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What is physiological durability/resilience? | #15 ft. Jonah Rosner CSCS, M.Sc.

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In this episode Jonah Rosner, MS, CSCS, and I talk about durability/resilience in endurance sports. We explore how to test resilience, metrics to monitor resilience, like using heart rate decoupling during marathons, and much more!

If you have a question or topic you want us to address, leave a comment!

Interested in reading more, check out the durability paper we discuss in the episode -

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Interested in testing, courses, or other long form content? Check out the critical oxygen website -


0:00 - Introduction to Resilience

The conversation starts with an exploration of critical speed and power, setting the stage for discussing resilience and durability in athletics.

1:00 - Scaling a Physiology Assessment Business

The discussion shifts towards challenges in scaling a physiology testing business, exploring limitations and the need for scalability.

3:00 - Remote Physiology Testing Models

Exploring the potential of remote physiology testing models and the integration of technology in assessing physiological metrics remotely.

6:00 - Remote Testing Implementation

Delving into practical applications of remote testing and its potential impact on tracking physiology and interventions over time.

9:00 - Limitations of Traditional Metrics

Highlighting the limitations of traditional metrics like VO2Max, lactate threshold, and efficiency values in explaining durability and resilience in athletes.

12:00 - Dynamic Nature of Critical Power

Discussing how critical power is not static but dynamic, influenced by factors like fatigue, glycogen depletion, and changes in motor unit recruitment patterns.

15:00 - Factors Influencing Durability

Examining the correlations and potential relationships between classic performance markers and durability, acknowledging the importance of durability in longer endurance events.

18:00 - Testing Durability in Athletes

Considering methods to test durability, particularly in cycling, and the challenges associated with designing standardized testing protocols for resilience assessment.

21:00 - Resilience Testing Methodologies

Proposing methodologies to measure resilience or durability, including simulated race-specific workouts followed by a three-minute all-out test to gauge critical power or speed.

24:02 – Durability Insights

The discussion delves into the critical factors separating durability in endurance athletes. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining high critical power pre and post intervention, showcasing the ability of world-class cyclists to sustain higher critical power levels.

24:25 – Decoupling Metrics

Decoupling metrics, focusing on the ratio of external load markers like output pace to internal load markers such as heart rate during a marathon, are explored. The correlation between better marathon performance and lower decoupling metrics among elite runners is highlighted.

26:49 – Training Specificity and Environmental Factors

The conversation emphasizes race-specific training, considering environmental factors like temperature and humidity in preparing for events like Ironman Kona. The importance of accumulating time at race-specific paces to improve resilience is discussed.

31:16 – Training for Durability

Strategies for training durability revolve around sport specificity, volume accumulation, and progressive runs. The discussion stresses the need to train at or close to race pace to improve resilience, challenging the overemphasis on certain training methodologies like 80/20 approaches.

41:42 – Economy and Training Variety

The debate on economy improvement through varied training methodologies, challenging the belief that only zone two training enhances running economy, and advocating for a mix of intensities in training programs to foster a comprehensive improvement in an athlete's performance.

47:53 – Periodization and Specificity in Training

An overview of the periodization process, shifting focus from physiological variables to race-specific qualities as the event draws closer. The discussion emphasizes the importance of a gradual transition from general physiological development to specific race preparation.

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