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Building A Better Bumblebee

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:11 pm

Happy to hear that those Topo shoes are working out!  And glad to see you ran pretty well just a couple of days after your race adventure. I'm with Alita though - once it started to hail, I would have forgotten about how miserable it was and just laughed if off to crazy stupidity for being there anyway!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:34 pm

@nkrichards wrote:Hey!  Nice splits on mile 2 & 3!  And the HR is within the margin of error. Very Happy

Glad the new shoes worked well.

Great to hear Alita is back out there after her challenging event over the weekend!!

Thanks, Nancy! Alita's a little sore, but her knee is solid and she's talking about the 12-hour event next year.  What a Face

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Happy to hear that those Topo shoes are working out!  And glad to see you ran pretty well just a couple of days after your race adventure. I'm with Alita though - once it started to hail, I would have forgotten about how miserable it was and just laughed if off to crazy stupidity for being there anyway!

Hey, Michele! Yes, the Topos seem to be working well, at least based on my first run. Thank you for the suggestion!

And the rain was nuts! It was a nice partly cloudy day when it suddenly got dark. Then we could hear the rain sweeping through the trees toward us. There were a few seconds to contemplate our fate and think "Oh, boy, this could be interesting" until that wall of rain rolled over us. There really wasn't any choice but burst into song.  Very Happy


Last edited by Mark B on Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:34 pm

Walk: 2 miles

Weather: Mostly cloudy, warmer when the sun came out. 67°

Doubling up a bit with a 2-mile walk. I'm trying to get a decent number of miles this week as I taper down to my 50K in early July.

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:43 pm

Hey Mark.  I know you've been a big advocate of the MAF program for a while.  I stumbled onto his website while looking for more information about training while on Beta Blockers.  I'm not saying I'm going to go all in but I am interested in learning more and possibly dabbling my toe in the water a bit although I'm not sure it's a program you can dabble in.

Anyway...I found the website so full of information it was a bit confusing.  Some of it was redundant and I also had some issues with my printer not responding to my requests to print.  I'm not a big fan of reading online.  I noticed that he has some books.  Do you have them?  Worth reading?  Looks like they are available on Amazon.  I did read a bit online and printed out a couple more things to read tonight and I might be persuaded to read more online at some point.

He's suggesting that I try training at a HR of 102-112.  Not sure if I could do much more than a brisk walk and keep my HR that low!  I was pretty pleased that I was keeping it down in the 130's for most runs...
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:47 pm

@nkrichards wrote:Hey Mark.  I know you've been a big advocate of the MAF program for a while.  I stumbled onto his website while looking for more information about training while on Beta Blockers.  I'm not saying I'm going to go all in but I am interested in learning more and possibly dabbling my toe in the water a bit although I'm not sure it's a program you can dabble in.

Anyway...I found the website so full of information it was a bit confusing.  Some of it was redundant and I also had some issues with my printer not responding to my requests to print.  I'm not a big fan of reading online.  I noticed that he has some books.  Do you have them?  Worth reading?  Looks like they are available on Amazon.  I did read a bit online and printed out a couple more things to read tonight and I might be persuaded to read more online at some point.

He's suggesting that I try training at a HR of 102-112.  Not sure if I could do much more than a brisk walk and keep my HR that low!  I was pretty pleased that I was keeping it down in the 130's for most runs...

Boy, did you come to the right place!

First off, the books: I used The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-Stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness (available on Amazon.com for as little as $2.52 used - cheap!) and High Performance Heart: Effective Training with the HRM for Health, Fitness and Competition (also on Amazon.com for as little as $0.01 used - cheap-cheap!).

Both books are good. The Maffetone Method is a broader approach and would probably be sufficient, but I found that High Performance Heart had some more concrete approaches toward creating a training plan. You might also like it because it focuses significantly on cycling.

They are totally worth buying.

Another book of his worth considering s The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing (used on Amazon for $10.83). I haven't read it, but I get the impression that it's intended to be his definitive work on the subject.

Either way, embarking on a Maffetone-style training approach is an initially frustrating but ultimately rewarding process. I remember starting off at my target heart rate and not being able to keep up with a walker because I had to slow down so much. I thought I'd go crazy, but I kept at it and found that my body responded to the training. Every three weeks, there was a noticeable improvement and every six weeks a significant improvement. And that process keeps repeating as long as you do it. You ultimately plateau, but it can take months or years before you maximize your aerobic system.

