Adventures in Running with Maurine

Training Reflections

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Overall my training for the EC 100 is going well.  I am now up to 50+ miles per week.  Lot of buildup considering back when the training started I was probably only doing 25 miles per week. 

The basics of the Maffetone Method of heart rate training are starting to pay off.  When I first started the training I was barely able to run more than 18 mm for a few seconds and my heart rate would be above 126.  Even walking – I was probably doing 17-17.5 mm.  Now I can run for close to 6 miles on a good day at about 15 mm.  I do occasionally have to throw in some walking to get my heart rate down – but not much.  I could probably just run even slower instead of the walk breaks, but considering it is probably about 125 steps per mile of walking, I’m not worried. 

This week I was helping my sister out and between a new job, a 60 mile commute each way, running a process for work at 5 a.m., etc., I ended up not being able to do my training until night. And of course it was in the 90s all week, so that pushed my heart rate up. 

As I did my slow slogs in the last few weeks I have seen how hydration and fuel during running can change my heart rate.  Lots of good learning and some mistakes. 

The one thing that has concerned me in the last few weeks is that I am constantly tired and already feeling burnout.  I think part of that is stress, but I think it is also due to some other life factors I am going to focus on changing.  

In fact, I’ve been reading one of the main books by Dr. Phil Maffetone (The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing) to learn more about his training methods and am going to use those to guide my new focus until at least the first week of September.  If I don’t feel like they are working by then, I’ll consider a changeup.  

1) Heart Rate Training – I’ve been doing pretty good at the heart rate training of keeping my heart rate under 126 bpm.  However, the book also mentions using a 10 beat range, so I also need to focus on keeping my heart rate above 116.  I believe this is to stay in the aerobic range more.  I’m going to set my alerts so that I don’t let my heart rate get lower during the aerobic portion of the training. 

2) Warmup and Cooldown – Dr. M has some interesting concepts on warmup and cooldown and recommends between 12-15 minutes on each end of gradually increasing speed to the actual training speed.  I’ve probably only done 5-10 minutes of warmup and similar cooldown, so want to try this more. 

3) Rest – I was not incorporating a rest day per week.  I am (starting last week) going to take Mondays as a rest day to let my body and mind heal.  While I may do some mild rambles – nothing much and no need to worry about mileage.  At my age – I need to consider longevity. 

4) Limiting anaerobic training until closer to race season.  So – other than the uphills at my two races this summer, I am going to not do any speedwork – even intervals and hills.  I want to see how the aerobic training does with improving my speed.  I need to remember that for 3 years my training was really crappy (hit or miss) as I dealt with and recovered from Plantar Fasciitis.  I didn’t think I would ever run again.  My focus needs to be not just on this year – but on future years and enjoying running and walking for a long time and getting a solid base back. 

5) Monthly testing.  Once a month (probably on a Tuesday) do a 4 (initially) or 5 mile track run at heart rate.  Record each miles time. If I am doing things right, the first mile will be the fastest and I will slow down each mile.  If I am doing things really right – I will see an improvement each month in the base speed.  A long plateau or actual slow down of speed will be an indication that I am not building a good aerobic base. 

6) Focus my training.  Tuesdays and Thursday will be running. Wednedays and Fridays will be walking (and probably Sunday).  Saturdays will be a combination. 

7) Work on some basic core training. Probably no more than 15 minutes total 5 days a week.  But I need to get a stronger core to improve. 

8) Break it up – I want to do 2-3 alternative workouts (in the zone of course). Those might be bike riding, swimming or pool running – but I want to enjoy my training and not feel locked in. 

9) This is the biggie – eat healthy.  I need to eliminate much of the sugar I am so addicted to.  I also want to eat less animal protein – but not eliminate it completely at this time.  (I like my meat).  I am thinking 2 days a week eating vegan, 2 days a week eating vegetarian and 3 days a week eating meat.  But incorporate much more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains in each day. I need to feel better, I also need to lose weight.  It did not magically build up and it will not magically disappear.  

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these ideas.  

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