MAF Experiment- Week 13 (On the bike, tasty hummus, and being present)

Click here for the video recap for the blog.

MAF Update:

Back on the bike, but on the trainer in the garage

I am not going to spend too much time on the final run MAF test.  You can see the results below and how not much changed after the first month.  I believe that the big change from the start to month one’s test was the weather.  After that, the weather stayed cool.  Even though I was hoping for gains throughout, I do see the benefits of this training.

Mile                 Start                Month 1          Month 2          Month 3(End)

1                      7:45                 7:06                 7:30                 7:36

2                      8:26                 7:46                 7:48                 7:50

3                      8:55                 7:43                 7:53                 7:52

I got on the bike this week on Wednesday.  A big benefit from the run block was my resting heart rate got low.  That low resting heart rate made the bike a challenge.  Since I have not been on the bike since summer, it was really hard to get my heart rate to stay in the MAF training zone, which is 132-142 beats. 

I will put my times and distances on the blog, but know that I don’t think the Garmin sensor is correct.  I was not biking as fast as it said.  It will be a good measuring stick for progress, but I know that my speed is less than what was recorded. I have not looked into why this is an issue. It has a bit to do with the resistence I put on the wheel. THe wheel size has been put in, but it still reads fast. Either way, it will be consistent each time so I can get a good benchmark to hopefully see improvement.

This week’s work:

Wednesday- 30-minute ride for 14.53 virtual miles.

Friday- 20-minute ride for 9.7 virtual miles.

Saturday- 60-minute ride for 28.34 virtual miles.

Sunday- 20-minute ride for 9.57 virtual miles.

Food Highlight:

Delicious and nutricious hummus

When hummus is in the house, I am a happy man.  Hummus is good as a dip, but I use it most with my variations of sautéed vegetables.  I love it mixed in with my scramble.  It is a fantastic way to top off my sardine breakfast bowl.  When in doubt of what to eat, I grab a carrot or chips and my container of hummus.

Not only is hummus delicious (I prefer the roasted red pepper version), but it has great nutritional value.  You get a plant based protein from the chickpeas, and it is also has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties.  It is such a versatile food that it is easy to find a way to add it to your diet.

Workout Highlight:

The heart rate monitor keeps my workouts on track

I can’t believe it took me thirteen weeks to bring up the tool that has driven my training method, the heart rate monitor.  The monitor is everything when doing MAF training.  It helps keep easy days easy and hard days hard. On easy days, the heart rate stays low and the effort is easier. On hard days, the heart rate can spike with more difficult efforts.  Right now, all my days are “easy” in the aerobic zone. 

I was interested in trying the MAF training method because I feel that not using one is the main reason my racing last summer was not as good as it could have been.  I went by rate of perceived exertion, which is more of a feeling than a number, when training on the bike.  Therefore I spent too much time in a grey zone between the aerobic and anaerobic systems.  The grey zone is not where you want to train. I want to be either all in the aerobic zone or the anaerobic zone. The grey zone is when you waffle between both.

Using the heart rate monitor, I am making sure that my base-building is done low enough.  When I get to speed work, the monitor will help me make sure I am out of the grey zone and training the proper system. Now, if you are doing strength work, the monitor is not a necessity.  I suggest using it for your run and bike training.  It is doing great things for mine.

Wisdom of the Week:

“Be where your feet are”.  This is a saying I have heard from many sources and really can’t give one person credit, but I do like this idea.  For me, it means to be present in what you are doing.  If you are at work, focus on your job.  When you are with your family, be with them and not thinking about something else.  When it comes time to train, make sure you focus on doing it to the best of your ability.

With all of the business in our lives, it is hard to have a singular focus.  It is important, though, especially during time with family.  You owe them your whole self.  This does not mean that I don’t think about anything I am not currently doing; I am human after all.  I do try to make sure that I am not checking my phone for school emails while we have family time. Also, my time at school should not be wasted browsing for things I don’t need.  While this is something I will never master, it is a nice reminder to strive to be the best version of myself at whatever I am doing.

That’s just a bit of my experience.  Have a great week.

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