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Low HR training/base-building ala Maffetone/Mark Allen


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Author Topic:   Low HR training/base-building ala Maffetone/Mark Allen
crb81
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for crb81   Click Here to Email crb81     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
am 48 been running for just over a year. Would I be right in saying I should be running at 122bpm and under to benifit from this MAF training or can I run a bit faster ie more bpm?
Roy

Roy,
It should be 132. I've been running 3 years with improvement in race times so I train at 138 and below. I'm 47 so I am using MAF +5. I do run recovery runs below MAF (133).

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jackster
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jackster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My questions is reagerding speedwork. I did the low HRT for 16 weeks or so and saw some slight changes. I haven't been able to put in alot of mileage so I probably didn't get as much benifit as I could have, but I plan do the low HRT again early next winter.

But, I am traing for a half now and am doing speed work 2x/wk. Alternating Tempos with Intervals and then pace runs. How would I use my HRM in this case. Can I use the Maff HR number some how in speed training(180-age; don't remember what its called), or do I have to actually know what my max HR is to use in speed training?

I am female 27 running for 2 years 15-20mpw. Will be my second half, with plans to do lots more races this year for fun.

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roy c
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for roy c   Click Here to Email roy c     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Clay
Thanks that will make it better than 122bpm
Roy

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Serious Runner
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Serious Runner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jackster:
My questions is reagerding speedwork. I did the low HRT for 16 weeks or so and saw some slight changes. I haven't been able to put in alot of mileage so I probably didn't get as much benifit as I could have, but I plan do the low HRT again early next winter.

But, I am traing for a half now and am doing speed work 2x/wk. Alternating Tempos with Intervals and then pace runs. How would I use my HRM in this case. Can I use the Maff HR number some how in speed training(180-age; don't remember what its called), or do I have to actually know what my max HR is to use in speed training?

I am female 27 running for 2 years 15-20mpw. Will be my second half, with plans to do lots more races this year for fun.


If you're aiming for a half, I would concentrate on tempos. Throw in some 20-30 seconds strides after some runs for leg speed. If you want to run your tempos using the HRM, you would run at 85-90% of HR Reserve. You would need to have a good estimate of your MaxHR.

Take your MaxHR and subtract your resting rate. Multiply the result by .85-.90 and add back your resting rate. That will give you your range.

The other option would be to run at, say MAF+15 or something. Jesse might have a better number to use. Hadd would have you running at the base rate + 10 bpm until you could run 10 miles without an increase in HR then increase the HR.

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Serious Runner:
Maybe this was discussed in the 65-page tome, but I have yet to see it.

My concern is still the 180-age bit. Wouldn't that potentially still result in a range that may be wrong for a lot of people. For example, Arturo Barrios has a MaxHR of 160. At age 20, he would have been going all-out everyday to run 160 bpm.


As Jimmy indicated as well, indeed, there is a problem for those with
low max heart rates. I actually address that in the FAQ, item 15. In that
situation, you're better off using Hadd's formula (which is in section
6 of the Hadd link I provide). Also, I mention that really, the
personalized measure to use is to find the range where respiratory
quotient is less than about .78 (but where would you get that, other
than a vo2max test?)

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PerfesserR:
I really appreciate your info, Jesse. My posts are not intended as criticism but just throwing some thoughts and questions out there for discussion. Trying to figure out how to live with the program, because like I said, I don't know if I can stick to it 100% with the trail runs and etc.

I understand where you're coming from and, quite frankly, I don't
recommend this for anyone who isn't 100% into it. But I did want to
make the point that once I started doing a large percentage of
anaerobic or "near-anaerobic" workouts, indeed I did wither away
my base. For a well-established runner who already can run a
good pace at below MAF, a reasonable percentage of speework
and LT workouts probably will have almost no effect on the
aerobic development.

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jackster:
My questions is reagerding speedwork. I did the low HRT for 16 weeks or so and saw some slight changes. I haven't been able to put in alot of mileage so I probably didn't get as much benifit as I could have, but I plan do the low HRT again early next winter.

But, I am traing for a half now and am doing speed work 2x/wk. Alternating Tempos with Intervals and then pace runs. How would I use my HRM in this case. Can I use the Maff HR number some how in speed training(180-age; don't remember what its called), or do I have to actually know what my max HR is to use in speed training?

I am female 27 running for 2 years 15-20mpw. Will be my second half, with plans to do lots more races this year for fun.


