Low HR Training

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The boilerplate low HR training post (Read 9112 times)

newgeneration


    I'm throwing out this question to all, again because I had read bits and pieces in previous threads led by Jesse. Nutrition. How important is it to have few or no carbs before a run? How does this affect or setback the benefits of MAFing? How stictly do people follow this? How about post run nutrition? Thanks!


    run-easy-race-hard

      I'm throwing out this question to all, again because I had read bits and pieces in previous threads led by Jesse. Nutrition. How important is it to have few or no carbs before a run? How does this affect or setback the benefits of MAFing? How stictly do people follow this? How about post run nutrition? Thanks!
      One of the most critical pieces of MAF-style basebuilding is training yourself to run efficiently using fat as a fuel source. Both Maffetone and Pfitzinger, as well as many others mention the fact that taking in carbs before a run encourages the use of carbs as a primary energy source, which is exactly what you don't want. If you want to reap the benefits of this approach, then follow it strictly. Post run is a different story - my favorite post run intake is chocolate milk. Everyone has his or her own thing, but after the run has no relevance to the benefits of this type of training.
      newgeneration


        Thanks, Jesse. What are the kinds of things (if any) you would recommend eating before a run? I tend to get light-headed on an empty stomach.


        run-easy-race-hard

          I would recommend getting used to not eating before a run and determining what is causing the lightheadedness (perhaps not eating enough the day before??) With that said, eggs or any kind of meat or cheese should be fine if you can't get to the source of the problem.
            ...How important is it to have few or no carbs before a run? How does this affect or setback the benefits of MAFing? How stictly do people follow this? How about post run nutrition?
            There are many of us who eat nothing before a training run. Eating carbs will affect your sugar metabolism, blood sugar level etc, so doing that too close to a run often ends up depressing the blood sugar levels partway into the run. The "standard" wisdom is supposed to be at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours before your run, so that your body is closer to normal when you start the run. I (and many folks I know) just don't eat anything before our morning training runs. I eat dinner the night before. That's it. A lot of this depends on why you're training. If you wnat to build up the body's long-run endurance by developing your fat-burning metabolic engine, then you're better off just running off of the body's stored fuel. Many of us find that the first 30-45 minutes of a run (varies by individual) or race are important to have carb-free to get the fat metabolism properly turned on. After that point it's not so important, in a race, if you want to have some sports drink or whatever with carbs in it. But for training runs, why ingest carbs? You want to train your body to utilize its fat reserves, so to get that training effect you have to avoid the carbs and stimulate the body's response so that it will build up that fat metabolism. I'm not a nutritionist or physician, but if you have a problem with lightheadedness, you should make sure that your sugar metabolism is ok. I imagine diabetics or those prone to hypoglycemia might have to adjust their nutrition and training appropriately... Post run? It's usually recommended to have protein (for muscle rebuilding) and some carbs (replenishing supplies) within an hour after finishing the run. Sometimes I have a little something in the 1st half hour after finishing the run (cooled down before eating) and then breakfast a bit later. Some people like chocolate milk as a post-run drink...(you could ask Jesse L. about that)...
              Hello HR crowd! I just found this forum. I have a question to some of you. Browsing some of your logs and also knowing some of you from the CR site I noticed some of you have been doing exclusively LHR training for a long time. I begin the task of LHR training about 8 weeks ago and am having great imporvment. About 1 min per mile faster than 8 weeks ago at Maff HR. My mileage was at 35 when I started and I got it up to about 43. My plans were to continue to base build at these low intensities till next summer before I begin training for a fall marathon. I tired MAFF last year and I got to about 50 miles in 16 weeks and although the mileage wasn't too stressfull I got injured. I recovered and moved on to a mix of anaerobic running and improvment followed. The problem is I can't up the miles while doing the anaerobic mix so mileage increases yeild at that point. Now I'm back to exclusive LHR and really want to do a long base to get the mileage up but am running into the same problems as last time. My legs just feel dead and heavy on every run, I feel like I am headed down the same spiral as last year. My body just doesn't like the monotomy of the same effort day in day out week after week, month after month. The first 7 weeks felt good and the improvment was great! I still am seeing improvment on my runs as the pace is getting faster by the day. It sorta feels like my heart is getting strong but my legs require something different. So what do I do? I really want to get the mileage up to at least 60 MPW and although mixing in anaerobic work(tempo's, fartleks etc..)will break me out of my current funk, I just can't get the miles up doing that kind of running. My plan was to get the mileage base up before reaorting back to the tempo's and such. Any advice would be appreciated, Thanks
              PR's: 5k 19:34 2008 10k 41:05 2008 Half 1:34:34 2007 Marathon 3:29:49 2009 Up next, Spring Marathon NJ?


