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Otis fad diet thread — May Challenge: folks are counting calories. There are lots of calories in brownies FYI

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Crushed it again this week, but the scale can be a fickle #####. Stopped counting/tracking and just ate the same stuff. Probably my best week yet overall (under 12 beers for the week!). Saturday will be my first cheat-day of the year. Four-course fancy dinner Sat night and I cant wait. Will be XC Skiing all day Sat so not expecting much setback. Also figure I'll get an extra 3-5 miniutes of cardio :pickle: each night since its V-day weekend with no kids. 

1/2 - 184.6 lbs

1/9 - 179.8 lbs

1/16 - 177.4 lbs

1/23 - 176.0 lbs

1/30 - 174.8 lbs

2/6 - 172.4 lbs

2/13 - 172.2 lbs

Edited by E-Z Glider
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I say this with all seriousness.  I definitely relate to Oats.  I have 2 good weeks, 2 meh over and over. I know fad diets are bad BUT I think I had a breakthrough.  Im the same weight as my weigh in a month ago but I figured out I'm 100% addicted to food, especially junk food. I don't drink regularly but Tuesday night my wife made an innocent comment and it clicked.   I don't think I have emotional issue driving it but who knows, I'm a pretty happy go lucky person.

Anyway, Tuesday we are watching TV and I grabbed a snack. 10 minutes later, grab a snack, 30 minutes later another.  Before bed another. I rarely feel full. So I'm grabbing another snack, and wife goes did you have dinner tonight?  I'm like yeah why?

She says you've had like 6 snacks tonight.

I stopped dead in my tracks and said really?  She's like yeah all confused.

I had no idea I was doing it. I'd literally grab a snack and keep going

My mind was blown, I am an addict taking hits and not realizing it.

I think I'm focused now, finally.

Not going to weigh myself to March 1. I have a bad habit weighing myself twice a day.

Keep going!!!

 

Edited by belljr
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On 2/12/2020 at 5:27 PM, bostonfred said:

MAF keeps MAFfing. Just did 3.5 miles in a little under 35 minutes. First 2.5 at 6.1mph, heart rate climbed to 139 by the end but mostly stayed around 137. Dropped to 5.9mph for the last mile. It's not just a number on my heart rate monitor, I can feel my endurance improving with almost every run.  Part of it i think is that i had a carb heavy lunch which i haven't been doing as much recently but still. Literally seeing significant improvement daily.   

Basically the exact same run today but hr started to creep up in the final half mile.  My long run this weekend will be 4.5 after doing 4.0 last weekend, and then I figure some of my regular weekday runs will bump up to 4. 

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8 minutes ago, belljr said:

I say this with all seriousness.  I definitely relate to Oats.  I have 2 good weeks, 2 meh over and over. I know fad diets are bad BUT I think I had a breakthrough.  Im the same weight as my weigh in a month ago but I figured out I'm 100% addicted to food, especially junk food. I don't drink regularly but Tuesday night my wife made an innocent comment and it clicked.   I don't think I have emotional issue driving it but who knows, I'm a pretty happy go lucky person.

Anyway, Tuesday we are watching TV and I grabbed a snack. 10 minutes later, grab a snack, 30 minutes later another.  Before bed another. I rarely feel full. So I'm grabbing another snack, and wife goes did you have dinner tonight?  I'm like yeah why?

She says you've had like 6 snacks tonight.

I stopped dead in my tracks and said really?  She's like yeah all confused.

I had no idea I was doing it. I'd literally grab a snack log it. Not care but just keep plowing along.

My mind was blown, I am an addict taking hits and not realizing it.

I think I'm focused now, finally.

Not going to weigh myself to March 1. I have a bad habit weighing myself twice a day.

Keep going!!!

 

Knowing is half the battle.  Git her done. 
 

I went “off the rails” tonight. (Not like the old days but still). Ate a bunch of chocolate treats that were  the kitchen. Normally I wouldn’t touch the stuff. It was delicious, but my stomach feels like crap after. Also had two Bud select 55s. Again, a far cry from the old off the rails. And I rowed a 10k this morning and otherwise ate well today. But still.

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Starting weight Jan 1 - 257.7

current weight Feb 14 - 243.2

less than 1 lb loss this week and I am not sure why. Only missed 1 day of exercise and mostly ate well with a few little strays. Oh well, not going to let it derail me - I will just do better this week. 

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Ok, so as I have posted before I am down just over 20lbs in two months which is awesome but not at my goal yet.  Going to hit pause on WW next week as I head to my annual ski trip.  I will try to not go off the deep end but given vacation and a big bulk of my time will be doing athletic activity there is just no way I can keep to the diet and lower calorie intact.  Also, I can't give up one of the great joys in life which is having a couple of really good beers after a long day of pushing it on the slopes.  

I think I should be able to keep steady on weight this week as I am not your normal skier doing blue runs with a diamond thrown in there as I typically push it and ski like a bit of mad man.  My favorite runs involve bumps, I like to hike to terrain to find fresh snow and am not cruising around for an hour and then getting drinks as I am up and out the door as soon as the lifts start turning. To be honest, this exercise and weight loss kick is actually all skiing driven as the last two seasons I just felt like I couldn't ski like how I wanted to/knew I could.  I am probably going into this trip the best shape I have been in over a decade as I always do some skiing prep work but this time it has been different. 

Edited by Redwes25
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35 minutes ago, Redwes25 said:

Ok, so as I have posted before I am down just over 20lbs in two months which is awesome but not at my goal yet.  Going to hit pause on WW next week as I head to my annual ski trip.  I will try to not go off the deep end but given vacation and a big bulk of my time will be doing athletic activity there is just no way I can keep to the diet and lower calorie intact.  Also, I can't give up one of the great joys in life which is having a couple of really good beers after a long day of pushing it on the slopes.  

