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Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just read a quote from this Mark Allen (ironman) article, and i can't stop think about it. http://www.duathlon.com/articles/1460

I suppose I'm just asking about the old Dr Maffetone "train slower to get faster" thing.
http://www.rrca.org/publicat/slowdown.html

Mark Allen basically says in the article that he was training too hard as a runner until he got a HR monitor in the late 80s, then some dude call Maffetone told him to ONLY run at ~80% maxHR, which he did for four months. He says, after his body learnt to burn more fat, that:

"at the end of that period, my pace at the same heart rate of 155 (80% max) beats/minute had improved by over a minute. And after nearly a year of doing mostly aerobic training, which by the way was much more comfortable and less taxing than the anaerobic style that I was used to, my pace at 155 beats/minute had improved to a blistering 5:20 mile. "

so, his 80% run pace was an 8:15 minute mile, but, after ONLY training at 80%maxHR for a year, his 80% run pace dropped to a 5:20 minute mile!!!


Does this work on the bike?


I've heard this every now and then over the years, but, being a bit of a meathead, I've dismissed it. Maybe I've been training too hard all these years!!!
post #2 of 12

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 531Aussie
I just read a quote from this Mark Allen (ironman) article, and i can't stop think about it. http://www.duathlon.com/articles/1460

I suppose I'm just asking about the old Dr Maffetone "train slower to get faster" thing.
http://www.rrca.org/publicat/slowdown.html

Mark Allen basically says in the article that he was training too hard as a runner until he got a HR monitor in the late 80s, then some dude call Maffetone told him to ONLY run at ~80% maxHR, which he did for four months. He says, after his body learnt to burn more fat, that:

"at the end of that period, my pace at the same heart rate of 155 (80% max) beats/minute had improved by over a minute. And after nearly a year of doing mostly aerobic training, which by the way was much more comfortable and less taxing than the anaerobic style that I was used to, my pace at 155 beats/minute had improved to a blistering 5:20 mile. "

so, his 80% run pace was an 8:15 minute mile, but, after ONLY training at 80%maxHR for a year, his 80% run pace dropped to a 5:20 minute mile!!!


Does this work on the bike?


I've heard this every now and then over the years, but, being a bit of a meathead, I've dismissed it. Maybe I've been training too hard all these years!!!
Sounds like this was recommended as a regimen because the athlete had overreached/overtrained. However another possible solution is to just reduce mileage. Certainly MAP will drop if an athlete has been doing interval training at >90% MAP and then stops doing it.

As to your particular situation Aussie531, why do you think you have been training too hard? If you have, would you consider reducing mileage as a possible solution?! Personally, I find interval training easier than 6 hr rides at say, 75% MHR.

-Bikeguy
post #3 of 12

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

Quote:
Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?
Possibly, but it would take much more time than doing intervals. The advantage is that it may keep one's fatigue in check.
post #4 of 12

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeguy
Sounds like this was recommended as a regimen because the athlete had overreached/overtrained.
To me it sounded like a switch in training modes from being a competitive swimmer to a triathlete. With the longer swimming distances involved, and the 2 other legs of the competition, it seems logical that anaerobic training would not be very specific to the triathalon, whereas it may have been for some swimming races.

I don't think there's anything magical about 70-80% MHR, or that there's a "maximum aerobic HR" as the article would have us believe. Training should be specific to the demands of the events one desires to succeed in. If you're going to ride 4-6 hour events, then you'll probably need lots of 70-80% MHR training to be good at it.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

hmmmmm......intersting. Thanks for the replies

I still find it fascinating the guy's 80% HR running speed improved so dramatically!!
post #6 of 12

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

In my mind, this is a fairly simple question.

In endurance, there is power, and capacity (among other things of course).

Harder intensity/shorter duration generally help power, lower intensity/longer duration helps capacity (maintaining the power level).

Both are interconnected in my mind, I may be wrong of course. But I think there is a relation between the volume of L2, versus L3. You do L2, in order to be able to extand the base (capacity) of L3. Doing some L3 helps extanding the base of L4 intervals, and so on... If you want to win for instance, you must do enough L4-6 to get the required pace, and then extand by the bottom to be able to hold that pace.

