I mentioned in Monday’s post that I was going to start working on heart rate training, using the Maffetone Method (named for its creator, Phil Maffetone). Why? Well, quite simply– I am sick of feeling like I’m overtraining. The nagging, niggling injuries pop up, you feel drained instead of energized, you know the drill. I know everybody’s body is different, but mine is just telling me I need to slow down and rebuild from the ground up. I am sure having child number 3 in May didn’t help! 😉
What does this mean for my training? It means I am going to slow down–as in WAY DOWN. It will mean that I will not be racing for about 3 to 4 months. I will be going down to Philadelphia for the half marathon, since I am already committed to that race. However, I will be staying under my max aerobic heart rate. It’s going to be a very different experience for me and a test in patience! I have already been doing some workouts, and it’s CRAZY how slow you have to go to keep under your max aerobic heart rate (not max heart rate). I have had to take some walk breaks too. I guess I have some work to do on building my aerobic engine.
Here are some of the basic tenets of the Maffetone method:
- Determine your maximum aerobic heart rate using the 180 method. Subtract your age from 180 to get your maximum aerobic heart rate. You can add or subtract points based on this formula.
- For your base building period, train exclusively under your maximum aerobic heart rate. After base building, you can add in races and some speed work.
- Conduct a maximum aerobic function (MAF) test every 3 to 4 weeks to track your progress. You should notice that your paces decrease, while you maximum aerobic heart rate stays the same. Essentially, you are moving faster at the same heart rate–your aerobic system is becoming more efficient.
- If you choose, you can also do a 2 week test to determine carbohydrate intolerance. While I understand the logic behind some of his dietary recommendations, I am not doing the 2 week test and will not be giving up my grains! 🙂
If you would like to read more about the Maffetone method and his ideas on physical fitness, diet, and nutrition, you can read the book I just finished: The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing.
Although I did enjoy the Run Less, Run Faster plan, I think it may have been too much for me at the time. With heart rate training and the Maffetone method, I will be slowing down A LOT in the beginning. I am looking forward to making my aerobic engine more efficient. Slowing down will also give me time to work on my running form, which will in turn make me a better runner and less injury prone. Stay tuned for results!