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Measuring Fitness by using VDOT/HR (Read 1125 times)


Feeling the growl again

    I agree with both of you.  The thing is that some of the MAF people are using it to do better in a 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, etc.

    They're listening to advice from smart people (namely Mr. / Dr. Maffetone.) regarding something that won't help them.  @Spaniel, your screwdriver analogy seems correct.  

     

    I only made the comment because of the "newer" runner comment.  I seem to think that the Maffetone methodology is actually for experienced athletes (super long endurance racing such as ironman triathlons and ultra marathons).

     

    Brian 

     

    That's where it's different...I think it's good for newer general runners but more advanced triathletes etc.  For newer runners because a lot of them tend towards running too hard every day and it forces them to slow down and learn what an easy pace really is.  

    "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

     

      Spaniel, I may not understand what you're saying....

      I agree that novice runners that are learning how to run can benefit from HR management (as you suggest) because they don't understand what 'easy' is when everything is 'hard' and everything hurts.

       

      Are you suggesting that experienced runners / athletes should not use a HR monitor and should run / exercise based solely on feel?  If so, I'd disagree.  It's not a pre-requisite and not an absolute Yes vs. No, but it does have some merit. 

       

      I was guided to a book titled "Iron Wars" by a fellow RA'er (thanks Bzaganjo), and I spent the last couple weeks soaking in the text and the concepts from the book.  The book describes the life and training of 2 of the pioneers and champions of Ironman, Dave Scott (6x winner) and Mark Allen (6x winner).  The 2 athletes were quite amazing, but their training styles were polar opposite.  Dave Scott went all out every time and had a high tolerance for pain.  He put in countless hours out training every other athlete in terms of time, effort and speed.  In the races, he would keep going at a pace until others couldn't keep up with him.  Mark Allen used to be that way, and finished 2nd to Dave Scott on a few occasions.  Then he got guidance from Maffetone in the mid 80s to begin HR management and as the link provided by Jeff explains how he was able to drop his 190 HR down to 155 while going the same pace that he had previously.  The 2 of them each ran a 2:40 marathon in the 1989 Kona race and finished within 55 seconds of each other.  (Being polar opposites in their training style, they happened to have the same results...). 

       

      (On a side note, since Mark Allen was at his prime in 1989 - 1993 (20 years ago), the record for Ironman Kona has only decreased by about 5 minutes.  He was fast and I think he holds the record for the marathon time in the Ironman)

       

      My point (and how I read into some of the earlier dialogue) was that some people who have adopted Maffetone's training (and using it for many years) may be reducing their HR and their effort for reasons separate and apart from what Maffetone was trying to do through his endurance racing strategies and coaching. 

      2014 Goals:

      #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

      #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

       

        That's where it's different...I think it's good for newer general runners but more advanced triathletes etc.  For newer runners because a lot of them tend towards running too hard every day and it forces them to slow down and learn what an easy pace really is.  

         

        The bold part is confusing to me, a typo prehaps. Should it read AND instead of BUT?

         

        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

         

          My main takeaway from what I read about Dr. Maffetone was that when I was doing easy running during base building in the past, I wasn't going easy enough.  Once I started a training schedule for a race, my easy days were still not easy enough.  That whole easy by feel for a new runner is way too broad of a range.  The way it's described as "conversational" pace means something different to everyone.  I was running at marathon pace or faster for most of my first year.  

           

          I think I'm training more effectively now so that my easy days are truly easy so that my harder days I'm not warn out and can do higher weekly mileage, and it was through HR training that got me to realize how that should feel.  Perhaps I don't need the HR monitor as much as I did when I first started with it at the beginning of the year, but now I've gotten used to it and I like having that other measure.

          2014 Goal: Run faster than 3:37:07 in the NYC Marathon

            I was running at marathon pace or faster for most of my first year.

             

            Yeah but when you're just starting out "marathon pace" probably is your easy pace, or slower.

             

            I've been running and talking to other runners for a pretty long time--the subject of HR training will never get "resolved."  What's clear to me is that people can get to the same point with or without a HRM so based only on that I would say that the benefits of HR training in running are marginal for most and non-existent for many people.  I have personally seen HRM training hinder the progress of plenty of people who relied too heavily on it.

             

            And inevitably people bring up elite Iron Man triathletes...I'm not sure how relevant their cases are to the discussion.

            Runners run.

               I have personally seen HRM training hinder the progress of plenty of people who relied too heavily on it.

               

               

               

              Which may well be so, but it doesn't necessarily mean that using an HRM is, of itself, a bad thing. Like all tools you need to figure out how to use it appropriately. For example we know that Paula Radcliffe trains by heart rate quite a bit and she's the marathon world record holder, so presumably we can conclude that it didn't hinder her progress.

                Which may well be so, but it doesn't necessarily mean that using an HRM is, of itself, a bad thing. Like all tools you need to figure out how to use it appropriately. For example we know that Paula Radcliffe trains by heart rate quite a bit and she's the marathon world record holder, so presumably we can conclude that it didn't hinder her progress.

