That little chart where Maffetone shows the resting RQ of different individuals and their physical ailments was interesting. Basically, at rest you should be burning more fat than sugar, and some individuals can be 88% sugar/12% fat burners at rest. Imagine when they start to run. A highly trained athlete with a solid aerobic system can be buring as high as 60% fat at rest.
According to what others have posted (Dave, Jesse), is that Maffetone used the bottom of the deflection point below the .85 as the MAF. What the HR is at the deflection point, that's your true MAF. In order to fully understand this, I think I need to get a test. There is V02max testing in my area. I am thinking about it.
I'm sure [Mark Allen's] seen that a race every 3-6 weeks has a positive effect on MAF tests. I also think that it could be a way to keep his athletes interested. There's a reason he calls it "the patience phase"--it's the toughest thing to do for most runners--"what? I have to walk up the hills?"--"Yes, but it's temporary."--"I can't do that, it's not part of my make-up." I'm not sure he would recommend the race idea to those with a severe aerobic deficiency or those coming off injuries, or who are a walking sore spot. That letter might be specific to certain athletes.
My take on MAF training, is that you can really experiment with things, just keep in touch with the MAF test. If the weight lifting or a race every 3-6 weeks is too much, then your tests will cease to progress. If not, then what you are doing isn't overstressing your body and diminishing the aerobic system.
May not be the same "deflection point," but I've got a book on Lydiard where the author basically says that the deflection point of the HR curve and the deflection point of your lactate curve should occur at the same point. Of course over lactate threshold you'd be at 100% carb for all intents and purposes, so Jesse and David may be speaking of something else. I know that my MAF is waaaaay below my lab tested lactate threshold.
I've read about the LT deflection. the Conconi Test is one way to find it, though doesn't work all the time, so is unreliable.
Read about the RQ test that the MAF formula was developed from (Complimentary Sports Medicine by Dr. Phil Maffetone Page 79):
A more Complete RQ table:
Take a visit to a Mark Allen Forum at his website:
Yeah, I had my LT test done old-school - blood drawn every few minutes and analyzed. The HR correlation seems like one of those theoretcial perfections that doesn't often play out. Regardless, my test was nearly a year ago and is now stale.
Jesse's 2005 VO2Max test has RER and RQ data.
I might not be reading the report properly, but at the time he was 35 and it looks like he was hitting 0.85 RQ at 151 bpm. 180-35=145+5 for being healthy and progressing=150. Maffetone's equation fit him well then.
I've been reading here and there following some of the links you've posted. Following one of the threads from Coolrunning I can understand your sense of nostalgia and loss; it seems to have been a great time with lots of creative and passionate debates. In addition I know you were running very well at the time and setting PRs - also a wonderful feeling. You are obviously no longer in the same situation - for better or for worse, things always change and never stay the same. You have the wonderful memories and friendships you've made back then and the knowledge and wisdom gained from all the hard work and fun races you've done. What you don't know yet is what the future holds for you. The present is all you have. In the present you give and guide in full measure and your presence in this forum is grately appreciated. You help so many of us with our running. I feel sure your current low slump is temporary
I've gotta get back to reading some more of the old threads. Great stuff!!!! Thanks.
A quote from a Coolrunning post by DavidD (RER here):
"We normally burn both fat and sugar for energy (and very small amounts of protein) at all times - sleeping, working, running. Finding an exercise heart rate that best trains our body to burn more fat is what the MAF program is all about. When successful, we run faster at the same heart rate, race faster, burn off more body fat, are healthier and less injured, etc. (If the ‘fat burning’ notion seems to go against the traditional ‘carbo’ mentality, it does, but only because the carbo idea, that sugar is the main fuel of athletes, is wrong.)
We can evaluate fat and sugar burning levels by measuring carbon dioxide and oxygen uptake while running on a treadmill. The ratio of CO2/O2 is called respiratory quotient, RQ. It ranges from 0.7 (100% fat/0% sugar burning) to 1.0 (0% fat/100% sugar burning). At the 50% fat and 50% sugar level, the RQ is .85. This test can help evaluate an athlete by comparing the RQ at different heart rates - from warm up pace to intense effort. When done properly, the test usually shows a steady rise in RQ with the heart rate, and at some point suddenly increases at a faster rate (the “deflection point”) indicating a more rapid change to more sugar and less fat burning. Maffetone has chosen the heart rate just before the deflection point to be the max aerobic rate. With some simple math, he found a formula (the 180 formula) that is quite accurate in determining about the same point he was finding on treadmill tests."
Here's some more interesting old stuff from the formerly great Coolrunning. One of Jesse's aweosme Low-HR training threads. There is some RQ info posted by Dave and Jesse and others:
Reading those old threads brings a sense of nostalgia and loss for me. Active.com screwed the pooch by bringing it down.
Maffetone actually discusses this in "The Maffetone Method" - is your race 5-K race pace is faster than your predicted pace at MAF (quite common), then, he says, your aerobic system is underdeveloped and needs work. That said, Maffetone does allow that runners 65 and older may need to add 5 to 10 or so bpm to get a proper MAF. Likewise, he says, runners 16 and under should top out at 165. Trying to back into your MAF based on race times (which is what I think you're suggesting) wouldn't account for any aerobic deficency in the subject. I think Jimmy's got it right - short of regular RQ testing at the lab, then as long as MAF tests show improvement you're doing it right.
How much do one of those gas exchange analyzers cost, anyway?