MAF test 10 – winter blues

haw ridge trail
haw ridge trail – late fall 2013 edition

It was biting cold this Thanksgiving morning, mid 20s. With the Secret City Half Marathon coming up this Sunday I opted not to run the Knoxville Autumnfest 8k. It’s nice to have multiple races to choose from on any given weekend.

orange lines = past tests, green line = current test, red lines = goal times

MAF 10

I’m fast approaching the one year anniversary of this base building program. There is a clear consolidation around the 8 min mile area now. A slight disappointment, I was hoping to put some distance between me and the 8 mark, but looks like he’s hanging on for a little longer. I have some ideas about why I’m having a slight stall at the moment.

the second month of no improvement this year

My last marathon was a slight disappointment, not too much, just enough. I may be feeling just a little burnout at the moment. The cold winter weather might have something to do with it.

I’ve done just enough to maintain the fitness, but not pushed any further. In short, I’ve been a little lazy, at least compared to the focus I’ve had the rest of the year. Perhaps it’s common to have a winter slump. Hopefully this is it, and I’ll get back into the swing of things again here shortly.

mixed drink
dangerously tasty Gin drink

extra thoughts

MAF heart rate adjustment:
I’ve been sticking to the Maffatone formula, (180-age) which puts me at 136 beats per minute. I never subtracted or added to the formula based on fitness level and health. There may be an adjustment upwards next year sometime. Not sure how or what factors to look for in regards to adjustments though.

shorter tapers:

Because I’m doing the slow mileage training and not banging up my body as much, I’m also recovering fast. I’ve trained my body to burn more fat than glycogen, so there are no glycogen stores to fill back up after a run. I’m thinking because of this, my tapers should be shorter than normal prescribed times. Two weeks for my last road marathon just seemed far too long, so I’ll be experimenting with a shorter time frame on my future A races.holidays and winter:
More drinking, more eating, sigh. My diet has not been great the last month or so, eating far too much pasta and breads, not enough fruits and veggies. I feel sluggish. I need to shake this off before it becomes a problem where I fall into a rut.

positive thoughts:
I’m thankful for being in good health and that I have no injuries. Thinking back on my past struggles with pain and injuries helps to put things in perspective. Not everyone is this lucky, running all these miles with no pain.

looking ahead

Secret City Half Marathon this coming Sunday:
I have no agenda other than get close to 1hr35min. It’s supposed to be a sunny day.

I’ll be running my second Lookout Mountain 50 miler in a little over 2 weeks. My training has shifted too much towards the road side the last couple of months, trails have been neglected. I had a nice 3 hour run in the woods last week that left me much more sore than anticipated. I’m afraid some of my ankle muscles have atrophied from all the road miles. Looks like there will be more trail miles in my future.

All previous MAF test write ups: