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Who has tried Phillip Maffetone's method of training slower to go faster? (Read 467 times)

Runslowalksalot


    I'm reading his Big Book of Endurance training.   It has lots of good info.    His 180-age method for my 42 years, max observed to date HR of 192 and RHR of 51 dictates a max aerobic HR of 138, an excruciatingly slow 10 minute/mile upon attempting.   75% of my max HR (mid aerobic level by most stanards) for me is 144, while 70% of my HRR is about 150.   a good bit of a difference in aerobic training heart rates.

    Since getting my HR monitor i've realized that my "by feel" method has had me training too fast.    I'm not opposed to sacrificing current speed for long term endurance, but am curious as to results that others have seen.

     

    For a frame of reference, I don't run more than 20 MPW ue to other activities, and recently completed a 1 hr 20 min 4.5 mile SUP/4 mile run biathalon with an average HR of 173, with pleanty of time spent about 180 BPM when I wasn't drafting.

     

    Thanks for any input.

    Two Feet Under


      I'm considering a cycle of Maffetone-style training this summer. There's an active Low HR Training user group here on RunningAhead. I've found their forum full of very useful information and discussion. Check it out.


      Bacon Party!

        A point of reference for you...

         

        I trained at MAF all last year (137 bpm or less) and feel that I was able to develop a great base while remaining injury free.

        I only broke out of MAF twice - once for a tune-up half before a full marathon, and then again for the full marathon itself.

         

        Wound up setting big PRs in both - demonstrating how poor my aerobic conditioning had been.

        1:42 to 1:36 PR in the half.

        3:35 to 3:14 PR in the full.

         

        When I started out, I was coming out of that 3:35 marathon - 8:12 pace. My pace at MAF heart rate was 11:00. But, it improved steadily as the weeks went by.

         

        This year, I'm venturing a bit more outside the MAF box; training Lydiard style with slightly higher heart rates and over a wider range of efforts. But, I still keep a fall-back of MAF for days when a bit of recovery seems wise.

         

         

        That said, if your mileage is <= 20 mpw, I don't know how much progress you'll see using MAF or any other method. (Of course, I have no idea how much time you might be putting in to other aerobic pursuits.)

        Liz

        pace sera, sera

          I'm reading his Big Book of Endurance training.   It has lots of good info.    His 180-age method for my 42 years, max observed to date HR of 192 and RHR of 51 dictates a max aerobic HR of 138, an excruciatingly slow 10 minute/mile upon attempting.   75% of my max HR (mid aerobic level by most stanards) for me is 144, while 70% of my HRR is about 150.   a good bit of a difference in aerobic training heart rates.

          Since getting my HR monitor i've realized that my "by feel" method has had me training too fast.    I'm not opposed to sacrificing current speed for long term endurance, but am curious as to results that others have seen.

           

          For a frame of reference, I don't run more than 20 MPW ue to other activities, and recently completed a 1 hr 20 min 4.5 mile SUP/4 mile run biathalon with an average HR of 173, with pleanty of time spent about 180 BPM when I wasn't drafting.

           

          Thanks for any input.

           

          You'll find lots of MAFfers here: http://www.runningahead.com/groups/LOWHRTR/forum

           

          The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

           

          2014 Goals:

           

          Stay healthy

          Enjoy life

           

          J-L-C


            I tried the concept for a winter of cycling training and totally sucked it up for the rest of spring.

             

            I honestly feel the concept has little practical scientific backing whatsoever and in a general sense is a waste of precious training time.

             

            Focusing on incorporating a smattering of different training paces ensures that you can fine tune your training in a rather short amount of time to hit a variety of race distances. It also allows one to move into varying aspects of speedwork without any significant jolts to the mind/body.

             

            Sure, you can get faster by running slower in the beginning provided your overall stimulus is greater than before, but you can get even faster by running faster! There's absolutely no reason to completely eschew faster running or running over a certain speed or heart rate. Limiting yourself to an arbitrary ceiling (and using a one-size-fits-all numerical formula is just that) is not the most efficient or effective way to direct your training.

             

            Do you really feel you're going to maximize your improvement running your 20 mpw at the "excruciatingly slow 10 minute/mile"? I don't think you will.

             

            Plus, in my opinion, it is a friggin' SUPER boring way to train!

             

            My two cents! Big grin


            Feeling the growl again

              I tried the concept for a winter of cycling training and totally sucked it up for the rest of spring.

               

              I honestly feel the concept has little practical scientific backing whatsoever and in a general sense is a waste of precious training time.

               

              Focusing on incorporating a smattering of different training paces ensures that you can fine tune your training in a rather short amount of time to hit a variety of race distances. It also allows one to move into varying aspects of speedwork without any significant jolts to the mind/body.

               

              Sure, you can get faster by running slower in the beginning provided your overall stimulus is greater than before, but you can get even faster by running faster! There's absolutely no reason to completely eschew faster running or running over a certain speed or heart rate. Limiting yourself to an arbitrary ceiling (and using a one-size-fits-all numerical formula is just that) is not the most efficient or effective way to direct your training.