I think I should be able to keep steady on weight this week as I am not your normal skier doing blue runs with a diamond thrown in there as I typically push it and ski like a bit of mad man.  My favorite runs involve bumps, I like to hike to terrain to find fresh snow and am not cruising around for an hour and then getting drinks as I am up and out the door as soon as the lifts start turning. To be honest, this exercise and weight loss kick is actually all skiing driven as the last two seasons I just felt like I couldn't ski like how I wanted to/knew I could.  I am probably going into this trip the best shape I have been in over a decade as I always do some skiing prep work but this time it has been different. 

Send it bruh!!!

 

where you headed?  I ski like you. I eat and drink everything, while on ski trips. I usually break even or lose weight. And I went through the same realization, my weight gain was affecting my skiing  I was pushing 210  I’m now sub 185 huge difference 

Headed to Jackson hole in 2 weeks. :pickle:

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9 minutes ago, DA RAIDERS said:

Send it bruh!!!

 

where you headed?  I ski like you. I eat and drink everything, while on ski trips. I usually break even or lose weight. And I went through the same realization, my weight gain was affecting my skiing  I was pushing 210  I’m now sub 185 huge difference 

Headed to Jackson hole in 2 weeks. :pickle:

Going to Telluride and looks like a storm coming in going to drop at least a foot everywhere across the west Sunday night/Monday. Hear it has been dumping snow in Jackson and they are expecting 2 feet from storm. Hope it keeps up for your trip.

I was also at 210 last season and now down to just under 190. 

Edited by Redwes25
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Red wine with Mrs O to celebrate Vday. Pretty tasty, it’s been a long while. 
 

The beautiful part is I have zero guilt. Will be good this weekend, Monday leaving for a beach vacation. Then back to the routine at the end of vacation. I don’t mind losing a week of progress. In it for the long game. No reason I won’t lose another 15lbs before summer. And holy moly someone file the trademark application for HunkyO(Tm) 

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 Another 3.5 MAF run and again I went about 2.5 miles before my heart rate bumped up to the high 130s and about 3.1 before it hit 140. 

When i last did a tempo run, i think i did 2 miles and a little at my "fast" pace before I had to slow down.  

When i first started MAF runs, I saw my heart rate go up around a mile and change, and before i started MAF, i had been used to running a mile and change at 7 to 8 mph before switching to run/walking.  

So for guys like @fred_1_15301 who are considering trying it but don't totally understand it - what MAF seems to be doing for me is increasing the amount of time that i can go before I start to overheat.

Whether it's running a long run and feeling like I can't run anymore or need to slow way down, or running a slow run and seeing my heart rate rise from 125 to 140, it seems like the amount of time before I feel it is about the same. When i first started that was about 10 to 15 minutes into my run.  Now it's up to about 25.

I suspect that when I get used to 5 miles as my "long run", and 4 plus as my "normal run", I'll be able to run 3.1 at MAF pace pretty easily without my heart rate going up to 140. And I suspect that that will also be true for my "fast" 5k as I will be able to run the whole thing at my "fast pace" without overheating.  

In other words, it doesn't matter how fast you're going, your aerobic fitness determines how long you can run before you bonk.  And the best way to increase your aerobic fitness seems to be to run slow.  

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I’m really only just 6 weeks into exercising the way I should be and eating and drinking like a normal human. 6 weeks is nothing. If I continue doing exactly what I’ve been doing — which is totally easy now — for another 6 weeks?  12 weeks?  That’s fun to think about.

Oh the possibilities. 

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1 hour ago, Otis said:

I’m really only just 6 weeks into exercising the way I should be and eating and drinking like a normal human. 6 weeks is nothing. If I continue doing exactly what I’ve been doing — which is totally easy now — for another 6 weeks?  12 weeks?  That’s fun to think about.

Oh the possibilities. 

You’ve become my idol.    :bag: 

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Boys and girls, it's been a bad couple of days.

Two days without rowing, tons of valentine's day chocolate in my house, and I ate a bunch of it.  Also drank; in fact, last night, ate a big dinner, had sweets, and Mrs. O and I split two bottles of red wine. I drink a little more than she does, so I had more than a bottle of red all by my lonesome.

Just not a good couple of days; especially when two days from now I'm going away on a beach vacation for the week. 

So, what do you do in this situation?

Oh.  I know.  How about wake up and row.  Row longer, and farther, than you've ever rowed before.  #### it, row a half marathon.

Oh, and I think I'll fast today, just for good measure.

PEEK A BOO, ABS.... I SEEEE YOUUUUUU

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39 minutes ago, Otis said:

Boys and girls, it's been a bad couple of days.

Two days without rowing, tons of valentine's day chocolate in my house, and I ate a bunch of it.  Also drank; in fact, last night, ate a big dinner, had sweets, and Mrs. O and I split two bottles of red wine. I drink a little more than she does, so I had more than a bottle of red all by my lonesome.

Just not a good couple of days; especially when two days from now I'm going away on a beach vacation for the week. 

So, what do you do in this situation?

Oh.  I know.  How about wake up and row.  Row longer, and farther, than you've ever rowed before.  #### it, row a half marathon.

Oh, and I think I'll fast today, just for good measure.

PEEK A BOO, ABS.... I SEEEE YOUUUUUU

Hot diggity dog. Hydrate and stretch today :)

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So sore, mostly in my back and lats.  And a light headache. Hydration is a good idea....

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1 hour ago, Otis said:

So sore, mostly in my back and lats.  And a light headache. Hydration is a good idea....

Yeah I also suffered the headache. Gatorade zero / some other electrolyte replenishing beverage may also be your friend. 

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41 minutes ago, eaganwildcats said:

Yeah I also suffered the headache. Gatorade zero / some other electrolyte replenishing beverage may also be your friend. 

