Category: maf training

*courtney – MAF training log week 1

week: 1 of 16 ~ 5/4/15 – 5/10/15

total miles: 27
crosstraining:
bike x 2
strength workouts: 2
focus/thoughts:
while i am running slow i am trying to focus on my form and see how i can be more efficient. while i was half marathon training i was able to train myself to breathe at a 3 to 2 pattern so that i am exhaling on alternating feet. there is some kind of science behind it, and since i am always getting hurt on my right side i figured it couldn’t hurt 🙂 after focusing on that for a few weeks it is now second nature! surely over the next 16 weeks i can devote some time to tweaking other aspects which will help me come fall racing season.

up first are my arms! this week i began focusing on keeping my elbows bent at 90, my hands relaxed, my swing going forward and backward and not across my torso, and driving the movement from my shoulders. more form tips can be found here. i really covet katie edwards’ form in this altra video. i want to be just like her–fast, hard-working, strong and gorgeous. i noticed that when i was tensing up from a hill or my heart rate was on the upper limit my shoulders would start to hunch and i would clench my fists. in turn, by focusing on relaxing more and thinking about better form my heart rate would lower. so crazy how it is all connected!

looking back at the data i am definitely not straddling the line of 147 bpm, and i think it is because of a couple of reasons. the first being i run so damn early my body is not fully awake enough to even work that hard! the second reason being because i absolutely hate hearing my garmin scream at me when i go outside of the 137-147 range. i am afraid of authority in all aspects of life–even when it comes from a gadget on my wrist 🙂

monday
planned workout: bike
actual workout:
rest day! too busy at work to even take a lunch. it happens!

tuesday
planned workout: 4 miles and strength
actual workout: 0 miles and the core strength workout with 5# weights. 4am wakeup calls never get easier. i totally skipped out on the run 🙁

wednesday
planned workout: 4 miles and 30 minutes on the bike
actual workout: 6 miles and 30 minutes on the bike
course: hilly, paved, some sidewalk
weather: 61*/humid/dark
gear: brooks purecadence 4
how did it go? i tried a new route because i wanted to get in some extra miles since i skipped the run on tuesday. i didn’t realize how hilly it would be, but i will keep it up since it was well-lit and empty.

day1

thursday
planned workout: 4 miles and strength
actual workout: 6 miles and strength circuit
course: flat, paved, mostly sidewalk
weather: 63*/humid/dark
gear: brooks pureflow 3

day3

friday
planned workout: rest
actual workout: 30 minutes on the bike

saturday
planned workout: 10 miles
actual workout: 10 miles
course: sunny south carolina! hilly (450+ feet of elevation gain!) and paved
weather: 70*/windy/sunny
gear: brooks pureflow 3
nutrition: some clif shot bloks and s!caps along the run; no tummy issues
how did it go? such a beautiful running trail, but holy crap is it hilly! remind me never to run a race in greenville, south carolina unless it am doing it just for fun.

day4
IMG_3053IMG_3056IMG_3057

sunday
planned workout: 5 miles
actual workout: 5 miles
course: paved and flat
weather: 70*/windy/sunny
gear: brooks pureflow 3
how did it go? another awesome paved biking/running/walking trail! why doesn’t bowling green have these? this was in north carolina and i ran along side the pisgah forrest. this was my 3rd state to run in this week 🙂 over the past year i have run in 2 countries and 5 states, which isn’t a lot to some people, but makes me feel good about semi sticking to a training plan while out of town! i did have some tummy issues on this run–i will blame the chinese food from the night before!

day5
IMG_3059IMG_3060

 

*jenny weekly training journal 5.4-5.10.15

 

Monday 5.4.15:

Planned Run: 4 miles at MAF of 147
Weather including humidity: 75* with 63% humidity
Food: I ate half a bagel with cocoa barney almond butter and a oikos triple zero strawberry yogurt cup.
Shoes: blue brooks pureflow 3s. These still have a little life in them.
Entertainment: Old Easy playlist. Spent 5 solid minutes rocking out to Dragonforce’s through the fire and flames. Good times.
Actual Run:

Miles
How did it feel: Slow and hot. I took at least 10 walk breaks. Garmin connect says my elevation change for the entire run was 13 meters. Every single little incline I had to stop and walk. I think it has a lot to do with heat and humidity. It’s already getting hot in Kentucky and sometimes I have to do a lot on my lunch breaks. I’m going to try to do a morning run this week and I’m interested in seeing what a cooler temp will yield. Also– that cardiac drift. It’s a bitch!
Are you bored yet: I am not bored and I’m actually loving it and I’m only 3 runs in but… I’m really enjoying just enjoying myself!

