Totally new training plan starting Monday. BIG NEWS! I know, it's hard to hold back the excitement that brims and overflows upon reading that. It's exciting for me though, as this is the first time I've both set out a training plan for myself and have a decent plan for the next 3ish months involving my running.
The goal is to follow the "Maffetone Method" created by Dr Maffetone that basically establishes a set period of aerobic base training in which you create a specific heart rate cap that you absolutely do not exceed in any activity. Going by his "180 formula" which is extremely complicated and convoluted, my "cap" is supposed to be 157 (180-age basically, so complicated). Up until reading his philosophy I had planned to set my cap at 150, but 157 is a little bit more reasonable.
Basically, the way it works is pretty simple: do not go over 157. Ever. You're not supposed to lift weights because technically that is an anaerobic activity and any sort of training that isn't aerobic slows down the buildup of aerobic fitness. So basically when I start this I'll be starting at 25 miles a week going 8:30 pace or slower, increasing my weekly mileage by 5 miles every week for three weeks then tailing back for a week and then start increasing again the next week. So, the goal is to get my mileage up pretty high (60-70) by the end of 3-4 months. Also, because I will have been (hopefully) staying in this aerobic range my aerobic capacity will increase dramatically and I'll be running 7:30 pace or thereabouts in the same range I used to be running 8:30-9 minute pace.
It may not sound like much of an increase, but the ability to run for long periods of time and not have a fast rising HR (with this training your body gains the ability to work the same HR for very long periods of time, as opposed to rising gradually over the length of a run/bike/whatever).
I'm excited about it but also scared. It takes a lot of discipline to run that slowly. It's nice because it feels really easy and you're rarely sore after a run but in a certain sense it's kind of embarassing to run that slow if you're used to running fast(er). Biking won't be as much of a problem because my biking HR is usually at least 10 bpm lower if not more on average.
It'll be interesting (for me at least) to see whether I'm able to stick with it and whether I'll see a lot of gain. Crazy right?! Enthralling, I know.