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How Do I Train?

I often get asked,  “How do you train?” – what heart rate, what duration, what intensity, etc… Well, here’s the general run-down:

I do practice what I preach, but also realize that I have been training and racing competitively for 20 years now. I started racing duathlons (run-bike-run) when I was still in high school, and now I’m 37 years old. I got my first heart rate monitor when I was around 18 and started racing triathlons around that age too, mostly because the duathlons were phasing out and eventually became non-existent. I knew how to swim, but I had to learn how to swim faster so I could race.

Anyway, I bring up the very brief history because I have done the one thing that most people never do in their entire lifetime –  I’ve built a really good aerobic base. I’ve put in the time where I’ve kept my heart rate in the “zone” to become very efficient at endurance racing. It didn’t take weeks or months, but years. That doesn’t mean I’ve only trained aerobically week after week, but I’ve taken periods of each year where training was entirely aerobic and other periods where it was less aerobic. I’ve overtrained enough in the past to learn when to change a heart rate program, or a training program for that matter. I’ve overtrained in the past by doing too much anaerobic activity > too much hard training and too much racing followed by not enough rest. But I’ve also overtrained by doing too much aerobic training, and this, as I’ve seen with treating people in the office, can mimic the same signs and symptoms as too much anaerobic work. Speaking of overtraining, I’m well aware that many use the term “over-reaching” now rather than overtraining – citing that most athletes over-reach but do not actually overtrain. Call it what you like – they’ve done too much and fitness and health are suffering.

Yes, I almost always wear a heart rate monitor. I’d say maybe a couple times a month I might not if I’m doing a very easy recovery workout, where I know my HR is going to be very low. Otherwise, whether I’m training by myself or with a group, I wear it, and I pay attention to it. I wear it often in races, but not all the time. I’d say almost always in Ironman and usually in Half IM races too or anything over a few hours. It’s the best way to know if I’m staying within my aerobic racing zone. Otherwise, I may be pushing too hard and will bonk before the end of the race, or maybe I’m not pushing it enough and need to pick up the pace. In any shorter race I don’t bother with the monitor because I’m going to be mostly anaerobic anyway.

The majority of my workouts are done within the 180-age formula. Since I am 37 and have been racing and training for some time now, I add 5. That puts me at 148, so my zone is essential in the 138-148 HR area. When I am in shape it is often very difficult for me to get my HR up to the higher 145+ level. I have to push myself. This is the one of the beautiful things about HR training and building your aerobic base, you become very efficient. I hear patients complain all the time that they can no longer run but have to walk because their heart rate is too high. Unfortunately, most don’t stick with the program. But when you do, you’ll eventually have to work at it to stay aerobic. So now when I go out for a run and I’m going along I often look at my watch and see I’m in the upper 130s or lower 140s and I have to pick up the pace a little bit to get my HR up into the upper aerobic zone.

When you are training for some time and looking to make the next leap in fitness gains, you will see you have to often stay in the upper end of the zone. This is one thing I don’t entirely agree with Dr. Phil Maffetone on. He notes that any activity in the aerobic zone or even below the zone will provide aerobic benefits. Although it will to some degree, you will reach a point of diminishing returns. You can’t go TOO easy TOO often. If my zone is 138-148 then I’m not going to keep building my aerobic development if I’m always hanging out in the 120s. That’s a recover heart rate – one to do after a race or hard workout. The other HR philosophy I tend to follow which Dr. Maffetone does not is the HR zone related to different activities. I follow the general rule of others that if you’re on the bike, you’re zone is going to be 5-8 beats lower, and another 5-8 lower for swimming. Are you rowing, skiing, or horseback riding? That may even be specific to you too. The reason for my different view on this is because lactate levels are different with each activity – they’re higher in cycling and swimming than in running at the same heart rate. In other words, a 150 HR swimming is going to be a lot harder than running at 150.

