Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 130 - Dr. Chris Minson - Training with Heat

I kind of consider myself what we call an integrative physiologist. What I mean by integrative just means that I have been trained primarily as a cardiovascular physiologist. 

CHRIS: [00:00:00] I kind of consider myself what we call an integrative physiologist. What I mean by integrative just means that I have been trained primarily as a cardiovascular physiologist. And then a subcategory from that would be how our autonomic, you know, our nervous system, that flight or fight response and the parasympathetic nervous system, how that all regulates blood pressure and helps our cardiovascular health. That’s kind of where my main training falls into. But I definitely am an environmental physiologist, meaning looking at how the environment impacts all systems of our body, including everything from, like I said, cardiovascular and metabolic, but going into things including digestion, cognitive function, thermoregulation.

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JESSE: [00:01:31] Welcome to the Smart Athlete Podcast. I’m your host, Jesse Funk. Welcome. My guest today, who is a Professor of Human Physiology at the University of Oregon, has his PhD in exercise science. He’s an expert in environmental exercise physiology. We’re going to get into what in particular that means. He’s the founder of the Bowerman Sports Science Institute and outdoor adventure himself. Welcome to the show, Dr. Chris Minson.

CHRIS: [00:01:55] Thank you very much, Jesse. Happy to be here, just be great.

JESSE: [00:01:58] Well, so before we got going, officially, you said, this is one of many meetings you have going on today. So, hopefully, this will be the easiest stress free meeting that you have all day where you don’t have to present anything official or tell people they’re in trouble, or I don’t know what kind of meetings you have going on today. But hopefully, this one’s the easiest you have to do.

CHRIS: [00:02:22] Fantastic, good. Keeps it easy.

JESSE: [00:02:26] Yeah. So, you’ve done research in a number of areas. But it seems like kind of your specialty has to do with, and you have better words for this, heat acclimation, the effects of heat on the body and exercise. And then aging as well, which I’ve talked to a number of people dealing with aging. It seems to be kind of a, at least for my small subsection of guests, a hot topic to look into how, you know, athletes, and just people in general are affected by age. Is that an accurate assessment of kind of what you are focusing on nowadays?

CHRIS: [00:03:08] Absolutely. Yeah. So, I kind of consider myself what we call an integrative physiologist. What I mean by integrative just means that I have been trained primarily as a cardiovascular physiologist. And then a subcategory from that would be how our autonomic, you know, our nervous system, that flight or fight response and the parasympathetic nervous system, how that all regulates blood pressure and helps our cardiovascular health. That’s kind of where my main training falls into. But I definitely am an environmental physiologist, meaning looking at how the environment impacts all systems of our body, including everything from, like I said, cardiovascular and metabolic, but going into things including digestion, cognitive function, thermoregulation, you know, all kinds of topics.

And so I’m really kind of a jack of all trades, I guess you kind of say. But yeah, and aging, I kind of got into — I first got into the field originally because I was a master student kind of in a failed bike, professional bike racer, so I was looking for something to do in San Diego. And I started a master’s program there. And just by dumb luck, I got hooked up with the Naval Health Research Center. It was during the time of the first Gulf War, and we’re looking at countermeasures for heat stress.

We’re getting ready to send all these soldiers over to the gulf, was going to be very hot, and we were prepared for the Cold War. And so we were looking at just ways to keep these soldiers from overheating while in the desert. And so, but then from that, I went to work with a guy named Larry Kenny at Penn State, and he’s one of the world’s experts on thermoregulation in aging. So, I took a large aging component from there. So, yeah, Jack of all trades, I guess you kind of say, expert at nothing perhaps, but that’s okay.

JESSE: [00:04:53] You know, people often say that and I am that way as well in my own degree, not in research at all, because that’s not my area of specialty. But I actually think there is something to be said about somebody who takes that approach, in particular that, and correct me if I’m wrong here, but I’ll take a guess that you’re probably able to draw disparate ideas together a little bit easier than maybe from then your colleagues might, because you have well a little bit more varied research background. Is that — Am I on point or am I just — Am I blowing smoke here?

CHRIS: [00:05:37] I think you’re spot on. Yeah. I mean, I like to think that most people in general have the ability to know more than just their one area of expertise. But there are some people who are very narrow-minded focus. In some ways, I envy them because it’s easier, right? You become an expert in one area, you don’t get too pulled in too many different directions. But in my life, as well as in my professional life, I am just easily distracted by bright, shiny objects. So, if there’s something cool I’m like I want to know more about that. I want to know about that.

And I may not have many skills in life, but one of my do have is aligning myself to people smarter than me. And what I like about that is, there’s some really smart people out there. And you know, if you approach them in the right way, they become really excited about collaboration, you get them engaged in various things, and especially those kind of more narrow-focused people, they start seeing that, oh, their work has implications in these areas and these areas. And so that’s kind of why I’d say if anything, my research strength has been, it’s getting really good people together to do some really cool projects.

JESSE: [00:06:32] Do you have — Is there anything that stands out in your mind as like, this is one of the coolest things I’ve helped bring together or been able to participate on?

CHRIS: [00:06:41] Sure. Yeah. We talked about age earlier, I guess. And it’s like I get that question on occasion or a similar question. But what happens a lot for me is I start looking back at my career, and there’s probably three major things that I’ve kind of taken off after. And you can only say that kind of thing when you get older, because when you’re young, you’re so new to things you can’t say that, right. So, what I’ll do is maybe just talk about, briefly mention one in case it comes up, and then I’ll kind of tell you where we are right now. Sure.

So, one thing I’d say I’m really proud about is I did put a lot of effort on trying to understand physiology, cardiovascular, environmental physiology, and exercise physiology, in women in particular. And this started because when I was back in that time in San Diego, as I mentioned, I was a Master’s student, I was actually dating a woman who was a professional triathlete. And she would ask me questions about her physiology, or these kind of things. And I’d go into literature, I’d be like, wow, there’s just not much on women. I said, well, if you’re a male, I could tell you this, that, and the other. So, let’s just have you follow these things like a male would. Well, that’s just not right.

So, I started getting really frustrated about that. And so over my career, I’ve really made an emphasis to try and study women and try and have women in as many of our studies as we can and have some studies specifically on women. Sometimes it’s pure physiological studies, meaning I spend a lot of time looking at how estrogen and progesterone, particularly the synthetic forms in contraceptives, how they affect long term cardiovascular health and biomarkers of metabolic health and other things. But it’s also been involved in working with athletes. So, that’s one area that I think is really under-studied. Throughout my entire career, I’ve continued to keep that as a theme. So, I think it’s really, really important.

