Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trading in my lawn mower for a jet engine

"You can either try to race with an engine the size of a lawnmower or you can build your engine up with a good base so that you are racing with a huge-turbo charged jet engine."

---Mark Allen

I got quite interested in the Maffetone method of training after reading one of Baldrunner's posts (here). My triathlete-officemate, @paopedal, recommended me to try it too since he says that the basis for such "low max HR" limits for 3 months will eventually increase one's aerobic capacity. I won't bore you with the details since there's a lot out there in the Internet for your mind to digest.

Well, I'm sold to trying this out due to the following:

  • less injuries
  • pace improvement (imagine running sub-7:00/km pace at 8:30/km effort!)
  • last but not least, aerobic training burns fat! (two thumbs up!!!!)

I tried this out last weekend on my scheduled long run. As expected, I was jogging at a very pedestrian 8:30/km pace, limiting the heart rate displayed on my GF305 to 143 (180 minus my age). It really took a lot of self-control not to go fast. Amazingly, I finished my workout after 15km without the need to munch a GU pack! Average pace was 9:01/km and calorie burn was less than 900. What was great about it was that I never felt hungry until noon (I'd normally shake in hunger at around 11am after a morning long run, a trigger that I really need to eat). There was also no knee pain like I normally get hours after.

This is definitely something, I thought. Actually I've been doing pseudo-Maffetone running before but not exclusively doing easy runs for 2-3 months straight. Tempo and interval runs are stacked in once a week, at the least. I ran easy on easy days, and ran hard on hard days.

Well, I will resume this next week since I've registered for the Run United2 21k this Sunday. By next week, I'll do all my runs exclusively below the recommended 143 max HR and see if my aerobic pace improves in 2 or 3 months ---right on schedule for Condura 42km 2012!

Wish me luck!

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