Low HR Training

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Miles vs Time Volume for marathon LHR training (Read 906 times)

    I'm training for my first marathon on March 20. I'm 49, and have only been running about 16 months, coming off a completely sedentary lifestyle. I just discovered LHR in November.  Finally starting to see a bit of progress in my times so I'm hopeful, but still a bit apprehensive about my first marathon. My main anxiety is whether I'm too slow to get the necessary volume of miles.

     

    I've been using Stu Mittleman's adjusted MAP/MEP zones; I'm confident I'm putting in enough *time* now, but my times are still pretty darn slow, I don't know if I'm anywhere near the mileage I need. The weather in mid-Dec to mid-Jan crushed my workout schedule to just a couple of hours of week of running. I'm up to 6-8 hrs / wk now.

     

    Today I tried a four-hour test:

    Temp: 56

    Dew Point: 24

    MAP/MAF 131

    MEP 131-141

     

    15-min warmup walk

    6.31 miles in MAP, avg 128 bpm

    mi 1: 15:57

    mi 2: 17:09 (pit stop, street crossing)

    mi 3: 16:28

    mi 4: 16:46

    mi 5: 16:20

    mi 6: 16:53

    15-min walk

     

    2.35 miles in MEP avg 138 bpm

    mi 1: 16:11 (street crossing)

    mi 2: 15:51

    15-min walk (couldn't get HR below 121... stayed in upper MAP zone)

     

    3.02 miles in MEP avg 139 bpm (occasionally going over slightly... had to walk a lot to control it)

    mi 1: 17:18

    mi 2: 18:30

    mi 3: 18:58

     

    17-min cooldown walk (HR stayed in the upper MAP zone)

    total from start to finish: 14.78 mi in 4:20:22

     

    I've seen 1st miles at MEP improve from 15:49 on 1/30 to 13:17 on 2/5, and 1st miles at MAP from 16:54 on 2/6 to 15:20 yesterday. I have run a half-M already, on Sept 5, 3:07:35, but I wasn't actually in a race, so the time may be a bit slower than if I was. (The temp was 77, wasn't tracking dew point then.) I'm thinking I'm probably faster now.

     

    So... with 5 weeks left to go, am I crazy for aiming for the full marathon, or should I switch to the half? I'd really like to do the full, but I'm not sure if my numbers say I'm crazy for that. Any help would be appreciated.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Jon

      You're doing 6-8 hours a week at around 16 mins per mile? So maybe 25-30 miles a week. That kind of volume is OK for a first marathon, if a little on the low side. But how are your long runs? What's the longest run you've done so far in training and how did that go?

      jimmyb


        Hey Jon,

         

        Based on your numbers, you're looking at a 6-7 hour marathon.

        Your MAP pace suggests that you still have a lot of work to do with

        your aerobic system. You've seen improvement, which is good.

         

        You could finish a marathon right now.

        It all comes down to what kind of experience you want. 

        Do you want to spend 6-7 hours on your feet?

        Do you feel you're ready for that kind of time?

        If you finish, you will feel like you accomplished something--I can guarantee you that.

        What state your body will be in, I can't. That's a long time to be on your feet.

         

        Most likely, no one here is going to tell you what race to do. Just take stock of

        where you are at, what you want, and the probable outcomes and price of

        running a marathon right now. Ask yourself if you are willing

        to experience these outcomes or pay these prices right now.

        Educate yourself on all aspects of the marathon before you do it

        like:

        --race nutrition

        --hydration

        --hyponatremia (important)

        --dehydration

        --chaffing (especially nipples)

        --training

        --pacing

         

        --benefits of long runs

         

        I always recommend doing MAF tests. Your MAP HR looks like it corresponds with an MAF of  126-131. If you're

        in SLowBurnia right now, then do a regular 3-5 mile MAP test to keep track of your aerobic system.

         

        Good luck!

         

        --Jimmy

        Log

          Well, my longest in training was yesterday's 14.78. Felt good, like I had maybe five miles left in me, but would've needed to walk a couple more of them.  I've had several 8-10 mi runs since in the last couple of months... felt good after all of them, no aches, pains, injuries.  My average pace got worse from November to January (not sure why, cold weather? running way less?), but just recently started turning around in the last 3 weeks.

           

          Jon

            Thanks, Jimmy.

             

            Yeah, I'm doing the regular MAP tests, and I log all my splits on my outdoor runs. I'd probably would have switched to the half already if I hadn't started to see encouragement there, but now there's definitely some nice improvement, so I'm inclined to keep aiming for the full for now. Thanks for the advice. I've been almost compulsively studying everything I can about marathoning!

             

            Jon

              If your coming off of a sedentary lifestyle, have been running less then 1.5 years and only recently discovered LHR training, why the hurry to do a marathon?

               

              Why not build up your mileage to where you want it or think it should be by continuing to build you aerobic base and plan for a fall marathon?

