Low HR Training

MAF HR vs VO2max percentage (Read 1252 times)

    I'm curious if anyone ever checked what % of VO2max pace their MAF pace is at.

     

    by VO2max pace I mean the pace that belongs to VO2max intensity, where oxygen uptake is maximal. you're supposed to be able to hold this pace for about 5minutes in a time trial.

    (the actual time you can hold VO2max intensity can vary, if you're very well trained it can be up to 12-13 minutes.)

     

    you get percentage by dividing the velocities. for example if your MAF pace is 10min/mile, that velocity is 6mph, and say your vo2max velocity is 10mph, then 10min/mile pace is 60% of maximal aerobic capacity velocity (6 / 10 * 100 = 60).

     

    I found that my current MAF pace if I was to hold MAF HR for a few miles, allowing pace to drop slightly (how much it drops depends on the day..), is about 55% or just a bit below 55%. the longer I go the more it drops below 55%. say if I go for a 2-hour run, it will drop way below 55% by the end of the run. this slowing effect could be increased in summer especially (although I had little problem with that but I did have issues with slowing at MAF HR, but never slowing at MAF-10 - interesting).

     

    anyway, where I'm getting at is this: in several places, I read that training below 55-60% will fail to stimulate the aerobic system to adapt to the load i.e. to improve pace.

     

    as for myself, when I started MAF'ing back in March, I did get some pace improvement at the MAF HR because my initial MAF pace was irrealistically slow (15:15 min/mile pace). the paces at higher HR's did not change, obviously. soon after that, I did get another improvement in pace because I was slightly overreached prior to starting, this is what actually led me to MAF training at that time. this second increase meant I was finally back to where I was before the overreaching thing. pace at higher HR also was back to normal. but I did not get beyond the previous level. I estimate the MAF pace was about 52% of max, but definitely below 55-60.

     

    then I tried this in the summer again, though I allowed a few MAF-10 and a few MAF+5 and +10 runs. the MAF+5/+10 was once or twice a week. this was a sort of Hadd training. Smile the MAF-10 was once a week, the rest was at MAF HR. result was that paces didn't change, however HR got a tiny bit more steady at MAF+10, but at the same time the pace drop became worse at MAF HR itself. I still don't know why that happened then. anyway, paces in general did not change. the average MAF pace was still significantly below 55% in the long runs at least. and almost all my runs were long (meaning, past 60mins, sometimes 100-120mins).

     

    right now, my training is around 60%, keeping pace (or intensity if on hills, etc), allowing HR to slightly increase (quite slight increase so I'm not worried anyway). the HR is slightly above MAF. the feeling is not different though. these runs are very easy feeling and thus very addictive. Smile (have not been doing this much yet, so no data on training effects.)

     

    so.... as for my tentative conclusion... I can see that others got the paces improved after a few weeks of MAF training, so I wonder what vo2max % their MAF happened to be at. Smile my guess is that it was probably around 55-60% but not below and not above. now, I could be totally wrong, so if you have data about your paces and percentages, then let me know. Smile

    C-R


      Based on my most recent marathon, half marathon and 5k prs vs. my last MAF pace, it is 56% and 62% from my best MAF pace.  This means I managed massive PRs during my training cycle below this level but this took three years of solid work and miles to achieve. However, what I think you are forgetting is that you should have a training program that provides for 1) continuous build-up of miles over years 2) periodization 3) target races with evaluation races during training

       

      The key for me is periodization ala Lydiard. You train at or below MAF for a base period then add hills and finally speed work. Rinse and repeat. Worrying about stressing your system in a base phase is an incorrect application. Base is building a foundation and capilarization. The sharpening is what takes maximum advantage of what you built during base.


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

        Based on my most recent marathon, half marathon and 5k prs vs. my last MAF pace, it is 56% and 62% from my best MAF pace.  This means I managed massive PRs during my training cycle below this level but this took three years of solid work and miles to achieve. However, what I think you are forgetting is that you should have a training program that provides for 1) continuous build-up of miles over years 2) periodization 3) target races with evaluation races during training

         

        The key for me is periodization ala Lydiard. You train at or below MAF for a base period then add hills and finally speed work. Rinse and repeat. Worrying about stressing your system in a base phase is an incorrect application. Base is building a foundation and capilarization. The sharpening is what takes maximum advantage of what you built during base.

         

        thanks for the data.

         

        no, I'm not forgetting... I don't expect to set the world record after a few weeks of MAF training and never expected that. Smile

         

        simply, I've been intrigued by what I read about how if the training load is constantly below 55% it will result in little improvement, let alone a foundation.

