Low HR Training

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Maffetone vs Mittleman? (Read 1182 times)

    Any thoughts out there on the relative merits of the Maffetone Method of LHR, vis-a-vis Stu Mittleman's mods of it?

     

    Of course, they're very similar, but in Slow Burn, Mittleman recommends adjusting one's 180-derived aerobic zones according to a number of visual and kinesthetic cues to arrive at more customized training zones.

     

    Also, Mittleman's version of the MAF test, the "MEP test" is run in a zone higher than the "MAP," the main LHR aerobic training zone.

     

    Thoughts?

     

    jon

      I recall (correctly or not?) mittleman writes that MEP is the "main LHR aerobic training zone".

       

      and yeah MEP for many people will be above the calculated 180-age MAF because mittleman suggests to add 10 beats if you've been doing 3+ hours / week of running regularly.

       

      I don't know if this works better than the MAF number. my guess is he assumes that if someone can do 3+ hours no problem then they can take a bit more stress too..??

       

      I can't determine 100% sure my mittleman zones because I'm not sure about some of the cues. he says SAP is where you get into this "tunnel" thing and I know what he means but he also says that SAP starts from MEP+10. not true in my case. possibly my MEP zone is larger than 10 beats - so I never really tried his stuff but I can say that the MEP zone (from 180-age to 180-age+10) is where I feel best...love the feeling there

        Actually, he does say that MAP is the main aerobic training zone, but even in "level I training" for beginners and base-builders, he recommends one MEP session every other week,

         

        I went back over my logs, and was astonished to see that although I can't see any consistent progress in my MAP/MAF runs, it was clear as day in my MEP runs:

         

        <colgroup><col width="86" /><col width="86" /><col width="86" /><col width="86" /><col width="86" /><col width="86" /><col width="86" /></colgroup>
        Date 01/01/11 01/16/10 01/30/10 02/05/11 03/04/11 04/23/11
        Temp. C 16 4 4 8 9 23
        Mile1 14:45 15:32 15:49 13:17 13:46 13:45
        Mile 2 16:33 17:07 17:07 16:01 15:24 14:22
        Mile 3 17:42 16:57 18:00 17:24 16:44 15:03
        Mile4   16:27   17:38 16:34 15:13
        Mile 5       18:25 17:14 15:38
        3-mile time 49:00 49:36 50:56 46:42 45:54 43:10
        5-mile time       01:22:45 01:19:42 01:14:01

         

        Note that my five-mile time improved by 8:44 in the last 3 1/2 months!

         

        I think the reason I didn't notice the improvement before was twofold:

        First, I was focused on the MAP more, which in my case is identical to MAF. But I had to alternate jogging and walking in the MAP, and did it in a Gallowalking way (fast-slow) rather than trying to keep a constant pace when you shift modes as Mittleman recommends.

        Secondly, when I looked at my MEP tests, (which wasn't often), I was too focused on first-mile times rather than over the whole. Looking at the five-mile time was a wonderful revelation!

         

        I think MEP worked better for me because I could maintain MEP with much less gait-switching, running it much smoother. In fact I still have to switch a lot in my MAP runs, though not nearly as much as in the winter. 

         

        However, it does bring back the original question... regular working in the MEP zone seems to be at odds with the idea that basebuilding should be at MAF, as it's higher for most people.  BTW, I haven't begun to make the "customized" adjustments to my MAP/MEP yet... my only modification to the Mittleman 180 formula so far is to not penalize myself for having had a birthday last month!

         

        Might make some cue-based adjustments in a little while, though.

          I'm glad you got improvements. Smile

           

          as for the improvement tracking, I agree, as long as you mix in walking, you can't track it too well, because walking has a different efficiency from running at a slow pace.

           

          I don't see why MEP shouldn't be a good aerobic zone. I'm not sold on the idea that a single heart rate ceiling from one formula works for all, even if it has the health and fitness adjustments.

           

          btw don't worry about the birthday stuff, according to maffetone you only need to update it in every few years (3 beats down after 5 years or something like that).

           

          I'm curious about how the cues work for you as compared to the formulas.

          jimmyb


            Overall, I think the Maffetone Method is much simpler. One calculation. Run a base period at MAF and below. After that, do so some anaerobic work 1-2 times a week, and then get to the business of racing. Always do an MAF test every 3-4 weeks throughout the year. Let them inform you as to when to increase or decrease training load, and when to go back to base training.

             

            --Jimmy

            Log    PRs

              Ah, you're absolutely right about Maffetone being simpler, Jimmy. I spent a few hours yesterday actually reading Mittleman's training programs for Levels 1 2,and 3, and putting them on a spreadsheet so I could see them in a table. It's logical, but the specifics weekly schedules of walking, MAP, MEP, SAP, and weights at the various levels are a lot clearer in a table.

               

              I do like Mittleman's program a lot, though... The MAP / MEP (mixed with deliberate walking) introduces "gears" very early, and in my case, five months on, I still can't see time improvements in my MAP (just gait improvements), but they're most encouraging in the MEP zone.