There are many ways you can do this one and Serious Runner's
suggestion is as good as any. If you really want to use your heart
rate monitor, the best approach likely will be to try to identify your
lactate threshold pace and associated heart rate. Easier said than
done, if you haven't run many races of 10k - HM. I do agree fully
that tempos are the way to go for what you want (although I can't
tell what you need focused work on - it's just an obvious choice
for that distance). Other approaches for tempo pace would be using
McMillan's pace calculator or the Team Oregon calculator (in which
case you would find your heart rate range somewhere in between a
10k and HM distance race and use that). Derivatives of Maffetone's
equation are not so great for calculating other paces. However, I
will say this - % max heart rate is not a great determining factor for
anything because it doesn't account for fitness and because there
can be a whole anaerobic "no man's land" between lactate threshold
and max heart rate which can vary a lot from individual to individual,
even in "equivalently conditioned and training" people. I don't like using
Kharvonen either, because HRR tells you to run at a higher heart
rate if you are ill or less fit. %anaerobic threshold really gets at
the root of what training zones you can use for anything, but it
is difficult to come up with it without a vo2max test.

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GForce1
Member
posted Mar-23-2006 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GForce1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another one bites the dust…

I’ve been MAFFing for 14 weeks and I have slowed down considerably. This happened despite having doubled my weekly mileage and tripled the time I spent training. Just before I began, I clocked a 9:03 mile at a HR under 135. This was not a MAF test, but a test set out by Coach Roy Benson that I tried after reading a book on heart rate monitors.

A couple weeks later, after running at MAF +5, I finally settled into running at MAF 136 and ran the 3-mile MAF test. My first mile was 9:50. I had already slowed down. That same week I conducted my MAF test around a 3.3 mile loop and then every few weeks to monitor my progress. Here are my times.

Day 1: 34:32 (10:24 pace)
Day 22: 35:59 (10:51 pace)
Day 43: 35:56 (10:50 pace)
Day 62: 35:00 (10:32 pace)
Day 80: 36:04 (10:53 pace)

I never cheated. I went on at least one long run a week, varied my mileage, slowed down and ran most of my runs 5 to 10 beats below MAF per suggestions from this board. I even read two of Dr. Maf’s books.

What’s worse is that yesterday I finally decided to quit MAF training and ran an “easy” run. My heart rate averaged above 150 and topped well over 160. Before beginning MAF training, I used to run an “easy” run a little under 8 minute pace, say 7:50 or so. My pace this time was 9:15! Ouch.

Today I decided to keep my HR about 10-15 beats above what I have been running the past weeks or below 144. Early on in the training when I was running at MAF + 5 or 141 according to Mark Allen’s criteria, I ran for an hour at 9:30 pace, which felt unbearably slow. Today, with my heart rate limit 3 beats higher, I ran a mere 40 minutes at a tortoise-like 10:29 pace.

In short, I used to be a fairly decent runner for a forty-something guy (a 20:14 5K, 5:40 mile). Today, after training triple the amount and doubling my mileage, not to mention getting up two hours early every weekends to run, and earlier than normal every day of the week, I now suck!

What happened here? Am I just an experiment gone wrong--nature’s counter-argument to saint leitnerj—a mutant poster-boy AGAINST MAF Training? I don’t know what happened.

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GForce1:
Another one bites the dust…

I’ve been MAFFing for 14 weeks and I have slowed down considerably. This happened despite having doubled my weekly mileage and tripled the time I spent training. Just before I began, I clocked a 9:03 mile at a HR under 135. This was not a MAF test, but a test set out by Coach Roy Benson that I tried after reading a book on heart rate monitors.

A couple weeks later, after running at MAF +5, I finally settled into running at MAF 136 and ran the 3-mile MAF test. My first mile was 9:50. I had already slowed down. That same week I conducted my MAF test around a 3.3 mile loop and then every few weeks to monitor my progress. Here are my times.

Day 1: 34:32 (10:24 pace)
Day 22: 35:59 (10:51 pace)
Day 43: 35:56 (10:50 pace)
Day 62: 35:00 (10:32 pace)
Day 80: 36:04 (10:53 pace)

I never cheated. I went on at least one long run a week, varied my mileage, slowed down and ran most of my runs 5 to 10 beats below MAF per suggestions from this board. I even read two of Dr. Maf’s books.

What’s worse is that yesterday I finally decided to quit MAF training and ran an “easy” run. My heart rate averaged above 150 and topped well over 160. Before beginning MAF training, I used to run an “easy” run a little under 8 minute pace, say 7:50 or so. My pace this time was 9:15! Ouch.

Today I decided to keep my HR about 10-15 beats above what I have been running the past weeks or below 144. Early on in the training when I was running at MAF + 5 or 141 according to Mark Allen’s criteria, I ran for an hour at 9:30 pace, which felt unbearably slow. Today, with my heart rate limit 3 beats higher, I ran a mere 40 minutes at a tortoise-like 10:29 pace.

In short, I used to be a fairly decent runner for a forty-something guy (a 20:14 5K, 5:40 mile). Today, after training triple the amount and doubling my mileage, not to mention getting up two hours early every weekends to run, and earlier than normal every day of the week, I now suck!

What happened here? Am I just an experiment gone wrong--nature’s counter-argument to saint leitnerj—a mutant poster-boy AGAINST MAF Training? I don’t know what happened.


