Low HR Training

1

Additional training along with MAF...is it okay? (Read 891 times)

tracey_lee


    Hello everyone, this is my first post as I just came across this forum.

     

    I have started training with the MAF heart rate last week for several reasons. I want to eventually get my speed up, I want to stay injury free, and I want to be healthier over all.

     

    So here are my main worries/concerns and if you wouldn't mind, I would like some feedback from you experienced runners using low heart rate training.

     

    1. I am missing my HIIT training. I usually do the Insanity workouts 2-3 times per week. If I continue to do HIIT workouts, will it sabotage my MAF training?

     

    2. I am also worried that if I get rid of HIIT al together, I will not maximize fat loss. I have been working on getting rid of that last 5 lbs of fat around my mid section.

     

    Thanks for any input you can give me.

     

    T

    jimmyb


      Hi Tracey,

       

      Welcome. The purpose of MAF training is managing your health and your aerobic system. Essentially, you learn to manage the stress you are putting on your body, the total training load. I think of the total training load like this:

       

      training+life stress+additional physical exercise

       

      It all adds up.

       

      The key to the training is monitoring your aerobic speed, a.k.a. as your speed when running at your MAF heart rate. You can do this by doing MAF tests, or by just keeping track of your speed at your MAF on similar courses, and under similar conditions (conditions change throughout the year, take that into account).

       

      If your aerobic speed is improving---good.

      If your aerobic speed is regressing or on an extended plateau---not so good. Something needs to change.

       

      MAF training includes anaerobic exercise, which can include interval training. Dr. Maffetone suggests periodization---having an aerobic phase where you just run at or below MAF, a brief anaerobic phase, then on to racing.

       

      SOme of the causes of aerobic regression are too much anaerobic training, increased life stress (family, work, financial, etc.), too much time on your feet running (volume), iron and vitamin deficiencies, heart/CV problems, and chronic dehydration. Most of the time, it is too much  anaerobic training, volume, or life stress. The deficiencies and diseases are rare here on the board, but have popped up.

       

      If your aerobic speed improves, you will be gaining endurance.

       

      You can continue with the interval training if you wish. Just keep track of your aerobic speed. There is a good chance that eventually the intervals will be too much. You MAF tests will key you into when enough is enough. If your aerobic speed starts to regress, don't ignore it. Back off, and return to base training. Regardless of the fact that you will be burning less calories at the lower heart rates. You actually burn a higher percentage of fat the closer to MAF you train. Eventually, as you get faster and faster at MAF, you will burn more fat just sitting there watching TV. Your resting RQ will improve. I understand that because you are using more energy during intervals that you can lose fat quicker, since you are burning more calories. It doesn't necessarily turn you into a fat-burning, aerobic machine though.

       

      Remember to give your MAF tests or aerobic speed a lot of weight. Ignore regression at your own peril. If you don't lessen the total load, you will end up in one of the three states of overtraining and/or injured.

       

      Keep us posted. Many of us would be very interested to see how it goes for you.

       

      Take care,

       

      Jimmy Cool

      Log    PRs

      tracey_lee


        Thanks so much, Jimmy. A lot of great info and support here...I really appreciate it.

         

        Well, after being injured several times during 2011, I am ready to really start something like MAF training. It seems like the right thing to do over all and I am very interested in getting the same results as many have doing the same.

         

        T


        Consistently Slow

          Thanks so much, Jimmy. A lot of great info and support here...I really appreciate it.

           

          Well, after being injured several times during 2011, I am ready to really start something like MAF training. It seems like the right thing to do over all and I am very interested in getting the same results as many have doing the same.

           

          T

          Welcome.

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          zonykel


            I don't know if additional training along with MAF will sabotage your MAF efforts... However, I started MAF training in July, and the vast majority of my running has been at MAF. Considering how much I enjoyed track workouts, this has required a lot of discipline to let go of the ego and stick with slow running.

             

            What I can tell you is that I haven't been injured since I started MAF and my mileage has increased a fair amount in the last couple of months:

            Monthly Mileage 

             

            Just based on my short personal experience, I'd recommend you defer the speed training until later. At least MAF will give your body an opportunity to recover from your injuries.

            jimmyb


              Thanks so much, Jimmy. A lot of great info and support here...I really appreciate it.

               

              Well, after being injured several times during 2011, I am ready to really start something like MAF training. It seems like the right thing to do over all and I am very interested in getting the same results as many have doing the same.

               

              T

               

              You're welcome.

               

              I didn't know you have been injured this year. Sorry to hear that. At the very least, setbacks are annoying!

               

              Not sure of the cause, but if it was due to the HIIT or those other workouts, I am not surprised. Anaerobic 2-3 times a week might burn a lot of calories, and you might make you look real buff, but it doesn't necessarily make a healthy body. Buff does not equal healthy. Another thing to look for when you are training is how often do you get colds and flues. Over-training (OT) can lower your immunity. More than a few times I have seen people getting sick by the time they get to their taper for a marathon (and equally as often, injuries---and sudden poor performances). I don't believe it is always the training that gets these runners sick and injured. Sometimes they are training at volume and intensity levels that have produced good performances, and they've been free of colds and flues and injury. Sometimes, it is that something has changed in their lives outside of running that has raised their stress levels. This increased stress can reek havoc if it goes on too long. More and more studies are coming out that show that when stress gets prolonged, it negatively affects the immune system, muscles, the cardio-vascular system, and the integrity of the brain. This kind of stress + normal training can sometime equal OT, injury, and ill-health.

               

              MAF is not a cure-all, but it will reduce the impact of training---reduce the total stress you are putting on your body. It's a great thing to switch to when performance and the state-of-your body aren't doing so well. You can still OT with MAF training, though it's a bit harder to do---if you do OT with MAF, it's almost always a total volume of duration or life stress issue. Monitoring your aerobic speed with MAF tests will guide you through.

               

              --JimmyCool

              Log    PRs

              tracey_lee


                Thanks everyone. I have decided that I may work in an occasional strength or core training workout just to keep my core strong. Other than that, I will stick to MAF running. After two weeks of doing it, I am pretty amazed at how good my feet feel. I can already see the benefits and future of no injuries...it's really encouraging.

                dallasboycows


                  hit training will definately sabatage maf training.  MAF training although slow is still similar to lydiards approach where you gradually increase mileage.  This increases heart stroke volume, capillary beds, oxidative enzymes, etc.  HIT training I would assume is anaerobic enough that it will lower the ph enough to destroy oxidative enzymes, slow aerobic growth, etc.

                  dallasboycows


                    I've used MAF in the past and yes if you can still maximize your aerobic potential although it will take you 5 or 6 years but you will definately completely wipe out your lactate threshold, lower your running economy, vo2max etc.