Secondly, what I’d say is, is really, I’m really focused on the heat. I have considered myself an environmental physiologist. I’ve done studies on everything from hyperoxic conditions and deep diving conditions and cold stress and heat stress, as I mentioned, nature exposure. And so heat stress is just fascinating to me. And so, a couple things I’ve done within the heat that I think might be interest to people listening on, one is I’ve really worked to understand how athletes manage heat, and how we can use repetitive bouts of heat stress to improve performance, not just in a hot environment like your classic heat acclimation, but also how we can use heat to improve performance even in cooler environments.

Second part of that is I’ve spent a lot of time and this is where a lot of my current funding is from National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association is looking at how we can use repetitive bouts of heat stress to drive physiological changes almost like exercise, but in patient populations. So, we’ve got two studies going on right now, one with people with hypertension and one of people with — obese people with some metabolic disorders. So, we can just really drive physiology changes with heat stress. So, that’s again an area I think have kind of been one of the– on the forefront of that and it’s been exciting journeys at least.

JESSE: [00:09:41] So, take me a little bit deeper on that. So, what does that actually look like? Are you sticking people in a sauna? Are you sticking them in a bathtub? Are you like just turning up the heat in a room? Like, what is — When you’re saying heat stress on people, and we’re not talking about exercise, I think. What does it actually mean and look like in a practical sense?

CHRIS: [00:10:04] Yeah, great question. So, the short answer is everything. So, I’m very lucky that being at the University of Oregon and being a member of the Bowerman Sport Science Center, which I was a co-founder for, we have incredible facilities. And we just opened a brand new lab that’s in our new and in the old, say, the new Hayward field, Hayward field on University of Oregon campus. A lot of your runners will know that that’s a very famous track and field.

JESSE: [00:10:31] Just recently rebuilt.

CHRIS: [00:10:33] Just recently rebuilt, yes. My new labs are in that space. They’re in one of the adjoining — one of the corners underneath the seats, we have some beautiful labs. And so in that lab, we have an environmental chamber. So, it’s basically a 12 by 12 by 12 room, that we can simulate really any environment that people live long term. So, we can bring it up 240 150 degrees Fahrenheit. We can drop it down to way below freezing, about almost negative 20 degrees celsius or zero degrees fahrenheit. We can do all kinds of ranges of humidity, we can seem like the effects of the sun. We can have some wind that we can create inside there. We can also make it hypoxic. So, it’s just a big torture chamber is what it is. And it’s just my little baby and I love it.

And so we still have one at my old lab and we have the new one now, so we’ve actually got two of these chambers. And so that’s one way we use it. And what’s nice about that is I can have, you know, these nice treadmills in there, these athletes in there and have them run or bike while in those chambers. I also have really, three, I guess, hot water immersion tanks, what we call saunas or jacuzzis. Well, not saunas, I guess, but jacuzzis. And so we can — We’ve done a lot of studies, especially from the patient populations, people spinal cord injuries, for instance, we put them in the hot water, because they just get the heat stress very easily that way.

We also have a sauna that I can use. So, I can either do traditional sauna, which is, you know, typically bring it up to 180 to 200 degrees fahrenheit. Or we can do the infrared sauna, which we keep it at a lower temperature, but then you have the infrared waves that are heating the body from within. So, yeah, pretty much if there’s a way to heat people up, I’ve got it. And if I don’t I want to get one.

JESSE: [00:12:18] Yeah, I was thinking about that too and just like knowing you’re in Oregon, and I’m like you’re going to have access to very great student population of athletes. And then probably a pretty good, you know, I guess I haven’t been to Eugene myself yet. Trying to make a plan to go out there this last year for — Why is it not coming to me? Anyway.

CHRIS: [00:12:48] Olympic trials maybe?

JESSE: [00:12:50] No, after the Olympics, for the track meet. But anyway, my personal life aside it seems like you probably have a pretty active just like general population in Eugene itself, wouldn’t you say?

CHRIS: [00:13:11] We do. Yes, that’s a blessing and a curse for me in the sense that we have a very active population. We have a number of Olympic athletes who train here and a lot and even a whole lot more Olympic wannabes where people try to train here to make the Olympic teams even for other countries. We have a lot of international athletes who come here and train because the resources and the teams and the environment is so good for them.

And that does trickle into the population here. I mean, we’re Tracktown USA. The athletes love to compete here, because they come to the crowds — they come to the stadiums and it’s got a lot of people in there and those people know what they’re watching. They’re not [inaudible 00:13:48] run around the track, they really understand the times and the history and everything else. That’s great.

The downside of that, of course, is that then we have a pretty — a very healthy population in Eugene which is great, but I also do patient populations. So, it’s a little harder to find people who aren’t healthy, especially as we’re looking older groups. I can’t find a lot of older individuals who are healthy, but we’re looking at people taking certain medications or with certain disabilities or obesity, other things. It’s a little harder for us to recruit those groups of people. But I’ll still take that over the alternative where, you know, everyone around is unhealthy. But it does make some of the funding agency, funded research a little more difficult.

JESSE: [00:14:28] Yeah. I just talked about this in — So, I have a different show I do where I just talking about running. It’s just me sitting in front of a camera talking about running. And I often try to find research like yours depending on what I’m talking about, obviously, to talk about whatever the topic is. And what I mentioned is that there’s so much research done on college students because that’s where research happens. And they’re really [inaudible 00:14:57] able, like body of people to have research conducted on.

Not everybody has especially, like I’ll say, longitudinal studies, but even over a year, like not everybody has the ability to commit to coming back to a study over a year if they’d go work or family commitments or whatever. So, thinking about that, do you ever, like when you come up with, I’ll say– results, like some kind of statistically significant result or result that maybe indicates a certain outcome. Do you have a sense of how that will play out for everybody else? Or do you just go, well, we know this is effective, or this outcome is probably certain in the college age population? Or is there any kind of inference for the population as a whole?

CHRIS: [00:15:59] Yeah, that’s a great question. Something we struggle with in all of research, to be honest with you is you try and get as diverse a population as you can. And then you try and make inferences beyond that because you can study everybody under conditions. And by one example, not the one, and I’ll come back to your actual question. But one example is, you know, when you study people [inaudible 00:16:20] with hypertension, we’ve had this study with people looking at, we call elevated blood pressure in stage one and stage two hypertension. And we want people not medicated.

