My Dirty Little Running Secret

I have to come clean.  I have to share something with you all that I’ve been hiding.  It’s my dirty little running secret.

I ran three runs in the last two weeks breaking from MAF.  I mean really breaking from it.  GASP!

I didn’t put my heart rate monitor on before a few solo runs because I just didn’t feel like it.  After several months of following a pretty strict nothing-over-a-HR-of-145 runs, I wanted to run fast.  I wanted to run faster than a comfortable pace.  I wanted to feel my legs work hard to run fast.  I wanted to quicken my stride.  I wanted all of it.

Did I feel bad about it?  Not really.  For a brief moment in the second mile in each run, there was a mental conversation.  I was mentally fighting to either slow up or continue running fast and hard.  I debated with myself over whether or not this was going to derail months of work.

I’ve come to realize something about MAF training.

Here are the five pluses of using it:

1.  I’m happy to run at my HR when I have friends with me.  The conversation and the run become social and I enjoy that part of MAF.  I live for our long runs!!  The miles fly by and we genuinely have awesome runs!

2, The daily miles to keep up my running streak are all at MAF also.  The slower pace ensures I can run back to back days.

3. Not worrying about pace but HR takes the need to have to feel like I’m having to hit certain paces all the time.

4. I needed a break from traditional training and concentrate on just my running fitness vs racing races.

5. Running this year smartly.  Using MAF means that I’m taking the time to really gain endurance and fitness.  My body is becoming more proficient with HR training and I’m being kind to my body this year.


The place where I struggle is when it is a solo run, usually 3-4 miles.  I don’t want to follow it.  It’s like those days are my “me” runs and I just want to run how I feel that day.  And for the last 3 solo runs that meant fast for me.

I’m back on MAF the rest of the week.  I have two mile only days today and tomorrow and then Sunday is the big day!  I’ll follow MAF for my marathon.  It helps me keep control of my pace early in the race and it keeps me in check for making it well into the mid 20’s feeling great.  This marathon, like my last one, isn’t about racing. It’s about running another marathon to celebrate my friends, to run one because I can, and to keep on moving towards by biggest (and scariest) 2015 goal, 100K at Crooked Road.

But every little once in a while…I’m gonna leave that heart rate monitor at home and just run to have my “me” time. I want to run hard and feel that I kicked that run’s booty.  I want that I just freaking nailed that feeling!!  Sometimes you got to break the mold, stray from the training plan just a little to have great things happen and to find confidence and a new found enthusiasm for something.

So, what’s your dirty little running secret? 

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16 thoughts on “My Dirty Little Running Secret

  1. Interesting. I don’t follow a specific MAF program, although the periodization concept I follow is similar. More Zone 2/3 training in the off-season and winter and then add in the speed work as race season approaches. One of my challenges is that I am more of a “fast-twitch” kinda gal so my aerobic pace is REALLY slow compared to my paces for intervals and short distance racing. Like 10:30-11:00/mile to stay in zone 2 whereas I’ll run 400m repeats at 7:20 pace. So that can be frustrating! And I would say you haven’t done any lasting damage to your fitness or your aerobic base. 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Voices are Silent | Runner Girl in a Rocking World

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