Monday, November 7, 2016

A different kind of goal

Today, I woke up before my alarm went off because the phone was ringing. I was totally confused for a minute, until I saw that it was from the kids' school. Whenever they delay or cancel school, the calls come very early (5:15 ish). I couldn't imagine that it had snowed all night long (it's been in the 60's and 70's here!!) so I guessed fog.

The recording said that school would be delayed for two hours due to heavy fog. I wish I was able to go back to sleep, but I am always wide awake after the school calls. After breakfast, I figured I would have enough time to go for a run and shower before I had to take the boys to school.
I dressed in bright clothes, because I was expecting some serious fog, but it actually wasn't too bad. I stopped for a picture of the lake, thinking that it would be really foggy over the water, but it just wasn't there.

This is without a filter--isn't it pretty? 

Just after I finished my second mile, my cell phone rang. I pulled it out of my Flipbelt, and saw that it was the school again. This time, they said that school would be canceled due to the fog! I don't remember school ever being canceled for fog, and considering I couldn't see much fog this morning, I was surprised. Oh, well, my kids were thrilled ;)

While I was running, I was trying to think of a good goal to work toward right now. I don't have to start training for Indy until February, so I have a few months without any running goals. For the past few runs, I've been taking care to make sure my heart rate stays under 146, and that led me to come up with a different kind of goal for this winter.

For the next 12 weeks, I'm going to run at or below my target heart rate for easy running--for me, that's 146 bpm. I'm really curious to see if my easy pace will get faster without doing ANY speed work--basically, just solid MAF training.

I tried to do this once before in 2014(?) but I just wasn't ready to do it then--I was too impatient to see results. When I started heart rate training last year to train for the 10K, I was doing all my easy paced running at a low heart rate, but I still did speed work once or twice a week as well.

Ever since I first read about MAF training, I've been so curious about whether it really works. Now is the perfect time for me to experiment with it, because I have about 14 weeks until I start training for Indy, and until then, I don't have any goals lined up. My 10K training taught me that I really need to trust the heart rate training process, as counterintuitive as it may seem; so, unlike in 2014, I'm not worried about the consequences of trying something that may not work. I'm also willing to be very patient with it.

I want to do this solely as an experiment on myself. So, for the next 12 weeks, all of my running will be at or below 146 bpm. As far as my distances, I'm going to follow the Base Building Plan that I wrote, starting on Week 5. Today, I did a 30 minute run, and my average heart rate was 143.



So, on Day 1, my average heart rate was 143 bpm and my average pace was 10:53/mile. I'm going to start a line graph of my pace, to see the overall trend in my pace at this heart rate. The goal of MAF training is to see the pace gradually get faster while the heart rate stays the same (over a period of several months).

My goal at the end of 12 weeks is just to maintain the same low heart rate but be running significantly faster (I actually don't even know what a "signifiant" amount would be). I'm not sure how quickly this training works, because I've never done it before, so it should be interesting to see the results! And it gives me a purpose when I run, which makes me happy :)

18 comments:

  1. I just bookmarked your link to the MAF training...I am curious about that stuff....and it sounds interesting...thanks!

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  2. I think your running experiments are fascinating! I love the fact that you test something out and give an honest review of how it worked for you and i look forward to reading about your results.

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  3. Looking forward to hearing the results of your experiment! Sounds like a good goal. I love reading your blog. :)

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  4. Thrilled that you are back to regular posts! Loved the marvelous podcast on half size me too!!!

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  5. looking forward to see your results. I'm curious to know if MAF works too.

    have you found that your HR tend to be higher the first 15 min of run? even at the same pace as the following miles?

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  6. I'd love to learn more about how that works, too. Looking forward to reading more as you share your results. :)

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  7. I was thinking about trying low heart rate training myself right now since my next big race I'm planning isn't until May. You're right, now would be the perfect time! I get really impatient though, I have to try and keep telling myself to stick with it longer than a week for once

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  8. I love the way you use graphs and data to track your progress. I'm trying to come up with a chart to keep track of my progress. I think it will motivate me to keep track of things.

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  9. I run at a certain speed on the treadmill which I determined would be best to keep my heart rate where it needed to be (128). I ran for an hour today at that pace and my average heart rate was 118. I guess it's time to up the speed. :-)

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  10. I love that you're challenging yourself! The whole idea of being "ready" for a specific type of training is really so TRUE! In the past, when I would start a couch to 5K program, I would really just loosely try it and then give up. It wasn't until I was mentally "ready" that things just clicked!

    Now I'm a marathon finisher!! :D
    *I love being able to say that*

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  11. I remember once when I was a kid, my Mom told us school had been cancelled (on April 1--that should have been the clue!) due to all the rain and resulting mud. My brother and I were elated momentarily, until Mom said, "April Fools!" I bet your boys were excited to get a day off from school unexpectedly (NO April Fools), and get to enjoy playing outside in this beautiful Fall weather! The picture of the sunrise over the lake is stunning!

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  12. Good luck! I have experience with MAF and unfortunately, it did not work for me despite 4 solid months of training at a low heart rate (130-140). I do know others who have done well with it though.

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  13. I'm a teacher here in metro Detroit area-no Fog Day for us :(-would have been nice :). The lake picture is gorgeous!

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  14. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the MAF training. I am starting to do this 80% of the time with 20% being tempo and sprint training. I love my MAF runs because i just get in a running grove and enjoy myself.

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  15. I've ben hearing a lot about heart rate training on the Another Mother Runner podcast. Interested to see how your pace goes.

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  16. So interesting! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

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  17. My hubby is currently experimenting with HR training right now as well. I think it's been about 3-4 weeks so far and he is just starting to see results. He said it was painful to run so slow (for him) at first, but he's getting the hang of it. The nice thing is that it brings him down to my normal pace so for the first time, I've been able to run with him. We both work early, but have been forcing ourselves to go out and run at 4am, something I would never feel comfortable doing by myself. It's been real nice. I'm gonna watch his progress and if Santa brings me a new watch for Xmas with a HR monitor, I may give it a try myself.
    Oh and I think we were out for a run on that super foggy morning also (we are in MI), it was prettt cool.

    Tanya

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  18. My hubby is currently experimenting with HR training right now as well. I think it's been about 3-4 weeks so far and he is just starting to see results. He said it was painful to run so slow (for him) at first, but he's getting the hang of it. The nice thing is that it brings him down to my normal pace so for the first time, I've been able to run with him. We both work early, but have been forcing ourselves to go out and run at 4am, something I would never feel comfortable doing by myself. It's been real nice. I'm gonna watch his progress and if Santa brings me a new watch for Xmas with a HR monitor, I may give it a try myself.
    Oh and I think we were out for a run on that super foggy morning also (we are in MI), it was prettt cool.

    Tanya

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