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Who has tried Phillip Maffetone's method of training slower to go faster? (Read 447 times)

    I'm not sure I completely get the complaints about MAF being super, super slow.  I find that a MAF-compliant pace is in the same ballpark as an easy pace based on a "talk test."  That said, I'm not sure I've ever really understood how easy its supposed to be to talk in the talk test.  Part of the problem is probably that I tend to speak in John Kerry-esque sentences with a bunch of asides and caveats.  I can talk at a fair pace, but the sentences tend to be broken up slightly with breathing.  Not huffing and puffing, just a slightly unnatural phrasing.  Is that too hard?  I've never really known.

       I do find it more difficult on rolling or hilly terrain, since walking is pretty much required if you stick to a strict MAFF.  Flat terrain I can run the whole thing.

       

      I was wondering about this. I live in a place where it's impossible to avoid hilly terrain unless you enjoy running in very small circles (and getting your ass kicked on hills when you race).

        METAL!

         


        just a simple cat

          METAL!

           

          it's just an umlaut  Roll eyes

           

           

             

            it's just an umlaut  Roll eyes

             

            No. It's a way of life. Cool

            J-L-C


              J-L-C    Maybe you don't realize how difficult it can be to run truly "easy".  Your post reminds me of someone advising on a weight loss plan- "Just eat less!"     The low-heartrate or MAFF training is a way to discipline one's self to really adhere to slow runs.  I have done varies stints of MAFF training and did find it excellent for coming back from injury, rejuvenating after over-training, and, especially, as I am getting older.  My MAFF number (giving myself some points as allowed) is the very bottom range of my aerobic training zone.   I do find it more difficult on rolling or hilly terrain, since walking is pretty much required if you stick to a strict MAFF.  Flat terrain I can run the whole thing.

               

              Sure I do. I started running with a hrm from the get-go and I literally could not run with a hr below 80% for the first few weeks. Couldn't do it.  So what did I do? I didn't worry about it. How could I? If my goal was to run what good would walking do? Not much! A few weeks later and I was averaging just below 80%. A few weeks later and my time over 80% was really starting to come down. Then I started paying more attention to it.

              My next target was 75%. It took a few months.

               

              Two years on and I can run a decent clip at under 70% (if I'm bothered to do so). I can also run a decent clip at 90%+.

               

              The point of all that is that you can achieve the same results of MAFF while simultaneously improving other aspects of your running (speed, strength, etc).

               

              A one-dimensional approach to training brings about one-dimensional results. So now you can run 15s faster at 70%. Big deal! What happens when you get to 80-90%? It doesn't matter if you're training with hr or with pace or with perceived exertion, only focusing on one aspect of training is selling yourself short. Your body has evolved enough to handle a variety of stresses and adapt accordingly. Why pigeon-hole yourself into one type of training? Especially one that would have you hold back to the point of walking?

                Wht are you so anti about a system that allows people to move more (beit walking, joggin or running)? MAF is not about always running slow. IF you think that is all it is, do a little research and you will find that Maffetone preaches a base phase (ie MAF running), then a race prep into a race season.

                 

                The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                 

                2013 Goals:

                5k = sub 21:00

                HM = sub 100 minutes

                Run = 3650 / 2 miles

                Bike = 3500 miles

                Swim = 150 miles

                Race 1st HIM

                yager


                  You guys just don't get it ... MAF might not work for *everyone* but it does work for some/many people that seriously tried it.  And it is not a method to slow you down.  At some point you will feel running at MAF heart rate is too physically demanding, thus train below MAF most of time.

                   

                  Me as an exanple.  I was a couch potato before.  I hate most physical exercise most of time, sometimes did push up etc.  In the last September when approaching an annual physical, I really felt needed to lose weight and become healthy, especially lower the cholesterol.  By accident I was introduced by the MAF formula.  I was quite happy to run at/below 139 (180-age-5)  for 4+ miles since that felt easy and comfortable.  I didn't mind being too slow at all.  One time when I ran for a bus by walking/running, my heart rate after sitting down was 155.  139 was really easy at that time, and slow.

                   

                  Over the next few months I had to run faster and faster to ensure my HR was still close to 139.  And I lost some fat, and I started to love running faster.  After changing to a pair of proper shoes (previously I used very old shoes -- certainly not running shoes), my pace was even faster.

                   

                  Nowadays if I run at 180-age I cannot do it everyday.  Instead I ran 130-133 for easy runs, occasionally 143 for a "MAF interval".  at 143 my pace will be 7:10~7:40 or less, close to 139 I can do sub-8 pace consistently, 125-128 usually puts me below 9 on good days.  A year ago that heart rate was my walking intensity.  I am still slow, but that's okay.  Whatever I do I cannot go Olypmic so why bother?   If I keep running everyday I believe I can do sub-7 pace at 138-143 within a year.  Will that be considered slow?  I don't think so, I don't think MAF slow me down.

