So…I alluded to this on Monday, but here’s the deal: MAF training is getting a little tough for me right now. And I remember this happening last time through, too, although I seem to be struggling with it even more this time.
You’d think MAF would be hardest at the very beginning, when you are at your slowest. It is tough, then, trust me. But when I start to struggle mentally with it is when I’m almost within striking distance of my friends. Because I want to run with them.
Let me say first and foremost–I am happy to be running, period. And if I had to run every step solo for the rest of my life, I would. But I do have a great set of running friends and I miss running with them, especially since my long runs are getting longer (I did 13 today!) and sharing good conversation during those miles is a fantastic way to go.
I have cheated a couple of times, which is how I know I’m not terribly far off running with my friends. Cheating on MAF, while not recommended, is doable on occasion. My experience is that it doesn’t sink your ship, but it will slow your progress down.
Another factor playing into my MAF doldrums is that I don’t feel like I’ve progressed as quickly as I did last time. I attribute this to the fact that last time, I was already running a good 40 miles/week when I got started. This time, I was starting at square one and have built my mileage slowly. I’m pretty sure the the higher your mileage with MAF, the faster you’ll get results.
Finally, throw in the lingering bit of humidity, which can lead to frustratingly slow runs at MAF, and you get all my reasons for wanting to ditch it. HOWEVER: I’m not throwing in the towel just yet. While I haven’t been testing my paces this time through, I can sense that I am making slow progress with MAF. I really did love the strong engine MAF built last time around and I want to have that base from which to launch speed work again.
So I’m putting my head down and trying to keep at it for as long as my patience will hold out. Eventually, I could catch up to my friends, even at a super low heart rate, and how cool is that? Send me some MAF zen, please!
If you’ve MAF trained, how long did you stick it out? Do you think I should?