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Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running

 

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charris

Jan 27, 09 22:33

Post #1 of 38 (17776 views)
Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running Quote | Reply

From time to time, threads come up on these subjects and I'm always reminded of a section from Noakes' Lore of Running (Fourth Edition) - I think it's a great book and a fascinating read. But on the off chance that you won't all rush out and buy it on my recommendation, I asked him for permission to post this entire excerpt on Slowtwitch and he graciously said yes. Enjoy!

PS: I scanned and OCR'd this but only did a quick poofread – apologies in advance for any errors.


Mark Allen
From "Lore of Running, Fourth Edition" by Timothy D. Noakes, MD, DSc
(p.454-460)

All of the athletes included in this chapter achieved exceptional success in their sport. For many, the duration of their success was relatively short. Their stories tell much about the factors that exhaust the body prematurely. At the other extreme are those athletes whose careers defy the normal. One such runner was Bruce Fordyce, whose repeated successes in the demanding Comrades Marathon will probably never be equaled. Californian Mark Allen is another athlete whose dominance of his sport, the 226-km Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, arguably the toughest one-day endurance event in the world, was quite exceptional.

The experiences of Fordyce, Allen, and the third member of this trio of uniquely successful ultradistance athletes, Ann Trason, presented subsequently, provide additional information on approaches to training and racing that can ensure an especially long and productive racing career.

Allen's athletic career started in 1968, at age 10, when he began swimming competitively. For the next 12 years, he followed a regimented training program based on the simple philosophy of "Do more faster—if I could just train more yardage, and train faster, then I would most certainly race faster. Or so I thought" (Maffetone 1996, p. 9). This is reminiscent of Frank Stampfl's "Try harder still." Allen concluded that his results from this training program were mediocre at best. "Do more faster really only worked for those so talented that their genetics were going to override the lunacy of their training and take them on to greatness anyway" (Allen 1996, p. 9).

Allen's conversion from a burned-out swimmer to the world's best triathlete began in 1981 when he watched Julie Moss, the athlete who would later become his wife, crawl dramatically to the finish of that year's Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon race. Within days, he decided to try the triathlon, entering his first standard triathlon. Finishing fourth in a demanding event for which he had not trained, he learned two crucial facts. First, he discovered that he had a natural ability in this sport. The three athletes finishing ahead of him in that race were the three best in the world at that time—Dave Scott, Scott Molina, and Scott Tinley. Second, he learned that the triathlon race was not over until the finish line. In all his swimming races, he had learned that once he fell behind, he could not improve his position Hence, he had become programmed to failure. Yet, in his very first triathlon he had discovered that perseverance would be rewarded. By being more patient, he had been able to repass close to the finish those runners who had passed him earlier.

At that time, his training continued to be based on the old "Do more faster" model. His results were again unpredictable, in part because, unlike the non-weight bearing sport of swimming, the weight-bearing component of running introduced an additional damaging component.

Allen's career as a full-time professional triathlete began in 1983 when he entered his first Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, having won his first triathlon, the Horny Toad Half—Ironman in San Diego, in 1982. In the same year, he won the Nice International Triathlon Championships. His record in the Nice and Hawaiian triathlons is a record unmatched and perhaps unmatchable, as Allen became the world's best triathlete at the standard (51.6 km), intermediate, and Ironman distances for more than a decade. He won 66 of the 96 races that he entered, finishing in the top three in 90% of his races. Between 1988 and April 1991, he was unbeaten in 20 races. He was also the first-ever winner of the International Triathlon Union World Olympic Distance Triathlon in Avignon, France, in 1989, and he is the only triathlete to have won the Triple Crown, with victories in Zofingen, Nice, and Hawaii in the same year (1993). His 15-year career as a professional triathlete ended with his final Hawaiian Ironman victory in 1995, at age 37. His consistent success is reminiscent of the domination that Paavo Nurmi achieved in distance running in the 1920s. Indeed, it may be appropriate to suggest that Allen is to the triathlon what Nurmi was to distance running in the 1920s.

