Low HR Training

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Giving this a try (Read 744 times)

    Hi all. I'm a 41 yo woman with type 2 diabetes. I'm a pretty slow newbie runner. At my easy pace, my heart rate is usually in the low 160s. I feel part of the reason I cannot go faster is because I'm afraid of pushing my heart too much. I've been pretty sedentary my whole life.


    So I thought I would give Maffetone a try as a way to improve my aerobic fitness.


    I am not sure what my maximum aerobic heart rate should be. At first I thought it should be 139 based on the formula in his book Training for Endurance. 180-41 (my age) - 0 (exercising for up to 2 years w/o any real problems). But the formula on his website seems a little different saying to subtract 0 if I've been exercising for at least 2 years. Would I be better off subtracting 5 and using 134?


    I did a little trial attempt yesterday and found that walking briskly I could get my HR into the low 120s. But found it difficult to walk faster to get it higher. But if I tried to run (and it was very very very slow), my HR shot up over 140 pretty quickly. So I guess I should just work on walking faster for now? And at some point I will max out the walking to the point I will have to run to maintain my heart rate?


    One more question -- should I always use the same HR monitor? I have a Garmin Forerunner 305 that I use when I go outdoors. But when I use my treadmill I just use the heart rate monitor it has (Polar). 


    thanks for any input!

    C-R


      Sweeter - welcome to the forum. Its a good group here. Very knowledgeable and open to assist.

       

      Make sure you read through the sticky "boilerplate" posts at the top of the forum. These should inform you very well.

       

      Here is my take on your questions. Since you just finished the C2K and have been sedentary, I would suggest MAF -5 as your upper limit (180-41-5 =134). Feel free to train below this but try to not exceed this too much. As your miles increase, you will get faster while keeping this as your ceiling. It is designed to help you build that aerobic engine without too much stress.

       

      As far as HRM - one is as good as the next. Use what seems convenient. I use a Garmin but have used Polar and Timex. All seem good and about the same accuracy.

       

      I would recommend to perform a MAF test as soon as you can to develop a baseline. This test is the key to the MAF program in that it gives you a controlled siuation to see if you are progressing, regressing or staying flat. From there you can adjust your training program.

       

      The one word that encaspulates MAF for me is patience. It is frustrating at times to go slow but success is measured in months and years so be patient and let the MAF tests tell you how your are progressing.

       

      Good luck and start posting. Others will help along the way. Cheers.

       

      and now I turn over the mic to our MAFmaven - jimmyb.


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

         thanks for the welcome & advice.


        I think you are right, 134 would be better for me.


        I did try to do a MAF test today on my treadmill. One thing I learned is that I am probably better off using my Garmin HRM. The treadmill one doesn't display HR constantly, which was driving me a little crazy. Not sure if I conducted the test totally correctly. Tried to keep HR under 134 but occasionally it would go above.


        Mile 1: 17:30.04

        Mile 2: 19:00.4

        Mile 3: 19:29.57


        I did a 15 min warm up and an almost 15 minute cool down.


        The one word that encaspulates MAF for me is patience. It is frustrating at times to go slow but success is measured in months and years so be patient and let the MAF tests tell you how your are progressing.

         I am really trying to keep this mind. I am not training for any particular event. I just want to build a good aerobic base. I find myself fretting that I will lose what little fitness I have but tell myself that I am actually building fitness through this process. It was kind of fun  to just focus on HR numbers rather than speed or distance.

        mta: i don't know why the font size went all wonky


        Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

          sweeter - as a diabetic are you taking medications? If so that could mean subtracting 5-10 for the meds. As I recall Dr Phil does not differentiate the type of meds when he says subtract 10. So you might want to use 180-41-10 = 129 as target maf value.

           

          As C-R said, do a maf test as soon as possible so you have a baseline result to measure from. We are experiments of 1 and taking measurements helps us figure out where to go from there. 

           

          welcome to lhr training! I'm sure you'll love it!

          bob e v
          2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

          Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

          Break the 1000 mi barrier!

          History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

            Bobev, hmm, yes, I actually am taking one diabetes med. So go lower, eh? I guess that couldn't hurt.


            Oh I had another question -- I have to walk pretty much every day just as part of controlling my diabetes. So I was thinking I would walk easy some days and on other days walk a bit faster to bring heart rate up to MAF number. Does that sound OK? 

            C-R


              Bobev, hmm, yes, I actually am taking one diabetes med. So go lower, eh? I guess that couldn't hurt.


              Oh I had another question -- I have to walk pretty much every day just as part of controlling my diabetes. So I was thinking I would walk easy some days and on other days walk a bit faster to bring heart rate up to MAF number. Does that sound OK? 

