Which article/study is responsible for the 'strictly no anaerobic' requirement for the LHR phase of training? And how proven/strict is that?
The HADD article seems to indicate that optimal development was during the LHR training, but it doesn't really seem to call out any adverse affects of anaerobic activity other than not being optimal for aerobic development. But most of the plans I see here are very strict on the requirement, so I was wondering what the source was driving that.
Basically, if I include several LHR days into my normal training plan for the summer (which includes some anaerobic days, some races, and some weightlifting) do the LHR really become garbage days (no real affect or negative affect) or are they just less effective in the sense that I'm only building my aerobic system those days and not others?
Hi and welcome,
Dr. Maffetone's suggestions are based on his work with aerobically deficient and often over-trained and injured athletes. He found that when someone's RQ (respiratory quotient) was in a sorry state (usually burning a lot of sugar at rest and a horrible pace at MAF, relative to their talent so-to-speak.), any anaerobic work would set them back, until they had rebuilt their aerobic system and general health. They needed a long healthy period of just running at or below MAF, with rest and walking, to return to a healthy state (where they were optimizing their aerobic system). Most likely this has to do with the byproducts of anaerobic fibers, because they burn sugar. As far as a specific study, I can't quote you one. Like I said, this came from his experience with thousands of clients.
Any kind of low-HR training is never garbage. I've proven to myself that I can improve my running with just walking. Adding low-HR days will not only allow you to recover, but also work your aerobic fibers specifically, and help with endurance. I think a recovery day would be garbage if run at too high of an intensity. What's the point?
The heart of Dr. Maffetone's program is to stay healthy by monitoring your speed at MAF. If it's not progressing or regressing, you're training too much anaerobically, or at too high of a volume, or have a problem in the body. He advocates some anaerobic training when you're ready for it. After all, this is also about racing well, not just staying healthy. Nothing more anaerobic than racing. Dr. Maffetone suggests that you keep tabs on the health of not only your aerobic system, but your body overall, whether you're running aerobically or anaerobically.