Tuesday 5/5/15

*First off, big shout out here to T– this was our anniversary! 8 years in. God knows we’ve seen some crazy changes in just the last 2! I feel confident that we will make it through the next 8 and beyond just fine. 🙂 Sure we want to kill each other some days. Don’t all couples? 🙂 For my anniversary I got an AWESOME set of jaybird bluetooth earbuds. I’ve been hem hawing around about buying them forever and the husband treated me. They are freaking incredible. So worth it. Thanks honey! Love you! 🙂

Planned Run: 5 miles at MAF
Weather including humidity: 11 am *82 with 38% humidity
Food: Oikos triple zero strawberry and a bagel thin with cocoa almond butter
Shoes: blue pureflows
Entertainment: The Another Mother Runner podcast, the episode with special guest Summer Sanders. Summer, you are my new spirit animal. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and may actually listen to it again. I liked it that much.
Actual Run:  So in true Jenny fashion, once again, I messed up. I created a workout on garminconnect and uploaded it to my watch… except I only created 1 big 5 mile interval. So I have no idea what my heart rates or average paces per mile were. I know they were slow. I had to take at least 6 walk breaks throughout this one. I think I’ve finally got the garmin thing figured out now though… fingers crossed. On a less important note… shorts tan 2015 is coming along nicely. Along with shoe and sock tan lines on my feet.
How did it feel: HOT. HAWT.
Are you bored yet: Nope. Not at all.

Wednesday 5/6/15:

Planned Run: 4 miles at MAF
Weather including humidity: 11 am *80 sunny and 37% humidity
Food: Oikos strawberry triple zero and a nature’s own bagel thin with barney cocoa almond butter
Shoes: Blue pureflow 3s. I wish I’d kept an accurate count on the mileage on these shoes. I know they’re still good but it would be nice to know how long for. LOL 🙂
Entertainment: Trail runner nation podcast– this one was a first for me. I need to get into it a little and figure out who these guys are.
Actual Run:

miles 2
How did it feel: I feel like this is the most accurate portrayal of cardiac drift I’ve gotten so far. I’ve been counting my walk breaks up small inclines (how embarrassing) and on this day I only took 2. Which is awesome considering it was hotter than it has been. But it was also less humid. I also think these paces are the most accurate I’ve gotten so far.
Are you bored yet: I am not bored at all. It’s only week 1 but I am loving this. I’m listening to old playlists and new podcasts. it’s not a chore to go out and do my run because I know it’s going to be at a super easy pace. Talk to me again after MAF test #2 I guess. 🙂

Thursday: Iron Strength workout from Runner’s World. Info can be found here.

Friday:

Planned Run: 4 MAF
Weather including humidity: *83/ 38% humidity
Food: Bagel thin with cocoa coconut almond butter and oikos triple zero berry yogurt
Shoes: blue pureflow 3s
Entertainment: TFC playlist
Actual Run:

miles3
How did it feel: Hot and slow. 🙂
Are you bored yet: Still loving it. 🙂

Saturday:

Planned Run: 10 MAF
Weather including humidity: *66/ 82% humidity
Food: I did some quick googling while I was drinking my cup of coffee to try to decide if I should eat or not? This is all a learning experience for me. The paces I’m running at feel fine and the entire point of MAF is to try to teach your body to burn fat and not sugar… so I took 3 gus with me, just in case, and skipped breakfast. Though I DID have a big dinner at Gondolier (italian) the night before. 🙂
Shoes: blue pureflows. Just about dead.
Entertainment: Another Mother Runner podcast, the no limits challenge recap episode. I really enjoyed this one.
Actual Run:

miles4
How did it feel: This felt fabulous. OH the difference a 20 degree temperature change can make. The last 2 miles of this my HRM died a good death and I didn’t get any accurate HR data. I just tried to keep my pace consistent with what it had been during the previous miles. I like that the data BEFORE the HRM went dead is nice and consistent in the 11’s. It just goes to show what temperature does to our bodies.
Are you bored yet: STILL not bored. 🙂

Total weekly miles: 27

In non running news my boogie bear is sick once again. A nasty viral infection that we will have to retest for in a month. 🙁 Spare a good thought, prayer or some positive vibes? Here’s a picture from Mother’s Day (which deserves it’s very own post this week :).

Fabulous

 

Also my most favorite coffee mug ever…

Mug

mug2

mug3

*Jenny Maf test 1 and weekly training log 4/27-5/3/15

This will be a short update because I took it easy this week. I did complete my first MAF test, and in true Jenny style completely messed it up! HAH. Story of my life.