Well, that means our results are really only relevant to people who are not medicated, which is becoming a smaller and smaller portion, because people are getting medicated earlier, where I think they’re — so exercise and diet and heat therapy, that could actually really benefit people before they go on medications. So, if we start looking at people with medications, then their work isn’t relevant to people without medications. People without medications our work maybe to be relevant people taking a, you know, ace inhibitor, or beta blocker or something else, because their physiology is actually disrupted by those drugs, even statins make some differences. So, all those things, it makes it very translatable, can be very difficult, but we do what we can.

When it comes to exercise, it’s interesting, because you’re right, we get a lot of college age students, and then we get a lot of community athletes, for our studies as well. But sometimes our institutional review boards, those who grant us the rights to do work on humans, they oftentimes want us to limit, oh, that’s a pretty intense exercise, we don’t want you studying anybody over the age of 50.

Well, I’m over age 50 now, I’m like well, but you know, I’d like to think I could be in any kind of study and go hammer myself for two hours on the bike and be okay. But we have to find that balance, right? And yes, we just study a lot of college students because we have them on campus, of course, and they’re usually accessible to get in. And we do reimburse subjects for their time. And that can be translate to beer money, or pizza money, or whatever they want to spend their money on. So, that helps. But it’s a challenge.

What’s interesting for me, actually, is I do a lot of work with truly elite athletes like the best of the best. But now you’re talking about very small sample sizes. And what’s hard about that sometimes is I can design whatever study I want. But their coach may say, no, I’m not having my athlete do that, right? Nope, that’s the rest day. Nope, this is their hard day. Nope, we got to make sure they get this particular workout in. So, working with that really elite group is very, very hard. And even so then they’re — what we learned from them can be translatable to the lower ranks, if you will, of athletes. But most of the work is very specific to them and so it’s a challenge we really have. I didn’t answer your question very well, other than say that we really think about it a lot.

We do what we can and we just have to keep doing more studies with more populations. And I’m going to follow up something which I mentioned before, and this is the biggest problem I see is that we don’t include enough women, there’s not enough women studies. So, even now, a lot of coaches, a lot of people who look at the science and follow practices [inaudible 00:19:01] for a long time. You know, women are not just small men, as Stacey Sims, a friend and colleague of mine has said.

She’s one of the leading voices, I think, in promoting women being studied more in research. And she’s completely right. And so a lot of what we’re doing with women athletes is coming from the studies we’ve done in men. I think only like even now, I think something like 30% 38%, something like that of studies involve women. And oftentimes they’re not looked at separately.

And sometimes you don’t have to look at them separately, sometimes we should. And so it’s a complicated issue and it’s tough because it takes a lot of money to do more research and every subject you come in, there’s a time cost for it myself, my staff, my grad students, the undergrads helping us, there’s physical cost, special money for supplies or other things. And so we just can’t study hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people for one study, unfortunately.

JESSE: [00:19:54] That kind of brings me back around to a question written down earlier based on you mentioning that. And that is, is it — Do you think that the lack of data or lack of studies on women, is that a result of I’ll say, basically, historical exclusion of women in sports because it’s taken time to have more and more women’s sports added to any kind of program, collegiate amateur Olympic, whatever it is. Is it an artifact of that is it? Is it a simply a matter of there are more men who are athletes unable to participate. So, just a sample size problem where you have — say you can only pull statistically, you’re only going to get 5% of the population, and they’re 75% of that population’s men. Like, is it that situation? Like, what would you suggest is the reason for the lack of data or lack of research currently?

CHRIS: [00:21:00] Yeah. Again, important question. I’m going to take one of those to get rid of it right now. That is the participation issue. So, you take marathons alone, right now, a higher percentage of the people finishing marathons are females than males and 10Ks and other things. And so the woman athletes are out there. And again, one thing I love about being in a college campus area is we’ve got so many great female athletes. This includes the ones who are on the NCT [inaudible 00:21:25] teams, or the ones who are in the club sports or just go into our Student Rec Center. You will see more women working out than you will men on any given day for the most part. So, the women are out there, definitely.

So, I think we can get rid of that one right away. But if we take a historical perspective on that, well, women weren’t encouraged for a long time to doing sports and being active in that same way. So, historically, yes, it was a problem that there were fewer women being active and athletic. I mean, the first women were invited to the marathon in 1984, or something like that. That’s absolutely [inaudible 00:22:04] Samuelson I think it was the first one. Right? I mean, that’s insane that that’s how long it took. Right? And there are still debates about whether there should be same distances for men and women. And those debates are neither here nor there.

But I do think that they’re still important debates I should say. I actually don’t want to discount this completely. But regardless, we have to have just as many women in Olympics as we do men. There should be just as many athletes, title nines is one of the big things that they have for participation in sports, is having equal numbers of men and women. Or not equal but representing the rest of the college campus that you have. And most college campuses are having more women. So, theoretically, we should have more women athletes on campus. So, that’s a huge issue there. So, the historical context, I do think that the numbers of participants is a non-issue now.

The one thing that’s been interesting because I’ve been very involved in looking at how the menstrual cycle impacts cardiovascular health and autonomic function, and even some performance stuff. But the — And that scares some researchers away. They’re like, well, we don’t want to talk to women about their menstrual cycle. And this is true even for some women physiologists have told me this. Although less so than some of the men, and I’ll say even some of the — mostly the older men. But I’ve found that once you get a person talking about their physiology, male or female, and they’re comfortable with you, all kinds of things come out. And so we do have to think about the menstrual cycle, but we can’t let that be an excuse for not studying women. Right?

Oftentimes, they’ll say, well, we were concerned about hormonal changes during the course of the menstrual cycle so we only studied men. Well, I don’t know if I’m allowed to swear on this or not so I’ll say it two ways, you can bleep out whichever one. I think that’s wrong, that’s inappropriate and that’s bullshit. So, whatever you want to say it. I don’t accept that. I get very adamant about that one. It means there’s so many different ways. It’s actually people publishing and saying, here are the ways that you can study the menstrual cycle or include women despite or to include the menstrual cycle or hormonal changes or other things. So, I don’t accept that as an answer for that question.

JESSE: [00:24:15] I mean, I think that’s fair and I think to — Anytime you come up with — I’ll take this from a math perspective, because that’s kind of where my brain is. So, thinking about if you want to design a study, you have to try to account for what is now, I would consider like a multi-barrier, like response. So, in the middle of the menstrual cycle, right post pre like, you have to figure out where and then each of your participants.