The tale of progress can be seen in your daily runs, slowly improving, but they're most obvious when you do monthly MAF tests on a local track. (There are instructions in the books on how to do this.)

You can see by the example below how I started and how I progressed over time, both in the speed of the initial "MAF Mile" and on how the rate of slowdown changed as I got more and more adapted to this type of running:



It's not easy, and it takes patience and a willingness to lock your ego in a box somewhere -- but it does work.

As to the extra low HR you see in his recommendations, think of it this way.  We tend to work our systems at an easy walking speed or a running speed. We don't really work that range in between. And that's an error, because that builds the foundation for everything that happens at a higher intensity - both in speed and the ability to maintain the speed over time.

And that target HR range might well mean you walk to start with, or run until you hit the peak, then walk until it goes back down to the lower end of the range. That's to be expected. Those slow-twitch muscles need to be brought online. And once they're adapting, the walking will be less and the running will be more and the paces will get faster and faster.

What other questions do you have?

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:59 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@nkrichards wrote:Hey Mark.  I know you've been a big advocate of the MAF program for a while.  I stumbled onto his website while looking for more information about training while on Beta Blockers.  I'm not saying I'm going to go all in but I am interested in learning more and possibly dabbling my toe in the water a bit although I'm not sure it's a program you can dabble in.

Anyway...I found the website so full of information it was a bit confusing.  Some of it was redundant and I also had some issues with my printer not responding to my requests to print.  I'm not a big fan of reading online.  I noticed that he has some books.  Do you have them?  Worth reading?  Looks like they are available on Amazon.  I did read a bit online and printed out a couple more things to read tonight and I might be persuaded to read more online at some point.

He's suggesting that I try training at a HR of 102-112.  Not sure if I could do much more than a brisk walk and keep my HR that low!  I was pretty pleased that I was keeping it down in the 130's for most runs...

Boy, did you come to the right place!
DING!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:07 pm

@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@nkrichards wrote:Hey Mark.  I know you've been a big advocate of the MAF program for a while.  I stumbled onto his website while looking for more information about training while on Beta Blockers.  I'm not saying I'm going to go all in but I am interested in learning more and possibly dabbling my toe in the water a bit although I'm not sure it's a program you can dabble in.

Anyway...I found the website so full of information it was a bit confusing.  Some of it was redundant and I also had some issues with my printer not responding to my requests to print.  I'm not a big fan of reading online.  I noticed that he has some books.  Do you have them?  Worth reading?  Looks like they are available on Amazon.  I did read a bit online and printed out a couple more things to read tonight and I might be persuaded to read more online at some point.

He's suggesting that I try training at a HR of 102-112.  Not sure if I could do much more than a brisk walk and keep my HR that low!  I was pretty pleased that I was keeping it down in the 130's for most runs...

Boy, did you come to the right place!
DING!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:08 pm

Walk: 4 miles

Weather: Partly cloudy, warm. 73°

A walk during lunch, warmer than expected for wearing work clothes. Whoo! Going to have to wash my shirt. :-)


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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:42 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@nkrichards wrote:Hey Mark.  I know you've been a big advocate of the MAF program for a while.  I stumbled onto his website while looking for more information about training while on Beta Blockers.  I'm not saying I'm going to go all in but I am interested in learning more and possibly dabbling my toe in the water a bit although I'm not sure it's a program you can dabble in.

Anyway...I found the website so full of information it was a bit confusing.  Some of it was redundant and I also had some issues with my printer not responding to my requests to print.  I'm not a big fan of reading online.  I noticed that he has some books.  Do you have them?  Worth reading?  Looks like they are available on Amazon.  I did read a bit online and printed out a couple more things to read tonight and I might be persuaded to read more online at some point.

He's suggesting that I try training at a HR of 102-112.  Not sure if I could do much more than a brisk walk and keep my HR that low!  I was pretty pleased that I was keeping it down in the 130's for most runs...

Boy, did you come to the right place!
DING!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Yes...I did come to the right place!  Thanks Mark.

Thanks for sharing your data and also for including your marathon times.  That is very encouraging.  I didn't realize you had been using MAF for that long.  For some reason I thought you tried it after you gave up on marathons.