Some avocado toast was a big help. I was delusional in thinking I could fast today after a workout like that. 

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47 minutes ago, Otis said:

Some avocado toast was a big help. I was delusional in thinking I could fast today after a workout like that. 

So hipster. 

A paltry 10k in 43:52.

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2 hours ago, Otis said:

Some avocado toast was a big help. I was delusional in thinking I could fast today after a workout like that. 

Yeah that would not be a good idea

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A rest from rowing today was a good idea; hit the gym instead and lifting some weights for shoulders/chest/tris.
 

Yes, bro, on occasion, I lift. 

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17 minutes ago, Otis said:

A rest from rowing today was a good idea; hit the gym instead and lifting some weights for shoulders/chest/tris.
 

Yes, bro, on occasion, I lift. 

Good to see you got right back up on the horse.   

Still impressed.  

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On 2/15/2020 at 9:30 AM, Otis said:

Two days without rowing, tons of valentine's day chocolate in my house, and I ate a bunch of it.  Also drank; in fact, last night, ate a big dinner, had sweets, and Mrs. O and I split two bottles of red wine. I drink a little more than she does, so I had more than a bottle of red all by my lonesome.

Oh.  I know.  How about wake up and row.  Row longer, and farther, than you've ever rowed before.  #### it, row a half marathon.

I think it's great that you wanted to get right back to it and it's great that you're trying to increase your max distance but...

1 hour ago, Otis said:

A rest from rowing today was a good idea; hit the gym instead and lifting some weights for shoulders/chest/tris.
 

Yes, bro, on occasion, I lift. 

... while it's good that you're lifting, the fact that you had to take a rest day the next day means that all that work you put in yesterday to set a personal best was really less rowing but more tiring than just doing a couple days of rowing a little. 

I feel like you have settled in on the idea that this is a lifestyle change and not just a diet or exercise plan or both.  But then there's still the part of you that wants all the results at once.  That's not necessarily bad but overdoing it is a recipe for injury. 

I would rather you feel like you've had a day or two off and you can't wait to get back to it than feel like you need some record setting grand gesture to yourself to row like you've never rowed before.

The lifestyle change is that you're doing cardio and weights and on days that you don't work out you're keeping your calories low and the snacks way down and on days that you row you get to eat a little more but you still keep your diet on point.  And once in a while you cheat and that's ok.  That's sustainable and you've been sustaining it and that's really all it takes.  

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3 minutes ago, bostonfred said:

I think it's great that you wanted to get right back to it and it's great that you're trying to increase your max distance but...

... while it's good that you're lifting, the fact that you had to take a rest day the next day means that all that work you put in yesterday to set a personal best was really less rowing but more tiring than just doing a couple days of rowing a little. 

I feel like you have settled in on the idea that this is a lifestyle change and not just a diet or exercise plan or both.  But then there's still the part of you that wants all the results at once.  That's not necessarily bad but overdoing it is a recipe for injury. 

I would rather you feel like you've had a day or two off and you can't wait to get back to it than feel like you need some record setting grand gesture to yourself to row like you've never rowed before.

The lifestyle change is that you're doing cardio and weights and on days that you don't work out you're keeping your calories low and the snacks way down and on days that you row you get to eat a little more but you still keep your diet on point.  And once in a while you cheat and that's ok.  That's sustainable and you've been sustaining it and that's really all it takes.  

I probably could have rowed this morning, but I don't get to lift weights much anymore, so try to add in a day here or there.  Given the almost two hour row yesterday, today seemed like a good day to do it.  Was simple as that really.  

There are just a few muscle groups the rowing doesn't hit -- chest, tris, certain parts of the shoulders -- that I want to still get into the gym and work on occasion, even if it's just once a week.

(And actually, the rowing I did yesterday -- a half marathon, or 22k -- is more than I would normally have done in two days, as I'm typically doing a 10k each morning -- not that it matters much).

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1 hour ago, RUSF18 said:

How you doing in the man boobs area these days?

:lmao:
I’ll assume this is directed at me.

Situation improving.  Seriously, 20 more pounds of fat from where I am, and I’ll be all muscle in my chest and a flat stomach, maybe even a little ab action

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5 hours ago, Otis said:

:lmao:
I’ll assume this is directed at me.

Situation improving.  Seriously, 20 more pounds of fat from where I am, and I’ll be all muscle in my chest and a flat stomach, maybe even a little ab action

I ask seriously. I had some major ones for years brought on by a combination of puberty and being well over 3 bills in my late teenage years. Lost a ton of weight but they mostly remained the same. Spent years miserable about the problem and finally went to a plastic surgeon in the city last week and got it taken care of. Best decision I ever made and I’m still partially bandaged up. PM me with any questions. 

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5 minutes ago, RUSF18 said:

I ask seriously. I had some major ones for years brought on by a combination of puberty and being well over 3 bills in my late teenage years. Lost a ton of weight but they mostly remained the same. Spent years miserable about the problem and finally went to a plastic surgeon in the city last week and got it taken care of. Best decision I ever made and I’m still partially bandaged up. PM me with any questions. 

Wow nice. Seriously though, I didn’t have to lose all that much weight, so thankfully no serious manboob action for oats. The gut however...

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Rest day yesterday, and didn't have too much trouble keeping my calories down lower than usual because i didn't exercise. It's like instead of a cheat day, my rest days are the only days i really have to keep my calories down. 

I felt good today for my weekly "long"run of 4.5 miles.  First 90 percent MAF pace which was a little slower than usual because i was in a hotel gym that was a little hot and i didn't let my heart rate get over 135 until I'd gotten a couple miles under my belt. Started at 6.1 and dropped down .1 at a time as soon as my heart rate crept up. When i hit 4 miles i was all the way down to 4.7 but i still felt good so i decided to finish at 7mph for the last half mile and still had gas in the tank.  

