Low HR Training

my many weird questions about LHR training - or my case study, hehe. (Read 1834 times)

    I hope someone will read this lengthy post and I hope to get some answers Smile thanks so much!

    I've read a lot on this forum, yes I read the boilerplate thread too. but still have unanswered and perhaps weird (?!?) questions.

    a bit about my running history first:
    I started late september, 2009 at the age of 26 (female), since then I turned 27. I had no history of any sports whatsoever before.
    I followed some exercise plan with walking-running, then managed to run my first 5K just under 30mins (just under 29 and a half, so around 9:30/mile pace) in november 2009.
    by then I already bought a HRM, I didn't really know how to use it properly but I saw my HR during the whole 5K run was well above 190bpm, which seemed too high to me. my MHR was measured as 204 before this (and my RHR as 58), but still seemed too high. I was also told so by a friend. so, I tried a run below 180 (that was still above 175) bpm and for the first time in my life I found out that there is slow running and I didn't know that I could feel so un-exhausted at the end of a run! that was very addictive and so I kept doing these slower runs, so that's how I found out there was a thing called LHR training.
    but my heart rate was still around 170 or higher, I felt that was very easy and at the end I always felt I could easily turn and repeat the entire workout. but I was told to go lower than that 170, so I've been doing LHR really only since the second half of december, so it's been 2,5 months now.
    I started the real training in a zone 165-169bpm, then I managed to bring this down to 160-164 by january, then 155-159, and once I even managed 150-154!! then in the last few days I've not been able to get myself to run at 155-159 so it is 160-164 now. (this is a problem for me!!! I will explain later.)
    at the same time the 5K run what used to tax my heart to go significantly over 190, feels much easier now at that same pace, and my HR won't reach even 180 for that pace (but will go over 175, sadly). I tried a test run 1 month ago for that, maybe it is even better now, I don't know.

    my training HR calculations:
    by this time I of course have read about Hadd, Maffetone, etc... I tried to calculate my basic training HR then,
    Hadd: 204-50 = 154 (MHR - 50, did I get that right?)
    Maffetone: 180-27-5: 148. did I get that right? I read Mark Allen's article (linked in this forum) where it says do not subtract anything if you've been doing runs 3-4 or 5-6 times a week, and I was doing 4 weekly in december and january, in february I was doing 5 weekly. then I could have the value at 153bpm, or not? but I'm still a beginner, no? btw, I have no health issues or anything. I don't get a cold more often than once a year. I'm okay with 4-5 runs a week. 4 actually feels too little. I do not have much stress in life, I am not on medication and have never been. oh and I'm not overweight whatsoever and have never been.

    (well I'm sure you'll say I should just go and do it at 148, because I see people on the forum doing runs at 110bpm, and they say it taxes them if they go over 120, unbelievable for me!! Smile )

    more info about me:
    I tried the method of gradually lowering training HR as above because I felt I would lose my motivation if I was just  to walk instead of run... it is not about performing or competing with others, I don't care about that while I do my workouts, but only doing walking bores me too much. and initially I would not have been able to take a single running step at 148 or even at 153. now I can actually do slow, sloooooow, slooooooow runs, at 153, I guess around 13:00/mile pace. 148, I guess would be even worse. and as I understand, 148 would actually be the ceiling so I should be really running at around 145 or something like 70% of my MHR, right.

    the pace that is still slow but feels comfortable and not too slow to me is around 11:15/mile, and 12:00 pace is something that's a bit too slow but it is guaranteed to always feel slow, because on worse days I can feel 11:15 as "wow, finally going fast", though it is not actually taxing at all. I never have that feeling for 12:00, it always feels very slow. so I have a feeling 12:00 is good for me. and here is my real trouble with slow running: 13:00/mile pace which would be belonging to 153, which could be my MAF (maybe), hurts my knees after a while. what could I be doing wrong? I cannot do 13:00 or slower for long because of this! plus it feels way too slow. I feel that I'm almost stepping on my own legs. yes at that pace I take tiny strides, really tiny. :P

    nowadays I usually do the 11:15 pace at 160-164, on better days 155-159. but it also depends on the distance. 12:00 I can do at 155-159 for sure.

    right now my basic runs are 10-15km, easy days (2 a week) are 5km, entire week is 5 runs and about 45+ km or 30miles. usual pace is around 11:15-12:00/mile. usual HR is around 160-164 (can assume avg HR as 163!), but sometimes lower. I am very strict about keeping the  zone I selected for the day's training. I can't do much better than 155-159 (with 158 average, perhaps), though.

    my heart rate thresholds:
    as said, my max HR is 204 but perhaps a few beats higher (but even if it is higher, it is not much higher for sure). 
    I also tried to measure my anaerobic threshold using conconi's method, after mathematical analysis of the results I think it is at 183, but I think I have 3 interesting threshold points in reality, 174, 183 and 190 (I do not have any theory to back this up though). under 175 it's all very easy, I cannot even notice my breathing. 175-183 a bit harder but I can still run very long at this load and I still don't have to care about my breathing. 183-190 I could run for 1 hour, breathing stil ljust fine though probably have to breathe more often. and at 190 or 193 or so, there is another change, I cannot maintain nose breathing any more - I do all my runs breathing in and out through my nose. but over 193 I have to open my mouth for more air. and I don't think I can run over 190 or higher for much more than 30 mins, the longest I have tried at this load was 30 mins but it could be somewhat longer than that.