I ordered a couple of the books and I'm looking forward to learning more.  One concern I have is that the "beta blocker talk" often mentions the need to train hard enough to increase the volume your heart pumps in order to help overcome the reduction in VO2 max caused by the slowing of the HR that the drug causes.  Does the MAF method require every run to be at the lower HR?  Would doing most runs at that rate but sneaking in one faster run each week work?

I'm sure I'll have more questions while and after reading his books.  Thanks in advance!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:42 pm

@nkrichards wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@nkrichards wrote:Hey Mark.  I know you've been a big advocate of the MAF program for a while.  I stumbled onto his website while looking for more information about training while on Beta Blockers.  I'm not saying I'm going to go all in but I am interested in learning more and possibly dabbling my toe in the water a bit although I'm not sure it's a program you can dabble in.

Anyway...I found the website so full of information it was a bit confusing.  Some of it was redundant and I also had some issues with my printer not responding to my requests to print.  I'm not a big fan of reading online.  I noticed that he has some books.  Do you have them?  Worth reading?  Looks like they are available on Amazon.  I did read a bit online and printed out a couple more things to read tonight and I might be persuaded to read more online at some point.

He's suggesting that I try training at a HR of 102-112.  Not sure if I could do much more than a brisk walk and keep my HR that low!  I was pretty pleased that I was keeping it down in the 130's for most runs...

Boy, did you come to the right place!
DING!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Yes...I did come to the right place!  Thanks Mark.

Thanks for sharing your data and also for including your marathon times.  That is very encouraging.  I didn't realize you had been using MAF for that long.  For some reason I thought you tried it after you gave up on marathons.

I ordered a couple of the books and I'm looking forward to learning more.  One concern I have is that the "beta blocker talk" often mentions the need to train hard enough to increase the volume your heart pumps in order to help overcome the reduction in VO2 max caused by the slowing of the HR that the drug causes.  Does the MAF method require every run to be at the lower HR?  Would doing most runs at that rate but sneaking in one faster run each week work?

I'm sure I'll have more questions while and after reading his books.  Thanks in advance!

Maffetone gets a bad rap for advocating only slow low HR running. He doesn't. He suggests doing it as a base-building tool. During that period, doing faster work can short-circuit the positive adaptations from the low HR work. But once you've achieved a base, doing higher intensity work can actually be important to keep you from getting what he calls "anaerobically deficient." His books talk about this... mostly the High Performance Heart book.

There's another coach who talks about this as well, John Hadd. He wrote this massively detailed piece on it: "Hadd's Approach to Distance Training". He advocates a low HR approach, though he calculates it differently than Maffetone. He also prescribes incorporating something he calls "Initial Lactate Threshold Heart Rate" runs that are a higher intensity after building the base. I used those with great success back when I started applying it to marathons.

Maffetone-style training works best if you've never done it before, less so if you've been doing it for years. That's why I'm mixing in other types of running now. I think I became aerobically deficient.

For your medical issue, modifying the strategy sooner might be a good idea. I'd check with a doctor on that. If you did it, I think it should take up only a small portion of your training time.

You could also send a question to Mr. Maffetone himself through his webpage. I bet he'd be happy to answer your specific question, because it's a good one. Here's the link: https://philmaffetone.com/contact/

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:46 pm

This just in: Alita has decided that she wants to do the 12-hour event next year, aiming for marathon distance or better.

Methinks she's caught the bug.

Methinks I'll be joining her. Very Happy

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:32 pm

Low HR Run: 8.24 miles

Weather: Overcast, a slight sprinkle, muggy. 54° Gear: Fli-Lytes, shorts, T, jacket (shed when it didn't rain), hat. Fuel: None

Up early this morning for a longer midweek run out in the country. I started off pretty good, feeling light and connected, but the fatigue built pretty quickly after I got warmed up. I slowed in Mile 3 and debated whether to make that the turnaround point or keep with the original plan. I decided that I needed that run back up Llama Ridge that only comes when I hit 8 miles total, so I pushed on.

One thing I noticed was that the sense of fatigue didn't get worse. I slowed a bit more, but not horribly. I was able to keep my HR more or less in line. So I'd consider it a success.

Walked first and last 5 minutes. Average HR for entire run: 133

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:58 pm

@Mark B wrote:This just in: Alita has decided that she wants to do the 12-hour event next year, aiming for marathon distance or better.

Methinks she's caught the bug.  

