Low HR Training

1

Getting slower/weight training? (Read 376 times)

tr0ublegum


    Hi folks


    I’m a n00b. I am pretty sure I understand the science and application of LHR training. I’ve determined my 65-70% HR and have been dutifully running at this intensity for the past 4 weeks. I do understand that it takes longer than this to see significant improvement but I’m concerned that I’ve actually seen a worsening of my pace during this time.

     

    I’ve listed some times below. This is obviously NOT a complete list of my runs. Sometimes I didn’t take my iPhone so I had no way of tracking my pace, I just ran for around 45 minutes with my HRM. Below are the average paces of the ones I did track (all runs 3 miles).

     

    August 21 – 12m 22sec (conditions – mild to warm)

    August 22 – 13m 07sec (mild to warm)

    August 30 – 13m 29 sec (mild to warm)

    September 4 – 15m 13sec (warm)

    September 6  - 15m 5 sec (warm)

    September 18 – 14m 30 sec (mild)

    September 20 – 14m 54sec (mild to warm)

     

    So the slowest paces were in warm sunny weather which is no surprise and I wasn’t bothered about my tortoise-like pace on those days, as I knew what to expect. I’m just concerned about what appears to be a general trend of getting slower, not faster. I can’t understand why a month ago I was running at 12’22” pace and now I’m more than 2 mins/mile slower in similar conditions.

     

    Another thing to mention is that I’m only doing around 15 miles per week – I started running in Vibram FiveFingers about 2 months ago and am being careful not to do too much too soon.

     

    So, I’ve read some people saying that weight training will interfere with LHR training because it’s anaerobic (though some people seem to dispute this). I’ve been lifting weights 3 times per week (compound free weight exercises like squats and deadlifts) which is something I am not too keen to give up – it’s all part of being fit and healthy.


    I feel really good and have lost about 10lb in weight over the past 2 months of careful eating and training but I also want my aerobic pace to improve.


    Any thoughts please?

      Hi Troublegum

       

      Welcome.Cool

       

      A few questions:

       

      --what was your volume of time and miles before you started running at 65-70%?

      --why 65-70%?

      --when did you start weight-lifting?

      --have you lost that weight since you started running at 65-70%?

      --have you cut carbohydrates significantly?

       

      Regression like that can be:

       

      --too much anaerobic work

      --not enough aerobic volume (you detrain from lack of)

      --not enough carbs (you have put yourself into glycogen depletion)

      --overtraining

      --some other medical problem (anemia, heart, other deficiencies)

       

      Your 65-70% might be over your MAF, which would be considered anaerobic in this training.

       

      Look forward to your reply.

       

      --Jimmy

      log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

       

      tr0ublegum


        Hi Jimmy

         

        thanks for your reply and sorry for being slow to respond - I appreciate your help.

         

        --what was your volume of time and miles before you started running at 65-70%?

         

        Slightly more I guess but not big, maybe 15-20 miles.

         

        --why 65-70%?

         

        From a formula that I read based on my resting and max HR. It 'feels right' but do you think I should conduct a proper MAF test? Are there some good instructions for this that you  can recommend?

         

        --when did you start weight-lifting?

         

        Around the same time.

         

        --have you lost that weight since you started running at 65-70%?

         

        Yes.

         

        --have you cut carbohydrates significantly?


        Yes.

         

        OK, so I think I can see where this is heading Smile  I'd definitely appreciate your advice on how to make absolutely sure I'm training at the right intensity.

         

        Thanks again.

        tr0ublegum


          I just wanted to add a follow-up question about glycogen depletion. I understand that lowering my carb intake would reduce my stores of glycogen, but I thought in theory this would not matter, because training below MAF burns primarily fat? I’ve even read recommendations that you should not eat any carbs 3-4 hours before training.

           

          Obviously, this would assume that I am training at the correct intensity. Let’s say I ensure that I have determined the correct HR to train at, does my carb intake matter?

            I just wanted to add a follow-up question about glycogen depletion. I understand that lowering my carb intake would reduce my stores of glycogen, but I thought in theory this would not matter, because training below MAF burns primarily fat? I’ve even read recommendations that you should not eat any carbs 3-4 hours before training.

             

            Obviously, this would assume that I am training at the correct intensity. Let’s say I ensure that I have determined the correct HR to train at, does my carb intake matter?

             

            I've been gas tested (RQ-respiratory quotient---you wear a mask and a computer measures C02 output and is able to determine the ratio of fat to sugar one is burning) and was burning 62% fat to 38% sugar at MAF.  At 70% MHR (about MAF +7 beats), I was burning 57% fat, 43% sugar. Yes, you burn more fat than sugar at MAF, but you are still burning sugar (glycogen). If I burn 1000 calories during a run, approximately 380 calories of my aprox. 2000 calories of stored glycogen are getting burned. I've experimented with the two-week test and couldn't seem to get enough carbs. By the end of the week, my resting heart rate would be slightly elevated, and my speed at MAF would tank. At the end of two-weeks, everything had tanked.

