Low HR Training

1

Sauna / Steamroom detrimental to building aerobic base? (Read 646 times)

    I'm wondering if using the sauna/steamroom in a gym after a run is detrimental to building a base? I don't wear my monitor in there, but I can tell that my HR stays rather high, rather than returning to resting levels.

     

    Any thoughts on this?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Jon

     

    Age: 49,

    Experience: Running 1 year

    Goal: Marathon March 20 2011

    Began LHR training: Dec. 2010

    jimmyb


    port-a-bella-potty

      Hey Jon,

       

      First, my stock suggestion to anyone introducing anaerobic training into their schedule, raising training volume or load, calculating and choosing an MAF, adding crosstraining,  or doing something new and intense is: Let your MAF tests be your guide. If the sauna is detrimental to your aerobic system, then it will show up in your MAF tests and training times at the same HR.

       

      As far as The Maffetone Method goes, Dr. Phil Maffetone mentions on page 124 that a sauna can effect fat-burning. READ HERE.

       

      Obviously, a sauna puts stress on the body. The heart rate goes up, even at rest, as the body tries to cool itself.

       

      An excerpt from Wikipedia's page on sauna :

       

      "Sauna has also been found to reduce levels of stress hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin and to increase levels of beta endorphin. However it also causes a substantial rise in the stress hormones ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), and cortisol due to hyperthermic stress on the body. Cortisol remains high even after 30 minutes of rest"  (cited study)

       

      Dr. Phil writes in his great essay on overtraining (click here to read) that high levels of cortisol has a catabolic effect on the body. I've also seen shows that studied people under high stress from life, and people who are on the low rung of the many hierarchies in which we find ourselves in life, and each mentioned how the high levels of cortisol produced when under this stress starts to break down the body (muscles and aerobic system included).

       

      High levels of coritsol can be produced when you overtrain.

       

      It should also be noted that the high levels of cortisol produced when under heat stress will diminish as you get acclimated to high heat. When I first moved to Georgia, I had a real hard time in the heat, but got better over time (MAF Tests improved).

       

      Seems to me,  whether or not the sauna will help or hurt your aerobic system will depend on how healthy you are, what state your aerobic engine is now in, and what your current total stress levels (life + training) are. 

       

      Again, do regular MAF tests and keep a good training log. Keep tabs on runs at the same HR.

       

      I hope this helps. I highly recommend reading Dr. Phil's essay on overtraining. (click here to read)

       

      --Jimmy

      Log    PRs

        Thanks, Jimmy,

         

        That does help. And yeah, my MAF tests had show a problem (Technically a MEP test... I've been using Stu Mittleman's method in Slow Burn.)

         

        Damn, I LOVE the sauna!

         

         

        Jon

         

        Age: 49,

        Experience: Running 1 year

        Goal: Marathon March 20 2011

        Began LHR training: Dec. 2010

        MAF: 131

        jimmyb


        port-a-bella-potty

          Thanks, Jimmy,

           

          That does help. And yeah, my MAF tests had show a problem (Technically a MEP test... I've been using Stu Mittleman's method in Slow Burn.)

           

          Damn, I LOVE the sauna!

           

           

          Jon

           

          Age: 49,

          Experience: Running 1 year

          Goal: Marathon March 20 2011

          Began LHR training: Dec. 2010

          MAF: 131

           

          Your regression might not necessarily be the sauna. Try stopping the sauna. See if your MEP tests start to progress. Then try the sauna again and see if they start to regress again.

           

          Could be that your regression is being caused by your training, or an increase of stress in your life.

           

          If you ascertain that the sauna is the problem, and since you love it, then you could experiment with a slow reintroduction, perhaps 1 minute one week, slowly building a minute a week or something. Letting your body acclimate.

           

          --Jimmy

          Log    PRs

            Thanks, Jimmy.

             

            In my latest MEP test, I did see some nice signs of improvement... I'm cutting down time spent in the sauna, not eliminating.

             

            Jon

             

            Age: 49,

            Experience: Running 1 year

            Goal: Marathon March 20 2011

            Began LHR training: Dec. 2010

            jimmyb


            port-a-bella-potty

              Thanks, Jimmy.

               

              In my latest MEP test, I did see some nice signs of improvement... I'm cutting down time spent in the sauna, not eliminating.

               

              Jon

               

              Age: 49,

              Experience: Running 1 year

              Goal: Marathon March 20 2011

              Began LHR training: Dec. 2010

               

              You're welcome, Jon. Cool

               

              --Jimmy

              Log    PRs