Low HR Training

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Low HR Training (Read 8167 times)


Wasatch Speedgoat

    Welcome to the group...if you are here that means that you have some interest in the topic. In the following pages I will share information I have collected over the years regarding this type of training. For starters I have been running for 32 years and have run some fast times (all relative), ranging from a 4:55 mile at age 31 to a 2:49 marathon also in my early 30's. I have run 27 marathons, most of which were sub 3 hours, several sub 2:50. Today I am an ultrarunner and enjoy running 100 mile races in the mountains. I have always been a low HR trainer...It all began back in the late 70's when a book came out called "The Van Aaken Method" by Dr. Ernst Van Aaken. In his book he tells you to run many miles a day, as much as you can fit in, in several segments and keep your heart rate between 130-150 BPM. He coached a Silver Medalist in the Olympics, Harald Norpoth. He coach Jacqueline Hanson to a women's world best marathon time. There is speed involved, obviously but not until you developed your aerobic base with a lot of slow running and walking. Back when i was racing fast I ran about 100 mpw to and from work at a very easy pace, just a bit faster than walking and ran one race every weekend for my speed. Fast forward to 2002, I tripped and fell during a 100 mile trail race in Utah herniating a disc, causing sciatica due to a nerve being pinched. I could not run for very long before my leg would ache and I'd have to stop. In my search for a cure I came upon a link to Phil Maffetone and his coaching methods. Phil's method is very similar to Van Aaken's, only now we have HR monitors. He gives a formula of 180-age as a starting place. If you never ran before you subtract 5, if you are an athlete who has been running regularly you add 5. This whole formula thing is best described here http://www.rrca.org/resources/articles/slowdown.html Here is his book, which I recommend reading first: http://www.pccoach.com/products/books/book_fit_t4e.htm Another book of his, which is basically the same book re-written is here: http://tinyurl.com/yoqxmj One of his athletes is Mark Allen, the 6 time Ironman Triathlon winner. Here is in Mark's own words his experience with Maffetone http://www.duathlon.com/articles/1460 Another of his athletes was Stu Mittleman, who not only was a good marathoner, but also the American record holder in the 24 hour, 100 mile and 6 day races. All I can say about Stu is to get his book "Slow Burn". http://tinyurl.com/32yuk4 Last but not least is a FAQ page on low HR Training written by a friend fo mine who has had incredible success using this method of training.: http://formationflier.spaces.live.com/ Let's get on with it Smile Steve
    Life is short, play hard!


    Wasatch Speedgoat

      Life is short, play hard!
        Check it out. From the formation flyer page: http://formationflier.spaces.live.com/ These numbers match my training perfectly (Check my log if you don't believe me): Training pace (MAF): 6:30 5k: 16:19 HM: 1:16 M: 2:39 My standard, everyday runs are usually between 6:20 and 6:40. I ran a 16:28 5k a week ago that wasn't all out. My HM in March was 1:14. My marathon in April was 2:38. It's cool to see that the science backs up what I fell into running by feel. It's also nice to see that I don't have to jog my runs. And that I don't have to go out and buy a heart-rate monitor. Thanks, Steve. Modified to add: You might post a link out in the main forum for those who haven't been following our discussion.


        Wasatch Speedgoat

          Jeff, you are certainly an exception to the rule in that you had developed your aerobic base ( or wouldn't be able to run the times you do). All of your race number transfer over nicely to all the distances. It's when you have a fast mile time and your 10K is not where you think it should be, that you need to build that aerobic base. I also am at the point where I rarely wear a HRM...in Stu Mittleman's book, Slow Burn, he actually describes in words how you should feel when running in the right zone so that you don't have to rely on a HRM. In a nutshell he says that if you feel as if you are aware of all of your surroundings...hear the birds, the cars rushing by and feel good about your run and you are breathing from low in the belly, you are in a fat burning, aerobic mode. If you feel as if you are in a tunnel, are not aware of your surroundings that are rushing by and your breathing is coming from high in your chest, you are mostly sugar burning and anaerobic. Obviously there is a middle ground in there. I think this group will help those who are frustrated with their running and cannot seem to improve. I will say that when you first begin training using this method you will be more frustrated than you've ever been. You will have to walk hills...yes, walk. What you have to remember is that you are repairing years of damage from too much fast (or maybe I should say hard) running. But in time you will notice that you don't have ot walk quite as far to get your HR down, you might be able to run up some smaller hills, then up and over larger hills....soon the pace you were struggling to run, is now coming and you feel good. You finish your workouts in a calm, rested state... ...but when you reach that point where there is no more improvement, it's time to do some faster running. A nice way to do this, to increase the leg turnover and stay in your comfortable zone is to run down hills. Jog up to stay in your zone, but in order to continue to stay in your zone when you reach the top, you will need to run a quicker pace, which teaches you to run fast! I'm not the expert...the experts are in those links provided. Read them and learn! Get the books!
          Life is short, play hard!