    my goals with all this HR training:
    this was asked in the boilerplate thread.
    yes I want to run without injury but I want more than that! I of course want good race times but my real goal is have a good pace for easy runs, a pace that I can do any time I want, a real base, not something that I can only reach on certain best days after special training. so I want my performance to be as natural as possible. so yes I assume I want to run at low heart rates. it would be so nice to be able to say that I can run a good pace at 140bpm or at some other similarly crazy low HR. and I want to maintain that pace for very long too, hours. for me 8:00/mile at a very easy HR would be a pretty cool pace but hey I'll take 6:30 too!
    yes I know it takes years of work to get to that pace...

    so now my problems and questions:

    1) now that I feel almost ready for real low HR training... is 148 or 153 better or is my MHR too high for maffetone and should I just use Hadd's 154 (if I calculated it right at all)? any run below 175-180 is very easy to me, I could always turn and repeat the entire workout at the same pace or even at a faster pace. and I think I could say below 170 it is a real easy run. I never get fatigued *at all* if I run below 170. and I noticed that if I run at 155-159 it feels exactly the same as if I just went out to the shop on foot for a few mins or something like that. i.e. it is very very easy. I could do that for FOREVER. I actually have the neat feeling that I could run "forever" for any run below 175 bpm...
    1b) is that normal to feel like that for such high HR's, for an untrained person?
    1c) also, my breathing is unnoticeable, even at 190bpm (then at 193 I feel I need more air and then I open my mouth), is that also usual for untrained people? does it even matter?

    2) could there be a real danger for me of choosing a HR too *low* for training? Smile I saw in the boilerplate thread that for some people in their low 20's (hey I look like 20-22!!! I'm hardly beyond 25), it can be hard to find the maximum aerobic function HR. what does this exactly mean? a lot of trial and error? and how do I know that I reached the right HR?? by tests? but I seemed to improve alright at 160 with an improvement just as good as at 170. maybe because I'm a beginner and they can improve by doing anything...

    3) as seen above, my method of gradually getting used to run at low HR has been working so far. but I think lately I may have got more impatient because after I got to a point where I was able to run at almost MAF-low levels (150-154 one day, wow!!) and I was able to go on like that for about 2 weeks, after that my heart rate went up a bit. now I can not do 155-159 unless I go really slow like a 13:00/mile, which my knees don't like and I generally don't like it either. when you train at MAF zone, is it normal to see such "slowdowns" for some bad days/periods? or is it due to me doing too high HR training?

    4) another thing for previous point! before workout when I put on the HRM chest strap, I usually look at the values when still in the house, going around in rooms. this is not a RHR but it's something. I like to compare them on different days. on "better" days I get values consistently under 100 (85-95), on "bad" days I get 100-110, and lately I've been seeing it always over 100, sometimes over 110, I don't know why that is though?!?! especially because I did an easy 5km yesterday and it was 110 before the workout but 1 hour after the workout it went to 95!? same place (house), same activities (walking around in rooms). what does that mean?

    5) my RHR is still around that 58 value, at least when I tried to measure it (not very often). it's still hard to get it below 60. should it not have gone a little bit lower yet?? do I need more months before RHR starts going down? or do I need lower HR zones for training before I can see RHR going down?

    6) someone said in a thread "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" - the hardly breathing part is OK, I have that during my workouts, but my legs don't ever get exhausted, is that still OK? Smile or is that a zone too easy? but it is way above what maffetone would say for my age. that is weird...

    7) more on the MAF calculations, my 148 would be 35 bpm below my AT (183), is that not too much/too low?

    8) I had an idea about working out at 148 bpm or lower: what if I added in walking sessions for a couple of days every week where I keep my walking at this HR? I could do 10km or whatever distance is useful, would it help? it'd be better for me than walking-running-walking, though I could try that too if it's just 1-2 times a week. and could I keep the 160-164bpm runs too at the same time? is this a totally bad idea?

    9) I love hills, now that winter is finally over/gone, can I do hill workouts often? I read on some site that you should do it only 2 times a week but that was not a specific LHR training site. so, would it be a problem if I went on hills (down and up) more often than 2 times a week as long as I keep the low HR zone? on hills I keep the same zone regardless if going up or down (well, maybe if very steep, I allow a bit higher HR up, 5 bpm higher...)
    note, I have not been able to do much hill work yet, because of winter. I did a couple in december and early january, then had to stop that due to lots of snow.

    10) one last thing: quoting: "If you are interested in this approach, be aware that many people have become extremely frustrated and angry when all of their definitions of success have not been met, sometimes after 4 months." now, as for me, actually my definitions of success for my first half marathon (planned for May this year) are already reached, guessing from a few test runs and from general paces, so you can see my definition of success was not very high for the first few months Smile. what annoys me however is that my RHR is still not lower and as for my "walking around in house"-HR, while it was going lower first, now it is higher by 10bpm or so lately!!!! this worries me a bit, even though I measured it to be very low after my last workout yesterday... I cannot interpret these results, and that worries me. and my pace also went too slow for working out at the 155-159 HR zone or lower. Sad
    GMoney


      Hi - welcome aboard.  I'll throw out some quick (I hope answers) to your questions to start a discussion.

