The Maffetone Method – 1 Month In

Last week I posted about how and why I switched over to the Maffetone Method for training for endurance running. The big question is still whether or not it works.

(I’m sure it does, and I’m sure anyone who stumbles upon this blog and reads the Maffetone stuff will extol its virtues and chide me for ever doubting it wouldn’t. To which I can only say: chill. What works for you might not work for me. Until I see it work for me, than it’s just a theory I’ve read, not something I can talk to from experience.)

So, as of today, I’m one month (well, 29 days to be exact) into the training, having switched from my previous training program of strapping on my shoes and running as fast as my lungs would let me.

(Not much of a training program, was it?)

Okay, so how am I doing? Let’s take a look at some stats.

  • Days: 29
  • Total Miles: 36
  • Average Pace: 11:37
  • Average Pace with Highest and Lowest Paces thrown out: 11:39
  • Highest Pace: 12:16
  • Lowest Pace: 10:47
  • 30 Average Pace Change: -0:54 minutes

Admittedly I’m not a stats major. I was an English major. I probably shouldn’t tax my brain with too much math, lest I have a stroke.

That being said, here’s what I see:

I improved my pace by nearly a full minute in the last 29 days.

As you can see by the chart below, I’ve kept my average heart rate pretty steady in the 130s (but this is a little misleading, since I track my heart rate during a warm-up and cool-down, rather than isolating it to just to run). Upper limit of my hear rate is about 150, which is 10 beats too high for the range I’m shooting for. So I have to work on that. But there are hills and such on my route, so…

maffetone_pace

By throwing out the highest and lowest pace I set, the average pace didn’t change much, only a 2 second difference. This tells me that the outliers in all my paces aren’t terribly large, certainly not large enough to be statistically significant.

My conclusion: I’m off to a great start. However, I don’t expect this level of improvement to continue month over month. The main reason is that, at the beginning of the training, I was still getting used to running so slowly. Now that I have the feel for it, I expect the improvement to continue, but be much slower.

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