So ideally, where is your zone? Or, better yet – where are your zones? First, let me say I truly believe the 180-age formula is the best all-around formula out there. I think many people, including myself, owe a lot to Dr. Maffetone for coming up with such an easy and essentially universal formula. Of course, like anything out there, it is not for everybody. But, in my experience, (and I have a lot personally and professionally), and as mentioned before, most people think they are the exception to the formula – “How can I possibly train this easily at such a low heart rate and accomplish anything?” So for most, the 180-age formula is all they need. That’s it. Let’s face it, most people want to do one thing – lose weight. And I’d say they also don’t want to get injured and they want to be healthier too. Most only exercise a few times a week and some maybe up to five times a week. Most people are very inconsistent though. They may put in a week or two where they worked out 4-5 times then they have a couple weeks of 1-2 or zero workouts. So again, they never build the aerobic base. Consistency is so important. Even if you are one of these people and want to do a race, which I think is great, then you still need to stick with the 180-age formula until it doesn’t work for you anymore.

That brings up the next point – when does the 180-age formula no longer work for you? Well the answer is that it is really ALWAYS working, but sometimes you have to mix it up and do other things – such as train harder, or perhaps easier. If you use the Maximum Aerobic Fitness (MAF) test that Phil talks about, this is one way to know when it’s time to move on. You’re essentially charting your progress over some distance and if you’re improving, then you should be covering more distance (going faster) in the same time at the same heart rate (or the same distance at a faster time with the same HR). I use a hilly 8.6 mile loop from my house for my MAF test. Typically, I’m in the 145-146 average HR and running it in 1:02-1:03. When I’m stuck there for a while, I add in more shorter anaerobic workouts. In a real-life situation, you most likely will not progress week after week. Some will be better than others. But if you’ve gone a few weeks and there is no progress, and you’ve been consistent, and you’re feeling sluggish and tired of working out, it may be time to do one of two things – either push harder to ease-up. Wow, this just got complicated.

First, take note of two things I just mentioned. One was the consistency issue. If you’re not consistent in the workouts, then don’t expect any major improvements in your MAF. Second, you may be tired and burnt-out because you’re sick (or about to get sick) or you’re under too much anaerobic stress elsewhere. I talked about this in “My Perspective” in Maffetone’s The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. If your diet is bad – high in sugars, bad fats, caffeine, etc, and if you’re under a lot of stress, then essentially a lot of your life is anaerobic and that could be making it difficult to make any aerobic progress. Regardless of the heart rate, if you consume things like too much sugar and caffeine, you’ll be less aerobic (less fat burning) than if you did not consume those foods.

Ok, let’s say you’ve decided that you’re under a lot of stress and not feeling great, maybe getting sick or your body is aching and/or you feel an injury coming on. That would tell you to back off on the aerobic workouts some. So either less duration, less frequency, or maybe you just need some time off – a few days or a week. Stick to walking. But if you feel that the aerobic workouts have just gone stale and you’re no longer making gains in your MAF test (but you have in the past), and you’re feeling good and healthy, then it’s time to get moving on to some more anaerobic activity.

There are many different types of anaerobic activity. If you’re a runner you could do some hill workouts or some sprints. You could do a 5K or 10K race too. When you add in anaerobic workouts, you’re looking to get your HR up well over your 180-age max. For me, I’m shooting for the upper 160s low 170s if I’m doing some 60-90 second hill repeats, or the mid low to mid 160s if I’m out for a hard run, say for 30 minutes. Initially, if you’re new to this and just staring some anaerobic workouts, all you need to do is some quick 20-30 second sprints while you’re out running. Run as fast as you can for 3-4 of them. Your HR won’t respond as quickly so it’s tough to go by that. It’s great to do them on a slight decline too (going down-hill). A couple important notes to mention here. First, never do more than three anaerobic workouts in one week. Second, never more than 5-6 weeks of anaerobic activity in a “block”, then you take a rest – back to aerobic. I’ll add one more – the day after these anaerobic workouts you should be doing an easy aerobic workout, or taking the day off. So if you choose to do some sprints on Mon-Wed-Fri, then perhaps Tues and Thrs and Sat are very easy low HR workouts for 30-40 minutes, with Wed and Sunday off. Again, the specifics are different for everybody, this is just an example.

