– Two tests do not provide enough data points to make any solid conclusions, but I’ll make some casual observations anyway because I can.
– The spikes are both due to poor fitness and uneven course conditions. I remember the first run was a very dreary cold and windy day. I will try to shift my tests to a flatter course, probably a track from now on. I know this will render these first tests kind of invalid, but I’ll still keep them in the sample as reference.
– On average I’ve improved by 23 seconds per mile while running at the same MAF pace of 137 beats per minute. My heart rate monitor has been out of commission for about a month, so I’ve been running on feel. This second test I kept being surprised by the faster pace. I was not expecting to be under 9 minute miles. The improvements are so incremental its hard for me to gauge without a heart rate monitor.
– I have been increasing my mileage to over 40 miles a week over this time period, this may have a larger effect on my time improvements than the MAF training itself. Other factors may be contributing as well, like nicer weather and perhaps weight loss. (I don’t have a habit of weighing myself)
– It would be silly to extrapolate linearly out wards from this, there will be plateaus along the way, but I don’t see it as unreasonable to assume that I’ll be running 8 minute miles at my MAF in a few months. Which means my racing pace for long runs should start approaching the 7 minute mile range.
– Either way this seems to be working, so I’m continuing on this course. I’ll be doing the test once per month here on out.