While I was already considering how to build my endurance base in preparation for SAC 2014 and possibly TMBT 2014, I started to more seriously consider the Maffetone Method. For those unfamiliar with this, the premise is that you conduct the great majority of your training at a lower intensity, keeping your heart rate below a certain level (determined through a simple formula plus a modification or two based on your lifestyle and fitness). By training at or below this set level, your body remains in an aerobic state. And by developing your aerobic capacity, the theory is that over time, you will be able to go faster and faster at that same heart rate.
So after running the numbers, it looks like my maximum heart rate, which I should not exceed, is 131 beats per minute. Yikes, that's low. I think when I go on a simple jog, my pulse gets near 150 bpm. So at least in the beginning, I will probably be walking. But I am looking forward to trying this new approach to see what happens!
My baseline test, which I will conduct monthly, will consist of the following:
- 5km at a nearby track. Flat and easy, 5 laps.
- 2.83mi on the trails near my place. It's a set course I often run, and has 636 feet of ascent (and descent).