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

    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

     

    Pretty much.  Plus, running super-slow all the time, you may learn to run super-sloppy.

    "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

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

       

      My two cents! Big grin

       

      This is supposed to be fun. That does not sound like fun.

       

      MTA: My idea of fun involves a fair amount of pain, suffering and the occasional out of body experience. Mileage will vary on that.

         

         

        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.

         

        Disregard, and here's a good link on fat burning to check out at Peak Performance.

        C-R


          Yikes.

           

          I tried to stay out of this but let me add another perspective for MAF or LHR training.

           

          I used this pretty exclusively several years past and yes it was a challenge. But I wasn't interested in fat burning efficiency. My interest was in learning how not to over-train. How to learn easy. By this I mean going too hard too often and breaking down. I had several injuries in previous build ups and was looking for a way to learn how to train and build miles. LHR kept me from exceeding my capabilities and helped me get to a higher mile base. The more I ran, the better things went. I stayed healthy and even sped up @ MAF HR levels. The approach is for base building and you still need to do the hard work for racing.

           

          My first MAF HM was the same one I just finished last weekend. I ran the MAF one in 2008 in 2:13. Last weekend I ran it in 1:29. Was that solely due to LHR? Nope. Lots of miles and hills and track but I learned how to run easy and build a proper base using MAF/LHR. This way worked for me.

           

          And yes it sucks when you're running a normal MAF pace and you get passed by everyone but it takes discipline to run for the long term.


          "He conquers who endures" - Persius
          "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel

          http://ncstake.blogspot.com/

          zonykel


            I trained using MAF for a few months. I have since abandoned it. As others mentioned, if interested, there is a group here at RA for that.

             

            in any case, I think there are some misconceptions. not everyone of the same age trains at the same HR. you make some adjustments n based on your training and injury history.

             

            also, there is some "speed" training by going downhill and maintaining your MAF HR.

             

            having said all that, I think MAF offers you the opportunity to go longer at a slower pace (And with less likelihood of injury). However, there is no "training plan" that takes you through various phases. You have to figure that out.

             

            currently, I'm using running wizard, and guess what? My HR is lower than MAF HR in the vast majority of my Runs. I don't exceed MAF until the PCR (and faster) runs. So low HR by itself is not what makes it boring. It's the monotony and not having a plan that varies your pace by much.

              I wouldn't necessarily get hung up about the particular HR advocated by Maffetone, but I do think there's a place for a period of easy running.

              Read, for example: http://www.angio.net/personal/run/hadd.pdf  - although note that this talks about preparing yourself to be able to train harder - it's not a complete training program.

               

              I think it's interesting that most of the well-known athletes who say they've done well using Maffetone type training are Ironman triathletes. That is, people who are competing for many more hours that most of us do running marathons or shorter. In that context there's probably not a lot of need for speed work, and presumably fat burning really counts - you're not going to complete your event on stored glycogen. Also these people do many more hours of training in a week than most runners. Most of it has to be pretty low intensity if your body is to stay in one piece.

               

              In a way it's just another application of the specificity rule. If you're doing an event that lasts 10 hours then train at the intensities that you can maintain for that amount of time.

               

              For those doing shorter events then sure - spend some time building a good aerobic base - that's where this kind of thing comes in. But to get as fast as you're capable of over shorter events then you'll need to do some speedier work too. (And as I understand it Maffetone acknowledges this.)

                 

                 

                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.

                Right.  The lab tests I was referring to are ones where I think they look at the ratio of carbs to fats (or % of total energy or something) being burned. The HR where the % increases or increases dramatically (or whatever) is the HR that would be used if you didn't use the age-based ones. I think their focus is on metabolic parameters whereas regular heart rate training's focus is on cardio development.

                 

                In my case, I did use the adjustments (fudge factors) that he had published in one of his books - or the HR would have been even lower. IIRC, some of those factors varied, depending upon which book you were reading.  I have since read that they don't have as much data for the younger and older folks, so they may still be on learning curve for those - or at least were. His newer book(s) may have been based on more data and maybe clarified some of the confusion.

                 

                I never saw a lower end for the HR, so how low can you go and still be doing anything?

                 

                Most biological processes are not a straight line - there's usually an optimum (mound shaped) or an asymptote.

                 

                MTA: Many (not all) of the successful examples that have been touted have frequently been highly competitive (or not so) athletes who trained hard for years. They needed a change - probably any change that forced that to workout at lower intensities. They already had the strength and power. Whereas with older or newer folks, it's an entirely different situation.

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

                  in any case, I think there are some misconceptions. not everyone of the same age trains at the same HR. you make some adjustments n based on your training and injury history.

                   

                  also, there is some "speed" training by going downhill and maintaining your MAF HR.

                   

                  having said all that, I think MAF offers you the opportunity to go longer at a slower pace (And with less likelihood of injury). However, there is no "training plan" that takes you through various phases. You have to figure that out.

                   

                  currently, I'm using running wizard, and guess what? My HR is lower than MAF HR in the vast majority of my Runs. I don't exceed MAF until the PCR (and faster) runs. So low HR by itself is not what makes it boring. It's the monotony and not having a plan that varies your pace by much.

                  For curiosity, could I ask how old you are? And what your relevant HR ranges are? (I know the books say not to share those details, but I do think it helps to understand why things work or don't.)

                   

                  In my case, I did use the adjustments that were available at the time. He might have changed something in the last 10 yrs. But I believe the goal is still metabolic (carb: fat ratio or something like that) rather than cardio. And as I mentioned earlier, it is one method to get people who train too hard to slow down.

