MAF Testing...

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allmountain76
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MAF Testing...

Postby allmountain76 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:40 pm

Does anyone use MAF tests as a measure of training results?

I've been putting together my first real training plan with the aim of improving my Fred Whitton time in May. As its my first real attempt at a training regime bar getting out and riding as often as possible I wanted some measure of its effectiveness.

I was wondering if, as I'm on rollers for the foreseeable future, could a MAF be done in a controlled way by riding at my MAF zone for 30 minutes and measuring the milage? Maffetone suggests riding a short course that initially takes around 30 minutes in regular stages (monthly) and measuring the time. I guess this would be affected by outside influences such as weather etc. Is there any reason I shouldn't turn that around and do 30 minutes a prescribed MAF heart rate and measure the distance?

I'm not rigidly sticking to MAF (my weekend rides will be Zone 2-3 and of longer period). Most of my weekly sessions will be to MAF with some interval sessions interspersed for strength and recovery. I cant sit on the rollers at 144 BPM for more than 45 minutes without feeling I'm getting nothing done!

If anyone more experienced can see fatal flaws or a better way of training for endurance with some element of strength (steep climbs on the Fred!) I'd really appreciate your input.

danowat
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby danowat » Sun Dec 23, 2012 13:58 pm

MAF? :?

allmountain76
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby allmountain76 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 14:20 pm

http://philmaffetone.com/maftest.cfm

Maximum Aerobic Function - Supposedly a simple measure of base.

colinsmith123
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby colinsmith123 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 09:04 am

This test is a measure of Aerobic Fitness, and is best done on a turbo to reduce the number of variables.

On page 54 of The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel, he describes a similar test though with this method you need a Power Meter to do this, the one's in the gym will suffice for the purposes of the test, though the trusty HR can be used along with RPE. The longer you are able to ride at aerobic threshold without your HR drifting by more than 5%, the greater your aerobic fitness.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Cyclists-Training-Bible-Friel/dp/1934030201/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356339619&sr=8-1

PS. I love the statement on the front cover of the book; "The best selling book for serious cyclists". Which by the very nature of the statement means there must be a best selling book for flippant cyclists. I've searched the internet for this book, but without success. The closest I've found is this:

http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=40011
Live to ski
Ski to live

allmountain76
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby allmountain76 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 14:55 pm

Thanks for that, I've actually just ordered
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/193403083X

It seems to fit my requirements in spite of the recent connotations...

I did a MAF test last night measuring distance after 30 minutes at or within 5% of my MAF HR. Ill do it again in 4 weeks and if it shows any measurable results I may post back on here.... Hopefully the book will either confirm or tweak the plan I've already put together but there seems to be no end of contradictory literature.

If anyone's used a plan that's worked in a measurable way aimed at endurance I'd love some guidance!

diplodicus
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby diplodicus » Sat Dec 29, 2012 13:02 pm

I am interested in doing these tests as well, as it seems a simple way to monitor progress.

However, I have recently measured my LTHR at 162bpm. The 180-formula seems to suggest that I should perform these tests at 180-49-5=126bpm. This would be zone 1 and well below "maximum aerobic function". 30 mins on the turbo at 126bpm would not feel worthwhile. :shock:

Which heart rate do you think I should use? Does it matter as long as I use the same one each time?

I too am new to training in a formal manner but I am looking to improve my time trialling this year.

Cheers

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Herbsman
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby Herbsman » Sat Dec 29, 2012 14:15 pm

Use perceived exertion

allmountain76
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby allmountain76 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:49 am

The key point with MAF is the HR is the constant. If your distance and speed increase at the same HR then you are improving. Apparently its critical to keep within 5% of it when doing the test to avoid any false information. Personally at 144 my MAF HR is fine and my first test was done on the rollers on 23rd.

Clearly I'm no expert and so couldn't comment on your MAF HR but I guess if your zone 2 HR is 135-145 is why not use that as your average and go at 140? As long as you keep that as a constant then you'll be measuring correctly.

MAF isn't a measure of peak or power though, its a measure of base, aerobic fitness. I'm only really using the MAF test as a measure of my base. I'm also adding in intervals for strength and power as well as long duration zone 3 - 4 runs.

diplodicus
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby diplodicus » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:07 pm

Thanks allmountain. I am probably overthinking this.
I think I will try at a set HR of 140bpm and see how it goes.

jibberjim
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby jibberjim » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:13 pm

No, heart rates at sub-maximal intensities are extremely variable, hydration, previous meals (which impact how much free glucose/fatty-acids are in the blood-stream), caffeine, and a host of other things change the heart rate at a particular intensity. For example, if everything else was the same, if you're burning a higher proportion of fat (because you're doing it fasted, or because you recently ate a fatty meal) then your HR will be higher as fat requires more oxygen. But all sorts of things change it in different ways.

The MAF test attempts to isolate these by doing them at a low enough intensity that they are near 100% fueled by fatty acids, and by keeping other things as much as possible the same. However that means you're only testing the fat fueled parts of performance. But any realistic event will not be fat fuelled (when doing the climbs on the Fred Whitton you'll be 100% glucose burning I'm sure, with fat burning inbetween) so you're measuring something that is not particularly useful.

