I decided to do my second MAF test as part of the 9 mile run I had planned for the weekend. I’m really glad I chose to do that run on Saturday, when it was warm and sunny, instead of today, when it’s warm but there’s a wintry mix coming down.
My last test is documented in full here. It went badly.
I did the test on Minnesota Point again, although since I was running a longer distance, the “course” was a little different.
Warmup: 1 mile walking, 17:46, 125 bpm; 1 mile “jogging,” 16:48, 130 bpm
I think the longer warm-up helped. It was definitely warmer outside than the last time I did the test, but it was windy, which affected my heart rate. I had a spike up to 147 bpm when walking at an 18 minute pace, which I can only imagine was due to a gust of wind or something external.
Mile 1: 14:53, 141 bpm
Mile 2: 15:15, 141 bpm
Mile 3: 15:17, 140 bpm
Mile 4: 15:03, 141 bpm
Mile 5: 14:54, 141 bpm
Okay, that’s not exactly how the test is supposed to go, but the results are all kind of clustered together. I ended up averaging a pace of 15:06 and a heart rate of 141 bpm, right on the edge of where I’m supposed to be. It’s better than the last test, which had each mile getting faster and my heart rate nowhere near the max. My last results were:
Mile 1: 16:52, 137 bpm
Mile 2: 16:03, 134 bpm
Mile 3: 16:00, 133 bpm
Mile 4: 15:27, 134 bpm
Mile 5: 15:43, 135 bpm
Avg: 16:02, 135 bpm
I can’t say for certain that I’ve improved, because while the results are faster for the second test, so is my heart rate. It was also colder, I think, when I did the first test. I think I can safely say there’s been a slight improvement, but if I was asked to prove it, I couldn’t. I think it’s logical that running a minute per mile faster in the second test over the first test cannot only be explained by weather and the 6 bpm higher HR average. I definitely think the longer warm-up helped, but I think I still need to tweak the warm-up a bit. There’s too much walking, but that’s the only way to gradually increase my HR right now. My slowest running paces still keep me in the low 130s range; once I’m better conditioned, I’ll be able to run at HRs in the low 120s, and won’t need to walk to warm up. So while my heart and lungs were warmed up, my legs weren’t as warmed up as I’d have liked.
Cooldown: 1 mile walk/run & snack, 16:31, 133 bpm; 1 mile walk/run, 17:23, 128 bpm; 0.4 mi walk, 18:43, 125 bpm.
I would have liked to have had a snack sooner, but that would have affected the results of the test. I didn’t mean for the cooldown to be so long, but I ended up going a little past the 4.5 mile mark on the way out. I crossed the lift bridge and ended up going a block down to the corner of the Paulucci building in order to put some space between a group of people crossing the bridge and myself.
I feel confident that my second attempt is good enough data to use for comparison. I should be doing my next MAF test on March 5th, right before I go on a short business trip, and right after I return from my Florida vacation. We’ll see how much my vacation throws off the results.
I feel kind of crappy today. I had some general hip soreness during the run and felt a bit creaky the rest of the day, and a little into today. I still need to get out for a medium-length run today, so we’ll see how I feel. I can always take Monday as a rest day if need be.