Low HR Training


Hubris (Read 479 times)


    I was in Vamcouver, B.C. last week visiting my daughter. There are many lovely running trails in Stanley Park and i took full advantage of them as they are ideal compared to my usual running through pastures and fields back home.
    I am still strictly following MAF guidelines for all my runs. I had a very good MAF test recently but my routine runs are at 17-19min/mile. Anyway, I found myself amongst a group of avid runners every day I was in the park. These folks were really good and they just flowed along over the ground. They even smiled at one another as they passed. Of course they were dressed in the latest and greatest running attire. I am not that far removed from running in hiking boots and I still haven't managed to attain proper running gear except for the shoes. Now this is where the hubris kicks in - I thought to myself why not try to move  it up a notch and see if I can keep up with these aerobic wonders. After all I am a little old lady from Nova Scotia but I am  MAF runner! I was running along at a great pace feeling the wind in my hair when suddenly I found myself flat on the ground. I was so enthralled with the feeling of speed that I had failed to notice a fallen branch on the trail. Down I went on the ground face first. I may have the first running injury that isn't connected to limbs - I have a broken nose from doing a face plant. Both my eyes are black and my nose is swollen to a great degree. I can't even begin to tell you the humiliation of my flight home with all the wondering glances my way.

    My Garmn recorded that I managed to complete three miles before falling at a pace of 9-10min/mile with a HR of 130-150bpm. My MAF is 118 so I was well above the desired HR. I don't think that this one excursion into the realm of higher HR will delay my progress and I really don't believe that going over MAF caused my fall but nonetheless it happened. I am back to walking until my nose heals enough to stop hurting when I bounce up and down. Interestingly if I run more smoothly and above MAF it doesn't hurt at all.

    My husband and I are very keen touring cyclists and he is watching my attempts at running with quite a jaundiced eye. I hope to be able to say 'I told you so' when we get on our bikes next month. I think I should be able to maintain a very reasonable pace for most of our rides without going over MAF but there is no doubt that I will be greatly over when we start climbing some hills. I wonder if any of you have combined cycling with running and what your experiences are. I don't mean doing such things as triathlons but ordinay bicycle touring. It will be interesting to see what happens to my MAF pace as the bike season progresses.

       I don't think it was god's punishment for breaching MAF. Smile


      but seriously, it is not likely that one 3-mile run hurts much. or if it does then maybe it will make your MAF pace become slower by 1 sec / mile, who cares?

        Sorry you hurt yourself.  The exact same thing happened to a neighbor here in Colorado but she tripped on a curb.  She is an avid marathoner and was sporting double black eyes and a broken nose for weeks.  This too shall pass!
        Runner and writer with a pesky day job. http://memoirsandhalftruths.wordpress.com/ "Don't ask yourself what the world needs - ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -- H. T.Whitman

          Hey Anne,


          Thanks again for one of your most awesome posts.


          Sorry to hear you fell on your face. If I were you, I would be proud of those wounds, as they came from living a full life. As far as running above MAF before you come to the end of your base period, sometimes it's not good, but sometimes it is. It all depends on the individual. Whatever the case, 9-10:00 miles at that HR is pretty darn good. Your MAF of 118 might be a little low. Sometimes, 60+ needs adjusting 5-10 beats upward.


          Several runners on this forum bike as well, and I've heard nothing but positive things as far as the effect on your aerobic system.



          In final, I'd like to paraphrase Hitchhiker''s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams and say "next time you try to fly, yes, throw yourself at the ground, but remember to miss it."







            Thanks for that post.  Hope you are alright and recovering.  George Beinhorn (translator of "The VanAaken Method") wrote about falling on his blog recently, and your thread title reminded me of his words:

            Toward the end of the run, I did a faceplant. I was running on the dirt margin of a bike path on the Stanford campus. The ground was leaf-strewn and muddy, and I stubbed a toe and went down, sliding in the mud behind a bus stop. A black woman who was sitting on the bench turned with a sympathetic expression and said, “Ooh…” But I was enjoying myself so much, I jumped up and laughed and said, “I must have been thinking egotistical thoughts!” She laughed and said, “Maybe it just happened.” I said, “No, that’s usually when it happens.”


            It’s true — pride, in running, often precedes a fall.


            I've done stationary cycling and running and found that the two can work well together - if you can stand the boring monotony of sitting on a stationary bike.   Dr. Phil is a big proponent of cross-training. As long as you keep your aerobic and anaerobic training  well balanced and have fun it doesn't really matter what you do.

