Low HR Training

my many weird questions about LHR training - or my case study, hehe. (Read 1839 times)


    you are quite right. now MAF-10 feels right too. I've actually only done 2 sessions at MAF-10, first one was sometimes a bit difficult mentally but second one went very easy! both were very easy on the legs. and this is with a pace that my MAF pace used to be a few weeks ago (better now).


    to be honest, after this 2nd workout it seems there is no difference between MAF and MAF-10 except that my legs have to push a little bit harder at MAF (nothing very hard, mind you, it's still just 11-12m/m pace.)


    is that normal for these 2 HR zones to feel the same?


    my guess is that both are under the HR limit that would start producing a little bit of lactate so that's why they feel the same to me. also, at MAF-10 I experience virtually no slow down in pace while keeping the HR the same. (tried this for 6+ miles so far.)

    I experience no real slow down at the MAF HR either but at MAF-10 it is just crazy even paced.


    anyway I accidentally got 45miles done for the last week. oops. way too easy to get the miles in at MAF and MAF-10 now Surprised




    Oops.. I just ran 150k this week by accident--oops, how did that happen? Funny.


    As you know, I have three zones going at MAF and below. The recovery (MAF-20 to MAF-15) and the

    long run (MAF -15 to MAF) feel the same. The MAF test feels a bit more stressful. There is a slight difference

    in my breathing. Ever so slight. Since MAF is on that line between pure aerobic and slight anaerobic, it's understandable.


    Keep going!





      Oops.. I just ran 150k this week by accident--oops, how did that happen? Funny.


      As you know, I have three zones going at MAF and below. The recovery (MAF-20 to MAF-15) and the

      long run (MAF -15 to MAF) feel the same. The MAF test feels a bit more stressful. There is a slight difference

      in my breathing. Ever so slight. Since MAF is on that line between pure aerobic and slight anaerobic, it's understandable.


      Keep going!




      did you really do 150k this week? that's neat. for me this 45mile-week sounds quite formidable! I guess I'll just have to get used to the thought. Smile I'll keep going but keep watching out if my joints etc. are holding up okay.


      about your zones: I have a question. I noticed that you start from a very low HR and keep even pace and let the HR go up until it reaches MAF. my question is, shouldn't the HR stay the same at the same pace for a long while because the HR is way below the lactate threshold? this is my experience at MAF and below MAF, I don't know why yours is different, maybe at a very very low HR (MAF minus 15-20bpm) it can't keep as steady as at a bit higher HR? I've yet to try MAF-15 or MAF-20 running so I don't know, just guessing.


      as for breathing: previously I'd never seen any changes in my breathing if comparing MAF and MAF-10 (not that I ran much at minus 10). since my last pace improvement at MAF, if I'm going uphill I noticed I need a little bit more oxygen than previously. btw, my pace uphill improved even more than on flat surface. interesting in any case.


      other than that I see no difference between MAF-10 and MAF... not stressful at all, pace is slightly better at MAF of course.


      if the definition of MAF is the line between aerobic and anaerobic, I'd really go for some value between 158-163bpm... however, my MAF is 153 (180-age). and if MAF needs to be a little stressful, it should be 163 for me i.e. +10 bpm. on the other hand, this 153 should be better to allow for some error margin Smile I know from experience that I can't keep running at 163 every day without wearing myself down a bit.

         That is the beauty of maffing. If racing, you will need to do 2 anaerobic workouts a month to prevent a loss of speed. I like doing hills. Up or down depends on how I feel. Uphill requires a little more energy.


        yeah, pure beauty! Smile

        for some reason I didn't experience a loss of speed when going into race session from pure MAF phase. well maybe the MAF period just wasn't long enough Smile

        I love hills too!!! especially now that I can actually RUN uphill at MAF, no walking at all and it's not the slowest possible pace, i.e. I have some reserves to go slower if I wanted to! this is true even if the hill is 7-8% grade! Smile so I will keep doing uphill runs, for sure.


        anyway, this recommendation about 2 anaerobic workouts per month, you didn't mean it for base building period, did you? within a few weeks, I will probably add Hadd style LT moving runs (at 158-163 bpm), that's still quite aerobic.

          just some updates.


          1) I did some sort of a Hadd training over the summer. in hindsight I realize I may have done a few things different from what Hadd really meant but it's hard to understand that disorganized document right. =P


          my thoughts on it:


          - base HR should have been 145-149 (allowing up to 150-152). this is basically just below MAF, with MAF as a ceiling that's not meant to be touched. but easier to just do a 145-149 zone without worrying getting too close to ceiling. this zone ensures no HR drift for about 1.5 hours. did not have to ever practice that, it just came naturally (i.e the no drift). --- my problem was: Hadd says 140-144 for base and I just couldn't get myself to do that regularly. so I did MAF runs regularly instead, i.e. I was keeping around the 153 number. I guess this is not too far off the 145-149 though.

          - frequency perhaps more important than long runs. well, 1 long run / week is okay out of the box, but otherwise, should probably build up the mileage in a way that you first run as many days as possible, if needed, then keep runs under 90mins at first try. then increase a bit or do doubles for the easy runs when maxing out mileage with the one run/day approach. --- my problem was: I had extra rest days and to make up for that I made some runs really long. i.e. runs for 1:40 hr:mins were not uncommon.

