Wait Training Plan

Sidelined in a dastardly manner and watching the zeros pile up on my calendar has led me to a new training regime whilst I wait for further medical diagnosis/prognosis.

Taking into account my doc’s advice that I can still be active, just no gunning for PR’s, and the HR threshold of my weird blood pressure condition, I’m embarking on an extended block of MAF aerobic training.

Caveat being, I can’t physically do a ramp test to get current FTP or HRmax levels, however, I was at a similar non-active level when I started TR last fall, so will extrapolate from the values of that ramp test. As well, using the MAF HR formula: [180-Age (-10*)] coincides almost perfectly with my threshold HR/BP. That HR level also coincides rather well with my lowest Z2 power (~55% FTP).
*( the -10 is for injury/illness/medication/etc., anything effecting your normal physiology)

It all boils down to doing slow/boring 2-3 hour ultra low-Z2 rides – 2 3hr weekend rides and 2-3 2hr weekday rides, for ~12hr/wk Z2 work. Basically, an 80/20 plan but without the 20. This, of course, is all dependent on what my heart decides to do.

The MAF recommendation is a minimum 3-month block which will take me through most of the summer (and in the land o’ “free” health care, is probably my wait time for cardiologist response). The best possible outcome will be some medical miracle which will allow me to keep training and racing and heading into the fall I’ll have built a substantial aerobic base for next season.
(I’m stealing one of @Landis’ b-day candles to make my own wish! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::birthday::partying_face:)

Updated Stats:
250 FTP
3.3 w/kg
VO2: 4 l/min /58 ml/kg/min

See you in the slow lane!


Breath test / talk test to estimate LT1/VT1 is better IMHO then using some % HRmax. Good luck!


Probably, but unfortunately due to my condition I need to use HR as that determines my “safe” BP exercise rate (i.e. the level at which I’m not, quite literally, killing my own heart).

Yeah, nothing too exciting, just thought I would post it after reading the community research thread. I’m all for experimentation (who me?!), so this is my low-end :sparkles::snowflake:* contribution!
*(special snowflake)

Heart rate monitor and breath / talk test. Formulas put my vt1/lt1 in low 130s, and breath/talk test is 120-125bpm.

This. Force yourself to only breathe through your nose and you wont be able to go hard even if you wanted to

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Not going to be a problem at the lowest Z2.

Especially considering…

5x30/30@115%…I was nose breathing for every interval.

Like I said, this ain’t gonna be a fireworks and brimstone research experiment…there will be almost zero variability…every workout will be the same. The only interesting part (perhaps) will be the final result.

Maybe I’ll take up knitting whilst sitting on the trainer.

Hope…I can think of 2 friends who have had heart conditions that sidelined them for a while yet, they are back and riding as good as ever. One was Afib (underwent ablation) and the other I can’t remember but, I do remember his cardiologist advising him not to ride over basically a recovery HR pace for a long time. Seemed like a year or so. One is 51 the other 61. Both killing it at AG races and the 51 year olds still mixes it up with P1 and/or P1-2 fields.

Not saying this is the norm but, these guys were down for a year or so and have made incredible comebacks. Many others too so keep hope.

Ride #1

Power - 56% FTP
Cadence - 58
BP - 167/80 (normal people exercise BP ranges from 160-220)
HR - 112

Interesting points:

  • using a higher cadence resulted in a higher BP but not a higher HR
    (probably why my treadmill test was off the charts)
  • using a lower cadence I could increase both HR and power (+10w & bpm) w/o increasing BP

May also be a case of my body settling down and getting into a rhythm after the initial shock of activity; 15min in and BP was almost 200…hit a low of 143 during the second hour (there is a long known phenomena called warm-up angina which may back this up). I know all the BP readings during exercise are sketchy at best (even in a lab they would be sketchy!) but it’s an indicator none the less.

That’s that.

Now imagine about 50 more posts exactly like this one and you’ll realize what a thrill ride this will be! :weary:


This training block sounds a lot like traditional base, you should end up with a massive aerobic engine.

You can live vicariously through me:

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So are you starting the rides:

  • Fueled, or
  • Fasted, and fueling when necessary?

