MAF Test (Check-In)

Obviously I am not doing MAF training at the moment, but I wanted to see how things were going. I left off here, with paces in between 15:33-16:02. I was pretty frustrated with those test results.

This check-in won’t be truly comparable to the previous tests because it wasn’t cold when I ran, and because I didn’t have the heart rate alarm app on my watch. I did do this test on heavy legs, since I’d done a lot of climbing the day before, but I don’t consider that off-setting of the weather.

Here’s my heart rate graph for the duration of the run.
I really suck at keeping a consistent heart rate. Why? I see other people with the same tools I have with much more consistent heart rates. This is so jumpy.

Here are my paces and HRs
Warm up: 17:55 (120)
Mile 1: 13:48 (137)
Mile 2: 12:50 (143)
Mile 3: 13:05 (146)
Mile 4: 12:54 (143)
Mile 5: 13:02 (142)
Cool down (1.25 mi):  16:18 (123)

Without the HR monitor beeping at me, I had to keep glancing at my watch to see where my HR was. For the first mile I was obviously going too slowly, and for the 3rd mile I went too fast. My paces are much faster than they were before… or were they?

Since I was constantly looking at watch, I was able to notice something. My more relaxed, laid-back stride had me running a slower pace (duh) but not at a lower heart rate. I was able to run faster at the same heart rate when I “leaned in” to the run and turned my legs over faster with shorter strides. So I learned a little bit about how my mechanics and posture affect my running, and now I wonder if I could have also run faster in the trials I ran in the winter/spring if I’d run with a different stride/mechanics? I kept reminding myself to lean in, as I’d naturally “settle in” if I zoned out and would go back to the longer stride and lazier mechanics. I have some habits to break, it seems.

The jumpiness of my heart rate during the warm-up underscores the importance of warming up before a race. I was trying to get a nice smooth curve there and failed, sorry Dr. Maffetone. My last spike in HR was at about 1.4 miles, so it appears that I need to warm up a little longer for MAF tests, perhaps. I did do a 2-mile warmup for one of my MAF tests, the one that gave results closest to what an ideal MAF test should look like, so I guess that’s the way to go from here on out. It also indicates I would benefit from longer warm-ups before races. Something I say all the time and repeatedly fail to do. I have a 5K in a couple weeks so I will see if I can learn from my mistakes and all this data I’m gathering, and do a proper warmup, it looks like 1.5 miles might be the minimum I need.

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