                 

                What's your point?

                Runners run.


                Feeling the growl again

                  Are you suggesting that experienced runners / athletes should not use a HR monitor and should run / exercise based solely on feel?  If so, I'd disagree.  It's not a pre-requisite and not an absolute Yes vs. No, but it does have some merit. 

                   

                   

                  It's not a "yes vs no" issue, but the benefits of constantly tracking your HR diminish as you gain experience and the potential to limit yourself by using the information in the way Maffetone is often employed by runners increases.

                   

                  For certain, many of our best runners don't use HRMs with any frequency, our amazing runners from the 70s and early 80s seemed to do quite well without them.

                   

                  I appreciate the Ironman examples but again, that is a totally different sport from marathon and shorter distance running...even though it incorporates running...and I don't think arguments translate well between them.  The rationale for tracking HR is very different as are what is limiting your performance.  For one thing, having tried ONE ultra, I can appreciate that the range one may consider "easy pace" is pretty broad but the max output level one can sustain for hours on end at the appropriate fuel mix is very discrete.  HR monitoring can help to make sure you aren't pushing just a little too fast, which can have major consequences in races that go on for hours and hours.

                   

                  So someone is able to drop their HR at a given pace over time...great.  How is that any different from dropping perceived effort at the same pace over time?  It's just a reporter that tells you the same thing that you can get in simpler ways.  It's not that you CAN'T use them, but what I have seen is people get to thinking that somehow all this data is going to make them a better runner and they end up confused and/or over-complicating what is really a very simple sport.

                  "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

                   


                  Feeling the growl again

                    The bold part is confusing to me, a typo prehaps. Should it read AND instead of BUT?

                     

                    Sure.  Sorry. 

                    "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

                     

                      What's your point?

                       

                      My point is that there may be some benefit in using an HRM, whereas your post seems to be trying to give the impression that the opposite is so.

                        My post said that the benefits of HR training are marginal for most people.  Not that there are none, and certainly not that HR training is, of itself, a bad thing.

                        Runners run.

                          That's where it's different...I think it's good for newer general runners but and more advanced triathletes etc.  For newer runners because a lot of them tend towards running too hard every day and it forces them to slow down and learn what an easy pace really is.  

                           

                          I'll jump in and agree with your statement and give my experience if anyone cares.

                           

                          When I began running for fitness reasons in mid 2009, I went into it with the "no pain, no gain", "go big or go home" mentality that was preached in the sporting world from my teenage, young adult llife mostly power lifting and football. I quickly found that philosophy wasn't working for me and the daily dose of iibuprofen was proof. I was sore and hurt everywhere. I nearly stopped running as I didn't know anyone that was a runner so I had noone to talk to for advice and thought if this is how they feel, then I'm going to find something else to do to get back into some kind of healthy shape.

                           

                          I did a lot of internet searching for an answer to my misery and came across some info on training with a HR monitor as well as a running log and community forum website called RunningAhead. Those two things were a godsent for me. I found the LHR group on RA and quickly devoured the info on it and chatted with experienced forum members. I went out and bought the "Maffetone Method" book, a garmin GPS with HR monitor and started using the simplified MAF HR calculation of 180-age for a HR zone to run at or below.

                           

                          It was agonizingly slow at the start as I actually had to walk up the slightest hill to keep my HR below MAF (140) and I nearly threw in the towel again. Eventually I began to lose some weight, my running at MAF became quicker, I could run farther and I stopped hurting all the time. It was the best thing I could have done at that stage in my running life. I had read about running easy, medium and hard but had no idea what each was supposed to feel like. I at least now felt what easy should be (at least according to Maffetone).

                           

                          These days I have HR zones set up according to what I've estimated my LT HR to be and use Joel Friels HR zones to train around as I am now an aspiring triathlete. I have also began to develop a sense of effort based running on feel and pace and try to use the HR monitor numbers and perceived effort to gage workouts. I use the HR zone in a much more loose fashion then I once did. 

                           

                          It has taken a long time to do this and I feel the HR training I did early on has made that possible. As I get into longer triathlons, I will most likely monitor my HR more in training and probable get into racing with power on the bike and HR on the run.

                           

                          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've got a fever...

                            Maffetone /  Low HR is nothing more crutch/tool to keep people from running their easy runs too hard (e.g. Mark Allen).  There's no psychological basis to the claims that the occasion run above the LHR limit will "ruin" your aerobic base, and there's nothing magic about LHR = 180-Age -- it just happens to be a heart rate that will correspond to a really easy pace for nearly all runners

                             

                            Once you learn to listen to your body and train sensibly (and Maffetone / HR can certainly be a part of that learning process), feel free to take off the training wheels.  Your heart is supposed to beat harder when you run up a hill -- that's why hill training is good for you.

                            On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

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