                   

                  Correct about it being base only where you keep the HR that low. Downhill speed works the legs fast, and is what I frequently use for speed training. I do separate "anaerobic" or hard workouts from speed, since I'm usually going up steep hills with slower pace.

                   

                  At the time I tried it, I was still doing field work in summer so only ran base in winter (and started from 0 each fall). I was lucky to get one short race in in the spring. My summer field work may have provided the MAF base, and it was inappropriate for me to even try it. But his books don't (or didn't) seem to suggest that it only works for some folks. I was already using regular HR training.

                   

                  In my case, the RW for a 10k usually trained at higher HR than I used. At least I think so. At the time, they had the RPE, talk test, and %VO2max, so I had to convert those into HR. I'm assuming my "off" days were the recovery days.  I'm not sure how it would relate now since it looks like they do give you the HR zones directly now.

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


                    registered pw

                      I have tried it and no longer use it. It was mainly since my hrm didn't work well in the winter and i got tired of it not working. I normally run at a slow pace to keep from overtraining and to keep my knee in check.

                       

                      I have a pretty good idea of how many times i can run fast and when to slow it down.

                       

                      I was constantly around a 9-10 minute mile using my hr, that's not bad but i can regulate my own speed and keep tabs on it.

                      2013 goals:

                      sub 19 5k

                      sub 1:30 half

                      3:20 marathon on second try

                        The most common misconception about the Maffetone method is that the numbers are rigid

                        even the maffetone method itself has you add or subtract bpm according to wether you are coming back from injury or have not been injured.

                         

                        The Point of it all is that 180 - your age will pretty much get EVERYONE running at a point that is guaranteed to be Aerobic only it's a ball park figure that works. It guarantees that you will be only be training your aerobic systems. - after all if you are running marathons which are 99% aerobic why would you spend significant amounts of time training your anerobic systems?

                         

                        The Hadd link that PR100 posted details a method that starts off similar to the Maffetone but has you run a range of heart rates in blocks until you can run 10 miles at mp without your hr drifting up.

                         

                        if you want to check to see if your aerobic system is up to scratch, strap on a hrm and go for a 10 mile run at your MAF pace (180 - age) if it doesn't drift up after the 1st mile (miles 2 - 10) much more than about 5bpm then your aerobic system is pretty good. if not, then maybe you have some questions to ask yourself. Prove it to yourself.

                         

                        Anyway, whichever method you choose, it definitely works.


                        Consistently Slow

                          10+ years of injuries forced me to buy a bike. I found MAFF. Injure free for 2 years. BQ in 2011. Ran Boston in 2012. I believe.You decide what  will work for you.

                           

                          Now, I think we have 7 cents!

                          Run until the trail runs out.

                          2014***1500 miles 09/28/14

                          50miler 13:26:18

                          Race Less Train More

                           

                          Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                          "The Marble in The Groove"

                           

                          unsolicited chatter

                          http://bkclay.blogspot.com/


                          Consistently Slow

                            Yikes.

                             

                            I tried to stay out of this but let me add another perspective for MAF or LHR training.

                             

                            I used this pretty exclusively several years past and yes it was a challenge. But I wasn't interested in fat burning efficiency. My interest was in learning how not to over-train. How to learn easy. By this I mean going too hard too often and breaking down. I had several injuries in previous build ups and was looking for a way to learn how to train and build miles. LHR kept me from exceeding my capabilities and helped me get to a higher mile base. The more I ran, the better things went. I stayed healthy and even sped up @ MAF HR levels. The approach is for base building and you still need to do the hard work for racing.

                             

                            My first MAF HM was the same one I just finished last weekend. I ran the MAF one in 2008 in 2:13. Last weekend I ran it in 1:29. Was that solely due to LHR? Nope. Lots of miles and hills and track but I learned how to run easy and build a proper base using MAF/LHR. This way worked for me.

                             

                            And yes it sucks when you're running a normal MAF pace and you get passed by everyone but it takes discipline to run for the long term.

                            +1

                            Run until the trail runs out.

                            2014***1500 miles 09/28/14

                            50miler 13:26:18

                            Race Less Train More

                             

                            Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                            "The Marble in The Groove"

                             

                            unsolicited chatter

                            http://bkclay.blogspot.com/


                            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                              The most common misconception about the Maffetone method is that the numbers are rigid

                              even the maffetone method itself has you add or subtract bpm according to wether you are coming back from injury or have not been injured.

                               

                              The Point of it all is that 180 - your age will pretty much get EVERYONE running at a point that is guaranteed to be Aerobic only it's a ball park figure that works. It guarantees that you will be only be training your aerobic systems. - after all if you are running marathons which are 99% aerobic why would you spend significant amounts of time training your anerobic systems?

                               

                               

                              So you are arguing that people training for marathons should not run fast -- am I interpreting that above correctly?

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

                                 

                                So you are arguing that people training for marathons should not run fast -- am I interpreting that above correctly?

                                 

                                The detail is in the Hadd document which drifts off of the OP's original question about Maffetone. But:

                                No I'm not saying you should not run fast. if someone were to train this way properly they do eventually get to run fast, but only when they are ready for it.

                                 

                                the idea is that you start at a guaranteed aerobic pace for everyone.

                                you train at that pace (lets say it's 140) until you can run 10 miles without your hr drifting up.

                                then you raise the hr to 145 till you can run 10 miles without the hr drifting up

                                you keep doing this(raising the hr 5bpm) until you can run 10 mi at MP without your hr rising significantly at which point, erm, you'll be running pretty fast. not only fast but comfortably. Don't forget, your basic easy running pace will improve all the time you are doing this.

                                it's no surprise they call it the patience phase and lots of people can't stomach it. But it does work. Read the HADD document - if it doesn't make sense to you - don't do it.

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