Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Maffetone Training: Where I'm at

I --Tara-- first noted that I was following Dr. Phil Maffetone's 180 formula in a post I wrote on my July Goals.  I have seen it work for other athletes, people I respect prescribe to a similar method, and the Endurance Planet Podcast really spoke to where I was with my life.  Tawnee Prazak of Endurance Planet has done a subsequent episode with Dr. Maffetone that elaborated further on his method and answered listener questions.  I would recommend listening to both.

It has been about six weeks and I noticed two other bloggers give an update on where they were with their Maffetone Training.  Both posts are well written and informative.  Miss Zippy wrote The Solo Run and Midwest Multisport Life wrote MAF Training: Initial Thoughts.

Their posts have prompted me to write my own.  

I concur with what most people feel about MAF Training:
  • It's lonely
  • It's frustrating
  • It's discouraging
  • It's mentally challenging
It is downright difficult...but NOT impossible.  Some days, yes, it is impossible.  Like when the humidity and heat are high and I am "running" a confidence crushing pace.  I have always struggled with keeping my heart rate down and it has significantly impaired me as a runner.  I have been near tears on a number of occasions during MAF Training.  So let's add mortifying to the above list.  When others shoot past you and give you a faint (pity) wave.  When the blue haired grannies with their walkers leave you eating their dust.  Except for one thing -- I am loving these zen like, cerebral runs where life is unfolding in front of me in splendor.

The method of running has become a catalyst for an abundance of thought provoking change in my life.  It is amazing what happens when your heart isn't beating a deafening cacophony in your ear drums.

Last week I had to take my runs back indoors.  The heat and humidity have been oppressive beyond measure.  What seemed like stalled progress in the moist, thick morning air has become improvement on the treadmill where I can breathe more normally.  Yes, I said it...improvement.  Glorious progress. For me right now, it is ever so slight but it is there.  It gives me hope.

Aside from this magnificent mental maturation there have been other positives:
  • I look forward to my runs.
  • I have learned to dream big, have faith, and embrace my fears.
  • A greater body awareness allowing me to train more by feel.  I can feel the exact moment my heart rate goes into the next zone.
  • I need much less recovery allowing me to train more.
  • The change in my diet combined with running in my fat burning zone is starting to lean me out.
  • I can feel myself getting so much stronger in sport and in life.
My energy for continuing with this process is high and I am excited to see what the next few months have in store for me.  Great things for sure.  Dream big my never know what you might achieve!

This has to be the most humid summer
Are you heart rate training?  Using Maffetone or another method?  How's it going?

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  1. Love this post! So great to hear how well it is working for you. It is incredibly humbling and difficult, but it definitely pays off in the end. Keep it going--can't wait to see where you are at the end of it!

    1. Thanks for commenting (and reading). Didn't think I was going to make it this far when all that heat and humidity rolled in. The fall is going to be awesome for MAF Training!

  2. What a great post. I think it's great that you are training this way as I think the slower training paces definitely pay off big time later on. This is always something that came naturally for me (not by intention) and I'm a firm believer in this method of training. Way to go!

    1. Thanks so much for your support. I am definitely in a good groove now.

  3. Keep up the hard work -- it will pay off!