      1.  Since you want to be able to run for hours naturally and easily, LHR is probably your only realistic option.  You're fine to use Maffetone's system, in fact it might be beneficial to you, but there's much more to it than the simple 180- formula.  VanAaken, Mittleman, Hadd, Douillard, and Lydiard all can also produce good results.  Read the source material and see which resonates with you on a personal level.

       

      1b. You experience is not unusual, but it sounds like you're burning a lot of carbs - which is also not unusual.  Are you warming up properly?

      1c 190 bpm is quite high for breathing to be unnoticeable.

       

      2 The principal dangers of setting a HR that is too low are (a) you might not improve as quickly as you otherwise might - which could lead to frustration, and (b) you could be forcing yourself to run with such an unnatural gait that you put yourself at risk for injury.  If you really doubt the 180- forumula (after having given it an extended honest shot) you really have two options (1) try the zone setting exercise Stu Mittleman recommends in his book or (2) plunk down some cash and get a professional gas-exchange VO2 Max test done.  If you do the Mittleman test, get a friend to check your HRs - don't do it yourself.  The feedback and zones will be more honest and objective that way. 

       

      Also, there is a very simple, practical test you can do - the MAF test.  If your MAF test times continue to improve, then chances are you are not subjecting your body to undue stress.

       

      3.  How much rest and recovery are you getting?  Regression is a sign you are doing too much training or dealing with too much other stress (physical, chemical, or emotional) in your life.  Forcing yourself to run with unnatural form is not good and can contribute to stress.

       

      4. Elevated HRs at (relative) rest can indicate potential over-training or other stress.  How much rest are you getting?

       

      5.  Just as there is no competition over who has the highest MHR, there should be no competition over trying to set an LHR "personal best".  Train smart and take care of your body and let your heart rate take care of itself.  Your heart will know how slowly it needs to beat at rest.  Just take care of yourself and monitor what your heart's doing in response.

       

      6.  Don't let one runner's experience with this message condition your expectations.  Enjoy your personal trip and gauge your experiences in the context of you.  Personalize it and get real -do you really miss exhausted legs?  Seems to me that if you want to run for hours naturally and easily exhausted legs should be the last thing you'd miss.  I'd consider the absence of exhausted legs a sign you're doing something right.

       

      7. AT and MHR are largely irrelevant for Maffetone training.  But let me understand something here  - at 190 bpm your breathing is unnoticeable?  Your breathing is unnoticeable above your AT?  Really?  Could it be that one - or both - of those measurements is not correct?

       

      8. Walking is always good.  If you are potentially overtraining it's the best thing.  If you want to go above MAF on your running, that's your choice.  Best way to see whether its a bad idea is to try it.  You should know pretty quickly.

       

      9.  Hills can be fun or hills can be bad.  The more intense your hill workouts are the less frequently you should do them.  If you are in a LHR zone you should be fine, but consider whether you'll really gain the adaptations you seek from hill repeats if your in the LHR zone.

       

      10. If you are annoyed that your RHR is "still not lower and as for [your] 'walking around in house' HR, while it was going lower first, now it is higher by 10bpm or so lately!!!!" then think about what's causing those "problems" and take steps to address them - overtraining or improper warm up may be a prime suspect but there may be other factors at work.

       

      Think seriously about what it is you seek to gain from this type of training - faster race times, improved health, reduced stress- there are a lot of different reasons and it's important you get comfortable with "why" you're doing what you as much as understanding "what" you're doing.  If you really know what you want you can adopt the training plan that gets you there.  You'll probably find your less impatient when you have a method that you "buy in" to on an emotional level. 

       

      I do think you are probably overtraining a bit - the elevated HRs and regression are clues.  Consider adding in more easy days or walking days.

        I think GMoney  has covered it very well,

        I'll just throw in my own $0.02 on a couple of things.

         

         

        I'm pretty new to LHR also, only been doing it a few months. Mostly MAF training.

        I too struggled with running at the pace needed for MAF - a little of this was a competitive thing, but I got over that

        I was also finding my running style at the slower pace just felt too awkward and sometimes caused leg pain so I mixed in a little walking with slightly faster running (thus staying under MAF overall), and /or  sometimes went over MAF a few beats to keep running form. Some folk seem to have a better knack of the slower running biomechanics.

        I agree nose breathing at 190 is pretty unusual, are you sure your HRM is accurate?

        Mine shoots up to false high readings especially on warmup.

         

        As I'm doing triathlons, in the past rew months I've really increased my training (more bike and swim than running) and I think I was overdoing it a bit - felt a bit grumpy and also my HR at rest / walking around was a little higher.

        I took a couple of days off and cut back for another week, and seemed to work.