Now that I understand why I'm trying to keep my heart rate down and what I'm actually improving at, I definitely notice the difference. My endurance has definitely improved but it's the distance before i start to overheat. I don't know if this is how you guys feel but when i ho at race pace, i feel like I'm fighting against the clock before I need to walk, then after a few seconds of walking i feel like I can start back up again and run full speed.

In retrospect, i was running intervals back then.  And that's still something worth doing.  But now that I'm actually running distances I can finish, i see what I was doing wrong. And now I see why I'm making relatively quick gains by training for distance and why my resting heart rate is so low - I'd been training my anaerobic threshold every day but my aerobic fitness was crap. 

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I've eaten like a billion calories today. So many valentines day treats + pizza + Girl Scout Cookies. Had a ~30 minute row earlier, but might head back down if I get my act together. 

:eek:

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I’m going to hit this harder than I’ve been doing for the next 100 days. I’m moving cross country for the second time in 18 months and would like there to be a noticeable difference when I get back to NC. I’m down about 20 pounds since December 1. I’m going to go for 2 - 2.5 pounds a week which would be 30 - 37.5 pounds over the next 15 weeks.
 

Still have a lot of room for improvement in my diet and, honestly, I can push more in the exercise. Heading out for my second 3 mile walk/run of the day.

 

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55 minutes ago, eaganwildcats said:

I've eaten like a billion calories today. So many valentines day treats + pizza + Girl Scout Cookies. Had a ~30 minute row earlier, but might head back down if I get my act together. 

:eek:

Narrator: he did not get his act together. 

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In an effort to inflate my starting weight for the 100 days of pain starting tomorrow I stopped and picked up a Dr Pepper after my stroll around the lake tonight. 🥤

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4 hours ago, East Coast Bias said:

In an effort to inflate my starting weight for the 100 days of pain starting tomorrow I stopped and picked up a Dr Pepper after my stroll around the lake tonight. 🥤

CODE RED!!!!!!

ETA: Or is that Mountain Dew? I forget

Edited by msommer

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Week 6 IF Check in:

Week 1 = -1 lbs. overall
Week 2 = -2 lbs. overall
Week 3 = -3.5 lbs. overall
Week 4 = -5.0 lbs. overall
Week 5 = -6.5 lbs. overall
Week 6 = -7.0 lbs. overall

I didn't go to the gym last week (too busy) and my diet wasn't great either.

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Did pretty good Friday and Saturday. Ate more than usual, but was SUPER active, so didnt feel too bad about it. Then came Sunday morning breakfast. I was a little hungover and told my wife that I wasn't even hungry. They had some breakfast casserole thing. It was strawberry bread-pudding topped with a vanilla creme sauce. Next thing I knew, I had pounded down an enormous plateful and chased it with about a dozen pieces of bacon. :porked: :bag:  I could barely roll out of there.

Back on the wagon...

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Following up from yesterday’s post. Exactly 15 weeks before my June 1 move back to NC. Starting weight today was 244.0. Goal weight for move back is 206.5 so 2.5 pounds for week. I think I’ll be able to maintain/exceed this goal for the next 20 pounds or so but may need to recalibrate to 1.5  - 2 pounds per week after that.
 

When I moved to Seattle about 15 months ago I was around 270. Would be amazing to go back around 200.  Started with a 5.6 mile walk/run this morning. Will add in some push-ups/crunches after work.

Edited by East Coast Bias
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On 1/25/2020 at 8:06 PM, bostonfred said:

I got a heart rate monitor and decided to try MAF. Wtf. I have apparently been exercising all wrong. The good news is i was able to run for 40 plus minutes without stopping.  The bad news is it took that long to complete the 5k i was previously doing in under 29 minutes.  Apparently that's the same kind of complaint everyone has when they start so I'm ok with just trusting the process if it works for people but man that was humbling.  

This was my first MAF run 24 days ago. I was bummed about giving up my sub 29 minute pace. 

I just finished a 5k in 26:57 and was disappointed because I didn't feel great and I slowed way down about 2/3 of the way through.  End of next week will be one month and i will be shooting for sub 26. 

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6 minutes ago, bostonfred said:

This was my first MAF run 24 days ago. I was bummed about giving up my sub 29 minute pace. 

I just finished a 5k in 26:57 and was disappointed because I didn't feel great and I slowed way down about 2/3 of the way through.  End of next week will be one month and i will be shooting for sub 26. 

nice!

i actually ran a mile and a half with my daughter on Saturday.  knees held up pretty well.  might give it a shot and see if i can run occasionally .  i miss it.

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58 minutes ago, bostonfred said:

This was my first MAF run 24 days ago. I was bummed about giving up my sub 29 minute pace. 

I just finished a 5k in 26:57 and was disappointed because I didn't feel great and I slowed way down about 2/3 of the way through.  End of next week will be one month and i will be shooting for sub 26. 

Dude this is the exact motivational story I need in week one of my 10 mile run training (which just became official today as I was selected to run in it).  I love reading about your progression.

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After hosting a super bowl party, then a week vacation, and then a week of business travel, I was not in a hurry to get on the scale this morning.  I was pleasantly surprised that I actually managed to lose a half a pound. So no complaints here and back to grinding out the diet a little better. I think it worked out OK because while I didn't follow my strictest diet I still didn't go totally nuts. I drank beer, but only light beer.  I ate sandwiches but only grilled fish sandwiches, etc. Still tracking and restricting calories every day and limiting them by healthier eating combined with regular workouts and a focus on a more active lifestyle. So, total down 16.5 pounds since 01.06.20

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What page does the MAF stuff start?  

Any recs on hr monitors?  Buying for my daughter (15)  and one for me.  

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7 hours ago, munga30 said:

What page does the MAF stuff start?  

Any recs on hr monitors?  Buying for my daughter (15)  and one for me.  