Okay, enough about you – back to me. Haha. As initially mentioned, I am mostly training in the 180-age zone but depending on the time of the year, I modify this somewhat. I like to use the zone training found over at Joe Friel’s site TrainingPeaks. To use the zone formula there you need to know your lactate threshold (LT). Yes, I know mine. It is around 173 for the run and 167 for the bike. I’ve had it tested with a lactate meter and gas analyzer too. Now, putting my LT in the formulas on that site, my Zone 2 (aerobic zone) comes out 147-157. Yes, that is a bit high for my aerobic training zone. I am typically lower than that, but as I get closer to my race season I will bump up my shorter (30-60 min) workouts to this zone, so essentially I am breaking the 180-age rule here. But my longer workouts are still in the upper 130s and the lower 140s. The formula breaks the HR training now into 5 zones:

1 – Recovery
2- Aerobic
3- High Aerobic
4- Tempo/anaerobic
5- High anaerobic above LT

However, I am really following 3 zones.

ZONE 1 – Recovery – heart rate under 140 for long runs and easy workouts- recovery days

ZONE 2 – AEROBIC – 140-155 HR, depending on the time of year and the workout. For example, I may go out for a 60 min run and keep it in the 145 HR range, or a 45 min run 150 area, or a 30 min run stay in the 140-150 but push 5minutes at 155 HR.

ZONE 3 – ANAEROBIC – this is my 160-175 range where I’m, well, very anaerobic. Short sprints, hill workouts, that sort of stuff done here.

Again, I’m doing different workouts at certain times of the year based off my racing schedule, my fitness level, and other factors too – how I feel, progress, stuff like that. It’s always good to note your PE – Perceived Exertion. If you’re aerobic and it feels hard – you can’t talk to your partner (or yourself) then you’re most likely anaerobic. If you’re in an anaerobic HR and it’s easy – well, you might need to go faster/harder. Pay attention to how you feel!

Every workout should have a plan. This is very important to remember. Whether it’s a recovery day, easy day, hard day, long day, you can’t just haphazardly workout. Your workouts should be tailored to your overall goal. If you’re training for an Ironman or marathon, then there is very little, if any, need to do anaerobic work. Sure you’ll most likely be anaerobic towards the latter end of the race, but that doesn’t mean you need to train at those high HR levels. Races like that require a strong aerobic base. I think the current Ironman and half-marathon craze is well, crazy. Back when I started racing IM races in 1996 I had a good 5 years of racing under my belt, consisting of many Half-IM distance races. Today many people enter an IM race before they’ve even done any triathlon. The mentality out there is that if you haven’t done an IM, then you’re “not a real triathlete.” So people don’t care about breaking 2 hours in an Olympic distance race anymore. It’s considered more honorable if they drag themselves through a full IM in 15-17 hours. I don’t quite understand that. The same thing is happening with the half-marathon craze. Those races are booming. I know people who have never raced and just started a running program yet already signed up for a half in just a few short months. Why? So you can get the 13.1 sticker on your car? The problem with doing this is that these individuals don’t spend the time to build their aerobic base. They train too hard – at heart rates I can’t conceive. Professional marathoners might race at a 5:30 min/mile but a lot of their training is much, much slower – often at 7:30 or 8 min/mile, if not even slower. Their heart rates are very low. It’s so aerobic. Yet, the average new runner out there wants to do their half marathon at an 8 or 9 min/mile yet they train at an 8 or 9 min/mile or even faster. And it’s all very anaerobic to them. Now if they trained aerobically, which for many means only walking, there would be no problem here. But few, if any, do. They are in a time crunch. So they train hard, eat wrong, can’t sleep, and are too stressed out – they’re a disaster. I get to fix the injuries they create and all the anaerobic (health) problems they’re dealing with.

