Discover more from Steady Beats | Matt Tillotson
[SB 207] Controlling Zone 2 in the heat, aspartame hysterics, cover bands for the win
I’m Matt, and welcome to Steady Beats. If you like to walk for a better life, and also like Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life,” you just might like this newsletter.
Zone 2 struggles in the heat
It’s August. It’s Florida. The air is stagnant and heavy. The feels-like temp routinely—and quickly—exceeds 100 degrees on many days.
When it’s this hot—even at 7 or 8am—I can’t keep my heart rate in my Zone 2 target area while running. By the three-mile mark, my radiator blows out and my heart rate zooms for the rest of the run. Every time.
Here’s my heart rate from most recent run:
So I end up in a cycle of walking and jogging, which means I only pass through Zone 2 on my way above or below it.
This is known as “junk miles” — aerobic activity either a little too strenuous for the capacity-building benefits of Zone 2, or not strenuous enough for the endurance improvements found by flying close to your max heart rate.
(I don’t like the term junk miles—it’s still better than sitting on the couch—but running in Zone 3 is not optimally beneficial.)
So how can you stay in Zone 2 in the heat?
You can take it inside.
I enjoyed a 90-minute stationary bike ride on Saturday, with good results:
From a fan-cooled perch on the second floor of my local Crunch gym, I watched YouTube videos, “Quarterback” on Netflix (excellent!), and some of the recent Joe Rogan Show episode with Jim Gaffigan. It went by quickly, and it was all Zone 2.
(I generally dislike indoor cardio work. Trying to adapt!)
And by the way, the only thing I’m training for is to:
Build and keep muscle
Avoid fat gain
Stay on the top side of the topsoil
Long, steady Zone 2 sessions help with all of that, so it’s worth a trip inside sometimes.
Aspartame hysteria fizzles out under scrutiny
Here’s a perfect example of why reading corporate media headlines is a terrible way to understand health.
For example, take this story:
Health experts have been warning against the risks of artificial sweeteners for some time now—but new research conducted by a semi-independent committee for the World Health Organization suggests that it may be worse than we think.
Oh, wait. Here’s some nuance, from Dr. Peter Attia:
Many of their studies in rats and mice involved aspartame doses exceeding the FDA’s acceptable daily intake (ADI) for humans of 50 mg/kg of body weight, even when accounting for metabolic scaling. This ADI in itself represents a level of intake that greatly surpasses that of the average human; for a person weighing 175 lbs, 50 mg/kg of body weight corresponds to about twenty 12-oz cans of diet soda every day.
In other words, the rodents studied were drowning in aspartame.
No human could sustain the consumption levels that lead the researchers to cite potential correlation (not causation) between aspartame and cancer.
The health media game is no different than the rest of modern corporate media: generate fear to attract attention.
Cheers to Dr. Attia and other independent sources that actually get into the details.
Cover bands carry on the nostalgia
If you love music from the 80s (or 90s or 00), don’t sleep on cover bands. They're a low-stress way to hear your favorite songs live at a fraction of the cost and traffic headaches of stadium shows .
Friday, we caught a band called U2.0.
Were they as good as Edge and Bono?
Did we hear great songs performed well while having some good beer (and numerous Diet Cokes) at a cool brewery?
Facebook is actually useful for finding cover bands and events in your area (one of the very few things Facebook is useful for).
Cover bands. The unsung heroes of the nostalgia music scene.
Thank you for reading.
Let’s keep the Steady Beats going. 💚
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