2 Year Runniversary and MAF Test

Guess what!?! Well besides chicken butt, it is my 2 year runniversary! Honestly, it seems like I have been running forever. I have learned so much over the past two years, not just about running in general, but how my body reacts to specific training. I’ve gotten PRs in every even since my last runniversary and I ran a 10 miles race and a half marathon. I still don’t think I’m ready for the big kahuna (full marathon) yet, but soon.  Last year I did a reflection on what I had learned in my first year as a runner, I think 

I will share some similar thoughts of a 2nd year runner:


  1. I mentioned last year about slowing down. I have learned to advocate it even more. My advice to anyone would be to SLOW DOWN, run your easy runs easy, and your hard runs hard. The only time you need to race anything, is during the race
  2. Not reaching your weekly mile quota isn’t the end of the world. I used to think I had to reach that magic number for the week, but I’ve learned, my body doesn’t seem to notice if I missed a mile or 2 throughout the weeks, as long as I am consistent.
  3. I don’t need to sign up for every local race. This is something new I’ve learned. In the past I have signed up for so many races throughout the year, I was never really training, just running races. This lead to burnout and injury quick.
As I also did last year, I mentioned my improvements in race times during the year here we go again:
5k PR was 25:41 ---> currently it’s 23:46
8kPR was 43:19, now it’s 40:44
10PR was 54:38, now it’s 53:03

As I mentioned previously, I am doing MAF training. On Monday, I ran my 3rd MAF test.
Mile
12/23/2014
1/12/2015
2/3/2015
1
13:34
12:26
11:58
2
13:53
12:45
12:10
3
13:42
12:47
12:13
4
13:54
13:04
12:22
0.2
2:48
2:49
2:44
Avg Pace
13:47
12:45
12:12
Total Time
57:29
53:46
51:28
HR Avg
149
148
148
HR Max
152
151
151


Yay, I’m still seeing improvement. Besides the pace decreasing, I have noticed a difference in my resting heart rate (RHR). Prior to starting, my RHR was 64, and although I haven’t’ taken my heart rate as soon as I wake up. I have taken it while I have been sitting for a while, and now it averages to be 57bpm. I even went to a health fair where I had my pulse checked, and the nurse asked me if I was an athlete, I just looked at her questioningly, and she said that I had the heart rate of an athlete (it was 56 at the time). I don’t know why, but that made me feel kind of proud, like I have actually accomplished something J.

Oh yeah, I have a blog!

Monday, January 26, 2015 | | Be the first to comment!
Well, hello there. It’s been more than 3 months since my last update. It looks like my last post I was still dealing with the hamstring issue. I am happy to report my hamstring is no longer bothering me. Although, I think I lost a lot of flexibility in my right leg because of it. I can’t even touch my toe now. Hmm…I should probably look into that.

With this new year, I’ve decided to try MAF training again. I tried it last year, did it for about a week, and then basically quit. For those unfamiliar with MAF, the basics of it is, never let you heart rate go above your MAF heart rate (180-your age, then tweaked a bit based on your running history. If your interested in it, find out more here) The goal is increase your aerobic fitness, and basically run faster with less effort. My MAF heart rate last year was 151, and since I’m a year older, my MAF heart rate now is 150. Last year, after a week of running under a 151 HR, I decided to up my HR threshold to 160, then after a week of that (I missed running with friends and actually feeling like I ran that day), I quit altogether and ran how I felt. This year, because I had such a big break between races, and all my running friends have either moved on from running, or moved out of the city AND, I was trying to make a comeback after my injury, I thought I’d try again. So, I sat down and read all 516 pages of The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. I am now an expert on the subject of the Maffetone Method of training.

