Category Archives: marathon

One week done

     So Friday came, and went, and no workout… boo. Maybe it’s for the best, though, because I had the great fortune of training with Cambridge MultiSport (CMS) in an indoor triathlon on Saturday morning at the Dorchester County YMCA. What an awesome group to train with. If you are even CONSIDERING training for a triathlon, be it sprint distance or full Ironman, you need to find a local club/team to train with. For a minimal fee ($35!!!) you get coached workouts in the pool and on a track. There are always group rides and runs and the camaraderie can’t be beat. Enough said!

    So what is an indoor triathlon? Typically they are time based and not focused on distance as your stop point. For this tri, we swam in a pool and recorded the distance that you traveled in a set time (I think we swam 20 minutes). And just FYI, if you give your 100 splits based on your last race (3 months ago), expect to be put in the fast lane. 🙂 Thanks to Rebecca and Dave for not killing me when they lapped me 7 times in those 20 minutes!!! 1100 yards down with, unfortunately, no measure of my heart rate. There are devices out there that measure heart rate from your ear lobe (!!!) but let’s face it, I already look like Robocop in my training so I’ll pass (for now).

     A quick (ahem) transition and it’s on to the spin bikes. Unfortunately there is no distance measurement on these bikes so we ride for 45 minutes and I was just able to focus on heart rate. I was able to keep my HR in my MAF level and maybe slipped above 143 every once in a while. I believe I averaged 141, which is exactly what I wanted to do.

     Finally we went outside for a 25 minute run. This was going to be my focus because, until now, I’ve only done the MAF training on a treadmill. It was very difficult to maintain the 143 HR and I think I finished with a 144 average with an average pace of 13:01 min/mile (1.75 miles). OUCH. I know I’m faster, but I want to do this right. It was interesting to find that, right of the bike, my HR spiked up to the 150s and, no matter how slowly I jogged, I could only “reset” it by walking for 30 seconds. Once it dropped and stabilized, it was a slow climb back up.

      SUNDAY morning I decided to do a light run, outside, and was joined by a friend, Donnie, from Tilghman. I warned him that, based on the run from the day before, that the run may be SLOW. Surprising, we ran 5.32 miles, with an average pace of 9:35 and an average HR of 141! I have no idea how that came about, and if it is just a fluke, but I’m hoping to be able to maintain that pace on outdoor runs for a while!! If it happens, it happens. If not, then I will get back to the lower pace for now. If it stays like that, though, there is a lot of promise for this MAF training program. WE SHALL SEE!!

MAF Run 3

Well speak of the devil and he shall appear. Here is was wondering, in the last post, when I would know if I was running too much with the “easy” Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) training that I was taking part in. As I said earlier, in addition to the MAF training, I am also taking my pulse in the morning (mid 50s) and checking my heart rate variability (HRV) with an app on my Android phone. Now I’m not sure how accurate the HRV app is, but I can tell you that on a normal night I rate at a 1% stress.

All of this being said leads me to Tuesday morning’s readings. I found myself with a 77 morning heart rate and an HRV of 55%!!! It seems that running 4 days in a row has caused a little bit of stress in my system. So the smart thing to do is to take the day off. No running or working out on Tuesday. Taking the whole day off is the goal (which is great since I am on day shift with my OTHER job). Sometimes, no matter how easy we think the training is, or how much we WANT to work out that day, we have to listen to our body and take a day of rest. In all training, the mantra that you should repeat over and over is “DO NO HARM”. We are physical so that it makes us a better person, not to check some box on a calendar. Allow me to step off my soapbox now….

Wednesday morning and all is well with the world. My heartrate has dropped and my HRV is back to 1%. Time to train. Now I have to say that there are a lot of people out there that do not like to run on the treadmill. Call me a freak but I LOVE to see the numbers when I have a very specific type of training that I am doing. This MAF training is so numbers driven that I think it is going to be difficult to do some of this beginning training without a treadmill. So I sneak in to the shop on Wednesday, a day we are normally closed, and get to work.

I found, on my last run, that it took me about 10 minutes to get really warmed up so this time I go CRAZY slow for the first 10 minutes or so. This is very difficult to do because, for so long, I have been the type of runner who just goes all out at the very start. So for the first 8 minutes of the run I tread along at a slow 4 mph. During this time I can tell you that my heart rate varied from as high as the mid 150s to low 100s. At 8 minutes, though, a major change took place and all of the sudden my heartrate stabilized from 156 and it dropped and held at 113bpm. At 9 minutes I was still registering 113 bmp so I stepped it up to 4.5 mph. At 10 minutes I registered 122 and stepped up to 5 mph. At 11, I showed 125 bpm and went to 5.5 mph. And finally at 12 minutes, I found myself registering 134 bmp, so I sped up to 6 mph. This gradual climb made me finish my first mile in 13 min 28 sec with a heartrate of 141.

20 minutes in to the run and I’m staring to see cardiac drift. I should have figured this when my heartrate at mile 1 was 141 and my goal is 143. At 20 minutes it’s taking everything I can to hold 144 bpm and yes, this is only 1 bpm above my goal but it is enough to have me drop to 5.9 mph.

2 miles at 23min 34 sec and my heartrate is climbing again. I see 145 bmp now and bump the milll down to 5.7 mph.

3 miles down in 34min 02 seconds and my heartrate is steady at 143. This is the exact goal I want so I maintaing at 5.7 mph.

40 minutes in and the cardiac drift is setting in again. I register (and cannot get below) 145 so it’s time to drop some more. Even though I’m SO close to my 45 minute goal, I just need to drop.

4 mile mark is at 44 min 41 seconds and I finish at a 143 bpm. I’m really jumping between 143 and 144 so I initiate a cooldown (and lose out on the extra 19 seconds that would have taken me to 45 minutes. For the next 3 minutes (and 19 seconds) I do a leisurely walk at 3 mph, yes a 20 MINUTE PER MILE PACE!!! I finish the walk with a 113 bmp heartrate so I’m really happy with my recovery rate.

I’m going to try and push a little longer distance over the next couple of days and see how I do with that. I can’t believe I have 11 more weeks of doing these paces BUT, from what I understand, there will be a point in time where something will click and all of the sudden I am going to get some major speed with this low heartrate and THAT will pay off in racing.

We’ll see.

**Thursday woked up with a high heartrate and HRV number. Had to take Thursday off too. I’m hoping that as time progresses, I’ll be able to do more of these back-to-back days. Here’s to a long run on Friday!! Fingers crossed.