Another turning point in Allen's career was in 1984, when he met Phil Maffetone, an applied kinesiologist who suggested that Allen was training too hard to be continually successful in the medium to long term. Accordingly, he proposed that Allen should train less hard for a period of up to three months each year. Using the Maffetone formula (chapter 5), Allen was encouraged to train at a heart rate of 150 beats per minute for the first three months of each new training year. Using this approach, Allen's performances became more consistent so that he won the 140-km World Championships in Nice, France, 10 times. Despite never being beaten in that race, he still had a weakness in his approach--he was unable to convert his International dominance at the standard 51.6-km triathlon distance or the Nice Triathlon (140 km) to success in the 226-km Hawaiian Ironman.

In six Hawaiian Ironman races between 1982 and 1988, Allen had been in contention, only to be reduced to a walk sometime in the last 90 minutes, or 21 km, of the race. Thus, in his very first race, aiming to finish in the top 100, he was in second place when his bicycle suffered a mechanical failure. In 1983, he finished in third place after leading the race by 13:00 at the start of the run; in 1984, he was leading the run by 12 minutes but was passed by Dave Scott, with 21 km to go. He finished fifth. In 1986, he finished second. In 1987, he held a 5-minute lead over Scott with 16 km to go. Again, reduced to a walk, he was passed by Scott before the finish, again finishing second. In 1988, he again led the race after the cycle leg, before being passed by Dave Scott in the run, finishing fifth.

Before the 1989 race, he decided to change his mental approach. As described in chapter 8, he realized that he feared the race and had developed a negative mindset toward the entire experience, especially the uncompromising environment in which the race was held. He had also tried to win the race by training as hard as he thought necessary to win. Realizing that this race might require more than he had been prepared to give, he decided to do "whatever it takes" to win.

That he corrected his failings was shown by his five consecutive victories between 1989 and 1993. Then in 1995, at age 37, he returned to win the race a sixth time. Like Fordyce, Allen became a ruthless perfectionist. Of his approach, Paul Huddle (another triathlete and coach of Paula Newby—Fraser) wrote,

"The amazing thing about Mark was that every year; you would think he 'a' back off but he was always upping the ante. The big conception was that he was relying on his spiritual practice, but the fact is he was always trying to extract every ounce from every corner of his training. Always trying to improve on how he was doing it."

In early 1989, Allen went to Queenstown, New Zealand, for six weeks of intensive training. It raised him to a new performance level. He was, he said, finally "starting to live what it was going to take to win the race" (Allen 1998b). He had also learned patience; the patience to know that the race is won only when you cross the finish line. In that race, perhaps the classic Ironman of all time, he had raced for 8 hours alongside the other great American Ironman triathlete, David Scott, Only in the last 4 km had Allen been able to pull away, winning by less than a minute (see figure 6.29).

His next four consecutive victories through 1993 left Allen emotionally and physically exhausted. At age 35 he retired for 18 months to a more cloistered existence in an attempt to regain his physical and emotional strength, hoping that he would still achieve one final Ironman victory. After 18 months, his body responded and he returned to contest the 1995 Hawaiian Ironman at age 37. wondering whether he was too old. The mental aspects of his remarkable victory in that race are described in chapter 8.

Allen's training approach was to divide his year into three phases (Allen 1996 table 6.27). The first phase would begin in January after two months of rest in November and December following the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, which is contested on the first Saturday in October closest to the appearance of the new moon During the first phase, his Patience Phase, Allen combined aerobic training with weight training. This period would last three months. During this time, he would not train at a heart rate in excess of that allowed by the Maffetone formula, which was about 150 beats per minute during the last five years of his career. During this period of training, he was swimming 21 km per week, cycling 500 km per week, and running for 6 hours (approximately 90 km) per week. Thus, his total endurance training time was about 27 hours per week during this period. Allen would also undertake two strength training workouts each week but would always leave at least two clays between sessions.

To monitor his progress, Allen would complete an 8-km run at his maximal allowed aerobic heart rate of about 150 beats per minute. During his Patience Phase his average pace when running at that heart rate would fall progressively. When he first started training according to the Maffetone approach, his aerobic pace during this test was 4:05 per km. During this phase, Allen would expect his running speed at his aerobic heart rate to fall by about 3 to 4 seconds per km per week.

When Allen retired in 1995, his aerobic pace had improved to 3:19 per km, as the result of a steady progression during his entire career. For physiologists used to reporting human training studies lasting a few months, this is a remarkable finding. It shows that the human body may continue to adapt for 10 or more years to the form of prolonged, intensive training undertaken by Allen.

