Low HR Training

1

MAF and Max HR (Read 44 times)

irunsf85


    I'm new to the MAF idea and started training at LHR about a week ago.  There's still a lot to wrap my head around and I'm hoping that some of you can help explain.

     

    1) I'm 27 so my MAF range is 143-153, which if calculated using your typical Max HR, that would be within 75%-80% of Max HR.  Doesn't this seem to be too high of a HR to be working out?  I thought the general idea of running at LHR is to stay below 70% if MHR.

     

    3) It is hard for me to keep my whole run under MAF the whole entire time.  Sometimes it will jump slightly above to maybe 155-160, like if I'm jumping up a sidewalk or something.  How much of this will negatively affect my training?

     

    I suspect that there's an issue with my HRM.  I have a Garmin 210 and have noticed my HR jumping around a lot, especially later on towards my runs.  Often times, it will jump as much as 20 heartbeats and sometimes it will go above 200.  I honestly don't think my HR is that high, especially if I am maintaining the same pace throughout the run.  Anyone have any ideas why this would happen with my HRM?

     

    I'm also trying to do the Maffetone two-week test and the adjustment to low carb is a bit rough on me.  I've been struggling to get through my runs even at MAF.  I'm hoping to lose some weight and fat as I train at lower HR and cut out carbs. What has been your experience with MAF running and two-week test, if you have done it?

    jimmyb


    port-a-bella-potty

      Hi DV,

       

      Welcome.

       

      1) What do you mean by "typical MHR"? Have you figured out what your MHR is through either a stress test or in an all-out race or run? The idea of LHR as a catch-all term for Maffetone Method, Hadd, and Van Aaken---all of which have followers here--does not revolve around 70% MHR and below. Each of the methods have different parameters. If you are talking about the Maffetone method, it ignores MHR almost completely. The MAF is something you can actually see on a graph of results from a Respiratory Quotient test (RQ, or a gas test as it is sometimes called---ya know when yous ee someone running on a TM and the C02 is being measured in their breath, as a measure of a fat/sugar ratio). Just like the anaerobic threshold, which also has nothing to do with MHR, the MAF  pretty much hangs out for most people at 180-age, though it might vary in people who are aerobically deficient, OT-ed, on meds, etc. Also it gets woggy for people over 65. That's why there are bpm adjustments in the method. You can try to confirm your MAF through an RQ test, or even try the TM test I devised that is based on the RQ test HR results. If you feel running at your MAF is too stressful, just run at a lower HR. Not gonna hurt ya. If 70% is lower than your MAF, then by all means run below 70%. Not gonna hurt ya.

       

      3) The most important thing in the Maffetone Method is monitoring your aerobic speed, which is your speed at MAF. You can use a formalized MAF test, or just use some training run that you do that is done on the same course that you run at MAF. Keep track of variables like wind, sun, temperature and humidity. They matter.  If your aerobic speed is improving, then what you're doing for a training load or schedule is fine. If it is regressing, then it might not be, though regression can be for other reasons than training load (anemia, stress, change of diet). Plateaus that are prolonged can signal you that a change is needed somewhere as well. Could be more volume, speed work, more aerobic work, etc.

       

      So, if you make it a practice of allowing your HR to go over MAF during runs, your aerobic speed will cue you into whether or not it is impeding your progress. Usually a spike or two won't matter, as like the ones you described. It depends usually on what state you're in when you come to the method. Someone who is fit and healthy and who has been progressing might have no problem, while someone broken down might.

       

      The two-week test works differently for different people. First, it's not supposed be low-carb like Atkins induction phase of 50 carbs (20 net) or less, and going into ketosis. You can eat a lot of veggies, and get a good amount of carbs and keep yourself out of ketosis. Ketosis isn't bad for you, it just provides a different challenge than not being in it. You're forcing your body to rely almost solely on ketones for fuel.

       

      In retrospect, I can see I put myself into ketosis during my two- attempts with it, as I wasn't eating many veggies, and was relying almost solely on fat and protein. So, my aerobic speed tanked. I would have probably needed many months to see a turn around as my body adapted (there are keto-adapted athletes).  For others, who perhaps included more veggies and avoided ketosis, their aerobic speeds might have improved a little. Maffetone's experiment is about learning how the different carb sources affect you, and determining whether or not you are intolerant.

       

      IMO, the test can be avoided and you can still work the program. Though it's not a bad thing to start monitoring how foods affect you.

       

      Dr. Phil's main message is that we don't always need as many carbs as we think we do, and some of us are eating so many that it is making us intolerant to carbs and insulin. Which is close to be being pre-diabetic. Research Dr. Tim Noakes and his current new paradigm of low-carb performance (also Phinney and Volek's "Low-Carb Performance).

       

      I hope this helped a bit. Good luck.

      Hang out and keep us abreast of your experiments.