Building your aerobic base takes time. And when you have it you’ll love it because you won’t get injured, you won’t lose your fitness when you take a week off for a vacation – and you’ll feel good because you’re always burning fat and not running off sugar. Use the 180-age Formula, until you plateau and then tweak it so it works better for you. That could mean going faster, or slower. It’s okay to mix it up – actually you need to eventually mix it up – but the 180-age formula should always be your general foundation.

Let me hear your questions and comments!

-Dr. Gangemi


Leave a comment
  1. Vlad permalink

    Do you do any strength workouts? Weight lifting, body weight exercises, etc? If yes, when do they fit in your schedule of workouts? Which types of exercises do you mostly use?

  2. Michael permalink

    Wow what a wealth of knowledge and life altering information is contained in this article! Please read and reread every word and take it to heart.

    I am someone that used to train primarily with weights (thus training anaerobically). Further to that, my idea of cardio was to get on the treadmill and run as fast as I could – the faster the better. I did think I was very smart for doing a “warm up” beforehand and “cool down” afterwards and patted myself on the back for training so intensely.

    Despite the hours and hours I spent at the gym week after week, my bodyfat hovered at around 24% and I did not make the progress I desired.

    That all changed when Dr. Gangemi urged me to make my workouts more aerobic. With his urging and also reading Dr. Maffetone’s book “In Fitness And Health”, I invested in a heart rate monitor and began using the 180 formula in July of last year.

    I was shocked and stunned to see the extremely slow speed I had to go at to keep my heart rate where it was supposed to be. That is the first time I learned how aerobically deficient I was.

    With regular and consistent aerobic workouts strictly adhering to the 180 formula, my speed (and thus aerobic function) began to improve and the bodyfat was literally melting away before my eyes. Believe me when I say that one can literally feel a dramatic change in one’s body chemistry when it begins utilizing more fat for energy and less sugar. Whereas I used to tire easily during the day, my energy seems to be constant and abundant now. The benefits of improved aerobic function are not limited to the gym – I am able to handle my family responsibilities better and find I am more efficient at work. My bodyfat has gone from 24% to 13%.

    Because I am in love with the idea of developed muscles, I still train with weights twice a week. However, I almost view those workouts as more of a hobby now and not something that will dramatically improve my health. The aerobic workouts on the other hand are health changing, life changing and immune system changing.

    Please keep in mind I have only been training the way Dr. Gangemi and Dr. Maffetone recommend since July of last year. As such, any benefits I have received are still mild. I am 40 years old and now that I have learned how to train properly, I am actually looking forward to aging as I feel strongly that my body and organs will function better in my 40’s and 50’s than they did when I was in my 20’s and 30’s.

    At a time when supplement companies and so called “fitness” magazines are telling us things designed to pad their pocketbooks, Kudos and Props to Dr. Gangemi and Dr. Maffetone for dispensing such valuable advice free of charge. Health is Wealth and my hat’s off to Dr. Gangemi and Dr. Maffetone for trying to make us rich where it counts – our health.

  3. Vlad – good thinking, I knew someone was going to ask. That’ll be Part II next week. I do think weights have a place. Me? – I chop wood and use the slosh tube, or course. You’ll have to wait…

    Michael, thanks for the great comments. Michael is a long time patient & friend of mine who used to bring in “Muscle & Fitness” magazine – AKA “Muscle & Fiction”. He has leaned up just like he says and his energy is so much better. Well done.

    • Dennis permalink

      Hi Doc, what heart rate monitor do u recommend, I am 51, and similar to you have been training and competing for 20+yrs. in tri ‘s from sprint to Ironman. My focus for the last 10 yrs has been sprints but am realizing my srength is in the longer distances, so I’m gearing up for Olympic distances this season. Thanks

  4. Thai permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi,

    I came across your blog post about the 180 formula (just started reading Dr. Maffetone’s The Big Book of Endurance) and found it incredibly informative. Especially your view on Friel’s LTHR zone training.

    I was debating on which one (180 or LTHR) to follow and now decided to use Dr. Maffetone’s method for the next couple of months.