         

        I believe that base building still has to be enough training load...because if not, I might as well just go for a slow walk every day as my base building. it's slow, right? so with walking at a 20min/mile pace I should build a good base, right? not sure about that... Smile

         

        the body just won't adapt if there isn't any stress. base build training is still stress, just a different kind of stress and different adaptations than if you were doing interval training.

         

        another question, do you not measure base build success in pace improvement at specific endurance intensities i.e. maintainable pace for long distances or the MAF test pace? if you don't, then what is base building supposed to achieve? and if you do, then you should definitely worry about adaptation.

        C-R


           

          I believe that base building still has to be enough training load...because if not, I might as well just go for a slow walk every day as my base building. it's slow, right? so with walking at a 20min/mile pace I should build a good base, right? not sure about that... Smile

           

           

          I'm assuming this is joking around. Plenty of data to separate running from walking. The thing is you are still stressing the system at MAF - 10. Just at a level that allows for continuous building. Recall Mark Allen had base periods and then specified training leading to racing and back again. The next cycle the bar was set higher. This is how training should be approached. The no pain - no gain theory is good for football and rugby. Little else. Unless of course one enjoys being on the sidelines due to injury.


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

            I'm assuming this is joking around. Plenty of data to separate running from walking. The thing is you are still stressing the system at MAF - 10. Just at a level that allows for continuous building. Recall Mark Allen had base periods and then specified training leading to racing and back again. The next cycle the bar was set higher. This is how training should be approached. The no pain - no gain theory is good for football and rugby. Little else. Unless of course one enjoys being on the sidelines due to injury.

             

             

            ok, I can see you don't agree with the 55% thing. Smile but do you also not agree that there is a minimum aerobic load below which there is no response to training? my walk example was about that. but ok, change it to 17min/mile running, for a runner who has a 40minute 10K PR.

             

            btw, I added a few lines to my previous post while you were replying. could you please read and answer about what you expect to achieve during the base phase ?

             

            I'm not sure why you mention no pain no gain approach. what I'm talking about is totally unrelated to that. (I'm sure nobody would say the 55-60% zone is "painful" training... :P especially if your MAF pace falls right in there.)

              Based on my most recent marathon, half marathon and 5k prs vs. my last MAF pace, it is 56% and 62% from my best MAF pace.  This means I managed massive PRs during my training cycle below this level

               

               

              I just noticed this wording of "BELOW THIS LEVEL". from this, I think you misunderstood. 56-62% is just fine. (some would say, that's even right on the money.) the BELOW would be below 55%. that is what is supposed to be too little load.

              C-R


                 

                 

                I just noticed this wording of "BELOW THIS LEVEL". from this, I think you misunderstood. 56-62% is just fine. (some would say, that's even right on the money.) the BELOW would be below 55%. that is what is supposed to be too little load.

                During that time, I was training at MAF -10 which would be below the 55% level. My tests were in the 55-62% level. So I would say you can make improvements at lower points.


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

                  During that time, I was training at MAF -10 which would be below the 55% level. My tests were in the 55-62% level. So I would say you can make improvements at lower points.

                   

                  exclusively at MAF-10?

                  C-R


                     

                    exclusively at MAF-10?

                     Not always but usually ranging between MAF - 12 to MAF -5. Depending on how I felt/feel.

                     

                    For me its pretty strainght forward - you need lots of miles to build the aerobic engine. van Aacken initiated this, Lydiard confirmed and Maffetone honed it. The easy miles allow for needed volume. In that volume there are many physiological changes that happen the least of which is the ability for the body to carry more oxygen and become more efficient. The volume also forces the body to use fats for fuel. These two items are a key component to being able to add srtength and speed workout to hit those numbers. 

                     

                    You can stress a system in many ways and allow for adaptation. Track work stresses the body anaerobically as well as physically. Recover from this and you can push again. Improvement shows quickly. I can see this when I hit the track but the results only last so long before your body can no adapt any longer and needs to move to the next plateau. The MAF process stresses the system in a more patient means and allows for measured adaptation without the worry of injury. That suits my personality more. Don't get me wrong, I am a fierce competitor - ask anyone that played soccer or golf against me in college and after but in running, I have found that patience building creates for more than just a few PRs.

                     

                    Enough zen for today. The path is available for all, but the choice to walk along the path is personal.


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

                    jimmyb


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                      jimmyb


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                           Not always but usually ranging between MAF - 12 to MAF -5. Depending on how I felt/feel.

                           

                          For me its pretty strainght forward - you need lots of miles to build the aerobic engine. van Aacken initiated this, Lydiard confirmed and Maffetone honed it. The easy miles allow for needed volume. In that volume there are many physiological changes that happen the least of which is the ability for the body to carry more oxygen and become more efficient. The volume also forces the body to use fats for fuel. These two items are a key component to being able to add srtength and speed workout to hit those numbers. 