Good question. Thanks for posting, maybe someone can figure it
out. I've always used MAF-5 and my progress was very slow when
I used higher, but I think you said you had tried that route ... Do
you have any idea what your max heart rate is? How about heart rate
at lactate threshold? I assume that you don't take in any carbs before
your runs, right? Now, the other thing is, which items in FAQ #1
were characteristic for you, i.e., what indicated to you that you had
an aerobic fitness problem? Were you burning out in marathons?

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runawayjesse
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for runawayjesse     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GForce1:
Another one bites the dust…

I’ve been MAFFing for 14 weeks and I have slowed down considerably. This happened despite having doubled my weekly mileage and tripled the time I spent training. Just before I began, I clocked a 9:03 mile at a HR under 135. This was not a MAF test, but a test set out by Coach Roy Benson that I tried after reading a book on heart rate monitors.

A couple weeks later, after running at MAF +5, I finally settled into running at MAF 136 and ran the 3-mile MAF test. My first mile was 9:50. I had already slowed down. That same week I conducted my MAF test around a 3.3 mile loop and then every few weeks to monitor my progress. Here are my times.

Day 1: 34:32 (10:24 pace)
Day 22: 35:59 (10:51 pace)
Day 43: 35:56 (10:50 pace)
Day 62: 35:00 (10:32 pace)
Day 80: 36:04 (10:53 pace)

I never cheated. I went on at least one long run a week, varied my mileage, slowed down and ran most of my runs 5 to 10 beats below MAF per suggestions from this board. I even read two of Dr. Maf’s books.

What’s worse is that yesterday I finally decided to quit MAF training and ran an “easy” run. My heart rate averaged above 150 and topped well over 160. Before beginning MAF training, I used to run an “easy” run a little under 8 minute pace, say 7:50 or so. My pace this time was 9:15! Ouch.

Today I decided to keep my HR about 10-15 beats above what I have been running the past weeks or below 144. Early on in the training when I was running at MAF + 5 or 141 according to Mark Allen’s criteria, I ran for an hour at 9:30 pace, which felt unbearably slow. Today, with my heart rate limit 3 beats higher, I ran a mere 40 minutes at a tortoise-like 10:29 pace.

In short, I used to be a fairly decent runner for a forty-something guy (a 20:14 5K, 5:40 mile). Today, after training triple the amount and doubling my mileage, not to mention getting up two hours early every weekends to run, and earlier than normal every day of the week, I now suck!

What happened here? Am I just an experiment gone wrong--nature’s counter-argument to saint leitnerj—a mutant poster-boy AGAINST MAF Training? I don’t know what happened.



Same thing happened here. 11 weeks of MAF and my pace went nowhere. I doubled my miles as well. Just 2 weeks ago I upped the limit by 10bpm. Of course that put me at 1 min faster from the start. In just 2 weeks my pace seems to be droping a little bit. My resting HR has gone down 4 bpm too.

This is what I think happened to us. I provided my MAF test data to a respected coach from another forum and he told me that I was running to slow to see any improvement. That the stimulus wasn't enough to see any aerobic gains. The fact that I can hold a steady pace vs HR right from week 1 of MAF was an indicator of that. Even after I upped the limit I still can hold a steady pace vs HR(even over very long runs) and hold a conversation throughout my runs. I think I will keep it at this HR for a couple weeks to see what happens than raise my limit up higher. I think as long as your running aerobicly it's ok to run faster than 180-age(opinion).

My conclusion- It is possible to run to slow, especially if you were somewhat fit when you start MAF.

How was your pace vs HR at the beginning of MAF?

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GForce1:

Today I decided to keep my HR about 10-15 beats above what I have been running the past weeks or below 144. Early on in the training when I was running at MAF + 5 or 141 according to Mark Allen’s criteria, I ran for an hour at 9:30 pace, which felt unbearably slow. Today, with my heart rate limit 3 beats higher, I ran a mere 40 minutes at a tortoise-like 10:29 pace.

In short, I used to be a fairly decent runner for a forty-something guy (a 20:14 5K, 5:40 mile). Today, after training triple the amount and doubling my mileage, not to mention getting up two hours early every weekends to run, and earlier than normal every day of the week, I now suck!


Just a few other questions - you've doubled your mileage - to what,
60 or 70 miles per week? How many runs over 10 or 12 miles each
week have you been doing? When you were running an easy pace
run at 7:50 pace, what was your heart rate? Do you have a running
log that you can share? Given that 7:50 was your easy, low heart
rate pace, and given your 1M and 5k times, I wonder if you already
had significant aerobic fitness beforehand (and hence were starting
on a plateau). One of the key elements of this approach is a
consistent improvement in pace at low heart rates, perhaps after
an initial period of a few weeks. Given that yours went in the
wrong direction continuously and consistently clearly there was
a problem all along. It would be nice if we can find it!

