Update on Heart Rate

Sooooo, after three months of trying and two solid months of not-even-cheating, I’m giving up on Maffetone heart rate training.

I’m okay with giving up on things when they’re not working out. It’s not failure. And in this instance, I’m already way happier to kick this heart rate thing to the curb! For the last three months, I’ve been concerned with wearing my heart rate monitor, staring at my heart rate monitor constantly, turning down group runs with friends, and trying to skip too much work at the gym (raising my heart rate). That doesn’t really sound like fun, does it?

I hear soooo many great stories of how heart rate training is helping other runners, and I’m definitely jealous! After all this time, I still haven’t seen a single tiny change to my pace while running at a 142 heart rate. I’ve been running around 11:30 minute miles – bored, cold and lonely.

When I got to run club on Tuesday night, I totally intended on running behind the pack again. I even sent a couple reminders back home to Gary to grab my Garmin for me. But I hadn’t seen my girlfriends in a few weeks and there was so much to catch up on! I didn’t want to fall back into silence, so I didn’t!

Today I set out for an 8 mile run, and decided to officially pull the plug – the “plug” being to leave my heart rate monitor at home. That’s it! It was such an awesomely free run. I put in headphones and music, which is something I never do, and I pranced along to music on my route! Now I can’t wait for more group running this weekend!

running on cape cod in winterThe whole “heart rate” story really ends there, but unfortunately, around mile 4 on today’s run, a New Hampshire van literally ran me off the road. I don’t know if it was vindictive (seemed to be on purpose) or a distracted driver, but the van seemed to aim for me entirely and I was awoken from my musical bliss. I jumped so fast, off into the brush, but kept running. I was so angry at first, but a few steps later I just burst into heaving tears. It felt like a punch to the gut.

Be careful out there, friends. Drivers are texting, drinking and maybe even looking to torment you on the roads.

And if you have any last-ditch efforts to keep me heart-rate training, better share ’em fast!

7 Comments on “Update on Heart Rate

  1. I’m so sorry the MAF training didn’t work out for you :( I know you were frustrated with it, but I’m proud of you for sticking with it for so long!

    I can’t believe you were almost run off the road! Sadly, I’m not surprised :( Some cape drivers are just plain crazy! Are you doing the Hyannis Half? I have a friend trying to talk me into it, but it would require getting my mileage up pretty quickly which I don’t think is a great idea!

    • Yeahhhh… I was going to write you, but honestly I’m still not sure if I should hop back into it. I think not.
      I’m not in town for the Hyannis races next month, but I’m running the Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler on Feb 14th! Then the Cape Trail Races 1/2 in April!

  2. Maffetone says that if your diet is not high enough and balanced in fats and if your carbs are too high you will not have success with the heart rate formula he advocates. I think maffetone is a genius and has always been way ahead of his time.

    • Thanks for writing Denise. I did actually try his two-week test a month ago too… I’m mostly vegan and even tried having some ricotta and eggs during that time.

  3. Sorry to hear about your almost run-in! Drivers are really either unaware or antagonistic towards runners. Unfortunately I’m kind of a cranky person and I tend to get belligerent with drivers when I’m out running (e.g. staring them down if they just barely saw me or throwing my hands up in the air). I should work on my runner etiquette :|

    Also, sorry to bug you on the HR training on Twitter! I was just curious to hear how it was going. I’m honestly a bit skeptical on the HR training business because I feel like running at an easy pace (without any kind of HR monitoring or even a Garmin) is probably the most natural. If you’re running at a way slower pace just to try and improve your HR efficiency, it almost seems inefficient as a way of running. I don’t know. Glad to hear your run went better and you felt freer!

    • P.S. I don’t know what “…run went better” meant grammatically, but all I can say is that my coffee is still kicking in.

  4. Oh my gosh, how scary! I’m so glad you’re ok!

    I have no experience with heart rate training, but I find it impressive that you stuck with it for so long. I’m an instant gratification kind of girl, and probably would have given up after 3 weeks.

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