New toy!!

So far so good with my new goal of averaging 14 miles per week. My garmin app sort of rolls the week along, always doing the last 7 days or tha last 4weeks. So I’m on 11.8 miles for the last 7 days and averaging 1.3 miles per day for the last month. No binge running! No 5 mile runs followed by 4days off😊

But my new toy😊!!!

It’s actually an app not a piece of gear.


So what is it?  Well. Every morning when I wake up I click on the icon on my phone and put my finger over the camera lens for a minute. It measures my pulse, so I get my resting pulse but it also measures ‘heart rate variation’ that is how much difference there is in the size of the gaps between heartbeats. Basically, the more stressed you are, either physically through overtraining, or psychologically due to life,  the more stress hormones there are circulating in your body increasing the sensitivity of your autonomic nervous system, the bit of the nervous system that controls your heartrate. The less regular it is, the more stressed you are. (I think.)So that’s enough science, I suggest that you google it if you want to know more☺️

back to the app.

Once you have done your HRV measurement the app asks you about how much training you have been doing, how you are eating, sleeping, feeling, alcohol etc.  It doesn’t have my HR data, but it does link with strava which I don’t currently use.

Then it calculates your recovery score and advises you how hard you should train that day. Interestingly I’ve had feedback from it one time telling me that my physiology was off so take it easy even though I felt OK,  and another time telling me my physiology was OK  but that my other measures weren’t so it was up to me what I did that day! Also, sometimes a higher resting pulse is associated with a better stress score, which is interesting because I always thought that a lower pulse was associated with better fitness (unless overtrained, which I never thought I was).

This app dovetails well with my MAF training. Often I alternate running at 8kph until my HR goes over MAF with walking at 5kph until my HR comes back down.  It usually comes out at an average 6kph.  After doing an hour at MAF at the weekend my scores went down(stressed). This week, with my foot still being a bit sore, I thought that I would just walk at 6kph instead of fast/slow. It was good because it kept my HR nice and steady just where it should be at my MAF threshold and not above it but sad because I didn’t feel like it was improving my running. Because I wasn’t running was I?

So what to make of this? Compared to last year where I was running 7.5 mins/km now I’m walking at 10mins/km albeit at a lower heart rate (120 vs 140+). It doesn’t sound like progress does it?

However I’m going to stick with it,go with the flow,(insert your own cliche) whatever!

So why?

I actually think that I am getting fitter. I can take the stairs at work now (8 flights) without stopping or suffering the same breathlessness that I used to. I wore my HR monitor doing it on Monday and it only took my HR up to 104.

I also think that I will be able to increase my mileage this way and I think that improving my endurance at MAF will ultimately increase my speed. So sometimes I will fast walk, sometimes I will walk/run.

So I’m sticking with my new year plan, 14miles per week at MAF for 3months. I wonder if I will be running at MAF by the end of March?


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 fitness, fun, garmin, habits, heartrate, low intensity, maffetone methid, middle aged women, running, slow run, stats geek, Stress, training plan, treadmill. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to New toy!!

  1. pwhent says:

    Well done Julie. It’s good to see someone with a plan and sticking to it. You know I am a fan of MAF. The problem is that too many people lose confidence and don’t believe that training at such low speeds/intensity can possibly be doing them any good. Your perseverance and patience will pay off. Keep with it!!

    • mawil1 says:

      I’m prepared to give it until March! And as I don’t have any goals other than getting fitter I’ve nothing to lose😊 The MAF Facebook page is really good, lots of people at different stages in their MAF journey and it was there that I realised that I might be better doing a shorter distance more frequently so we’ll see how it goes!

  2. Whatever gets you moving is a win-win in my book.

    I don’t have my phone in the bedroom, although I always have wanted to do my resting heart rate (but unfortunately that would probably wake up my husband, as I get up much earlier than him).

  3. Darlene says:

    That is pretty cool. My watch shows my heart rate but I forget to check it often.

    Congrats on getting your miles in. You’re doing great.

  4. Gareth says:

    Sounds good to me in a whatever floats your boat kinda way! If it works for you it works for you and so don’t be afraid to stick at it!

  5. 50in50marathonquest says:

    That app sounds very interesting…I’ll have to check it out. I have a watch that has a built-in HRM but I never wear it through the night so never have a good handle on my resting HR. Good luck with your plan!

  6. oscardiamond says:

    You’ve obviously got a handle on this app and good experience with MAF. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and in this case you’ve got to eat it slowly before pronouncing on it. But if you can identify some positives all ready, possibly the writings on the wall. You are a winner! So many roads lead to Rome. A chum of mine is doing the Cambridge half with the Galloway method of run/walking. I’ve run out of cliches but sentiments are genuine.

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