             

            Depending on where your MAF truly is on your RQ scale, you could be burning more sugar than I was at the time. Your 65-70% MHR might be over your true MAF. You might not only be running on near fumes most of the time. Combine that with the weight training (burns a lot of sugar---anaerobic) and running over MAF---it could explain the regression. Sort of a perfect storm.

             

            Running over MAF isn't necessarily a bad thing---nor is lifting weights while training---it all depends what kind of aerobic shape you are in. If you are deficient to begin with, or have come to your current training load a bit overtrained, perhaps injured or have lots of sore spots, then regression is very much a possibility if you don't commit to a period of MAF or below training with no weight-lifting.

             

            With carb intake, you have to get enough. The % of your calories needs to be enough to replenish glycogen on a daily basis. Personally, I can't go below 50-55% without running into problems. On higher volumes, I edge closer to 60%. Others can go lower (but I've never seen anyone with experience recommend less than 40% carbs), some need a higher %. Find a way to figure out your needs. Fitday.com, a free food log, is a good way to track calories and the %carbs/fat/protein.

             

            Also, if you are going to use MHR for training, you have to be as accurate as possible in determining MHR. Don't use a formula. They can be off by as much as 10-20 beats either way. Which means your 70% could be closer to 75%+. The best way to find MHR is with intervals, hill repeats, or running as hard as you can after running for an hour or so. The end of races are the best. Whatever way you go, make sure you warm-up for a good long time.

             

            MAF tests are an important tool in any form of training. They don't lie. If your speed at MAF is going south---there's a problem somewhere.

             

            Hope this helps you to figure it out.

             

            --JImmyCool

            log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

             

              Excerpt of RQ Data from my test

              MHR aprox 200bpm

              MAF 134 bpm

               

              HR %MHR FAT% SUGAR%
              108 54% 100% 0%
              114 57% 91% 9%
              120 60% 81% 19%
              124 62% 67% 33%
              130 65% 65% 35%
              134 67% 62% 38%
              146 73% 50% 50%
              185 93% 0% 100%

              log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

               

              kopid905


                I don't think you'll ever come close to depleting your glycogen doing 15-20 miles a week.  Unless you do it all in one run.  So I wouldn't worry about that.

                 

                If you run 3 miles and burn half fat, you are only depleting ~150 calories of carbs.

                 

                Found an estimate of how much glycogen is stored in the body: The amount of glycogen stored in the liver ranges from 60 – 120 grams (250 – 500 calories) depending on the time of day and the carbohydrate content of the last meal.  Muscle holds relatively less glycogen but muscle mass is larger and so 200 – 500 mg (800 – 2000 calories) of glycogen is stored in the muscle a 150 lb man.

                tr0ublegum


                  Thank you guys.

                   

                  When I said I used a formula I didn't mean to suggest I didn't know my MHR - I've tested that and got up to 191 and my resting HR is 55.

                   

                  I know there are various ways of calculating your MAF and I used the one from 'Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot':

                   

                  191-55 = 136 (range)

                  136 x70% = 95.2

                  plus resting heart rate of 55 = 150.2

                   

                  So based on this my 70% HR is 150. As it happens, the 180 minus age formula comes out pretty close to this anyway (180-33 = 147). 

                   

                  I now understand the point that you need to burn some glycogen even during aerobic exercise. Maybe the lack of carbs plus the possible degradation from lifting heavy weights has caused my issue. My times suggest a poor level of aerobic fitness so I guess I need to forget the weights for a while, eat right and just put in the miles at MAF pace.

                  tr0ublegum


                    Another point, if I pay, about MAF testing.

                     

                    As I understand it a MAF test is simply running at MAF speed for say 3 miles and checking your pace (which should slow over the duration of the test, but overall improve with time).

                     

                    Some people say you shouldn't test too often - but I tend to track my runs using Nike+ which allows me to review my pace per mile for each mile at the end of my run - effectively each training run also becomes a MAF test. Is there any reason why this would be a bad idea?

                      Another point, if I pay, about MAF testing.

                       

                      As I understand it a MAF test is simply running at MAF speed for say 3 miles and checking your pace (which should slow over the duration of the test, but overall improve with time).

                       

                      Some people say you shouldn't test too often - but I tend to track my runs using Nike+ which allows me to review my pace per mile for each mile at the end of my run - effectively each training run also becomes a MAF test. Is there any reason why this would be a bad idea?

                       

                      Not a bad idea. Dr. Phil (Maffetone) suggests that the formal test be kept to every 3-4 weeks mainly for stress reasons. I guess he noticed some people would get stressed out come MAF test time. They'd become obsessed with progress. Abnormal stress is antithetical to aerobic health and stress.