 
On 1/25/2020 at 8:06 PM, bostonfred said:

I got a heart rate monitor and decided to try MAF. Wtf. I have apparently been exercising all wrong. The good news is i was able to run for 40 plus minutes without stopping.  The bad news is it took that long to complete the 5k i was previously doing in under 29 minutes.  Apparently that's the same kind of complaint everyone has when they start so I'm ok with just trusting the process if it works for people but man that was humbling.  

 

On 1/26/2020 at 10:11 AM, gianmarco said:

I can only speak from my own experience, but I dropped almost 15 pounds in about 3 months doing this. I was at a constant 200-205 for the last 2 years with running 4-5x/week. Changed nothing except focusing on MAF.

I forgot to mention above the second huge benefit in that my appetite decreased despite running longer/more often. The subsequent weight loss was "easy".

I'm currently running more than I have ever before and I'm only averaging a few beats faster per minute with my HR, but definitely above my MAF, and my appetite is back up to being ravenous to feed my exercise. Weight back up a little around 195 but I can't get it back down despite 2 months of increased exercise. My weight loss shifted after I stopped MAF training.

That's ok right now because it's not my focus, but there was a huge, discernible difference in appetite between MAF and non-MAF training. I will add that I could go out and run for 2 hours in the morning after fasting since dinner and not feel hungry or tired when done. I can't do that now. I need to fuel before doing anything over 90 minutes.

 

On 1/26/2020 at 9:37 PM, bostonfred said:

Tried MAF again but this time i didn't start at 7mph then work down.  I started at my pace from last time, 4.3mph, and worked up to 4.6 which is a little better but still feels painfully slow. A 40 minute 5k later I'm kind of ok with it - I never felt like i needed to slow down or stop which is nice.  I kind of want to see how far i can go at this pace but I don't want to overdo it and get hurt in some ridiculous embarrassing way. I don't know if this is a good idea but I will keep going for now and let my endurance build up.

Breakfast - panera chicken/ egg/ avocado/ peppers wrap

Lunch small salad

Dinner scallops and potato , wine

Still under my goal calories so wtf why not

 

On 1/26/2020 at 9:49 PM, bostonfred said:

In case anyone is trying MAF for the first time and found this post - the first time i tried my heart rate monitor i was like cool, let's see what 7 or 8 mph does to my heart.  Then I dialed it down to my MAF heartrate which is about 135 (180 minus your age minus other stuff). 

The second time i did it I didn't do the fast run first.

So the first time my heart rate spiked to about 170 and then i slowed down and it fell slowly. I settled on 135 bpm.at 4.3mph and hated my life. 

The second time i just started at 4.3, and my heart rate didn't hit 135. So i hit the plus button on the treadmill and 4.4 still wasn't 135.  Sweet. 

I'm going to tinker with it but i suspect that it's better to start slow and speed up than to start fast and slow down because it takes time to make the heart muscle chill. 

And since there are about 9 million hits for "MAF sucks too slow", but a lot of them end with never mind it totally worked, i figure it is worth waiting to see how it works out before complaining. 

Good luck, future MAFfers

 

On 1/27/2020 at 5:50 PM, bostonfred said:

Day 3 of MAF running

Day 1 - 4.3 mph

Day 2 - 4.5

Day 3 - 5.3? 

Today i started out with a 5 minute walk at 3.5 mph, then moved up to a light jog at 4.5 expecting that to be the pace like yesterday.  Nope. Barely got me into the 110 range.   Bumped it up to 4.7, 4.9, 5.1, then at 5.3 i finally started to creep up to 135 or 136 beats per minute. After a little over 2 miles i started to creep up to 138, 139 so I dropped down to 5.1 mph, then 4.9, and stayed around 135 beats per minute..

I was able to comfortably run the full 5k, so I finished with a 9mph burst for the last couple minutes.  

That's probably better than what i had been doing - running 7 to 8 mph until i was fatigued, walking for a little bit, then starting back up again. 

It still feels like I'm going really slow but 5.3 at least felt like a jog, and seeing gains while still being able to finish without any walking made me a believer.  

I tried a 2k row afterwards but couldn't figure out how to check my watch style heart rate monitor so I was just guessing and finished in just under 10 minutes before checking and seeing i was never close to 135. I probably need to figure out how to use this thing.  

 

On 1/28/2020 at 7:59 AM, bostonfred said:

These are not cliff notes but i did a bunch of reading on this and can explain what i read. 

When your heart beats really fast, your body burns sugar (glycogen) to get energy to your muscles ASAP.  When it runs out it switches to fat, and you feel like crap.  

When your heart beats kinda fast, your body burns fat to get that energy instead.  

If you do your whole workout at "kinda fast" you won't bonk, you'll burn fat instead of carbs, and you'll improve your endurance.  

Before you get too excited, working out slower also means burning fewer calories, and it doesn't matter that you're burning fat instead of sugar because your body stores excess sugar as fat anyways.  But if you finish your workout without burning all that sugar, you don't feel crazy hungry afterwards. And being able to run/ bike/ row/swim longer makes up for the lower intensity so you can burn more calories. 

It can also help with race training.  If you get good at running slow for a long time, you get good at running for a long time.  So you can run fast for a long time without getting tired on race day.  

Your heart rate should stay around 135 depending on your age and conditioning. They recommend 180 minus your age, minus 5 if you're newer to cardio, and minus 10 if you have any heart condition or other physical reason to be safe with your heart rate.  As a 44 year old who has recently increased to running 5ks, I target 136 beats per minute. 

So wear a heart rate monitor, get on the treadmill and do a 5 minute warm up walk, then increase the speed very gradually.  It will feel really slow the first day, so start with a super light jog at like 4 mph, which is barely fast enough to "jog". Then if your heart rate doesn't get up to your target, increase to 4.2, 4.4, etc.