He would terminate his Patience Phase when either
-his speed during the 8-km aerobic run was no longer improving or was, in fact, deteriorating, indicating that he was no longer adapting to the aerobic training, or
-he was about five or six weeks before the first race of the season, usually a standard distance triathlon.

During the second phase of his training, the Speed-Work Phase, Allen reduced his training slightly but added two speed sessions, one on the bicycle and one running fartlek session. As a result, his training volume during this period included swimming 18.5 km per week, cycling 480 km per week, and running 8 hours per week.

Allen advised that when he was young, presumably under 30, he could complete 10 to 12 weeks of this type of training. As he aged, he found it more difficult to maintain this volume of training for as long. At age 37, he could maintain this training for six weeks. He predicts this would be reduced to five for athletes over 40 and to none for athletes over 50.

At the end of the previous phase, Allen would judge whether he had reaped all the benefit from this training schedule when his running pace at his aerobic heart rate plateaued. He wrote that

"the key is to watch for a slowing of your pace at your maximum aerobic heart rate. When this happens, its time to go back to your base-building phase….It's very subtle, but if your heart rate starts going up for a given effort in workouts, you know that you're on the edge—just resting won't help; you have to modify your training." (Allen 1996b, p. 92)

Allen notes that many other athletes would probably try to train through this plateau in an attempt to reach an illusive higher level of fitness, But Allen stresses that this will fail, as continuing to train when the body's adaptation has plateaued will lead only to mental burnout, overtraining, injury, and a subpar performance on race day. When this happens, Allen's advice is, "If you`re burned out, put a big 'R' for rest in your training diary, close it and put it away, Rather go and play" (Allen 1996b, p. 92).

As he has grown older and is therefore unable to sustain this training phase for as long as before, he spends a few weeks of recuperation training, perhaps even including a full week of rest, in July and early August. During this period he does no speed training but reverts to training that does not elevate his heart rate above 150 beats per minute.

Eight weeks before the Hawaiian Ironman, Allen begins the Push Phase of his training. This consists of four hard weeks of training and a four-week taper. During this time, Allen does not race at all. This period of training is, in my view, the most taxing training ever recorded by any modern human athlete, exceeding even that of the Kenyans (table 6,28). During his peak training week, Allen will swim 28 km (8 hours), cycle approximately 800 km (22 hours), and run for a further 8 hours, for a total training time of 38 hours, equivalent to the hours many of us spend at work during a five-day working week. To develop both speed and endurance, Allen reverts to doing long intervals of up to 20 minutes in both cycling and running during his long rides or runs.

During his four-week taper period, Allen progressively reduces his cycling distance by 160 km per week so that in the final week of his taper, which includes the distance cycled during the Ironman, he cycles only 240 km. This means that he only cycles 60 km in the final six days before the Ironman. He reduces his weekly running distance by 24 km per week and only runs 16 km in the last six days before the Ironman.

Other advice offered by Allen includes the following:
-The key workouts each week during the Speed-Work and Push Phases are the two long-distance and two speed workouts, one each cycling and running. All training is built around those workouts.

-During the Speed-Work Phase, only one or preferably two, but certainly no more, sessions should be set aside for all-out speed training.

-His longest run before the Ironman was always five weeks before the race, and his longest cycle, four weeks before. His toughest speed session was three weeks before the race, during the tapering period.

-For his long runs he would begin at 1 hour and then increase in stepped fashion by 10 minutes every second week, dropping back to the duration of the run two weeks earlier in the intervening week. Thus, the duration of the first seven consecutive long runs would be 60, 70, 60, 80, 70, 90, 80 minutes. After 15 weeks, this would increase to the 150-minute long runs that Allen maintained during the Speed-Work and Push Phases.

-In a discussion I had with him in Pajulahti, Finland, Allen added that the key to his longevity was the three months of gentle aerobic training in the Patience Phase. His belief is that once you begin speed training, the body enters a hyped-up state that wears you down, as you are unable to sleep properly and recover adequately during this period. Thus, in his opinion, intensive training produces a cumulative fatiguing effect, which is not due solely to the actual training performed but also to a residual effect that acts during the recovery period between training sessions.

-In response to my question why more triathletes do not follow his methods, which have clearly proved effective, Allen answered that many athletes are too ego-driven. They can't wait to perform well and will not accept anyone else's ideas.

