Tuesday, November 4, 2008


am) 12 mile hard fartlek in 1:18. Simple structure... A few seconds to a few minutes at paces ranging from all out to marathon effort. Recovery between each was as long as I needed to feel ok again.

Then I had the privilege to go an vote. And I do think it's a privilege. One of my biggest pet peeves are people that complain about things in this country and then refuse to pay taxes or vote. If you do neither.. realize that parasites don't get to choose what they eat. Or leave and be a burden on another country.


Sam said...


I've been enjoying your blog for a while and look forward to seeing your results in Vegas. I'm not really sure where to stick this question, so I'm just adding it to the latest post.

Would be kind enough to address a question regarding MAF and pacing? How do you suggest managing effort to achieve a consistent pace/neg split for my long runs? Do you advocate using speed with an eye on HR or should I just focus on HR?

I have been capping my HR at 145 for the first 60 minutes and then moving the cap to 152 (my MAF) for the balance of the run.


Dave said...

right on man! couldn't agree more! I am, however, pissed that I didn't get a cool sticker when I voted! :)

FatDad said...

Couldn't agree more. A whole generation of men died (as well as a large number of women) and a whole generation of families lost them forever to preserve that privilege. If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

JK2 said...

hum... I wonder who you could be referring to?

Lucho said...

Sam- Tricky question.. there's about 3 different answers just off the top of my head. So here's some rambling..
You need to determine first just how hard you want your long run to be. If you want it to be a difficult long run then I would tell you to start at MAF HR for the first hour and get your average pace. Then for the second part of the run simply ignore HR and run slightly faster. The problem with following HR in the latter stages of a long run is that you have deflection of either velocity or HR. IE: you either slow down your pace or let your HR drift upward. Once the prime movers (muscles) in running become fatigue then you start to lose economy and you require more energy (higher HR) to move at the same pace.
The strategy that you are using now is another fairly good structure and is quite safe.
I think there is value in running above MAF because MAF is ridiculously conservative. If you're on fresh legs for your long run then I would tell you to hold ~5-10 beats above MAF for the last half of your long run. You'll still be very much aerobic (loose term) but you'll work on muscular strength required to run faster. Focusing entirely on MAF ignores many other aspects of fitness required to run fast. It's not just about your heart. Each muscle needs to be trained specifically to run at goal pace. In order to do this on fresh legs then you need to be above MAF and closer to your LT.
Another great way to stimulate strength in a long run is to do a structured tempo run at the beginning and at the end. The tempo at the beginning will burn off some glycogen and fatigue your running muscles. Then the middle hour can be at MAF. Then something like 3 X 1 mile at LT towards the end. Because the effort is so much higher when the prime movers are already fatigued this forces the synergists (muscles that aid the prime movers)to play a much larger role. It's these small muscles that allow an elite runner (or triathlete)to maintain economy late in the race.
I know that the mind plays a larger role for you in regards to negative splitting. I think this would be the very first step in your staying strong at the end of a long run. By watching your HR climb you also predetermine your fatigue. You have learned what HR ~155 feels like, so when you see it, you feel it. Watching the needle go in makes an injection hurt worse.. It's these Pavlovian responses to objective data that might limit you more than your fitness. If I could give you one workout to experiment with- run at low MAF HR for 1 hour. Then either turn off your watch completely or put in your pocket and not look at it. Run the entire last half by feel. Trust your perception of the effort and I guarantee it will be more correct than if you watched HR.

Lucho said...

Let me explain one comment I made a little differently.
"Each muscle needs to be trained specifically to run at goal pace. In order to do this on fresh legs then you need to be above MAF and closer to your LT."
What I should say is- in order to run at goal effort on fresh legs then you need to run harder than MAF. I think using LT based HR ranges is FAR more effective than MAF.. MAF is for beginners unless you're just lucky that the numbers workout out. Similar to the max HR formula based on age... sometimes people get lucky and end up training correctly. Using % of lactate threshold will put you in the correct HR ranges.

Lucho said...

Why Jeff! I have no idea what you're talking about!!? ;)

Fatdad- that's absolutely correct. It would be dishonoring those veterans to not vote. And taxes are a very good thing.

Sam said...

Extremely helpful! Thanks.

And yes, I voted first thing this morning. It's our responsibility and our privilege as US citizens.

It's also part of my job as a parent to teach my daughter that it's her civic duty and her privilege to vote.

wende said...

Amen brudda! This is a great country and we're lucky to live here! I'm wearing my little sticker proudly!

GZ said...

TG - way too long since I have conversed with you. I am thinking you have moved, changed your name, made progress with SolePepper - all things I want to hear about.

I also want to pick your brain a bit re: HR expectations over runs with highly variable terrain, and yes, including that one that I love Pikes.

Generally, I have little issue with getting my HR rate up to LT levels on the way up the mountain. Arguably, many see a drop off in HR above treeline. I think that is a combination of the altitude having an effect (and the central governor kicking in) and loss of muscular power over the course of 2-3 hours of ascent at 11.5%.

However, if one trains for long altitude climbs they can address that.

That said, it is the descent down that I find harder to get my HR to stay up. I guess the answer to my own question is to train for that too! I probably loose power (since I just ran 13 miles up with 7800 feet of elevation) and am not trained to keep my HR up at LT levels like a typical marathon.

Wondering your thoughts on this.