               

              Do you really feel you're going to maximize your improvement running your 20 mpw at the "excruciatingly slow 10 minute/mile"? I don't think you will.

               

              Plus, in my opinion, it is a friggin' SUPER boring way to train!

               

              My two cents! Big grin

               

              That's my two cents too, so we're almost up to a nickel.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               


              HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                I tried the concept for a winter of cycling training and totally sucked it up for the rest of spring.

                 

                I honestly feel the concept has little practical scientific backing whatsoever and in a general sense is a waste of precious training time.

                 

                Focusing on incorporating a smattering of different training paces ensures that you can fine tune your training in a rather short amount of time to hit a variety of race distances. It also allows one to move into varying aspects of speedwork without any significant jolts to the mind/body.

                 

                Sure, you can get faster by running slower in the beginning provided your overall stimulus is greater than before, but you can get even faster by running faster! There's absolutely no reason to completely eschew faster running or running over a certain speed or heart rate. Limiting yourself to an arbitrary ceiling (and using a one-size-fits-all numerical formula is just that) is not the most efficient or effective way to direct your training.

                 

                Do you really feel you're going to maximize your improvement running your 20 mpw at the "excruciatingly slow 10 minute/mile"? I don't think you will.

                 

                Plus, in my opinion, it is a friggin' SUPER boring way to train!

                 

                My two cents! Big grin

                 

                But then what the hell is the point of this nifty heart rate strap?

                It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                J-L-C


                   

                  But then what the hell is the point of this nifty heart rate strap?

                   

                  I pull mine over my nipples when they start chafing...

                    As others have suggested, you might try the low HR group for comments from some who have been successful. I think there might be some lab measurements that could be used to set HR zone rather than age-based formula, but not sure.

                     

                    At least your zones overlap. In my case, the top end of the Maffetone (180-age) was lower than the bottom end of regular aerobic zones (70% HRmax). Hmm, Martin and Coe had a nice table showing the benefits of the different heart rate zones (keep in mind, they're probably fuzzy and not mutually exclusive). Lydiard has his folks running at all aerobic efforts, generally the higher end. I tend to be research oriented, and I saw more support for regular HR zones than for Maff. In some cases, the Maff and regular zones do overlap, but where mine didn't overlap at all, I chose to use regular training.

                     

                    I did try it for a little while, but some of the stuff in the book indicated, don't run with a group, don't run hard, don't do hills, don't strength train, etc. (I called it "my mother's program" = "don't")  Most suggestions for senior citizens is to strength train - or something equivalent - to slow the loss of muscle mass.  I was very low volume at the time also. It took me awhile to get back to where I was.

                     

                    That said, I had a very nice snowshoe hike today while packing trails - and it was probably below my Maf level. It was a recovery day (after running a hilly snowshoe route in fresh snow 2 days ago).

                     

                    Also, at the time I tried Maf, I was still doing field work during the summer - lots of hiking. During the winter, when I wanted to recreate, I wanted to run - not more freakin' walking. I think that's one of the limitations with canned programs - they may not identify a relevant starting point.

                     

                    By the way, my HR dropped for where I could run AFTER I did a bunch of hard (for me) hill work. I'm presuming that increased both strength and power and improved neuromuscular coordination. More than one way to skin a cat.

                    "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


                    Finally PRed!!!

                      I'm older than you with a higher HRmax--with Maffetone's method I'd have to walk to stay in his prescribed range, so no, the method would not work for me. Since we know age-based HR formulas aren't accurate, I don't see the point of training according to one.

                      PRs: 5K: 22:09, 10K:44:55, 15K: 1:10:35, HM: 1:42:49, M: 3:32:09

                         

                        But then what the hell is the point of this nifty heart rate strap?

                         

                        Point of reference for a number geek. Only wearing mine now to see how far out of shape I've become. The HRM isn't going to help me get any faster. Only time on my feet is going to do that.

                          I'm generally in favor of slowing down to go faster but not if you're capping your volume down very, very low quite as much.

                           

                           

                          And I don't get MAF.  Why would everyone of the same age have the same heart rate to train at when everyone's maximum heart rate is so very different.  A friend of mine at the same age has a maximum heart rate tested at 45 beats lower than mine. We should run at the same MAF?  I read his book (okay I skimmed some parts because I didn't like it) and I stil don't get it. Can somebody explain it?  I guess I don't see much for Maffetone's specifics.

                          Current Weight: 160 lb

                          Goal Weight: 130 lb

                           

                          Nov9 -- Peachtree City 50K/25K!   http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=27700

                            All the fairness, I don't think ANY of us quite understands HR in specifics.  But I do believe it can be a good guide IF the individual understands hi/her own HR and its pattern.  I believe Haffetone has his calculation by adding or subtracting certain number of HB depending on the situation/condition to manipulate a bit from the individual HR calculated from age.  That helps some.  But, to your argument, you're right, it so very widely differ.  Jim Ryun, one of the greatest middle distance runners who ever lived, reportedly, had his resting HR at his prime as an athlete something like 64.  That, seems to me, is almost heading toward the side of being out-of-shape.  On the other hand, I just checked mine the other day and it was 52.  Yet, his low HR pace is probably closer to my race pace right now!!  I just received 2 e-mails, asking about suggested HR for our Running Wizard program.  One said the HR is too high; the other said too low.  Chances are; the pace at which they "train", or what they are used to training, can affect this too--in fact, our calculation might even be perfect but, rather, their perception is incorrect!! ;o)  Possibly, but not likely.  We tried (pace, HR, etc.) but we are not afraid to say that they are "only a guide" and should not be strictly adhered to.  And I would say HR is the trickiest of all.

