Low HR Training

Maffetone Method Support Thread (Read 3166 times)

tortoise88


    Update, epiphany, and revised game plan

     

    Observations and considerations:

    1. In four 5K races so far, I have not shown any measurable improvement.  I basically run a 23:00 5K.
    2. I am satisfied that my training over the past 5-6 weeks has been sufficiently intense yet without overtraining.
    3. My current 5K time is pretty much spot on with what Maffetone’s MAF versus 5K pace chart predicts.
    4. I don’t find organized 5K’s all that rewarding, mainly because they are highly variable in many ways and therefore difficult to use as a gauge for progress.  The one I ran Sunday, for example, was only 2.86 miles!  I extrapolated my time assuming the same overall pace and came up with… 23:03.  Hooray.

    Although I recognize that a month is probably not enough time to see a lot of progress, being a man of action I’m compelled to do something different.  The above facts have led me to the conclusion that I would be better off, or at least no worse off, going back to exclusive LHR training.  At the rate I was improving my MAF, I would be at 9 minute miles in 4 months.  For that pace, the chart predicts a 5K time of 21:45. I would take that in a heartbeat!  Now maybe my MAF improvement rate will start to plateau and maybe the chart won’t be accurate for me at that pace, but on the other hand, I have zero confidence that I could drop over a minute off my 5K time by continuing to do what I’m doing now.

     

    And at the end of the day, reducing my 5K time isn’t the primary motivation for me, it’s a secondary benefit.  I’m motivated to run for cardiovascular health.  I think there’s something to the idea that we have a finite number of heartbeats in our lives and that a lower resting heart rate means you’re saving them up for the back end.  Both of my grandfathers died of heart attacks.  I have an SVT myself.  Although on some level I enjoy sprint workouts and LT runs, I’m much more likely to maintain a 40 mpw schedule doing MAF runs.

     

    But even if reducing my 5K time *were* the sole mission, I think that I’m still arguably held back by aerobic fitness, so LHR training greases that squeaky wheel.  I saw something from Jeff Galloway that said to add 35 seconds to your mile pace to predict your 5K pace.  I can run a mile in 6:30, which predicts a 5K time of 21:58.  The fact that my actual time falls off by over a minute from that projection tells me that it’s my aerobic system that is the weak link.  Now I’m sure that there are ways I could shave time off here and there – I could lose 5-10 pounds (1 second per mile per pound lost, I have read); my pacing is probably not ideal; perhaps there are some opportunities for improvement in form and running technique; maybe I haven’t learned to push myself to the limit (it sure feels like I am at my limit though – I always feel like I’m the only one out there who is breathing hard!).  But at the end of the day, the best formula one cars are the ones with the best engines.  Having a light frame and aerodynamically shaped fins and good suspension and all that are important, but the bottom line is that the car goes fast because it’s got a kick ass engine, pure and simple.

     

    So, I’m going to go back to working on my engine.

     

    -tortoise88

      maybe you were doing too many races, 4 races over 5-6 weeks? I don't know if you are used to that much. I'm certainly not used to that frequent racing.

       

       

      it's good to see that your 5K and MAF pace line up in the table. that would serve as a kind of confirmation that you got your MAF HR right.

       

       

      in my case if I go with 180-age MAF then my paces totally do not match the table, I have about 10:30 pace at this HR now (180-age) but I can definitely run faster times than in the table (it predicts 24:04 for 5K and 1:51-1:53 for HM, well my PR's are significantly better than that and they were done earlier, last year with a 180-age MAF pace of 11:15-11:30... haven't raced much since then so no new race data). okay, I'm not too surprised because I know it is not the MAF HR for me anyway (another confirmation: I don't have HR drift at that HR except in very hot weather and you are supposed to have drift at MAF).

       

       

      interesting about what you say about the mile vs 5K. I think the differential depends on how fast you run the mile and the 5K. the faster runner you are the smaller difference because the pace scale is not linear (a speed scale would be linear, though).
      in my case I probably have about a 45sec difference. I'm kind of envious of your 6:30 mile actually Smile

       (well, not sure if I could do a 6:30 right now, I know I couldn't last year.)

       

       

      anyway, back to your case, you've been improving with the MAF runs so why not keep it up as long as it keeps giving you improvement.

       

       

      btw, rest assured you are not the only one who breathes hard in a 5K. Big grin not sure why you feel that way.