It doesn’t — like the short version is, it seems like the research has just become lazy. And say I don’t want to deal with the extra data. Like I don’t want to have to deal with trying to parse out all of the extra information. So, I’ll just ignore that population. So, like my perspective of what little that’s worth is it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s just a matter of problem solving, like being proactive to say, okay, well, what data do we need to accurately assess the situation rather than just say, we’ll just ignore it? Am I on board here or is my brain off in left field again?

CHRIS: [00:25:39] Oh, you’re completely right on that, yeah. I couldn’t agree more with that. And it is definitely — We know the menstrual cycle can impact many aspects of physiology. And some of those will have correlates or have some impact on sports, training, performance, those kind of things. In my view, the research isn’t super strong, there isn’t enough of it at this point. But there are some people who are promoting right now saying, well, during the menstrual cycle, and Stacey Sims is one of these, during the menstrual cycle, you may want to perform — do certain types of training or kind of hydration strategies, other things. And I don’t disagree with that. I think there is to maximize performance itself.

But for a lot of women, that’s not practical, right? You have an event coming up, they don’t schedule the events around your own menstrual cycle. Right? And training doesn’t work that way, you may have do blocks and other things. And so there are some, some tweaks you can do here and there. But what I’ve seen for the most part is that women can perform extremely well, in any phase of their menstrual cycle, full stop. Right.

So, maybe we’re talking about eking out an extra half a percent or something like that, then maybe in one phase, other phase, maybe something will be a bit different, but I think their training in all the different phases of the menstrual cycle or for taking certain hormone treatments or doing it for gynecological disorders or just for controlling their menstrual cycle, or whatever contraception, of course, then they have to train throughout the cycle, they have to perform throughout the cycle.

So, in most cases, I think the variability we see in some outcome, due to the menstrual cycle, or hormonal changes is usually smaller than the variability we’ll see in having a lot of other things going on that they prepare adequately for the heat, that they prepare adequately for the higher altitude, they prepare adequately — They use this type of training strategy, what was their training loads on their legs, what was — How was their sleep patterns, how was all these, right? How’s their hydration status? All those things can have such bigger impacts than the menstrual cycle. So, again, I think it’s important we acknowledge it, we acknowledge that doesn’t complicate, to some degree studies, but doesn’t stop us from doing those studies, and including women in those studies.

JESSE: [00:27:56] I mean, from what you’re seeing, it seems like, I’m even overblowing the situation by saying I’ll have to parse everything out. It seems like once you collect the data, in your case, and figure out what’s happening that, from what you said, I think I heard that it almost doesn’t matter. Like it’s not, it really shouldn’t be a consideration to should we include, like a female population in a particular study, in the slightest.

CHRIS: [00:28:31] Yeah. And so from my own studies, we have some time, we’ve done a lot. And this is still [inaudible 00:28:37] done in my lab, even we have study going on right now we’re doing this, where we’re studying women during the early follicular phase. So, that’s usually during menstruation, or during the placebo phase of contraceptive use. So, when they’re usually actively menstruating or had been within the last — during the week, a period of time we’ll count it where their hormones are typically the lowest. And we do that because the hormonal changes might make things a little more — add more variability, or kind of people say we’re mixing apples and oranges. We’re not — we’re still within the same woman. And so we then use that to compare it to men because their hormonal profile for the women then is more stable.

And so we do that because reviewers want to see that, and that way we can include women and we can have less challenges with the reviewers. But I don’t think that’s necessarily right all the time. So, in many studies what we’re trying to do is saying, look, we’re just going to record what phase they’re in, or if they’re taking certain hormone treatments. And sometimes we do exclude people from certain hormonal treatments for various — if the study itself kind of demands that.

But in general, I think if people would just record what phase women are in when they’re studied, then you can — especially if it’s like you’re doing multiple phases of a study, so that they’re coming back multiple times, something like that. We do try and tie it in, so they’re going to come back if they’re in a luteal phase, we want them coming back in the luteal phase. But sometimes you can’t do that.

So, as long as we document as best we can what phase they’re in or what hormone treatments we’re taking, and then eventually, we can look at individualized data, if we have enough subjects and say, okay, when we looked at people in the different menstrual cycle phases, we can see what the variability is attributed to that. I’d much rather see that than saying, well, we’re going to exclude women, or we’re going to only study them in one phase, right, because they’re more like men, if their hormones are down. Like well, come on, you can’t define a woman by 25% of her cycle time. But I do recognize that it is another variable we have to consider and everything else.

So, I think if people are being thoughtful about it, and no matter how they’re being thoughtful about, they’re not excluding women from being participants in studies, then we’re at least making progress from where things have been historically.

JESSE: [00:30:47] So, it sounds like — So you’re running stuff, what are you running right now? What studies are — if you’re able to talk about it I guess, what are you working on at the moment?

CHRIS: [00:30:58] Sure. So, let me ask you a question. Are you clarifying like specifically to menstrual cycle in women, or just in general, our studies we got — [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:31:06] Either. Whatever is like, you’re like, oh, I want to talk about this. Like the thing that’s peaking your brain at the moment, whatever that means.

CHRIS: [00:31:15] Great. So, yeah, I can kind of dovetail to those into one study. I got some really exciting funding recently from within Project and the University of Oregon, and in five other universities. It’s called the [inaudible 00:31:30] Foundation. And they are a group of people who are putting a lot of money towards performance based physiology, trying to understand, you know, can we understand better human performance. That includes a lot of things, the classic performance, like who wins races? But also, how do people perform, how to recover from serious injuries? Can we do regenerative medicine, spending, a lot this kind of thing.

So, I was actually lucky enough to tap into some of that. And so one of the projects we have going on right now is we’re really looking at how we can improve performance in women. In men and women both, but the grant was really focused primarily on women by trying to improve their oxygen carrying capacity. So, one of the arguments for why women overall run slower than men overall, and I say overall, because most women can run faster than me. So, it’s just like this is — [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:32:19] Right. It’s like, inaugurate, yeah.

CHRIS: [00:32:22] Inaugurate, yeah. Right. Or look at marathon times or 10K times, or any event, women are going to be a bit slower than men. Well, one of the reasons for that is their [inaudible 00:32:33] was how many red blood cells as a percentage of their total blood they have, and their hemoglobin, which carries the oxygen, is less in women than it is in men. So, we’re looking at ways that we can actually improve or increase the red blood cell mass. So, and that means their oxygen carrying capacity. So, one way we know we can do that is through blood doping, right? You can inject someone with a [inaudible 00:32:52] There was that famous cyclist, I forget his name, who he was, but someone who got really busted for that. I’m just kidding. Lance Armstrong, right. We all know the name.