You’re going to see a lot about MAF training in the coming months. Courtney already explained in a previous post but to summarize, it’s a training methodology that requires you to run at a certain heart rate for 16 weeks to build a solid aerobic base for continued training. Phil Maffetone created this method during years of research and testing in exercise science and kinesiology. I just spent 4 months training myself to enhance my Vo2 max and blowing my half goal out of the water, but now I’m going to take it back to basics because I have a very big goal forming in my mind to work towards over the next few months. More on that in a later post. Maffetone asserts that by training at or below a certain low heart rate (your age minus 180; my MAF heart rate for example is 147) you can vastly improve your aerobic base and see major speed gains after the 16 week period. His method is supposed to teach your body to burn fat for fuel instead of glycogen. I really hope I burn some fat. I’m a completely average built lady, but I wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds! 🙂 I officially kicked off my MAF training on Sunday with my very first test which I’ll detail below.

Tuesday morning:

3 miles easy on the treadmill. I was a little bit jetlagged from flying (this was a business travel week for me so it also made tons of sense to take it easy) and this was just a shakeout run from the Derby half. Lots of little niggling aches and pains. I didn’t pay attention to my heart rate or my pace. I know it was slow and steady. I did this run on an empty stomach with no coffee but drank water to thirst. Treadmills are so awesome like that. Your water is just right there along with your iphone and a tv… it’s a damn shame that they cause me so much grief if I do too many miles on them.

Friday afternoon:

I feel like I can get back on format with this one. 🙂

Planned Run: 4 miles at MAF
Weather: Sunny and warm. I’m not sure on the exact temp. I definitely wore shorts and a tech tee.
Food: A bagel and nutella
Shoes: Brooks pureflow 4’s. I need to do a review of these shoes.
Entertainment: The Another Mother Runner podcast, the get ready for marathon training episode.
Actual Run: 4.29 miles/ 11:24 average pace and average HR of 141 bpm.
How did it feel: This felt wonderful. All of my niggling pains from Tuesday were gone. My hamstrings are back in good shape and my butt finally felt fine. I hesitate to say I have piriformis syndrome because I’ve never been to the doctor for it (down with copays!) but I’m pretty sure I have piriformis syndrome. I hate sitting for long periods of time because it causes major pain and the last pains to go away after a hard race are the ones in mah butt.

Sunday Afternoon *MAF test #1:

I decided to do my very first MAF test on a nicely flat 1 mile loop in my neighborhood. There’s one tiny hill but on garmin connect there’s virtually no elevation change. I decided to reverse my direction for my last 2 miles of the test and took a wrong turn resulting in a wonky course. I also accidentally breathed on the lap button *sarcasm* and had a hiccup there. Next time I’ll create a MAF test workout in my garmin and go by that. Live and learn. I live my life notoriously unprepared.

Final note, I made my MAF test a total of 5 miles.

Mile 1: 1 mile warmup below MAF. Pace: 12:00/ Average Heart rate: 140

Mile 2: *This is where I hit the lap button accidentally* .77 miles. Pace: 12:57/ Average Heart Rate: 144

Mile 3: 1 mile. Pace 12:56/ Average Heart Rate: 144

Mile 4: 1 mile. Pace 13:13 (you can really see the cardiac drift taking place)/ Average Heart Rate: 144

Mile 5: 1 mile. Pace: 13:02/ Average Heart Rate: 143

Lap 6: .23 miles. Pace: 11:37 (downhill)/ Average Heart Rate: 145

Weather: *72 and sunny with 47% humidity
Food:
A sea salt and caramel Kind bar 2 and a half hours previous to the run.
Shoes:
Blue Brooks Pureflow 3
Entertainment:
TFC playlist
Actual Run:
5 miles at 143 average heart rate.
How did it feel:
SLOW and HOT.

So there are the numbers in their ugly glory. I have a lot of work to do and I’m excited to do it! 🙂

In non running news we saw Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend. It was exactly what I wanted in a summer blockbuster. Joss Whedon never disappoints. I love explosions.


I also really really really really kind of like Thor.

Like I mentioned earlier. Somebody turned 2. Elmo 2. 🙂

Elmo 2

One of her birthday presents was a classic plastic turtle sandbox. She loves it. She had an Elmo birthday cake and hasn’t stopped talking about baking another elmo birthday cake (with sand) since. 🙂

Elmo cake

During mass today the only thing that kept her happy was putting stickers all over me. I didn’t realize I was still wearing them until we got home from church, I did my MAF test and came back in the house and looked down… #momlifefoevah

MAF stickers

We got some good pantsless kite flying in last weekend. There’s no party like a pantsless party because pantsless parties don’t stop. Yep.

