So I'm trying to get back into the routine of a weekly MAF run. Last year I did quite a few of these in the winter and the spring on the track so that I could tell whether or not I was getting "aerobically" fitter. Primarily, I used to do this work on Wednesday so I could go with a group and have people to look at while I ran. This year I decided to man up and do them on my own. Technically, Ironman is just you and the crap going on inside your head so this year, the "training wheels" are coming off. I'm just gonna have to get used to the company of my own thoughts so I switched the workout to Saturday.
I also use these workouts to learn even pacing for my runs during races. Because of spending so much time on the track, I know what different paces "feel" like and have a better sense of how fast I'm moving on race courses. But the thing about doing these early season MAF sessions is they are so frustrating for me because I know I'm built for speed. I love sprinting. And left to my own devices I'd do a "WHOLE" lot of interval work. But that would not get me where I want to go. So for now I get to run around the track working at keeping my heart rate down and my laps as consistent as possible. I think I expend more mental energy than anything else on days like yesterday.
Anyway, so I went back to the track and ran 3 miles at precisely 9:45 min per mile pace and an average heart rate of 152. The workout would have been 6 miles but I was pressed for time because I had to get back to work. I used part of my lunch to go water a friends plant and pick up her mail. But like I said I just needed to get back into the routine of doing the workout. Looking back at logs for this time last year I was running between 10:35 min per mile and 10:15 min per mile pace at about the same heart rate. A couple of differences however do stick out. First yesterday it was over 80 degrees while I was running. The workouts last year were all in the mid 60's to low 70's. The other difference is I'm about 8 pounds heavier than I was last year. That tells me even though it was hot and I'm heavier right now than I was all of last year, I'm still more efficient at running than I was a year ago.
Some of the weight is muscle. I've been working out doing a bunch of functional strength work and swimming a lot more. But some of it is just water. I've decided to see what happens if I can stay better hydrated this year. Honestly, I think I just feel better. But I'll write more on that later.
So Sunday I just did an easy recovery ride on the bike. Mostly I looked at houses. But hey, I was out there turning my legs over and enjoying the impromptu power session the wind provided. Other than that I got my food ready for next week. I think it is going to be epic for training between Day Light Saving Time and warmer weather, I can't wait!