    I know that I’ll need patience to build my aerobic base. My only question is on running volume that I should be doing. I’m running 4 to 5 days a week and my LSD is about 10 miles so far. I’m adding 10% each week.

    Is this a sufficient volume to build the aerobic base? How much did you run when you first started?

    I’m not sure if this is the right forum for this but thought I would give it a try.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Thai, the volume really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re training for a marathon, then obviously that’s going to be a lot more than a 10K. I don’t count miles and suggest you don’t either. Go by time – much more important. If you want to figure in miles after that then that’s okay but your body doesn’t know miles, it knows time.

      For the average person looking to get into good running shape I usually recommend something like 2 runs at 30 minutes, 2 runs at 45 minutes, and 1 long run around 1 hour. The more healthy and fit, the more they can handle, and the quicker they can do some anaerobic too. I’m all for some functional strength training (Movnat/Kettlebells especially) during the aerobic base too, especially after the first few weeks.

  5. Craig T Smith permalink

    Dear Doc

    This is a very good site – thanks for all your help!

    I am a fan of the great Maff – but I think his formula causes a lot of unnecessary frustration and I think your post gives clues as to why.
    I started using the MAF formula about 3 years ago. It involved me running at a heart rate of about 127. I found this rate very slow and I found it difficult to run economically and with a relaxed gait especially in wind or on hills. I persevered for a year with no obvious progress although my stress levels were reduced AND MY HEALTH DID IMPROVE – the first year I had no cold or flu and my allergies were better. But my MAF time seemed to regress.

    I was then tested as you were with a gas analyser and my AB and AT levels were determined at 132 on the bike – so I added 5 for running 137 and my AT was 160 on the bike and so adding 5 – 165 running. So really using the MAF formula I was trying to train at recovery level – as you mentioned. Running and cycling at these levels seems about right. i can maintain these levels all day – but without grinding to a halt, they are very easy.

    Phil Maffetone infers that his MAF formula is more scientifically based than the other formulaic approaches; i suppose it is better – but it’s a long way from being scientific!

    There will always be statistical variability in any population of individuals. So a MAF rate of 127 will suit some people – but will be too low or too high for others – the law of the normal distribution. Phil says that the calculation is a unique number for you – but the only unique bit about it is the additions of subtractions according to age and health history – the calculated number can only be an average and will be subject to a high degree of variation around the mean! If you sampled 1000 people and did a regression analysis you would find that a percentage of the population would lie on the mean and the distribution would taper off to the extremes of the distribution. I wish someone would do these simple calculations and the mystery and debate around this formula would be resolved. Those who test a lot of people on gas analysers could see this for themselves – why people like Pof Noakes and others who are sports scientists who have written about Maffetone have not done this is beyond me,

    Take the great Dave Scott, he must be close to 60 and was planning a comeback; but for a car accident he was expecting to go under 9 hours for the Ironman – there is no way his AB level would be 125 as the MAF formula suggests!, however my sedentary friend Jack also 60, who is out of condition and a couch potatoe – maybe 125 is a better starting point. Think about this and the law of the normal distribution!

    Even Maff says for his star clients he did not actually use the formula (only a recent admission) – he established it by testing and adjustment and knowledge of the client. The MAF formual was a quick and dirty approx for those who did not have access to formal testing – it’s much more accessible now. So you have to him credit for this in 1980.

    In younger fit athletes there seemed to be a good correlation with the formula – for example Mike Piggs MAF was 155 which was slightly higher than his recorded AT level using a gas analyser.

    The question for me is why are so many people – including you Doc – hanging on to the formula – when it can only be a loose approximation to a more precise and accurate gas analyser test?

    Looking at the web and the associated debates on the forum it seems to me like there is a sort of cultish/ OCD thing going on here – Now here is the touch the door 3 times before you leave the house moment – if you have been tested you don’t need the formula!

    My aim here is not to Maffetone bash – I think his approach is fundamentally sound and his emphasis on health first and sporting achievement second is sound – for me he is still a great prophet!