       

      --JimmyCool

      Log    PRs

      scottb81


        My MAF HR is 77% max HR or 70% HRR so at least from my perspective yours isn't out of bounds.  Some days MAF feels pretty easy and on other days not so much depending on my state of recovery.

         

        I am 53 years old and am using 132 as MAF (with the + 5 modifier for having run for several years).  Also, based on a few races my max is anywhere between 167 to 172 so I am calling it 172.  Resting HR on a good day is 38.

         

        The thing I find interesting about my MAF is that it falls right line with several other methods of heartrate training calculation for easy runs.  It's right in the middle of Pfitzinger's General Aerobic zone and right at the bottom of Friel's Aerobic Threshold Zone.  It also puts my pace right in the middle of McMillan's pace calculation and lets me run faster than Daniel's EZ run recommendations.

         

        I ran MAF runs exclusively for 9 weeks earlier this year usually between 75 to 77% MHR and have for the past four weeks have added some tempo and interval work.  Keeping MAF pace at 75 to 77% MHR has been giving me great results.

        irunsf85


          Thank you for your reply Jimmy.  The info is very helpful.

           

          Is it best to do all runs at MAF or is it best to stay within the range? Will I improve a lot faster if at MAF?

           

          I've been eating a lot of veggies.  I'm generally within the 70-100g of carbs range so it's higher than what will allow me to go into ketosis but low enough to be considered low carb.  The first 4 days or so were hell.  I struggled with energy.  I'm feeling a lot better now but still seem to struggle with getting through my runs.  Have you found that it gets easier as you keep with this? Have any of you successfully lost weight (fat, not all water weight) keeping a diet that remained lower in carbs post test?

           

          Hi DV,

           

          Welcome.

           

          1) What do you mean by "typical MHR"? Have you figured out what your MHR is through either a stress test or in an all-out race or run? The idea of LHR as a catch-all term for Maffetone Method, Hadd, and Van Aaken---all of which have followers here--does not revolve around 70% MHR and below. Each of the methods have different parameters. If you are talking about the Maffetone method, it ignores MHR almost completely. The MAF is something you can actually see on a graph of results from a Respiratory Quotient test (RQ, or a gas test as it is sometimes called---ya know when yous ee someone running on a TM and the C02 is being measured in their breath, as a measure of a fat/sugar ratio). Just like the anaerobic threshold, which also has nothing to do with MHR, the MAF  pretty much hangs out for most people at 180-age, though it might vary in people who are aerobically deficient, OT-ed, on meds, etc. Also it gets woggy for people over 65. That's why there are bpm adjustments in the method. You can try to confirm your MAF through an RQ test, or even try the TM test I devised that is based on the RQ test HR results. If you feel running at your MAF is too stressful, just run at a lower HR. Not gonna hurt ya. If 70% is lower than your MAF, then by all means run below 70%. Not gonna hurt ya.

           

          3) The most important thing in the Maffetone Method is monitoring your aerobic speed, which is your speed at MAF. You can use a formalized MAF test, or just use some training run that you do that is done on the same course that you run at MAF. Keep track of variables like wind, sun, temperature and humidity. They matter.  If your aerobic speed is improving, then what you're doing for a training load or schedule is fine. If it is regressing, then it might not be, though regression can be for other reasons than training load (anemia, stress, change of diet). Plateaus that are prolonged can signal you that a change is needed somewhere as well. Could be more volume, speed work, more aerobic work, etc.

           

          So, if you make it a practice of allowing your HR to go over MAF during runs, your aerobic speed will cue you into whether or not it is impeding your progress. Usually a spike or two won't matter, as like the ones you described. It depends usually on what state you're in when you come to the method. Someone who is fit and healthy and who has been progressing might have no problem, while someone broken down might.

           

          The two-week test works differently for different people. First, it's not supposed be low-carb like Atkins induction phase of 50 carbs (20 net) or less, and going into ketosis. You can eat a lot of veggies, and get a good amount of carbs and keep yourself out of ketosis. Ketosis isn't bad for you, it just provides a different challenge than not being in it. You're forcing your body to rely almost solely on ketones for fuel.

           

          In retrospect, I can see I put myself into ketosis during my two- attempts with it, as I wasn't eating many veggies, and was relying almost solely on fat and protein. So, my aerobic speed tanked. I would have probably needed many months to see a turn around as my body adapted (there are keto-adapted athletes).  For others, who perhaps included more veggies and avoided ketosis, their aerobic speeds might have improved a little. Maffetone's experiment is about learning how the different carb sources affect you, and determining whether or not you are intolerant.

           

          IMO, the test can be avoided and you can still work the program. Though it's not a bad thing to start monitoring how foods affect you.

           

          Dr. Phil's main message is that we don't always need as many carbs as we think we do, and some of us are eating so many that it is making us intolerant to carbs and insulin. Which is close to be being pre-diabetic. Research Dr. Tim Noakes and his current new paradigm of low-carb performance (also Phinney and Volek's "Low-Carb Performance).

           

          I hope this helped a bit. Good luck.