        So I'm guessing you are probably pushing it a bit too fast.

          hi,
          thanks for the response so much! Smile

          1) thanks, I didn't realize there was more than that to it. now, the problem is I don't really have access (at the moment anyway!) to any of their books, but I'll try to find some material online.
          1b) I do some brisk walking for warmup, and I usually don't feel uncomfortable when I start running (when I do feel bad for a few mins at the start then I know that I didn't do enough warm up but this doesn't happen often.)
          2) yeah, as for unnatural gait, that is why I tried to avoid running outside 13min/mile, somehow it tends to have a bad effect on my knees (mostly my right knee). I will try to look for this mittleman test, thanks for this guideline! (the vo2 max test is not an option right now.)
          3) I don't have any particular stress in my life, so that part is OK. I did add some extra rest day this week and I lowered the workout distances; usually I have 2 rest days a week, and that *seems* to be enough (but only going by subjective feeling here).
          I do have a theory here about the stress and it is that I didn't go to a lower HR zone after the latest improvements, so I was doing the runs at a bit (well, quite significantly) faster pace than before, at the same HR zone that I'd been working out at for a while, and maybe that sudden increase in pace with no decrease in mileage was too much stress (even if I did not feel it physically). hope this theory makes some sense.
          5) that sounds good - I just wondered if it was OK to experience this about my RHR  (i.e. no change in it) after 2.5 months.
          6) yeah, I don't miss exhausted legs Big grin
          7) as for my AT vs my breathing - the HR measurement (i.e. 190 bpm) was correct, and yes you understood it right about my breathing - but I'm actually unsure if I got my AT right from the conconi test. is there some subjective feeling that usually should come with stepping over the AT? like, being out of breath? maybe it is not really 183 but higher (like, 190 or 193). especially if I consider the fact that I can hold 183 for well over an hour.
          9) I don't think workouts over hills are anything magic, I just love running on the hills that are around here. 

          as for the last question - what do I want to gain? forgetting about the very long term goals now, for now it would be some solid and not too slow pace at low aerobic HR. not too slow means something like 10mins/mile Smile it is slightly outside (more than) 13 now, that's a problem but I'll just go on patiently Smile
          also I did have some race time goals, but that already seems achieved (I didn't actually do any races, but I think so from some test runs); perhaps I should set some more serious goals for the upcoming half marathon race in May, but I don't want to yet, so it won't make me impatient. Smile

          so, today I decided I'll do this: I will try and stay below 160bpm all the time and I will also try the walking idea as well at an even lower HR zone, it can't hurt. Smile (on the grounds that whatever my best training HR  zone may be, I'm sure it is below 160.)
          I actually tried a 10 km (6,5 mile) run today below 160 (between 155 and 159 - average 158), and it was around the 13/mile pace, but surprisingly my knee did hold up for quite a long time, though at the end I could feel it was not perfectly happy. I'll see if it can get used to this pace, or maybe I'll get faster soon anyway. Smile 12/mile would already be OK without worrying about the knees.

             thanks for your response too! Smile

            how long have you been doing MAF? were you also a complete beginner (well, if you are doing triathlons, probably not... I see that now)? how long did it take for you to get up to a not-so-slow pace? something like 11mins/mile, that's not so bad, I'd say.

            as for the 190 bpm - yes my HRM is OK, it is a polar RS200, but I used another one as well in the past. the measurements weren't on warmup, btw, I use a lot of water on the chest strap before going out so the reading is always fine even at the start.
            I guess my heart or my breathing works just a bit unusual, I don't know which of the two. (hope it means nothing bad Smile )

            thanks for the info on your overtraining fix as well! I'm doing a similar thing about extra rest now.


            I'll just throw in my own $0.02 on a couple of things.

             

             

            I'm pretty new to LHR also, only been doing it a few months. Mostly MAF training.

            I too struggled with running at the pace needed for MAF - a little of this was a competitive thing, but I got over that

            I was also finding my running style at the slower pace just felt too awkward and sometimes caused leg pain so I mixed in a little walking with slightly faster running (thus staying under MAF overall), and /or  sometimes went over MAF a few beats to keep running form. Some folk seem to have a better knack of the slower running biomechanics.

            I agree nose breathing at 190 is pretty unusual, are you sure your HRM is accurate?

            Mine shoots up to false high readings especially on warmup.

             

            As I'm doing triathlons, in the past rew months I've really increased my training (more bike and swim than running) and I think I was overdoing it a bit - felt a bit grumpy and also my HR at rest / walking around was a little higher.

            I took a couple of days off and cut back for another week, and seemed to work.

            So I'm guessing you are probably pushing it a bit too fast.

            jimmyb


            port-a-bella-potty

              Hi Cmon,

               

              Welcome!

              I put down War and Peace yesterday to begin your post and just finished. Well-written.

              Thanks to Gmoney and Sean for some insightful informational replies.

              I'd like to add a few thoughts:

               

              --G mentioned the MAF test. I want to add a little boof to his mention. The MAF test is the most important thing you can start doing. It can be a real handy guide in whatever phase of training you find yourself.

               

              --If you have to walk to keep your HR under your MAF, then you need serious work on your aerobic system. And you most likely need to be walking in order to ward off possible over-training and injury.

