Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday - 9 miles (Week total: 50 miles)

9 miles, avg. HR 159, 8:30 pace, 1100 ft. elevation. Today was a fairly rolling trail run in mid 80 degree heat. It was hot. Actually the conditions were a little tough for me. I've been pussy-footing it a on pretty flat courses and the treadmill, targeting specific HR zones. So, this course was much more realistic and more difficult in terms of keeping the HR down. Also, the treadmill can hide some illness, in this case, congestion (that's been my experience). A good trail run exposes all of that. So I'm fighting a little upper and lower respiratory, which makes sense since my kid was sick all last week, but has since been prescribed antibiotics. Fortunately, a good run generally clears-out most of that, so by about five miles I was breathing better.

But the HR was definitely up. The hills explained some of that and I figured the heat explained the rest. During the first split (4.5 miles) I kept the HR down as much as I could, but figured I hadn't run out of zone 1 or 2 for a long time, so oh well. On the second split I decided to lay it down a little. I ran a few fartleks, which turned into a little tempo. My HR went pretty high but I toned it down enough (see avg.). It was a good run. I suffered a little. I thought about suffering a lot. MAF training is terribly significant to my growth as an endurance athlete. But suffering is not part of the MAF itinerary unless you consider patience suffering. I'm talking about anaerobic suffering. It's come up a few times on Lucho's blog. It's an interesting conversation. If you've been reading my fledgling blog, you'll note I'm pretty fired-up on MAF. I still am and will be especially after I get my recently purchased reading material which includes this. But today made me realize (along with almost any conversation with a runner not really familiar with MAF) that I need to suffer a little just so I've got some of that in the tank, so to speak. More on that because this dynamic interests me. I can't wait to ask Lucho and others about this.

When I got back to my car, another runner was stretching having just finished his run. The guy was fit. We talked a little. He's 38 and has 2 years left of college eligibility, so he's running track and cross country at Cal State San Marcos. He wants to set some masters records in the coming years. His resting HR is 42. His Max is 200. Sure he could have been lying, but you could tell he's a runner. I only bring this up because he pointed-out how hot it was and how is HR was at least 10 beats higher than normal.

That made me feel that much better about my HR. Tomorrow I'm running 12 miles, zone 1.


  1. I am not sure if you are saying this ... but are you saying that you will deviate from MAF only training on occasion to "suffer" at higher HRs?

  2. you know for me, my MAF runs aren't anaerobic but they are pretty freaking hard sometimes, so it is a whole different kind of suffering. i am usually running along at +/-7:00 min/mile pace to hold my hr there, otherwise it drops into the 130s. so to run MAF, it is really a 'conscious effort' to pick it up.
    so i don't know if that is the point or not, to get to the place where running MAF speed is an effort, or if it is supposed to get easier somehow??

  3. gz-

    During my run yesterday, I did run harder than I have, in the heat, and it dawned on me that my MAF (not Lucho's or Kerrie's or your's) is fairly slow, so if I'm only doing that then I'm not conditioning myself to suffer. Since I'm running off-road races, that's an issue . . . I think.

    But I'm still committed to MAF.

  4. Kerrie,
    That may be the question for me: "to get to the place where running MAF speed is an effort, or if it is supposed to get easier somehow??"

    I'm just stumbling along.

  5. Really, this requires some weigh in from CV or TL.

    Kerrie and I have different problems with MAF. For her, she needs to speed up to run MAF. For me, I need to slow down.

    I think TL would tell you to not go above your MAF rate because that then teaches your body to metabolize glycogen, rather than fat.

    That said, despite the efforts of Lucho, it has yet to be clear to me why in one can NEVER exceed MAF during basebuilding.


  6. gz-

    I have a pretty hilly/brutal off-road 21k mid-May and Lucho already suggested I run the rest of the year as much at Aet (max 150) as i can and just race from this. It's that those kinds of races are so up and down that I might just be a mess out there without having done some hill work, kinda hard. I'm definitely going to run it by him. That's my only concern: being somewhat "prepared" for the sufferfest.

  7. all i can say is come 5/17 in Temecula you must be prepared to suffer... and climb. The course out there is tough, hot, and no shade to speak of! Keep knocking out those miles.

  8. jw-
    you're right, that's my point. I'm a little between philosophies right now but the long term is a little heavier.

    In an hour I'm of to PQ for as long a run as time will allow. . .

    I can't wait to blow-up/meltdown on 5/17.

    thanks for the input.