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jjwaverly42
Cool Runner
posted Mar-23-2006 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jjwaverly42   Click Here to Email jjwaverly42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GForce1:
Another one bites the dust…

I’ve been MAFFing for 14 weeks and I have slowed down considerably. This happened despite having doubled my weekly mileage and tripled the time I spent training. Just before I began, I clocked a 9:03 mile at a HR under 135. This was not a MAF test, but a test set out by Coach Roy Benson that I tried after reading a book on heart rate monitors.

A couple weeks later, after running at MAF +5, I finally settled into running at MAF 136 and ran the 3-mile MAF test. My first mile was 9:50. I had already slowed down. That same week I conducted my MAF test around a 3.3 mile loop and then every few weeks to monitor my progress. Here are my times.

Day 1: 34:32 (10:24 pace)
Day 22: 35:59 (10:51 pace)
Day 43: 35:56 (10:50 pace)
Day 62: 35:00 (10:32 pace)
Day 80: 36:04 (10:53 pace)

I never cheated. I went on at least one long run a week, varied my mileage, slowed down and ran most of my runs 5 to 10 beats below MAF per suggestions from this board. I even read two of Dr. Maf’s books.

What’s worse is that yesterday I finally decided to quit MAF training and ran an “easy” run. My heart rate averaged above 150 and topped well over 160. Before beginning MAF training, I used to run an “easy” run a little under 8 minute pace, say 7:50 or so. My pace this time was 9:15! Ouch.

Today I decided to keep my HR about 10-15 beats above what I have been running the past weeks or below 144. Early on in the training when I was running at MAF + 5 or 141 according to Mark Allen’s criteria, I ran for an hour at 9:30 pace, which felt unbearably slow. Today, with my heart rate limit 3 beats higher, I ran a mere 40 minutes at a tortoise-like 10:29 pace.

In short, I used to be a fairly decent runner for a forty-something guy (a 20:14 5K, 5:40 mile). Today, after training triple the amount and doubling my mileage, not to mention getting up two hours early every weekends to run, and earlier than normal every day of the week, I now suck!

What happened here? Am I just an experiment gone wrong--nature’s counter-argument to saint leitnerj—a mutant poster-boy AGAINST MAF Training? I don’t know what happened.



You are most definitely slowing down in your MAF tests. There could be a few causes:

1) You've raised your mileage too quickly, and you are running tired. You are actually overtraining. Have you been cutting back your miles 25-50% and taking extra rest days every 3rd to 4th week?

2) You have a low MHR and are actually working too hard. E.G. If you have an MAF of 136 but you have a MHR of 170, then you are working
at 80% of you MHR, which might be too high right now. Have you ever figured out your max heart rate?

If it's none of the above, you might be a smiling poster boy for the fact that no method works for everyone. A reminder that there are no absolutes. You might have a fiber allotment that favors speedwork, I've read there are born sprinters who come into life with a higher percentage of fast-twitch fibers.

Since you've quit the method, and are now running at higher HR's. I'd like to suggest that you keep doing an MAF test to see if they start to improve.

Good luck. I hope you accomplish your vision.

--Jimmy

My running world

Maffetone Base Training Experiment

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 05:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by runawayjesse:
Than how do you explain my results. Am I a troll too?


Well, did your times get worse and worse every week and you
were consistently running everything 100% under MAF? What
factors in item 1 of the FAQ applied to you before you started,
i.e., what indicated that this is definitely at the root of your
problem? You've actually mentioned several times in the past
that you were frustrated after 5 or 6 weeks or so and decided to
run a few runs at higher heart rates. You've also mentioned
several quasi-medical conditions and that you were on the
"young side" of this approach. Lastly, I don't recall you
mentioning your times getting worse, week after week. Why
would you continue for more than 6 weeks if they would
continue to go south? I wouldn't have suggested that. We
talk about an initial dip-down, perhaps, over the first several
weeks, but not a consistent drop, week after week. It just
doesn't make sense to keep going on that. I wouldn't have
told you to and in fact, I would have said that opposite. There
have been many posters on the extremes of the age range,
or on low mileage (which is unique to the individual), in the
"novice runner" category, or other similar (generally a combination
of the above) that have remained mostly stagnant for a number of weeks,
but none who became worse, consistently, week after week. That's
something new.

