It’s amazing to me how little you need to know about running in order to be a runner, yet there is so much to learn if you want to progress in your running. I have learned from the dozens of mistakes I made last year and am making 2015 a better year in terms of progress made. Of course part of the knowledge gained includes the idea that I can train better and improve more by sticking to a training schedule more than a race schedule. I’m nearing the end of a 90-day stretch without a race and I must say that I’ll be happy to see it end.
At the same time I’m wishing that I could start this training cycle over. After a very specific training run this weekend I started doing research as to why I am seeing the results that I see. I ran 15 miles in a controlled environment (aka indoor treadmill) with the hopes of determining my ability to hold marathon pace on tired legs. I ran 8 warm-up miles at an easy pace and then switched to my goal marathon pace of 7:48 per mile. What I found was that my legs had no problems holding that pace, but my heart and lungs couldn’t keep up. After just 5 miles at MP I had hit a heart rate of 180. That’s a total of 13 miles for the day and I’m at 94% of my max HR (192). I backed it down to the easy pace for another two miles and called it a day, frustrated to say the least.
With my data at the ready I began to search for ways to improve my aerobic conditioning. I had made the assumption that as your body becomes able to handle the demands of running longer and faster, your entire body would adapt. Apparently this is not the case. I found several sources that told me about the Maffetone-180 idea and that building your aerobic capacity is possible, but it needs to be done before your training cycle and could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Um, my first marathon of this season is 70 days away. I did not find any other ideas for building aerobic fitness, but I did see where this method can help some athletes lower their resting heart rate to insanely low numbers, resulting in much more ability to keep a lower heart rate while running at faster speeds. This is what I need. This is not when I need to find out about it. Why do I not hear people mention things like this when they talk about their training routines? Is there some other way to accomplish the same thing (that I also have not heard of)? Will my heart rate adjust in the right direction with enough training or do I need to incorporate the Maffetone-180 idea into my plan for next spring?
I’m so confused……….