The Maffetone Method – Month 7

I can’t believe it’s already May. It feels like yesterday that I was bemoaning the fact that running in the cold and the snow sucks. And yet, here we are. May 1st has come around faster than I expected, which leaves my April running behind me.

So how did April go?

I don’t want to complain too much about my April running. The numbers for April were really really good. Like, dropping nearly 20 second off my average pace kind of good. I set off on a mission to focus more on my running schedule since my schedule fell apart in both February and March. Plus, I have my eye on a half marathon on Father’s Day. I’ve now got the schedule set in my head, and I’ve even started blocking off time in my calendar on my phone. But that doesn’t mean it was all peaches and cream.

First, the numbers:

running month 7

maffetone_avg_month7

As you can see, my average pace with the high and low thrown on dropped. Like, a lot. 19 seconds, which was far more than I expected. I think this is largely due to two things:

  1. I got a new heart rate monitor at the end of March. The old one was on it’s last legs and need to be replaced. The new one is great, and I think it is a more accurate measure of how the ol’ ticker is really performing during a run. In addition to the accuracy, I can see on the read-out what the average heart rate is for the total run as I go. It’s a great way for me to gauge whether I need to slow down as the run extends out for several miles.
  2. The second thing is that Spring is in the air. And while I wouldn’t say it’s warm enough to go swimming just yet, it’s been nice enough that I can get out and run without 50 pounds of winter running gear dragging me down. Not to mention that by the end of March, running in the cold and the dark just plain sucked.

The other interesting trend is that my heart rate is down. My average heart rate, which had been 142, 144, and 142 for the last three months, dropped down to 140 for April. Again, I think this is largely due to a better heart rate monitor. That’s closer to the target heart rate than the previous months, though given the fact that I turned 41 recently, my target heart rate should be 139. Not sure that will happen.

And yet…

I don’t feel I’ve really accomplished a good running post with complaining about something. Maybe I’m just a glass is half empty kind of guy, but I’m trying to be honest in these posts as to how my training is really going. And while I had a great pace improvement in April, it wasn’t all peaches and cream. So what went wrong?

Since April 13th, I’ve run one time. Once. When I get back out there this Sunday, it will have been fourteen days since my last run.

This wasn’t necessarily on purpose, mind you. Sometimes scheduling stuff simply gets in the way. I’ve got a full time job, a family, and other interests (see some of the fiction writing posts and Excel programming posts on this blog and you’ll see what I mean). Sometimes conflicts happen. And with that, the running oft times ends up suffering. But in the end, it’s no one else’s fault but my own. If I really want it to happen, I need to figure it out.

Okay, that’s it. A good month progress-wise. We’ll see in May whether that level of progress was a strange kind of flukey thing, or if that level of improvement continues. In the meantime, back the road. I’ve get 13.1 miles I want to run in June, and I’ve got six weeks to get ready. I need to get serious here…

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