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roy c
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 07:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for roy c   Click Here to Email roy c     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tried this for the first time. Lately I have been running slower to up my mileage. I went out today with the intention of sticking to 132hbm or below as I am 48, no injuries or illness I am aware of.
The first mile my HR was all over the place. Then it began to settle, at around about the mile point I was on target. I have a Garmin 201 and a HRM. The distance I covered was 6 miles including some gentle slopes which I had to really slow down for to keep the HR correct. At one stage I was running 17:00 pace I was looking over my shoulder to see if any walkers were about to overtake me.
I averaged 13:26 pce on this 6 mile run. My average HR was 129 yet my HRM said I did 75%average of MHR.
I am confused.
Also should I be doing this if I have a 10K race in May 21?
I think it could work out very well from what I have read.
Confused, help
Roy

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crb81
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for crb81   Click Here to Email crb81     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tried this for the first time. Lately I have been running slower to up my mileage. I went out today with the intention of sticking to 132hbm or below as I am 48, no injuries or illness I am aware of.
The first mile my HR was all over the place. Then it began to settle, at around about the mile point I was on target. I have a Garmin 201 and a HRM. The distance I covered was 6 miles including some gentle slopes which I had to really slow down for to keep the HR correct. At one stage I was running 17:00 pace I was looking over my shoulder to see if any walkers were about to overtake me.
I averaged 13:26 pce on this 6 mile run. My average HR was 129 yet my HRM said I did 75%average of MHR.
I am confused.
Also should I be doing this if I have a 10K race in May 21?
I think it could work out very well from what I have read.
Confused, help
Roy

Roy,
The first mile is very common. Either Maffetone or Mittleton recomend walking the first 10-15 minutes. When I first started low HR it was much cooler. I would do my first mile as a power walk. This got my HR up to the mid 120's. Then I would start my run and finish with a half mile walk as a cooldown. I have shortened it to a half mile walk at the start since the temperatures have warmed. I found this has made a big difference in the HR for the first mile.
A 13:26 pace is about what I saw when I started 8 weeks ago on a similar type course that I still run. My nine mile run on Wednesday averaged 10:30. My course that I use for MAF tests is a flat one mile walking track. Last week I did five miles at a 10 m/m pace. Also, I train at MAF+5 (138), but do my MAF tests at 133. Those gentle slopes really slow you down initially.
The HR monitor is giving a % of MHR that could be way off for you. I wouldn't pay any attention to that. If the pace is very easy then it is probably less than 75%. My MAF is about 65% of MHR.
I was worried about race time so I ran in a 5k a few weeks back. I set a PR of 20:30 last November on a course with rolling hills. This recent 5k was the most difficult one I have ever run with steep hills throughout. I ran a 21:15 and was very pleased. Go back and read Jesse's race results last year with only MAF training. I would say to give it 12 weeks and see.

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runawayjesse
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for runawayjesse     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by leitnerj:
Well, did your times get worse and worse every week and you
were consistently running everything 100% under MAF? What
factors in item 1 of the FAQ applied to you before you started,
i.e., what indicated that this is definitely at the root of your
problem? You've actually mentioned several times in the past
that you were frustrated after 5 or 6 weeks or so and decided to
run a few runs at higher heart rates. You've also mentioned
several quasi-medical conditions and that you were on the
"young side" of this approach. Lastly, I don't recall you
mentioning your times getting worse, week after week. Why
would you continue for more than 6 weeks if they would
continue to go south? I wouldn't have suggested that. We
talk about an initial dip-down, perhaps, over the first several
weeks, but not a consistent drop, week after week. It just
doesn't make sense to keep going on that. I wouldn't have
told you to and in fact, I would have said that opposite. There
have been many posters on the extremes of the age range,
or on low mileage (which is unique to the individual), in the
"novice runner" category, or other similar (generally a combination
of the above) that have remained mostly stagnant for a number of weeks,
but none who became worse, consistently, week after week. That's
something new.



No, I did not become worse. The reason I started MAF training is because I have no relationship across race distances. Yes on week 8 I did 2 runs higher than MAF. Everything else was under for 11 weeks so I don't think 2 runs messed everything up. The reason I continued MAF was that running at such easy effort allowed me to double my miles easy. I used to have trouble hitting 25mpw now I'm at 45 and I feel great. I'm still low heart rate training. I upped my limit by 10 bpm so that puts me at 154(exactly 180-age). I want to hit my goal mileage for this year before adding anything faster.

I'm curious what you and others think about this theory that it is possible to run to slow. It was a thought from a poster on another forum but I couldn't find the science to back it.

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roy c
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for roy c   Click Here to Email roy c     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks again for the encouragement Clay, I will stick at it...
Roy

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by runawayjesse:

No, I did not become worse. The reason I started MAF training is because I have no relationship across race distances. Yes on week 8 I did 2 runs higher than MAF. Everything else was under for 11 weeks so I don't think 2 runs messed everything up. The reason I continued MAF was that running at such easy effort allowed me to double my miles easy. I used to have trouble hitting 25mpw now I'm at 45 and I feel great. I'm still low heart rate training. I upped my limit by 10 bpm so that puts me at 154(exactly 180-age). I want to hit my goal mileage for this year before adding anything faster.

I'm curious what you and others think about this theory that it is possible to run to slow. It was a thought from a poster on another forum but I couldn't find the science to back it.