But a lot of the cyclists, and as a cyclist myself, I’m going to take one small step here and just say, stop blaming cyclists for everything. They’re just the ones that had the most rigorous testing and caught the most people. But runners, cross country skiers, soccer players, football players, I mean, baseball players, this thing is every sport you’re going to see doping. So, let’s stop throwing cycling under the mat as the sole sport. But thanks Atlantis and the biggest news there. But anyway, so we know we can do that. That’s illegal. That’s cheating. But there are other ways that we can see to naturally increase red blood cell mass in people. And there’s mostly studies have been done in men.

So, we’re trying to do more of these studies in women. So, one thing that people can do is this classic, live high train low, right? So, people are living at high altitude so they’re getting during sleep and other things they’re getting this hypoxic stimulus to increase a red blood cell mass, but then you can’t train as fast and your neuromuscular adaptations and things don’t happen as well. Or you can’t be running as fast at the higher altitude so you come down to low altitude to train. And so places like Mammoth and Flagstaff, those kind of places where people go do those things. Well, those do work [inaudible 00:34:11] the hypoxic sleeping hypoxic environments can cause sleep disruptions or they don’t recover as well and other things. So, it’s not going to work for everybody.

But we’re looking at, strangely enough that some of the pathways as people adapt to hypoxia are similar to the pathways that people adapt to heat stress. So, we’re doing some studies and we’re not the only ones, they’re other groups in the world doing this too, where we’re taking athletes, we’re going to be basically heat acclimating them. So, a classic heat acclimation protocol is anywhere from seven to 10 or 14 days when people come in repetitive bouts and you heat acclimate them. Well, that’s too short of time for red blood cells to adapt. So, we really need to get people in more like getting in four or five weeks time periods to come in and get heat acclimated over four or five weeks. Not every day, but at least multiple times during the week. And what we’ve kind of temporarily seen is that we can increase red blood cell mass in people.

And this may be an interesting treatment for women who have anemia, for instance, or iron, or low iron, so we can try and supplement for iron and then try and use this heat stress. And we’re going to actually combine it with some hypoxia as well. So, heat stress combined with hypoxia, to try and give a double whammy to cause the system to make more red blood cells. And we’re hoping that’s going to result in some performance increases. And so that’s one of the kind of fun studies we’re doing. And again, it’s going to be looking at men and women both, but we’re really, [inaudible 00:35:36] my own history and I think the more fascinating group will be in women see if we can increase their oxygen carrying capacity, because that results in, typically it results in going faster. So, that’s one of the big studies we’re doing right now. We got a bunch of other ones more health related, but that’s one of the big performance based ones.

JESSE: [00:35:55] We should see how that turns out. I know, I had talked to — I believe it was Scott Johnson who’s the author of the Uphill Athlete. I think in his book he talks about performance improvements through heat acclimation, and how he improves performance across the board, regardless of like whether you’re performing in heat, which is kind of the classic reason for heat acclimation, right? It’s like, oh, I’m going to go race in a hot environment, like I need to get ready to go do that. And I think after that conversation, I thought about it more. I think it was — it had to have been almost a year ago now, because I think it was starting to be — it was like cool-ish, but not really cold. And I started wearing like a little bit more layers, like running a little bit warmer than I would normally.

But I hadn’t thought about trying to heat acclimate some other way via sauna or bath, or whatever. I saw on your Twitter, it was a retreat from Asker, I think about his like, bathtub regimen of using a bathtub with hot water to help people heat acclimate after like a 40 minute workout or something like that. He’s all over the place, by the way, which I’m sure you know. It seems like it can’t go anywhere without seeing something that he’s done, or somebody referring to something he’s done. But that idea of using basically a non-exercise stimulus for heat acclimation, I think is neat. Not to try to [inaudible 00:37:32] term on it, but just like, it’s fascinating. So, I’ll be interested to see how things kind of turn out for you guys.

CHRIS: [00:37:39] Yeah. So, rather than calling it neat, I’m going to call it badass. So, that’s my term is we’ll take — [crosstalk] right out of it. Yeah. So, the studies that you’re referring to, and I’ll have to go catch that book because I haven’t come across that. He’s referring to our work from 2010. So, well you asked me early in the podcast, some things I’ve been really excited about, or what I’ve done in my career that I thought was, maybe you didn’t actually ask this, but I’m going to answer — I’m going to say, what have you done in your career that you thought were impactful, right? [crosstalk] And talk more about the women’s health stuff. So, the other big thing I really did is we were one of the very first groups to demonstrate that we can use heat acclimation.

In this case, we did 10 days of heat acclimation in high level cyclists. So, for people who know cycling, we’re talking about cat one, cat two, primarily [inaudible 00:38:25] one cat three in there, we did have a group of women and men, and they’re both unfortunately, couldn’t get as many women to have exactly equal sample sizes in both groups. But we put these high level cyclists through 10 days of heat acclimation, in addition to doing all their normal training. So, I can talk more about how we did that. Then we had a control group as well, who just did their normal training, and then came into our lab and did the traditional cycling, but not in the heat. And the outcome of that was really impactful. It’s actually one of the most cited works that I have at this point. It’s just generated a whole bunch of other people doing research. And that’s one of the things that I get super excited about.

And not everybody finds the exact same results, and there’s nuances here and there. But the — where I think we are right now though is that we can use repetitive bouts of heat acclimation. It can be either passive, as you mentioned, sitting in hot tubs or it can be exercising in the heat, over-dressing, those kind of things. We can use that heat acclimation to improve performance in cool or temperate environments. And when I first was proposing this kind of idea, people tell me no, that doesn’t make any sense, blah, blah, blah, this blah, blah, blah that. And we’ve seen it clearly and I know a lot of athletes are doing it now. And we are helping a lot of athletes do it.

So, and we don’t publish all the things we find because we want to be ahead of what’s coming out in the literature sometimes. But that’s an area that we published and I’ve been involved in counterpoints on this and other things. And it’s — I’ve worked some professional teams who are implementing this now. And the feedback I get routinely and the data we see is that you know, in most individuals, not all, but most individuals who go through periodic heat acclimation, in addition to their normal training will get a performance benefit even in the cooler environments. And that is just really cool. Or to use a term I mentioned before, badass, right? I think it’s really, really cool approach. And a lot of kind of funny stories you can tell about this kind of thing.