       

       

      as for losing 5-10pounds.. when I was running 45mpw in winter, I somehow dropped to under 110lbs temporarily. I'm usually closer to 115lbs (about 115-116 right now). anyway, I did not notice it helping my pace at all. I think that may have been because I had a good enough body fat percentage(for a female) at 115 already.
      maybe 10lbs would show a significant difference but I'm not going to ever drop that much down from 115lbs. I would look too thin!

       

       

      good luck with your running! Cool

      jimmyb


        Update, epiphany, and revised game plan

         

        Observations and considerations:

        1. In four 5K races so far, I have not shown any measurable improvement.  I basically run a 23:00 5K.
        2. I am satisfied that my training over the past 5-6 weeks has been sufficiently intense yet without overtraining.
        3. My current 5K time is pretty much spot on with what Maffetone’s MAF versus 5K pace chart predicts.
        4. I don’t find organized 5K’s all that rewarding, mainly because they are highly variable in many ways and therefore difficult to use as a gauge for progress.  The one I ran Sunday, for example, was only 2.86 miles!  I extrapolated my time assuming the same overall pace and came up with… 23:03.  Hooray.

        Although I recognize that a month is probably not enough time to see a lot of progress, being a man of action I’m compelled to do something different.  The above facts have led me to the conclusion that I would be better off, or at least no worse off, going back to exclusive LHR training.  At the rate I was improving my MAF, I would be at 9 minute miles in 4 months.  For that pace, the chart predicts a 5K time of 21:45. I would take that in a heartbeat!  Now maybe my MAF improvement rate will start to plateau and maybe the chart won’t be accurate for me at that pace, but on the other hand, I have zero confidence that I could drop over a minute off my 5K time by continuing to do what I’m doing now.

         

        And at the end of the day, reducing my 5K time isn’t the primary motivation for me, it’s a secondary benefit.  I’m motivated to run for cardiovascular health.  I think there’s something to the idea that we have a finite number of heartbeats in our lives and that a lower resting heart rate means you’re saving them up for the back end.  Both of my grandfathers died of heart attacks.  I have an SVT myself.  Although on some level I enjoy sprint workouts and LT runs, I’m much more likely to maintain a 40 mpw schedule doing MAF runs.

         

        But even if reducing my 5K time *were* the sole mission, I think that I’m still arguably held back by aerobic fitness, so LHR training greases that squeaky wheel.  I saw something from Jeff Galloway that said to add 35 seconds to your mile pace to predict your 5K pace.  I can run a mile in 6:30, which predicts a 5K time of 21:58.  The fact that my actual time falls off by over a minute from that projection tells me that it’s my aerobic system that is the weak link.  Now I’m sure that there are ways I could shave time off here and there – I could lose 5-10 pounds (1 second per mile per pound lost, I have read); my pacing is probably not ideal; perhaps there are some opportunities for improvement in form and running technique; maybe I haven’t learned to push myself to the limit (it sure feels like I am at my limit though – I always feel like I’m the only one out there who is breathing hard!).  But at the end of the day, the best formula one cars are the ones with the best engines.  Having a light frame and aerodynamically shaped fins and good suspension and all that are important, but the bottom line is that the car goes fast because it’s got a kick ass engine, pure and simple.

         

        So, I’m going to go back to working on my engine.

         

        -tortoise88

         

        Great post, Tortoise. A look inside the brain of a maffer. You are on the right track.

         

        Building your engine is the key. Gradually increasing the volume will get you there. In the aerobic base phase before this race season I was finally able to get back up to 40-50 miles per week in about 9-11 hours of duration volume. I'm running a few minutes faster than last year in my 10k's. When I look back at my history (going back to 2003-04), my race times didn't improve much  until I was able to get my aerobic volume up. The last year and a half down here, I just was not able to do it. My volume was really low. Every time I tried to get up over 7-8 hours, my MAF tests would tank. A prior OT, life stress, extra body fat, and the Georgia heat all contributed. My race times returned to the level of my first year of running (i.e. going from a 20:49 5k to a 23:00)

         

        As far as weight goes, they say 1-2 seconds per pound, but if you are losing body fat you are also taking the walrus suit off as well, and it's easier to keep your body cool. This helps with performance. So maybe even better than 1-2 seconds.

         

        Good luck with your engine work. I'll be joining you soon. Race season will be ending.

        Keep us posted.

         

        --Jimmy

        Log    PRs

        tortoise88


          maybe you were doing too many races, 4 races over 5-6 weeks? I don't know if you are used to that much. I'm certainly not used to that frequent racing.

           

           

          it's good to see that your 5K and MAF pace line up in the table. that would serve as a kind of confirmation that you got your MAF HR right.

