Dr. Phil Maffetone: When to Add Intensity, Myth of ‘Non-Responders’ (and How to Get Results), Metabolic Test Data vs. 180 Formula, and More

April 26, 2016
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On this show with Dr. Phil Maffetone:

  • EP fans, the MAF team is seeking MAF test and race data from YOU for research purposes. Contribute your information here.
  • Race pace relationship with MAF pace, in particular the marathon.
  • When there is a big gap between your MAF pace and the marathon, why is this a red flag and signs of overtraining?
  • Marathon pace is to be 15 seconds faster than MAF pace, and if it’s not Maffetone says this is an imbalance and a problem that needs to be solved.
  • If you are much faster in racing than MAF pace this is the first stage of overtraining.
  • Training and racing well over MAF is a sign that the sympathetic nervous system is chronically revved us. Being “artificially” faster is not sustainable. Fast races will eventually turn into slow races.
  • A highly anaerobic system is a red flag.
  • The best predictor of performance is a sub-max test (not max).
  • The million dollar questions: When to transition from an aerobic base/pure MAF focus to to ‘other’ training (i.e. adding intensity, high intensity workouts, racing, strength, etc.).
  • When you hit a plateau in your MAF progress, that’s when it’s time to implement anaerobic training into the plan!
  • If intensity is applied moderately and doesn’t set back health, can it be helpful in improving one’s MAF pace during the aerobic phase? Especially for master’s athletes who have lower MAF HRs and are often forced to walk at MAF pace due to low heart rate ranges.
  • Also, how does the MAF Method apply intensity differently than more traditional zone-based plans, e.g. a Joe Friel plan?
  • It doesn’t really matter what you do for higher intensity training as long as you continue to make progress, not regress, don’t overtrain, and maintain health.
  • What would be an abnormal plateau?
  • What’s the deal with non-responders? Is this a thing? Or is there more to the story?
  • If some is not responding to MAF training alone, why is this? Either a) not enough volume, b) not enough intensity or c) underlying health issue.

Listener Q&A:

  • “Why do we need carbs to maintain fat-burning? Can we actually run out of carbs to stop fat burning? Does this mean we should consume some carbs during exercise even if we are an efficient fat burner?”
  • Don’t intervene with carbs if you don’t need them.
  • You need the least amount of carbs possible to get the performance you want; not more.
  • “Fat burning dictates competitive ability as an endurance athlete” – Dr. Maffetone
  • Testing vs 180 Formula? Should we use metabolic testing to set our MAF heart rate or the 180 Formula?
  • The 180 Formula aalculation for MAF heart rate is the ceiling where you solely burn fat for fuel, but if ones aerobic threshold heart rate is higher than the 180 Formula, which number should we use?
  • What happens if one’s crossover point (max fat burning heart rate) is a minute a mile faster than MAF pace?

Parting words of wisdom:

  • Always have FUN!

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