A new way of training & the 80/20 principle

I have decided to commit myself to some end of year targets which are mainly about the act of finishing rather than racing for a target time. After a few years of managing injuries, my focus has shifted to keeping my body functionally strong and managing a consistent training schedule. I have had some recurring problems such as calf tears, right Achilles tendon went a few years ago in the middle of marathon training and various other foot and leg muscle sores that just interrupted my training to the point where I couldn’t get to the start line healthy. 

After some soul searching I realised that all I really wanted was to have a goal, train for it, stay healthy and complete the goal. The marathon distance has eluded me having tried twice before and both times ending up injured and needing to pull out. This year my number one priorities are to finish a marathon distance road race and complete a long course triathlon (half ironman distance), so I am targeting Auckland Marathon on October 31st and Rotorua Half on December 18th. Finishing both of these races will be a massive achievement, so I had to really do my research about how best to approach them. 

Now we are into Autumn I am looking at covering my base training, getting in plenty of mileage and laying some good solid foundations to propel me into my races by the end of the year. After hearing about low heartrate running I decided to look into it a bit further and came across Dr Phil Maffetone, who is like the OG of this sport science and created ‘The 180 Method’. Low heartrate running is designed to increase your aerobic capability so you can go faster by going slower. The idea being that when we run slower with a low hr we don’t stress our system, we stay beneath our lactic threshold keeping us in aerobic productivity not anaerobic blowout. The 180 part of the title being the number you subtract your age from, this is your aerobic threshold and you have to keep your heartrate at that number or below. I am 39 so mine is 141bpm.  

I am looking forward to seeing how my training evolves trying to stick to this guiding principle of 80% of my training being in aerobic hr and the 20% at a more intense level. I hope this will keep me injury free, motivated and consistent. Running at an average hr of 141bpm is going to be quite difficult as my gps watch (I use the Garmin Fenix 6) usually has my hr a little higher. I may look into wearing a chest strap monitor or actually getting myself tested at a lab to discover what my personal and unique thresholds are. More of that to come! For now I will log all my training and return here to journal how it goes, how I feel and what (if any) improvements I notice. 

Thanks for reading, 

LH x 

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