Low HR Training

1

LHR vs. HIIT (Read 912 times)

    OK, not being one to avoid opening up cans of worms where angels fear to tread (Forget mixed metaphors! I'll have mine blended!),  I have a question.

     

    What are the merits of LHR vs. HIIT, distance conditioning aside? From where I am as a relative newbie, it seems to me that there's a glaring omission about HIIT in the writings of Mittleman and Maffetone. Of course, you have to train for distance to go the distance, but I'm surprised that there's nothing that I can find in their writings about HIIT at all, even if why one should avoid it.

     

    Also, a lot of the stuff I see about HIIT claims that it conditions both the aerobic and anaerobic systems simultaneously. True? Bunk? Thoughts?

     

    Another question I have is about the assertion I often see made, that any anaerobic training during base-building can be detrimental to building the aerobic base. I'm wondering also if this is true... has anyone compared results with pure LHR approach vis-a-vis LHR + some HIIT?

     

    Not wanting to stir up trouble, but I'm really curious why it seems that LHR and HIIT fans don't even seem to acknowledge the others' existence.

    jimmyb


    port-a-bella-potty

      I've read almost all of Dr. Phil's books, and there is no ommission of anaerobic training.The Maffetone Method doesn't exclude interval training. Although in Dr. Phil's experience, according to my reading, he  found that it didn't matter if you trained at 95% MHR or 90% MHR--the effect was the same. So, he recommended 90% for interval training and speedwork, because the impact on the body is less. He also gives other recommendations for anaerobic workouts. He fully acknowledges the need for it, and the need for balancing the energy systems. He has also written that there is aerobic development at heart rates above your MAF, but that also in his experience, there comes a point when the development stops, and begins to reverse. In essence, the energy systems get out of balance.

       

      In my experience, I will see improvement in the aerobic system during a 12-16 week aerobic base period. Between 1-2 minutes in aerobic pace or speed (MAF tests). When I introduce anaerobic work, which is usually Fartlek or LT tempos run at about 90% MHR, I will see more improvement in aerobic speed. THis shows that the aerobic system is still improving, even with the introduction of high intensity training. Eventually, after racing for awhile (and it doesn't get more intense than racing), I will see my MAF tests begin to regress. TIme to go back to base work, or rest.

       

      Dr. Phil has talked about anaerobic training during the base period  in interviews and his books. Pretty much the answer is some people can get away with it and some can't. It depends on how much you are doing, what kind of aerobiic base you have already built, and what state of health you are in. Mark Allen has recommended to his client athletes that a few 10k races during the base period is sometimes good. Some people who MAF train don't necessarily do base periods. They will train only at or below MAF, and race throughout the year. That has worked for some for a certain amount of time. I've noticed injuries coming up on some of these athletes. He has written that at some point, when an athlete does too much anaerobic work, there is a catabolic effect on the aerobic system. What the breaking point and the door to over-training and breakdown is would probably be different for a Mark Allen in his prime vs. me. The MAF test being the key element to his method. If you test regularly, they will show you when the aerobic system is progressing as opposed to regressing. Ignore the results at one's own peril (my experience).

       

      I'm sure the studies for interval training will show that there is some aerobic development. As long as some aerobic Type 1 fibers are being used and exhausted, they will develop. I'm not sure how many of these studies have followed the athlete who tried to do these exclusively for a few years as to what happened. In the short term, there is absolutely a benefit. That can not be denied, as I have seen it in my own training. But eventually, I always see a reversal of aerobic fortune.

       

      HIIT might omit the MAffetone Method, and perhaps other forms of training. It wouldn't be alone in ignoring Dr. Phil's method.

      But Dr. Phil has always made mention and acknowledged the need for balance.

       

      --Jimmy

      Log    PRs

        Thanks, Jimmy B. That was really helpful!

         

        Jon

          Good answer Jimmy.  I have been wrestling with some of the same questions Jon has raised.  I don't have enough experience with the Maffetone Method to add anything to your reply.

           

          I have consumed some material from Bob Seebohar that seems very similar to Dr Phil's stuff.  Seebohar calls it Metabolic Efficiency Training ( http://web.me.com/fuel4mance/Fuel4mance/Newsletter_Articles_files/Metabolic_efficiency_clearing_up_the_confusion_PDF.pdf ).  He recommends using a sub-maximal metabolic cart test to find what intensity to train at and also to measure progress.  Dr Phil gives us the 180 formula and the MAF test instead.

            Thanks, Mark. I've also been wondering about if the majority of the Maffetonish improvements come mostly from the LHR training or the diet.  I had virtually no improvement when I began the training this year, and I think diet might be mostly to blame.

