A lot of the underlying principals surrounding Phil Maffetone’s teaching on low heart rate training has to do with listening to your body. Pain is your body’s way of communicating with you. I’m used to ignoring it, but I’m slowly learning how listening to those early gripes can lead to success down the track. So, this week was a down week from a training perspective. Instead of my usual 5 runs, I’ve traded two of those for two bike rides. My hope is that the cycling has less impact on my body, but I’m still getting some aerobic benefit. I gotta say it’s hard to not be ‘doing something’.

I’ve also looked over my training plan and made sure I am having scheduled lower volume weeks every 4 or so weeks to give my body a chance to have a rest.

I have my MAF test next week, which is cool, but after getting some advice from the Maffetone Facebook Group, I’ve decided to use a lower heart rate in my training. I’ll be training at 139 from now until the ‘over fat’ issue is resolved. It feels a little like failure, but I have to accept the fact that my size affects my ability to train and until I’ve got that under control, I’ll have to wear the lower heart rate. Ultimately, I think it’ll do me good and I’ll still make progress at the lower rate, it’s just a bit of a hard reality to accept at times.

In other news, I got a pair of Xero Prio runners! I know it sounds like I’ve ‘totally drunk the Maffetone coolaid’ but I’ve always suspected that there’s not something fundamentally flawed with our bodies that we have to wear specially designed pillows so we don’t fall apart by our 30’s. We are a far more robust species than that. So when someone comes along and says, ‘Hey you can burn fat for fuel, train without injury and by the way, you’re not fundamentally broken, just poorly trained…’ then it’s going to be someone I pay attention to.

I have looked around for internet HowTo’s on how to ‘use my feet’… or something to that effect. Since I have heard horror stories of individuals getting their fancy new barefoot/minimal shoes, and ending up nearly crippled for three days afterwards, I decided to look around for some advice. The advice that made the most sense to me was, ‘you don’t have to take 2 years to transition to a zero drop shoe, but you do need to work your way up to longer efforts’. So I strapped them on eagerly fresh from the packaging and did a short walk then a bit of a job. Boy oh Boy! they feel different and really jacked up my calves.

The next day I did a similar thing and I think I am still feeling it a couple days later. I have a long way to go before I’m doing full training runs in these bad boys, but I’m excited at the prospect of training my feet so I don’t get the pain in my ankles, knees and hips.

So my training was 4:59 of running, 3 x 1 hour runs and 1 x 1:30 run all at MAF of 144 and 32.6 km. Yesterday I went for a 1:10 bike ride and covered about 26 km. I’ll be riding again tomorrow instead of my long run.