But one thing I’ll tell you about it is that I do then get — after we published that work, I do get some, like especially age group athletes contacting me and saying, hey, I really wanted this heat acclimation, I really want to get this extra [inaudible 00:40:33] performance benefit you’re talking about, and after I talked to him for about literally five minutes, but usually it’s a longer conversation that. I say, look, don’t start doing heat acclimation to improve your cool weather performance. Start training smarter, try managing your sleep better, try managing your food better, try managing your hydration better.

You got all these things you can do that are going to drive physiological performance way more than this is going to do if you get these things sorted out, then come talk to me, we’ll put the icing on the cake, if you will. But the other take home message, I think from what we’ve done is that when it’s done right, when heat acclimation is done right, so you’re, again, you’re separating your high intensity work, you have to in cooler environments to get that speed, just like the live high train low phenomenon, then you add heat on to it’s not fatiguing you, it’s not adding too much more stress to your body and to your legs, then you can get these performance enhancements. I fully, fully see that. But if you do it right, there’s no downsides.

So, and history is rife with all these stories about people who prepare for this big event, especially like in the springtime, right, and all of a sudden, it gets way harder than they predicted. They’ve been training, they’re working hard, but sometimes months, oftentimes years into this training, this big event, they show up, and they’re not ready for the heat. And their performance completely suffers, they may not finish. It’d be much harder than they ever imagined because they weren’t prepared for the heat. So, the benefit of heat acclimation when done right is now you’re prepared to perform in the heat, first off. But second off, if it’s not being hot, then you may have some performance benefits, in addition to that.

So, we first saw this when I was working with a guy named David Ritzenhein, who has been one of the United States best marathon runners for many, many years. And we were helping him prepare for Beijing Olympics is what — that was 2008 I guess, so quite a while ago. And so we’re working with he and his coach, worked with him and his coach, and I had a little concern at the time, because we hadn’t done the real research yet, that if we’d got him heat acclimated, because he’s such a, you know, he’s elite and marathon runners are just like, they’re thoroughbred. So, they’re typically high strung and it’s like they’ve got a lot going on. They’ve got everything in their life dialed down to maximize performance in every way they possibly can.

You know, and I really didn’t want to disrupt and ruin his performance in the Olympics because of something we did, right? So, [inaudible 00:43:04] really, really careful, and we kind of looked at the physiology, and we said, all right, so if we get him heat acclimated, we know he’s going to perform better in the heat, full stop. But what if Beijing ends up not being that hot? What if we get him ready for the heat and he doesn’t — and it’s not hot, did we do a detriment? Would he have really go a bit slower? Would it be no change or would it possibly be that we actually got him a little bit faster.

So, Beijing ended up being pretty hot, and he performed very, very well. In fact, he outperformed Ryan Hall. So, if you watch the videos, United States on it, you’ll notice that the camera people were on Ryan Hall the entire time and not paying attention to Ritzenhein home. And he was actually ahead of Ryan Hall the whole time. People just thought that Ryan Hall is going to do better. But he, in my view, there are a number of problems, but one of them, he didn’t get as prepared for the heat as he should have [inaudible 00:43:47] placing ninth at the time is one of the higher placings for an athlete, and that’s not because of me, per se, but I think what we did helped. We were a piece of that.

And so that was the first thing we really started looking at and saying, all right. I think we’re onto something here, because we can very carefully, in these super elite athletes, put heat into them, get them prepared for hot events. And if it ends up not being hot, there may be some other benefits. And again, we’re seeing that. I know a lot of professional teams are doing that are using this kind of approaches now. And the body of evidence seems to be growing.

JESSE: [00:44:23] So, is that — Is the effect, as you kind of mentioned, do you think it’s because of an adaptation of higher red blood cell count? Or is there something else going on? I mean, you can see the effect. But do you have an indication as to like, physiologically, what changes are occurring to make this effect appear?

CHRIS: [00:44:43] Yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s really difficult because we’ve gone through and looked at the data that we can collect. You know, we can’t collect data on everything and every subject, it’s impossible. But we go through, we really try and identify, okay, what change to make these people faster or to perform better. And oftentimes, it’s really hard to say. We do know that, so in a short period of time, we’re not going to see any real red blood cell mass changes. So, if we do a 10 day heat acclimation or 14th day heat acclimation, it’s probably not going to be red blood cell mass. If we do a longer one, that’s where we’re seeing the increase in red blood cell mass. So, we’ve kind of take that one off the picture completely.

One thing that happens, we do know that if you’re going to run in a temperate or cool environment, your body temperature is still going up. If your body temperature is still going up, and you’re working hard, that means you can have a high skin blood flow and you have a high sweat rate. As you go through heat acclimation, you actually start sweating a little bit earlier, and you got a bit more reserved for sweating and for having skin blood flow. So, your total blood volume does go up, just because the water in your blood, the plasma has expanded, not the red blood cells. So, because of that, you can actually divert more of your cardiac output or the oxygenated blood leaving your heart to the periphery for cooling.

And again, you kind of start — you have a little more — I hate the term efficient, but we’ll say a little bit more efficient or little more effective sweating and heat loss mechanisms. So, you keep your body a little bit cooler, and then that allows you to have more blood going to your working muscles. So, that’s one way we think it happens. I do think and this is where I think some of the debate needs to go, or at least more studies need to go. Even if you’re sitting in the hot water, by one example, you get kind of a displacement of blood from your periphery, up into your chest into your heart. And that can expand your heart a little bit. So, your stroke volume, how much blood your heart ejects on each beat, right, your cardiac output is, how much blood your heart puts out per minute.

And that’s a function of your heart rate, which doesn’t really change much unless your age is dropping, but even with training doesn’t get higher. But your stroke volume does change. And that’s how much blood is injected by each beat. And so one of the big training adaptations is your heart gets — your chamber gets bigger and your stroke volume gets bigger. That’s partly because you got this great muscle pump constantly bringing blood flow up to your heart, and it helps us expand. But it’s also because your blood volume expands when you train. And we think that one thing might be happening is those who do see some benefits in cool weather performance is that they’re getting this plasma volume expansion within reason, not too high.

There’s a limit by which you get too high of plasma volume expansion, you’ll see a decrease in performance. But it’s in that kind of magic Goldilocks area where you see enough plasma volume expansion, where over the next two weeks or so, especially the person keeps training is going to get a little bit bigger stroke volume. So, we saw cardiac output increase a little bit. And so we think that’s a key component. There are some metabolic components to it too and you’ve looked at a few of those, meaning that you may be able to not rely on quite as much carbohydrate usage after heat acclimation. I don’t know if that’s true in elite athletes, and it’s hard to know for sure if that’s really going on.