In that sens, stating that doing volume at 70-80% is very important, I'd say yes, but that importance is closely related to that of the race pace.

The pace during a 8:30 event isn't that high, compared to the Olymic event for instance (1.5 / 40 / 10).

On a bike, these guys are performing a pacing exercice, where feeding, hydratation and good position (aero vs biomechanical compromise) play a major role. When you start on the bike, the percived effort is rather low. The pace is fairly easy. It's a 5 hr event, followed by a marathon.

On the run, every single competitor, can easily get the appropriate level of power, by doing intervals only once a week.

Yes training between 70 and 80% increase avg power, but it does by allowing a certain power level to be hold for a longer duration.
post #7 of 12

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 531Aussie
I still find it fascinating the guy's 80% HR running speed improved so dramatically!!
Well, really he had to *slow* his training pace dramatically at first. Through his training he was able to work back up to what he could already do before pace-wise, but now with less duress. He didn't technically get 'faster' by running 'slower'.

There are people who use the same approach in biking. If their goal is to ride for an hour at 25 mph, they start the ride at 25 mph and hold it as long as they can. If they die after 15 minutes, then they come back tomorrow hoping to hold it for 16 minutes, and so on until they reach an hour. A better approach is to work on your 1-hr speed (whatever it may be) and try to incrementally push it up to 25 mph over time.
post #8 of 12

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

I agree with you Frenchy

If Mark was always running at high intensity before, he was wrong.

Here is a "sample" running program for an Ironman athlete
1 slow LSD ~ 120 to 150 min
1 tempo ~ 60 to 90 min
1 intensity ~ 30 to 45 min
1 ez ~ 45 to 75 min
For a total week of 65 to 80 km
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

so, would you guys suggest the improvements were dramatic only because he was overtraining?

I've done a bit of Googling in the last 24hrs, and this Maffetone stuff is well known in the triathlon world. Some of the stuff on the tri forums says that, because riding requires more leg strength than running, rarely riding at more than 80% max HR isn't as appropriate.
post #10 of 12

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 531Aussie
so, would you guys suggest the improvements were dramatic only because he was overtraining?
Personally, I'd say they *seem* dramatic because of the way the article was written (ie, the details were placed specifically to support the point of the article, and left out where they may not have).

Here's what I read:
1) secret of training smart = HR monitor (article title & para 2)
2) when he started tri's he would try to achieve the running speed of the top athletes on every run (for at least a mile)
3) this approach worked to some extent (details left out), but left him tired and near burnout. (para 5)
4) got HR monitor and talked to Maffetone.
5) slowed target pace by 3 minutes.
6) trained for 4 months at *exclusively* low HR - improved target pace by 1 minute.
7) trained another 8 months at *mostly* low HR - improved target pace to nearly the target pace in step 3.
8) discovered at some point during this period that he still needed to go back to the hard intervals that he was doing before ("So you will have to go back to the NO Pain, NO Gain credo once again." - 3rd para from bottom.) which contributed to the results achieved between steps 5-7 and show why he says 'mostly' in step 7 and 'exclusively' in step 6.
9) trained and competed for 14 more years.
10) wrote article about HR monitors and dramatic benefits thereof.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

thanks again for the reply

I'll do some more Googling and try to find out if Maffetone's stuff is more for runners than cyclists.
post #12 of 12

Re: Can training at 70% to 80% max HR increase power in trained riders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 531Aussie
I'll do some more Googling and try to find out if Maffetone's stuff is more for runners than cyclists.
Don't get me wrong, 70-80% MHR training is beneficial - I'd use that for longer rides of ~3+ hours if I were training for events that long or longer. But a cyclist will still need those hard intervals if he plans on racing or even hanging in a spirited group ride. If you do *all* of your training in that range you'll get dropped on hills or during surges. Because of the aerodynamic effects, competitive cycling entails more severe power surges than running, and hence more hard intervals are needed.
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