Learn more about The PEATS Program

If you have completed two time trials, you can use our calculator to work out your ownCritical Speed.

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Then check out the norms for Critical Speed to see how you rate against the values provided.


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The PEATS Program: philosophy

ancient manA fundamental position underpinning the PEATS Program concerns the functioning of the human body. Human physiology has evolved from ancient times on a diet obtained from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and activity patterns associated with this lifestyle.
The diet of ancient man, an omnivorous one, provided for the immediate energy needs, but also his physiology enabled storage of nutrients for future times of scarcity. Ancient man’s daily activities were centered upon obtaining food, an activity which, of necessity, required him to range distances from his home base. Movement patterns would have been principally lower intensity walking or jogging, with short bursts of higher intensity in the ‘heat’ of a chase or to fend off an invader. The energy supply for these short bursts would have been associated with the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, and would have been but a small component in the daily activity patterns.

Modern man, and especially modern man engaging in elite sporting activities, is attempting to participate at intensities his physiology is probably not really designed for, particularly on such a regular basis and for such relatively long duration. He is attempting to tap into the ‘emergency’ mechanisms which were intended to be intermittent and infrequent. It is no wonder that so many modern athletes have fragile immune systems!

The PEATS Program has been developed around this central theme: that the human body is designed for endurance, and not speed. It is a program where the fundamental ingredient is endurance capacity and training program design is such that the development of this capacity is enhanced and optimized over time. Further, as endurance capacity develops, this in turn enables an athlete to maintain a higher work rate for longer, and in most athletic activities, this can be loosely thought of as ‘faster’ or developing speed. It is only in the very short single sprint activities (with a duration of less than 10-15 seconds where endurance capacity is probably irrelevant). To focus on speed development is to tap into a capacity not intended, from an evolutionary point of view, for such frequency and duration, and if it persists, the functioning of the body responds negatively with decreased performance capacity, often accompanied by immune system dysfunction.

Learn more about this philosophy in our eBook, Critical Speed and the Physiology of Training: The PEATS Program

NEXT: The PEATS Program History