                       

                      Any run that you do that is on the same course and run at MAF can give you vital information. If you run most of your runs at MAF, then essentially they are all MAF tests. You should see progress in pace on all these runs.

                       

                      I'm not sure I asked you about life stress. Abnormally high stress that goes on for too long can decimate your aerobic pace. Regression such as yours is not uncommon if stress has gone through the roof.

                       

                      I have Heart Rate Training For The Compleat Idiot---good book. I like the personal stories inside. Sometimes, I use his heart rate suggestion for medium long and long runs when I have finished my MAF base period. My 70% is 153 bpm and my 180-age is 129. Big difference for me.

                       

                      In interviews, Dr. Phil has talked about the importance of sticking to MAF or below during the base period. He's seen some runners regress who would often go over MAF by a few beats or more during runs. What you can get away with all depends on the state of the runner's body (and his or her life stress levels) coming into the training. The adjustments he gives in calculating your MAF are based on graphs of RQ tests. The MAF deflection point can move north or south depending on the health and state of the runner's aerobic system. A runner who is healthy, has developed a healthy aerobic system, and has been seeing great progress in aerobic pace and race times will have an MAF at a higher heart rate than the 180-age. Those who are injured, stressed, over-trained, under-trained, etc. would have lower MAF's than the 180-age. Some of these people's RQ's were so bad, their resting RQ (energy metabolism at rest) would be nearly 90% sugar.  Check this out.

                       

                      Based on the answer to my questions, If you're not abnormally stressed out, the most likely causes of your regression are too much anaerobic work (anything over MAF is considered anaerobic in MAF training and weight-training is also anaerobic) and not enough aerobic volume (MAF and below). Making sure you get enough carbs is important. There is a point where you either are under-doing it or over-doing it.

                       

                      Keeping everything at or below MAF is important during the base period, but you have to build your volume as well. Consider increasing the time on your feet  a little each week (5% is a healthy, safe rate).

                       

                      --JimmyCool

                      log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #143

                       

                        Just to add to Jimmy's post, may MAF is 12-13 beats lower then the 70% HR number and I can feel a big difference in effort and stress on my body between the two.

                         

                        To me a MAF Test needs to be in an enviroment that you can control as close as possible. For me its at the gymm preferrably on the same dreadmill so I can keep the variables down to a minimum. Track the temp and humidity in the room if you can.

                         

                        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

                         

                        2014 Goals:

                         

                        Stay healthy

                        Enjoy life

                         

                          I'm also new to low HR training and running in general.

                           

                          When I started out with my HRM I was using the same method you were using.  70% of my Max HR.  Reading on the internet I came up with the same exact formula you did and actually calculated my target HR within 1 beat of yours.   My max at the time was 188 - 60 resting HR = 128 X 70% = 89 + 60 = 149.  This is actually not 70% of my Max HR though.  It is 70% of my HRR, or Heart Rate Reserve. 

                           

                          After about 4 1/2 months of that I switched to running at MAF instead which for me is 136.  (180 - my age).  70% of my true Max HR also happens to be 136.  My Max HR is now 194 so 70% of it is 136.  Pretty simple.  (As I've gained fitness I've been able to increase my Max HR that I can achieve, I hit 194 at the finish to my half marathon, I've hit 193 a couple other times at the finish of races as well).

                           

                          I put in 3 months of base building at MAF and saw results.  Running at low HR is greatly affected by temperature and humidity though.  Running on a cool crisp morning vs. a sunny humid afternoon can change my pace by well over a minute.  Even at the same temperature, running in humid conditions vs. dry conditions can affect my pace quite a bit. 

                           

                          My thoughts are that you are possibly losing some fitness going from running 15 - 20 mpw at a faster pace to 15 mpw at a slower pace.

                           

                          I would say to really build up your base and see significant positive results you would need to put in 20 - 25 mpw at a low HR pace, but preferably even more.

                           

                          Most of the folks doing low HR training are putting in some significant weekly mileage.  I was worried that 25mpw wouldn't be enough to see much improvement although it has for me.  I'm up closer to 30 mpw now, but even more mileage would be better.  The more mileage you put in the faster you are going to increase your endurance. (within reason and not jumping up the miles rapidly but slowly increasing them) . 

                           

                          Also check your HRM and make sure you aren't getting any spikes that are messing up your avg HR.  In dry conditions static electricity can spike your HRM and really mess things up.  Sometimes I have to lick my fingers and wet my chest strap during a run to get it to read correctly.

                           

                          Lastly, take my advice with a grain of salt.  I've barely been running a year and only been using a HRM for 9 months.

                           

                          Good luck.

                          Age: 45 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                          Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27