           

           

          in my case if I go with 180-age MAF then my paces totally do not match the table, I have about 10:30 pace at this HR now (180-age) but I can definitely run faster times than in the table (it predicts 24:04 for 5K and 1:51-1:53 for HM, well my PR's are significantly better than that and they were done earlier, last year with a 180-age MAF pace of 11:15-11:30... haven't raced much since then so no new race data). okay, I'm not too surprised because I know it is not the MAF HR for me anyway (another confirmation: I don't have HR drift at that HR except in very hot weather and you are supposed to have drift at MAF).

           

           

          interesting about what you say about the mile vs 5K. I think the differential depends on how fast you run the mile and the 5K. the faster runner you are the smaller difference because the pace scale is not linear (a speed scale would be linear, though).
          in my case I probably have about a 45sec difference. I'm kind of envious of your 6:30 mile actually Smile

           (well, not sure if I could do a 6:30 right now, I know I couldn't last year.)

           

           

          anyway, back to your case, you've been improving with the MAF runs so why not keep it up as long as it keeps giving you improvement.

           

           

          btw, rest assured you are not the only one who breathes hard in a 5K. Big grin not sure why you feel that way.

           

           

          as for losing 5-10pounds.. when I was running 45mpw in winter, I somehow dropped to under 110lbs temporarily. I'm usually closer to 115lbs (about 115-116 right now). anyway, I did not notice it helping my pace at all. I think that may have been because I had a good enough body fat percentage(for a female) at 115 already.
          maybe 10lbs would show a significant difference but I'm not going to ever drop that much down from 115lbs. I would look too thin!

           

           

          good luck with your running! Cool

           

          I had decided on 2 days per week for anaerobic training, so I was just using the 5K as one of those days.  I suppose if I really wanted to maximize performance I would follow the usual protocol of tapering off mileage a week or two before a race but it just seems like those become days/weeks that I could have continued to make progress with normal training instead of sacrificing them for the sake of a race.  Sort of like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - you can't measure a particle's position without affecting it's momentum.  Cool

           

          Good point on it being confirmation that my MAF HR is right.  I used to worry about that more but once I started to see undeniable progress I just assumed that it must be close enough.  As I ventured into the anaerobic world over the last month, I was surprised to find out how much harder it is to run at just 5 or 10 beats above my MAF HR.  That at least tells me that it's definitely not too low!  As my MAF pace improves, I'll probably start to include more sub-MAF HR workouts, if only to mix it up a little.

           

          There could certainly be other valid explanations for why my 5K versus mile pace doesn't match the Galloway formula, but once I hone in on a theory, no potential supporting fact, however tenuous, can escape my reach! 

           

          Small chuckle at being afraid of looking too thin.  You would be the first woman I've come across who experienced that particular phobia.  I can only conclude that you were not raised in the US but rather some other culture that isn't as neurotic about weight.  Smile

           

           

          -tortoise88

            I had decided on 2 days per week for anaerobic training, so I was just using the 5K as one of those days.  I suppose if I really wanted to maximize performance I would follow the usual protocol of tapering off mileage a week or two before a race but it just seems like those become days/weeks that I could have continued to make progress with normal training instead of sacrificing them for the sake of a race.  Sort of like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - you can't measure a particle's position without affecting it's momentum.  Cool

             

            Good point on it being confirmation that my MAF HR is right.  I used to worry about that more but once I started to see undeniable progress I just assumed that it must be close enough.  As I ventured into the anaerobic world over the last month, I was surprised to find out how much harder it is to run at just 5 or 10 beats above my MAF HR.  That at least tells me that it's definitely not too low!  As my MAF pace improves, I'll probably start to include more sub-MAF HR workouts, if only to mix it up a little.

             

            There could certainly be other valid explanations for why my 5K versus mile pace doesn't match the Galloway formula, but once I hone in on a theory, no potential supporting fact, however tenuous, can escape my reach! 

             

            Small chuckle at being afraid of looking too thin.  You would be the first woman I've come across who experienced that particular phobia.  I can only conclude that you were not raised in the US but rather some other culture that isn't as neurotic about weight.  Smile

             

             

            -tortoise88

             

             

             

            2 days per week for faster paced runs in general sounds good to me, but it could still be too hard running an all-out race every weekend. I don't know, I guess it depends on the person. yeah it's nearly as hard to measure things in running as in physics Smile


            what were your other runs like? MAF runs? maybe some sub-MAF runs i.e. true recovery runs would be good for recovery. if you feel right away that it is a bit of harder work when going above MAF, then recovery runs for you would definitely be well into the sub-MAF HR range.