It was the "getting slower consistently every single run" thing that
really made his post look odd. As far as yours went, I recall minimal
progress, but nothing significant in the wrong direction. The only things
I can think that can make one consistently go in the wrong direction are
(1) running in the "no-man's land" zone - too fast for aerobic benefit and
too slow for anaerobic or lactate threshold benefit - which is actually
quite common and where I used to run all of my miles, (2) if aerobic
development has already plateaued - as Mark Allen said, once your
times stop improving, and possibly start to get worse, it's time to
go back to the grindstone - for one that's already fully-developed
aerobically, that could be the case, (3) as Jimmy said, if one is
ill or overtrained - build-up of mileage could take a toll, even at low
heart rates.

Now, I know I've responded to your "too slow" question, but I'll take
a slightly different spin on it. For my first couple of months, my
pace ranged from 17 min/mile up to about 11 or 12 min/mile.
However, while progress was very slow for a while, there was
steady progress. That's what kept me going. For the longest
time, I had absolutely no idea what would happen in a race with
all the slow running. My feeling is that as long as you're still
running, there is no "too slow." However, there is an expectation
that your pace will be increasing, even if at a small rate. If you
always run the exact same slow pace, well, you'll probably always
run the exact same slow pace. It shouldn't get slower, however,
unless there's something really wrong. Nonetheless, I would
say that you've put in your time for this round, so it's time for you
to hit the grindstone (as I think I've mentioned to you before). While,
I think there may be some point n weeks down the road for you
where it all kicks in, your level of frustration is clear and I think
there's a possibility that it may even affect your progress. Get
into a training schedule that you enjoy, perhaps keeping 75%
of your runs around MAF. Or jump into a Pfitzinger-style training
program which may be more cut out for you.

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by roy c:
I tried this for the first time. Lately I have been running slower to up my mileage. I went out today with the intention of sticking to 132hbm or below as I am 48, no injuries or illness I am aware of.
The first mile my HR was all over the place. Then it began to settle, at around about the mile point I was on target. I have a Garmin 201 and a HRM. The distance I covered was 6 miles including some gentle slopes which I had to really slow down for to keep the HR correct. At one stage I was running 17:00 pace I was looking over my shoulder to see if any walkers were about to overtake me.
I averaged 13:26 pce on this 6 mile run. My average HR was 129 yet my HRM said I did 75%average of MHR.
I am confused.
Also should I be doing this if I have a 10K race in May 21?
I think it could work out very well from what I have read.
Confused, help
Roy

Hi Roy - first of all, I can tell you for a fact that unless you evaluated
your max heart rate in an all-out effort and programmed it into your
heart rate monitor, then your heart rate monitor does not know what
your max heart rate is, nor what percentage of it that you are running
at. It's using a silly, worthless formula. Next, if you are following the
Maffetone/Mark Allen approach, it really doesn't matter if you're at
75%, 60%, 80%, or whatever as long as you follow the guidelines.
Hopefully you've read the Maffetone and Mark Allen links if not, I'd
suggest you do - they are up at the beginning of the FAQ.

Now, as far as doing this before a race on May 21, that's up to you.
Given how angry and frustrated many people become by following
this approach, at least in the beginning stages, I generally don't
recommend following it when you
are coming close to a race. This approach takes time and commitment
and willingness to give up short-term progress in exchange for long-term
improvement. It's strategic and not tactical. Hence, if you're not really
concerned about how well you do in your race (it may or may not
give you a better time in your race), then go for it. If the race is a
critical event for you and it is very important for you to peak out, beat
your previous time, or whatever, then you want to wait until after to
start.

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debode
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for debode   Click Here to Email debode     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, well this has all been VERY interesting but I cant figure out what MAF stands for?!? silly I know but can someone tell me, thanks

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by debode:
Hi, well this has all been VERY interesting but I cant figure out what MAF stands for?!? silly I know but can someone tell me, thanks


maximum aerobic function. basically, aerobic threshold. If interested,
check out some of the links at the beginning of the FAQ in my
signature.

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GForce1
Member
posted Mar-24-2006 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GForce1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I appreciate all the responses and will try my best to answer your questions. I apologize for the sure to be tome to follow, but you guys asked nearly twenty questions in all.

Let me say up front that this site has been a great site. Jesse’s L. has been great both on the board and behind the scenes when I’ve emailed him a few times to ask a bewildering question or two about why I’ve lost speed. His responses have always been thoughtful and his suggestions worth trying.

Now, here’s my story as consisely as possible. I had been been running @ 12-15 miles a week for three years, but whenever I increased my mileage in the past, I’d end up with some minor injuries. A couple years ago I overdid it and ended up with a lower abdominal strain that actually sidelined me for a while, not so minor. Since then my times held steady but no real improvement.