 I am happy to report that I have stuck with it and I have officially started week 6 of training today. It’s not as bad as I remember it being last year. Don’t get me wrong, I hate staring at my watch for HR updates, I hate not being able to just run free, and  I get embarrassed when other runners past me (in either direction) or I slowly approach someone who’s walking, but I have learned to swallow my pride and do what I have to do. My aerobic fitness, I discovered was practically non-existent. For the Maffetone method, I am supposed to run a MAF test ever 3-4 weeks to gauge my progress. The very first day I went out for a run using this method, my first mile was 14:24 (yikes, I can walk that fast) with an average heart rate of 149bmp. I forgot about doing a MAF test the first week, so I made my first run of the 2nd week my test date. I then tested again 3 weeks later. The results???

MAF #1: 12/23/2014
Test Mile
Time
Avg Hr
Max HR
Elevation
1
13:34
149
152
+12
2
13:53
149
152
+16
3
13:42
149
152
-21
4
13:54
149
153
0
0.2
2:48
149
152
0
Avg
13:47
149
152.2
N/A
Total Time
57:29

Temp Start
43

Conditions
Partly Cloudy

Wind
12mph N

Humidity
42%



MAF #2 1/12/2014
Test Mile
Time
Avg Hr
Max HR
Elevation
1
12:26
145
151
+12
2
12:45
148
151
+16
3
12:47
149
152
-21
4
13:04
148
151
0
0.2
2:49
148
151
0
Avg
12:45
147.6
151.2
N/A
Total Time
53:46

Temp Start
52

Conditions
Cloudy

Wind
10mph NNE

Humidity
40%




I was thrilled with these results. My overall average was more than a minute per mile faster, my average HR was lower, and my final mile in the 2nd test, was faster than my 1st mile in the 1st test! I couldn’t believe all of that progress in less than a month! My next test is scheduled for the 1st. I’m excited to see if there has been anymore improvement. During MAF you are not supposed to race, but I will be in Nashville in a couple of weeks and my sister and I are going to do a 5k together (her first!!!) and I can’t resist racing a race, and to be honest, I am looking forward to running how I want without being tied to my heart rate. By the time the race rolls around, I will have been at this for 2 months. Depending on how I feel, I may call it quits for MAF and start preparing for the spring racing season, or, I may continue for one additional month.


I have to admit, I am counting down these (possibly) 2 weeks. I can’t wait to go on group runs again, and make new running friends, and surprisingly, I can’t wait to start running hills again. If MAF training has done nothing else but help me appreciate the pure joy of just running, then I’d be fine. You know what they say, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Injury update and MotivateU


My hamstring is starting to feel better these days. When I run, it feels like it’s really tight rather than actual pain. It’s more uncomfortable. I am excited about my deep tissue massage on the 24th. It is much needed and I hope it helps the leg heal up a little quicker. I have logged a total of 13 miles over the last 2 weeks, which is 11 miles than I had the previous 2 weeks, so I should be grateful. I just can’t wait until this is all over and I can return to running as normal. I just read an article that it takes 12 weeks to fully heal from a soft tissue/tendon injury. At the end of this week, it will be week 5. So, only 7 weeks to go.
I have another race I signed up for (pre-injury) on October 26th. It is the Run for Education 5k. I was really hoping to do well at this race as it’s my last race as a 20 something, and then I enter the tough 30-34 age group, but right now I take any running time I can get.
 
There is some other news that I am really excited about. This Saturday, I officially start MotivateU. MotivateU is a program put on by our company’s health insurance. They allowed everyone that is part of the insurance city wide to apply to this program and then 150 were chosen for it. The program is 8 weeks long and 5 gyms in the Reno area are part of it. It is basically a challenge against all of the different gyms. 30 people are chosen for each gym. Whichever gym loses the most weight, inches, and gains the most fitness wins. I just found out the gym I am going to be a part of had won every year since the programs institution. During the next eight weeks, I will have free access to their gym and to every class they have (including crossfit which I am super excited about) and I will be given a shopping list and recipes for the 8 weeks. Last night was the kick-off party at the gym, so I was able to see the gym for the first time. It’s a pretty awesome gym. It doesn’t look anything like the chain gyms I’m used to. I really wanted to be a part of this program because I am so injury prone and I rarely do any sort of cross training, and I don’t know the first thing about lifting weights. I am really hoping to lean up as well.