Low HR Training

1

(for Phil) Running Exactly At MAF, Running in a 10 Beat zone below MAF (Read 1572 times)

jimmyb


     A question for Dr. Phil:

     

    I was hoping to clarify one point, Phil. I'm also hoping you become a regular contributor to the forum, but fully understand everything in life is temporary (I always thought my youthful perky man-chest was eternal, but have come to find out that only the law of sagging is). I thought I'd get this one question in. This might be a good one for your website forum, feel free to use it.

     

    My understanding from your books is that in  aerobic workouts, or the base period, we should workout at the calculated MAF (with adjustments). Then you suggest taking 15 minutes or more to warm up to ten beats below the MAF. You also mention using a ten beat zone, e.g. if your MAF is 130, then use 120-130 bpm. MAF tests should be run exactly at the calculated MAF.

     

    Some think that to get the best aerobic benefit, we should always be running exactly at MAF (after the warm-up). If you do this, you will always be getting the fastest turnover possible for the workout, which is good for the neurological aspects of aerobic speed.  I always countered by writing "wouldn't that make all your runs MAF tests?".  I'm not sure that you actually advocate always training (during the base period) exactly at MAF for the best benefits.

     

    Also, you write that some athletes get so fast at MAF, that it becomes too uncomfortable to workout at MAF for extended periods and aerobic intervals become a better option.

     

    Should we try to train exactly at our calculated MAF for maximum benefit? Or is the ten beat zone a better idea, using "exactly at MAF" for testing, intervals, and the end of runs?

     

     

    I know that staying below is never a problem. Some athletes that have posted have seen MAF progress running as much as 20 beats below. We have a member who is a  racewalker (Rudolph, where are you?)  that trains 40-60 beats below.

     

     

    Thanks. Have a great 4th!

     

    --Jimmy

     

    P.S.

     

    Most of the time I stay within the ten beat range, let my HR rise from 118bpm to 128bpm in a controlled manner. Slowing or speeding up to keep the HR where I want it. For example:

     

    mile 1  110 bpm

    mile 2  118 bpm

    mile 3  120 bpm

    mile 4  122 bpm

    mile 5  124 bpm

    mile 6  126 bpm

    mile 7  128 bpm


    Log    PRs

    wbr


      Jimmy,

       

      Good question. I think that as it relates to someone like me (60-ish and have always considered myself to be active and athletic until the past 5-6 years), I'm constantly yoyo-ing between maf and maf -20. And then people who are relatively very fit like you and many others on this forum can go out a clock several miles in a row at the same hr with little degradation in pace. I'm assuming that by putting in months at maf to maf -20 will eventually get me to the point where your question is more relevant to me. I'm just starting my 5th month of maffing.

       

      Bob


      Consistently Slow

        Jimmy,

         

        Good questions.  It appears I have been doing MAF test  wrong.

        15 min wu

         

        reach maf-6

         

        5 miles  maf -6

         

        will re-test in 2 weeks.   1.25 wu    reach MAF    5 miles @ MAF

        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/

           

          Some think that to get the best aerobic benefit, we should always be running exactly at MAF (after the warm-up). If you do this, you will always be getting the fastest turnover possible for the workout, which is good for the neurological aspects of aerobic speed.  I always countered by writing "wouldn't that make all your runs MAF tests?".  I'm not sure that you actually advocate always training (during the base period) exactly at MAF for the best benefits.

           

           I have also wondered if running right at or below MAF on a decline treadmill would provide the most benefit. I have also noticed that a lot of people on this board do not allow themselves the extra 5 beats, even though they have been at this for a few years with no injuries? Why is this?

          C-R


             

             I have also wondered if running right at or below MAF on a decline treadmill would provide the most benefit. I have also noticed that a lot of people on this board do not allow themselves the extra 5 beats, even though they have been at this for a few years with no injuries? Why is this?