               

              --jon

              jimmyb


                Ah, you're absolutely right about Maffetone being simpler, Jimmy. I spent a few hours yesterday actually reading Mittleman's training programs for Levels 1 2,and 3, and putting them on a spreadsheet so I could see them in a table. It's logical, but the specifics weekly schedules of walking, MAP, MEP, SAP, and weights at the various levels are a lot clearer in a table.

                 

                I do like Mittleman's program a lot, though... The MAP / MEP (mixed with deliberate walking) introduces "gears" very early, and in my case, five months on, I still can't see time improvements in my MAP (just gait improvements), but they're most encouraging in the MEP zone.

                 

                --jon

                 

                I'm a bit foggy on this point in Slow Burn: is there an MAF test or some equivalent used to monitor the state of the aerobic system (to help ward against over-training, or to guide you throughout the different phases of training and racing)?

                --Jimmy

                Log    PRs

                  Sorry, did some editing.

                    Jimmy wrote:

                     

                    I'm a bit foggy on this point in Slow Burn: is there an MAF test or some equivalent used to monitor the state of the aerobic system (to help ward against over-training, or to guide you throughout the different phases of training and racing)?

                     

                    Absolutely. He recommends "MEP tests" every two weeks at all levels.

                     

                    Here's a quick overview:

                    MAP: Maximum Aerobic Efficiency. The top of it corresponds in most cases to MAF ... main training zone for all runners. It's a 20 point spread from MAF-20 to MAF

                    It's based on the 180 formula with very slight differences, and the potential for a bit of customization if the formula doesn't seem to fit.

                    MEP: Maximum Efficient Pace ranges from the top of the MAP to 10 BPM above

                    SAP: Speedy Anaerobic Pace from the top of MEP to 20 BPM higher.

                     

                    At all levels, A MEP test is recommended every two weeks. Unlike the MAP runs which should be done at the top of the zone, a MEP test should aim for dead center of the zone ... so if my MAP is 111-131 and my avg HR on a MAP run is 128,  my MEP is 131-141, and my avg on a MEP test should be 136, no higher.

                     

                    At level 1 training, MEP runs are scheduled every other weekend in the beginning, and later on, long runs mixing MAP, MEP and walking come into play, but MAP is always the foundation.

                    Level 2 is recommended for a 12 week session, focusing on MEP, with the addition of some weight training.

                    Level 3 is recommended for 12-week sessions, too. It incorporates SAP (HR-based intervals) with the MAP and MEP.

                     

                    Mittleman says that he still runs 80% of his miles in the MAP

                     

                    --jon

                    jimmyb


                      Jimmy wrote:

                       

                      I'm a bit foggy on this point in Slow Burn: is there an MAF test or some equivalent used to monitor the state of the aerobic system (to help ward against over-training, or to guide you throughout the different phases of training and racing)?

                       

                      Absolutely. He recommends "MEP tests" every two weeks at all levels.

                       

                      Here's a quick overview:

                      MAP: Maximum Aerobic Efficiency. The top of it corresponds in most cases to MAF ... main training zone for all runners. It's a 20 point spread from MAF-20 to MAF

                      It's based on the 180 formula with very slight differences, and the potential for a bit of customization if the formula doesn't seem to fit.

                      MEP: Maximum Efficient Pace ranges from the top of the MAP to 10 BPM above

                      SAP: Speedy Anaerobic Pace from the top of MEP to 20 BPM higher.

                       

                      At all levels, A MEP test is recommended every two weeks. Unlike the MAP runs which should be done at the top of the zone, a MEP test should aim for dead center of the zone ... so if my MAP is 111-131 and my avg HR on a MAP run is 128,  my MEP is 131-141, and my avg on a MEP test should be 136, no higher.

                       

                      At level 1 training, MEP runs are scheduled every other weekend in the beginning, and later on, long runs mixing MAP, MEP and walking come into play, but MAP is always the foundation.

                      Level 2 is recommended for a 12 week session, focusing on MEP, with the addition of some weight training.

                      Level 3 is recommended for 12-week sessions, too. It incorporates SAP (HR-based intervals) with the MAP and MEP.

                       

                      Mittleman says that he still runs 80% of his miles in the MAP

                       

                      --jon

                       

                      Thanks, Jon.

                      Can you point out the page where he writes about the MEP tests? I looked at all the pages about the MEP (listed in the index) in my copy of Slow Burn, and can't find it.

                      Thanks.

                      --Jimmy

                      Log    PRs

                        Thanks, Jon.

                        Can you point out the page where he writes about the MEP tests? I looked at all the pages about the MEP (listed in the index) in my copy of Slow Burn, and can't find it.

                        Thanks.

                        --Jimmy

                         
                        He doesn't use the phrase "MEP test" per se.  What he does talk out is monitoring performance in the MEP zone.

