Will My Pace Speed Up If I Slow Down?
In the past year I’ve made 2 significant changes to running and training. I started working with a coach to train smarter instead of harder and I transitioned to natural running to focus on improving my form. Now, I’m ready to make another change. I’m pretty sure this is all driven by that elusive sub-2:00 half that has been my goal for 2011 and 2012. And, with a 2013 goal race that is in November I will have followed a training plan that focuses on distance and running on tired legs for 11 months. That’s a loooong training period! For the next 4 months, this is going to be an awesome distraction from focusing solely on miles and pace.
What is MAF Training (also referred to as the Maffetone Method)?
MAF training is essentially training aerobically (and avoiding anaerobic training) based on your individual maximum aerobic training heart rate with a goal of building a strong aerobic base. The focus is on heart rate instead of pace.
According to Dr. Philip Maffetone, author and endurance training expert, building a good aerobic base takes about three months and requires consistent use of a heart rate monitor to accurately monitor and properly interpret your unique physiological response to exercise.
This really stuck with me.
…the only way to make long-lasting changes with one’s health and fitness is to think in terms of the individual. Meaning you.
Instead of sharing the condensed version of the information about this type of training I’m sharing my 3 most used resources. Everything you need to know and your questions answered.
Where I’m Starting
My goal: Commit 16 weeks of heart rate training for every run, including runs that are 25+ miles, with MAF tests every 4 weeks.
There are several methods and at least one other formula for determining heart rates and training zones. I used the 180 Formula and Heart Rate Monitoring developed by Dr. Maffetone to calculate my Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate. This formula allows for adjustments based on the individual.
Resting Heart Rate: 51
Maximum Aerobic Training Heart Rate: 134
Training Heart Rate Ranges: 114-124 Warm Up and Cool Down; 124-134 Target Training
MAF Test #1
- at times the pace feels painfully slow and I think there is no way I can run this slow but how can I expect different results (i.e. faster pace) if I keep training the same
- I turned off the PACE field on my Garmin (If my pace is visible I’m going to watch it. Why torture myself?)
- the first test of my commitment will be a 20 mile run this weekend
- training for an ultra is already time involved and this will make it more so
- I like change and I’m excited about trying a totally new and different approach to training
- this may not be the panacea of running (or maybe it is for me) but I’m going to enjoy the process and the challenge and improve aerobic fitness
- I’m determined to give this 100%
Have you ever felt like your running has plateaued? Have you made significant changes to your training (running or otherwise?) Have you ever trained with a heart rate monitor?