Stomp of Approval!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maffetone Method, re-explained

After reading my last Maffetone Method post my wife informed me that it didn't make a lot of sense and there were a lot of grammatical errors in it.

So here's my second attempt, hopefully this one doesn't get deleted halfway through writing it....

The Maffetone method teaches your body to be as efficient as possible by burning stored fats rather than ingested sugars for energy. The way it does this is by for ing your body to run aerobically rather than inaerobically. In other words, your heart rate is not allowed to exceed a certain level throughout your training. Maffetone has a formula for figuring out your aerobic heart rate that is something like 180 minus your age, then plus or minus up to 10 based off your physical conditioning and other factors. I use 150 because it feels best for me.

I decided on 150 because that's 180 minus my age (28) and the. Minus an additional 2 because, well.... Because 150 is a easy number dammit. I seem to be able to run for several hours on just energy from stored fats as long as my heart rate stays under 150, so I think it's working out pretty good for me.

As your body becomes more and more used to getting energy from your stored fats, it will become more efficient at it. This means that your aerobic pace will increase, or is that decrease? Either way, you will get faster and be able to run longer as your body becomes a mean, lean, fat burning machine!

So what started out as a 14:00~15:00 minute per mile pace for me eventually got down to a sub 10:00 minute per mile pace before I took a few months off. Now that I'm starting back I'm around a 10:30~11:30 pace depending on mood and weather. My goal is to be able to run around a 8:00 pace aerobically for a good distance (marathonish distance).

There are other tricks to the Maffetone method though. In order to help drive your body to burn stored fats and not ingested sugars is to lower, or totally remove, the amount of processed carbs and sugars you consume. Both stored fats and ingested foods work together as fuel. Most "energy" foods (IE, pastas, sugary candy, GU's, energy bars, etc..) work like a high octane fuel. It's good for short bursts, but it burns so hot that you run out of it very quickly. Stored fats act more as a lower octane fuel, and now you can burn the same amount of fuel, but go miles and miles future down the road.

If your loading yourself up with the high octane fuel, your confusing your body. It's trying to burn the ingested sugars, but your trying to make it burn stored fats. Your body gets all out of whack and you end up loosing all your hair and growing a pitiful excuse for a mustache. You attempt a crummy combover, but you aren't fooling anyone.

Luckily, the Makers Diet falls right in line with Maffetones recommended dieting plan. I'm finding that my miles are coming easier than ever before now that I'm utilizing both methods. I haven't done any MAF tests (Maffetones recommended way to test your progress) yet, but I expect that I would see that I'm already doing well compared to my first few tests back in 2011.

Another big component to the Maffetone method is that it reduces the amount of stresses placed on the body, therefore reducing inflammation and the risk of injury. Maybe ill go further into that in another post though.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rave Run, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas Nevada!

I love running barefoot. I feel very in tune and connected with myself and the environment around me. It just feels right.

But sometimes I wish I had a decent pair of shoes with me!

Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas Nevada is definitely NOT a barefoot friendly place. The trails were a mixture of large rocks, smaller pebbles, scree, dirt, cacti, and a host of other small, SHARP, nuisances that keep a barefoot runner from moving with any efficiency or smile on his face.

So I stuck to the road as much as possible instead. But guess what? The road was some of the sharpest, roughest chip seal I've ever ran on. I guess due to the lack of anything other than sun and wind, these roads never get worn down much. The rocks were like running on shards of glass for the most part.

But, despite all of these trivial issues, it was a BEAUTIFUL place, and, had I been in some Vibrams or Merrells or even my huaraches, it could have been one of my best runs in a long long time.

The road was a 13 mile scenic tour of the canyon (or valley?) that was like no other road I've ever ran on. It was like climbing a mountain that was paved. Tons of curves and sharp turns and switchbacks and hairpins. It was a really fun road that had tons of very sharp and sudden elevation changes. Very little flat sections. You were almost always running on some sort of incline or decline, and more often than not it was an overly exaggerated angle! I've never ran anywhere like this before, so it was very new and foreign to me. But I loved it!!!

To add to the difficulty of the hills, the wind was killer! The gusts were around 35~40 miles per hour, with the constant wind staying around 15~20. It was pretty brutal, especially when running uphill into a head wind.

But God it was AWESOME!!!

I took a bunch of pictures while running. I was with my Aunt Bonnie and her friend Susan. We ran a total of 4 miles in something like 1 hour.... Veeeeeery slow due to a lot of walking thanks to the rougher sections of trails. But even the walking was tough due to the steep grade we were climbing and the fact that we were at roughly 5,000 above sea level!

Thanks to the wonderful IPhone Blogger app that I have, I have to just throw the pictures at the bottom of the post in no particular order. So enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Maffetone Method

This is my "Maffetone Method as understood by Chaser Williams" post. Hopefully I will be able to us it to not only explain to others what, in my opinion, the Maffetone method does and how it does it, but maybe manage to sort out a few things in my head as well.

I had a large post already halfway wrote up on this topic, but lo and behold, it's disappeared on me... Grrrrr...

Phil Maffetone has been an endurance coach and nutritionist to longer than I've been around and has trained several dozen world class endurance athletes. He suggests that rather than getting energy through ingested foods and sugars (Ie Gu's Shot Blox, energy drinks, etc.) and training in an anaerobic state we instead burn stored fats as energy.

