Age/Intensity

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  • #54413
    maforbes2000
    Participant

    Runner A and Runner B both have the same max hr, AeT and Ant. This scenario is very possible.
    However runner A is age 30, and runner B is age 60. All formula/zones etc will have these two runners training at the same HR.

    The Maffetone method, is the only one that takes age into account.

    If both are running high volume, it appears to me that the older runner should run at a lesser hr/intensity. Note that their paces will be different, but pace depends on other factors.

    What is the view of the UA community?

  • Participant
    AshRick on #54418

    As a 60-year-old whose HR zones seem to be about the same as when I was 45…maybe 5 bpm lower now, at most.

    I’m way slower. It’s maddening sometimes. I ran some 1:50 half marathons off the bike in triathlons in those days. I can barely run a rested 10k at that pace now, and I’m in better running shape!

    That said, I don’t have any trouble doing the same mix of *relative* intensities that I ever did. Everything is just slower.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #54453

    Speaking as a life long athlete with a solid training history and data I’m probably a good example of the age effects on endurance performance.

    In the midst of my me Cross Country ski racing career I would occasionally jump into running races and triathlons as intensity sessions. Without specific running training at 30 I was running 31min 10k, 15min 5k. My anaerobic threshold HR was 165 at a 5:00 pace. My aerobic threshold was 155 at a 6min/mile pace. Half marathon off the bike in a triathlon 1:20. My max HR was 185.

    Sadly those sorts of times and HRs are no where to be seen today at 67. My AeT HR varies more these days depending on recovery state but seems to be 130ish on good days but the pace is now about 10min/mile. Anaerobic threshold seems to be in the range of 140 but the pace is not much more than AeT pace despite the extra effort. Max HR seems to be 160.

    Aging is no joke when it comes to athletic performance. There’s a wealth of literature on this subject but little that longitudinally tacks athletes that training continuously as they age.

    I’m no expert in this area but…..From my readings the best explanation for this drop off in aerobic capacity is due to a decrease in mitochondrial function. Because mitos have short lives and each time they split there is a chance for genetic mutations to occur (they have their own DNA. With the thousands of generations of mito you have had these defective mutations accumulate in the mito, thereby reducing their function of aerobic metabolism. This theory has been used to explain what we are experiencing along with the wrinkles in your skin.

    Sorry to a downer about this but I think your glory days are behind you. The message to the youngsters reading this is to get after it now while you can. For those over 60 KEEP after it so you don’t loose it even faster.

    Scott

    Moderator
    Thomas Summer, MD on #54460

    …the older I get the faster I was…

    But to answer the question from above: the MAF formula is just a guess for the AeT if there is no other testing available. The formula is often quite a good guess. And as HR declines with age, it’s good that it takes that into account. But I think that even Dr. Maffetone would choose more precise testing over his formula.
    I can’t speak for the UA community, but I would say: test, don’t guess. and if you can’t test, use the MAF method.

    Aging is no joke, but the other option is no joke either;-)

    hakuna matata!
    Thomas

    Participant
    rich.b on #54491

    As you reason, all things being equal a 60 yr old ain’t gonna hang with a 30 yr old physically. Experience in a race setting — at least a trail ultra — can however pay off. Up to a point.
    That said, that type of comparison is the inherent risk of getting overly caught up in metrics, which are useful to a point. With a decent level of experience, you typically know pretty well if you are putting in the equivalent work effort or not. My preference is only to track numbers occasionally as a simple check on perception, and I focus only on where I am at now.

    As for MAF, I would agree it might be fine for a newer runner, but thereafter the real numbers are very individual. Contrary to the experience of most who have to fight to slow down to stay below their calculated MAF, I have to speed up to reach it. So it might account for age, but not individual variability.

    Cheers/rich

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