In the past I usually ran what I thought was a moderate effort but my heart rate on “easy” days was usually @155 bpm (taken manually). I virtually never ran with a HR lower than that. On tempo runs I’d be @165 and 170 or higher by run’s end. My only attempt at finding my maximun HR was a few months ago when I purchased my first HR monitor. I got my rate up to 178 on a 400 meter all-out sprint but whimped out after 300 meters, possibly before it went a bit higher. I was pushing it pretty hard, though, after a good warm-up. I jumped pretty quickly into MAF after that and really haven’t thought much about my MHR since. Like Jesse, I like the simplicity of MAF’s system. At any rate, there’s no reason to believe my MHR is far outside the norm for a 44-year-old guy.

So, I figured that with my past training I’d be a great candidate for improving my aerobic fitness. I wanted to build some mileage and hopefully improve my times at the 5K and feel like I was doing something to improve my heart, lungs, etc. I liked Dr. Maffetone’s philosophy and hoped it would work for me. I increased my less than 2 hours a week training to @ 6 hours a week. I quickly increased my mileage to over 20 mpw and gradually up to 26-32 miles a week, which I have run for at least half of the training so far. I also increased my long runs each week up to 10 miles (2 hours) after reading about the importance of longer runs and in response to one of my posts about why I wasn’t improving. I was concerned that I initially slowed down so much, but Jesse figured it was simply reflective of initial anaerobic loss.

Another time, when I posted my concern that my times were not improving, someone suggested I lower my HR 5 beats and slow down. I lowered my watch 3 bpm to 133 on January 31 but actually slowed down @5-8 bpm—keeping my HR often in the 120’s.

I thought originally that I’d show improvement every three weeks, then the posts here suggested improvements would come every six weeks and then someone suggested you should see improvements every 250 miles. I’ve passed all those benchmarks without showing any improvement but haven’t run much over 300 miles. Maybe I just need more time? I did slow down a lot initially but seemed to have stopped slowing down much, if any, since the initial loss. But wouldn’t the same thing happen if I had stopped running and began a walking program? Wouldn’t I have slowed down a lot initially and then held the lower fitness level due to the slower walking?

Maybe jjwaverly is right. Maybe I raised my mileage too quickly. An old knee ache has come back recently after increasing my long runs to two hours, although I also bought a new pair of shoes and have kind of blamed them for my minor woes.

I have wondered, too, like jjwaverly brought up, whether being more of a fast-twitch fiber guy has hindered my progress. When younger, I was always quick, jumped far and high, and probably have a preponderance of fast-twitch muscle fibers. Maybe it just takes fast-twitchers longer, or maybe it would be better for me to play to my strength and work more on speed. Or maybe I’ve just proven that no one system works well for everyone.

Finally, I have a friend whom I talked into doing MAF training. He’s run basically the same mileage I have, and has in less time than I’ve trained and in fewer miles, improved his times over 2 minutes since the day he began, while I have slowed down. He does all his work on a treadmill, jogging at a set speed so that his heart rate gradually increases to 135 – his MAF rate. My runs involve lots of rolling hills and usually a good deal of walking and speed changes. I’ve wondered if that’s the problem. Or maybe I just haven’t found the right HR and need to go up a few bpm or even down a few. I’m at a loss.

For Jesse L.: No carbs before runs. I have my garmin and can share the past three years. I have kept a daily hand-written log also since Christmas. I’ll share anything, but I only have a basic HR monitor that gives me my hr moment to moment—no averages unfortunately. I have no idea what my lactate threshold is but might consider shelling out a couple hundred bucks to find out that or anything else that might give me a clue as to whether I might be training too slow or too fast.

I think that about covers it, except for that question about whether or not I’m a troll. Cashmason, if you mean by troll, a big ugly cave dwelling figure who looks pretty scary, then I just might fit the bill. If I had a ready picture, I’d let you make that call. Fortunately for me, I do not. If, however, you mean by troll, uninterested, reticent and dull-witted, well then…I can assure you, as can my wife, that I am certainly not uninterested nor am I reticent.

Thank you all. And Liam, if you want to dump this huge log into some archive to save space on your server, I understand. Hey Cashmason. Can this post count as two or maybe three?

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leitnerj
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for leitnerj   Click Here to Email leitnerj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GForce1:

> snip <

Finally, I have a friend whom I talked into doing MAF training. He’s run basically the same mileage I have, and has in less time than I’ve trained and in fewer miles, improved his times over 2 minutes since the day he began, while I have slowed down. He does all his work on a treadmill, jogging at a set speed so that his heart rate gradually increases to 135 – his MAF rate. My runs involve lots of rolling hills and usually a good deal of walking and speed changes. I’ve wondered if that’s the problem. Or maybe I just haven’t found the right HR and need to go up a few bpm or even down a few. I’m at a loss.