             

            as for this worry about looking too thin: yeah, I'm not neurotic about weight at all, I think a woman should look like a woman, not like a thin boy (if you get what I mean Smile ). plus I want to make sure I'm not undereating. though low-ish body fat is cool to a degree: between 15-20% for a woman is perfect, in my opinion.
            and you are right, I'm not located in the USA/not american.

            jimmyb


              I had decided on 2 days per week for anaerobic training, so I was just using the 5K as one of those days.  I suppose if I really wanted to maximize performance I would follow the usual protocol of tapering off mileage a week or two before a race but it just seems like those become days/weeks that I could have continued to make progress with normal training instead of sacrificing them for the sake of a race.  Sort of like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - you can't measure a particle's position without affecting it's momentum.  Cool

               

              Good point on it being confirmation that my MAF HR is right.  I used to worry about that more but once I started to see undeniable progress I just assumed that it must be close enough.  As I ventured into the anaerobic world over the last month, I was surprised to find out how much harder it is to run at just 5 or 10 beats above my MAF HR.  That at least tells me that it's definitely not too low!  As my MAF pace improves, I'll probably start to include more sub-MAF HR workouts, if only to mix it up a little.

               

              There could certainly be other valid explanations for why my 5K versus mile pace doesn't match the Galloway formula, but once I hone in on a theory, no potential supporting fact, however tenuous, can escape my reach! 

               

              Small chuckle at being afraid of looking too thin.  You would be the first woman I've come across who experienced that particular phobia.  I can only conclude that you were not raised in the US but rather some other culture that isn't as neurotic about weight.  Smile

               

               

              -tortoise88

               

              A few things that could explain why your 5k doesn't match the Galloway formula:

               

              --you don't pace yourself correctly in the 5k. You might actually be faster, as 5k's are one of the toughest distance races to nail a pace in my opinion.It's very high level of discomfort when running optimum speed. I also believe there is a difference between running an actual race as opposed to doing a time trial by yourself. The energy is different, and you aren't racing in a time trial. Racing can sometimes bring out a better performance.

               

              --under what weather conditions did you run your mile as opposed to your 5k's? If the 5k's were done in warmer and more humid weather, there will be a slowing.

               

              --your translation of a 4.5k  (2.86 miles) course performance into a 5k performance is incorrect. A half of a kilometer is a big difference.

               

              --Galloway is incorrect. McMillan calculator, which I find gives results that are hard to match (without a superb aerobic base and good conditions) as you increase the length of the race gives you 22:31 5k for a 6:30 mile. That's a lot closer to what you are currently doing.

               

              Just keep building that engine, and improve your MAF tests, and your endurance race times across the board will get better.

               

              Keep going!

              --Jimmy

              Log    PRs

              jimmyb


                as for this worry about looking too thin: yeah, I'm not neurotic about weight at all, I think a woman should look like a woman, not like a thin boy (if you get what I mean Smile ). plus I want to make sure I'm not undereating. though low-ish body fat is cool to a degree: between 15-20% for a woman is perfect, in my opinion.

                and you are right, I'm not located in the USA/not american.

                 

                Come to America and do a 3 month TV marathon, with women's magazines on your breaks in between shows. The combination of the "be thin" and "eat and drink our bigger portions for cheap" messages, both blatant and subliminal will make you a barfing neurotic in no time.

                 

                It gets weird when you start to lose body fat. I remember the comments I got when I lost 60 pounds to get down to 170 (I was running at the tail end of that):

                 

                "you're getting too thin"

                "you're getting that emaciated runner's look"

                "you look gaunt"

                 

                I'm way too polite--I never shoot back. I never comment on anyone's appearance unless it is something positive to say (with rare exception. If a close friend was drinking himself into the grave, I might say "you look like crap."). But in my mind, I said things! I never asked for any comments.

                 

                Anyway, I was probably 23-24% bodyfat at 170 at 5 feet 10 inches. I could still pinch an inch, or as they say in Hungary (loosely translated): "there's a smelt hanging over your belt."

                 

                If I was to get down to a proper BMI weight for my height (technically I am slightly obese at 175), let's say 155, I'm sure people will be mortified. There is always a feeling of being ostracized when people comment negatively when you lose the weight and bodyfat that you really need to lose(for health or to be a better runner). It's a strange world. Body fat is just stored energy. All this concern with how much energy one is storing, or not storing is really kind of insane.

