It's hard to believe that another month has already gone by. In that time, I've done a few more long runs, managed to get outside on the bike a couple of days, and even had to take a week off from training after falling sick in early March. Because of this, as well as some less than ideal weather, I'd delayed my Maffetone test by about a week. In the end, I think this was helpful as it did give me a chance to get one more long run accomplished. This meant that I had about the same number of long runs completed before completing the test for the third time. I started doing these tests again beginning back in January as part of my "come back" strategy after last fall's bike crash. The second test I completed near the end of February.
On Friday, a little before noon, I headed out the door. As always, I try to keep things as consistent as possible from one test to the next. This includes running the same course, wearing about the same clothing, and even listening to the same playlist during the run. Perhaps the biggest difference this time was the wind. It was coming out of the west was a bit stronger than usual. That said, I don't believe it had a significant impact on my time (maybe a few seconds on each of the miles depending on whether or not the wind was in my face or at my back). One other factor that doesn't seem to have impacted my results in any measurable way is weight. While I normally weigh somewhere between 170-175 lbs, my last few checks this week have been more around 175-180 lbs.
The first part of the run is a 10 minute/ or 1 mile warm-up. This works perfectly because it takes me to the part of the course that turns to a dirt path. At that point, there really isn't any concern about cars for the next 4 miles which allows me to concentrate more on my pace, heart rate, etc. In previous tests, I'd set the range between 130-139 bpm. For this test, I decided to limit the range a bit more in hopes of staying a bit closer to my aerobic threshold. During normal training, I don't worry about such precision, but I wanted to have it in place for the test so I wouldn't be inadvertently slowing down. As a result the Garmin was set to beep at me if I strayed anywhere outside of 135-139 bpm's. I had a few instances where this occurred but for the most part, I stayed within this zone the majority of the run.
Once again, this third Maffetone test produced a positive result and indicates that my aerobic efficiency is improving with increased training. The chart below compares the pace per mile across the three tests (the heart rate staying consistent each time at around 136-138 bpm:
|The blue line represents the most recent test.|
In addition to analyzing the average pace, I also created a chart to show the average HR across each of the miles. There is a slight increase from the previous tests, but on the whole, the HR stays within about 2 bpm at any given mile with no greater than a 3 bpm variation across the three averages:
|The blue line represents the most recent test|
|The downhill portion of the run reveals a pace of about 9:00 per mile at that moment in time.|