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IMO the simplest way to do a max HR test is to find a hill that takes 60-90 seconds to run up. Sprint up it all out, glance at HR at the top, jog quickly down, repeat. When you get two reps in a row with HR staying the same or declining you're done and the higher number is your maxHR. It usually only takes me three reps.
I'm personally a bigger fan of 80/20 schedules but lets be clear, that's not MAF as MAF is 100% LSD for a long long time and only then adding in the other stuff. Check out Matt Fitzgerald's book. Alternative just do a homebrew "plan" like:
That's basically all the tools and you'll be running easy up to 6 days a week.
I think the reason you're seeing that advice repeated so often is that many people have a natural habit of running all their runs at around the same pace.
Even if you're trying to segment into "workout" runs versus "recovery" runs, it's natural for many to say to themselves on a recovery day, "hmm, I'm feeling pretty fresh, maybe I'll go just a little faster and get more benefit out of it!" But the problem is that when you do that, (a) you don't really go fast enough to get more training benefit, and (b) you still lose the recovery benefit. So when you get to the next "workout" day, you're not as fresh as you could have been, and you can't go as fast as if you had truly recovered. As a result, your workouts sort of converge into this muddled middle.
People have written whole books about this, with the takeaway being: you're best off running about 80% of your training very slowly, and 20% very fast. Segment your runs by effort, and avoid the temptation to cheat faster on recovery days, because it'll hamper you on your true workout days. Thus, the ever-present incantation to slow down.
Actually, Perceived Effort being skewed high is a super normal thing. Take a look at 80/20 Running, in particular the sections talking about research done on how people tend to rate their Perceived Effort vs what it actually is.
I think a lot of people... Me at least... Have to determine their own best way to judge easy runs. I use HR to "hold me" to true easy pace (at least on recovery runs) and pace for workouts.
You may find in a few weeks that your pace picks up quickly!
Check out 80/20 which talks a bit about this and the philosophy behind it. Link is to Amazon but most likely you will be able to get it at your local library through Libby/Overdrive if you use e-readers
It’s the process put forward my Matt Fitzgerald, that 80% of your runs should be easy, and 20 harder. I have been reading his book and it’s been helping, and making running more enjoyable.
A lot of people recommending Hal Higdon, and his plans are great. But if you want more info behind the theory, pick up 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald. It's a quick but thorough read and will give you a lot of the info you need to apply the Higdon plans successfully.
Probably plantar facciatas.
How often do you run and workout? Have you put in and built up to the high intensity workouts? Check out 80/20 Running (link below). Basically you need to put in a lot of low impact time to have your feet and body adapt/ready for high intensity work. 80% slow runs 20% fast runs.
We're the same age, if I don't allow my body time to adapt I get injured. It a patience and consistency game the more we age.
Makes sense. I could see building up to far and/or too fast of a pace could do that. Good reminders as I increase my mileage. I've been loosely following an 80/20 running ~~plan~~methodology to run within lower heart run zones, but even then, I often find myself running too quick. Thanks for the response!
If she's like me she's probably running too fast. This at some point makes it REALLY hard to add miles without getting burned out or injured. I recently read: [link] and he makes a very convincing argument that 80% of miles should be VERY easy.
Running more than three times a week requires running multiple days in a row and when doing this (typically) every other run should be VERY easy, i.e. a "recovery" run, like 70% or 75% of MaxHR. Not everyone that can do 3x3miles has the fitness to run in this low exertion zone. IMO, if you're in this boat you're way better of taking the rest day or cross training.
Edit: When most people (including the way I was for most of my running history) think they're running "easily" there actually running in a "moderate" zone and so when they start building up millage their training stress is pretty high and they're not able to run as far as they could to get the most aerobic training or as hard as they could to get quality anaerobic training. It's also a recipe for injury, I highly recommend this book: [link]
Amazon link for Matt Fitzgerald's 80/20 book
The biggest killer of people trying to get into running is too much too soon. For years and years I would also dip in and out of running and after a few weeks I'd decide it just wasn't for me. It's only in the last 12 months I've been able to stick with it thanks to slowing down after learning the benefits that has - physically and mentally. Slow and steady wins the race.
My biggest advice to new runners would be to educate yourself. Running isn't pushing yourself to the limit every time. Running isn't going further and further every time. Does a footballer play at match intensity 7 days a week? No!
Recovery is also important when you're starting out. Whether you're a newbie or a multi-sport athlete, running works different sets of muscles and will take its toll on you if you don't take recovery seriously. Stretch properly morning and evening. Buy a foam roller. Learn a good warm up routine. Eat clean.
Lastly, following a training plan is a great way to stay motivated and disciplined. If you're new to running, start with a 5k or 10k plan. Print it off and stick it somewhere, draw a huge cross through each day once it's completed, it's a huge motivator.
Here are some links that have really helped me..
Ted Talk on slow running - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MALsI0mJ09I
Matt Fitzgerald's 80/20 Running Philosophy - https://www.amazon.co.uk/80-20-Running-Stronger-Training-ebook/dp/B00IIVFAEY
PM me for any advice/questions!
Might be jumping into this discussion too late - but, I'm a 35 year old returning to swimming after a ~15 year hiatus. I've been running in the meantime, and have followed an '80/20' plan for running, meaning 80% of my running is at low intensity and 20% is at high intensity. This seems to be a pretty popular breakdown in the running community. I believe mainly influence by this book: https://www.amazon.com/80-20-Running-Stronger-Training-ebook/dp/B00IIVFAEY
I've been structuring my swims similarly. Is there any I should avoid this breakdown and do more high intensity swims? For both running and swimming I'm focused on distance as I figure my endurance will taper off less as I age than strength and sprinting.
Awesome you'll do great! The two books I used to get an idea of my custom training plan were [link] , Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary 3-Run-a-Week Training Program [link] and you could use the running chapters from Be Iron Fit: Time-Efficient Training Secrets For Ultimate Fitness [link]. I'd recommend reading and then blending to make a plan that works for you. I didn't agree with all the run fast tips so blended with others. Also try and get these in paperback as there are charts and such that are hard to read via ebook version.
Good points on the speedwork. Probably the most accessible book around at the moment is this: [link]