It’s common for runners to hit a plateau in their training and racing. I’ve been stuck for a few years, and I was looking for a new training technique. I wanted to be injury free for more than a few months and also be able to break 2:59 in the marathon. It would be nice if I could finish a long run not feeling 100% drained. I read this post from /r/running on reddit.com, which help lead me down the correct path.
He hit on all the major points I felt I needed work. Pacing, diet, and how to recover properly. He achieved the target time that I was pursuing, 2:55-2:59. So, I followed in his foot steps, in the hope of improving. I picked up a copy of this book and started to make the necessary changes with my diet. It hasn’t been easy. Most will say you are crazy for giving up carbs as a runner.
The easiest way I found is to get a nice blender and start to make smoothies. I don’t have the time to eat different fruits and veggies, but having them blended into a nice, tasty, and portable drink has made it 100x easier. In just a few short weeks, I was down 10 pounds from cutting refined carbs.
I’m at 2 months and my MAF tests have been improving. The MAF test gives you a way to monitor your progress, and it’s been a great training tool. That, tied with the HR monitor, gives you all of the feedback you need to set a proper pacing strategy for training. It should help you stay injury free, if you can stay under your target HR calculated by the 180 formula. I will say, it can be frustrating at first, as it will feel as if you are running too slow.
The true test will be at my next three races, the Sloppy Cuckoo, Blue Cruise 50K, and Bucks County Marathon. I’m hoping this strategy will give me the edge I need, to perform well and break my running rut.