Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adjusted Maffetone HR Zones

I've adjusted my Maffetone heart rate zones. That's what happens when you read a bunch of books, chat with your coach, and decide to tinker with your training. Coach Jeff just got a metabolic assessment with the New Leaf Fitness equipment. Jeff went to Nutrition at Work (I discovered the University of Illinois also offers the assessments through their Campus Recreation Center). He showed me all the cool print outs about oxygen and carbon dioxide consumption, heart rate zones, and fat vs carbohydrate burning. Much of the data matched Jeff's training zones based on Phil Maffetone & Stu Mittleman writings. I haven't done the metabolic assessment (I probably will in the next month or so). Still, after re-reading Mittleman and Maffetone, I think my zones need to be adjusted upwards just a bit. Here are my new heart rate training zones:

MAP: 118-138
MEP: 138-148 <= 148 is my top aerobic heart rate
SAP: 148-168

These are based on Maffetone's 180-age formula to determine the top aerobic heart rate. Using the pure Maffetone formula, with his approved adjustments, I end up with 180-42+5=143. I get that +5 adjustment for being a regular exerciser with no major illnesses or injuries. Stu Mittleman allows a +10 adjustment (rather than the Maffetone +5) for being an athlete training 3+ hours week and not having problems. So my "Mittleman" top aerobic heart rate becomes 180-42+10=148. The 148 top aerobic heart rate fits in well with Ernst Van Aaken teachings (he wants his athletes to stay at 150 or below). I did a nice MEP run using my new heart rate zone yesterday and it seemed to go well. I'll try a month of runs in the MAP & MEP zones to see if they continue to "feel right." Mittleman has great explanations of what each zone should be like from visual, auditory, kinesthetic, breathing, rate of perceived exertion, and "mindset" perspectives.

For details on how these zones are determined, check out these fine books:

Training for Endurance (2000)
Phil Maffetone

The Maffetone Method (1999)
Phil Maffetone

Slow Burn (2001)
Stu Mittleman

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