New Year, New Things


Big change #1 for 2016

I’m attempting to gain “maximum aerobic efficiency.” That’s right, I’ve embarked—again—on running using the Maffetone Method, also known as MAF180. On my wrist in the picture above you can see my new Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor, my Suunto, and my 2016 bible.

Long story short: you subtract your age from 180 and that is your maximum heart rate for training. The training method also includes some diet changes and stress reduction. It takes all three to get the best results and so far I’m struggling with all three. (Although I think my current stress comes from trying to go slow enough for my new max heart rate and eat less garbage at the same time.)

My first “run” was so sloooooooow I don’t think I can count it as a run. My fourth run was about a minute and a half faster per mile than the first, so while frustrating, it helped to see even a small measure of improvement. This is the best time to try MAF180 again because of…

Big change #2 for 2016

I’ve registered for my first 24-hour event: Three Days at the Fair, which takes place in May at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in New Jersey. My goal of for that event will be endurance over speed, so being able to keep my heart rate in check and burn fat for fuel will serve me very well. I’m slightly worried about training volume already, but I typically take a lot of time off during January anyway and I’ve always managed to make up for it later. Hopefully that will be the case this time as well. Again, if I can stick with MAF180, I will be in better shape for this long event than I have been for others.

It’s worth noting that I’ve tried this once before, I think in 2012. I didn’t have the patience or time to really do the slower running, due to panic over a tight racing schedule. Then as my distances started really increasing, I became less tolerant of wearing a chest strap—too much chafing, no matter what I tried. Thanks to DC Rainmaker, I found the Scosche Rhythm+ and now I’m getting reliable biofeedback from the pulse on my arm. So much better!

Here’s to training slower to be faster in 2016! I’ll keep you posted.

(NOTE: my explanation of the Maffetone Method really doesn’t do it justice. Please visit the website I linked to above and/or check out The Big Book of Endurance Training if you want more info about it.)

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