Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hitting the Sweet Spot

A quick sidenote: Blog is laaaaaaaaging. I'm going to try and update more. My workouts are going to get more interesting, so maybe that alone should prompt me to write about them . . . (because they're so interesting!!:-)

I wanted to post something mid March and call the post March MAFness. I would have proceeded to update my MAF training and spray a little commentary about the college basketball tournament, which is great spectacle. Oh well. Today happens to be the final four and if you don't happen to watch, you should!

As for the MAF training, I have the rest of my active life to work-on this, which means it's difficult but very important, especially for the endurance athlete. I've been using the 180-age HR and running a little below this for most of my runs. My coach has been great in giving me feedback. Actually, he's not my coach, but if I ever leased one, this guy (or his comrade) is fantastic in terms of his lifestyle, background and attitude towards "the community," which is a very underrated aspect of any individual. I've been "talking" to these guys for a couple of months and hope the discourse lasts/grows. I'm learning a lot! In other words, check them out.

Last week I finally broke-down and had a run test done at FitStop. Nic is a true professional and I came away with a lot of information which I'm using to supplement the feedback I've been getting from Lucho. Now I have my zones, my steady-state HR and a better estimation of my true MAF HR. In the end, the 180-age is a little low for me. However, running so aerobically has certainly boosted my body's ability to burn fat and get me ready for harder work-outs. Jus last week, a few days before my test, I was in Pismo Beach and ran 1:40 on the beach avg. HR 141. Afterwards, I was ready for more. With MAF, recovery is accelerated and the body incurs very little damage (lactate, etc.). The whole point is to be able to train the body to use fat and increase one's speed at that HR. During the past six weeks, I have seen some improvement with regard to my aerobic speed, but it was after a test that Lucho said go get tested because my "MAF HR" seemed a little out of whack. After a 4 mile warm-up, my mile splits got faster at HR 141. During such a test, the splits should slow with fatigue (I guess). Again, it was time to get tested. But again, even if 141 was a little low (perhaps my MAF is more accurately around 145), my body's aerobic system has appreciated.

Now that I have my zones, and my Aet (steady state) HR, I'm being told to bring my HR up to that number (HR150) and go! I'm going to log some long weeks, longer than I've ever done. These will all be between 140-150. If I can't manage the load, I'll be at 130-140, logging miles/hours on my feet.

My first run in this phase three days ago was awesome because I felt fast. 150?! I felt like I'd been let out of jail. I did an hour outside and went inside to finish on the treadmill. Using my HR to gauge my speed, I had to run much faster than I'm used to at 140-145 and the increased leg turn-over caused me to strain one of my calves. Sure I feel like a wuss. My body just needs to adjust and I need to be more aware of that. I was probably running on my toes (wings coming-out of my back). The HR/speed correlation was really good to see. I can't wait to dig in to a steady diet of these long steady-state work-outs.

The last two days I've been on the elliptical and bike. This morning I did 1:30 on the bike and I'm about ready to drag my son down to the gym, so I can run easy and do some more elliptical. After two days of cross-training the leg feels much better. To summarize, it's all about being aerobic right now. Stepping it up a little, going long, and keeping it in the sweet spot.


  1. did you see the games today? gnarly.

    Keep up the solid training... you are getting help from some very smart peeps....listen and then lay it down in Temecula!

  2. Matt

    How does your PE on the bike vary from your PE on a run at MAF?

    Keep up the good work!