When you hit that target heart rate, you should feel like you're going really slow and could run that speed forever without getting tired.  So do it. If you normally run, run for your normal distance plus 10 percent.  If you don't, then run a half mile and see if your heart rate is still in that range, then switch to a fast walk. 

If you do that for a while you'll see that you can go a little faster and a little longer each time.  I went from 7-8mph without monitoring my heart rate, to a ridiculously slow 4.3 mph my first day of MAF, to 5.3 mph my third day.  Today is day four and I'm excited to see how it goes, and I'm recording it here so newbs like me can learn from it. 

 

On 1/28/2020 at 1:31 PM, bostonfred said:

https://philmaffetone.com/want-speed-slow-down/

If your goal is speed, he talks about it here.  Skip to the charts at the bottom that show MAF time and race time,  and improvements over time by mile. 

There's also a good amount of testimonial from non believers who hated going slow at first but were converted when they saw the improvements.  

 

On 1/28/2020 at 7:28 PM, bostonfred said:

Day 4 - 5.7mph for the first 2 miles, slowed way down to 5.0 for the final 1.1. I am aiming for 136 bpm and crept up to 140 for a little bit before dropping down so my splits probably should have been more like 5.7, 5.5, 5.3 or something like that. 

Finding it a lot easier to finish my 5k and with something left in the tank for a final sprint. I was definitely trying too hard to run fast before.  

 

On 1/29/2020 at 10:10 PM, bostonfred said:

Day 5 MAF 

Didn't get to the gym, so I used the treadmill at home.  My pace dropped to 5.3 to start, then down to 4.5mph by the end of 2 miles.  Didn't notice until partway through that my wife had left the incline up until around that point. Still, finished 5k of running in 38 minutes without stopping, did some warm up/cool down walking and kept my calories under target after a couple days going a little over.  

 

On 1/30/2020 at 7:22 PM, bostonfred said:

Day 6 MAF

Back to the gym. First mile was 5.7 and i wasn't quite at 136 heart rate so i bumped it up to 6.0. Then promptly went up to 141.  Dropped back to 5.5 for most of the second mile, then 5.1 for most of the third.  Finished with a few minutes at 8.2mph which felt great, total time under 32 minutes for 5k although it would have been more like 33 if i hadn't finished fast. 

I really like this approach.  I feel like my endurance has gone up.  I've run 5k without stopping every day this week, and while I'm going slower overall, I'm getting close to the pace i was at before i started (sub 29 minutes, mostly 7-8mph with some walking)

I think I'm going to keep at this for a while until i have to take a rest day for whatever reason, and then the next day I'll treat it like a race to see what kind of time i can run. 

 

On 2/1/2020 at 8:13 AM, bostonfred said:

Day 7 MAF - forgot to update this yesterday.  7 straight days with no-stop 5ks. I upped it to 3.5 miles on the last run of the week.

Mile 1 5.7 mph

Mile 2 5.5 mph

Mile 3 5.0 mph 

A little slower then yesterday but not much.  Finished the full 5k under 140.bpm in around 34 minutes 

I opened up and planned to finish strong. I couldn't sustain 8.2mph the whole time so tapered down. 

Total 3.5 miles, a little under 38 minutes.  

I think this is a sustainable distance to run each day, not sure how much more time I want to commit to running because I've been doing some rowing and weights these days too and that's a long time to be at the gym, but as my speed increases i might be up for gradually increasing my distance.  It's definitely been nice to have those extra calories each day. So maybe I'll shoot for 4 miles next weekend. 

 

On 2/1/2020 at 12:59 PM, bostonfred said:

The (non MAF) rule I'd always heard is don't increase distance by more than ten percent per week, so if you've got a good base of 2.5 miles, doing 3 should be the high end of what you're doing your first week and probably a bit less. That's about avoiding injuries and building your muscles.  

Time is irrelevant as long as you stay around your target heart rate the whole time. That probably means going painstakingly slow at first. 

We're starting at fairly similar points but you're probably ahead of where I was last week- I'd be interested in seeing your results if you do start MAF

 

On 2/7/2020 at 7:56 AM, fred_1_15301 said:

I’m struggling with the MAF routine.  It’s just too slow and boring for me.  Also, I’m prepping for a 10 mile run and I’m not convinced MAF is going to work.  I’ve started doing 2 workouts a day.  I’ll do the standard 10 mile training routine (I.e running 2-5 miles a day) and then do a HIIT workout either in the morning or at night.  I still have to work on the diet but I’m gradually getting better (e.g. I hardly ever snack anymore).  Cutting booze will be a work in progress 

 

On 2/7/2020 at 9:03 AM, bostonfred said:

Trust the process.  Also add in a "tempo run" once a week - something close to your race pace.  

I did my first tempo run yesterday just to see if id made any improvement at speed after almost two weeks of MAF runs.  My long run used to be 5k mostly at 7 to 8mph but with some run walking usually starting after a mile and change. 

I switched to 5k MAF runs, and did my long run of 3.5 miles, so I expected my endurance at higher speeds to have improved some. 

I ran the first two miles at 7mph, nonstop.  That was a pretty big improvement for me already. I also thought i could have gone farther but that I'd definitely need to stop so I walked for a few, then ran again, walked over more, and ran the rest.  I finished the 5k in about 27:40.  My previous best was a shade over 28.  I actually felt like I was running a little slow at 7mph. 

My next goal is going to be 4 miles at MAF this weekend. That's about the ten percent increase they recommend as the most you should do - 3.1 to 3.5, 3.5 to 4, etc. Then I'll alternate between 5k and 3.5 at MAF pace during the week and try a tempo 5k later next week. I expect that I'll be closer to finishing the 5k at 7mph when I do. I'm betting that by the end of February I'll be able to finish the 5k in under 27 without any walking.  

