Monday, August 4, 2014

3 mile, 4 mile, and MAF training, oh my!

Monday the 21st, I took my stepson to the zoo for a few hours of entertainment on a long summer day, can you tell I'm getting ready for school to start back? We spent about 3 hours walking around the St. Louis Zoo. We had a lot of fun, even though it was quite toasty! Towards the end of the trip my ankle started to bother me and I had to limp back to the car. I decided that it probably wasn't a good idea to go out for a 3 mile run on a sore ankle (plus I had been walking around for three hours in the mid day heat.) After that it didn't take much for me to back slide and to go 13 days without a run.

When I finally did decide to go out for a run, I had 10 miles on the schedule and thought well maybe I'll do it, maybe I won't but at least I will get out and do something. The issue with that was that I waited until almost noon before I started my run. It just seemed like I had to work hard to convince myself to get up and get out the door for the run, then I had to decide which trail I wanted to run, I couldn't decide between just heading straight out of the door and running on the sidewalks through my neighborhood like I do for so many of my short runs or going to my usual paved trail that I usually run on. Neither sounded like much fun and the route in my neighborhood is so hilly and heat and hills just didn't sound fun. I finally had the brilliant idea to run one of the other greenway trails not to far from where I live now, that I used to run all the time before I moved in with my husband. I wasn't sure how far I'd want to go in the heat and I wanted to set myself up to pass my car at least once if I did a significant distance so that I could grab some water. I ended up turning around at 1.5 miles and heading back to my car. I was hot and sweaty and the 3 miles had taken me 56 minutes so I didn't figure staying out for 10 miles was a good idea.

I know that I had talked in the past about running intervals and how high my heart was getting. It honestly made me feel pretty miserable during my run times and after my run. I felt like I was setting myself up for an injury or for burnout. Let's be honest though I don't run frequently enough to truly qualify as burnout down the road. Recently I have been reading a lot of blogs on Maximum Aerobic Function Training or MAF training. It stresses the importances of runners having an aerobic base, which Dr. Maffetone postulates that most runners do not have. Many runners have said that they have faster paces even though at first you may find yourself slowing down at first. I've only done two runs in my MAF HR but I find I'm feeling better during and after runs even though my pace is considerably slower. Also I don't want to jinx myself but I have noticed I have finally broken through the little bit of plateau I've been stuck on in my weight loss.

As far as the actual concept goes in case you haven't seen it elsewhere

  1. Subtract your age from 180.
  2. Modify this number based on your own fitness and health profile:
  • If you have or are recovering from a major illness or are on regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
  • If you are injured, have regressed in training, have asthma, have never exercised or exercise inconsistently, subtract an additional 5.
  • If you have trained consistently for up to two years with no problems, make no modifications.
  • If you have exercised consistently for more than two years with no problems, add 5.
Because I'm 28 and I have asthma I have a maximum HR of 147 and it says to exercise within 137-147 range and I try very hard but I am having trouble figuring out how or if I can set up a heart rate alert on my Garmin Forerunner 220. So far I've done 2 "runs" (mostly actually walking) and I've actually enjoyed it. I really feel great and although it's slow I can complete the distance.

I'm hoping to do 20 miles this week, I did four miles tonight with my hubby, he did 5 miles. He is so cute, he walks with me for a bit and then runs ahead and then back to me, then walks with me for a little bit. I figure if I do 5 days, 4 miles nice and easy with 1 hatha yoga day and 1 rest day I will get my miles in without stressing myself out or hurting myself. 

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