    Craig Smith

    • Well Craig I won’t get into any specifics here because I already do that on the SockDoc site particularly in this 5-part series I wrote and also the post re figuring your training zones either one of three ways. But to answer your question “why am I hanging on to the formula” – well, I wouldn’t use those words because I like to think that I am always evolving my practice towards what works better for someone, and it’s all very individualized. Fact is though, that the 180-age formula works pretty well the majority of the time for the majority of people who are not going to head to a lab and are not going (or don’t want to) do a race pace to find their LT. So it’s easy, and a good starting point. Of course no formula works for everybody and LT itself is always a moving target, so you adjust and adapt accordingly. BTW – even though Maff may not have used the formula on all his star athletes, he did on all of them originally, some longer than others. The 180-age is a great starting point, but the more fit and healthy one gets, the less it provides benefit.

  6. Brad permalink

    Aloha Doc,
    I’m 53 and my zone falls into the 117-127? Is that too low to train in to get a good aerobic training effect?
    To stay in this zone, I literally have to walk sometimes…does this mean I’m just totally out of shape?
    I’m in the military and am always running in trying to beat a 1.5 mile run by 15 minutes. Everytime I run, I’m breathing heavy from start to finish. I also do interval training.
    Just curious if I should be patient and stick this out for a few months or if I should add 10 beats to this. I notice today, my heartrate creeped up to 140 once and I wasn’t breathing heavy (and I felt like I was running in place…real slow run).
    Any advice and encouragement would be appreciated. I want to like running and I want a solid aerobic base…I feel like I’m the only one breathing a lot heavier than everyone else.
    By the way, I’m also trying to learn how to run on the balls of my feet and off my heals, plus, I’m trying to do deep belly breathing. Not sure if these two areas are adding to my increase in heart rate…my calves hurt from running on the balls of my feet.


    • Yeah it typically means you’re “out of shape” – very little to no aerobic base (conditioning).

      Make sure you read the Sock Doc Training Principles:

      You shouldn’t be trying to run on the balls of your feet. That’s not good. If you run in proper shoes (or no shoes) you’ll naturally land on mid or forefoot.

      Deep belly breathing should only lower your HR or keep it steady – not increase it.

  7. Brad permalink

    Aloha Doc,

    Mahalo for the quick reply.

    My apologies, but, I should’ve been more clear on my question.

    What do I do?

    I used the 180-age (53)=127. The range then should be 117-127.

    Should I stick to this for a few months even though I have to walk once in awhile to bring down my heart rate?

    Or, should I bump up the heart rate a little so I don’t have to walk and if yes, how much can I bump it up to still get a good aerobic base training?

    My concern is, with my current range due to my age, am I in the diminishing return area or in the recovery heart rate area that would produce a very little aerobic training effect for me?


    • I understood the question – yes you are “out of shape” and should stick with that HR.

  8. Jim permalink

    So I just started doing MAF training last week and went to the local track today to do my MAF test. Even after a easy 2 mile warm up of over 20 minutes I kept getting faster with every lap. You can see the results here, . I don’t understand how I am getting faster yet staying somewhat consistent with my hr avg. Granted it was very windy today and my pace varied but I didn’t start to get fatigued and slow till mile 5 which was actually mile 7 including the 2 mile warm up. I am so frustrated I am just getting into running and this MAF thing has me baffled. I could use any wisdom you would care to give me.

  9. Craig from Canberra Australia permalink

    Hi Dr Gangemi. I love your websites and the great information you provide. I also enjoy your writing style, sense of humor and generosity in responding to so many questions and comments!

    I have made a lot of training and lifestyle modifications after reading Dr Phil’s book and your articles. I took up running 2 years ago as an overweight 39yr old. I ran a half M after 5 months and was training for a marathon after 9 months, doing 340km per month almost exclusively anaerobically. I had a HR monitor but no concept of aerobic training. I cringe when I look back at my training logs. Anyway, I broke down before the marathon and pretty much stuffed my health in the process through my ignorance. I found your sites and Dr Phil’s book in my search for a path back from injury and poor health.