The similarities between ideas, training methods, and successes of both Bruce Fordyce and Mark Allen are so striking that one is left to assume that all are causally related (that is, that their ideas and training methods produced their successes). I would suggest that the next athletes to match their successes will do so by adopting their training ideas.


tsmagnum

Jan 28, 09 9:48

Post #2 of 38 (17559 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [charris] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Good read...thanks for posting. I haven't read this book but I think I will pick up a copy.


devashish_paul

Jan 28, 09 10:51

Post #3 of 38 (17481 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [charris] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

This is pretty well what Slowman is talking about over in the "Calling out MarkyV" thread.


uncle_evan

Jan 28, 09 11:39

Post #4 of 38 (17432 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [devashish_paul] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

good read.... i use the same regimen, watch for me in the future...

really though its a neat approach, something to think about...

e

_________________________________________________


Jorge M

Jan 28, 09 11:43

Post #5 of 38 (17418 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [charris] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
Allen's training approach was to divide his year into three phases (Allen 1996 table 6.27). The first phase would begin in January after two months of rest in November and December following the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, which is contested on the first Saturday in October closest to the appearance of the new moon During the first phase, his Patience Phase, Allen combined aerobic training with weight training. This period would last three months. During this time, he would not train at a heart rate in excess of that allowed by the Maffetone formula, which was about 150 beats per minute during the last five years of his career. During this period of training, he was swimming 21 km per week, cycling 500 km per week, and running for 6 hours (approximately 90 km) per week. Thus, his total endurance training time was about 27 hours per week during this period. Allen would also undertake two strength training workouts each week but would always leave at least two clays between sessions.
I won't even touch the whole Maffetone formula (not worth it) but I can't help to ask how many AGers train as much as Allen did? If you can achieved that much load via volume I think it makes perfect sense limiting intensity but if you can't do so you have to bring up it up by adding some intensity. How much or how intense it will depend on each athlete fitness level, needs, goals, limiters, etc. but IMO to assume all AGers should follow this 'base phase' ("patience phase") because it worked for Allen is misleading at best and a poor ROI for AGers in general...


Jorge Martinez
Head Coach - Sports Science
E3 Training Solutions, LLC
@CoachJorgeM


zhivota

Jan 28, 09 15:36

Post #6 of 38 (17299 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [Jorge M] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think this is a good point Jorge and one which seems to be overlooked by many people following the schedules of greats like Allen. People tend to look at the schedule such a person used when they started winning and being the best, and ignoring everything that happened previous. But in reality, before Allen took to this Patience Phase stuff, he (according to above article) swam for 12 years, training with a "more is more is more" approach, and then was a triathlete with a similar approach for the first years of his tri career.

So to say that you can come from scratch, zero, and do the Patience Program and hope to be like Allen is fallacious, and there is no evidence to support it. The only thing we can support with such a story as this is to do exactly what Allen did, which is to train without good principles for a while first, to burn yourself out on doing too much too soon and then refine your approach. That's why I think studying these greats is of limited value for the rest of us, because they are just not clean case studies. Instead of starting from 0 and getting to 100, Allen started from 90 and got to 100, via the training espoused above. The rest of us are starting at 0 or 10 or whatever.

Jason in Truckee


VegasTrilete

Jan 28, 09 17:29

Post #7 of 38 (17227 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [zhivota] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

This debate is endless. The question of whether to do lot's of aerobic training (particularly during base) or just do anaerobic intervals year-round.

This past year was my best ever. My USAT ranking is the highest ever. And I'm not getting any younger. I attribute this increase in performance to Kearn's Breakthorough training book. It is in fact the Mark Allen/Maffetone program, exactly.

Unless someone is only going to do nothing further than sprint distance, then I suppose less emphasis can be given the aerobic endurance/force requirement.

Pretty much all the old-school or new-school long course athletes train this way. Nobody can tell me that an athlete who trains 25 hours a week is 100% anaerobic the whole week. Silly to debate that. After base, a max of 10% anaerobic (even that much may put one over the edge).

This applies to all the endurance sports. The vast majority of pro cyclists miles are below lactate. Or Phelps. Huge volume, but mostly aerobic. But when they open it up, they crush people. But many people get this whole thing wrong. It's not that you are going to become like Allen or anyone else for that matter, but that you will develop the capacity for when the time comes to train hard and fast, you will be able to absorb it. Seems pretty simple. Was for me. You become the best that YOU can become, for that year.


