Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mark Allen went from 9's to 5:15's. At the same heart rate.


I just finished listening to a great podcast on Trail Runner Nation, on a brisk six mile jog around the town of Boone.

The interview is with Dr. Phil Maffetone.  "Dr. Phil" holds a doctorate degree in chiropractic and expounds on a host of topics.  Here's the link:

http://trailrunnernation.com/2013/01/dr-phil-maffetone-speed-up-by-slowing-down/

I don't want to unpack the details, but I do want to tease you with the premise of his argument. Maffetone discusses his fitness training work with triathlon icon Mark Allen. Allen was working with Maffetone on heart rate training, which in 1983, was quite the process. Maffetone states that prior to our modern chest strap and watch technology, heart rate monitors were contained in a cumbersome vest with various straps and riggings. Allen would climb into this contraption, then run laps for analysis.

Allen was able to benchmark his heart rate and then work from that foundation to alleviate stressors that were pulling down his performance. According to Maffetone, that can play out in work stress, family stress, bodily stress related to bad food choices, etc.

Maffetone states that Allen went from running 9 minute miles to steady-state 5:15 miles - at the same heart rate. It's all about "aerobic function" and the efficiency of your performance.

This throws my former paradigm on its head. I believed if you're not going fast enough, speed up and learn how to take the pain of a higher heart rate.  Running at 130 bpm?  Jack it up to 160 and hang on, bro.

There are many other interesting points made, but this learning gem was enough for me.  Maybe I can build off what I have and keep the thump rate where it is.

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