So after reading the Big Book of Endurance, listening to some podcast interviews of Phil Maffetone, and reading some related forums (especially the RA Low HR Training forum) i thought I'd give MAF training a shot. My first run with the heart rate monitor was 6/29/2013. Before MAF training my usually running pace was in the low 10's. I also started the Two Week nutrition test also on 7/1/2013. The first run happened just like everybody said it would- I had to slow down and struggled to stay at my MAF (MAF= 135, I'm 35 and take blood pressure medication, so I took off another 10). However, since starting the nutrition plan, I can barely even get to my MAF without feeling like I'm overdoing it. On my last two runs, I felt pretty maxed out in the low to mid 120's. I couldn't even get to 135. If i pushed it, I feel like I would have bonked hard. Here's my stats for this week:
Any advice? Should I just keep it going at what's comfortable. I think the two week test is having a huge effect. I feel pretty fatigued, nauseated, and have had headaches for the last couple days. I guess my sugar addiction was worse than I thought..........
The two-week test can knock some into ketosis, which is a state you and your body isn't used to. My own experience with two-week tests and keto-training (think 3-month test or more) is that my aerobic speed tanks. Looking back on the two-week tests, I can see I was in ketosis. I just wasn't getting enough carbs to keep me over the limit (about 50 carbs). When I keto-trained, I had the same experience, but the aerobic speed regression eventually reversed itself. I ultimately went to a paleo level of about 100 carbs, which is very low still, but no ketosis. For some who take the two-week test, they experience the opposite and their aerobic speed improves. Not sure what's happening with you, or how blood pressure medication comes into play. As you improve your diet, and reduce carbs and rid yourself of carbs that your body doesn't tolerate, you might find you need adjustments in the medication. I'm basing that on anecdotal evidence that some people's high blood pressure improves on low-carb diets. Are you monitoring your BP daily during this? Perhaps you should. Maybe you should just stay at a comfortable pace for now, as you suggested. It doesn't hurt when you stay way below MAF. You will still improve.
As for monitoring MAF speed, take a relaxed approach. Fine, if you want to compare day to day, but know that there will be fluctuations. Some days you will seem to make big leaps forward, and other days leaps backward. If you think of the HRM as one form of biofeedback, then you can relax and just figure that on a bad day your body is just telling you that slower is better for the day for whatever reason. Body knows better than the ego what's going on in there. So, look for general trends, like the stock market. Fast-fast-slow-slow-fast-slow-fast-fast-fast (but an overall getting faster at MAF).
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Welcome. I did not survive the 1week nutrition test. After 10 days i was completely drained. Hang in there.
Run until the trail runs out.
Thanks jimmyb for the advice and info and thanks runnerclay for the welcome. I have been keeping track of my bp and it has gone down a little bit. Hopefully I can get off of them soon- more $ for running shoes!