Not so much through careful analysis but based on big picture gut feel, I’ve decided to take the shackles off and start my 5K race training in earnest, thus ending a 3 year “run” of purely LHR training (save for the 2 months last summer that I did a few races, but not really any race-specific training). My MAF progress plateaued starting in December and I’m running out of rationalizations to explain it, so I figure that must mean my aerobic base is complete!
Today was my first day and I ran to the local high school track to do some intervals. First off, Google maps was off by a mile so I had to run 2.5 miles to get there but that’s neither here nor there. I only did 4x400 intervals but ran them fairly hard (faster than goal race pace) and then on the way home I kept my heart rate around 165 (my MAF heart rate is 137). The biggest takeaway from all this is that I was amazed at how comfortable I was. I can’t compare directly to pre-LHR training because I never used to use a heart rate monitor, but subjectively, there was a very clear difference in my aerobic capacity than what I had 3 years ago. It was just very obvious to me that the base-building work I have put in has definitely worked and that I didn’t spend the last 3 years getting passed by 80-year old women for nothing .
I hadn’t been looking forward to race training but after this morning I’m really pumped about it. On my easy days I’m still going to go at MAF pace so it will be interesting to see if/how that changes as I get further into it.
May the way off the plateau be upward.
Visit us, the shackled, once in awhile. Bring cake and cigarettes.
We'll tattoo ourselves with tortoises in honor of your release.
Good luck out there. Have fun.
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