Saturday, July 16, 2016


When I tried my own Maffetone training 2 years ago, my initially high hopes were eventually dashed when I just would not get into proper peak shape. Afterwards I concluded that my base had been very solid but nothing had been done to build on that. The biggest drawback, however, had been that training had just been really uninspiring, The one thing that had kept me going and highly motivated was the fact that I was going to run in a World Championship. That was such an incredible privilege I would have gone through with anything, so I just stuck to it no matter what.

When my new coach filled the training plan with tons of Maffetone-style runs, at an even lower HR than my own training plan, I was a little bit disheartened at first. However, a second glance revealed a different picture. This isn't really Maffetone training, she is just using the MAF HR to ensure that my easy runs will remain easy - very, very easy in fact. I'm still only just at the beginning but I'm starting to sense that the easy days are being kept exceptionally easy because the hard days are going to become really tough in weeks to come.

The speed workout on Tuesday was still a fairly modest one and none that would have filled me with any sort of dread but I think once the dial gets cranked up a bit that might change. Even though the workout had been fairly easy it was followed up by 2 more easy MAF days. I got some sense of foreboding during Friday's hill repeats, though. In some ways they were similar to the hill repeats I did on my own accord, except that the repeats themselves were longer but fewer in numbers. I had no problems with the repeats themselves - 20 seconds of hard work at a time are over quickly, no matter what. My problem was that I got really bad pains in the centre of my chest about 20 seconds after each sprint. I'm reasonably sure it had nothing to do with my heart (I wouldn't have continued if I'd thought that was the case - I'm not fucking stupid. At least, I'm not that fucking stupid). I think it's basically heart burn. I ran the workout on an empty stomach, as I always do, but I' think if I had eaten anything beforehand it would have come up again. Anyone know a solution? Anyway, this happened after every single one of the 10 repeats and it was seriously uncomfortable. I managed to gut it out but unless I find a solution to the chest pains I'm not looking forward to the next one.

On the plus side, the pace for the easy runs is finally starting to increase which makes them easier to bear. This might be down to some early sharpening effect from the speed and hill workouts but I'm still glad to see the end of 10-minute miles for a while.

13 Jul
4 miles, 38:44, 9:41 pace, HR 131
14 Jul
4 miles, 38:45, 9:41 pace, HR 129
15 Jul
1 mile w/u, 2 miles progression, 10 x 20 seconds hill sprints with walking / full rest recovery, c/d; avg HR 146
16 Jul
4 miles, 37:38, 9:24 pace, HR 132


  1. I regularly pop an antacid before longer or session runs. I think it's a bad habit but avoids some tummy discomfort. I suspect that the upsetness comes from something eaten prior, but I haven't figured out exactly what yet! Might be worth a try anyway.

  2. Can't help you with the heartburn. Rarely have it.
    So it's not classic Maffetone training with the massive block of MAF HR runs. I'm interested to see how hard the hard sessions get! So your MAF HR zone is around the 130 mark? That seems fairly low.

    1. She told me to try and keep the HR under 136 at all times. I usually average about 130 for those runs.

    2. Thanks. Interesting as my MAF calculation comes out at 129 so I call 124 to 130 a MAF HR run.