 

On 2/9/2020 at 7:53 PM, bostonfred said:

180-44 years old = 136 target hr. 

I warm up at 3.5mph or faster walking.  I don't count that towards my running distance. By the end my heart rate usually goes from my resting pulse of 55-60 to somewhere in the 90s. 

Whether i start at 5mph or 5.7mph, my heart rate starts out around 120 to 125 for the first quarter to half a mile, goes up to 135ish by the end of the first mile, and starts to flirt with the high 130s soon thereafter.  I tried slowing down or speeding up in my first two weeks of doing this and 5.7mph seems to be the high end of my "slow running pace" so I go with that.  

Eventually my heart rate hits 140 and if it stays there (or goes up to 141 at all)  I'll slow down.  But I'll stay at 138 or 139 without worrying about it. If that's not technically MAF it's close enough for me. 

Today my first mile was all under 136, and my next two miles were both under 140, all at 5.7mph.  I didn't hit 141 until the end of mile 3, so I did mile 4 at 5.5, then 5.3, then 5.1mph and stayed at 5.1 until the final quarter mile, when i throw MAF out the window and just finish strong.  

I don't know if that's right but it's what I'm doing and it seems to  be working well so far.  

 

On 2/9/2020 at 9:06 PM, bostonfred said:

150 is a big jump.  A really big jump.  

Our max heart rate is probably 186, give or take.  Pick any result from an internet search to calculate it - here's one.  https://post.greatist.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/05/Attachment-1.jpeg

80 percent of 186 is about 149. 70 percent is about 135. In other words, you're going up to 80 percent but MAF seems to want us at 70, and these are distinctly different heart rate "zones".

That doesn't mean MAF is "right", it just means that decades old research shows that training around 70 percent of your max is better than 80 or 90 for the goals he was working towards (improving cardio fitness, speed and endurance for runners).  I don't doubt there's also research that says that 80 percent is a good number too. 

 

On 2/11/2020 at 12:46 PM, bostonfred said:

 

I can run 3 miles at 5.7mph under 140 beats per minute.  My MAF target heart rate is 136 so that's about right.  My next step is to increase that to 5.8 or 5.9 on my "MAF runs" and go as far as i can before hitting 140 beats per minute, then slowing down until i hit 3.1 miles.  On another day I'll try going a little further like 3.5 miles at 5.7mph the whole time.  Always trying to increase the speed i can go in my target heart rate or my distance.  Then on my tempo runs I ignore heart rate altogether and just go fast, and on my weekly long run i ignore going fast and just try to increase my max distance by 10 percent over the previous week.  

 

On 2/12/2020 at 9:00 AM, bostonfred said:

I'm documenting the process for exactly this reason.  I am not a good athlete. I've done couch to 5k before and gone back to the couch each time.  I ran a half marathon once back when i was like 30 but nothing close since. I literally couldn't finish 5k running non stop a month ago.  I started MAF three weeks ago.

My first MAF run was at an embarrassingly slow 4.7mph and i felt the same way but i finished it without stopping. My second MAF run was faster.  

I feel most comfortable at 5.7 now but just did 6mph for 2.5 miles and 5.7 to finish the 5k and stayed at 140 or under. That's a little slower but it's not as bad as it was at the start.  And I'm running faster and farther than before.  

I'm not an expert or trainer or anything but if I were training for something like you I would be skeptical too. And you don't need to do all your runs slow. The rule I've seen on line is 80 percent slow 20 percent full speed. I think most training plans actually take that into account and suggest you do some runs at "race pace". When I first saw that i thought it meant train fast but do some runs even faster. That's not what it means.  Check your training plan and see if it says something about running at a comfortable pace, where you can talk to someone comfortably.  That's roughly 70 percent of max heart rate - which is basically what MAF is. 

 

On 2/12/2020 at 9:10 AM, bostonfred said:

I don't know what you're using for a training plan but here's a few and they all have most of your runs going slow, or at a conversational pace, etc.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b7/0f/ed/b70feda24b8e67234e4f37d528ad4e77.png

https://i2.wp.com/www.runandsmile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/10-mile-training-plan.png?fit=785%2C445

https://www.sublimelyfit.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/soldier-field-10-mile-training-plan.jpg

Maybe you're supposed to be doing this already. 

 

On 2/12/2020 at 5:27 PM, bostonfred said:

 

MAF keeps MAFfing. Just did 3.5 miles in a little under 35 minutes. First 2.5 at 6.1mph, heart rate climbed to 139 by the end but mostly stayed around 137. Dropped to 5.9mph for the last mile. It's not just a number on my heart rate monitor, I can feel my endurance improving with almost every run.  Part of it i think is that i had a carb heavy lunch which i haven't been doing as much recently but still. Literally seeing significant improvement daily.   

 

On 2/13/2020 at 8:50 AM, bostonfred said:

Not really.  I've been eating a little more the last few days but still under maintenance calories and I've had some wine so no on both those things.  Haven't been sleeping more (maybe even a little less) and have also lifted some weights while at the gym but it's chest/ back or bis and tris not core and legs. I can't take credit for running "hard" because my heart rate tells that story. I'm on a treadmill so it's not the same as outdoor running but I'm only comparing my results to my own previous results. I'm not in great shape, i still have some weight to lose but I'm down a bunch from my peak. 

The only things i think matter are that 1) i had a decent base of running (i was running 5k at a 7 to 8 mph pace but had to walk a little in the middle, a few months ago that was probably more 6 to 7mph pace), 2) i have been running a lot (5 to 6 times a week) and 3) i may have inadvertently improved my breathing while i run because i am paying so much attention to my heart rate. 

I don't think there's any outside explanation for the relatively quick improvements. I think it's just that I'm finally training right.  