              I think Dr Phil is also big on diet as part of a holistic approach.  I do own a copy of his Big Book, but apparently I am supposed to open it and read the pages.  Most of what I know about the Maffetone Method comes from articles on his website and Jimmy's CliffsNotes posts like the one in this thread.

                frimmin: I don't understand why you say it could be a can of worms. training is not religion. we go by whatever works for us. why stick to a version of training that does not work. just modify it if it doesn't work after 6-12 weeks of consistent training.

                 

                jimmyb already gave you a very nice and detailed answer. I can't add a lot to it but I'll try Smile

                 

                 

                I'm not sure what can be classified as HIIT - I improved a lot aerobically by doing intervals last fall. I did a whole summer of base building prior to that and I saw no change, but I did see a change when I changed to the intervals plus some higher intensity continuous short-ish runs (slower than LT pace, but not that much slower). Smile

                 

                btw, those intervals rarely brought my HR past 94% of maxHR and only short seconds at 94% near the end of the intervals. to put the 94% ceiling in perspective - I cannot do intervals at 90%, simply because they would not classify as intervals (by this I mean my HR goes past 90% pretty early in the interval when I do intervals). for me, 90% maxHR would hardly classify as tempo run either...though, it would be ok for a long tempo. ok basically what I'm trying to say is that I rarely exceeded my LT HR and only for very short periods.

                 

                after that I went into base build mode and I did manage to find some nice low HR that worked pretty well for base building (that is, increase speed at low HR). Smile

                 

                you also asked about mixing LHR runs with high HR runs. that also worked extremely well for me, I was doing that in the spring last year (4-5 LHR runs a week and 1-2 high HR runs).

                 

                 

                as for diet - I did not change my diet for my training last year and I did still realize big gains. I experimented  with diet recently because I was told that I may have too little protein in my diet. so I tried a high protein high(er) fat diet with less carbs (that was not the goal, carbs just didn't get to have "space" in the diet after so much extra protein bringing extra fat in). the carbs were around 40-50%. I was used to 60-70% before that. what I found was that my muscles loved the extra protein but my running performance declined pretty soon. apparently I need the carbs at 60%, 40-50 doesn't cut it. I went back to the higher amount of carbs and everything was restored to normal. I still get the extra protein, though. (but no extra fat intake unlike when I experimented.)

                 

                but this is highly individual - I have not seen any insulin resistance symptoms but if someone has that problem then they could perform better on a low carb diet according to many writings.

                  Thanks, Mark. I've also been wondering about if the majority of the Maffetonish improvements come mostly from the LHR training or the diet.  I had virtually no improvement when I began the training this year, and I think diet might be mostly to blame.

                   

                  I see no training log so I don't know how much you've been training. you could need more or less training. e.g. 2-3-4 times of LHR running a week is probably too little training. it could be the diet too. too little information to figure that out, so only you can decide if it is that. another question would be, have you been losing any body fat with the training? (if there is any extra to be lost)

                    Thanks, cmon2. There's definitely extra body fat to be lost! Didn't lose any fat, inches, or pounds at all during my base-building December-March ...  and that was training 3-4x / wk, 6-8 hrs / wk. 

                     

                    I eat too much sugar; I know that.  Before I heard of LHR, I just did Gallowalking, and later incorporated some HIIT, (like 60s sprinting/75s jogging) which is when I finally noticed the a little bit of speed increase. So far, LHR doesn't seem to have helped me a bit, so I think diet may be to blame.  

                     

                    I'm trying to pick up a bit of speed now, so I'm doing some traditional intervals 500's in prep for a 5K... I haven't given up on LHR, and might make it my primary training style after this race, and try to cut out the sugar.

                      Thanks, cmon2. There's definitely extra body fat to be lost! Didn't lose any fat, inches, or pounds at all during my base-building December-March ...  and that was training 3-4x / wk, 6-8 hrs / wk. 

                       

                      I eat too much sugar; I know that.  Before I heard of LHR, I just did Gallowalking, and later incorporated some HIIT, (like 60s sprinting/75s jogging) which is when I finally noticed the a little bit of speed increase. So far, LHR doesn't seem to have helped me a bit, so I think diet may be to blame.  

                       

                      I'm trying to pick up a bit of speed now, so I'm doing some traditional intervals 500's in prep for a 5K... I haven't given up on LHR, and might make it my primary training style after this race, and try to cut out the sugar.

                       

                       

                      I see.

                       

                      as for sugar yes it does look like you've been eating enough to keep the body fat the same despite 6-8 hours of weekly training!

                       

                      but, maybe it's not just the diet. if you've been able to improve with HIIT intervals, and you've also been able to improve in lower HR zones using HIIT, then it could be that you determined your HR zone incorrectly... either too high: in this case 6-8 hours was having you near breaking down; or too low: in this case even 6-8 hours won't do anything