It’s been about 3 weeks since I took the plunge into heart rate training with the Maffetone Method. The beginning really sucked. It was hard for me to figure out how to run slower than I was already running to keep my heart rate where it needed to be (147bpm is my max). I had to work on running slower, not running at my usual pace then being forced to take a walking break to bring my HR back down. I still have to take walking breaks, especially on hills, but I have a better handle on keeping my pace slow now.
It is frustrating to have to run so slow and to have to plan for more time to complete each run since it takes me longer. I’ve had to adjust my attitude a little bit. I approach every run, even short ones, as if it’s a long run mentally – I know it’s going to take a while so I just try to settle into a very comfortable pace and keep moving forward.
The heat and humidity have certainly made for some even more difficult runs. Your pace naturally slows in the summertime due to the heat and humidity so I know that those factors are playing a role in some of my slowest runs.
My splits on my runs are extremely slow. I trying to console myself with the fact that they generally include at least one or two walking breaks per mile so my actual pace when I’m running is probably a tiny bit faster than each mile split. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to I don’t get too down about my slowness. I have my Garmin set up so I only see my HR and distance when I run. That helps me from getting depressed over seeing my average pace.
This morning I actually had one of my best runs since I started HR training. It was cooler, less humid and raining. Cooler temps plus less humidity equals the perfect recipe for a better run, HR training or not. The rain was just a bonus since I love running in the rain.
I will do my second MAF test in a week and I am anxious to see the results. I know I will see improvement and that makes it all worth it.