Monday, September 30, 2013

Running slowly more quickly: an update

My coach really likes run training, using the Maffetone method (or MAF).  Essentially, you "run" with a maximum heart rate that is pretty low (143 bpm for me, and run is in quotations because sometimes running doesn't happen with a HR that low).  Periodically, I'll do a MAF test, which consists of running very slow circles around a track with my garmin beeping at me, telling me to slow down b/c my HR is too high.

My first MAF test was in late October 2012.  The results were:
  • Mile 1: 12:37
  • Mile 2: 12:50
  • Mile 3: 13:22
  • Mile 4: 13:47

Really freaking slow.

It has been 11 months, I've been running consistently and I've done an Ironman since then.  I've also been working with my acupuncturist on getting my lungs working like a normal human being.  I've been seeing improvement, like at Ragnar when I ran as hard as I could for my last leg (2 mi) and my legs were the limiter instead of my lungs.  I've also been doing aerobic rides on the trainer, usually a 1:30 ride with a HR target of 130.  I did a ton of this last winter and it was pretty easy to get my HR to that point.  Two weeks ago was the first aerobic ride and it took quite a bit of effort (and sweating) to get my HR up that high and maintain it.  Which tells me that my aerobic fitness is improving.  Michelle decided it was a good time to do a MAF test and I agreed.  I was curious to see how far I've come.  And it turns out, I have really improved.
  • Mile 1: 10:53
  • Mile 2: 11:09
  • Mile 3: 11:09
  • Mile 4: 11:54
  • Mile 5: 11:36
My best mile was 1:44/mile FASTER than my fastest mile and my slowest mile was 0:43/mile faster than my fastest mile from my first MAF test.  Craziness.  But also super awesome.

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