Methinks I'll be joining her. Very Happy

Woohoo for both of you!  That's exciting news!!

*

Failed attempt at my first low HR run today.  It wasn't a good day to try it so I'm going to give it another shot in a few days but let's just say I failed miserably.  I'm headed out to swath hay so will give you the details later.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:27 pm

@nkrichards wrote:
@Mark B wrote:This just in: Alita has decided that she wants to do the 12-hour event next year, aiming for marathon distance or better.

Methinks she's caught the bug.  

Methinks I'll be joining her. Very Happy

Woohoo for both of you!  That's exciting news!!

*

Failed attempt at my first low HR run today.  It wasn't a good day to try it so I'm going to give it another shot in a few days but let's just say I failed miserably.  I'm headed out to swath hay so will give you the details later.
Injury-free Mark will have to stay.  Sucks that track record is.  Suspect

New foot can be had at:
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:24 pm

@nkrichards wrote:
@Mark B wrote:This just in: Alita has decided that she wants to do the 12-hour event next year, aiming for marathon distance or better.

Methinks she's caught the bug.  

Methinks I'll be joining her. Very Happy

Woohoo for both of you!  That's exciting news!!

*

Failed attempt at my first low HR run today.  It wasn't a good day to try it so I'm going to give it another shot in a few days but let's just say I failed miserably.  I'm headed out to swath hay so will give you the details later.

FAIL = First Attempt In Learning

It's not easy, and it takes time to get right. But you'll get it. Keep trying!


@ounce wrote:Injury-free Mark will have to stay.  Sucks that track record is.  Suspect

New foot can be had at:

Hey, now! I'm not that injury prone. Just klutzy. And unlucky. With a problematic core, funky feet and all sorts of bad habits. If all goes well, and I don't get hurt, it should be ... fine.

Sigh.

Well, at least my work's insurance coverage is changing July 1, which means I'll be able to see a PT for only $35 a visit rather than having to pay full freight until hitting a $2,000 deductible. cheers

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:01 pm

4 x Hill Repeats: 3.85 miles total

Weather: Overcast, mild, muggy. 62° Gear: Topos, shorts, T. Fuel: none

Trying to work on the hill-climbing aspect of my next race, so Alita and I headed out to the Salmon Creek Greenway. Alita went for a run on the greenway trail while I took the steep climb out of the greenway. The road climbs about 170 feet in about .4 mile - steep enough to make me work but not so steep I had to walk. I let my HR rise up, but I kept away from the wind-sucking stage. I practiced a light descent on the first three trips down. On the final descent, I let gravity take me and got to enjoy (?) flying along at a 6:11 pace. All I could think was "Relax! Don't trip!" all the way down.



Total climbing was about 750 feet to about 850 feet depending on the program. I could have done more, but four was enough for today.

Did a 5-mintue walking warmup and cool down with Alita. She also had a good run but took one look up the hill and left me to it.

Average HR for entire run: 131. Max HR: 164

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:04 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@nkrichards wrote:
@Mark B wrote:This just in: Alita has decided that she wants to do the 12-hour event next year, aiming for marathon distance or better.

Methinks she's caught the bug.  

Methinks I'll be joining her. Very Happy

Woohoo for both of you!  That's exciting news!!

*

Failed attempt at my first low HR run today.  It wasn't a good day to try it so I'm going to give it another shot in a few days but let's just say I failed miserably.  I'm headed out to swath hay so will give you the details later.

FAIL = First Attempt In Learning

It's not easy, and it takes time to get right. But you'll get it. Keep trying!


@ounce wrote:Injury-free Mark will have to stay.  Sucks that track record is.  Suspect

New foot can be had at:

Hey, now! I'm not that injury prone. Just klutzy. And unlucky. With a problematic core, funky feet and all sorts of bad habits. If all goes well, and I don't get hurt, it should be ... fine.

Sigh.

Well, at least my work's insurance coverage is changing July 1, which means I'll be able to see a PT for only $35 a visit rather than having to pay full freight until hitting a $2,000 deductible. cheers

One way to make sure that you won't be needing to visit the PT is to have coverage for those visits.  I guess that's a win-win.