          Hang out and keep us abreast of your experiments.

           

          --JimmyCool


          Chasing the bus

            DV, FWIW, when I did Atkins and running, I was impressed with my energy levels after I made it into ketosis. I could go all day with little food, primarily fat, and didn't get ravenous after a workout. Before ketosis, on low carbs, I was miserable, too. You might be better off one way or the other, rather than being on the fence?

            “You're either on the bus or off the bus.”
            Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

            jimmyb


            port-a-bella-potty

              Thank you for your reply Jimmy.  The info is very helpful.

               

              Is it best to do all runs at MAF or is it best to stay within the range? Will I improve a lot faster if at MAF?

               

              I've been eating a lot of veggies.  I'm generally within the 70-100g of carbs range so it's higher than what will allow me to go into ketosis but low enough to be considered low carb.  The first 4 days or so were hell.  I struggled with energy.  I'm feeling a lot better now but still seem to struggle with getting through my runs.  Have you found that it gets easier as you keep with this? Have any of you successfully lost weight (fat, not all water weight) keeping a diet that remained lower in carbs post test?

               

              At MAF or below, it doesn't matter as far as I can tell. I seem to progress the same doing both. After trying all ddifferent types of things in the MAF range, my favorite is to use a zone. It could be (MAF=130) 120-130, or even 105-130, depending on the duration or distance. I'd start a 20-miler off at 110, and try to maintain the pace I started with when I got to 110 and try to get to 130 by the end of the run, running the whole thing mostly at the same pace, without slowing down the whole time like I do if I stay at MAF. Sometimes I'd allocate a subzone to each quarter of the run like below:

               

              first five miles 110-115

              2nd five 115-120

              3rd five 120-125

              4th five 125-130

               

              When I'm fit it's often an exercise in speeding up as I go, which is how I prefer to race as well.

               

              One thing I can attest to is that after you get over sugar withdrawal (which is what you are probably going through), low-carb is incredible for mental (productivity) and physical energy. Eat some bacon and eggs and I'm good to go for 6-7 hours before I even think about food.

               

              I lose weight when I'm low-carbing every time, and always put it back on when I continue high-carbs, whether I'm running or not. Pretty much everyone I've ever read about who stays Paleo or low-carb keeps it off.

              Log    PRs

                Is it best to do all runs at MAF or is it best to stay within the range? Will I improve a lot faster if at MAF?

                 

                according to Maffetone himself, you'll improve faster staying close to MAF than if you run at lower HR's than that. but maybe this is individual. depends also how well the formula works for you, how well it got your MAF number.

                 

                btw that 70% of MHR and below is actually more of a recovery sort of workout (btw even though it's high percentage of fat burning, it's probably not the most of fat burnt in actual amount because energy expenditure is pretty low at that 60%-70% range) so it's perfectly okay for MAF to be a bit above 70%.


                Bad Ass

                  I run similar to that too.  My first couple of miles are sometimes below the zone and the last one is usually as close to MAF as I can.  I run marathons that way as well (but using the marathon HR instead of MAF).  Works for me.

                   

                  At MAF or below, it doesn't matter as far as I can tell. I seem to progress the same doing both. After trying all ddifferent types of things in the MAF range, my favorite is to use a zone. It could be (MAF=130) 120-130, or even 105-130, depending on the duration or distance. I'd start a 20-miler off at 110, and try to maintain the pace I started with when I got to 110 and try to get to 130 by the end of the run, running the whole thing mostly at the same pace, without slowing down the whole time like I do if I stay at MAF. Sometimes I'd allocate a subzone to each quarter of the run like below:

                   

                  first five miles 110-115

                  2nd five 115-120

                  3rd five 120-125

                  4th five 125-130

                   

                  When I'm fit it's often an exercise in speeding up as I go, which is how I prefer to race as well.

                   

                  One thing I can attest to is that after you get over sugar withdrawal (which is what you are probably going through), low-carb is incredible for mental (productivity) and physical energy. Eat some bacon and eggs and I'm good to go for 6-7 hours before I even think about food.

                   

                  I lose weight when I'm low-carbing every time, and always put it back on when I continue high-carbs, whether I'm running or not. Pretty much everyone I've ever read about who stays Paleo or low-carb keeps it off.

                  Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

                  Next:  San Francisco Marathon

                  Blog

                  "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

                  rarian


                    (also Phinney and Volek's "Low-Carb Performance).

                    --JimmyCool

                     

                    Thanks for your mention of the above book. I had read Maffetone's 'Big Book' and Mittleman's 'Slow Burn' and they didn't spur me to action but P&V have led me to, at last, reduce carbs.  I haven't got their 'Performance' book, just 'New Atkins, New You'.

                     

                    Somehow I got onto Peter Attia's site/blog.  He has a stunning set of figures from two Vo2 tests, the first when he was low carb and the second when he was in ketosis.  http://eatingacademy.com/how-a-low-carb-diet-affected-my-athletic-performance