            Consistently Slow

              Annie--- you are officially a runner. Hope you recover quickly.

              Run until the trail runs out.

               SCHEDULE 2016--

               The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

              unsolicited chatter



                Thanks everyone for all the great responses. I awoke this morning to note that my eyes now have some interesting tinges of yellow and green overlaying the purple and black. I tried a little jog on my walk and found my nose didn't hurt at all today so I think I'll be able to get back to regular runs very soon. No rush though as I'm quite enjoying this walking phase.


                cmon2, I really don't think that my MAF pace has been affected at all by my three miles over MAF

                TallChick, since my fall I've heard of, or talked to several people who have also suffered  broken noses while doing non-contact sports. Who knew? Certainly not me. I always thought I might be at risk for orthopedic type injuries.

                jimmyb, your paraphrase is very apt. May I use it as a caption for a photo? I am sending pictures to all my children that they may see their mother as one who has suffered for her sport.(In our family such things pass for humour).

                I may try going up to MAF +5 when I'm back to daily running and see what happens. I'm not sure how high my HR would have gone had I not fallen. The Garmin readings showed a steady rise from 130 after the first mile. I'm not sure if if the HR should have stabilized or not. I do remember thinking that this faster pace wasn't very comfortable. I wasn't really short of breath but I'm used to running with no respiratory effort at all thanks to MAF.

                 GMoney, the blog post you quoted certainly describes my experience with misplaced pride. Unfortunately I was unable to spring up laughing as did the author but I think our feelings were the same. I don't have access to a stationary bike but I'm hoping to be out on my road bike next week. Until we actually start touring I can definitely do bike rides at MAF heart rates.

                 runnerclay, I'm so glad to have your official pronunciation. Too bad all it took was a broken nose. If I'd known that earlier.......


                  Don't sweat the lack of a laughing bounce up.  Everybody falls.  There's nothing special there.  It's the getting up and going again that's remarkable.  Take it extra easy while you recover - your body needs to focus on repair.


                  This thread and the Beinhorn blog post got me thinking about "The Seven Deadly Sins" of running.  Paul Kelso devotes a chapter to the "Seven Sins of Weightlifting" in Powerlifting Basics, Texas Style.  Maybe we could use our own (non-denominational) reminder of the ways in which vice can impede our progress.  Dr. Sheehan, Joe Henderson, or some higher luminary than me has probably already meditated on this topic, but here (with more than a little nod to Mr. Kelso) is my take on how I think we as runners can get ensnared by the classical vices.  And, for the record, I know that I've succumbed to these all more than I'd care to admit (heck, this list is probably one of them).  I shudder to think at all the times I've "fallen" without knowing it.


                  Pride - Believing that your fast PR or MAF pace alone makes you an authority on training.

                  Envy - Longing to keep up with other runners or reach a time goal regardless of your body's signals to the contrary.

                  Anger - Rebelling against your program or coach for want of progress when you've not given it an honest shot to work.

                  Sloth - Disengaging from your training and thinking that mindlessly following a program will produce good results.

                  Avarice - Attempting a greater training load that your body and life can reasonably withstand.

                  Gluttony - Forcing others in your life to always accommodate your training.

                  Lust - Assuming that your svelte runner's bod, nifty PR, or recent BQ makes you an object of desire.


                  For a different take - a Zen inspired look at how we might apply the Buddha's "Noble Eight-Fold Path" to our training - check out Zen and the Art of Running by Larry Shapiro, Ph.D.

                    Anne47: yes, I was joking about the 1 sec/mile worsening of MAF test. Wink


                    GMoney: nice list. most of it so true for me too! I think the only ones that I never committed are sloth and gluttony and I'm most guilty of envy :P


                      Gmoney, what a thoughtful approach to running you have presented. It behooves us all to step back and look at what we are trying to accomplish and why we are doing it no matter what the goal.  For myself, I agree heartily with the concept of all of your seven deadly sins although as a new runner I have yet to reach the exalted position of committing most of them - except for envy which certainly caused my recent mishap.One could consider avarice as a contributing factor as well. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I can see myself being guilty of all seven as I progress in this running adventure.


                      One of the nicer things about the Maffetone approach to running is the emphasis on health and remaining in touch with what your body is trying to tell you. I think that your seven deadly sins demonstrate the importance of a healthy mental/emotional aspect as well. I suppose that we all are trying to achieve a healthy balance or 'zen'. i hadn't heard of "Zen and the Art of Running' before but it sounds like it might be something I'd enjoy reading.


                      Cmon2 - thanks for your clarification, sorry I misunderstood.