              run-easy-race-hard

                It makes me wonder whether it was the mix of anaerobic workouts that pulled you out of the funk or just some variation. Do you run a lot of different courses and distances or do you do a lot of the same stuff over and over again? Do you ever run trails? Technical trails with hills. How much in the way of hills do you get to run? Are you able to get in any runs with long downhill stretches? I am a firm believer that you can get the same benefits that you would from an anaerobic run just by getting some good, long downhill stretches in. By the way, I think I may be the only one around here (maybe anywhere) who really does exclusively low HR training over the long haul. I think most people move on to speed phase and so forth, or at least include tempo runs in the mix regularly.
                  It makes me wonder whether it was the mix of anaerobic workouts that pulled you out of the funk or just some variation. Do you run a lot of different courses and distances or do you do a lot of the same stuff over and over again? Do you ever run trails? Technical trails with hills. How much in the way of hills do you get to run? Are you able to get in any runs with long downhill stretches? I am a firm believer that you can get the same benefits that you would from an anaerobic run just by getting some good, long downhill stretches in. By the way, I think I may be the only one around here (maybe anywhere) who really does exclusively low HR training over the long haul. I think most people move on to speed phase and so forth, or at least include tempo runs in the mix regularly.
                  Hmmm I never thought of that. All my routes are rolling hills. Usually I run a mix of trails and road but everything is snow covered so I have been sticking to the same route except for Sat where I travel to the park but still I'm confined to road when I get there. Come to think of it last year when I got into this funk it was the same senerio. I do alter my runs short one day long the next and Sat I do a real long run. With the winter where I live trails will not be runnable till at least March so I don't know what options I have. Will simply switching routes work? I could possibly throw in a treadmill run here and there.
                  PR's: 5k 19:34 2008 10k 41:05 2008 Half 1:34:34 2007 Marathon 3:29:49 2009 Up next, Spring Marathon NJ?


                  run-easy-race-hard

                    I believe changing things around a lot especially in terms of elevation variation and distance can really help things progress.


                    running yogi

                      I run mostly right before my lunch. So how early should I have had my breakfast so that it's not too close to my run.
                      I would recommend getting used to not eating before a run and determining what is causing the lightheadedness (perhaps not eating enough the day before??) With that said, eggs or any kind of meat or cheese should be fine if you can't get to the source of the problem.


                      run-easy-race-hard

                        Try to wait until at least 2 hours after eating, 90 minutes at a bare minimum.
                        newgeneration


                          Long runs are considered essential for race training (like marathons). Is MAF training more effective if long runs are incorporated, or is total mileage/ time at MAF more important?


