run48 - A magician never reveals his secrets.... (ha ha)
To recap: My marathon training last year was a blast, but it was driven primarily by the extremely short amount of time I had available to train. The "bug" bit me, and I made the decision to race less than 70 days before the marathon, and my longest run at that time was about 10 miles. I have the advantage of extreme schedule flexibility, so I did my long runs on a 10 or 11 day cycle. Weekly would have been too much, bi-weekly would have been too little. The long runs were the focus of the training and those were run completely by feel. They were "high aerobic" runs and very Lydiard-inspired. One day a week was rest, and the other days were all sub-MAF runs with a heart rate monitor and only about 45 minutes or so in duration. They were about 12 m/m. Just as a goof I threw in a few "Yasso 800" workouts on day 5 of the cycle, but only when I felt really strong. There was a good bit of weight loss too - intermittent fasting and carb-free long runs were my friends. My taper was driven by circumstance - family vacation. I radically cut the mileage but ramped up the intensity a lot. My runs were things like 2 miles in 12:15-12:30 all the way up to 10-K in sub 42, but I was only running every other day. So, the training was probably closest to Lydiard - lots of aerobic running, regular long steady state runs, short anaerobic phase to peak. I also got lucky - caught a great race day weatherwise, and I was mentally perfect. Basically I believed in my training and knew I could do it. Everything came together.
About a month after that I ran a half-marathon with a running buddy on a chilly, rainy day. Too much, too soon. Got sick and was out for several weeks. This was a time where I did some work on my stationary bike. During the half marathon build up, though, my buddy mentioned he wanted to run a marathon PR at Marine Corps in October and asked me to pace him. I agreed and signed up. It was only after I promised to help him and plunked down the cash that I learned he wanted to do the FIRST training program. I thought it was a bad idea but indulged him. Surprisingly, the interval workouts were the easiest, but the long runs were brutal in the summer heat. Ended up badly overtrained and dying at the end of our one and only 20 miler. That resulted in a drastic taper of almost no running. MCM went well - I was fine through the race and my buddy got his PR. I was over 10 minutes slower than my spring marathon - part was pacing but part was lost fitness. I'd not have equaled my spring performance even if I'd be running my best.
During the winter I wanted to add some muscle and started lifting some heavy weights. Got too heavy too quickly and badly hurt my shoulder. Couldn't run for another several weeks.
So yes, significant fitness has been lost in a year. MAF is a checkpoint for me to monitor what's going on. That said, my training is not pure Maffetone by any stretch. My diet is close to what Dr. Phil recommends, but my training zones are probably closer to Stu Mittleman's. I calculate my MAF as 135 (180-40-5), but I find the MEP experience Mittleman describes goes from about 140 to 150. Just for kicks this week, I did a 4 mile MAF test on a flat, paved surface. Rare around here and something I don't normally run on. My pace was just about 11 m/m. Normally I run on dirt trails and my MAF pace there is closer to 12:30 m/m. I ran my 2009 marathons in the range of 8-8:30 m/m, so there is still a deep drop off between my MAF pace and my marathon pace.
Right now I am registered for the XTERRA half marathon in Richmond as my next competition. My training right now is not where it needs to be. I am floating a little aimlessly and need some direction.
After all that I've still got more to say???? Well, yes.
Just to be clear, in case it wasn't, the personal training I do for myself is not strictly "by the book" Maffetone style training, and a lot of the advice I give other runners here is to train much more strictly "by the book" than I do myself. I think it is entirely appropriate and fair for everyone to evaluate what I write and suggest in that light. That's why I use page citations so often: to indicate where I'm drawing information from.
However, while I think it's fair to question my advice based on my current training, I don't want to suggest that I haven't "walked the walk," so to speak. I spent my initial phase of LHR training in a much stricter "by the book" Maffetone based system, but that was starting in late 2002, long before I first found this group. After a really bad Chicago marathon experience in fall 2002 (I ran a good time for me but shattered myself doing it) I spent a period of nearly a year doing just MAF work I've continued to experiment on myself and tweak my training and diet. My race times have not improved for all of my tweaking but my experience has - my spring 2009 marathon was just 4 minutes slower than than that bad Chicago one on a much tougher course. I felt a million times better after last spring (and even last fall's MCM) than I did then. So, I'm 8 years older and running about as fast and feeling a million times better. I will also note that after (I thought) adopting the "pure" Maffetone system my race times really slowed - to the tune of a PW marathon in 2004 that was about 50 minutes slower than my bad 2002 race. This is NOT a fault of the system - rather my implementation was bad. I was still training too much and not moderating stress well.