               That sounds very prudent.

               

              and your MAF test looks ok. They key (as I learned after goofing it up so many times) is a really solid warm-up of a min of 15 minutes. Well done. Now you have a baseline. One thing to note is keep in your log other information about the days preceeding and of the MAF tests like food or stress issues or the like. This way you have a record with context. I tend to try to rely onmemory and this isn't always perfect for me as I am reminded by my DW.


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

                that's a good idea about keeping track of food/stress etc. Especially since my memory is pretty much nonexistent. 


                i'm thinking though that I should do the MAF test again using lower heart rate numbers as Bobev mentioned I should subtract beats for being on meds.


                I already miss running  but I really want to give this a decent try.

                  hi there Smile it's nice to see another MAF-beginner (I'm one too).

                   

                  faster walking is cool but you could still try alternating between walking slow and running slow, then you maybe would not have to miss running Smile of course keep in mind the HR ceiling is MAF so if you reach that point then back off and go back to slow walk. then when HR dropped low enough, start running again. possibly you can fit in a few secs of running before having to walk again!!

                   

                  I also have my own theory (unconfirmed for now) that fitting in as much running under MAF as possible instead of just walking or fast run+slow walk is better for learning to run under MAF as opposed to learning other activities under MAF. so according to this theory of mine it may be best to run slow and run more in total time than a very little amount of faster running with lots more walking in between. but again, just my theory. and sometimes you could feel more like doing little but fast runs Smile just to vary it a bit Smile (plus it seems to help with running economy)

                   

                  also don't kill yourself if you got over MAF for a few secs.

                   

                  always do 15-min warmup walk where by the end your HR is MAF-10. this is a very good trick.

                   

                  as for the formula it sure is inconsistent for some cases - I've also read about both of these formulas and still don't know 100% sure if I was right with my decision of not subtracting 5 Wink according to one I'm right according to other one I'm not (I don't take medication and been running without real issues for 5 months, soon 6!). so in reality I really try to stick to MAF-2 or so, and one thing's for sure, even with not subtracting 5 it seems the quality of the workouts is distinctly different in terms of stress load even if compared to just MAF+5. this with other subtle signs can be a way of confirming you are in the right zone.

                  but yes in your case it seems you definitely have to subtract that 10 because of the diabetes.

                    Alas, I think there is no way for me to run a single step right now. Even a brisk walk can shoot me up over my MAF number. But I'm going to be patient. It will be my little experiment. 


                    It is frustrating though. During my walk today I had several moments of being filled with despair that i'll never be able to run again. 


                    must.think.long.term.

                      Alas, I think there is no way for me to run a single step right now. Even a brisk walk can shoot me up over my MAF number. But I'm going to be patient. It will be my little experiment. 


                      It is frustrating though. During my walk today I had several moments of being filled with despair that i'll never be able to run again. 


                      must.think.long.term.

                       

                       

                      how about SLOW walk? you do not need to walk so briskly between the small (and SLOW) runs. just walk as slow as you can.

                        Alas, I think there is no way for me to run a single step right now. Even a brisk walk can shoot me up over my MAF number. But I'm going to be patient. It will be my little experiment. 


                        It is frustrating though. During my walk today I had several moments of being filled with despair that i'll never be able to run again. 


                        must.think.long.term.

                         

                        Hi Sweeter,

                         

                        Welcome to the LHRT forum! I think it is wise that you have started to look at your running with a more scientific eye. I'm not sure how much you have read about MAF training yet, but I suggest that you read the boilerplate sticky, check out Dr. Phil's sports page, and perhaps peruse his book The Maffetone Method.

                         

                        This method can be frustrating at first. It's building from the ground up, and that can take time. If you take the same compete-against-yourself attitude to walking, it can make a difference. I believe if you have to walk to stay under your MAF, no matter how you calculated it, you need too be walking and building your system until you have to run in order to reach your MAF. Here's a thread on a case study that Dr. Phil mentions in his book, The Maffetone Method. A case of a woman who went from walking all the way to a decent runner in just a few years. She walked until she couldn't walk fast enough, then ran. Personally, I was a walker for a few years before I began running, and had a lot of endurance already when I started running.

                         

                        What you are looking for is a transformation of your body from a sugar-reliant one to a fat-burning one. Just at rest, someone can be in such bad health that they are burning nearly 100% sugar just sitting there. I had an RQ test done last fall, and I was burning 50%fat, 50% sugar at rest. I would be better off if I was 70%fat/30% sugar at rest. I'm trying to improve. Here's some interesting information on how Dr. Phil developed the MAF in relation to the RQ test (there were other other stages in the development, but later began to do this). I'm sure a diabetic would want to develop a fat-burning metabolism, it could only help the condition I imagine. 

