Low HR Training


Seriously, is this going to work? (Read 773 times)


    Yestaday was my first attempt at LHR running, and I have to say it was one of the most challenging runs ever. I started running again 12 months ago after a 25 year layoff (work, family, TV Wink) doing the usual stuff of running for distance/time. My only goals were racing in a 5 miler this past February and a 5k a month ago. I had been able to work up to 10 miles at just under a 9 min/mi pace, until I injured my knee (overuse) trying to build speed for the 5k. I have only run once, the 5k, due to the injury, in 7 weeks until last night. Last week a friend told me about LHR running as a possible solution to coping with my knee so I can compete in a 1/2M late this year. I came across this forum, the blog, and the other links and digested as much as I could and came away pretty excited that LHR might work. It's been over 4 weeks since the 5k, and the knee hurts a little, but felt I could put in an easy 3 miles at my MAF (137 unadjusted, -5 for injured knee, so target of 132). Shocked OMG, once I started "running" after a warmup, my garmin alarm went off and only stopped when I slowed down to a brisk walk. It was everything in my power to run and keep the HR below 140. Here are the stats on my run... Mile Pace AvgHR MaxHR 1 13:05 136 141 2 14:21 135 143 3 14:59 138 145 Temp in the low 80s, dew point in the low 60s. No carbs (or food of anykind) for at least 3 hours prior. I never felt tired, barely broke a sweat, and other than for the knee, I could have gone on, and on, and on... Is it realistic to expect to find it hard to keep my HR below 132 in the beginning? I mean I couldn't run slower without walking to get what I did, and this is a very flat run. Since my average/max HR were over MAF, did i waste my time building my aerobic base since I was technically in an anaerobic mode? Of course, all this could be moot since the knee probably needs another 2-4 weeks. I am feeling more pain than before the run. While the temptation/desire is to keep running/building the base, I don't want to jeapordize my longer-term goals of a 1/2M. What are your experiences with overuse knee injuries and LHR running? Thanks for a great forum and for the tons of useful information. -Brett
      I am a neophyte, so others will be able to address particulars much better than I, but... 1. Yes, you will find it difficult keeping it below your MAF early on, esp. w/ the -5 and the summer temps. I don't know much about it, but you will hear about 'dew point' as you consider LHT more and this is a major factor in slowing you down. Early on, the testimony of many is the difficulty of slowing down. 2. Time will time for me whether this is really going to work. As of now, I like the way I feel after a run, as you said, I feel like I could keep going, am relatively fresh, etc. Given that, it is worth a 6 month trial period, at least, because I am not breaking any records as it is, I am looking to be in better health, shape, & to lose some weight, which seems to be happening.
        I say in the summer months drop the -5. Seriously. If you can hold "MAF" during 60+ dew points, then you are doing well on many angles.
          Hello WEB1723. I thought I would jump in and say welcome because I have certainly walked . . . er . . . run in your shoes. You will find that there are a lot of knowledgeable and helpful folks here. I have only been hanging out in this group since February when I revolutionized my running program in favor of MAF. While I can't speak specifically about your knee problem, I can offer my own experience. Prior to getting into MAF, I was the typical running newbie who started running at way too fast a pace without first building a solid foundation. During that time, though, I was able to build my mileage up to around 15 to 20 miles per week including a long run of 8 to 10 miles each Sunday and was very fortunate not to experience an injury. Although my pace was pretty slow by most standards - it still is for that matter - the big problem for me was that I was always feeling really beat up physically. While I hadn't developed any real injuries, I was always dealing with the sore knee, stiff hammies, achy achilies, pulled quadraceps. I could go on and on ad nauseum. However, once I discovered the wonderful world of MAF, everything started making sense. While I am still in my base building phase, I feel that I am improving pacewise - be it ever so gradual. But, by running slower and avoiding the aches and pains, I have been able to increase my mileage pretty substantially compared with what I could have done during the pre-MAF days. Don't let the early difficulties beat you. If you stay with it and follow the advice of Jimmy and Jesse and the others, it will start paying off. By the way, you might want to consider sharing your data from your running log. Those in the group who are past the newbie stage can certainly offer a lot of insight just from reviewing your data.

          I intend to live forever . . . or die trying.

            I can definitely relate to this thread. Congratulations Teger on your progress and sticking to it. I remember your posts from when you first started and now you are many months into it and you can see the progress from your log. The biggest value I have seen from MAF training and everything I have learned from this site, is how to train and run optimally keeping that fine balance between injury/overtraining and training hard enough to see results. As we get older, there is so much less room for error. When I was younger, all the things I did wrong back then, were not that much of a problem, because I was just able to recover much better. So, I am still enjoying MAF running very much. Just recently I have mixed in a once per week tempo run, and I am enjoying that. I have run just one 5k race since I started MAF in December 07. I want to run some more. I have not had the opportunity to increase mileage like would have liked, because of time contraints. But, I am in no hurry to progress. I will get there in due time. I no longer experience the annoying HR monitor alarm going off now, because I have gone above MAF. It took a couple of months. I learned that starting much slower is better for controlling HR drift. I started in the winter, so it was easier to control. When the hot weather came, it was like starting all over again with the alarm going off. I think I am now acclimated. So, I can imagine it must be hard to be new at it, and at the same time to start running at this time of year. Good Luck.