Good for you. I made custom workouts at different %FTP and different lengths to gauge my progress MAF style and include the long warmup ramp MAF recommends. Similar to Black or Perkins, I found that a square wave repeating profile made it slightly more interesting and easier to keep in the MAF zone. Here’s an example of one with valleys at 55 and max peak at 65%. Linear Progression

I very much intend to! (and great job busting out the north-of-FTP work!)
Sooo…does that invite mean you’ll entertain any/all ride suggestions from me? :smiling_imp:

You would think, but the effort is so low – 1% above Recovery; Trad Base is 60-70% – that I would have to put in probably double the hours I’ve planned in order to reap substantial benefit.

At this point it doesn’t matter. Right now it’s all about getting me back to basic activity so my brain stops wanting to throw me off a building. It’s also about exploring how my body responds to said activity and how to control that response, i.e. making cycling healthy instead of damaging.

I’ll be instituting a ‘warm-up ischemia’ protocol to the rides, spending the MAF suggested 12 min warm-up to get to the point of ischemia*, resting for ~15min, then returning to complete the ride. This, in theory, should give me a higher ischemic threshold, as I noted earlier, in terms of increased HR and power, and lower BP.

*(derived only from HR and BP but missing the vital ECG component; a big guessing game on the exact point but generally speaking, the warm-up/rest/return protocol should help matters.)

Any advice on duration? I can’t seem to locate any ‘workout time’ info on the MAF site. I’m choosing 2-3hr rides based on Hunter’s ‘no go’ interpretations of Coogan’s power levels. That said, my 56% FTP rides should probably be about 12hrs long. :weary:

Enough story time! Gotta go smash out another inverted-VO2max session! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::metal:

That spots taken.

You know where to find me if that person suddenly succumbs to a mysterious and sudden demise :face_with_hand_over_mouth: (#airtightalibi).

And this just in…cuz y’know, I’m obsessed…

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The Endurance Planet podcasts talked a lot about MAF training as it related to running mostly. From what I recall it was at least 2 or 3 months at MAF gradually increasing duration. Or you could try to find something on Mark Allen’s Ironman training plan as he used MAF training for his string of IM victories.

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I came across this thread while researching Afib. I’m curious how is the MAF training going? Still staying with it, have you been cleared to do intensity?

MAF has been put on hold due to fabulous convergence of maladies upon my being for the past 4 months. I’m just starting to get back on the bike now (did a 20-min test on Sunday). But…from June-Sept 2019 (4mo) I did MAF rides. Weekly hours increased from 8/wk to 20/wk and the long ride durations increased from 3hrs to 6hrs (once; mostly 5hrs). My FTP increased (a calculated) ~10%; CTL/fitness from 30-90. It probably should have been much more than this…which is probably a good indication of some kind of pathology. :man_shrugging:

As for being cleared to do intensity…LOL! This is Canuckistan! If America is land of the free, then Canada is the land of wait and see…but mostly just wait. I called the cardiac specialist and was greeted by an answering machine with the message that if I’m calling about my position on the waitlist, they don’t have the resources to return my call. Sooo…it’s probably going to be another 4+ months (~1.5 years total) before I get into see them. I’ve contacted private clinics, other provinces, and even the US…basically, if you live in Canada and don’t have Bezos-level money…take a seat. Hope you don’t die waiting. :+1:

Whew! :joy: In other words, I haven’t been cleared by anyone to do anything. However…having done a crap load of research and reading, I’ve found a few reasonable intensity-based exercise protocols for what might be my heart condish. I can most likely do up to Threshold as long as I keep a close eye on things. But my beloved VO2max efforts are still out-of-bounds. :frowning_face:

That’s what the next 8 months or so is going to be for me – a truncated pyramidal training structure; still lots of MAF hours with some SS and Threshold sprinkled in later in the summer.


Wow, thanks for the update. 20 hours has to do something good for fitness. That’s my biggest thing with MAF that I feel like people gloss over. High volume is key. Then sprinkle in the intensity. The medical waiting game would definitely be frustrating. Throw some more updates in once in a while and I hope all goes well.

Yeah volume can definitely take you a long way. I have a pretty wide open life but even then I found 20 hours to be my max; it would be impossible if I had any more obligations. I don’t know a ton about MAF but I thought it was ALL low-HR activity, no intensity. :man_shrugging: FWIW, it was only when I started doing the 5 hour rides that fitness really ramped up.

Thanks for the support. We all probably need more of it. :+1: