A MAF Test and a bit of Rain

This morning, it was a bit dicey/icey on the road for Bennie’s first walk, so it became a pretty short one. No Bennie wasn’t impressed with suddenly sitting down without wanting to. It also meant chauffeur duty for SD2 and an early visit to the the gym, since it was supposed to rain all day.

Which was okay with me.

I have started to get my head wrapped around the why’s heart-rate training might be what I need to do going forward. I stepped on the treadmill with the idea that I was going to do my first “official” MAF test to get a general idea of where I am.

I did my dynamic warm-up in the stretching room and then a 5 minute walk at 3.3 mph to get the body ready to for the MAF test.

Yes, according to the MAF app on my iPhone my max heart rate should be 124 bpm. Sorry, I just can’t do that speed at this point and time. Yes, it is me and my ego getting in the way and you know something – I am okay with it. I run for more than just training to get better and have to feel as though I am running. The speed I would be doing at 124 bpm didn’t appeal to that side of my running.

Which meant that I made the conscious choice to use the different max heart rate of 135 bpm than what Maffetone recommends. My body my choice.

So how did the test go?

Actually I felt pretty good. However, getting my heart-rate initially up to the 135 bpm was interesting. For some reason the last two runs that I have had where I start at a pace that I am fairly confident will result in getting to the 135 bpm within the first minute doesn’t.

Today I just couldn’t seem to get a good heart-rate with my watch. It was all over the place, so I just used the read-out on the dashboard from my chest strap heart-rate monitor as my primary guide during the test. It was much more steady and until the last tenth of a mile within +3 of 135 bpm (I just didn’t want to slow down again at the end).

I started out at 6.0 mph, but increased it to 6.4 mph to get the bpm up to 135 and then as the heart-rate would go over 138 bpm, I would reduce the speed until at the end I was running at 5.9 mph.

The bad part of the Garmin GPS watch using the accelerometer is that on a treadmill while the speed is constant, when your cadence or stride length increases, the watch tends to think that you are running faster until you change things again. Even though your actual speed does not change – that is why my pacing on the treadmill is all over the place, I do not have a consistent cadence or stride length.

That is part of the reason for the same paces in miles 3 and 4, while the treadmill’s speed decreased, I picked up the cadence.

What did I learn through the MAF test?

That my 135 bpm is around a 10:00 minute pace +/- a bit on the treadmill.

I am using different leg muscles than I usually do, running at this pace. They are sore in areas they are not usually even after a hard interval workout.

It is easy to run at this pace physically, but harder mentally.

That my body is weird…(I knew this)…the first mile or so of a run it seems like my heart-rate stays low compared to the pace I am running and then suddenly it pops up to where I would expect it to be without warning or anything to signal that there is a change. Then things react like I would expect them to and I would have to slow down to maintain the appropriate heart-rate.

I will not say that I am enjoying this heart-rate training stuff yet, but I am starting to accept that it will help me run with fewer problems, especially injury related stuff. It will be interesting to see how I am doing down the road and how much of a difference it does make in my running and where those differences are.

Now to get rid of the deluge. All I know is that it wasn’t a fun drive from Augusta to Fairfield this evening in it. 🙂 Got it done though and we all are home safe. Hopefully, we don’t loose power with the 40-50 mph winds that whipping around outside.