    I have a question which I sincerely apologize if you have addressed elsewhere – I’ve read a lot and am trying to absorb it all.

    I’ve been using the MAF method for 4 weeks. When I run at my MAF HR in the mornings before breakfast my pace is much faster (up to 1 min per km) than when I run at lunch time or afternoon. What might cause such variation (cooler temperature, body burning more fat on empty stomach??), is such variation normal and am I OK to train at the faster pace for the same HR in the morning compared to later in the day? Or should I train at the lower end of the MAF range in the mornings perhaps? HR is obviously affected by factors such as temperature and wind for example. I just want to make sure I’m slipping above my MAF zone because of these factors. Thanks if you are able to share your thoughts.


  10. Tim permalink

    Hi Dr Gangemi,

    This is a very interesting article, and a concept that are not really discussed in depth. It requires alot of digging and filtring through a lot of information find indepth discussion about the values or aerobic training rather than pace (X min/mile) or distance/time training.

    However, I am a little skeptical about the applicability of the 180-age formula for all people. The typical max HR forumla (220-age) is often touted as a fact and subsquent training recomendations made, when it is mearly intented to be a quideline. Personally I am 30 yrs old and have a recorded (suuto t6d) max HR of 201 in the last 6 months.

    Does the 180-age formula make considerations such variaitons in indivduals bodies? Is it derived a emperically or from a theroetical max HR?

    I have marathon comming up in I was alerted the the fact that I may need to adjust my training recently to improve my aerobic fitness. It would seem that I have very good anerobic fitness and poor aerobic fitines.

    Is this possible?

    About Me: I regularly exercise run/mtb/cycle have used a suuto t6d HRM for the past 12-18 months and usually my TE is around 4.0-5.0 for a normal 3x a week ride/run (ave HR 175-177) for about 2hrs with a V02max in 80-100% range. By feel a comfortable (conversational) running pace for me is at 5:30-5:45 min/km and would have my HR at 178-182. As you mention above to get down to the 140-150 aerobic range I would be at a high speed walk rather than running.

    I am keen to give this aerobic method a try, but just concerned about the applicablity of a blanket formula that does not account for indiviual bodies. And;

    Is the proximity of the marathon (2 months) to close to implement this training method? Will swapping my current anaerobic training for aerobic training result in an overall decreased fitness at the marathon start line, as result of insufficent time to build the nessacery aerobic fitness required to replace the lost anaerobic fitness?


  11. Vlad permalink

    Hi Dr Gangemi

    I wonder if you recommend adjusting the HR zone if you are training in hot/ very hot conditions (e.g. Marathon des Sables) ? Do you recommend any acclimatization ? Finally, on marathon race day, would you keep the same HR (i.e. stay in aerobic zone) or go above (i.e. run in anaerobic zone) ? Many thanks for your advice and help !

  12. Stuart Schady permalink

    Hi Dr Gangemi

    I am cyclist and have been using the Maffetone method for a while in training and making some good gains in my MAF tests.

    It is actually starting to get to the point where I am having to work quite hard to reach my 180-age HR

    I see you have suggested adjusting the 180-age HR down by 8-10 beats for cycling. In most of my sessions lasting 1hr-2hrs I try keep the pacing as close too my MAF HR as possible without going over. Do you think people who do not adjust their MAF HR down by 8-10 beats are accidentally going anaerobic?

    What signs or indications should I look for that I am no longer aerobic? Or should I potentially adjust the HR down now that I am into my late aerobic base period with the early aerobic base period keeping the prescribed Dr Maffetone HR?

    Your thoughts are appreciated

  13. Nasir permalink

    Hi Dr.Gangemi!

    I’ve just started using HR monitor last week and I’ve been wondering why my heart rate always exceed the max aerobic HR. Does this mean that I should just walk and not run?

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  1. 9/8/15: Morning Run MAF Test, 5:30 a.m., 5 miles plus warm-up and cool-down, New York Sports Club | Time on My Feet

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