Lime Crush

Jan 28, 09 17:43

Post #8 of 38 (17206 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [VegasTrilete] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
This past year was my best ever. ... I attribute this increase in performance to Kearn's Breakthorough training book.

Unless someone is only going to do nothing further than sprint distance, then I suppose less emphasis can be given the aerobic endurance/force requirement.

Pssst, don't tell everyone! Let 'em keep thinking they have it made with anaerobic intervals—especially if they're in YOUR age group.

But seriously, unless you're doing a pure sprint (less than a minute and forty-five seconds), overemphasizing anaerobic fitness is like training for the last 2% of the race and neglecting the other 98%.

P.S. +1 on Breakthrough Triathlon Training. I don't have a lot of time in my schedule now that I have my second kid, but the year I followed Kearnsy's advice was my best year to date (2007).


tmartine

Jul 4, 14 19:52

Post #9 of 38 (4182 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [charris] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'm intrigued by this approach, but never been patient enough to give it a real try. I've been competing in triathlon & running at a high level for quite a few years now.

My biggest question is, how can the Maffetone formula apply to everyone? For example, I did a VO2max test recently - my VO2 max was 68.8 and corresponding HR was 173 bpm, considerably lower than my age-predicted max of 188 (I'm 32). My RER at the end of the VO2 max test was 0.98 so I do believe that it was an accurate test. Plus the equipment used measured both O2 and CO2 levels. Using the formula (180-32+5) my theoretical aerobic max is 153 bpm. However, this is 88% of my VO2 max HR and working at 153 bpm does not feel easy to me - it would be more of a tempo effort. From the VO2 max test, my aerobic threshold (RER=0.7) was detected at 131 bpm. Would using 131 bpm be a better target HR to aim for during the 3-month aerobic training base period? Running at 131 bpm feels very easy, too easy. I want to try this method, but am not 100% sure about what my target HR should be for the initial base phase. What do you suggest? Has the Maffetone formula worked for you?


desert dude

Jul 5, 14 9:29

Post #10 of 38 (3710 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [VegasTrilete] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Everyone should go read this thread before jumping on the Maffetone train. http://forum.slowtwitch.com/..._latest_reply;so=ASC


Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching :: @accelerate3 :: Like us on Facebook
AeroCamp 3.0 Carson (LA area) Velodrome Feb 28-Mar 1. PM for more info.


tucktri

Jul 5, 14 9:45

Post #11 of 38 (3684 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [desert dude] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'm getting a dead link there. Anyone else?


dwesley

Jul 5, 14 9:50

Post #12 of 38 (3677 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [desert dude] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

link's broken


tomspharmacy

Jul 5, 14 9:51

Post #13 of 38 (3674 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [desert dude] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Link shows errors, Brian


desert dude

Jul 5, 14 10:12

Post #14 of 38 (3642 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [tomspharmacy] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Sorry guys. Before you click on this link, I'd ask that you think about the concept(s) laid out and not just focus on the polarization part. There are several things that a lot of people completely ignored.
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=90;


Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching :: @accelerate3 :: Like us on Facebook
AeroCamp 3.0 Carson (LA area) Velodrome Feb 28-Mar 1. PM for more info.


Birdmantris

Jul 5, 14 10:14

Post #15 of 38 (3637 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [tmartine] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

tmartine wrote:
I'm intrigued by this approach, but never been patient enough to give it a real try. I've been competing in triathlon & running at a high level for quite a few years now.

My biggest question is, how can the Maffetone formula apply to everyone? For example, I did a VO2max test recently - my VO2 max was 68.8 and corresponding HR was 173 bpm, considerably lower than my age-predicted max of 188 (I'm 32). My RER at the end of the VO2 max test was 0.98 so I do believe that it was an accurate test. Plus the equipment used measured both O2 and CO2 levels. Using the formula (180-32+5) my theoretical aerobic max is 153 bpm. However, this is 88% of my VO2 max HR and working at 153 bpm does not feel easy to me - it would be more of a tempo effort. From the VO2 max test, my aerobic threshold (RER=0.7) was detected at 131 bpm. Would using 131 bpm be a better target HR to aim for during the 3-month aerobic training base period? Running at 131 bpm feels very easy, too easy. I want to try this method, but am not 100% sure about what my target HR should be for the initial base phase. What do you suggest? Has the Maffetone formula worked for you?