There are also significant differences in performance on the rollers depending on things like ambient temperature, tyre pressures etc. Which you won't be able to make a repeatable test. If you have a lot of improvement to come you'll probably improve enough to see, but then if you're improving that much it will be obvious.

I can't see any motivation from what you describe by your goals and time available by doing Maffetone though - equally given that maffetone became famous by coaching an endurance athlete in a sport with no dope testing at the very height of the EPO era, I wouldn't put any stock in his methods either. I find it difficult to believe the athletes he trained weren't using Oxygen vector doping, and if they were then the intensity of workouts performed with O2 doping is much higher for the same HR and the volume of training possible is considerably higher. So I see little reason to believe you'd get similar results.
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allmountain76
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby allmountain76 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 13:08 pm

@jibberjim.... Thanks so much for your feedback. Your kind of well founded critique is exactly what I opened the post for originally. So, my training is structured around long weekend rides with intervals during the week or short high intensity night rides if weather allows.

I'd really like to measure my progress. Other than riding a hilly course (that's obviously affected by many variables on the day) is there a better test than MAF I should be using?

diplodicus
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby diplodicus » Tue Jan 01, 2013 15:55 pm

Nothing is ever as simple as you'd like, is it :D

jibberjim
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby jibberjim » Tue Jan 01, 2013 16:07 pm

allmountain76 wrote:I'd really like to measure my progress. Other than riding a hilly course (that's obviously affected by many variables on the day) is there a better test than MAF I should be using?


Time up hills or on longer routes, there's really nothing else - however of course isolating weather condition differences is hard - particularly as the simple warming of the land will generally speed you up, and when the leaves return to the trees and hedgrerows the wind drops.

But it's the best you're going to do unless you get a power meter I'd say, looking at Strava can help you identify fast/slow days on particular hills/routes if they're popular enough if your area.
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allmountain76
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby allmountain76 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 19:55 pm

I've started using Stava actually, more as a distance monitor than anything.

It would be nice to know the effectiveness of my training though with some kind of structured regular test.

Surely a team like Sky can't assess the effectiveness of their training regimes on nothing more than watts over period?

I know vo2 and lactate profile testing? Obviously not something home based and only aerobic?

jibberjim
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby jibberjim » Tue Jan 01, 2013 20:23 pm

allmountain76 wrote:Surely a team like Sky can't assess the effectiveness of their training regimes on nothing more than watts over period?


But your output over different periods is what the effectiveness is about - and appropriate ones to your event.
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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Tue Jan 01, 2013 21:39 pm

allmountain76 wrote:MAF isn't a measure of peak or power though, its a measure of base, aerobic fitness.

Well actually it is a (rough) measure of power, it's just using speed (distance covered for a given time) as a proxy for power.

Tom Butcher
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby Tom Butcher » Wed Jan 02, 2013 00:56 am

allmountain76 wrote:@jibberjim.... Thanks so much for your feedback. Your kind of well founded critique is exactly what I opened the post for originally. So, my training is structured around long weekend rides with intervals during the week or short high intensity night rides if weather allows.

I'd really like to measure my progress. Other than riding a hilly course (that's obviously affected by many variables on the day) is there a better test than MAF I should be using?


Yes go out with the local fast training rides and see how long you last. Slightly tongue in cheek but if you are relatively new how long you last on a fast group training ride will give you a rough measure of progress not just of fitness but your ability to ride in a group - it'll also be a lot more fun than timing yourself up a hill.
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Trev The Rev
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:44 am

Tom Butcher wrote:
allmountain76 wrote:@jibberjim.... Thanks so much for your feedback. Your kind of well founded critique is exactly what I opened the post for originally. So, my training is structured around long weekend rides with intervals during the week or short high intensity night rides if weather allows.

I'd really like to measure my progress. Other than riding a hilly course (that's obviously affected by many variables on the day) is there a better test than MAF I should be using?


Yes go out with the local fast training rides and see how long you last. Slightly tongue in cheek but if you are relatively new how long you last on a fast group training ride will give you a rough measure of progress not just of fitness but your ability to ride in a group - it'll also be a lot more fun than timing yourself up a hill.


My FTP is much higher when I'm trying to keep up with some skinny runt hammering up a hill than it is riding alone.

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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:53 am

Trev The Rev wrote:My FTP is much higher when I'm trying to keep up with some skinny runt hammering up a hill than it is riding alone.

Your FTP would be the same, but you may have increased motivation to train harder.

Trev The Rev
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Re: MAF Testing...

Postby Trev The Rev » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:10 am

Alex_Simmons/RST wrote:
Trev The Rev wrote:My FTP is much higher when I'm trying to keep up with some skinny runt hammering up a hill than it is riding alone.

Your FTP would be the same, but you may have increased motivation to train harder.


My FTP was underestimated because it was based on 'training numbers' which were obtained when insufficiently motivated even though I thought I was performing at race pace. As I train by feel this does not matter, but it would have caused under training in someone who trained with power. If those training numbers were used to pace in a race performance would be below maximum.

I assume FTP should be based on race data to avoid this problem?


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