            El Presidente

              I started in the winter, so it was easier to control. When the hot weather came, it was like starting all over again with the alarm going off.
              Which is where I am right now. I began MAF training 12 weeks ago and my pace has slowed dramatically over that period of time mainly due to rising temperatures. While I understand the reason for the slower pace, it is still frustrating considering I was running a minute/mile faster when I started MAF training.

              "I train conservatively so that I can race recklessly."


                When I started I was in the same boat, my average pace was about 9:30 which to me felt unbearably slow, but this was hightened by the fact that before I started low heart rate training I always went out on my easy runs too fast evidently. Stick with it, in time you will get faster, and on some days, you may not even feel up to going at MAF pace. My MAF test today revealed my average pace over 4 miles of 7:34 so it goes to show tht with time you will defintely improve.

                "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

                  Brett-- Initially, running at MAF may be helpful in that your injury will heal faster at MAF paces versus something faster. Once your knee is pain free, you should be able to build gradually back to the distances you were running. It may take many months, but once your body starts to learn to burn fat more efficiently you will be able to accomplish things you never thought possible. I am cheating now with the high temperatures & dewpoints. I am doing a lot of hill work since that seems to be my biggest weakness. I am seeing significant progress on long inclines in the past month, progress I never would have seen without some sort of aerobic fat-burning base.
                    Brett, It WILL work!!! I have using Maff for about 6 or 7 months. At first it was very frustrating and difficult to keep my heart rate down. I often walked during some of my runs and thought that I was doing nothing positive for my running. I would get back from some of my runs and have tons of energy thinking that I did nothing during the slow run. My Maff test times dropped from 12 minute average mile to just under 9 minute average mile. And most of my runs are now at a normal pace (9:00 - 9:30) where I do not have to look at my heart rate monitor every second. I look back from a year ago and I would run pretty much the same pace, but at a higher heart rate. I also ran a 3 mile race a month ago and ran a minute faster than I have ever before. I have noticed some of my times going a little higher due to the heat and humidity, my best advice would be try to run earlier or later. I usually run around noon, but that has now changed to either 7am or 8pm. I can imagine that it would be more difficult to build a base during the heat and humidity. I would have to say that each runner needs to look at what there short term and long term goals are. If your short term goal is to finish some sort of race (5k, half marathon, etc...) and if your long term goal is to run forever and be healthy, this type of training is for you.


                      Hang in there - it will work! I've been doing it since April 21. Like you, I started off with miles in the 11, 12, 13 minute paces to keep my HR under 143. Now I'm in the 10s most of the time.

                        Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's out there, and thanks for the comments, advice and encouragement. I did a second MAF run Saturday around noon. The temp was in the upper 80's and the dewpoint in the 60s again. I went 4 miles this time with an average pace about 30 seconds slower. Because of the temp, I couldn't keep my HR at 137 at all, but that was the only time I had to run that day. Oh, the knee has just a little bit of soreness, so I am very pleased to be able run again on a more consistent basis. I'd be glad to share my log, if someone can point me to how I can display it under my screen name.

                        Hawt and sexy

                          Yes, it will work. Open log by clicking on options up in the top right corner. I think it's under preferences.

                          I'm touching your pants.

                            web, I ran yesterday and today. Yesterday, I ran 5 miles at a 10:46 pace due to the heat. Today, with a nice steady ran during the last 5 or so miles of my run, I ran at an average of 10:14, so almost half a minute better over another 3 miles due to the weather, I believe, although the dew point was actually higher today than yesterday per wunderground. It definitely felt cooler today, however. Does this seem reasonable to the more experienced?
                              I posted this in another, but it answers the question: 1 Month Ago my times: Saturday Mile 1 9:36 Mile 2 10:03 Mile 3 10:06 On Tuesday Mile 1 - 8:54 Ave HR - 147 Mile 2 - 9:04 Ave HR - 148 Mile 3 - 9:25 Ave HR - 148 So, yes, it works. It is, however, the difference between the tortoise and the hare, kind of. I was so excited when I saw this improvement.
                                I'm glad you're enjoying this program, but at the risk of being a downer, I'm not sure I buy that your 4 weeks of running 25 miles made a significant difference. I'll bet there were other factors. 40 seconds/mile is a big deal and my experience is that it takes at least 200-250 miles of training to see real change. I get frustrated when I see posts like "I've been at this for a month now and I'm getting slower" or some such thing. It's unrealistic to expect the kind of change you're talking about. This is a loooong term program. I'll bet that other factors contributed significantly to your improvement. Sorry if I'm a wet blanket here, and I'm truly happy that you're feeling good about this program. I just don't want people to look at your numbers and think "oh man, why not me?"