First, an RER of 0.7 isn't possible, let alone an indicator for any aerobic threshold. That said, 131 bpm would be a far better target than 153 if you do intend to use this appraoch.

Now if you do use Maffetone training, the biggest question to me would be your mileage. The more you run, the more effective this type of training will be. I was a (relatively, lets say) slow runner back in the day doing a hard 30-50 miles a week. 70-80 miles/week at a HR mainly in the 140s (max of 197ish) improved my fitness considerably. I was certainly no faster (and probably a few seconds slower) over a mile, but much faster over 5k+. That said, I doubt I would have improved much on only 30-40 slow miles. Fire away if you have questions

EDIT: RER at the end of a max test should be in the 1.1 range. 0.98 isn't very hard running really. Are you certain of the numbers?


(This post was edited by Birdmantris on Jul 5, 14 10:21)


Birdmantris

Jul 5, 14 10:18

Post #16 of 38 (3624 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [desert dude] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'll also say that with respect to the thread on polarized training...

I don't think the exclusive focus on low-intensity training is the key as much as the deliberate inclusion of low-intensity training (if that makes sense). Many people train too hard consistently and lose out on benefits that can be achieved by running truly easy. In my case, it was like 8 years of avoiding this particular stimulus followed by a year of focus spent filling in that gap, so to speak. How you previously trained will matter


monty

Jul 5, 14 10:19

Post #17 of 38 (3620 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [Birdmantris] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

That said, 131 bpm would be a far better target than 153 if you do intend to use this appraoch. //

This is why when you don't understand personal HR's that throwing numbers out like this is silly. What if someone had a max HR of 218? Then 153 would be better than 131. Don't fall into the same trap Maffetone did when he set up this formula in the first place. Know what "your" heart does first, then you can plug in any fad training program you want.


Birdmantris

Jul 5, 14 10:22

Post #18 of 38 (3608 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

monty wrote:
That said, 131 bpm would be a far better target than 153 if you do intend to use this appraoch. //

This is why when you don't understand personal HR's that throwing numbers out like this is silly. What if someone had a max HR of 218? Then 153 would be better than 131. Don't fall into the same trap Maffetone did when he set up this formula in the first place. Know what "your" heart does first, then you can plug in any fad training program you want.

He said 153 bpm felt like a tempo effort. That isn't maffetone training, regardless of your feelings on it


Murphy'sLaw

Jul 5, 14 10:26

Post #19 of 38 (3603 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

monty wrote:
That said, 131 bpm would be a far better target than 153 if you do intend to use this appraoch. //

This is why when you don't understand personal HR's that throwing numbers out like this is silly. What if someone had a max HR of 218? Then 153 would be better than 131.
Don't fall into the same trap Maffetone did when he set up this formula in the first place. Know what "your" heart does first, then you can plug in any fad training program you want.

THIS.

X semi-random # - Y semi-meaningless # +/- Z fudge-factor # = TOTAL CRAP.

Do some testing to estimate your LTHR.
This is then immediately a vastly superior starting point than any BS combination of #'s like above.
You can then determine some significantly more useful and appropriate HR training zones from that.


float , hammer , and jog

On hiatus from 10/1/14 until Spring '15.


monty

Jul 5, 14 10:34

Post #20 of 38 (3589 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [Birdmantris] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

He said 153 bpm felt like a tempo effort. That isn't maffetone training, regardless of your feelings on it //

Got it, it seemed to me you were talking to the group at large here, not just this one guy. As i said, you have to take it one athlete at a time with any program, start with what is actually going on with their rates, then you can advise them what zones, rates, Z's, or whatever the flavor of the day we are calling just numbers..


tmartine

Jul 6, 14 11:24

Post #21 of 38 (3114 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [desert dude] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Great video Brian, thanks for sharing that! I am a 100% believer in polarization of training. When I first started doing serious triathlon training (~2009/2010) I was doing a lot of intensity year-round. It wasn't until 2012 that I got kind of burned out and took my first real "off season." I got a new coach and she was a big proponent of polarized training. I started the 2013 season with a big block of endurance training, then as the season got closer started incorporating harder intensity work. As I would get really close to a race, the hard stuff got really hard, but was shorter in duration. So, I guess in a way I was doing a combination of polarized training plus the Mark Allen approach. And it worked - by mid 2013 I was racing the fastest I ever had before. But, when I was doing all my "easy" training, I was basing this entirely on feel, not data (never had a power meter and didn't like wearing my heart rate monitor d/t chafing). So I'm thinking going forward, that by using my heart rate monitor (and a lot of body glide) I can do this type of training more effectively. It's too easy to go too hard on the easy days, especially if you are training w/ training partners. I know that prior to getting the new coach I was doing a lot in the "black hole" which ultimately left me exhausted and unmotivated. Without a doubt I have noticed firsthand the ability to go harder on the hard days, when I train easy on the easy days.