               

              Just curious, thats all. I think too many people jump into a marathon way to early in the running lives.

               

              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

               

                Good point, Burnt.

                 

                You're appealing to that sensible part of me I've been kind of trying to ignore... I'll consider what you said.

                 

                Thanks.

                  One thing my wife and I have noticed is that whenever you tell people that you are a runner, they automatically ask if you are training for a marathon.

                   

                  I have a friend that I haven't seen for quite some time as we both seem to just keep getting busier and busier these days. I saw him last week at the local YMCA and he was pretty set aback by my weight lose. The last time we really got together I was about 40 pounds heavier.

                   

                  We started talking about what we were up to these days and I told him that I just got done with a run and was going to shower up and go home. He asked how far I ran and when I said I just ran an easy 9 miles, he immediately asked if I was doing a marathon. I told him I'm not in the kind of shape I want to be in when I finally do my first marathon and he thought I was kidding.

                   

                  I went on to tell him that I want to be able to RACE the entire distance and have a time goal that I want to be able to hit before I run it. He thought I should easily be able to finish a marathon, but just finishing one isn't what I want. I have some weight to lose, a ton miles and some really long runs to get under my belt before I tackle the only FIRST marathon I get to attempt.

                   

                  It is very easy to get caught up in the rush to run that first marathon and so far, I've resisted in favor of continuing to train my aerobic system, lose weight and get faster at the shorter distances.

                   

                  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

                   

                    That makes great sense. I really feel I'm in the mood for a 3/4 marathon, but they're in scarce supply! I really should train for the half, and save the full. Not quite sure if reason will prevail yet, though! Still something very appealing in doing a marathon before I turn 50. (which would be seven days later.)

                     

                    Congrats on your weight loss. I lost 43 lbs. last year, still have a few to go. Curious, how long have you been running?

                     

                    And how badly would one long race interfere with my aerobic development? It seems that when I read Maffetone and Mittleman, they're not quite as concerned about keeping everything below MAF as on the forum here. Is the training that senstive?

                      That makes great sense. I really feel I'm in the mood for a 3/4 marathon, but they're in scarce supply! I really should train for the half, and save the full. Not quite sure if reason will prevail yet, though! Still something very appealing in doing a marathon before I turn 50. (which would be seven days later.)

                       

                      Congrats on your weight loss. I lost 43 lbs. last year, still have a few to go. Curious, how long have you been running?

                       

                      And how badly would one long race interfere with my aerobic development? It seems that when I read Maffetone and Mittleman, they're not quite as concerned about keeping everything below MAF as on the forum here. Is the training that senstive?

                       

                      I started running in the early summer of 2009. I never ran before that time and I can say that I actually HATED running of any type.

                       

                      A co-worker of mine lost a lot of weight when he started running regularly, so I figured if he could do it, I could to. We talked about running together over our lunch break and the day that I finally gave in and brought some shorts and a towel to work, he was diagnosed with condromylasia (sp) of the patella and hasn't ran since.

                       

                      I've lost over 70 pounds since I started running and feel I have another 20 to go to get to my ideal racing weight. When I finally get to that 175-180 range, I'll seriously give the marathon a go. I'm looking to do an Ironman by my 45th birthday so I had better get a marathon in before trying to run one after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride. I can definitely feel where your coming from with the age milestone and a marathon by your 50th.

                       

                      As for some racing while LHR training, you can do some anaerobic stuff after your base is developed, but thats up to you to determine when that is. I run 5k to HM races through out the summer and fall as well as a triathlon or two, then go back to base during the winter months. I've recently ramped up my running and am at 319 miles for 2011. I'm looking to get about 2400 for the year.

                       

                      I also started out running at a MAF HR of 140 in the 13:30 to 14:00 mpm range and my latest MAF test pace was 9:48 mpm. There is no way on earth I would be where I am today with my running if I hadn't stumbled upon LHR training and RunningAhead.com

                       

                      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 totally with Burnt Toast on this one.  I don't think one should rush into marathon training so early. but of course it's up to you.

                         

                        in my case it also helps that I don't live in the USA, in my country nobody seems that crazy about marathoning. a marathon does count here as an awesome accomplishment, but if you are a runner nobody's going to automatically assume that you're training for a marathon, I find that so laughable that in the USA everyone seems that crazy about it.

                         

                        here if people do go out and run a marathon race, they don't go crazy about it either, they prepare a bit for it then go and run it. runners here are also not very crazy about the proverbial marathon wall. the wall still exists but it just does not seem to be as big of a wall as it does for the american runners. must be a mental thing. I mean, people talk about it less... don't get my words wrong.

                         

                        ok, now that rant is off, sorry.

                         

                        I've been running for less than 1.5 years myself, I plan to do the marathon in the autumn this year, I will have been running for 2 years then and I think that's OK because I feel I definitely can get a sub 4hour time or something like that. something 3: xx anyway. I did not want to run a marathon in the 4: xx or the 5: xx, that just seemed too much time on my feet. at this point now, I feel I will be able to do it in less than 4 when the time comes in october. and that means that I will be a lot more ready for it than last year.

                        (I considered doing it at the 1 year running anniversary last year because a friend managed to do just that... but I decided against it. that girl did manage it in 3:55 though. lucky after 1 year of running!!)

                         

                        as for the "pure" MAF HR base building training and this forum... when I came here I had the same impression as you but it is not quite like that. I was told since then that I had that impression wrong. the thing is that we discuss the anaerobic training less, forum title is LHR for a reason. Smile we do have a thread for anaerobic stuff though.

                         

                        now about the aerobic development thing... anaerobic stuff can improve your aerobic capacity but interestingly enough, aerobic conditioning as well. the latter is what maffetone means when he refers to being in a good aerobic shape. but even just improving the capacity will make you faster at low HR too. when I did base building and then I went to anaerobic training I improved a crazy lot, I just couldn't believe it. and it wasn't just the short races... half marathon went from 10min/mile pace to 8min/mile pace in a few months...

                         

                        now, the trick is not doing hard runs all year round. you have to change up the training sometimes. I was pretty much ready to go into anaerobic training when I did. 

                         

                        I'd give you a suggestion about doing the base building: you might find you benefit from more frequent running, i.e. don't run 3 hours in one go, two 1.5 hours run may be better. easier on your body, your pace decays less, so your efficiency will get a better workout and you will recover faster. etc. etc. also, 6 hours may be on the low end, 8 hours sounds better.

                        jimmyb


                          in my case it also helps that I don't live in the USA, in my country nobody seems that crazy about marathoning. a marathon does count here as an awesome accomplishment, but if you are a runner nobody's going to automatically assume that you're training for a marathon, I find that so laughable that in the USA everyone seems that crazy about it.

                           

                          here if people do go out and run a marathon race, they don't go crazy about it either, they prepare a bit for it then go and run it. runners here are also not very crazy about the proverbial marathon wall. the wall still exists but it just does not seem to be as big of a wall as it does for the american runners. must be a mental thing. I mean, people talk about it less... don't get my words wrong.

                           

                           

                          Holy generalizing and stereotyping of Americans, Batman! 

                           

                          Log

                            @Burnt

                             

                            Wow! What an accomplishment! I've got to confess, I'm not so interested in racing my first marathon as finishing it. I think if I have to extend my basebuilding by a couple of months or more, no problem.  I admire your attitude though. It like you're "saving yourself" for your one and only first marathon. Smile  Me, I'm interested in losing my marathon virginity by 50!

                             

                            @cmon2

                             

                            Thanks for the pointers. Yeah, I think I want to do the vast majority if not ALL of my training runs this year very light and easy, at MAP, with just a little MEP on weekends. (In my case MEP is the zone from 1-10 bpm above MAF, upper limit of MAP = MAF).

                             

                            BTW, what country do you live in?

                             

                            @jimmy You're right, Boy Wonder!

                              Hi Jon,

                               

                              I started running in August 2008.  Shortly after I began, I found an online article by Mark Allen about the 180 formula.  And not long after that I found this forum.

                               

                              I ran some 5Ks and did two sprint triathlons in 2009.  At the end of 2009 I got the notion to run a marathon to help me decide whether I was ready to attempt an ironman.  I decided to use Jeff Galloway's run/walk training plan coupled with maffing.  In January 2010 I registered for the Charlottesville Marathon in April so I would stay motivated with my training.

                               

                              As my training progressed it became clear to me that my MAF pace was not fast enough to get it done.  Charlottesville has a 6 hour limit.  So I started experimenting with higher heart rates.  When my long runs started exceeding 13 miles I discovered that was about my limit.  I didn't have enough in my legs and feet to go much farther than 13 miles at the pace required.

                               

                              When I started in C'ville my plan was simply to go as far as I could before they pulled me off the course.  I made a classic rookie mistake and started out too fast.  I finished the first half in about 2:25. It would take me another 3 plus hours to finish in 5:44:14.  And the last half was ugly.  Mostly walking, dehydration, calves on the verge of cramping, feet blistering.  I recalled reading about "death marches" and I was pretty sure that was what I was experiencing.  But I did finish to my and my family's surprise.  And I wasn't even last.  Two people finished after me.

                               

                              I want to do Charlottesville again to redeem myself.  I had hoped to try again this year, but my training got interrupted by life stuff.  So I have given it up for this year.  Maybe I will do another one in the fall.

                               

                              The experience did help me decide that I was not yet ready to attempt an ironman event.  So I did the half iron distance instead.

                               

                              I hope this helps.

                                Holy generalizing and stereotyping of Americans, Batman! 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                hehehe. and sorry, I know not everyone fits into a stereotype! I was trying to emphasize why I think it's a bad idea to rush into the marathon.

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