                 

                "Look at him. He looks awful when he isn't storing energy."

                "I need to go vomit, so I don't store any excess energy."

                "Mmmm, stored energy feels nice in bed."

                "While competing on "Dancing With The Stars" Kirstie Ally had lost all of the stored energy she had put back on after losing all of it after putting it back on after losing it after the initial massive storage of energy."

                "Look at you! You have no stored energy! Eat! Eat!"

                "Doctor, liposuck me. I'm a bridesmaid next month and there is no way I am going to have more stored energy than the bride."

                 

                Nuts.Cool

                 

                --Jimmy

                Log    PRs

                  Come to America .... 

                  Nuts.Cool

                   

                  --Jimmy

                   

                   

                   

                  I don't watch TV and never will, so there we go. Smile

                   

                  as for 5'10" vs 155lbs, I don't really understand why that would make people scared... to me it sounds just fine, not on the too thin side at all. your country is indeed crazy.

                   

                  I'm between a BMI of 18.5-19.5 but I don't have much muscle except for my legs.

                  slickster3-00


                    I don't watch TV and never will, so there we go. Smile

                     

                    as for 5'10" vs 155lbs, I don't really understand why that would make people scared... to me it sounds just fine, not on the too thin side at all. your country is indeed crazy.

                     

                    I'm between a BMI of 18.5-19.5 but I don't have much muscle except for my legs.

                     that sounds like a good idea,anyway im having trouble with finding my perfect hr for building or should i say rebuilding a base, 180-47= 133---wich puts me at ave 10:00 mile maf at 72 degrees low humidity on a track. according to training for endurance maffetone,i should be running a 7:30 5k pace, but my half marathon time is 1:35,so somthings amiss,ive been running for a year and a half with 2 marathons 3:28 and 3:35 the latter at kona at 80 degrees, i want to get faster and I am sold on hr training but 180 minus my age seems a bit slow,I have 5 months to train for CIM marathon.Should I boost my rate to 140 or?? Help for a farmer with too much time on his hands!!

                       that sounds like a good idea,anyway im having trouble with finding my perfect hr for building or should i say rebuilding a base, 180-47= 133---wich puts me at ave 10:00 mile maf at 72 degrees low humidity on a track. according to training for endurance maffetone,i should be running a 7:30 5k pace, but my half marathon time is 1:35,so somthings amiss,ive been running for a year and a half with 2 marathons 3:28 and 3:35 the latter at kona at 80 degrees, i want to get faster and I am sold on hr training but 180 minus my age seems a bit slow,I have 5 months to train for CIM marathon.Should I boost my rate to 140 or?? Help for a farmer with too much time on his hands!!

                       

                       

                      it could be just that you need to get used to this lower HR if you never ran like this before. but, if you try a few more runs at 133 and if your pace doesn't improve a lot within a week or so to "line up" a bit more with previous paces at higher HR, then it is not just that you're unused to this low intensity.

                       

                      what is your maxHR? I take it you are 47 years old and in good shape, so if your maxHR is significantly higher than 170-180, then you may have to experiment to find your MAF, it may be that you did not age as fast as the average person. (180-age assumes this)

                       

                      also, yes, you may want to add the 5, because you're kind of borderline 2 years of improvement without setbacks. (let me know if I misunderstood and you did have regressions etc, then you would not fall into the +5 category)

                      slickster3-00


                        thnx cmon2

                        zonykel


                          Has anybody looked at the impact of how many miles run in a month impact MAF tests? Obviously, individual results will vary, but if you run roughly 20-25 miles per week, is that enough to show improvement? How would that compare to running say, 50 miles per week for the same individual?

                          jimmyb


                            Has anybody looked at the impact of how many miles run in a month impact MAF tests? Obviously, individual results will vary, but if you run roughly 20-25 miles per week, is that enough to show improvement? How would that compare to running say, 50 miles per week for the same individual?

                             

                            I've seen improvement with 20-25 miles per week. There will be a point, however, when your aerobic speed will most likely plateau, and either higher aerobic volume or some kind anaerobic work will have to be considered. The more aerobic volume you can do, the more you develop your aerobic potential.  Monitoring MAF tests or like runs done weekly on the same course at MAF is always the key. I've run into periods during my journey when my MAF tests would regress if I tried to push the volume past 2 hours in a long run, or (e.g) 30 mpw. I constantly try to find where the the line is between too much and just right. When the body is ready, the tests will improve as you increase the volume.

                             

                            --Jimmy

                            Log    PRs