It feels like I am back in my childhood and I am learning to walk and to run. It is hard, but fun. Of course it is not really like this, but I am going back to the basics with my running. I mentioned this before, but I changed my training and running to use the MAF method for my running now. I did a lot of research after not really progressing with my running performance. For one I was not really making progress to get faster, but I was also plateauing in my efforts to reduce the amount of body fat that I am carrying around. Originally I was thinking the more and the faster I run, the easier it should be to shed some weight. Well, I was wrong.
Abut 4 weeks before I ran the Greenland 50K Ultra Marathon I changed my training to follow the MAF method. I know, kind of stupid to make significant changes to my training so close to a race, but it all worked out Ok. Since the race at the end of April my training has been a bit inconsistent. I gave myself some time for recovery and then my son brought a nasty virus home from school and it took me about two weeks to recover. And now I am just finishing up a week of vacation with not having had the chance to really physically exercise. I am not looking for excuses, but I know I have some work cut out for me. Of course not all was bad during the last few weeks. During the memorial day weekend I was able to get 2 long runs in and that felt pretty good.
MAF Method. I started reading the Endurance Handbook written by Dr. Phil Maffetone and it is a great book. Before that I read the Primal Endurance book written by Mark Sisson. Both books really go hand in hand and I decided to read them both a second time to really take everything in. I changed my running to use a heart rate monitor and I am using the 180 formular developed my Dr. Maffetone to determine my ideal training zone from a heart rate perspective. I need to work on my diet and really reduce my addiction to carbs. That is the biggest problem at this point. During my vacation I ate healthy, but having limited choices available at the hotel breakfast and being busy during the day is just not ideal. Again, no excuses, but come next week I am really committed to eat clean and train hard.
In the mean time here are some takeaways from my readings and implementing the MAF method into my training:
1) I hate running slow, but if you want to succeed using the MAF method it has to be done. I live in a very hilly area and it is hard to keep your heart rate under control when running up lots of hills. There is a lot of walking involved even though I have plenty of strength to kick those hills in the rear 😉
2) Last year I switched to a vegetarian diet. Now the primal endurance book and lifestyle “wants” me to go back to eating meat and fish. I felt so much better when going vegetarian and I am not going to go back to eat meat on a regular basis. I added eating some fish back into my diet, but I will concentrate more on eating plant based fats instead. I also need to really stop eating as much bread as I have. I love bread, but those darn carbs ….
3) The trail running shoes I bought a few days before my 50K in April give me blisters. I bought the Brooks Cascadia and already had to go up one size because the toe box felt so tight. But on long runs I am getting blisters in these shoes. They are Ok on shorter runs, but I have to find a better trail running shoe. Not happy with the Brooks Cascadia.
So, come Monday morning I will be back out there running. I think a week of rest was not a bad thing, but if I want to be able to run 50 miles in late September I better get going.