MAF test 3 – the heat is on

MAF max aerobic function progress
3 months of low heart rate training

It’s looking like I’ve hit a slight plateau with my MAF training. (red line) I have to chalk it up to the increase in heat the last month. There’s a slight possibility I’ve lost some fitness, but I very much doubt it.

The two first runs were in relatively low temperatures, I think in the 40-50F range. This last one was above 75F. From observing my normal runs, I’m losing up to 30 seconds per mile in this heat, sweating more and breathing just a little heavier.

As it stands there are too many uncontrolled variables in this test. Why keep track of my MAF score if nothing other than my heart rate stays consistent. There is the overall trend-line that could be useful, but in order for me to stick with this plan I need some reassurance that it works, hence I need to control for more variables.

By moving the test to a treadmill in the gym I can control for some of this:
temperatures -depending on the time of year and time of day this can be anything from 30F to 90F.
humidity – this being the south its pretty humid, but there are times in the colder months that lack humidity.
wind – wind is always a factor outside, no wind indoors.
sun/overcast – running in direct sunlight tends to zap my energy levels.
terrain – little ups and downs matter, no matter how small.
steady mileage – will shoot for a 45-50 miles per week consistency.
same time of day – bio rhythms and all that.
use of same treadmill – treadmills are calibrated differently, so will pick one at the gym and stick to it.

The only problem is I hate the treadmill. The less good solution would be to run the track outside and make sure the temperature is pretty much the same every time, and no wind. Hard to do year round.

This should help to mitigate most of the fluctuations in these readings. At least I hope it does. I have 4 months of more base building, and we’ll see at the end of the summer if this MAF training is worth it.

There is one variable I can’t really keep constant, and that is my body composition. I’m planning on converting over ten pounds of body fat into muscle over the next few months. Mostly by change in diet and more core exercises. This alone should speed me up a little. So if there is marked improvement not all can be attributed to MAF.