I have seen the light. All these years I’ve been trying to get back as quickly as possible to the level I was in 2013. The harder you work the more you get out of it right? Run as hard as you can and the next time out you’ll be able to go even harder. In reality that leads to burn out, at least for me. It also leads to injuries, but really, for me it’s burn out first.
Last week, like 1000 times before, some new runner in the Misfit Runners Facebook Group ( awesome group btw ) asked for tips for somebody who’s just starting out. One of the replies referred this person to Phil Maffetone’s site and the MAF method. I went there, downloaded the PDF and read it. It’s really nothing I hadn’t heard before, but for some reason this time it made sense. Why am I always in such a god damn hurry? Anyway, I ordered some vitamins from Phil and tested them out for tolerance last week, as well as doing a couple of MAF training sessions. I did a 3.5 mile loop, twice and kept my heart rate right at 130 the whole time. My normal loop has quite a bit of elevation change so basically I was walking the entire time. It’s something I never would have considered before reading the MAF material. If you’re going to run, you need to run right?
My plan for the next 6 weeks is to do this loop 6 days a week, keeping the heart rate at 130 and use the garmin charting of these efforts to gauge progression. After this initial short base building process I’m going to incorporate a Saturday “long run” .. which on week one of phase 2 (after base building) will be 1 miserable little mile. Another goal is to obviously shed some of these extra pounds. I weighed in at 235 yesterday morning. At the end of this 60 weeks I’m going to be under 160lbs. What I know though is that once I’m under 220 I’m perfectly capable of running miles. I was there about 6 months ago and managed to do 3 miles w/o stopping, of course my max heart rate during that effort was around 170.
In terms of diet, what I learned last week was amazing. If I did that 1 hour MAF effort at 130bpm, I was perfectly capable of doing a short weight workout by afternoon. Doing a “run” at more less max effort not only leaves me starving for the remainder of the day, but also destroys any chance of doing any extra physical work. I imagine this will get better and better as I progress through Phase 1. I was able to do 1 hour of aerobic exercise and still maintain a 1600 calorie diet w/o feeling like it was difficult.
I’m going to do my best to document the shit out of this effort. Whatever happens to me will be a good guide for some other old bastard who is starting from basically zero and has high expectations. I intend to summarize my weekly MAF and run sessions as well as the daily diet and workout schedule. 59 weeks was born from counting the weeks between now and the next Blue Springs MO ultra. I’d say there’s a good chance I could pull off a 50k on easy trails 59 weeks from now.