          Wasatch Speedgoat

            Visualizations... Sometimes in order to help me with my running form I like to visualize things, which keep me from running too quickly. Stu Mittleman goes into this a lot in his book, but one visualization i use a lot is that of a Masai tribe hunter. Imagine the hunter who hunts on foot with his spear in his hand. He spots the antelope, who darts away in a flash, sprinting for his life....the Masai just jogs along towards where the Antelope hopped off to and spots the antelope again, which sprints off again. The hunter eventually gets closer and closer as the antelope tires and soon, the antelope can run no more...why because it is a sprinter. The Masai walks up to the exhausted animal, makes a quick kill and his family will eat again. I prefer to be the hunter who can go all day long, rather than the sprinter who depends on his speed to escape hunter. Imagine yourself that hunter, jogging along with spear in hand. You need to go all day long or you don't eat... See the movie "The Naked Prey"... Another great movie showing incredible endurance is "Rabbit Proof Fence" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0252444/ This movie is one to look back at when you are feeling tired during a run.
            Life is short, play hard!


            Prophet!

              Thanks for starting this group steve. I guess what i'm doing is sort of MAF-like. All but one of my runs during the week are done between 9:25 - 9:50 (10:00+ for recoveries), i'll try to do a single tempo run (8:25 - 8:45 pace). So far it seems to be working as my 5K time improved from 28:29 last november to 24:02 just last week. When I got the Garmin 305 it was nice to get a confirmation that paces i've been running are pretty much all under MAF, with the exception that with the HRM i notice my pace needs to drop to maintain HR below MAF farther into the run, so the Garmin has been left home a lot lately Smile . My target race is the Honolulu Marathon on December, which gives me another 11 weeks or so base-building (hopefully getting up to 50 - 60 mpw) before i start the 18 week marathon specific program. Last December i finished in 5:07 but so far this year my 5K time predicts (McMillan) sub 4 hr marathon which will be goal. We will see come December if low HR training will help me reach my goal. Although i need to be realistic and expect slower times given the high humidity and heat and the crowds of Honolulu Marathon.


              run-easy-race-hard

                All, right Steve talked me into hopping over here. I'm a bit of an extremist in low HR training. Over about a 2 year period, I trained at exclusively low HRs to make the following improvements: marathon: 4:03 -> 3:11 10 mile: 77Tight lippedx -> 69:12 5k: 21:12 -> 20:09 1 mile: 6:10 -> 5:36 50 mile: 10:34 -> 7:53 Also finished my first 100 miler in 18:53 (second attempt at 100). I don't do any speedwork, tempos, or really any runs at greater than about 65% of max heart rate except in races. I do run a lot of marathons and ultras (I've done 9 in the last 3 months).
                  Thanks, Steve. I'm not sure what method I am going to try to follow. I am transitioning back to running, so it's a good time to experiment with lower HR running. I'm not completely confident about my Max HR as 70% puts me at 155, yet I am "conversational" at 165. Once I'm ready to start this seriously, I will probably try to stay at 160.