                             

                            Personally, I think Maffetone has done a great job, identifying the target range--and training concept.  Personally, my comment to this, as someone who's actually on the same side (preaching???) of the game, is, hey, cut him some slack!! ;o)  It (HR) really is a tricky business.  And I don't care what anybody, particularly physiologists or doctors or so-called exercise experts, might say; I don't think anybody has a clear answer to heart rate.  We can all do an educated-guess.

                            I'm generally in favor of slowing down to go faster but not if you're capping your volume down very, very low quite as much.

                             

                            And I don't get MAF.  Why would everyone of the same age have the same heart rate to train at when everyone's maximum heart rate is so very different.  A friend of mine at the same age has a maximum heart rate tested at 45 beats lower than mine. We should run at the same MAF?  I read his book (okay I skimmed some parts because I didn't like it) and I stil don't get it. Can somebody explain it?  I guess I don't see much for Maffetone's specifics.

                              My N=1 experience with LHR / MAF:

                               

                              When I started running later in life (late 30's) I tended to run much too hard and fast. I read that you are supposed to run mostly easy but had no idea what that actually was so I just ran. It wasn't long before I was taking ibuprofen to get out of bed. I was sore all the time. In all my reading I never read anything about runners hurting like I did and thought there had to be a better way, then I discovered HR training.

                               

                              I think I actually found RA when I started LHR training. I bought a Garmin with a HR monitor, then figured out my MaxHR from a very hard 5k race to get my zones. I started trying to run my aerobic Zone 2 more and that didn't seem to help my physical soreness issue. More searching and MAF appeared.

                               

                              I decided to give MAF a try because it was so simple. I read his "Maffetone Method" book and bought into it with its crazy formula and all. I agree it was very hard for me to slow down to 13-14 min miles but thats what I did. I started feeling good again in the mornings and was now running (okay maybe shuffling or waddling was more accurate) more often and longer. It took quite awhile to get my MAF paces to quicken but over time they did. I have had my MAF pace down to low 9's at one point.

                               

                              I have been trying to go away from MAFfing so much and trying to do a more traditional running approach but find if I speed up to something McMillian calls out for easy paces from inoutting my racing speeds, I get much more fatigued and became injured both times I tried to do a Hanson HM and Pfitz HM plan. The extra speed at easy pace was just too much stress on my old body. I'll add that I also do not have your typical runners body. I'm 5'8" and over 200 lbs with a healthy BF percentage with means an abundance of muscle from my power lifting / body building days.

                               

                              MAF allows me to get the miles in without beating myself up and taught me what easy should be. I will still throw in a good M-paced run, progressive, tempo or intervals etc. from time to time, but mainly use it for easy / recovery type every day running. The HR monitor specifically lets me know how my body is dealing with the stresses its taking on from both mentally and physically. Maffetone doesn't say that you must never exceed your MAF HR and therefore can never do faster running. He says that during your base building period you should stay at or under MAF. Once your done wth the base phase, go ahead and start to race prep with intervals, tempos etc. but just keep doing your MAF tests and see if you MAF pace begins to regress which can indicate you're losing some aerobic fitness.

                               

                              To the OP, my Max HR is 198 or so and I'm now 44. My MAF would be 180-44=136. I've been using a MAF HR of 140 since I started and will let it drift up 3-4 beats before slowing down to lower my HR.. Maffetone does have some adjustments either up or down 5 beats depending on certain circumstances and says you can stay with a MAF HR for several years even as you age if you are not regressing. There are several different LHR methods to choose from so if MAF isn't for you, then try another.

                               

                              The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                               

                              2014 Goals:

                               

                              Stay healthy

                              Enjoy life

                               

                                I'm generally in favor of slowing down to go faster but not if you're capping your volume down very, very low quite as much.

                                 

                                 

                                And I don't get MAF.  Why would everyone of the same age have the same heart rate to train at when everyone's maximum heart rate is so very different.  A friend of mine at the same age has a maximum heart rate tested at 45 beats lower than mine. We should run at the same MAF?  I read his book (okay I skimmed some parts because I didn't like it) and I stil don't get it. Can somebody explain it?  I guess I don't see much for Maffetone's specifics.

                                 

                                 

                                To simplify things, I believe it has to do with the point at which your body switches from burning mostly fat for its fuel to carbohydrates. Through his testing he has determined that his formula 180-age fits the modeling the best. He also has adjustments to fine tune that number.

                                 

                                The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                                 

                                2014 Goals:

                                 

                                Stay healthy

                                Enjoy life

                                 

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