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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.

1 comment:

  1. one frustrating part of Maf method is the test. going to the track sucks but it's a good tool to use to measure your progress/regression. suck it up and go.