                  Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown)




                  Go With The Flow
                  Thyroid Support Group


                  Wasatch Speedgoat

                    Welcome to all....hope this in some way can help you become happier, healthier runners. Read Jesse's (formationflier) FAQ I linked to in the first post and you will see how this works and that it does work. Chenille, your best bet initially would be to use Maffetone's 180-age formula to keep yourself low enough to allow this to work. It may be a bit frustrating at first and I know Jesse and I both began on a treadmill. I remember reading a bit in Stu's book about how he went running with a woman who was a decently fast runner. As they ran along relaxed, the woman burst into tears. Stu asked her what was wrong and she said that this was the way she had always hoped running could be but that her running friends all had told her that she had to train hard to be a fast runner. She was now a happier runner Smile For most of us running is not meant to be a job....we have jobs. It is meant to be a release from the stresses of life. Relax and you will run faster...to speed up at first you must slow down. Jesse has posted his results....since i started using this type of training i have also improved my actual day to day running. I started on the Maffetone program in the winter of 03/04 after an injury. I have all my running life (over 30 years) trained 8 mpm or better and 10 years ago was running closer to 7mpm on my daily runs. When i began the low HR program, I started by running on the treadmill flat and could not run faster than a 12 mpm pace or my HR would go above my Maffetone range of 125-135. I stuck with it and ran the Bighorn 100 mile trail run in Wyoming that summer as my first test. Using the Maffetone method of easing into my run to get the fat burning kicked in, I started by walking the first 2 miles and after that began to jog a little, easing into the run. I would be out there for awhile so there was no hurry. I was running near last place... As the day and night went on, i passed runners on a regular basis staying very comfortable, walking all the hills and running down the other side. My goal was sub 30 hours... I ended up running 29:39, finishing in 13th place (out of 100) and i was told that I looked in better shape than everyone that was in front of me, including the winner. I crossed the line and immediately went into the tent and grabbed a burger and a beer. In the past i was usually sick from the pace i was trying to keep. I really believe that if i had not trained using this method I would have ended up dropping or running in the 33 hour range. Then i read Stu Mittleman's book (my favorite) and learned how to "feel" when you at the right pace, fat burning. I do not always wear my HRM these days, but when I do I find i am comfortably running around 140 bpm. My max is 186 and my resting is 52...so I am running around 65%, well in my aerobic zone. Jesse likes to say that he trains well below his MAF because he's lazy....if you can be lazy and have the results he has been having, I'd say that's pretty good! He's gone from a 4:03 marathon to a 3:11 (recently run at Boston). What you don't see there is it was just after finishing in the top ten at the Umstead 100 mile in SC in a little over 18 hours! This system works....you just need to give it time. Be patient and rewards will come.
                    Life is short, play hard!
                      Welcome to all....hope this in some way can help you become happier, healthier runners. Chenille, your best bet initially would be to use Maffetone's 180-age formula to keep yourself low enough to allow this to work.
                      According to that formula - my "aerobic" rate would be 119 - 129. That would not even be a workout for me. I have documented a HR of 197 - I think my max may be higher(not that I want to go there!) I'm guessing that blanket age group formulas wouldn't work too well for me.Thoughts?

                      Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown)




                      Go With The Flow
                      Thyroid Support Group


                      Wasatch Speedgoat

                        Yes, Chenille, you are correct.... Let me tell you a story of my wife's training. Deb is 52 and is a good ultrarunner. She tried the Maffetone Low HR training method by using the formula and was so frustrated she would come back from a workout in tears, thinking that if she can't do this then she must not be running right. She could barely run and mostly had to walk to stay within the recommended zone. Then I took her out one day and did the Max HR test and we found that her max was somewhere around 210 (she reached 201, we added 5 and she still thought she could run harder). Based on that number, at a 70% aerobic pace she should be running at about 160 BPM...20 beats higher than the formula told her! Now she was running comfortable along at 160 bpm, smiling all the way. She threw away the HRM after several months and went back to training by RPE, saying that will be the day something is going to tell her what pace to run. I agree with her and rarely wear my HRM....but my comfortable pace that I train most days is 140, only 5 beats higher than the formula gives me. I think the formula is good to get runners started when they don't know what it's supposed to "feel" like, but after a bit I think finding your max and training at or around 70% is a good place to be..."IF" you don't know how running aerobically is supposed to feel. Many runners are burnt out, are running races slower than their potential or quit running because they think they have to train fast all the time to be fast. That is not the case. 90% of your running should be comfortable...the talk test...be able to carry on a conversation with yourself or someone while running, then take the other 10% and do some strides, intervals or my preference, tempo runs of 3 mile lengths in the middle of a run.
                        Life is short, play hard!
                          Thanks, Steve! That is so helpful to hear. That's what happens to me - the frustration with trying to keep to a formula - yet I do need some range to work with. Mayb I can look at this another way. If I can sustain a consistent pace for say 60 min, and feel like it is "comfortably hard" what range would you think I would be running at? Still aerobic if I can hold for 60 min?