*
Promised details on the failed LHR run on Thursday.  I did not react well to a stressful situation on Tuesday evening and as a result slept very little if at all.  I skipped swimming and tried to nap on Wednesday without much luck.  Finally realized at 2:00 that I had not had anything to eat or drink since the night before.  Put together a half sandwich and poured a mug of coffee and spent the rest of the afternoon in the swather.  For some odd reason I thought I would attempt a LHR run Thursday morning...after Pilates.  Set the HR alarm for 112.  Walked my HR up to 90 and then transitioned into a slow jog.   Beep, beep, beep.  Walked it back down.  Beep, beep, beep.  This was not looking good.  In less than a quarter mile the alarm had gone off 8 times.  Each time I walked it back down to 90-95 and tried to jog slow.  My form was awful.  I was in fowl mood and I swear my HR was 112 when I was just standing there!!  Turned the alarm off and for about 15 seconds I thought I could run the tempo run that was on my schedule.  Quickly came to my senses and just tried to run slow.  I ended up running 6.5 miles at the slowest pace I've done recently...and the highest HR.  I'm not blaming this on running or monitoring heart rates...it was all about poor choices.

Running is supposed to be fun.  Running is supposed to help me deal with the stresses of life, not add to them.  I'm not going to run with the HR alarm on...at least not for now.  I am going to admit that I am probably running to fast and make a conscious effort to slow it down.  I'll be rethinking my training over the next few days.  I'll move this discussion over to my blog so that I don't clutter yours up but I will continue to look into some changes.

*
Nice hill work Mark.  It was nice to hear that even a LHR devote like you was willing open it up and "blow out the gunk" on that last downhill.  Probably a good thing that Alita was waiting at the bottom of the hill just in case you did decide to pretend you were Humpty Dumpty.  When did you say that you had coverage for appointments with the PT?
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:52 pm

@nkrichards wrote:One way to make sure that you won't be needing to visit the PT is to have coverage for those visits.  I guess that's a win-win.

*
Promised details on the failed LHR run on Thursday.  I did not react well to a stressful situation on Tuesday evening and as a result slept very little if at all.  I skipped swimming and tried to nap on Wednesday without much luck.  Finally realized at 2:00 that I had not had anything to eat or drink since the night before.  Put together a half sandwich and poured a mug of coffee and spent the rest of the afternoon in the swather.  For some odd reason I thought I would attempt a LHR run Thursday morning...after Pilates.  Set the HR alarm for 112.  Walked my HR up to 90 and then transitioned into a slow jog.   Beep, beep, beep.  Walked it back down.  Beep, beep, beep.  This was not looking good.  In less than a quarter mile the alarm had gone off 8 times.  Each time I walked it back down to 90-95 and tried to jog slow.  My form was awful.  I was in fowl mood and I swear my HR was 112 when I was just standing there!!  Turned the alarm off and for about 15 seconds I thought I could run the tempo run that was on my schedule.  Quickly came to my senses and just tried to run slow.  I ended up running 6.5 miles at the slowest pace I've done recently...and the highest HR.  I'm not blaming this on running or monitoring heart rates...it was all about poor choices.

Running is supposed to be fun.  Running is supposed to help me deal with the stresses of life, not add to them.  I'm not going to run with the HR alarm on...at least not for now.  I am going to admit that I am probably running to fast and make a conscious effort to slow it down.  I'll be rethinking my training over the next few days.  I'll move this discussion over to my blog so that I don't clutter yours up but I will continue to look into some changes.

*
Nice hill work Mark.  It was nice to hear that even a LHR devote like you was willing open it up and "blow out the gunk" on that last downhill.  Probably a good thing that Alita was waiting at the bottom of the hill just in case you did decide to pretend you were Humpty Dumpty.  When did you say that you had coverage for appointments with the PT?

Hoo, boy. You picked a bad day to try a low HR run, that's for sure! There's no way that'd go well.

If I may, I'd like to make a few suggestions:

1) Turn off the alarm on your monitor. Configure your screen so you can see the HR and pay heed to it without being jarred by the dang thing beeping. My use of the alarm on low HR runs lasted about a quarter mile. It was either that or smash the Garmin to smithereens on the sidewalk. True story.

2) Don't try to run at first. Yes. That's what I said. As an experiment, start off walking. (I mean after your mandatory 5-minute walking warm-up.) If your HR is nice and low, walk faster. If you can walk fast enough to get you into the proper zone, keep walking. Only move up to running if you can't hit the HR by walking. Remember, you're attempting to condition muscle fibers that you have NEVER WORKED BEFORE.

2a) If you can run and not immediately blow through your HR target, do it, but be sure to stop and walk your HR down to the bottom of the range when your heart rate climbs over your target. Then start again. It'll drive you crazy, but with time you'll have to do it less and less.

3) Understand that this a completely different training approach, and it's difficult at first. Especially to high-achieving, competitive, energetic people. But it gets easier with time. And it can yield pretty amazing results.

4) Make sure you're doing this at the right time. If you're hot and heavy in racing season, it's the wrong time to be doing this sort of training. Wait until races are done and you want to work on your base. And the next time racing season arrives, you'll be better for it.

:gets off soapbox:

Thanks on the hill work! I have a trail race on July 10 that has a lot of vertical in it. I need to get my legs and lungs ready to work harder. The better I prepare, the easier those climbs get, even when I'm power hiking. As far as low HR training goes, I'm trying to use it as much as I can, but I also understand that I need to mix it up. Even Maffetone says that!

Very funny on Mr. Dumpty. PT coverage improves after July 1. Hopefully I won't be needing it. Smile

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:18 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@nkrichards wrote:One way to make sure that you won't be needing to visit the PT is to have coverage for those visits.  I guess that's a win-win.

*
Promised details on the failed LHR run on Thursday.  I did not react well to a stressful situation on Tuesday evening and as a result slept very little if at all.  I skipped swimming and tried to nap on Wednesday without much luck.  Finally realized at 2:00 that I had not had anything to eat or drink since the night before.  Put together a half sandwich and poured a mug of coffee and spent the rest of the afternoon in the swather.  For some odd reason I thought I would attempt a LHR run Thursday morning...after Pilates.  Set the HR alarm for 112.  Walked my HR up to 90 and then transitioned into a slow jog.   Beep, beep, beep.  Walked it back down.  Beep, beep, beep.  This was not looking good.  In less than a quarter mile the alarm had gone off 8 times.  Each time I walked it back down to 90-95 and tried to jog slow.  My form was awful.  I was in fowl mood and I swear my HR was 112 when I was just standing there!!  Turned the alarm off and for about 15 seconds I thought I could run the tempo run that was on my schedule.  Quickly came to my senses and just tried to run slow.  I ended up running 6.5 miles at the slowest pace I've done recently...and the highest HR.  I'm not blaming this on running or monitoring heart rates...it was all about poor choices.

Running is supposed to be fun.  Running is supposed to help me deal with the stresses of life, not add to them.  I'm not going to run with the HR alarm on...at least not for now.  I am going to admit that I am probably running to fast and make a conscious effort to slow it down.  I'll be rethinking my training over the next few days.  I'll move this discussion over to my blog so that I don't clutter yours up but I will continue to look into some changes.

*
Nice hill work Mark.  It was nice to hear that even a LHR devote like you was willing open it up and "blow out the gunk" on that last downhill.  Probably a good thing that Alita was waiting at the bottom of the hill just in case you did decide to pretend you were Humpty Dumpty.  When did you say that you had coverage for appointments with the PT?

Hoo, boy. You picked a bad day to try a low HR run, that's for sure! There's no way that'd go well.

If I may, I'd like to make a few suggestions:

1) Turn off the alarm on your monitor. Configure your screen so you can see the HR and pay heed to it without being jarred by the dang thing beeping. My use of the alarm on low HR runs lasted about a quarter mile. It was either that or smash the Garmin to smithereens on the sidewalk. True story.

2) Don't try to run at first. Yes. That's what I said. As an experiment, start off walking. (I mean after your mandatory 5-minute walking warm-up.) If your HR is nice and low, walk faster. If you can walk fast enough to get you into the proper zone, keep walking. Only move up to running if you can't hit the HR by walking. Remember, you're attempting to condition muscle fibers that you have NEVER WORKED BEFORE.

2a) If you can run and not immediately blow through your HR target, do it, but be sure to stop and walk your HR down to the bottom of the range when your heart rate climbs over your target. Then start again. It'll drive you crazy, but with time you'll have to do it less and less.

3) Understand that this a completely different training approach, and it's difficult at first. Especially to high-achieving, competitive, energetic people. But it gets easier with time. And it can yield pretty amazing results.

4) Make sure you're doing this at the right time. If you're hot and heavy in racing season, it's the wrong time to be doing this sort of training. Wait until races are done and you want to work on your base. And the next time racing season arrives, you'll be better for it.

:gets off soapbox:

Thanks on the hill work! I have a trail race on July 10 that has a lot of vertical in it. I need to get my legs and lungs ready to work harder. The better I prepare, the easier those climbs get, even when I'm power hiking. As far as low HR training goes, I'm trying to use it as much as I can, but I also understand that I need to mix it up. Even Maffetone says that!

Very funny on Mr. Dumpty. PT coverage improves after July 1. Hopefully I won't be needing it. Smile

 Thanks Mark.  I'll keep your suggestions in mind.  I do agree that this may not be the best time for me to try this.  I'm just to excited about being allowed to run again and CIM is only 23 weeks away...  Wish I had thought to try this as I was recovering from my cardiac event.  I think the timing would have been perfect and Dr. B would have been quite pleased.  Oh well...I'm going to take the time to learn a bit more and then maybe it would be a good way to spend the winter and early spring months. I did find the Hadd article very interesting.  I'm going to dig out my race results from 2012 and 2013 and see what the relationship between them was.  Maybe I'll have enough results from this year to do the same.  I'd also like to figure out what my maximum HR actually is.  And I've got some books on the way that should make for some interesting reading.  And I am going to try and slow my long runs down...

*
What actually impressed me most about your hill workout was that you were able to keep your HR as low as you did!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:19 pm

@nkrichards wrote:Thanks Mark.  I'll keep your suggestions in mind.  I do agree that this may not be the best time for me to try this.  I'm just to excited about being allowed to run again and CIM is only 23 weeks away...  Wish I had thought to try this as I was recovering from my cardiac event.  I think the timing would have been perfect and Dr. B would have been quite pleased.  Oh well...I'm going to take the time to learn a bit more and then maybe it would be a good way to spend the winter and early spring months. I did find the Hadd article very interesting.  I'm going to dig out my race results from 2012 and 2013 and see what the relationship between them was.  Maybe I'll have enough results from this year to do the same.  I'd also like to figure out what my maximum HR actually is.  And I've got some books on the way that should make for some interesting reading.  And I am going to try and slow my long runs down...

*
What actually impressed me most about your hill workout was that you were able to keep your HR as low as you did!

Yeah, I think Type A personalities on a deadline and Maffetone-style training don't mix well. Save it for the winter, and you'll be glad you did. I'm also glad you made it through Hadd. He does a better job explaining why this sort of training works than Maffetone. I followed his guidelines as much -- or maybe even a little more -- than Maffetone's.

As for the hills, thank you! But to be clear, I wasn't bounding up them. Doing that would have maxed out my HR pretty quickly. My goal was to get used to grinding away at a comfortably hard effort level, just below wind-sucking. I almost crossed over a couple of times, and I could sure tell the difference. What a Face

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:43 pm

Hills and flats: 12.32 miles

Weather: Sunny, warming. 57-64°. Gear; Topos, shorts, T. Fuel: None (no breakfast, either), just water. 1 S-Cap.

I'm officially in taper now, so that means this weekend's main run needed to be about 12 miles, and would likely suck. These runs usually do. Especially after hard hill repeats. So, since it was going to be hard anyway, why not make it about as hard as possible short of climbing a mountain?

So I hopped out of bed early and headed out on the hilliest route I can get to from my house. I was either going to go out six miles and return the same route, which would double the hills, or make a big loop with opportunities for several miles of steady-state running AFTER the hills have pounded my legs. I'm not sure which is harder, but when I was out there, I decided that the loop course would offer a better stimulus. Almost a 3/1 type of affair.



Looking at my splits, it actually WAS a 3/1. The last four miles were my fastest, and my last mile was the fastest of all. I could feel it, too. Yowza. I didn't walk a single hill. I let my HR rise on the climbs and recovered on the downhills. Once I got out of the hills, I found a steady pace of and held it. I pushed a bit harder in the last third of a mile because, well, what the heck.



Walked first and last 5 minutes. Average HR for entire run: 139. Max: 161


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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:39 pm

Trails: About 3 miles with Alita

Weather: Sunny and warm. 76-79° Gear: Lone Peaks, shorts, T. Fuel: Carried water.

A slow-and-easy run through our neighborhood forest. My legs were still feeling the workout from yesterday but my HR wasn't. It was significantly lower than I would have expected throughout. We were going slower than usual, but still. Hoping it's a good sign.