                          run-easy-race-hard

                            Hmm, I don't know that it's really been tested scientifically, but certainly cumulative mileage goes to a well-established base. The long runs seem to build up the ability to keep the heart rate from climbing significantly through a run.
                              Hi Jesse, Thanks for referring me to this site. You referred me here when I somehow got your personal email from the CR site. I am a new convert to this type of training. I am so exciteded about it, and it has made running actually enjoyable for me. I already have endurance that I have not had in my whole adult life. I am 48 years old, and my idea of a run in the past was to pick a distance and try to run it as fast as I could thinking that I would get more out of it. In winters for most of my adult life I was an avid basketball player. I had good speed on the court, and good basketball endurance. This is how I would stay in shape in the winter. In the good weather I would jog. I would jog about 2 to 3 miles every other day. I knew I could not go long distances, so I ran them hard instead. I have been doing this my whole adult life and only now have I learned that I had terrible aerobic fitness. Last March, I decided to stick to running exlusively and I gave up basketball. At 48 years old, I just was not able to get much out of it anymore, and just got injured a lot. I felt that running was a new alternative that I should try all year round. It just was much easier on my body and I thought was good for me. So, since March I have been sticking to it. I have lost 20 pounds going from 205 to 185 and I feel good. But, from March to November I definitely did it the hard way. I entered a few 5ks and averaged 8 min mile the first time and got it down to 7:30 min per mile later. But, these were my workouts: Some days I would run 3.5 miles at a steady pace, and then I also had this workout where I ran the first mile at 10 minutes, the second mile at 7 minutes, and the third at 10 minutes. I decided that I would never race above 5k and I was convinced that I just was not that type of runner and would never be. I could not last more than about 5 miles at the longest, and yet I was entering 3 mile races. Then I started scannng the web for more information, and found so much information. But, not until I came across your FAQ did I finally get it. That FAQ is definitely the best, most condensed, and practical information I have come across, so thanks. I now realize that I have been training my anaerobic system my whole adult life and that my aerobic system was sorely neglected. So, I have been doing MAF for about 2 months, very low mileage. For a while, I was only running 4 miles about 2 times a week. I was just trying to maintain some of what I got last year. I now have it up to about 4 miles 4 times a week. My MAF time is about 12 minutes per mile. I have not seen any real improvement, but I love the way I feel after, and I love the fact that I do not get any nagging little injuries anymore. My goal is to gradually increase mileage into the spring. Although I am only doing 4 miles, I know I could keep going now. But, running 4 miles so slowly means it takes close to an hour, because I just do not have that kind of time right now. I definitely have more endurance and it feels good. I have no desire to run faster, and will save it for racing. I already know that I will use MAF all the time and will use races as my speed work. I would not mind it, though, if the MAF time got a little faster. It would be a little bit more fun to run a little faster. I know it is working and I know I am in the right zone because I am hardly breathing, yet my legs do get exhausted. But, they are getting stronger all the time. It is a different feeling to be fatigued, but never to breathe hard. Although I have not seen any real improvement in my MAF time, I am still very encouraged. I do have a few questons: When I run 4 miles, my MAF times are usually about 10:20, 11:00, 11:40, 12:00. I have noticed some improvement in the first mile. The first mile is my chance to actually feel like I am running, and it feels good to stretch out a little, and then I have to go slower. I do this with absolutely no warmup. I noticed that some people emphasize the importance of their warmup. I skip it because if I warm up, then I will end up not being able to go as fast in the first mile. I see that people warmup using MAF-20 for the first mile or something like that. Is it that important to warmup? MAF is so slow that it feels like a warmup the whole time anyway. I hardly sweat and I am barely breathing above normal. It sometimes makes me wonder if I should go to a higher HR? But, I also am fatigued at the end of it, so I must be in the right zone. I notice that hills (down hills) are recommended. I had been doing a somewhat hilly coarse until I found a place to run with an indoor track (I live in the Northeast). I have really enjoyed running on a flat even surface and not worrying about going over MAF because I hit a slight upgrade. Is there a disadvantage to this? The advantage to me is that I am able to find a nice rythem. With MAF should you still be cautious about increasing mileage too fast (10 percent rule)? If it is to prevent injury, does this apply to MAF as much? The MAF training makes you feel impervious to injury. It just feels hard to get injured. I am using HR of under 132 because I am 48 years old. Do you see any reason to adjust it higher or lower, based on my past? I would not mind finding a reason to use a higher number. I average about 127 and have my alarm set for 130. I occasionally set the alarm off but I never go above 132. thanks


                              run-easy-race-hard

                                What a good story! I'll do my best at your questions: Is it that important to warmup? MAF is so slow that it feels like a warmup the whole time anyway. I hardly sweat and I am barely breathing above normal. It sometimes makes me wonder if I should go to a higher HR? But, I also am fatigued at the end of it, so I must be in the right zone. It's only important for some people. What I can say is that for most people, if you were to jump over MAF early in the run, you'll probably have a harder time later getting things under control. However, I'm like you in that I take advantage of the early lower heart rate miles, both in training and in races. I am usually quite a bit under MAF in the first mile however, but at a faster pace than the later miles. You've said nothing yet to indicate that you should use a higher heart rate. I notice that hills (down hills) are recommended. I had been doing a somewhat hilly coarse until I found a place to run with an indoor track (I live in the Northeast). I have really enjoyed running on a flat even surface and not worrying about going over MAF because I hit a slight upgrade. Is there a disadvantage to this? The advantage to me is that I am able to find a nice rythem. Really, it's not a big deal, but it may explain why you're not seeing much in the way of pace improvement. The faster paces you put in on the downhill segments are helpful in building running economy and keeping you from getting fixated into a single pace. However, if you're happy with how things are going, there's certainly nothing wrong with it. With MAF should you still be cautious about increasing mileage too fast (10 percent rule)? If it is to prevent injury, does this apply to MAF as much? The MAF training makes you feel impervious to injury. It just feels hard to get injured. Let's just say that you can get away with a lot more when you're doing strictly MAF running, but you still need to pay attention to anything your body is telling you. I am using HR of under 132 because I am 48 years old. Do you see any reason to adjust it higher or lower, based on my past? I would not mind finding a reason to use a higher number. I average about 127 and have my alarm set for 130. I occasionally set the alarm off but I never go above 132. Sounds like a good approach.
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