             I'm trying to take the added 5 and see what happens. Currently my MAF tests are showing improvements but only time will tell. Can't speak for others but Jimmy hit the nail on the head in his question regarding below MAF work.

             

            I have a follow-up question for Dr. Phil (or anyone) in that this board is comprised of master runners (>40).  Is there a correlation for improvement below MAF (-5 or -10) depending on age of the athlete. Is an older runner more apt to see improvements at -10 vs. say a 20-30 year old?


            "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/

            DrPhil


              Hi Jimmy,
              this is a common question, and I may use it on my website because I’ve not had a moment to answer it there either.
              In addition to the warm up and cool down, a competitive athlete will get more out of training by running at MAF. That means more fat-burning, a better aerobic base, improved aerobic muscle function, etc. Think of each workout as a jet plane taking off and slowly ascending (the warm up) to cruising altitude (MAF) and staying there until there is a gradual decent (cool down) before landing.

               

              By doing this, you’re stimulating the full spectrum of neuromuscular (nerves and muscles) components, from the very slow to the fastest aerobic fibers. This is very important.

               

              This approach assumes you have used the 180-Formula correctly – I have to mention this because the most common problem in those who don’t respond to aerobic training is that they are using too high a training heart rate.

               

              The 10-beat zone I mention refers to setting your heart monitor; this makes it easier for those new at this type of training. In addition, some people don’t want to think much about pace so a 10-beat range is easier to maintain than staying right at MAF (although many athletes don’t have much trouble staying at MAF). In my experience, more people have trouble drifting over MAF than having the HR get too low.

               

              If your goal is to get faster at MAF, and therefore race faster, it’s best to train at MAF for a certain period of time during each run. When you get to the point where the pace gets uncomfortable (that’s a great moment in training for most people), aerobic speed can be performed as a specific workout, or hitting MAF for a shorter time can be an option (extending both your warm up and cool down). It’s also important to train your neuromuscular system to work at the MAF level so that the transition to anaerobic (whether through workouts or racing) is less stressful.

               

              You will still improve (get faster at the same HR) by training 10 or even 20 beats below MAF, but the most benefits will occur when training runs hit MAF for part of the workout. For ultramarathoners and walkers, building a very wide base, as I call it – by training 10, 20 or more beats below MAF for longer periods – enables them to go very long distances without too much slowing. (Everyone will slow at MAF or any specific HR as the miles pass, which is quite normal. Those in better aerobic shape will slow less.)

               

              Hitting MAF during each workout might mean you’re doing an MAF Test in the middle of each run. However, an MAF Test on the road is not as valid as doing it on the conditions of an oval track. It could still serve as a guide to monitor progress, as you’ll see your regular training route take less and less time to complete (more reason to train by time, not by miles).

               

              Phil Maffetone

              DrPhil


                 

                 I have also wondered if running right at or below MAF on a decline treadmill would provide the most benefit. I have also noticed that a lot of people on this board do not allow themselves the extra 5 beats, even though they have been at this for a few years with no injuries? Why is this?

                 

                Hi Tom,

                this "downhill workout" can be very helpful in preparation for racing as your leg turnover gets really fast (another great neuromuscular benefit).You would not want to do it as your regular workout because you would miss out on being on level and uphill terrain.

                 

                Regarding the "plus 5 beat" category in the 180-Formula, it's only for those who meet ALL the following criteria:

                - competitive athlete;

                - training for more than two years;

                - no physical or chemical injuries;

                - making progress competitively (i.e., improving race times).

                 

                FYI: In the new book I'm adding "smokes tobacco" to the first option (-10) in the 180-Formula because apparently there are a surprising number of athletes who smoke. Most smoke a relatively small amount, very few pack-a-day folks, but nonetheless, it's a drug that has a serious affect on the body.

                 

                Phil Maffetone

                DrPhil


                   I'm trying to take the added 5 and see what happens. Currently my MAF tests are showing improvements but only time will tell. Can't speak for others but Jimmy hit the nail on the head in his question regarding below MAF work.