                         

                         

                        The key is having a way to measure your RQ without having to pay for a test all the time. That is where the MAF test comes in. Warm-up to your MAF HR (take at least 15 minutes), then run or walk, keeping your HR at your MAF. If your MAF is 129, keep a small zone of 128-130, only allowing brief blips of 130, slowing down as you go to stay at that HR. You can do 1-5 miles, or use time (e.g. 45 minutes). Record each mile. When you start to get faster at your MAF, your RQ is improving, you are burning a higher ratio of fat at the same HR, and at rest. You are developing your aerobic speed. Just as in the case study, eventually you will not be able to walk fast enough to stay at your MAF, and you will have to run.

                         

                        This MAF test will help you to avoid over-training (avoid over-training--not fun). Once you learn more about yourself, it will help you know when you are ready to race, add anaerobic work, and return to aserobic base work. It's a fantastic tool.

                         

                        Keep a vision for yourself. Where you want to be eventually, then just stay with it. Build volume of time on your feet slowly. Too little, nothing will happen. Too much, nothing will happen as over-training will kill your aerobic system.

                         

                        I've been running about 7 years now. Over-training forced me to cut back, and I find myself returning to a run/walk regime in order to rebuild my system. At times I have felt despair, as I miss being what I once was. But I know the body eventually heals and responds, if you don't keep over-stressing it. Also, what I'm learning is that this is a life-long journey. There will be times when the body just says enough is enough, and you have to cut back or take time off.

                         

                        Thinking long term is a great idea. Keep at it, but listen to your body and your MAF tests.

                         

                        I like your username.

                         

                        --Jimmy

                          thank you for your reply, Jimmy. I appreciate your wisdom and experience. I've read the boilerplate a couple times and I'm reading Training for Endurance (borrowed from the library). I have such a terrible memory though that I forget things very quickly . I do plan on buying The Maffetone Method soon.


                          Thank you for that case study link. Very interesting and I think will help me be more realistic about this process.


                          I also find what you say about sugar burning interesting. I have noticed that my blood sugar seems to drop much faster while walking than it does when I'm running. While running, my blood sugar seems to stay pretty steady until I stop. I'm not sure what this means though.


                          I find it difficult to keep my HR in a small range. It seems to vary by 10 beats or so. Is this just a pacing problem for me and I will get better at this as I do more MAF training?


                          I've been looking over the old posts here. Lots of info for me to digest.

                            thank you for your reply, Jimmy. I appreciate your wisdom and experience. I've read the boilerplate a couple times and I'm reading Training for Endurance (borrowed from the library). I have such a terrible memory though that I forget things very quickly . I do plan on buying The Maffetone Method soon.


                            Thank you for that case study link. Very interesting and I think will help me be more realistic about this process.


                            I also find what you say about sugar burning interesting. I have noticed that my blood sugar seems to drop much faster while walking than it does when I'm running. While running, my blood sugar seems to stay pretty steady until I stop. I'm not sure what this means though.


                            I find it difficult to keep my HR in a small range. It seems to vary by 10 beats or so. Is this just a pacing problem for me and I will get better at this as I do more MAF training?


                            I've been looking over the old posts here. Lots of info for me to digest.

                             

                             

                            are you finding it difficult to keep it in a small range when purely walking? is there any elevation in the course or is it flat?

                            wonder how your blood sugar would go if you were *running* under MAF (when you get to that point in building your fitness).

                               

                               

                              are you finding it difficult to keep it in a small range when purely walking? is there any elevation in the course or is it flat?

                              wonder how your blood sugar would go if you were *running* under MAF (when you get to that point in building your fitness).

                               it's pretty flat around here and all I'm doing is walking. I'm thinking I might try to speed up too fast to get to MAF?

                              For the blood sugars, it just occurred to me that when I run I try to have a fairly empty stomach so I try to wait an hour or 2 before a run but for walking I don't wait as long because it doesn't bother me to walk shortly after eating.

                              mta: I did see somewhere about not having carbs 3 hours prior to a workout but I haven't been following that.

                                Warming up is a key part of the program. Walk a pace that starts your HR out MAF --20 at most, then take at least 15 minutes to get to MAF -10, then another 5-15 minutes to get to MAF, depending on how long you plan to spend at MAF. The longer you plan to work out, take longer to get to MAF. For example, Warming up at a lower HR like this will enhance your fat-burning.

                                 

                                 

                                --Jimmy

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