Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Maffetone Test #1

 After last weekend's Rock Canyon Half-Marathon, today it was time to conduct my first official Maffetone test.  I've been running and riding a little more in November and early December, so today I wanted to get a measure of my fitness at this point.  The graphs below represent my weekly mileage totals (Running and Biking) for Late September/ October compared to November/ December.  Here is October:
October Distance Totals
 And here's what the last 4-5 weeks (November/ December) have looked like:
November Distance Totals
 The purpose of today's test was to begin creating a series of benchmarks for comparison throughout the course of heart rate training.  I will repeat this test again in about a month, hoping for a day with similar conditions.  As my heart rate training progresses in the next several weeks, I should see a drop in the overall pace per mile at the same heart rate. 
December 8, 2012
The Maffetone Test consists of a warm-up, a five mile measured run at just below aerobic threshold (between 139-144 in my case), and a cool-down.  As with any experiment, the key to a successful  comparison lies in keeping the variables as consistent as possible for each test.  The most important variable is a consistent running environment.  For my purposes, that meant running on the track at a nearby high school.  I used the run over (about 1.5 to 2 miles) for the warm-up and used the post-test return as my cool-down.  I ran at about 1:30 in the afternoon and the temperature was in the low to mid-fifties with very light winds. 
To make testing easier, I set the HR alerts on the Garmin so that I would have a gentle reminder if I let my heart rate dip too far below aerobic threshold or if I let it climb too far above .  After hearing a few alarms during the run, I noted that the tone of the alarm would change to indicate whether it was too high or too low.   A nice feature which meant that I didn't necessarily have to be looking at the watch the whole time (I did anyway, but it's nice to know I wouldn't have too!). Throughout the test my average heart rate stayed pretty steady, averaging between 140-142 beats per minute.  I thought it would be harder to maintain a consistent rate, but it was much easier than I thought.  I also set the Garmin to automatically record my mile splits.  This kept me from forgetting to hit the lap button or from losing track of which lap I was on over the course of 20 laps around the track.
Here are the results from the test:
Results from the 5 recorded miles of the Maffetone Test
So here's hoping for at least one sunny day in early to mid-January so I can get out and check my progress.  I don't know if I'll see a huge difference in my times, but it will be interesting to see what happens.  I will continue to increase the volume of training that I'm doing (more on that later), so I will have plenty of opportunities to work on building my aerobic engine.
Final Results from today:
Miles run: 8.42
Total Time: 1:26:13
Maffetone Test Mileage: 5 miles
Maffetone Test Time: 46:28
Average Heart Rate: 141
Average Mean Pace: 9:18
Median Pace (Mile 3): 9:22
Median HR (Mile 3): 141
Time of Day: 1:30 p.m.
Temperature: 51 degrees
Brooks Shorts, T-shirt, Mizuno Wave Precision 12, Tifosi Sunglasses, Road ID

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