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Ride easy to lose weight and to inprove times.(9 posts)

Ride easy to lose weight and to inprove times.zray61
Jun 5, 2002 4:39 PM
There was a posting on May-23-02, "Ride easy to lose say what?"

I would like to reopen the discussion because a few important points were missed. The first is that Dr. Phil Maffetone is the leading
proponent of this training method. "The Maffetone Method", "The High
Performance Heart" are some of his books which are reviewed on Amazon.

Also, he has a web site mafgroup
which contains The Maffetone Report - a newsletter on diet and

Another proponent of this type of training is Stu Mittleman, his book
is "Slow Burn" (burn fat faster by exercising slower)

For endurance I have found this type of training excellent. I had a
major operation and truly lost my aerobic base. In training I was using too many sugars, and I was not regaining my health or acquiring endurance using regular methods. Using Maffetone Method of:

Heart Rate Training Zone
180 minus age = Heart Rate Zone

e.g 180 - 30 = 150 (HR zone is 145 -150)

for major operations or

health problems deduct another
150-10= 140 (HRZ is 135 -140)

While you are working on aerobic base don't
excede your HRZ at any time. In other words,
it is not aerobic base one day, intervals the
next. It could take a few good months to build
your aerobic base.

also, a 12 minute warn up where you gradually approach the HRZ and a 12 minute cool down from the HRZ is requested.

Diet is small amounts of protein with your carbs coming from vegetables. Fats are from virgin olive oil.

****** the above is a terrible recap of Maffetone's Method *********
****** but hopefully it gives a hint of the method. ****************

Does it Work? Yes! For endurance it is great. But what about sprints
or power surges. No idea, I'm still working on aerobic base.
re: Ride easy to lose weight and to inprove times.JSchneb
Jun 6, 2002 5:47 AM

I've actually read "The High Performance Heart" and found it to be very interesting.

It's funny, but the 180-age = aerobic max HR correlates pretty closely w/the Zone 2 HR that I calculated based on my LTHR.

In spite of this correlatin, however, I'm a bit leary of HR calculations that are based on a static number rather than individual performance (such as Lactate Threshold). I'll give you an example:

My friend and I are the same age (30) and roughly the same level of fitness. My LTHR is ~173 or so, and his is about 15bpm less than mine. At a HR of 150 (which is aerobic max for both of us according to The Maffetone Method), I'm aerobic where as he is pushing close to his threshold (at this point, he's at least partially anerobic - I could tell by listening to his breathing). At a HR of 150bpm, my friend is not getting any of the benefits of training aerobically.

This is actually a real example, and it was what made me question the 180-age method a few years back.

I do agree that during the base period, the focus of training should be on building your aerobic engine. For me, this means staying ~150 bpm or so. I have done this in the past with great results. Unfortunately, it seems like most people are just interested in hammering all of the time (at least the people that I ride with), and it's forced me to do most of my base riding alone...
re: Ride easy to lose weight and to inprove times.jukosho
Jun 6, 2002 9:32 AM
Ok.. so it's better to NOT ride hard ? First year cyclist, logged about 600 miles so far, and I have been riding near my LT (80-85% of max HR for me.. about 160). Should I be doing a slower pace for longer distance or something to build the "base"? A rider friend mentioned something like that to build capillaries in the thighs to better facilitate oxygen(sounds kind of doctor-speak to me). Any training advice for a first year cyclist on HR zones? Everyone I have asked has had a different opinion, and I have been reading lance's training book as well. Some say do hills one day, TT some, endurance miles,etc.. Carmichael suggests only working on one of these at a time for 4 week sessions. HELP! :)
You sound like you're making the classic beginners...Wayne
Jun 6, 2002 9:48 AM
mistake of riding every ride at the same effort level. The bulk of your rides should be done at a fairly easy aerobic pace, probably below 80-85% of max HR, more in the 55-70% range. These will stimulate the basic adapatations to endurance exercise, such as increased capillarization of the muscle and heart, increase aerobic enzymes in the muscle, stronger heart, etc. without overly stressing your system. This will leave you fresh, for days where you do harder work, whether it's sustained hard aerobic paces (which sounds like what everyone of your days is currently), and harder efforts like threshold intervals, hill repeats, sprints, etc. And you're right everyone says different things but if you know what they're talking about, all endurance training programs no matter what the sport pretty much contain the same basic elements and actually most coaches follow the same basic principles, they just use different words.
re: Ride easy to lose weight and to inprove times.JSchneb
Jun 6, 2002 10:04 AM
In my opinion you should be basing your zones on % of you Lactate Threshold HR (the point where the lactate accumulates faster than the muscle can dispell it), not your Max HR. LT is a very individual thing; can't really gauge it as a % of max. Reference my post above as to why this is so.

Next, build a solid base of ~8-12 weeks of riding at sub LTHR's (for me, the 180-age method discussed above correlates pretty well - s/b roughly 89% of LTHR).

As far as mixing up your riding, I think that Carmichael has the right idea. It's been my experience that if you try to focus on more than one thing at a time you wind up being ok at everything and great at nothing.

I think that the best resource out there (other than a coach) is Joe Friel's Cyclist Training Bible. He advocates finding your "limiter" - that is, your weakest point, and focus your training on that.

I think "The Mattefone Method" might have some validity - my main question is how applicable it is to the racing cyclist. I remember a while back I focused strictly on aerobic fitness w/o any "quality" work (anerobic stuff). When I raced, I was able to hang in the group but when the hammer went down I was left in the dust.

I'm starting to wonder if it was just a case of my aerobic engine not being strong enough, because Mike Pigg & Mark Allen (two very successful triatheletes) seem to do well following Mattefone's principles.

Hope this helps
re: Ride easy to lose weight and to inprove times.zray61
Jun 6, 2002 7:21 PM
I want to thank those who responded.
My experience has been very similar to JSchneb's that most
people are more interested in hammering all the time. So going slow is a solo pursuit. Until people ask how much time did you spend instead of how many miles did you ride
it will probably remain so.
My own experience is that it is more difficult to ride slow
at least initially than it is to ride fast. I could not deny the physical pains as much at a lower HR so bike fit is more important. In my case, a new stem and handbars plus
a refit on the bike. But there is that great reward went it
clicks - after a few months you start going faster and it
is ease. You have been building something not enduring something, and you'll want to do it again tomorrow!

Again many thanks,
re: Ride easy to lose weight and to inprove times.JSchneb
Jun 7, 2002 6:01 AM

It would be great if you could keep some kind of dialogue open - I'd be interested to know how you're making out with "The MAF".

Like I said earlier, I gave it a try but perhaps I didn't give it long enough.
info from the fast ultra folksDougSloan
Jun 7, 2002 6:11 AM
You must have some intensity, too, if you really want to go faster. Here's a lot of info:

info from the fast ultra folkszray61
Jun 10, 2002 9:12 PM
Thanks to JSchneb & Doug for the lasted postings.
I'll try to keep the dialogue open. It will not be to hard to do.