                          Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown)




                          Go With The Flow
                          Thyroid Support Group


                          Wasatch Speedgoat

                            That sounds high aerobic....I'll bet you could not sing a song while you are doing that pace! You need to mix up your paces.... There's the conversation pace (aerobic), which is what you run most of the time for recovery and building the aerobic system. Then there's the high aerobic pace what i think you are calling comfortably hard, this may be marathon pace. This is where wearing a HRM and knowing your max comes into play. You realize that while running what seems like a very easy pace (to some too easy) is still training and you are building on a base that will support speed running at a later date. Think of training the same way as the food pyramid. Base at the bottom of the pyramid...much larger or more than the rest...without this base, the other phases of running will tip over, will fail. The middle could be what you describe as comfortable hard, the MP workouts. The top is the raw speed, which makes the middle section easier after recovery. Always return to your base, it's the meat of running...without it nothing else will work.
                            Life is short, play hard!
                              Hi guys! Okay, after reading the posts and getting a feel for the subject matter, I have to say that I feel like a freak! Tongue I can easily run at a HR of 155. That's an easy run for me. Comfortable breathing, easy pace, easy conversation. My resting heart rate the last time I check was 46-48. I am in pretty good cardiovascular shape. I do plyometrics with my husband once a week, and his heart rate easily gets up to 170 during our hour workout (he's in good shape) while mine rarely goes above 125. He has gone on long runs with me (he bikes next to me) and we talk throughout even when my HR is up around 165-170. Do you see what I mean? A 9 min mile outside is pretty easy for me. If I were to run at only 130-140 my pace would be 10 min/mile+. Even on a treadmill (which is consistently harder for me to run) that pace feels like a pretty slow jog. So do I pay more attention to RPE or my HR? If 155-160 is easy for me, should I keep running at that rate? I actually don't really use my HR to determine my pace; I go out and run whatever's comfortable. But over the year and a half I've had it I've come to notice the trends and patterns. I feel comfortable with my speeds, so do you really think I should slow it down?
                              "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' " - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian
                                Hi guys! Okay, after reading the posts and getting a feel for the subject matter, I have to say that I feel like a freak! Tongue I can easily run at a HR of 155. That's an easy run for me. Comfortable breathing, easy pace, easy conversation. My resting heart rate the last time I check was 46-48. I am in pretty good cardiovascular shape. I do plyometrics with my husband once a week, and his heart rate easily gets up to 170 during our hour workout (he's in good shape) while mine rarely goes above 125. He has gone on long runs with me (he bikes next to me) and we talk throughout even when my HR is up around 165-170. Do you see what I mean? A 9 min mile outside is pretty easy for me. If I were to run at only 130-140 my pace would be 10 min/mile+. Even on a treadmill (which is consistently harder for me to run) that pace feels like a pretty slow jog. So do I pay more attention to RPE or my HR? If 155-160 is easy for me, should I keep running at that rate? I actually don't really use my HR to determine my pace; I go out and run whatever's comfortable. But over the year and a half I've had it I've come to notice the trends and patterns. I feel comfortable with my speeds, so do you really think I should slow it down?
                                OMG if your a freak SO AM I!!!! My resting (when I had all my heart stuff done last year) was 46 and when they had me doing theNuclear Stress test I was having very easy conversations with the tec when my heart rate was around 160. In fact they stopped the test before it even began being difficult on me DUE to how easy it was for me. They were like your heart is definetly fine, not sure what your doctor was thinking. Anyway I've only had one race that I was able to give it my all and that was RW HM last year. I was hoping to give it my all this year but couldn't due to being sick. I KNOW that I can run a HM much faster than my PR. Anyway I guess my point is I've been trying to figure out about my pace/HR like yourself. When I'm running 9 minute miles I feel like I can go forever and I'm pretty sure my hr is probably somewhere between 150-160. When I have wore dh's HM when trying to do a fitness test the highest it registered was 198 and even then I wasn't "dying" So I'm very curious to see the response to your ? Modified to ask Callie a ? Are you also a freak like me as far as not feeling that burning pain people talk about in their legs?

                                Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

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