               

              --If you are going to use MHR for any part of your training then make sure it is correct. Use running, not a formula.

              Figure it out at the end of a race, or after a long warm-up.

               

              --If you are going to use AT for training, get tested. An RQ/V02max test will not only tell you your AT, but also your MAF. You can use a general HR raannge of 80-90% MHR (from Pfitzinger's "Advanced Marathoning") for AT runs. Dr. Phiil Maffetone recommends using 90% MHR as a ceiling for anaerobic tempo runs and intervals.

               

              --Take your RHR when you wake up in the morning, before you move from the bed. Count for a full minute. 60 is pretty average. Be concerned if it is 65 or over. Rest on those days. Also, you might find that it might be 2-5 beats lower the morning  after a hard day. This is NOT an indicator that your fitness increased over night, but that you need recovery. The faster your MAF tests get, your RHR will lower a bit over time.

               

              --Slowly increase your volume of time or miles while aerobic base training. Your MAF tests will let you know if you've you built too much.

               

              --Get a copy of The Maffetone Method. Visit Dr. Phil's Sports page. I have links to a bunch of stuff in the boilerplate, 2nd post.

               

              --If your MHR truly is 204, then 190 is not too high. My MHR is about 199, and I average 190ish for the entire race. Running the last mile well above. When run correctly, 5k's are very hard, and very uncomfortable.

               

              --Put your health first. Be careful of the runner's obsession. Many of us have experienced being obsessed with schedules, volumes, never missing a training day, fear of losing fitness during a taper or a week off, etc. Running through injuries should really be rephrased as "I'm going to ignore my ill-health, because losing fitness would be worse than showing up to an important non-nudist social event with no pants on." If you read The Lore Of Running, there are a few stories about elite athletes running themselves into chest colds and injury. Being forced to rest. Then returning after the rest to run some of their personal best times. Running is a life long journey. There are going to be times when you have to back off for awhile, maybe take a month or two off (Mark Allen took 6-8 weeks off every year).

              There are going to be times when you are progressing like mad. Race times getting better, making PR's. There will be times when it is frustrating. Seems like nothing is happpening for a very long time, then it changes. Best to stay rooted in the reality of your body and its health than some false beliefs that you have to run everyday.

               

              Runners who overdo it on a regular basis eventually will be forced to stop by their body.

               

              Keep it simple. Until you are an elite, remember that you ar not.  Build your aerobic speed, walking if necessary. Add some anaerobic work and racing when you have improved your tests. When your MAF tests regress, rest or go back to aerobic base work.

               

              Good luck!

               

              Now back to War and Peace. Damn I forgot to put my bookmark back in. Ah, the heck with it, I  think I'll read The Cat In The Hat.

               

              --Jimmy

               

               

               

              Log    PRs

              GMoney


                Here are some links to free reading material to get you started (check Jimmy's boilerplate too for more good stuff)

                 

                Maffetone:

                www.philmaffetone.com

                http://content.bandzoogle.com/users/cippianhotmail/files/Want_Speed_Slow_Down_2007.pdf

                 

                Mark Allen:

                http://www.duathlon.com/articles/1460

                 

                Hadd:

                http://www.counterpartcoaching.com/hadd.pdf

                 

                For VanAaken I'd recommend Ultrasteve's really great sticky on this board "Ernst VanAaken in a nutshell"

                 

                As Lydiard wrote about marathon training: "[Y]ou must think deeply about it and try to understand clearly just what you are trying to achieve.  You must relate the work you will be doing to the [intended] physiological changes and benefits...and make sure you are not confused about the effects the various types of exercise will have on you."  Trying to build aerobic speed requires that you improve your ability to metabolize fat, your ability to transport and utilize oxygen, your running economy, and undergo other physical and mental changes.

                 

                An upper range of 160 bpm might be good for you to reap the intended changes, or it might not.  I can't really comment on it because I'm not you.  You will need to find out for yourself, but that is really the fun of this way of training - learning how your body and mind respond to your training.  In deciding how to approach things, I think it's very important that you "buy in" to your system on an emotional level - that it feels right to you. It's easier and more fun to stick with something you believe in.

                 

                I think the best way to monitor your progress is with a regular test - Maffetone has a MAF test, Hadd has a 2400m test.  Since you're trying to build aerobic speed, I wouldn't set a benchmark like monthly 5-K races.  Your test should measure how you're running at true aerobic speeds.  Testing yourself can tell you if you are training the right way.  If you don't see improvement think about what you're doing wrong and correct it.  Just don't make the common mistake and assume that a lack of progress is the result of not running enough or running too slowly.  You may actually progress by running less or running more slowly.

                 

                All of the systems above involve more than just strapping on the HRM and running in a predetermined range. Lifestyle changes and, particularly, diet can have a dramatic impact on their success or lack thereof.  Consider also that stress is more than just physical.  Eating too many sugars or not enough Omega 3 fats can be stressful for your body and impede progress.  Not sleeping enough is another.  Financial stress, bad shoes, the weather.  The list is almost endless.  Think about all of the various stressors in your life and make a list.  Cross off all of the ones that you can't control and stop worrying about them.  Then work on addressing the ones you can control.

