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.
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.