                   

                  Just my $0.02.

                  yager


                    Also if anyone don't believe in low heart rate training please take a look at this guy:

                     

                    http://www.runningahead.com/logs/75072b497d8041b5a6c8af2bd26e3abf/workouts

                     

                    Look at this:

                     

                    3/23/2013 Run AT 22.2 mi 2:35:04 7:01 Newton 2010 Gravity Trainer (4th / NY-HZ) 126

                     

                    22 miles average pace 7:01 at average heart rate 126.  You might run the same distance same speed at much higher heart rate.  At the end of run, he feels great and recovers super quickly.  And you might feel exhausted and suffer from pains.

                      ... I was quite happy to run at/below 139 (180-age-5)  for 4+ miles since that felt easy and comfortable.  I didn't mind being too slow at all.  ...

                       

                      Looks like you're about 36? That's dead center in the age zone where I think most successful MAF users are. I know there's a couple of older ones.

                       

                      Age-based formula are frequently off, but since we don't know your HRmax, let's use the 220-age formula = 184.

                      Let's use 70-85% HRmax for easy zone = 129  to 147. 139 = 76% of your HRmax.

                      Now, how does Maffetone for someone like you differ from regular HR training in base?

                       

                      Congratulations for your change in lifestyle.

                       

                       

                      Now consider you're mid 50s (not quite old enough for the older factors to add, iirc) and have been somewhat active most of your life - hiking during field work during summer and biking to work (about 10min each way,yea, I know not much)  (walking 25min each way if don't ride) most days. You run once or twice a week most of the winter, maybe 20min or so (yea, I know, not much). About one step above couch potato. Now try the MAF formula, even with the modifiers.

                       

                      FWIW, I recently did an 11-mi / 3ish hr race on snow averaging about 78% HRmax (141bpm). (that was mostly running except for walking a couple of short, loose snow, uphill sections and a few pics; speed was definitely affected by snow conditions)  Almost at 66, when most health programs are suggesting maintaining activity, esp. weight-bearing activity and strengthening stuff - at least to slow the muscle loss - why would I want to run below 70% HRmax (126bpm)? (Keep in mind, most of my winter running is on snow. Much of my running year round involves hills.)

                       

                      And would you be willing to bet your life, including quality of life, on it by reducing your activity level and the things you love to do? (In your case, you *were* betting your life on increased activity, but for some MAF would reduce that.)

                       

                      In my case, I've found that the HR at which I *could* run decreased after doing reasonably hard hill work. Stronger, more powerful muscles, more coordination, probably a bit more efficient.

                       

                      Like you said, MAF works for some - esp. those in mid 30s, those that have trained hard for many years, couch potatoes, people living in flat, non-windy areas - but I don't think it's realistic for everyone. It's fine for metabolic parameters, but it seems to ignore the rest of the body.

                       

                       

                      MTA: I'm well aware that MAF is base only, but if you use if for a few months and have lost strength, run slower, etc, I need to rebuild to where I was before I could do anything beyond "base". It works for some, esp. where metabolism may be weak point, but it may be detrimental to those where weakness may be more in muscles. JMHO.

                      "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
                      J-L-C


                        Wht are you so anti about a system that allows people to move more (beit walking, joggin or running)? MAF is not about always running slow. IF you think that is all it is, do a little research and you will find that Maffetone preaches a base phase (ie MAF running), then a race prep into a race season.

                         

                        I've been writing within the context of improving performance and making more efficient and effective use of training time (provided a choice between training systems)..

                         

                        Within the context of exercise and activity is an entirely different thing.

                         

                        To sum up my opposition, I think MAF is an outdated training method that has no real practical physiological basis and wastes training time that could be better spent improving a wider range of things important to performing well.

                        J-L-C


                          You guys just don't get it ... MAF might not work for *everyone* but it does work for some/many people that seriously tried it.  And it is not a method to slow you down.  At some point you will feel running at MAF heart rate is too physically demanding, thus train below MAF most of time.

                           

                           

                           

                          To reiterate what I've already said, getting someone to consistently follow a plan (just about any plan) will most likely lead to improvement.

                           

                          I'm merely pointing out how one can likely increase the amount of improvement by focusing on a number of different training paces/efforts.

                           

                          The MAF thing is a fringe-training concept that is rarely if ever seen at higher performance levels. You can say that about heart rate training in general.

                          J-L-C


                                           

                             

                            22 miles average pace 7:01 at average heart rate 126.  You might run the same distance same speed at much higher heart rate.  At the end of run, he feels great and recovers super quickly.  And you might feel exhausted and suffer from pains.

                             

                            You can't compare heart rates. You can compare percentage of max hr, but even that doesn't matter. A race isn't about who has the lowest average heart rate, max hr, resting hr, whatever. It's about who gets to the finish line the fastest.

                             

                            That's great that that guy can run 22 miles at that pace and hr, but in a race all that matters is how fast he can run the allotted distance, period. And someone that can run faster, regardless of whether their hr is higher or lower, is the person that will win.

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