I do have some plans to try and study that kind of question in more detail with some of my muscle physiology colleagues, you start get into what the skeletal muscle’s doing and I get really out of my element. So, I gotta surround myself by those really smart people who work in skeletal muscle and understand that stuff really well. And metabolism gets really complex too. So, I don’t have a set answer other than we have a lot of things, and what I do think happens is that it’s — what little changes might occur may not be the same for all athletes. But in most athletes, some combination of these little changes happen, that we’re seeing some performance enhancements.

I see you’re getting ready — Sorry, let me jump in one more thing on that. I do think one component about this is the mental side of it, right? If you know, you’ve been going to a heat chamber and having to look at my ugly mug for, you know, two weeks, you have a — you can suffer a little bit more than most people. And so it’s that being in a heat and being a little bit uncomfortable and knowing you can run in it, and you find out oh, it’s not that much hotter. Or even if it is a bit warm, but not hot, you feel cooler, or you know you’re prepared for it. All those mental aspects are hugely important and maybe more important than some of the physiological changes even. But I would say that that’s — we can’t by any means ignore the mental side of that.

JESSE: [00:49:14] That reminds me of — thinking about Asker again. I think it was one of his studies about the — I think it’s the mental rinse for cyclists. You know what I’m talking about?

CHRIS: [00:49:25] Yes, yes, it makes you feel cooler. Right.

JESSE: [00:49:27] Right. So, it’s like, you’re not actually cooler, but there’s that psychological component of like, having relief and then being able to go harder. So, I think that’s interesting. I do feel like you should like figure out how to tweak the study a little bit, where it’s like after athletes looked at me for two weeks, then they were able to go faster.

CHRIS: [00:49:54] Yeah, I could start selling pictures of my face, of myself and make some money by making athletes go fast by [inaudible 00:50:00]

JESSE: [00:50:01] Just like everybody’s like training room. We’ll just have a picture of you on the wall and everybody’s like who is that? I don’t know. But if I put him on the wall, supposedly I’m going to go faster.

CHRIS: [00:50:11] That’s right. Perfect. I got to try and market that somehow. [inaudible 00:50:16] I think it’s called.

JESSE: [00:50:17] Maybe it goes with the — Do you mind me sharing the anecdote about your name that I — you told me about before we were recording? I don’t want to perpetuate it.

CHRIS: [00:50:27] I’m an open book. [inaudible 00:50:29]

JESSE: [00:50:29] Okay. I was like before we ever recorded, so you can share but you mentioned being called King Christopher. So, I’m imagining like, almost like a rapper style picture of you with like a crown on or something up on the wall. And that’s what’s in everybody’s like training room to make — to like focus on going faster now.

CHRIS: [00:50:52] Now that you said that I was called King Chris. I think I do need to tell the story because — people like, who is this arrogant guy?

JESSE: [00:50:58] Like, what’s happening?

CHRIS: [00:50:59] Yeah, exactly. No. So, what happened was I was a new professor, and I’d like to — had been — I took a few years off to bike race after undergraduate. And then I went to masters and I did my PhD and I did a postdoc, got here. So, I felt like I was same age as the undergrads, I’m sure they didn’t feel that way. But I felt like I was kind of one of them and I didn’t want to be that stuffy professor who’s standing in front of them and just yapping about some physiology, and I’ll put them all to sleep. So, I kind of want to be that more hip professor, the fun professor. And our whole department was kind of doing that way.

And so students got really good at asking. So, do you prefer to be called doctor this or doctor that or by your first name? Or do you want to be called professor this? Because some of the older faculty, we had at the time wanted to be called professor or doctor. And so they said, hey, do you want to be called — is your first name Chris fine? Or do you want to call Dr. Minson, Professor Minson? And I said, look, let’s just keep it kind of informal. I’m not a very formal person. So, let’s just keep it as simple as possible. And I said, just — I prefer to be called King Christopher. And they all kind of cracked up and then that was it. I moved on to the lecture, right? And I didn’t know that at the time that the students thought that was funny enough that they actually kept calling me that.

They’d actually sent emails, King Christopher, and then a bunch of my grad students went to Disneyland at the end of a conference we went to and they came back with Casey Mickey Mouse ears for me. So, students started calling me Casey for short and other thing like that. So, yeah, it became this joke. And I was like, so at the start of a podcast, as mentioned, you make one little joke in front of a class that you think is going to be, you know, it was literally like 10 seconds [crosstalk] Yes, a toss away. And next thing you know, I’m still being called — students for that year, still call me [inaudible 00:52:44] still kind of translates now I hear some students calling me that. But those students from that time still call me Casey.

JESSE: [00:52:54] This is another dumb anecdote, but it reminds me of a coach I had in college. Or he was the assistant coach and then kind of the coach in charge of the distance people [inaudible 00:53:05] around. And so our main coach came on and said this is your new coach. He’s going to be helping out, he went to Wichita State and ran the 800 there and blah, blah, blah. So, like he’s legit. But he never actually gave us his name. We didn’t know his name for two weeks. So, my roommate for whatever reason, decided to call him Mr. T. He doesn’t look anything like Mr. T. He’s a white guy. There’s no resemblance to Mr. T. But that stuck. Everybody called him Mr. T.

His name’s Kevin. It’s not even close. But the difference being like, he hated it, he hated being called Mr. T. And he like, basically by this — I was a sophomore at the time. By the time I was a senior everybody called him Kevin besides me. And he allowed me to do it just I think, hopefully a little bit out of deference for just the amount of work I put in for him. Like, because I never balked at a workout. But it just — it made me think, you talking about it, how something so small sticks so easily sometimes in like college students’ brains.

CHRIS [00:54:23] Absolutely.

JESSE: [00:54:26] It’s like — Anyway, it’s interesting how sometimes little ideas that you didn’t intend to be anything start to take on like, a life of their own.

CHRIS: [00:54:35] Absolutely, yep. Yep. And that’s actually a good parallel or a segue I guess to, you know, I mentioned before I’m easily distracted by bright shiny objects when it comes to my research because I get excited about something. I want to understand it better and that’s how I go, and that’s how I go. And that’s how things kind of start sometimes. It’s just the smallest — things happen and you’re like, Well, what about this and then you get kind of distracted. And then it gets in your mind and you start following it along. And same thing with names, right? You’ve passed something off and it gets a life of its own and it takes off. And then gosh, almost 20 years later, you’re still hanging around.

JESSE: [00:55:13] Chris, as we’re starting to wind down on time, I’m asking everybody the same question this year. It’s kind of a theme I do each year, I have a new question. So, this year’s question that I’d like to ask you, as we’re kind of rounding out the year here is how do you stay motivated after failing to reach a goal?

