MAF for beginners: the begining

I'm trying out the MAF thing for real. I've done a lot of heart rate training in the past couple of years, but never exactly this.  I always wanted to keep an eye on my heart rate but thought I'd make myself insane if I tried to focus on such a specific heart rate.

This year, a couple things have given me new energy and confidence.  I lost some weight doing Whole30.  That was really nice.  Lifting weights has made me feel much stronger.  The Flying Pig experience this year made me believe in my fitness.  So I'm ready to give this a try for real.

Based on the 180 test, my MAF is around 150bpm.  That's always felt high to me.  144 or so feels like the pace where I could just run forever.  I'm targeting 145 as my MAF goal for now (180-35=145) because that feels right. 

Run 1 (Saturday 5/13):
Route: The Lake Nokomis horse shoe as I call it.
Minutes Run: 40:13
Watch program: 143-146 was the range.
Avg pace: 12:21/mile for 3.25 miles.  How surprised am I?
Avg BPM: 145
  • The watch beeped at me a lot.  This was not a good program.  When I got home, I made some updated programs, one with a much wider range for long runs, one with a more narrow range for shorter runs, and one very narrow range for the MAF Test.  
  • It was also easier than I thought.  I didn't look at my watch a ton, and was able to make corrections quickly when I was too high or too low. 
  • Starting off the running portion with a slightly higher heart rate is actually the biggest change.  It's fun to go a bit faster in the beginning.   The beginning of the run also seems to be where my HR goes the most crazy.

Run 2 (Sunday 5/14):
Route: Around Lake Harriet and by the rose garden
Watch program: Range of 140-145 beats per minute
Minutes Run: 38:23
Avg pace: 12:48/mile
Avg BPM: 143
  • Second day was better than the first, but also slightly slower
  • The beginning is where my heart rate goes crazy.  I found a nice rhythm by the end.  
  • Passing people messes with my rhythm and my hear rate.  Le sigh. 
  • I will need to re-learn running up hills, but we'll keep with the flat lakes for a while 
  • This is a good thing.  I felt good at the end of this run. 
  • This watch program was better than yesterdays.  I think the slightly bigger but also slightly lower range worked better and let me stay more even at a natural effort.
Run 3
Route: Lol.  I was on a treadmill.
Watch program: Range of 140-145 beats per minute
Minutes Run: 33:08
Avg pace: Unclear from the watch, but between 12:00-12:30
Avg BPM: 142
  • The treadmill isn't as bad as I thought
  • 5 minutes later: this workout will never end. 
  • I ran this in my Vibrams and enjoyed it thoroughly
Run 4
Route: My favorite 4 mile route outside, hills are involved but not massive climbs
Watch program: Range of 140-145 beats per minute
Minutes Run: 43:38
Avg pace: 12:32/mile for 3.48 miles
Avg BPM: 142bpm
  • This was my first real run on a varied terrain/course, gave me some confidence.  
  • Watch program forced me to keep it slightly harder but even in the beginning which was good.  
  • This course is flooded.  I barely made it under Cedar ave.
Run 5
Route: My favorite 4 mile route outside, hills are involved but not massive climbs
Watch program: Range of 140-145 beats per minute
Minutes Run: 45:32
Avg pace: 12:41/mile for 3.59 miles
Avg BPM: 142
  • This run was in the wind and the rain.  
  • This run was all over the place in terms of heart rate.  I'm not sure if that's because I wasn't paying attention, or the weather, or because I'm about to start my period and that's how life is.  
  • In a couple cases I think the weather freaked my watch out, especially that massive spike early on.  
  • I am cold. 
Run 6
Route: Out and back around Lake Nokomis
Watch program: Range of 135-145 beats per minute, this is a different program than all previous runs
Minutes Run: 55:05
Avg pace: 13:15 for 3.78 miles
Avg BPM: 140
  • It was not totally raining, more the super humid air after a rain so I wound up wet anyways 
  • I totally had a Paula Deen breakfast of bacon egg sandwich on a donut, and a latte to wash it down.  It's fine, I'm starting whole30 again on Tuesday 
  • This was purposefully a slower run than the others, starting off at a lower heart rate.  
  • This run was a mix of relaxing and frustrating with going a bit slower.  Trust the process?
A word about watch programming:  My programs are set up as Warm up until lap press.  Run within a specific hear rate range until lap press.  Cool down until lap press.  The minutes run, average paces, and BPMs listed above do not include w/u and c/d. 

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