Back on the bike (but still mostly running)

It has come to my attention that the kick-off event for the triathlon season, the Nanticoke River Swim and Tri on May 4th, is just a few short weeks away. Now I’ve been training specifically on the run to increase my Maximum Aerobic Function (ie My Aerobic Base) for the past few weeks. I’ve done this because of my crazy running month of April. April 5th is the Dorchester County YMCA Crab Run (half marathon, in costume!!!), April 12th is the Marine Corps 1775 run (17.75 k for about 11 miles), and the 26th is the Ocean City Half Marathon. Lots and lots of running but I need something different too! End of the week bike ride is on the schedule (ha! As if there is a schedule!)


So I have to admit, running at my 143 HR for a solid hour on a treadmill, is ok, but I wouldn’t call it super fun. After about 7 weeks of doing this MAF running, I’ve decided to do a little experiment this time. The whole time I do this run, it will be at the same speed (whatever that is when it levels out) but I’m going to do 30 second sections when I increase my cadence from 80 footfalls (one side) a minute to 95. It’s going to be good, but I know that it is going to take me out of my 143 zone. That’s why I’ll do those “pick ups” and then make my heart rate drop, just by slowing my cadence. It’s an experiment in control so away we go……

Mile 1    13:10    HR 137    (WAY too slow!!!)
Mile 2    10:25    HR 133    (Ummmm…. what?)
Mile 3    9:51      HR 143   
Mile 4    9:46      HR 145
Mile 5    9:50      HR 145 (last whole mile)

Total time of 60:00 minutes   Distance   5.69 miles

You can see that the pickups started right after the second mile. Interesting that, even with a spike, I was able to stay very close to my MAF heartrate after recovery.


It’s a nice day and I really want to get a short run in before work. We’ve got some projects at the bike shop and the “cop shop” has its own issues so this is my mental sanity break. Nothing crazy about the run but I decided to turn off the HR alarm and run at what I felt was 143 bpm. WRONG! Wrong wrong wrong. SO wrong. Roll up the newspaper. Smack my nose. I didn’t get under 143 on ANY of my splits. I’ve got to do something to either get this number checked or turn the alarm back on…. Bee Doo DOOOOO

Mile 1     9:42    HR  145
Mile 2    10:17   HR 146
Mile 3    10:37   HR 145
Mile 4    10:26   HR 147
Mile 5    10:24   HR 149

Total time   52:02    Total Distance 5.06 miles

Time to do some research……

Where, oh where, are all of my runners? All of my friends who want to run on Saturday mornings. With a high of mid 60s forecast, I figured we’d be swamped at the shop for the morning run. Unfortunately, it’s 40 degrees, overcast and windy. I have to admit, normally I would have pushed off at 8am alone,  but it’s cold, windy, and I’m tired. Sometimes you have to know when to wait. So off to the house I go, for another 90 minutes of sleep. Thank GOODNESS Laura understands!!!

And BOOM, at 5:42 PM, it is BEAUTIFUL outside and 61. NOW is the time for the run. It’s great to take off and run in a tech t shirt and a pair of shorts. 90 minutes on tap and I’m determined to try and stay under my MAF number. The alarm is back on, so let the Bee Doo DOOOO commence.

Mile 1   10:13   HR 142
Mile 2   10:21   HR 143
Mile 3   10:45   HR 144
Mile 4   10:53   HR 142
Mile 5   11:01   HR 141
Mile 6   10:52   HR 142
Mile 7   10:46   HR 142
Mile 8   10:42   HR 142

Nice!! But does that mean that I wasn’t really pushing myself in the middle there, if I was able to drop almost 20 seconds off my mile, and only go up 1 beat?

Total time  90 minutes    Total distance   8.4 miles

Ok. Time to break this up a bit. Three guys are assuring me that they want to ride on Sunday. I figure someone will back out, but hope to see at least one……

Eureka!! Two guys showed up for an 8 am bike ride! 43 degrees with a windchill that makes it feel like 38. Brrr. Plus we’ll be creating our own wind when we take off on the bikes. Previous engagements limit the amount of time we can ride so we decide on an hour. Nice entry back in to cycling.

Now the way I have my Garmin set for cycling, it takes a sample every 5 miles, instead of the every mile sample/split that it takes during running. I may change that up to make it more comparable to my runs but here are my EASY splits.

Mile 5    20:07    Avg Speed  14.9    HR  119
Mile 10  20:00    Avg Speed  15.0    HR 122
Mile 15  19:26    Avg Speed  15.4    HR 124

Total time  1:01:35    Total Distance  15.56 miles

They say, that because of gearing and the ability to change cadence and power easily on the bike, that it can be more difficult to make yourself get up to your MAF range. I’m going to try and make a concentrated effort to get up to that 143 mark, to make myself a stronger cyclist.



I think I’ve found the answer to knowing if I am training at the right heartrate number. The entire next blog will be about that process, and the future of this training. I feel strong, like I can run forever, but I would like to know if I’m pushing myself or not. Check back SOON!!!