                         

                        p.156: "The reason I emphasize the importance of the MEP is because it is such a powerful mnitoring tool and key to making steady and everlasting progress. By consistently moving in this narrow ten-beat band, you will be able to keep track of the changes you make--both good and bad--..."

                         

                        p. 162:  Describes progress on a treadmill working in the MEP. At first, you might be at 4 mph, but four to six weeks later, you might be at 4.5 mph at the same HR. Six weeks later, 5 mph.  "This is the promise that lies ahead for you ... getting more accomplished without having to force yoruself to work harder."

                         

                        pp. 179-180: "Unlike the MAP... aim to be in the middle of the zone."

                        "With some clients, I include a MEP run of a specific distance rather than of a particular duration.... By using a distance ... you can better gauge changes in pace as your training programs progresses. One method involves tracking mile splits over the course of these longer MEP distance runs." 

                        "Ideally, you want your mile splits to be fairly even..."

                        "Fortnightly workouts" p. 180.

                        "Gradually you will notice that you will be moving faster and faster in the MEP zone, while your heart rate and general effort level remain the same. Once again, you will be training hour body to move faster and to be more productive without working any harder. This is the best sign of progress you can have."

                         

                        p. 195 "Once you can run through the entire MEP movement session, you begin to recognize that your pace picks up and you are now running faster and faster in the MEP. Speeding up without having to work harder is the desired MEP outcome. "

                         

                        p. 202 "Monitoring your pace in the MEP is the best indicator of whether the program is working. Through time, you want your pace in the MEP to speed up."

                         

                        p. 280: Tracking the productivity the client displays while exercising in the ...(MEP) ... is another excellent way to evaluate the degree to which nutritional, training, and mindset strategies enhance progress.

                          as for MAF test - I always find that in terms of detection of a problem, the test has a lag compared to any other symptoms. I mean, other symptoms will come up before MAF test starts to decline. maybe I just pay close enough attention to my body in general.

                           

                          probably same true for a MEP test or anything else... I prefer to see everything together in one big picture

                          jimmyb


                            as for MAF test - I always find that in terms of detection of a problem, the test has a lag compared to any other symptoms. I mean, other symptoms will come up before MAF test starts to decline. maybe I just pay close enough attention to my body in general.

                             

                            probably same true for a MEP test or anything else... I prefer to see everything together in one big picture

                             

                            According to Dr. Phil, Stage 1 overtraining (Functional) is very subtle, meaning the athlete might not notice anything amiss, and usually shows up in the MAF tests as a slight regression. Sometimes the athlete might still be competing well, and making a PR or two. Without something like the MAF test, they might not cut back or make some kind of change to their anaerobic/aerobic load and that's when the injury or level 2 OT seemingly comes out of nowhere. He talked about it in depth on that podcast I linked to in the "Good Interview thread", and here is his fine paper on overtraining.

                             

                            Basically, what he is saying, is the opposite of what you are saying, that in his experience the MAF test usually indicates an imbalance occurring before the athlete is aware of it, and is sometimes masked because race performance isn't crashing yet--just the speed at MAF. It can be that subtle.

                             

                            I'm not sure how much Mittleman gets into this with his MEP zone. I have to do some rereading (thanks, Jon).

                             

                            --Jimmy

                            Log    PRs

                              cmon2

                              I've noticed that Maffetone seems very enthusiastic about the iThlete heart-rate variability monitor as a gauge to fitness/over-training/problems etc. (mention of it in the Big Book) and his website. 

                               

                              Mine's on order, hasn't arrived yet.

                               

                              jon

                                According to Dr. Phil, Stage 1 overtraining (Functional) is very subtle, meaning the athlete might not notice anything amiss, and usually shows up in the MAF tests as a slight regression. Sometimes the athlete might still be competing well, and making a PR or two. Without something like the MAF test, they might not cut back or make some kind of change to their anaerobic/aerobic load and that's when the injury or level 2 OT seemingly comes out of nowhere. He talked about it in depth on that podcast I linked to in the "Good Interview thread", and here is his fine paper on overtraining.

                                 

                                Basically, what he is saying, is the opposite of what you are saying, that in his experience the MAF test usually indicates an imbalance occurring before the athlete is aware of it, and is sometimes masked because race performance isn't crashing yet--just the speed at MAF. It can be that subtle.

                                 

                                I'm not sure how much Mittleman gets into this with his MEP zone. I have to do some rereading (thanks, Jon).

                                 

                                --Jimmy

                                 

                                 

                                what he says I am willing to believe is true for many cases. maybe I'm just again an anomaly here. Smile I sure notice other subtle things even before MAF test would show anything. but even common sense says that tracking HR vs MAF pace alone is not the only marker for problems that may be coming up. heart rate is only one body cue of the many.

                                 

                                 

                                PS: it is possible that I just never experienced real overtraining and this is why my experience about what's best marker differs.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                frimmin: I heard about ithlete, but I'm not the target I guess. I will not buy an iphone for this.

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