                 

                One thing I would suggest: Perhaps you might get more in the mindset of enjoying the journey rather than looking to external signifiers of success (like running faster).  Easy for me to say and probably presumptuous for me to question your goals.  I'm older than you, and when I was your age I wanted nothing more out of my running than to be fast.  I've mellowed a good bit with time and now what I really want is to feel good with my running so I ask myself - "What if I knew beyond a doubt that I would never get faster training this way, would I still want to do it?" I try to structure my overall training and individual runs so that the answer to that question is "yes."  Even if speed really remains your goal, get comfortable with the idea that trying to force speed comes with a cost.  Be patient, do the training properly, and the benefits will come.  Get impatient or do it in a half-assed way and you might never see improvements but that's not the fault of the system.  A word of warning, though, if you are really expecting to be faster for your May half-marathon you might find LHR a bit of a let down.  The changes can occur slowly. That said, if you want to be healthier for your May half, then you're definitely in the right place.
                 

                In my experience the subjective feeling that comes from crossing the AT is "Damn, this really sucks."   The single best field test I've seen for AT testing is this - warm up with a slow jog, do some strides, then start your HRM and go all out for 30 minutes (best pace you can hold for 30 minutes),  hit the lap button after 10 minutes and your average HR over those final 10 minutes should be a ballpark estimate of your AT.  Cool down with some more jogging at the end (puking, optional).  I would note again, though, that AT is really irrelevant to most LHR training.  That test is also stressful, and if you're borderline overtraining right now I couldn't recommend you go out and try it.

                One other point before I end another too long post - this board is full of really great, supportive people.  It's a really rare and special runners' Internet forum. The folks here might not tell you what you want to hear, but they will care about you.  I've learned a ton from the people here, and their experiences inspire me.  Follow the threads here for a while and you'll see that the runners posting here are really extraordinary people.  Good luck.

                  many thanks for your reply too Smile so how well does my post's length compete with war & peace's? Big grin

                  seriously though, thanks for all your advice.

                  yes, I'm sure my aerobic system needs to be built a lot for running.. (I did some sports in school when younger, though nothing serious at all, it was just 30 mins of swimming every week for a couple of years, then I went to a swimming race that was nearly 4km and I did it just fine out of the blue and the swimming pace was quite good too, so I think I have this problem only with running. or maybe it's just because I'd been completely sedentary for so long, for almost half of my whole life, that race was 10 years ago too.)

                  my MHR was measured by running but possibly I'll retest it one day. the formulas for MHR totally did not work for me, apparently.

                  as for AT and RQ: I've read a bit more about this topic since then and it looks very interesting. would definitely be nice to get the test done some day and I definitely will get it done if I can find someone in my country/city who can do a proper test and analysis. would be so great to know my MAF precisely!

                  the meaning of this sentence was not clear to me: "Your MAF tests will let you know if you've you built too much." - I have trouble understanding this one: built too much" - do you mean increasing mileage too much?

                  as for the obsession it is just hard to resist the temptation to go out every day (because it just feels so nice and it's nice to look at the total km's/miles done for a week or month), but i've been resisting that urge pretty well - I've allocated 3 rest days for this week, ah, so hard to do! Wink


                   (...)

                  Now back to War and Peace. Damn I forgot to put my bookmark back in. Ah, the heck with it, I  think I'll read The Cat In The Hat.

                   

                  --Jimmy

                   

                   

                   

                    thanks again! Smile and yes I can see this is a great forum!

                    checking out the links. btw, do you by any chance have a link with a description for this zone setting test by mittleman?

                    "upper range of 160" - maybe I misunderstand the expression. but I meant training at a HR lower than 160. as for the emotional buying in, it is not too hard, I've already committed myself to a degree, because I really enjoy the runs at lower HR's, the question is just how low I should go.

                    "What if I knew beyond a doubt that I would never get faster training this way, would I still want to do it?" - oh, as for this one, though question. Smile to be honest, if I was asked this question AND at the same time there was another way of getting faster, I'd go for that *but* only if I was going to enjoy that training schedule. so one thing is for sure, I really enjoy my current way of training and I enjoy the journey within certain limits, and those limits are, I'd really like not having to walk all the time between runs in each training session or run slower than what my normal gait allows for comfortably. I don't mind doing walking 1-2 times a week, but trying to still have runs at a maintainably slow pace. I hope I can get to a point soon where I can do slow but continuous running at 153 at least. (I'm allowing myself the liberty of not subtracting 5 for now.) I seem to very close to that now, though, judging from my last run. Smile
                    and if I can get to that, I will report about it here!! Smile would be so great. then I could say I started proper training finally beyond just getting used to running in a basic way.

                    as for the half marathon, I'm fine with a time that I'm probably already capable of doing right now, if it improves beyond that, that'll be just a big bonus!

                    about stress... as I said before, I don't really have a stressful life right now, which is quite lucky for me I guess. I will need to change my sleep patterns though, because it is crazy right now. it was a lot crazier previously but running actually helped me achieve some sleep patterns (had none before). just need to adjust that a bit more Smile
                    good tip on the diet though.

                    as for the AT & feelings & test, hm, then I guess mine is around 193-195, most probably. but I'm not going to do that test for a while now, you are right about that part. especially as I prefer not having to go and puke Wink


                     

                    An upper range of 160 bpm might be good for you to reap the intended changes, or it might not.  I can't really comment on it because I'm not you.  You will need to find out for yourself, but that is really the fun of this way of training - learning how your body and mind respond to your training.  In deciding how to approach things, I think it's very important that you "buy in" to your system on an emotional level - that it feels right to you. It's easier and more fun to stick with something you believe in.

