Molasses in January

I’ve completed one whole week of MAF training. Go me!

My first observation is that while I am running slowly, I’m not running that much slower than I was without the heart rate monitor. It seems I was doing a pretty decent job of staying close to aerobic. It is difficult to tell, of course, because I run such different courses.

I downloaded a user-created app for my watch that beeps when I go over 144 bpm, which is 2 bpm over what the 180-age-5 formula says. That works nicely, as it doesn’t start beeping if I’m briefly at 143, or if I’m holding steady at 142. It has helped me keep in check, although the first time I used it, I ended up well below the threshold, so I have been paying more attention to the heart rate display on my watch as I’m running.

Now that it’s very cold, I’m struggling. It’s still hard to keep it under control for the first mile or so, but earlier last week, when it was still in the 20s or even low 30s, it leveled off.

Saturday it was in the single digits, and I was miserable. My thighs and my butt were cold for most of the run, and I couldn’t find a way to protect my face without fogging up my glasses, so I alternated between blindness and frozen cheeks.

I gave up on keeping my heart rate below 142, and instead tried to keep my heart rate steady. I ended up completely unsuccessful. Spikes all over the place, as you can see in the picture. (Heart rate is shown with the orange line, pace with the white line.)


Some of the spikes coincide with hills (corresponding to big drop-offs in pace), but not all of them. It needs to warm up so I can enjoy running outside. Today is treadmill city, again (so was yesterday), since it’s the middle of the day and it’s only 1 F. I suppose I should be glad it’s been mild up til now, but there’s still a lot of winter to go.

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