Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday bike MAF test, new toys and a new IPA

 Today was the second longish bike in the last 2 days. A couple of runs in there also. Today was a MAF test on the Computrainer with 1:00 at 230 watts and max HR 150. I watched Rocky IV which is my go to video on the bike. Rocky III is pretty bad ass too.
 This time next week I hope to have my portable lactate analyzer and Powertap, both were given to me by a generous 'supporter'. The portable lactate analyzer is exciting for me because I will be able to test lactate threshold accurately and frequently and I'll be able to do it at high altitude. I can then start compiling training data based on high altitude specific training and accurate measurements for improvement. Might be something useful for someone in all that.  
 I also have a bike sponsor if I get in to Leadville. A sub 25 pound 4" travel full suspension 29er! I'm super psyched about this and it has definitely sparked my motivation and hopes of being drawn for the Leadville 100 bike lottery on Feb 28th.

 And I finally got to try the Mendocino Brewing Company's White Hawk IPA. I admit to liking the label more than anything (raptors are the coolest thing ever), but the beer is solid too. ANY IPA is fine by me. I could definitely be a Mendocino fan if they start using cans.   

And about the only other beer I'll buy besides IPA (I am admittedly a complete beer snob for IPA) is Old Chub. Love it. 


Brandon Fuller said...

Its about training hard. Not toys!

Yeah right! Its really about the toys!

Kona Shelley said...

I hope you get in. Last year I sagged a fellow who did it and we had such a blast.
I loved it out there for sure..well best of luck getting in.

Lucho said...

Ha! I agree. As long as the 'toys' are used to streamline training. The lactate analyzer is going to allow me to pinpoint the HR and pace ranges that will allow me to get the most out of my training.
I do think though that you use the toys in training and then on race day you exploit fitness 100% which comes down more to what's between your ears.
If you're interested I would love to test you (and other folk) who train at high altitude. I could give you more definitive data that is specific to Leadville. Testing at 5000ft and then racing at 10000ft doesn't help much. But if you know your correct ranges at 10000ft then THAT'S the shit that kills. With the portable analyzer I can test people on Hope Pass if I want.

Lucho said...

Thanks Kona Shelley! I love Kona. One of my favorite places on Earth. Do you live there?

kerrie said...

is it the stab-your-finger lactate analyzer? if so, i think it would make a great party toy.

Lucho said...

Yes, lots of pricks. But of course that depends more on who comes to the party.

skatona said...

Nice! Old Chub is my favorite Oskar's beer for sure.

For such a MAF-head (that's the new term I just came up with), how does a lactate test compare? Could there really be a huge disparity? Basically, could someone's HR say they're running easy, but their lactate levels say otherwise? And then what would you do if that were the case - which measure do you go by?

Matt said...

Old Chub, good stuff the place near me has it on tap :)

it's all about pace said...

hell yeah... Rocky IV... "I am Ivan Drago I vill break you"

Brandon Fuller said...

I did that whole LT test thing at BCSM. That was fun and I learned a lot. Interested to know how it might have changed since but more interesting to know those altitude effects like you said.

Lucho said...

Shaun- First you have to remember that MAF is geared more towards the Ironman but does have relevancy to ultra-running because it is so moderate. For the marathon however I think it is too moderate unless an athlete has a very inefficient metabolism and needs to 'reset' their fat burning economy.
Here's two athletes:
A 39 years old with an LTHR of 178 (me).
A 33 year old with a LTHR of 165. This athlete's MAF HR is just 18 beats below LT, where my MAFHR is 37 beats below LT. So supposedly we are both training at the same intensity, but one athlete is much closer to LT than the other. Of course the MAF method does have different variables (add or subtract 5-10 beats for various reasons). But you can see that there is a huge disparity in the two. This method isn't wrong necessarily, it's just a different method. The MAF method is based off a supposed Vo2 max of 180 which was compiled from an average of elite athletes. Of course V02 max can be quite different between athletes and is somewhat genetic. It doesn't take in to account aerobic economy and TYPE of training the athlete has done. An elite marathon runner can have an aerobic threshold that is very close to LT and an LT that is very close to Vo2 max. But a super stud ultra-runner most likely has a poorly developed LT speed which then limits his ceiling for aerobic threshold speed (because your AeT can only come within a certain percentage of LT, but for the ultra-runner this isn't a factor or a concern really) but he has an incredible economy at much lower intensities. But his speed at shorter races (the marathon) will be very limited. It's just different types of fitness.
With the lactate analyzer you can find (of course) lactate threshold but you also can see levels of lactate production through an entire spectrum of different paces. So, if an athlete has a goal of 2:30 for the marathon then it is possible to see how realistic this goal is by having them run at 5:40-5:45 pace and then see how much lactate is being produced. You can only run a marathon within a certain percentage (or level of lactate in the blood stream) of your lactate threshold. MAF doesn't really help to determine this. It wasn't designed to.
I have always felt that MAF is a very good starting point for an athlete with little experience using a HR monitor. When a new athlete comes to me and they have no training or racing data using HR, we have to start somewhere! So I use MAF and then make adjustments as we collect HR data.

"could someone's HR say they're running easy, but their lactate levels say otherwise? And then what would you do if that were the case - which measure do you go by?"

Absolutely this can be the case. If an athlete is running "easy" and their lactate levels are say... 2.5mmols (which is above aerobic threshold) then they have a poor level of aerobic fitness. With this athlete it is important to step back and develop their economy in volume and basically rework their "base" fitness. The high level of lactate shows that even an "easy" run is stressful on their body. For this athlete the MAF method could work well, but if you test them and know that at 9:00 pace they have blood levels of 2.0mmols and a HR of 165, then right there you have everything you need with out the MAF method. You have blood results which show you data that is useful in determining various training intensities. The goal would be to develop their speed at an "easy" effort while lowering the levels of lactate production (or lowering their HR). You do this by having them run more miles at HR <165 or 9:00 pace and slower. As their body adapts to the mileage it becomes more economical and 9:00 pace becomes less stressful and their body is working less to maintain pace.
Does that make sense?

Matt- Old Chub on tap... sweet. You're up in Spokane?

Lucho said...

My favorite Rocky III quote was Mickey: The worst thing that happened to you, that can happen to any fighter... you got civilized.

Brandon- Your test results at BCSM will have you training at an inappropriate level when you're in Leadville. You'll be training too intensely. High altitude is going to lower Vo2 and LT, so your HR ranges at 5000ft will be higher than at 10k. You want to lower each range by ~5, possibly 10 beats.

Anonymous said...

I've been having issues finding information online about MAF training.
Do you have any suggestions for reading about this?

Lucho said...

Go to Brett's site and he has great links posted in his sidebar to the right.