After lurking here for a while, I felt compelled to share the discovery I made about the true secret to LHR training. I'll confess that I've only been giving this method a go for about 3 weeks, so take my authority on the subject with an asteroid-sized grain of salt.
The true secret to LHR training is what I'll call an internal 'tankard' and here's how it works.
So you're out running below your MAF. You feel slow as molasses but you stick to the plan. All of a sudden you see an attractive and athletic runner approaching off in the distance. As you fight the urge to look more like a 'real' runner, your tankard fills up a little.
Next week you're on another, shall we be generous and say 'slow', run. This time you're running with your headphones on and out of nowhere, a 3 year-old passes you (on the right, adding insult to injury). You are dying to blaze past her and teach her her first lesson in real speed. But you don't...and your tankard fills up a little more.
And on your Sunday long run (aka the snail-walks-faster-than-I-run run) it happens. That's right...the 8-month pregnant lady and her grandmother out for a morning jog turn right in front of you heading the same direction you're 'running'. Yes, you know what happens. They actually pull away from you. At this point, your tankard fills nearly all the way.
Basic idea being that when you free yourself to truly 'run', this internal tankard of pent-up resentment, when uncorked, should allow you to run, at least for a short while, at something just shy of warp speed.
I hope this makes any fellow slow-pokers feel a little less slow. You are in good company.
Good one, Chris.
Once this very thing happened to me, and helped fill the ol' tankard:
Log PRs Crusted Salt comic #174
Great on Jimmy.
I can totally relate to the cartoon.
The beauty of the this low level fat burning zone tip is that I have burned off loads of fat and I now look like a serious high mileage long distance runner.I think the secret is to try and look fast.On my 2 hour walk (ave 96 bpm) a passing runner said hello to me,probably thinking to himself ..'The big man must be doing his warm down/up..'
A few of my friends who have tried the maf stuff all seem to find it difficult dealing with how they appear to other people as if they are on some kind of running performance stage.Weird
I don't care too much how I look to other people, but I started my 4th week of this running today and there are days where I just wish I could run a "normal" pace. Right now I am stuck in the 12-13 minute per mile pace and it is getting old.
I am going to stick it out for at least 12 weeks and see how it goes. It will allow me to stick to running during the summer where I usually slack off because of the heat and humidity.
(I may have to break the pattern for one day next week. I signed up for a 10k before I started this and I don't feel like skipping it or running it super slow. I missed too many races this year already because of family issues or else I'd consider skipping this one.)
The voices in my head aren't real, but they sure have some really good ideas.
I can totally relate. A few of the things that have tested my resolve to stick with LHR running:
1) I'm not sure how accurate measuring progress is as the weather heats up. If avg HR goes up with ambient temp for a given fitness level and pace, how can one fairly assess whether they are improving their aerobic fitness? In other words, if my MAF test times don't change but the outside temp is 12 deg hotter than it was on the last test, how do you quantify any improvement?
2) As I increase mileage (and as temps start going up here in SC), it's becoming harder to keep under my MAF heart rate for the duration of my long runs. So do I keep increasing mileage weekly knowing that I'll have no choice but to walk some to keep HR low enough or stick with current mileage on long runs (6-8 miles) until I can run the entire distance below MAF HR? Consequence here would likely be missing the September HM I'm training for.
Most of the training literature I read prescribes slow/easy runs and even when my HR pushes 5-10 beats beyond my calculated MAF (137), it still feels like a very low-effort, easy pace.
I'm wondering if I've just underestimated my MAF (I'm 41 and have only been running a few months now) or if perceived effort could possibly be a better gauge of whether a run is sufficiently low-effort.
I totally feel that way most of my runs. I have taken to running at the local HS track since there are no hills I have to worry about and less people on the trail. I do find that I get really weird looks from people as they show up and leave and I am still plodding along "filling my tankard" with humility.
I have only been at this 3 weeks but in those 3 weeks my enjoyment for running is at a high point. I no longer feel shot after a run/walk, my knees and back don't kill me either and I can run the next day without being sore. While my pace has slowly picked up the summer heat has not helped a bit, but I am staying true to the program and am going to see how I am at the end of the 3 months.
I find this training to be much harder in the discipline of your pride than running all out for a shorter time. Pain while running can be accepted by most, but just running at a snail pace is harder on the ego. I just look at it like slowEET say it will all come around at the end when I am moving at warp speed.