                           

                          You can stress a system in many ways and allow for adaptation. Track work stresses the body anaerobically as well as physically. Recover from this and you can push again. Improvement shows quickly. I can see this when I hit the track but the results only last so long before your body can no adapt any longer and needs to move to the next plateau. The MAF process stresses the system in a more patient means and allows for measured adaptation without the worry of injury. That suits my personality more. Don't get me wrong, I am a fierce competitor - ask anyone that played soccer or golf against me in college and after but in running, I have found that patience building creates for more than just a few PRs.

                           

                          Enough zen for today. The path is available for all, but the choice to walk along the path is personal.

                           

                           

                          we agree on all this.

                           

                          the thing is, what is "easy miles"? 60% is easy. 55% is easy. 45% is easy. 80% is probably not easy Smile there may be an optimal zone, below which you'd have to run practically all day to stress the body to get the adaptations. and over the optimal zone it is no longer easy enough. this is what I am trying to look at with this thread.

                           

                          I hope I made this clearer now.

                           

                          I think you didn't see my other question - what kind of adaptation do you expect from base building? do you not expect the MAF pace to improve?

                           

                          as for fat burning - high amounts of fat burning is only possible if enough oxygen is available and enough mitochondria is built.  if the oxygen uptake (a.ka. vo2) sucks, then you may very well be burning fats at a high percentage but it will still be only a little amount of fat burnt.

                           

                          PS: my problem is that the low intensity training suits my mentality really well...by which I mean, I hate to run hard too often. (I can take it maybe 1-2 times a week mentally. my body is willing to take it more often than my brain.) lower intensity runs are really addictive. not like the higher intensity ones. but my body did not want the low intensity training for the first 2 times that I tried it (spring, summer). I'm trying a different approach right now to see if it will work better. not exactly MAF but close and it ensures high enough % of vo2max Smile well, that's it for now.

                             

                            If you can't run and stay under MAF, and walking is needed, then walking at MAF will help build your base. There will be a point where either you have to switch to race walking or running to be able to get your HR high enough. Long walks will also help build your aerobic system and endurance. There are some very fast walkers with huge aerobic engines.

                             

                            MAF is plain and simple: when base building walk, run, but keep at or under your MAF. If you can't stay under doing one or the other, then you just aren't going slow enough, by choice. If you aren't progressing, then something is blocking aerobic development--like stress, diet, too much anaerobic work, overtraining, and sometimes not enough volume. Once you hit a sweet spot and your MAF tests (the most important part of the training) are progressing, then good, no need to add too much too fast to the load. A little at a time is usually good.

                             

                            --Jimmy

                             

                             

                            I can see MAF formula is simple. but I have this wondering that for some it may be too low stress unless the volume is really really large - then the question is whether the joints and tendons can keep up. in my case, I did not see a difference between lower and higher volume but the higher volume was ultimately limited by the load tolerance of my tendons/ligaments. then the question is stay maybe for a year here until the legs adapt and then increase volume even more and then get the endurance adaptations but why wait a year if you can first improve your aerobic capacity and then go back to endurance training and hopefully this time the MAF or whatever way the low intensity training is determined (such as Hadd, etc) will be at a high enough % of your vo2max.

                              C,

                               

                              I've been reading Dr. Phil's new book. I thought you would find it interesting that he writes in his chapter on "Other Aerobic and Anaerobic Training Methods"  that some athletes build their aerobic base and aerobic speed so well, that running at MAF feels too hard and uncomfortable to be spending lots of time at it in training. For example, he talks about a guy who started at 9:45 at MAF to 7:10 per mile. In certain sports, like swimming, it almost becomes impossible to reach MAF for some who develop their aerobic engines to a high degree.

                               

                              You remember we talked about the MHR getting lower as you get more aerobically fit and faster? The theory being that you just can't move your legs fast enough to get to your former MHR. It's the same sort of thing. Apparently, you can keep building your aerobic speed so fast that MAF speed comes very close to certain race speeds. He writes that many of his triathletes do the first legs of the race at MAF, and only going above during the running.

                               

                              Interesting. A nice dream.

                               

                              ---Jimmy

                               

                               

                              yes that's a nice dream. this will never be like that for me though in running...or maybe I'm just too pessimistic eh? (I can see it possible in swimming, though. the HR is generally a lot lower in swimming than in running because of no gravity stress.)

                               

                              as for the MHR - I still don't totally get this one. Smile I guess it is like what you said. I move my legs fast, then faster, then even faster but the HR just doesn't want to move up anymore. my breathing steadily increases but the HR not so much anymore. wasn't like this in the past. well, I managed to push to 203 a couple of weeks ago but to get there I had to run hard up a hill. on flat surface, I can't see how to get there. Smile I won't see more about this for a while as I'm not going to have hard runs now.

                              jimmyb


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