Thursday, March 6, 2008

MAF thoughts..

A few things I thought about during my run in regards to GZ- look at Daniels Running Formula, Canova, McMillan, Vigil.. ANY coach or program out there does not advocate what you are thinking is correct. Jack Daniels (considered an "intensity" advocate) even says to run easy for the first 6 weeks, then the last 8 weeks even has ZERO anaerobic work. His programs are 24 weeks long... so that's a total of just 10 weeks of speed work.. you're going to try what? 23 weeks of it (however long it is to Pikes Peak) plus what you have already been doing.

At it's absolute peak, lactate threshold fitness can only be sustained for a fairly limited amount of time.. about 4 weeks. It takes roughly 6-8 weeks for a well trained (ie: aerobically fit) athlete to maximize their lactate threshold. What I see happening with an athlete trying to run tempo every week is a plateau fairly short of their race.. then a slow decline in tempo speed. Your body cannot improve on 23 weeks of hard running. The time frame is far too long.

In many circles "speed work" is 100 meter-200 meter sprints.. this is something we all should be doing and will not mess with aerobic base building.


Brett said...

Hi Tim:

I am coming to via GZ via the Pikes Peak message board. I live on the east coast at sea level where our largest hills are ant hills.

My brother talked me into running the Ascent in 2005 and I've done it twice now, falling in love.

I have a question on this topic - my target heart rate in this program would be 145 (180 - 35 yrs old) do I just run whatever my mileage plan dictates or are there certain volumes of running you need to do?

Thanks in advance, very interesting topic.

Lucho said...

Brett- think of it in terms of pushing yourself to the point of adaptation. The more the better in terms of mileage. If you feel good then don't stop.. or run again. Stick with the low HR stuff at least for 6 weeks and really get that efficiency developed.. I would recommend pushing that to ~12 weeks though.. then start doing the sub-LT work (Tempo) for 3-4 weeks.. then spend the next 7 weeks running as much as possible at goal HR.. never higher though. With the hills- or lack there of- try the stairmaster. It sounds funny- but go to the gym and step for 45:00 and THEN tell me how funny it is.. after you've limped home. ;)

jameson said...

quick question about the MAF training... is using the formula "180 - age" more effecient than using zones (say friel's) based on a lab or field test. and if you were going to use the HR zones based on testing what zone would that be? I am assuming zone 2?

Thanks for putting all this out there for consumption... it really great stuff... especially the debating and point/counterpointing!

Lucho said...

I would certainly recommend using lab tests to determine LT and AeT (2.0 mmol). Then the deciphering from that point gets tricky depending on the methods you want to use and the race distance you're training for.. but, to simplify it I would use Friels zones based on lactate. Remember that Friel uses lactate threshold and MAF is age based and is a conservative estimate of HR so they can be very different. My LT is ~176-180.. so my Friel Zone 2 is a lot higher than MAF.

jameson said...

ok... now a couple more questions! The way you have explained the benefits of MAF-based training makes sense (especially in what your wrote to GZ). Here's my question: for a triathlete, say early in your season (base phases) you commit to at least 8 weeks to MAF-based training on the run. How slow (low HR) should you be going on the bike during this phase?

last one... i promise. During this 8 weeks of MAF training would it be totally against the methodology to still do runs in the hills where it is pretty much impossible to keep the HR down with the varied terrain? I am not talking about pegging it up the hills but keeping it nice and easy to build strength... or would you wait unitl after the MAF phase to start these? Thanks for the time Lucho!

Matt said...

I've been wondering about a lab test for a while. Then I met MAF. Your discussion of an LT lab test gets me wondering again. If I can manage the expense, is it worth it? Or does it complicate a simple objective: getting aerobically fit.