Time is correct but distance is estimated. I'd stopped my Garmin briefly and forgot to start it again until later. So I'm using the estimate from Alita's iPhone.

Walked first 5, last few minutes. Average HR for entire run: 104. Max: 126

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:56 pm

Trails: 7.3 miles at altitude!

Weather: Sunny and cool, warming. Gear: Topos, shorts, T. Fuel: Pre-breakfast, some water.

Taking some vacation time in Central Oregon, so we took advantage of the great trail system at La Pine State Park. We took a relaxed pace and just kept going - a lot further than I'd expected we would have. It was a pretty day for it, though, and we both handled it well.

No HR strap (left it at home), so this was entirely by feel.

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:38 pm

I'll post up some photos later, but here's our one run from Canada (we did a LOT of walking).

Easy Run: 4 miles

Weather: Mostly sunny, cool, breezy. About 56° Gear: Topos, shorts, T.

Out with Alita doing a route around Victoria's Inner Harbor on our last day in Canada. We'd never managed to get out on any other day, and I needed to do something other than walk.

We started at our hotel and followed a path that hugged the shore all the way into the inner harbor (or "harbour" as they spell it), then went onto city streets briefly, over a drawbridge and back out on the opposite shore. It was a beautiful place to run, and we were out early enough to where we didn't have to dodge too many people.



Didn't bring my HR strap, but we tried to keep an easy pace.



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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:22 pm

So, there's this thing coming up this weekend, and I might as well acknowledge it.

MOUNT HOOD 50K!



Here's the course description: The first 21 miles of this race are on the 50-mile course. Runners will start by running north from the Clackamas Ranger Station, skirting the eastern edge of Timothy Lake before joining the Pacific Crest Trail. You’ll pass through two aid stations before reaching the turnaround aid station. You will then return the way you came on the PCT, but will turn onto Timothy Lake trail when you reach the lake, running counter clockwise around it. After one last stop at an aid station at the dam, you’ll head for the finish line. The trail is generally soft with good footing, although there are some technical sections with rocks and roots.

Oh boy, do I remember those roots.

Here's a view of the course map...



... the elevation profile...



... and the aid station situation:



All pretty straightforward.

The race starts at 8 a.m. and there's a cutoff time at 20.8 miles (Little Crater Lake aid station #5), where all runners must leave this aid station by 1:30 pm. They say anyone averaging a 16-minute pace or faster should be able to complete the race.  

Those are the course details. I've run all the course before except the lap around the west side of the lake. Not many surprises there.

One surprise, however, is the weather:

Friday Night Showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 46. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Saturday Rain likely before 11am, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 52. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
That's going to be very interesting for the 50-milers, who run on Saturday.

Not that the 50K people are getting off all *that* easy...

Saturday Night Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a low around 44. Chance of precipitation is 62%.
Sunday Showers likely, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Chance of precipitation is 59% in the morning, dropping to 44% after 10 a.m.

So heat's not going to be a big issue like the last time I was up here. Cool, cloudy and possibly wet. And steady winds of 6-9 mph out of the west. Yep. Heat not an issue. Looks like I'll be taking my hat and jacket and just toting them if they don't end up being needed. (No drop bags.) The trail is pretty sandy, so I'm not expecting mud. I'll wear my Lone Peak 2s.

The plan (such as it is)

We are driving up to Government Camp, the nearest town, with plans to spend Saturday night and Sunday night. Alec will come along but turn the room into a den is our absence, playing video games and eating pizza. Alita will be volunteering, handing out race numbers and such at the start, so we'll be up EARLY and at the site a couple of hours before the fun begins. I'll need to wear extra clothes to avoid getting chilled.

I have no specific race plans other than to see what my different approach to training did for me. I will probably wear my HR monitor, and I'll attempt whatever sort of pace my body seems to be able to handle that day. I'm crossing my fingers on that one.

The only issues I have (other than feeling undertrained) is a cranky right ankle that really disliked all the walking and standing we did over the past few days in Victoria. I'm letting it rest now and hope to do a shake-out run by Friday.

Questions? Bring 'em on.

Oh, one other thing. That race report I did after the Mount Hood 50 is being promoted by race organizers and volunteers in connection with this year's event. They're even noting that I'm going to be back this year (!) for the 50K. That ought to make for some interesting conversations...

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