                    (...)

                    jimmyb


                    port-a-bella-potty

                       Your post was longer than War and Peace, but because I really cared for the character in your post, it went by much faster. Plus, I didn't have to deal with bookmarking.

                       

                      Check out the sticky on V02max testing. I posted a link to a locator for testers. I took the test and my 180-age coincided with test.

                       

                      Your MAF tests will let you know if you have built volume too much and too fast. If you are over-training in any way, your aerobic system will suffer and show up in your tests as a regression or plateau.

                       

                      I pass on the running obsession ideas because I battle it. I probably should call it fear of loss of fitness. The credo of the obsessed is "more is better, and if it is not working, run even more." MAF tests are now my boss.

                       

                      Keep going!

                       

                      --Jimmy

                       

                      many thanks for your reply too Smile so how well does my post's length compete with war & peace's? Big grin

                      seriously though, thanks for all your advice.

                      yes, I'm sure my aerobic system needs to be built a lot for running.. (I did some sports in school when younger, though nothing serious at all, it was just 30 mins of swimming every week for a couple of years, then I went to a swimming race that was nearly 4km and I did it just fine out of the blue and the swimming pace was quite good too, so I think I have this problem only with running. or maybe it's just because I'd been completely sedentary for so long, for almost half of my whole life, that race was 10 years ago too.)

                      my MHR was measured by running but possibly I'll retest it one day. the formulas for MHR totally did not work for me, apparently.

                      as for AT and RQ: I've read a bit more about this topic since then and it looks very interesting. would definitely be nice to get the test done some day and I definitely will get it done if I can find someone in my country/city who can do a proper test and analysis. would be so great to know my MAF precisely!

                      the meaning of this sentence was not clear to me: "Your MAF tests will let you know if you've you built too much." - I have trouble understanding this one: built too much" - do you mean increasing mileage too much?

                      as for the obsession it is just hard to resist the temptation to go out every day (because it just feels so nice and it's nice to look at the total km's/miles done for a week or month), but i've been resisting that urge pretty well - I've allocated 3 rest days for this week, ah, so hard to do! Wink


                      Log    PRs

                        I'm glad it wasn't too boring then Wink

                         

                        thanks for the locator tip but I don't live in the US and the locator seems to expect a US zip code. well, I'll just look around hard to find some place.

                         

                        as for the fear issue, it doesn't make much sense to me because you are only really fit if you do not have to worry about losing it just because you skipped a few days. and that's my eventual goal.

                        what I can worry about at this stage is not putting in enough mileage but this isn't a real fear for me, I feel I have enough mileage for the time being, except that bigger numbers would look even better. my real problem is the addiction that makes me want to go out every day just because of the nice feeling that I experience in every run, the feeling that I could go on with the running forever. that's very addictive. Smile

                         

                         

                         

                         Your post was longer than War and Peace, but because I really cared for the character in your post, it went by much faster. Plus, I didn't have to deal with bookmarking.

                         

                        Check out the sticky on V02max testing. I posted a link to a locator for testers. I took the test and my 180-age coincided with test.

                         

                        Your MAF tests will let you know if you have built volume too much and too fast. If you are over-training in any way, your aerobic system will suffer and show up in your tests as a regression or plateau.

                         

                        I pass on the running obsession ideas because I battle it. I probably should call it fear of loss of fitness. The credo of the obsessed is "more is better, and if it is not working, run even more." MAF tests are now my boss.

                         

                        Keep going!

                         

                        --Jimmy

                         

                         

                         

                        C-R


                          Ok. That was along read. Not sure I agree with Jimmy about the War and Peace thing. Seemed more like Moby Dick to me but then again, I have been chasing my white whale of a marathon for long enough to be called Ahab.

                           

                          I can't add much more than G and Jimmy have. They are the local MAF experts. What I can add is some advice from someone in year three of MAF type training.

                           

                          First - definitely decide WHY you are doing this and WHAT you are trying to accomplish. This sets the bar. From there, the MAF tests are the key to success. These will tell you of progress and regress. They are the baseline to determine changes and adaptations. Do them properly (it took me a year to figure this) and do not skip them.Even if you move from MAF training to say a Lydiard or Mittleman or HADD style (currently I am more in the van Aaken mode applying Lydiard's time based ideas), the MAF test is the rock that will provide you a foundation and anchor point.

                           

                          Ok, I've beat that horse to death. As for the HR, use the numbers gained through racing and training. Calculated values (other than MAF) are a bit squirrely. Also, really watch your food and sleep patterns. These are important factors for any training and running program. Fuel and rest are critical.