So what I think is that we are all individual "experiments of one." I believe that if you are experiencing problems with your running, then "The Maffetone Method" is the best way to get yourself back on track. However (and by this I mean no disrespect to Dr. Maffetone or his work) I don't think you can simply sit back and rely on the 180- formula to do it all. "The Maffetone Method" is based on constant feedback and evaluation - MAF tests and otherwise. Use his system as a baseline by all means, but don't be afraid to tweak it or modify it as your experience and intuition suggest to improve your health and fitness. That's why I think your Lydiard-style experiment is a good one right now, run48.
Heck, there are times when "The Method" would suggest you should bust out of the 180- mold and go anaerobic (though it's probably for a lot less and a lot shorter than you'd otherwise think). I just don't think you can know how, when, or whether to "tweak" things unless you first spend a good block of time with the basics, and for me that's Maffetone. And if you start seeing regression or problems then hustle back to the basics pronto.
Here's an example: The bike work i did last spring was a tweak. It helped. Using Stu Mittleman's recommendations on zone setting is a "tweak" if you do it honestly. Lydiard-style training or Mark Allen's stuff can be a "tweak" but requires some additional recovery when you come down from the "peak." On the other hand the FIRST based training I did last fall was not a "tweak." My heavy weight lifting was not a "tweak." Those were departures. Think it's a coincidence that they resulted in significant setbacks?
it was very interesting stuff you wrote about!
can I ask you to describe the mittleman zone setting test? I would be really thankful, I couldn't find a description of it yet and I'm really curious
as for MAF testing, I feel currently most of my runs are MAF tests except for the uphill part in the hilly course because there I mix walking and running so cannot evaluate anything until I can switch to continuous running even uphill (though being able to switch would already be a test showing big improvement, hehe).
I think now I know from experience what you mean by "if you are experiencing problems with your running, then "The Maffetone Method" is the best way to get yourself back on track"!
Parlez vous francais? Un resume du livre "Slow Burn" en trois parties. Aussi peut-etre cherchez: MAP MEP SAP. Bonne chance!
oops, here is a great excuse to start and learn french finally! many thanks for the link, I will get it translated one way or the other.
Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k
Interesting hr discussions. Might as well throw in my numbers to really mess things up! My measured max hr is 137, maybe 140 but we didn't hit it when tech shut the dreadmill off. That is drug induced because I am post heart attack and am on numerous heart, bp, cholesterol meds, and in fact have been changing meds the last 6 weeks. Due to bp getting high again and attempt to use generics to lower costs while we find the right mix again.
My resting hr is 48 (+/-3), hangins around the house, etc about 55-60 Sitting in car driving, 55-65, warm up walk, will hit 80-2 then drop like a rock and hold at 75-80 while walking up 2% incline. Have been using a maf=107 for most of my training, 180-63-10 for meds. At first I did a lot of running at maf-10 and -20 for easy days in order to increase to 6s/wk, 6 hrs/day, 2 hrs on long day. Didn't see pace improvement at maf tests. Thought about increasing maf to 112, but that gets it to 80% of max. Have done more running in 102-107 with drifts to 112 and have seen improvement. Although since adding a calcium channel blocker, Amlodipine (Norvasc), it feels like things have changed and are puzzling.
So like G-Money said- experiment of 1! Am trying to find a new target hr for most runs. Will run a maf=107 test this week to see if that holds and what pace it yields. Then tweak from there. Am liking lhr to much to change training approach at this point. Will continue base building and hr tweaking.
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.
I quickly learned enough french (thanks google ) to read that link but it does not seem to describe this test. it does describe what the MAP MEP SAP zones are though.
bobev: yeah, if I were you I would definitely not give up LHR as it seems best for the heart as well (I read you had a heart attack)! interesting experiment going on there, I'm curious to see your results.
a few days ago I tried walking 0.25mile running 0.25mile and so on and it killed my legs for running!
I suppose this depends on the individual