If you ask any of the local triathletes if they know such “Maffetone’s Training” and if they tell you, NO, it’s either they are ignorant or they don’t want to share their training “secret” to you. If an average or competitive triathlete does not know about this kind of training, I guess, he/she is not training properly to develop what the training calls, “aerobic speed”! In the truer sense of the word, the “holistic approach in endurance training and racing”
I bought the Kindle version of the Dr. Phil Maffetone’s “The Big Book On Endurance Training and Racing” two months ago and started to follow his Training by adhering to the 180 Formula as my Maximum Aerobic Function by monitoring my Heart Rate. With a purchase of the simplest and most basic HR Monitor watch, I started to follow such training for the past weeks. 180 Formula would simply mean subtracting your age to 180 as your maximum aerobic heart rate during your aerobic phase workouts.
On my first week of the training, I could hardly bring down my HR to 121 beats per minute while on a slow jog. I started with 142 beats per minute on the first days of my 1st week and then gradually bringing it down to 138 bpm. Later, I could easily jog at an HR rate of 135 bpm. During the Takbo Runfest 16K and MILO Marathon Eliminations, I was able to bring my average HR to 130-132 beats per minute. This is the very reason why I am always on the tail end in the past road races. Actually, I was trying to “cheat” on the 180 Formula as my desired training HR could had been 121 beats per minute which translated to a brisk walking activity.
But on my 1st MAF Test on an oval track lately, I was able to constantly follow the desired Maximum Heart Rate of 121 beats per minute throughout the workout. And the results follow what the Maffetone Training intends to advocate. We will see what will be the result on my 2nd MAF Test after 3-4 weeks.
It is also surprising to most of the runners (in these past road races) that they observed me to be using some “wires”. Yes, I renewed my love to music during my workouts and road races by sporting an Ipod Shuffle which is light and easy to clip! Maffetone’s training includes music and some form of cadence and beats through selected kinds of music as part of one’s playlist.
What are the initial observations and benefits I got from this kind of training? First of all, I can have a workout that lasts for hours and hours without any pain or sorenes. After running for almost 5 hours at the MILO, I could walk straight and without any limp after the race, moreso, on the following day there were no pains on my legs. On the nutrition side, by following a “no carbo”diet one week before the MILO run, I did not feel hungry during the duration of the run and maintained my constant hydration through water and my Gatorade G2 mix. I did not mind getting and eating those ripe bananas in the Aid Stations. The best result? I did not have any kind of muscle cramps on any part of my legs and body! I was amazed and surprised about such result. No “bonking” and no “wall” to speak of even if my past training long runs would last for only 2 1/2 hours with an average HR of 130-132 beats per minute!
Last week, I discovered that Dr Phil Maffetone has a website which is very informative and updated as compared to the book I purchased. I am going to share his website to my readers with the hope that they will be able to follow the training and its philosophy with patience and positive attitude.
The following is the website: http://philmaffetone.com. For those who are joining the 1st BR Barefoot Run, it would be an interesting one for them to read his article “GAIT–Why Every Runner Is Different, and How You can Go Faster……, and other related running articles.
To my ultra running friends, I suggest you take a look at this training and try it. Patience and Positive attitude play a great role if you want to adhere to this kind of training philosophy.
Enjoy and have fun reading the articles and essays of Dr Phil Maffetone. Happy weekend!