For Jesse L.: No carbs before runs. I have my garmin and can share the past three years. I have kept a daily hand-written log also since Christmas. I’ll share anything, but I only have a basic HR monitor that gives me my hr moment to moment—no averages unfortunately. I have no idea what my lactate threshold is but might consider shelling out a couple hundred bucks to find out that or anything else that might give me a clue as to whether I might be training too slow or too fast.

> snip <


ok, gforce - good summary. So, let's look at a few things. First, I can
say that when I had to go dead slowly, I did all of my runs on the
treadmill, which I spent weeks at, somewhat miserably. All of the
walks and wogs on the hills just broke up apart the runs too much for
me - around here there no flat areas. Now, your overall mileage is low,
(even with you having doubled it)
but that would not explain why your pace would get *worse*. I do
wonder, though, how much you are actually getting worse as opposed
to just getting "nebulous" results by accounting for a lot of hills.
Nonetheless, that shouldn't even explain your consistent trend in the
wrong direction. You have recent history of overtraining symptoms
and additionally you have built up mileage. These are the kinds of
things that Maffetone penalizes for in the MAF calculation. Ouch -
it's not as if you need any more penalties. I still don't think any of
this accounts for going in the wrong direction. Overtraining symptoms
or other injury or illness, in fact just general burnout, easily could.
I do think it would be interesting for you to get a vo2max test (which
if you look around, you might find one for free as part of a study or
get one for around $100-$150). However, before you do that, do you
have the option of trying a treadmill, exclusively for about 2 weeks?
It would be interesting to see what you would get on an ideally-controlled
run on the treadmill, fixed at zero incline for 2 weeks or so. At least
then we can see a baseline and what happens to it.

Now, as far as whether something works for you. I've always been
(at least before this MAF stuff) what I would consider a "fast-twitch
guy" myself. I could whip most people in a sprint (and I am built like
a sprinter, definitely not a distance runner), but endurance has never
been my thing. So, I really question that. Also, while it is possible
that some things are right for some and don't work for others, I think
there's something more significant to get to the bottom of here.
My running went into the toilet after going through Pfitzinger's 55 mpw
program to the letter. It would have been easy to say that it didn't
work for me, but really the problem was that I wasn't ready for it. I'm
sure I'd do well with it now if I tried again (but why should I until I
stop progressing on the "easy-training" approach?) You certainly
could be at enough of an aerobic fitness level to where the only
thing you can do to improve is more aggressive running, but I don't
think that's it either, based on what you mentioned in your post. I'd
say you are probably just the opposite - you've been mostly anaerobic
and you've developed solid anaerobic endurance. It could be that
you've slowed down because you've just been progressively dumping
that endurance out the door with the purely aerobic running. It would
be interesting to see if you can get some treadmill runs in, just to
eliminate a lot of other factors. Perhaps you can get in a 5k or 10k
race also, just to see how much you've lost in racing capacity.
However, if the indicators point to overtraining and onset of injury,
clearly the best bet is to back off a bit or maybe convert some of
those miles to lower impact crosstraining.

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Cashmason
Cool Runner
posted Mar-24-2006 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cashmason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well Gforce, I appologize.

Yes that post can count as 3. By troll, I don't mean ugly nor unintelligent. A troll online is someone who makes posts just to get other people angry. Your comment about "St. Jesse" seemed to be in that category.

One of the problems with reading forums, is that others can not see your facial expressions, nor hear your tone of voice. What you meant may have been humorous, whereas I read it as attacking Jesse.

Clearly I misinterpreted what you meant, so I appologize.

I am probably full of it, but my guess would be your problem is the hilly area you run in. After 10 weeks, my heart rate still sucks on hills, although my running pace overall has seen much progress.

Do you have access to a treadmill?

Best wishes.

Cash

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GForce1
Member
posted Mar-24-2006 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GForce1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks again for your quick and helpful responses. I’d really like to try the treadmill but don’t have access to one yet. I could drive to a track and run there on weekends but during the week would meaning rising even earlier. Jesse, would I expect, with the treadmill, to just get a baseline, because I could get that at the track running it everyday for a week, or would you expect I’d show a little improvement in as little as two weeks?

As far as a race goes, I can run a couple training loops I’ve run many times over the years at top speed or run a mile at the dirt track down the road, but I don’t think it will be very fast. Today I ran at 8:21 pace and had my heart rate up to 174 by the end of the run. I used to run at least a minute faster with less effort not too long ago and maybe even 1:30 faster.

Also, I’ve noticed something that probably has no bearing on this discussion, but after I ran faster the past couple days, I felt the endorphins kick in afterwards. I felt really calm. I haven’t felt this way since I started doing MAF and I miss that feeling. Is this to be expected?

Cashmason, no need to apologize. Between my “formidable” writing talent and “superior” wit, it’s no wonder someone hasn’t done me in by now. Believe me, if Jesse can get me to improve on this MAF path, then I should be the first to nominate him for sainthood.

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