Low HR Training


MAF test regression? (Read 326 times)

    Hi.  This is a great group, and looks like the right place for me to ask about my continually regressing MAF test pace.


    I started with the Maffetone Method back in December, and I improved dramatically through the end of March. But everything's gone horribly wrong since then.  I'm a 35 year-old guy who's been running exclusively at a 135-145 heart rate (180-age), trying to faithfully stick with the plan.   I stopped lifting weights, walked up steep hills, let everybody run right by me, and saw some great results.  Here's a list of dates of my MAF tests and the first mile time:


    12/21 13:04

    1/28 11:35

    2/18 10:55

    3/25 9:05

    4/10 9:33

    4/14 10:15

    4/21 10:33


    As you can see, I had tremendous progress at first.  But I've been regressing for a month now, and I can't figure out why.  Perhaps I increased my mileage too fast, especially regarding my long runs (I've increased my mileage by about 40% in this time).  Maybe it's a change in diet- I have been eating fewer carbs lately.  And it has gotten a little bit warmer, but can a 20° increase in temperature really lead to a 90 second/ mile regression?


    I'm definitely concerned that it may be overtraining.  Although my resting heart rate hasn't changed noticeably, I did get sick at one point in the beginning of the month, getting the same cold/flu that my kids and wife had.  Have any of you overtrained while staying exclusively aerobic?  Is there any way to be sure that that's what it is, aside from trying to self-diagnose my symptoms (and letting my inner hypochondriac run wild...)? 


    Just to be safe I've scaled back a lot on my running in the past two weeks, taking 5 days off in a row last week and running every other day since, for no more than an hour each time.  But my MAF test on Saturday, after taking the week off, was my worst one yet.  And I really haven't been feeling any better since then.  I know it's only a short time, of course, but I was hoping to see some kind of progress.  Yeah, I'm impatient sometimes...


    What would you guys do in this situation?  Have any of you dealt with this before? 

      The heat and humidity have slowed my pace by at least 1 minute per mile.  10:15 to 11:15 on some days.  Cooler mornings I run faster.  This might explain some of your slower pace.



        20° warmer with humidity difference can easily slow you by a minute. Whenever you see continued regression like this, cut back on volume until you see progress. Go back to the volume where you seeing progress. Was it less volume when you were at 9:05? Over the past few years, having moved to a much hotter place, I was really surprised to see that I could see continued progress on half the volume I used to run all the time. 


        Keep your long runs under 2-2.5 hours for now, and see what happens. 


        Also, think of 10:33 as your summer benchmark, and go from there. If you get back in the 9:00's in hot temps, you've made some real progress.



          Another great reason why you should try to do MAF tests in a controlled environment like on a treadmill in a heated/air conditioned room.


          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



            Another great reason why you should try to do MAF tests in a controlled environment like on a treadmill in a heated/air conditioned room.

             + 1en

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


               + 1en


              + (1en)2

              funny.  yes to the original + 1en from BT's post regarding the controlled environment. 

              2017 Goals:

              #1: Do what I can do (200+ training days, 200+ aerobic hours). 

              #2: Race shape (1/2 marathon, 2 half Ironmans, marathon)

              #3: Prepare for 2018