The advantages to burning stored fats as energy are endless. It's readily available (especially on a fat ass such as myself), there's no chance of your stomach not agreeing with it and giving you GI issues (aka diarrhea), and its a much more efficient way of getting energy.

In my own little warped mind I've looked at it like this...

Using Ingested sugars as energy is like using high octane race fuel in a car. It burns much hitter and faster and is good for short bursts of energy and speed, but in the long run your engine will break down and wear out, eventually leading to engine failure.

Using stored fats as energy is like using a higher grade diesel. You can get much higher performance over the long haul and not worry about your engine breaking down.

To me, ultra running is all about efficiency. If your not running efficiently, then your going to wear out quicker and run a higher risk for injury. If your not burning energy then your going to be more susceptible to crashing and not obtaining your goals. My hope is to become as efficient as I possibly can.

Since I've started the Makers Diet I've basically started eating as Mr. Maffetone suggests, and I've found running to be easier than its probably even been before. I'm having no issues running long on a fasted body, then not eating for an extended period of time afterwards. If I can run a 50k fasted with no energy to burn except for my stored fats the. I feel very confident going into the realms of 100k's and 100 miles.

I hope this helps clarify a few things about Maffetone. I had a much longer, in depth post wrote up, but it disappeared somewhere I to the chasm of the World Wide Web... Yay...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weeks 2/4 - 2/10 and 2/11 - 2/17

Forgot to update last week, so here's the past 2 weeks running logs.

Week 6

2/4 - Woke up at 188.9 pounds. No running, worked late.

2/5 - 187.6, worked late again.

2/6 - 187.4, worked late yet again!bin a training class all day and ate terribly.

2/7 - After eating poorly all day yesterday I was back up to 190.2 this morning, yay... Dan 4.11 miles in 49:07 at the park.

2/8 - 189.8. No running due to cheerleading practice.

2/9 - 187.2. No running due to sons birthday party. Ate several pounds worth of ice cream cake while at his party and had to make an emergency trip to the shitter very shortly afterwards. Note to self; no more ice cream cake!

2/10 - Only up to 188.7 after eating bad the night before. I think most of it passed straight through me. Ended up getting in 3.18 miles before my stomach shut me down.

Totals were 7.29 whopping miles in 1:27:52 burning 995 calories. Total weight loss at the end of the week was 14.9 pounds.

Week 7

2/11 - 190.0 in the morning. Not a good start... Ran a very good 7.04 miles around the high school track in 1:23:41. It was in the 60's and raining on and off. Everything felt great!

2/12 - 188.7, 5.01 miles in 56.52 around the track again.

2/13 - 187.5 weigh in. 6.25 miles around the local park in 1:12:16.

2/14 - Woke up at 189.4? WTF? Ran 4.11 miles in 48:42. For having ran 4 days of decent mileage for evening runs and I'm still feeling just as fresh as ever! No soreness of excessive tiredness, everything's feeling great!

2/15 - 186.7!!! Hells yeah! No running due to cheerleading. Thank God this is the last practice!

2/16 - 184.3!!!!!!!! Where did this come from???? Took off at 6:00 in the morning down my favorite running road. Unfortunately it was 37 at the start, and the sun wasn't up yet. My hands were FREEZING!!! Managed to stroll my way through a surprisingly easy 17.07 miles in 3:12:20! Very good, smooth, easy run. I did run on an empty stomach as usual on my long runs.

Totals for week 7 are... 39.48 miles, 7:33:54, 5,731 calories in 5 days of running!!! Not bad!

My year to date so far is 120.26 miles, 22:34:46, 17,266 calories and 21 days if running. Not bad, just need to start running more consistently with normal weeks coming in the 30~35 mile range and higher mileage weeks getting up in the 60's and 70's, if not higher.

I'm still running under the Maffetone method, and things are going great!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

1/28 - 2/3

1/28 - Started the weeks repeating trend by waking up at 191.6. Ran 4.00 miles after work in 46:51 at an average pace of 11:42 and heart rate at 145. Burned 581 calories. Good start to the week!

1/29 - Woke up again at 191.6.... At least I'm flat and not up!

1/30 - Woke up again at 191.6... At least I'm flat and not up! Wait...? Is the that movie "Groundhog Day"? I didn't have a lot of time after work, so I ran 2.14 miles in 18:24. This run was a little different in that I ran the first 800 fast (6:30~7:20 pace), then 8 slow (9:30~10:30), then 800 fast and 800 slow again. I ran the loop in reverse, and the back stretch was against head winds with gusts over 30 Mph. That was a killer!

1/31 - Woke up at 189.6 again. Snatched up a very pleasant 6.16 miles in 1:12:16 burning 868 calories. Average pace and heart rate were 11:44 and 145, respectively. It was an amazing run. Everything felt great and my form felt very fluid and easy. It's easy to get lost in a run at any time, this particular run I could have gotten lost in for hours on end.

2/1 - 189.6 pounds in the morning. No running.

2/2 - 189.6 pounds again. No running.

2/3 - Not sure what I weighed, spent the weekend in Houston for my daughters cheerleading competition. I know she loves these things, but their like torture. Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter, and watching her get out there and cheerleading is definitely enjoyable, it's just the remaining 3 hours that I have to sit there watching all these other snotty nosed little girls cheerleading to the same horrendous song. It's worth it to watch Izzy though!

Ended the week with 12.3 miles in 2:17:31 burning 1,757 calories.