Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday 4 miles & comment

I slept ok last night after tossing and turning with my mind racing.. I think I stopped thinking at around midnight. Jogged 4 miles easy with my HR at 119 average. ~7:10 pace or so.. sickness is on the way out finally. I could barely swallow yesterday.

I have had a few people e-mail with questions regarding my terminology so I am going to outline a bit of the methods to my madness..
MAF (maximum aerobic function) Developed by Dr. Phil Maffetone. To find your HR you take 180- age = HR that will allow you to develop your metabolism to utilize fat as the primary fuel. This is a great starting point for an athlete with an underdeveloped aerobic system. This, in my opinion, is a fairly conservative HR for most people and has more relevance for the Ironman than an open marathon. This is still a highly effective method for developing fitness.

AeT (aerobic threshold) This is the HR or pace that corresponds to the point at which you have accumulated 2.0 mmol of lactate in your blood. Renato Canova believes this is the "magic" number that any athlete needs to develop. This could be parallel to MAF but is generally ~10 beats higher in HR and much more stressful. In an elite runner this corresponds to marathon race pace. To find this you need to have blood drawn in a lab while running.

Steady State This is more of a Lydiard term and is synonymous with AeT.

Rest I recently learned of this one and am still not sure it works.

Lactate Threshold This is the point where your body stops being able to digest or clear lactate from your blood stream and it begins to accumulate. A general rule is that it happens at 4.0 mmol of blood saturation although this can vary greatly from athlete to athlete. This is your 1 hour race pace. Lactate threshold, in my opinion, is the HR value that all other training HR's should be based on- using max HR percentages is useless.

Max HR A place that no one should go unless you are being chased by something higher on the food chain. This number does not change with fitness so basing your training HR's (which change as your fitness changes) makes little sense.


kerrie said...

hope you are feeling better - i didn't realize you were in that rough of shape yesterday(except for the puking thing;)....)
so you have moved on the the aet stuff which is a step above MAF, because you are aerobically fit and this correlates more to your blood work result?(if i understand correctly, therefore the higher hr?)

jameson said...

quick question... when is the best time in a training cycle to get the blood lactate test done and how much will the test results vary based on your current level of fitness (base phase vs build vs peak/taper)?

all your posts have made really curious as to what my actual zones are and I want to get tested soon... Thanks for the info.


Lucho said...

K- I have moved up in HR more because it is specificker (I just made that word up) to the marathon intensity. MAF would be better if I were training for something like Ironman where I needed to hold the effort down. The marathon is "short" enough that I can hold a much higher intensity. It is always best to train as specific as possible to your goal.
J- I would recommend that you learn the Conconi test and perform it yourself on the bike. I can give you detailed protocol and even help with graphing the data points if you like. The self-test will not yield as accurate results as drawing blood but it is much cheaper and will get you close enough. With the run you may be better getting blood drawn but you can extrapolate your LT using a recent race- the longer the better. I would recommend referencing Jack Daniel's VDOT chart as it tends to be amazingly accurate.
As with both tests you should get blood drawn at least once to verify the accuracy of your own results. And the best time to get it drawn (IMHO) is during the base period where it is imperative to not go too hard. When you are in the "build" period you can err on the hard side and get away with it. Some may disagree with me in this regards in which case I will fight them.
You should be performing some sort of test each week. Even if it is just a MAF test (180- age HR) just to see if you are making progress. The "aerobic" test is a great way to make sure you are not over reaching and burying yourself.

Lucho said...

Jameson- one more thing. The test results can/ and should vary greatly if you are training correctly. During your base period you should not be training your LT- therefore it should be relatively weak. Once you "build" and especially once you TRULY peak the LT should be considerably higher. Off the top of my head- in the past my LT wattage on the bike would be hitting ~270 in January. In the month before Kona I would see ~340.
Simply by tapering correctly and bringing about a true peak you should be able to see a significant jump in LT and Vo2. Rest and glycogen stores play a huge role in this.

GZ said...

Lucho ... interesting thought on MAF versus LT.

Understanding that I am aerobically weak by MAF protocol ... :) ...

Would you think that since the Ascent of Pikes is more like a marathon (in terms of time) and that the round trip is more like an ultra that MAF is still applicable there OR - is it a whole different animal given those last 13 are down and the ability to elevate HR to LT levels is difficult?

Thanks, hope you feel better.