a moment and give it a rating on iTunes. I know this is a big ask but it really helps to get great guests. And it also makes the show more visible to others who might like to join us in aging stronger. Thanks in advance!

Below you’ll see an outline of some of the topics we covered and some of the resources mentioned.



Show Notes & Resources

Victor Frankel, Man’s Search for Meaning

Triple Crown

History of running at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Atrial fibrillation

Culture, sports and running

Tarahumara runners in Mexico

Running and autoethnography

Running, aging, Joseph Campbell and the hero’s journey

Becoming a mountain runner

Dealing with the loss of speed and competitiveness

As an older athlete dealing with injuries and illness

How Bob’s training has changed as he’s gotten older

Bob’s weekly training schedule

The importance of speedwork.

The Pikes Peak Road Runner’s Winter Series, using it to get fit

Cherry Creek Sneak

Staying trim

Thoughts about mortality

The role of running in staying intellectually alive

The effect of having a physiological dependency on running

Inspiring running books by George Sheehan, Amby Burfoot and Joe Friel

Running and culture. The Kenyans, Japanese, Spanish, Italian and U.S. running

cultures.

How Japanese corporate sponsorship helps older runners

How the Pikes Peak Marathon needs to change to accommodate older runners

Peakus Interruptus, quitting at the top

Why he switched to Hoka running shoes

Why use so many different kinds of shoes, including Icebugs and Micro Spikes and how this may help avoid injury

Legacy as a runner

Bob’s running journals and how he uses them

The other dreaded “C” word

Recapturing lost fitness

Hopes for Cherry Creek Sneak and Bolder Boulder

Times he’d like to run and things that can upset the best laid plans

Running the Pikes Peak Marathon Ascent at age 80

How you are your own experiment

Training plans and milestones for upcoming races

Cross-training, strength training. How much he exercises per day

Still running at 90?

How he feels right now

Younger running friends

Enough said. Time to get out for a run