CHRIS: [00:55:32] Oh, wow. That’s a great question. I would have to say, I’m really good at failing. I think failure is just a really important part of the human condition. And so there’s been a lot of statements, I’ll probably butcher all of them or try and pull one of them. But the only failure is not learning from your failures or something along those lines, right. So, yeah, so as far as learning from failures or how do you move on from failures, if I can take the example of research, oftentimes you go in with the best intentions for a project or [inaudible 00:56:10] the best intentions, but they’re really good idea, excited about, and then you don’t see the results you think.

But when you really dive into it, you start finding oftentimes much more interesting physiology and much more — you get much better questions than you ever would have had. If you answer the question you’re done. You’re like, hey, did that, solve it, yaay, win. Put it in the W column. But the learning from things that don’t work out the way you plan is really big. I will tell you — So, I do still — I still do jumping bike races, and you know, just for fun and other events as well.

But I did — A few years now I’ve done a bike race called the Skull 120. It’s 120, actually 128 miles of a gravel race in Eastern Oregon. And it can be very hot, it’s some of the roughest gravel roads, [inaudible 00:57:01] I can call them road sometimes, gravel races I’ve done. And I’ve very — I think I’ve only DNF’d once in a race before. And that’s when I cut my foot during a triathlon in lake [inaudible 00:57:13]

And so my buddy and I went to go do it and we weren’t racing to be serious. It’s really — this race is more of an adventure. It’s like, can you finish it. And we had finished it before. And I wasn’t planning on doing it. I had a bunch of mountain bike things I had kind of on my list. And then my buddy really wanted to do it so he talked me into it. But I was fit enough, I could jump in and do that. It really is like 10, 11, 12 hours on the bike. So, it’s not an easy undertaking. But I felt like I could do this. We were talking about before we’re like, okay, neither of us are — the fitness is where we want to be. But we will finish whatever, right? Yeah, I just had a bad day. Like from the moment I — Even on my bad days, typically in training, you can just stop or whatever.

But oftentimes, you get into it, about an hour into it, all of a sudden, something clicks and your legs start feeling better, and you start to go, well, I can I can make something like this. Or if nothing else, I can keep going, I can keep going. And so — But that just didn’t — My body just didn’t turn on that day. And it was a combination of many things, I think. But some of it was mental fatigue, I think. Just [inaudible 00:58:14] the whole pandemic and a bunch of other things as well. And so I was just exhausted on the bike. I was literally climbing up on my bike, up these hills — closing my eyes, for like periods of 5-10 seconds, just to try and rest and try and go. And we got to one point we knew this last section is just horribly miserable — really deep sand on this road and just horrible and it can be totally exposed and little over 100 degrees.

But on the heat gaps [inaudible 00:58:42] make it right. And I was just not willing to throw in the towel. I just wasn’t. And my buddy, Michael, he basically is like, I just DNF’d you. I’m like, oh, he said I didn’t DNF us. And he was feeling great, right? And so I was like, no, you can’t do that. And he’s like, we had an adventure together. We had fun together. This is what I wanted to do. This is it. We still had another 20 miles ride [inaudible 00:59:05] on the road I supposed.

So, we did, I think, kind of 18 out of 127 miles. But that was a really good lesson for me because I tend to push myself too hard. I tend to have the goal — the end goal being more important and that is to finish this race. And that wouldn’t have been smart. It could have — would you have done it? Yes, we probably would have finished it. Would it have been sucked? Yes. Have I done that kind of thing many times before? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that on that day, that was the right choice.

So, I’m really trying to learn that sometimes stopping and saying let’s look at what was good to happen is more important than saying we finished. So, that’s a — I got very philosophical, sensitive, personal whatever there. But that’s a big lesson I learned because with the pandemic I think we really have to show ourselves some self-care, some self-love, and I’m bad at that. So, I’m hoping to try and learn from people around me who are much better at that. And that was an example. So, I’m really grateful to my buddy, Michael, for helping me see that.

JESSE: [01:00:09] That’s a good — I’m glad to shared that. Everybody deals with failure differently, which is why I think that is a good question for me to ask this year. And that we all deal with failure, whether we’re athletes or researchers, or career people or musicians, whatever it is, like, I think you said failure is a large part of the human condition. Like, it’s something that we all do. And I think it’s easy sometimes for us to just look at the world through our own lens. Like, these are our experiences. And then if we’re not careful to make inferences about the experiences everybody else has, which isn’t necessarily the case.

Like you’re talking about being too hard on yourself, or pushing yourself too hard sometimes, or maybe other people have a hard time getting started; how you each approach failure may be different. And that’s part of the reason I wanted to ask because not the same advice hits everybody the same way. And I always like hearing just how people approach it, you know, just from a personal standpoint of wanting to grow myself and you know, hear about different perspectives and try to reflect on my own, but will not dive too far down that rabbit hole.

CHRIS: [01:01:36] Also, I cry pretty easy. So, I’ll sort of get teared up and go too much farther on this one. But it’s a great question. It’s a beautiful question. I like it, it’s great.

JESSE: [01:01:46] Chris, is there any place people can connect with you, check out your research, any of that kind of stuff?

CHRIS: [01:01:52] Yeah. So, the best way to connect through — what I’m doing is through the University of Oregon website. Just And you’ll get to my website, which is about four years behind, unfortunately. But you get my email address that way. I am on Twitter, but very rarely. It’s really just sciency thing I kind of follow about what’s happening in the science. I post it every now and then on there. But we’re going to be revamping and really getting a much better dynamic website for myself. But that should be coming hopefully in the next month or so.

And I’ll be putting — I’ll be updating that more regularly, I hope. So, that’s really the best place to kind of follow me. I wish I was one of these people who really liked being on social media, but I just don’t get a whole lot of joy out of it. And I just kind of like, do my thing. So, maybe I’ll have to change that or hire someone to help me do that. But looking at our website is probably the best place to follow stuff. And Twitter, I guess on occasion.

JESSE: [01:02:48] Yeah. Sounds good. Thanks for hanging out with me today, Chris.

CHRIS: [01:02:52] Oh, it was awesome. Jesse. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the invite. And I liked the podcast and listened to a bunch getting ready for this thing. And it was just really fun hearing your different wide range of topics and it’s a breath of fresh air to not be just so narrowly focusing on one topic and hitting a lot of topics and a lot of different perspectives. It’s great.

JESSE: [01:03:11] I appreciate it.

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