As for my current training, the last race I did was a 1/2 marathon and I was running ~45 miles/week. I'm now gradually working up to 65/week for a marathon in Nov. Ran 15 yesterday at HR sub 131 and it was the easiest 15 miles I've ever run in my life. So I think another merit to the Mark Allen/polarized approach is the ability to increase mileage/volume with less risk of injury.

Regarding the comment on RER. I have always understood that RER = 0.7 or slightly under equates to using mainly fat for fuel. RER =1.0 or slightly higher equates to using mainly carbohydrates for fuel. For me, RER started to increase above 0.7 at heart rate of 131 bpm. Also, I thought the end point of VO2 max was RER=1.0, so I thought I was relatively close at 0.98. I definitely feel like I was running hard at that point, but hey maybe I could have pushed harder and gone a little longer, but that's always easy to say post-test when you have sufficient access to ambient oxygen. I'm going to do it again at the end of this season using a slightly different protocol and now that I know what to expect maybe I can go further.

Thanks for everyone's input!

Tara


tmartine

Jul 6, 14 11:28

Post #22 of 38 (3104 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [tmartine] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Another thought I have on this topic is: If polarization of training is so effective for endurance sports then why are long-distance swimmers still training in the pool like they are competing in short/long-course swimming events? It doesn't make sense to me. In all the masters practices I've gone to, I've never seen anyone doing 80% easy training and 20% super hard. I've always thought that if you want to improve long-distance swimming you need to swim long distance in training. I incorporated one long continuous swim per week into my training last year and I think it helped me get faster. Maybe triathletes need to be doing more long, easy swims instead of 3-5 sessions each week with hard main sets!? Thoughts??


monty

Jul 6, 14 12:02

Post #23 of 38 (3065 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [tmartine] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

It doesn't make sense to me. In all the masters practices I've gone to, I've never seen anyone doing 80% easy training and 20% super hard. I///

Because all anyone would have to do to beat you is go 30% hard and 70% easy, and then on and on until the guy going almost 100% hard is the winner. Swimming is a strange animal in that you can go pretty hard most the time, and not suffer ill affects like you would in gravity bearing sports. And you are falling into the trap that so many do here and then question. Doing 20X100 on a 5 seconds rest between is a long swim. You only see the set, you have to take it into context of the interval to truly evaluate what it is training.


It is also to once in awhile do a long OW swim, that will give you the benefit of a long swim. No turns, sighting, swimming straight, pulling by feel, and all the things that make OW different from a pool.


tmartine

Jul 6, 14 12:11

Post #24 of 38 (3045 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Monty - did you watch that video that Brian posted? It shows a lot of recent data that indicate for endurance sports greatest gains come from 80% of training volume being easy and 20% being hard. They looked at runners, rowers, x-country skiers, cyclists. If this is the case why would swimming be any different?


monty

Jul 6, 14 12:16

Post #25 of 38 (3036 views)
Re: Mark Allen / Maffetone / Low HR training – lengthy excerpt from Noakes' Lore of Running [tmartine] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Think i already said it, gravity…Why would any coach swim their swimmers easy for 1/2 a workout when they do not have to? And the jury is in on whether it works or not, 60 years of domination by athletes that swim hard most the time. Do you think that this has just been overlooked for all these years? IF that were the case, then i would be winning medals now, because i cannot go hard all the time like i used to, and i'm a lot slower for it..

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Winter stationary bike training
Will you use a stationary trainer this winter, is it a smart (e.g., Kickr, Computrainer) or a dumb (typical mag or fluid) trainer, and do you already own it?
Smart, have it
Smart, intend to buy it
Dumb, have it
Dumb, intend to buy it
Won't be riding on a trainer