 

naked kite

The first time I came to Keriakis park and wasn’t running the trail? Also. Sidenote, but for BG residents. Keriakis play park is the bomb. It’s shaded and not as crowded as 3 springs. Winning.

rub my tummy

 

 

 

 

*courtney – MAF test # 1

so, today was my first official MAF test! in case you missed it, i have decided to dedicate this summer to the maffetone method to build a killer base and hopefully nail a huge PR in january at the louisiana marathon.

i first heard about MAF training from miss zippy and sf road warrior and figured if these super fast ladies could slow down to get more efficient and stay injury free, then why can’t i? i am not fast to begin with, so i really don’t have anything to lose speed-wise. i am also injury prone, but i want to ramp my mileage to ~40mpw for marathon training in the fall. the big half marathon goal is in the bag, so this seems like a great time to slow down and see what progress i can make!

so, what if MAF training? it is essentially low heart rate training. the theory is that training at a lower heart rate will condition you to run more efficiently and get fitter and faster at a low heart rate, and in turn you will be able to run faster at higher heart rates as well. make sense? yeah, i didn’t think so. trust the science, people. the first step in this journey is to find your MAF training heart rate with the formula of 180 – your age, and that is the heart rate you should train at or below for ~16 weeks or until you no longer see improvements during your MAF tests. you can find more info along with guidelines to getting your MAF heart rate here.

a typical cycle lasts 4 months or until you stop seeing improvements running at your MAF heart rate. every month you are supposed to perform a MAF test to gauge said improvements. today was my baseline test, and it was pretty much spot on with where i thought it would be. you can view race performance estimates based on MAF test results here, and mine matches up perfectly with my recent half marathon result.

it is important to track temperature and humidity along with your results and to try and perform the test in similar conditions on the same course every month. i chose the local high school track since it is the only flat area near me that is free of traffic.

oval
the dreaded oval

the track is about a mile from my house, so i used that mile and one lap around as a warmup to get to the target of 147bpm before beginning the test. you should also warm up until you reach your target heart rate, or your results will be pretty skewed by that first mile.

quick sidenote… i am 100% a hobby jogger. i run because it makes me feel really good and it is a way to steal time with my best friend. i did not run track or cross country in high school, i am not athletic, hell i don’t even watch sports! so, when i showed up at the track this morning i picked a middle lane and started going at it. i was using the manual lap function on my watch in case it didn’t pick up the track correctly, so once i made it around 4 times i hit the lap button. of course, i didn’t even think that the middle lane would be more than a quarter mile point to point. it was about the middle of the 3rd mile that it occurred to me that i was running about a tenth of a mile too long on each test “mile”. i blame my flaxen skull for that one. for the last mile i moved to the inner lane, since i still couldn’t figure out what all the lines and arrows meant on the track and how to run just a quarter mile in lane 5. i am just so glad i was all alone and no one could witness my stupidity! it didn’t seem to have much of an effect, so i am keeping these test results and will know better next time (hopefully).

test #1 results
date: may 2nd, 2015
weather: 58*/sunny
location: track
gear: altra the one2 shoes, injinji socks, lululemon dart and dash shorts, moving comfort maia bra, lululemon run swiftly racerback tank, garmin 620, nathan quickshot
weight: 162.1 lbs
warmup: 1.39 miles @ 141 average heart rate
cooldown: 1.32 miles @ 146 average heart rate and 6 x 20s striders
results:
maf test 1the cardiac drift is about what i thought it would be, and these “miles” were actually 1.11 @ 146bpm, 1.11 @ 146bpm, 1.08 @147bpm and 1.01 @ 147bpm. glad i caught my error by the last one 😉

originally i had wanted to get up even earlier to take the test while it was still in the 40s outside, but i am glad that i waited as the june, july and august weather is not likely to be any cooler than 60*. a girl can hope, though!

i am really not sure what progress i hope to see in a month. maybe 10 seconds per mile drop? less would be ok too. i do hope to see my weight drop. i am about 30 lbs heavier than i would like to be going in to the marathon in january. i am hoping to lose most of that by the mid-september training start. they say that every pound is 2 seconds off your pace. if that is true i could possibly be a minute per mile faster by the time i am at goal weight–that would be worth giving up the mexican food for a while 🙂

has anyone else done MAF training before? any tips you can share would be much appreciated!

next time i post i am going to share my sub-2 hour half marathon training plan!