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Maffetone Method (or 180 - age)...


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Heck, if I used the formula in the first link I would hafta stop riding once my feet were clipped in as I would already be above his range.

At that sort of heartrate I would not raise a sweat, and would not enjoy my excercise. Nope looks like nonsense.

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according to the first article my aerobic HR should be 139, whereas I am averaging anything from 140 to 150 depending on the ride. Even at full fitness, I cant see my average dropping by 10 bpm.

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I get 158bpm (180 - 27 +5) - sounds OK I guess. It's my average Hr for some races...... but then for guys double my age, it would be impossible to do it.

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HAHA. Mine works out to 151. There is no way i can keep my heart that low during a race. Pyhsically impossible even if i was a bystander watching a race.

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No ways!!. My HR NEVER goes under 135 - 140 bpm on any ride, and according to this chap's formulae my HR should be around 133bpm.

In a race / hard training session I regularly push it into the high 180's, low 190's without any problem. In some really hard races my avg hr is in the low 170's.

Makes one wonder

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I'm no expert in training, but reading the links, it seems to me this theory is based on research in the 1970s and 1980s (when I think LSD training was the rage for road running).

 

For me that raises two issues:

 

Firstly the theories are outdated. Since then speed work has been proven to be much more effective in just about every endurance sport.

 

Secondly: I do not think running and cycling training should be the same ... there are similarities, but think about how you ride a race and run a race. Running involves pretty much the best constant pace you can hold for as long as the race lasts -- hills alter effort, but generally the aim is to run at 5 mins a km for 42km (or whatever). Cycling is more a case of getting into a bunch and holding it (road) which invloves accelerations and resting or (for MTB) a series of big efforts up hills. In other words a series of speed/effort changes. LSD training is not going to help much there.

 

PS: I am not saying there is not place for some LSD / recovery riding, but riding for 15hours a week at the same pace every day will surely make you a fit but slow rider.

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All the age related formulae are dodgy for guys who have kept themselves fit most of their lives.

They may work for guys new to excercise.

In races I still can get near to the Max Heart Rate I recorded in stress tests at the Chamber of Mines Human science lab in 1970.

My Max heart rate was 188bpm then, if the formula worked it should be 146bpm now, but I still record a Max of over 180bpm in competition.

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Yeh - I don't think the guy is suggesting you race at 180 - age. He's suggesting that you TRAIN at 180 - age. The argument being that this is the most efficient/effective zone to train in (max aerobic speed). He has tables that e.g. indicate that if your training pace at 180 - age is 5:30 per mile, then your race pace is likely to be 4:45 per mile (or something).

 

When you race, you just go for it, supported by a huge aerobic capacity.

 

I also don't think that this is LSD per se. It's 'train at your max aerobic capacity' which is a different thing, and the argument for is is quite compelling.

 

The typical comments made by people who have used this method go along the lines of 'after five months of training like this I went into my first race of the season with no confidence, wondering if I'd even finish' They then would win, or post personal bests.

 

His argument is that training at that HR is the most effective zone to train in. If you do ANYTHING else, you are getting less effective training / sabotaging your aerobic capacity and hence will do less well that a person of equivalent ability who has stuck to the zone.

 

Intuitively it seems wrong to do no hill sprints, lactate threshold training etc. So I'm not going to do this before Sani, but I think that post Sani I might give it a go for a couple of months and see what happens.

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PS: his claim to fame is training tri-athletes, so this is not just a 'recipe' for runners.

 

I bought the book :) If it has anything interesting to add, I will post in this thread.

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  • 3 years later...

I purchased two books by Dr Phil Maffetone on his training methods and must admit they are quite unique. I come from a background of interval training and periodization, so to read about training at the aerobic threshold of 180 minus age (plus/minus a few for certain variables) does sound crazy. 

 

Every article on his method only really talks about the heart rate formula, and this is a pity, because the heart rate formula is only one component behind his multi-faceted philosophy. 

 

His approach to endurance sport (big emphasis on endurance here too) is very holistic, looking at how you manage stress (work, family, and training stress), your diet (cutting out all carbs and eating only free range meat and organic vegetables, basically to teach your body to use fat for fuel instead of carbs) as well as tracking your progress only once a month (known as MAF Tests - i.e. running 3 km at aerobic output and measuring your time per km, then comparing these over a few months - as opposed to measuring your heart rate every morning and other compulsive habits) and then limiting your "anaerobic" efforts, so what would be considered "interval training" to only two sessions a week of no longer than 45 minutes for total workout duration, and never closer than 48 hours to each other. 

 

When you place all the factors he talks about together, the theory (and it has worked for Mike Allen - 6 time Hawaii Iron Man Champ - amongst others) is that your body increases aerobic output at that heart rate threshold to the point where you can go faster for longer without tapping into your blood sugar reserves. He does also make exceptions for hill climbs and efforts required to stay with the group, and how to manage this, as your heart rate goes anaerobic (above the 180-age threshold), but ideally you want to limit your time spent on long rides "in the red".

 

The biggest problem with his methodology is that us mere mortals lack the discipline to instil it properly - i.e. train on this method for 5 months until it "clicks" - but I am trying and will be interested to see how my Berg River Canoe Marathon next week and the Swazi Frontier goes in October. 

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