                           

                          Also, stress is something to watch. I noted my performance declined with stress from work issues. It wasn't readily apparent except the MAF test indicated an issue. Once I did my post mortems, it pointed to stress. Watch this.

                           

                          Good luck. I think you have the detail oriented persona to have MAF help you go towards to your goals. Looking forward to seeing more posts from you.


                          "He conquers who endures" - Persius
                          "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel

                            thanks for your post too! I see everyone has a good sense of humour here Wink great forum Wink 

                            every line of your post is very useful too, so I'll just highlight this one thing: yes, the WHY and WHAT are quite clear, the WHY even more so after trying a more proper LHR run today. it just feels too great not to do this! (but of course my previous reasons still stand, including easily-run marathons.)

                            PS: I'm not sure why everyone seems to misread the part about my MHR - it was a value that I had actually measured Smile (perhaps I didn't run as hard as I could before truly getting to the point of vomiting but 99% as hard seemed good enough..)


                            Ok. That was along read. Not sure I agree with Jimmy about the War and Peace thing. Seemed more like Moby Dick to me but then again, I have been chasing my white whale of a marathon for long enough to be called Ahab.

                             

                            I can't add much more than G and Jimmy have. They are the local MAF experts. What I can add is some advice from someone in year three of MAF type training.

                             

                            First - definitely decide WHY you are doing this and WHAT you are trying to accomplish. This sets the bar. From there, the MAF tests are the key to success. These will tell you of progress and regress. They are the baseline to determine changes and adaptations. Do them properly (it took me a year to figure this) and do not skip them.Even if you move from MAF training to say a Lydiard or Mittleman or HADD style (currently I am more in the van Aaken mode applying Lydiard's time based ideas), the MAF test is the rock that will provide you a foundation and anchor point.

                             

                            Ok, I've beat that horse to death. As for the HR, use the numbers gained through racing and training. Calculated values (other than MAF) are a bit squirrely. Also, really watch your food and sleep patterns. These are important factors for any training and running program. Fuel and rest are critical.

                             

                            Also, stress is something to watch. I noted my performance declined with stress from work issues. It wasn't readily apparent except the MAF test indicated an issue. Once I did my post mortems, it pointed to stress. Watch this.

                             

                            Good luck. I think you have the detail oriented persona to have MAF help you go towards to your goals. Looking forward to seeing more posts from you.

                            jimmyb


                            port-a-bella-potty

                              thanks for your post too! I see everyone has a good sense of humour here Wink great forum Wink


                               

                               

                              MAF will twist your mind. Lowgear is the most twisted. Read his posts. They will free you.

                               

                              --Jimmy

                              Log    PRs

                                "MAF will twist your mind" - well I can see that... Big grin

                                 

                                anyway... I started workouts below 153bpm (mostly 145-152, well more like 148-152) and I got some questions about that.

                                 

                                I've found I'm actually able to do some tricks to get my pace as low as 15-16 mins / mile, but this is really stretching my physical limits. two days ago I did a workout at 155bpm at 14m/mile pace and I found that was just fine. my run today averaged a 15:15m/mile (no slowing down almost over the entire workout but the road goes up and down a little bit so it varies) and it was around 6,5miles and almost 100 minutes, but my knees almost gave up by the end and I had to pay really close attention to landing style (very tiring to pay attention for so long!!) because if I didn't then my achilles tendons would also slightly complain. in the last couple of laps, I did have to walk many times not only due to the knees but because of cardiac drift as well. now after the workout I feel just fine, but I don't want any injuries to develop.

                                 

                                my questions now:

                                1) due to the above experiences, I will need to lower the workout time and distance to spare my knees and achilles tendons but that would then be too little exercise! I read that with low mileage you can't really use MAF efficiently.

                                so to make it more useful, can I just do a shorter workout every day to make sure the mileage is not too low? is it usually OK to go out every day at this low intensity? it would be about 1 hour each time at this sloooooooow pace (well, either 1 hour or whenever my knees etc. start to complain). EDIT: I see now that the time matters more, that helps a lot to know.

                                2) I read that people had to start with 17m/mile, how long did it usually take for you to get slightly faster? by faster I mean something like 14m/min. Smile I know everyone is different but would be nice to hear about actual examples. closer to 3 weeks or to 2 months?

                                3) I measured my cadence a couple of times, it was between 152 and 168 (168 only if I tried hard! by default closer to 150), and I've been told by friends that anything below 180 is detrimental to running style. I will do some hill workouts (downhill too!!) soon, but I'm curious if anyone actually experienced a bad and long term effect due doing too much running at low turnover. I don't really feel the need to care about the cadence much but I may be wrong about that...

                                 

                                +1: I just realized I totally don't feel hungry. it's been hours since the workout and nothing - that's quite a weird experience to me, does that mean I was doing it right or not?

                                and god, slow running can actually make my calf tight (stretching helped, I hope this won't seriously hurt it in the long run, yeah, pun intended too). never experienced this much before.

                                 

                                 

                                again many thanks for any answers. Smile