I’ve talked a great deal about why Low Heart Rate training has worked so well for my body and how it lead to a 4 minute half marathon PR.
But today I want to dive in to another real world example from someone I’ve coached!
Over the last few years, I’ve helped a number of ladies achieve a new PR, while feeling strong and healthy using the Maffetone method of maintaining a low heart rate throughout training. So today, we’re looking at my dear friend Leis and her experience.
Leis came to me feeling tired, but determined to run. She was dubious about LHR slowing her down, but she committed…here’s her story to help you see how it might work.
What was your half PR before LHR training round 1?
Round 1 of my Half LHR training was the first time I had ever trained for a half.
It was the first time I ever even dreamed I could possibly do one! Up until that point, the furthest distance I had ever ran was a 10k. When Amanda posted about the different types of training methods, the Maffetone Method just resonated with me. It just plain made sense to me logically.
How did you feel training for that 10K and after? (so no LHR)
When I was training for the 10k with no LHR, I would have good runs and bad runs.
But most notably, I struggled with foot pain and general body pain. I have a prominent hammer toe on my right foot and I was always uncomfortable, during and after my runs. Some days the pain the day after would be unbearable.
For awhile I thought it was my shoes, but once I got a new pair, that discomfort was still there. I felt okay during that 10k race, but honestly thought I would do better after my months of training. (May – Sept.) I ran that race in 1:09, which ended up being a good run for me. I just thought I would be stronger on the hills.
How long have you been doing LHR? Current PR?
Following my 10k last October, I started reading up on the Maffetone Method. I even did the 2-week diet removing all sugars and carbs! Now that was hard for this carb-centric girl! I ended up losing 5 -6 pounds! So, of course, I was hooked.
I asked for a heart rate monitor for my birthday. (It’s funny what runners ask for for presents!) A few weeks later, Amanda and I started working on a training plan. I do much better when I have a structured plan, or I know I will not stay the course!
- I lost a total of 11 pounds through that training session.
- I ran my first ever half marathon on February 1, 2015 (5 months of training) and ran it in 2:52:31 / avg. pace 13:10
- When I began my training, my LHR was 124 / avg. pace was 16:05
How did you feel during training the second time and after the race?
Once I survived my first half (and I do mean survived!), I was not sure that I would do another one. I was tired! LOL.
But then, Ms. Amanda wrote a post on the best half marathon/marathon bling and right at the top were the medals for the Beach Cities Challenge. You run a series of three races in a year (Huntington Beach, Orange County and Long Beach) and you get this adorable clam shell. I had already completed one, so yep, time to train for round two.This time I knew what to expect and knew I needed to up my training.
To this point, I had been working on distance. Now I began to focus on training for strength – – as frustrating as that might be. See, it meant there would be a lot more walking in my run sessions and my running would slow wayyyy down.
Interestingly, it did not stay that way for long.
- With each uphill climb I got stronger and my HR stayed lower.
- My body was working more efficiently.
- With some tweaks provided by Amanda I continued to improve at a increased rate.
I finished the OC half marathon in 2:47:09 / Avg. 12:46 / HR: Avg. 144. I had taken 5:22 off my time in 3 months! (without a single injury or speed workout)
The progress is increasing with each run!
I never tired during this race and was actually able to increase my pace on the last mile. The pic my kid got of me at the finish line has arms pumping and determination in my face. I actually left a running partner behind, because I was in a good place and it was time to push!Not sure you have the stamina to run a half? Checkout this real world runner story using LHR Click To Tweet
3 days post race and I feel GREAT! Had some knee and hip stiffness the day after the race, but foam rolled, wore compression tights and walked at lunch, and then no tightness. During the race I was never out of breath and I really focused on engaging my glutes. I left the earphones at home and talked with the runners around me. That was inspiring!
What things have you found helped you the most to stick to the LHR?
My lack of injury is really what initially made me stick to LHR. My foot pain is gone – COMPLETELY.
Also the fact that I just keep getting stronger and my HR keeps staying down for longer periods of time.
- My runs have become less and less of a struggle and more and more of an enjoyable experience.
- My look of anguish and pain has turned into one with a big smile, saying good morning to all I see.
- I am physically, mentally and emotionally stronger!
- It’s a steady, healthy way for a lady of 46 to train.
- I have my health issues and this method forces me to do things correctly.
Any tips you would give someone who is afraid to slow down or concerned about trying it?
I will be completely honest, this was not the easiest thing to begin.
I felt like I was so incredibly slow and there was more walking than running. But with each time that I was out for a run it got better and my aches and pains went away. Foot pain gone! Mental strength enhanced. Lung capacity increased.Tired of being injured? Find out how LHR training helped one runner PR minus injur #bibchat Click To Tweet
This process especially worked for me because when a distance I had never done before was called upon, by not taxing my body, I was able to complete the miles. This has been an incredible experience learning about my own personal strength in a smart, logical way.
One of the best benefits with this type of training is the internal conversation. I have time to check in with myself with each and every calculated step.
1. How is your foot strike? How is the cadence?
2. Are your hips aligned? Abs engaged? Glutes activated?
3. Are your shoulders relaxed and your breath calm and consistent?
4. Where are your hands?
5. Where are you mentally?
6. How beautiful of a day is it and the scenery around you?
7. Doesn’t this song rock?
Have you ever played with HR training?
Does this style of training interest you?
Other ways to connect with Amanda
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