                   

                  I have a follow-up question for Dr. Phil (or anyone) in that this board is comprised of master runners (>40).  Is there a correlation for improvement below MAF (-5 or -10) depending on age of the athlete. Is an older runner more apt to see improvements at -10 vs. say a 20-30 year old?

                   

                  Hi,

                  this is also a good question. I've not seen any particular correlation for improvement at specific HRs below MAF with age. The whole program is applicable to any age because it's based on physiological age. So someone 40 or 50 years chronilogically may be physiologically younger than a person who is chronilogically 30.

                   

                  In fact, the 180-Formula shifts the chronological age to physiological age in choosing one of the four categories.

                   

                  We have significant influence over our physiological age (through proper training, diet, stress management, etc.).

                  Phil Maffetone

                  jimmyb


                     Thank you, Phil. That clarifies things very well.

                    I wish you the best.

                     

                    --Jimmy

                     

                    Hi Jimmy,
                    this is a common question, and I may use it on my website because I’ve not had a moment to answer it there either. In addition to the warm up and cool down, a competitive athlete will get more out of training by running at MAF. That means more fat-burning, a better aerobic base, improved aerobic muscle function, etc. Think of each workout as a jet plane taking off and slowly ascending (the warm up) to cruising altitude (MAF) and staying there until there is a gradual decent (cool down) before landing.

                     

                    By doing this, you’re stimulating the full spectrum of neuromuscular (nerves and muscles) components, from the very slow to the fastest aerobic fibers. This is very important.

                     

                    This approach assumes you have used the 180-Formula correctly – I have to mention this because the most common problem in those who don’t respond to aerobic training is that they are using too high a training heart rate.

                     

                    The 10-beat zone I mention refers to setting your heart monitor; this makes it easier for those new at this type of training. In addition, some people don’t want to think much about pace so a 10-beat range is easier to maintain than staying right at MAF (although many athletes don’t have much trouble staying at MAF). In my experience, more people have trouble drifting over MAF than having the HR get too low.

                     

                    If your goal is to get faster at MAF, and therefore race faster, it’s best to train at MAF for a certain period of time during each run. When you get to the point where the pace gets uncomfortable (that’s a great moment in training for most people), aerobic speed can be performed as a specific workout, or hitting MAF for a shorter time can be an option (extending both your warm up and cool down). It’s also important to train your neuromuscular system to work at the MAF level so that the transition to anaerobic (whether through workouts or racing) is less stressful.

                     

                    You will still improve (get faster at the same HR) by training 10 or even 20 beats below MAF, but the most benefits will occur when training runs hit MAF for part of the workout. For ultramarathoners and walkers, building a very wide base, as I call it – by training 10, 20 or more beats below MAF for longer periods – enables them to go very long distances without too much slowing. (Everyone will slow at MAF or any specific HR as the miles pass, which is quite normal. Those in better aerobic shape will slow less.)

                     

                    Hitting MAF during each workout might mean you’re doing an MAF Test in the middle of each run. However, an MAF Test on the road is not as valid as doing it on the conditions of an oval track. It could still serve as a guide to monitor progress, as you’ll see your regular training route take less and less time to complete (more reason to train by time, not by miles).

                     

                    Phil Maffetone

                    Log    PRs

                    C-R


                       

                      Hi,

                      this is also a good question. I've not seen any particular correlation for improvement at specific HRs below MAF with age. The whole program is applicable to any age because it's based on physiological age. So someone 40 or 50 years chronilogically may be physiologically younger than a person who is chronilogically 30.

                       

                      In fact, the 180-Formula shifts the chronological age to physiological age in choosing one of the four categories.

                       

                      We have significant influence over our physiological age (through proper training, diet, stress management, etc.).

                      Phil Maffetone

                        Thanks for this answer and the other answers too! They are incredibly helpful for me to better understand and learn to apply the theories properly to my training.

                       

                      Norm


                      "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/