 

On 2/13/2020 at 7:15 PM, bostonfred said:

Basically the exact same run today but hr started to creep up in the final half mile.  My long run this weekend will be 4.5 after doing 4.0 last weekend, and then I figure some of my regular weekday runs will bump up to 4. 

 

On 2/14/2020 at 8:52 PM, bostonfred said:

 Another 3.5 MAF run and again I went about 2.5 miles before my heart rate bumped up to the high 130s and about 3.1 before it hit 140. 

When i last did a tempo run, i think i did 2 miles and a little at my "fast" pace before I had to slow down.  

When i first started MAF runs, I saw my heart rate go up around a mile and change, and before i started MAF, i had been used to running a mile and change at 7 to 8 mph before switching to run/walking.  

So for guys like @fred_1_15301 who are considering trying it but don't totally understand it - what MAF seems to be doing for me is increasing the amount of time that i can go before I start to overheat.

Whether it's running a long run and feeling like I can't run anymore or need to slow way down, or running a slow run and seeing my heart rate rise from 125 to 140, it seems like the amount of time before I feel it is about the same. When i first started that was about 10 to 15 minutes into my run.  Now it's up to about 25.

I suspect that when I get used to 5 miles as my "long run", and 4 plus as my "normal run", I'll be able to run 3.1 at MAF pace pretty easily without my heart rate going up to 140. And I suspect that that will also be true for my "fast" 5k as I will be able to run the whole thing at my "fast pace" without overheating.  

In other words, it doesn't matter how fast you're going, your aerobic fitness determines how long you can run before you bonk.  And the best way to increase your aerobic fitness seems to be to run slow.  

 

On 2/16/2020 at 8:53 PM, bostonfred said:

Rest day yesterday, and didn't have too much trouble keeping my calories down lower than usual because i didn't exercise. It's like instead of a cheat day, my rest days are the only days i really have to keep my calories down. 

I felt good today for my weekly "long"run of 4.5 miles.  First 90 percent MAF pace which was a little slower than usual because i was in a hotel gym that was a little hot and i didn't let my heart rate get over 135 until I'd gotten a couple miles under my belt. Started at 6.1 and dropped down .1 at a time as soon as my heart rate crept up. When i hit 4 miles i was all the way down to 4.7 but i still felt good so i decided to finish at 7mph for the last half mile and still had gas in the tank.  

Now that I understand why I'm trying to keep my heart rate down and what I'm actually improving at, I definitely notice the difference. My endurance has definitely improved but it's the distance before i start to overheat. I don't know if this is how you guys feel but when i ho at race pace, i feel like I'm fighting against the clock before I need to walk, then after a few seconds of walking i feel like I can start back up again and run full speed.

In retrospect, i was running intervals back then.  And that's still something worth doing.  But now that I'm actually running distances I can finish, i see what I was doing wrong. And now I see why I'm making relatively quick gains by training for distance and why my resting heart rate is so low - I'd been training my anaerobic threshold every day but my aerobic fitness was crap. 

 

15 hours ago, bostonfred said:

This was my first MAF run 24 days ago. I was bummed about giving up my sub 29 minute pace. 

I just finished a 5k in 26:57 and was disappointed because I didn't feel great and I slowed way down about 2/3 of the way through.  End of next week will be one month and i will be shooting for sub 26. 

I've been documenting my experience including the reading I've done.  Here's all my relevant posts and a few responding to me.  

Edited by bostonfred
I've been documenting my experience including the reading I've done.  Here's all my relevant posts and a few responding to me.  
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I’m on vacation and ate and drank everything yesterday. But the one takeaway so far is how much farther I have to go. I’m nowhere near where I need to be. I definitely need to lose another 20. And I’m not going to worry about it too much this week, but I’m coming back with a vengeance and for the long haul when I get home. It’ll happen. We’ll get there. Just will take some time (not like cash diet weeks time; but new lifestyle months time). 

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16 hours ago, bostonfred said:

This was my first MAF run 24 days ago. I was bummed about giving up my sub 29 minute pace. 

I just finished a 5k in 26:57 and was disappointed because I didn't feel great and I slowed way down about 2/3 of the way through.  End of next week will be one month and i will be shooting for sub 26. 

BTW just finished 2.5 miles at about your original 5K pace.  PAINFULLY SLOW but kept that HR down.  10 more weeks of this - looking ahead at the end goal!

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15 minutes ago, fred_1_15301 said:

BTW just finished 2.5 miles at about your original 5K pace.  PAINFULLY SLOW but kept that HR down.  10 more weeks of this - looking ahead at the end goal!

Did it feel different?

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13 minutes ago, fred_1_15301 said:

BTW just finished 2.5 miles at about your original 5K pace.  PAINFULLY SLOW but kept that HR down.  10 more weeks of this - looking ahead at the end goal!

I've been doing one tempo run per week (for me, 7.3mph because I'm targeting a 26 minute 5k) but follow your training plan.  What I've seen in a bunch of these is something like this https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/15k-10-mile-training/intermediate-15k-10-mile/

This is the intermediate plan and assumes that you have more of a base than you actually do. And even then he only suggests doing 6 tempo runs and two races in the twelve weeks leading up to the race.  All the rest are supposed to be at a "conversational pace" which is about 65 to 75 percent of max heart rate - in other words, MAF pace.  

I'd be interested in seeing your results the next couple weeks. And maybe a little less judgy than saying my original 5k pace was all caps painfully slow because that hurt a little.  

 

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3 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Did it feel different?

Yeah it felt like I was barely moving.  But I was running (jogging) at a pace where I could have had a conversation.

What confuses me is that I’m not doing this cold turkey.  I’ve been running for years (usually at least 2 days a week).  Why is my HR not better? However I always run at around a 6.2-7.1 pace.  It’s possible that I don’t actually see improvement until sustaining this MAF pace for a long period of time.

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