Random Things Thursday

I have a bunch of random thoughts floating around in my head, so I thought I’d unleash them all in the form of a blog post!  Lucky you!

Random thought #1:  MAF long runs are harder than I expected.  Why? Well, primarily because of cardiac drift — i.e., the longer the run, the harder the heart works to maintain the same effort… which means I have to slow down over the course of the run to prevent my heart rate (HR) from exceeding the max aerobic target.  Over the course of an 1 hour run, this isn’t too difficult, but I’ve found in my longer runs of 1:45-2:00, it’s a bit of a challenge.  So much so that today, I had to slow down to 13:00-14:30/mile paces (!!) for the last 2 miles.

Here are some of the stats comparing the long run I did this past Saturday to the one I did today.  I tried to keep the first 2 miles below 128 and 133, respectively, run most of the miles at a target max HR of 138, and then drop the last mile down to 133.

MAF long runs

Heat is another issue.  See that spike between miles 6 & 7 on 8/16 and the one between miles 5 & 6 today?  That was pretty much when the sun came out and the temperature felt like it spiked 10 degrees in a matter of minutes.  I know that I should be patient, that building an aerobic base takes time, and that I’ve only been doing this for 2 weeks, BUT…I wish I could see at least some improvement.  On the bright side — I’m now able to run 9 miles continuously without significant pain, which is something I haven’t been able to say for a while, so at least there’s that. #glasshalffull

Random thought #2: I was a lot more fit last year, at least according to my HR data.  I went back into my Garmin archives to look for HR data from last year, when I was using the chest strap HRM.  I wore it for the first two 20-milers during MCM training and my HR stayed well below 138 for a majority of both runs while averaging ~10:45/mile.  Instead of feeling bad about my current state of inferior fitness, I’m trying to stay positive and concentrate on the fact that I can and will regain that fitness eventually… and hopefully, I’ll exceed it this time around!

Random thought #3: Larisa Dannis is my (MAF training) hero.  Larisa Dannis is an elite runner who came in 2nd female at this year’s Western States 100 and stayed within the aerobic zone for the whole frickin’ race.  Up until 4 years ago, Larisa was a “just” a hiker.  Since taking to ultramarathoning in 2010, she’s had incredible success at races, including 1st female at the 2013 Vermont 100 miler, 1st non-elite female at the 2014 Boston Marathon, and 1st OVERALL at the 2014 Peak Ultra 33.4 mile race.  Not only is she an amazing athlete, but I challenge you to watch this interview and not conclude that she is also extremely likeable, positive, and humble.  Most of all, her passion for running is infectious.  She credits MAF training, in addition to regular strength training and myofascial massage (i.e., rolling) for her success.  If you can’t tell, I’ve become quite a Larisa Dannis fan girl!  Shout-out to Mike, who was the one who tipped me off about Larisa’s HR training and Western States success.

Random (non-MAF-related) thought #4: Good luck to those racing this weekend, especially Angela and Amy at the Santa Rosa Marathon! Kick some ass-phalt!!



Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in MAF training
17 comments on “Random Things Thursday
  1. Mike says:

    From all indications, heart rate training is not for the impatient runner… come to think of it, running is not for the impatient runner. Obviously it takes time to build aerobic fitness, and there’s little doubt your patience will pay off (unintentional pun ahead) in the long run, while hopefully allowing you to stay injury-free. Nine comfortable miles is definitely a positive sign.

    Not only is Larisa Dannis likeable, positive and humble as you mentioned… but she recently moved to the Bay Area! So keep an eye out for her if you’re ever out running in the Golden Gate Recreation Area.

    • Jen says:

      I knew that Larisa Dannis moved to the Bay Area, but I purposely left that out of the post for fear of seeming like a stalker! I do hope to run into her (pun intended) out on the trails!

  2. Jan says:

    I am so intrigued by this training you’re doing. I’m going to sit back and see how you like the end result and then I may try it! I I do like the “injury free” part!

  3. Angela says:

    Awwwww thanks!! I ran 4 miles today & it felt fine, so it looks like I will at least be starting on Sunday.

    I am very curious to see how this works out for you in the long-term–It’s only been two weeks, so hang in there. Also glad to hear you’re getting in some long runs with no pain!

  4. Amy says:

    Yay! No pain! I’ve never focused on heart rate, but you are getting a lot of great data. Maybe something to look into in three weeks when I can walk again! Thanks for the good luck!

  5. Sherry says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re running pain free!
    Since your MAF post I’ve been trying hard to run slower on my easy runs, and managed a couple averaging 145 when I usually average 150’s. I’d like to do what you are doing at some stage, as my long distance times are poor compared to my shorter distance times so there is major room for improvement. Let’s just say I’m following with interest!
    Stay patient – you’ll regain that fitness and it will be built on a stronger base!

  6. Grace says:

    Patience…it’s a long game! 😉 Man, MAF training is truly not for the impatient. But heart rate is a great benchmark and a good way to force yourself to truly run slowly on easy runs.

    re running/ training heroes – I’ve got to say I am a huge Hillary Biscay fangirl – she did 31 Ironmans before she placed first at IM WIsconsin. What a work ethic.

  7. Cathryn says:

    I’d not heard of Larisa Dannis but her IG account is fantastic!! My running heroine is Emelie Forsberg – she doesn’t even seem to try in her races but she usually wins or podiums! Just such a gift and she always seems to love running so much!

  8. […] that my MAF training experiment is going to be full of highs and lows.  A little over a week ago, I was in a funk after my 2nd long run.  Then, as if the running gods were saying, “Hang in there, Jen” […]

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