Do I need Lycra for this?

A week of low heart rate training. This is Thursday’s attempt; image

It’s harder than you think to stay in that zone 2!

Sunday 1 hour on the machines at the gym, stair climber and elliptical trainer.

Tuesday 2 miles of walk run (half an hour)

Thursday 90 minutes (5.7 miles) of walk run.

friday 30 minutes elliptical trainer. Someone was on the stair machine so I went for a swim instead.

Trying to stay in is low heart rate band is a bit tedious. I’m aiming to stay below 125. I run about 40 paces and it takes it up to 130. So I walk about 60 paces and it comes back down to 120. If I was running ‘by feel’ I would probably naturally run at a HR of 130 or 135 as an easy run.

Here are the pro’s and cons I’ve found so far with this training method;


๐Ÿ˜ƒit feels easy.

๐Ÿ˜ƒits aerobic , good for your heart, good for weight loss (my stated aims)

๐Ÿ˜ƒyou feel like you could continue at this pace for ever

๐Ÿ˜ƒfor those 40 paces of running, you have good form feeling full of energy with a spring in your step

๐Ÿ˜ƒit doesn’t make you feel hungry

๐Ÿ˜ƒ no DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)


๐Ÿ˜ฌwatching you heart rate, stopping and starting all the time is a bit tedious.

๐Ÿ˜Ÿno endorphin surge

๐Ÿ˜”no sense of challenge or achievement

๐Ÿ˜”feeling that I can do better

๐Ÿ˜Ÿit takes more time than running to ‘burn off’ the same number of calories.

๐Ÿค”I feel a bit stupid walking in my running gear. That’s why I’ve started doing laps in the park. I don’t look out of place there! Should I leave my Lycra in the drawer?


To continue. If it’s easy to do and it achieves my aims, it would be silly not to. I can tackle the boredom aspect by taking some music with me, or focus on my ‘form’ a bit more. I will wear my Lycra ๐Ÿ˜ณ (TMI warning) Because I still get sweaty and I don’t want to ruin any nice clothes! Dr Phil would have me do it without my shoes also, (maybe one day, Sonia!)

In the end I’m quite curious and happy to experiment on myself. It will be interesting to see if this works, and part of me believes that it will. I know that ultimately I need to lose some body fat to be able to run faster and I think that this is the way to do it. It will be interesting to see if my heart and lungs will adapt, whether ย I will get fitter within a few weeks and be able to run steadily at this heart rate. Maffetone recommends 3 months of building up an aerobic base before adding racing or speed work.



About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
This entry was posted in balance, change, fitness, garmin, habits, healthy diet, heartrate, low intensity, maffetone methid, middle aged women, Motivation, running, slow run, training plan, weight loss. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Do I need Lycra for this?

  1. CeeJayKay says:

    Lycra ALL THE WAY babes… ๐Ÿ™‚ Never give a $#1t about that one! *winks* I walk LOADS and in Lycra… You wouldn’t see me dead in trackies!
    The maffetine thing is REALY interesting!!! Slowrunnergirl is doing the same and she is LOVING it and I am seriously thinking of joining you two! Keep us posted xxxx

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks cee jay, I meant to look for slow runnergirl but I must have got distracted (it doesn’t take much). Will do it NOW!! ๐Ÿ˜„

    • Hi CeeJayKay! Thanks for introducing Mawil to me ๐Ÿ˜€ she found me! … addicted as I am to reading about running, I finished catching up with her blog ๐Ÿ˜€

      In the beginning the slow is really hard, but it gets better and it did keep me running consistently for a year now … did never think this could happen. I don’t care about being slow anymore … at least I don’t have to eat as much as if I were faster! Also … all the faster runners I see on a regular basis are not running every day or as long.
      I also notice that I can keep my weight and just loose fat/build muscle. In the end it’s about feeling awesome in life/business and not about a time in a race and risking injury/burnout. If you join us it would be great! 3 experiments of one would make at least this stat geek happy.

      • mawil1 says:

        go for it cee Jay! Start with the Nordic walking๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

      • CeeJayKay says:

        I’m so in! I hauled out my HRM this morning! Paired it again to my watch… Tomorrow I start! xxx

      • Hurray! Don’t forget to leave your ego at home ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • mawil1 says:

        Great news!!

      • CeeJayKay says:

        haaaaaa ha haaaaa haaaa!!!! hey listen… I’m probably the ONE girl out there that actually needs to SPEED up to get her heart rate in the ‘zone’ at this point in my fitness regime!!!!

      • mawil1 says:

        Great news! If you are interested the maffetone formula for maximum heart rate is 180 minus your age, if you are on regular medication subtract an additional 10, or if no meds but recently injured subtract 5 instead. ( if you have been running for 2 yrs with no injuries or problems you can add 5, and there are adaptations if you are over 65, but I just pared it down to things that I thought might be relevant to you).

      • CeeJayKay says:

        OMG figures are so not my strong point! (Off to find a calculator) ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  2. So... says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ nice to hear the happy in your running.. I’d say work on the form even if it feels more boring… Even a short period of focus despite no marked changes makes a huge difference when you up your game. Keep blogging!

  3. Definitely need the lycra Julie. There’s some serious training going on with this method, more so than just mindlessly going out to run a distance. You’re working hard physically and mentally. Doing a great job too!

  4. pwhent says:

    Well done for sticking with it Julie. I know lots of people who have tried this and said the same: “How can this apparently low effort be doing me any good”. Lots of them feel that if they aren’t completely exhausted at the end of a run it can’t do them any good and so the idea of low heart rate training. Those that stick with it all get better. I have only really recently understood the value of a long slow run in my training. Yesterday I went for a long run and averaged about 10-11 mins a mile. I would have lost patience a few years ago and run faster. Keep at it, you are doing well!

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks Peter, I think that it does work because despite thinking its a bit tedious I’m actually looking forwards to getting out again today!

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