          - ILTHR would have been okay at 155-159 for first few weeks. --- my problem was: introducing 160-164 right away seemed too much for keeping endurance (i.e. no HR drift) at MAF intensity. this did not affect anything below MAF (145-149 or 140-144) though. but I dunno, because otherwise the 160 HR is pretty low intensity. I did see a little improvement in keeping pace in this zone.

          - ILTHR probably should not involve slowing the pace. for 160-164 for example, start at 160, keep pace until it goes beyond 165 significantly then stop for that day. just my guess that this would be better. Hadd document wasn't particularly clear to me on this.



          2) readiness for exclusive low HR training. by readiness I mean ready to realize improvements from the training within 6 weeks and then continue to realize even more. by exclusive I mean HR always kept low, never above a ceiling. can be MAF or Hadd base building or anything but must be low enough.


          now, my thoughts on this is that it could be possible someone is not ready for this yet. right now as I see this, it could be an advanced way of training. actually the Hadd way always seemed like that to me. so I didn't want to try it for a long time...then I somehow felt like doing that, so I did but yeah a bit too advanced for me right now. perhaps the same could be said of the MAF way of training.


          what I mean here is, it seems the people who got a few months/years of hard training at high intensities behind them seem to be the ones who quickly realize benefits from low HR training. by quick I mean within/at 6 weeks. I don't have any such months behind me and so my body never seemed very ready to get the benefits in pace improvements beyond bringing the low HR pace in line with higher HR paces (which is something but not the same thing - it was done and over in the first week or so).


          looking back over this year (2010) in my running: I seem to have benefited the most so far from this training: a lot of low HR and a few high HR runs here and there, about once a week if including the races (less, if not), and quite disorganized, i.e. never planned it out what kind of faster run this would be. there was interval, tempo, hill, race, whatever. my body was really crazy waiting for those high intensity workouts and would readily realize the benefits within 6 weeks. this was that paces got better at every HR including MAF HR but I did not increase endurance much beyond that which left me wanting more. these months were when I was doing the races. and during those months, the low HR runs were mostly like padding to make the mileage high, and these low intensity runs kept my energy very high all the time, sometimes I would feel too much energy, and then I would just go and run up the hill at the house as hard as I could, like, I would be at vo2max by the end of it, and stuff like that (even if I had already done like a 90-100min run at low HR that day). on the other hand, when I didn't organize my training like that, i.e. fewer fast runs (less than one per week), then no change in 6 weeks. I was still full of energy and whatnot, and the sole reason I didn't make my runs longer was that I wanted to make sure I didn't wreck my joints (asphalt/concrete running). no other limits to the length of runs. still, it somehow didn't seem enough for my body to do something.


          anyway, what I'm thinking is that at this point I need higher intensity base. after that perhaps the lower HR training will also provide proper base building on top of that higher intensity base.


          I find all this looking back very interesting and it's fun to draw conclusions from the experiences Smile

          Consistently Slow

            Do you weight/ strength train? Give it a try to burn of any excess energy

            Run until the trail runs out.

             SCHEDULE 2016--

             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

            unsolicited chatter


              Do you weight/ strength train? Give it a try to burn of any excess energy



              nope, that sort of stuff bores me to death...


              only these higher HR workouts will help :P


              btw if I wasn't being clear enough, this long post in a nutshell is that so far mixed training worked better for me. especially if it is very mixed: very low and very high intensities.


              only one thing missing there, it didn't yet build endurance for longer distances. but at least I 've got faster, which is good enough for now Smile


              so, soemtime in future, at a point where I'm fast enough (a base of carbohydrate burning before fat burning), I'm hoping that pure low HR base building will give me results more readily i.e. my body will more readily improve on endurance on the long distances

                I think I can put a finger on this now a bit better but still wondering how it all works.


                for me MAF HR was (still is) at a very low vo2max pace so the definitely wasn't stimulating vo2max, but that is obviously not the goal of LHR training anyway. I assume the goal is increasing MAF HR pace to get closer to vo2max pace.


                however my body wasn't quite getting how it needed to respond. looking back and analyzing my training, all the improvements in my MAF pace came from times when I did faster runs that stimulated vo2max to increase - those mixed periods with lots of MAF and some other faster runs at the same time. that obviously increases all paces at all HR's (but will not do much for endurance).


                the one thing I do not fully understand is why the endurance response wasn't being elicited at all. MAF pace too slow? in that case, maybe have to work on that from a higher point which means runs would be still slow but not as slow as the pace at MAF HR. somewhat higher HR than MAF. after that's done and response is maxed out and if more endurance improvements are needed, I guess a very low HR, like MAF or Hadd base HR, which is lower than MAF HR for me, could also be useful. something like the Hadd toothpaste but from the other direction Smile

                I don't have any theory basis for this idea, it just sounds interesting to me.


                anyway, right now my focus is elsewhere (getting faster). but it will be interesting to see how endurance can be improved in future, what method will work for it.