I watched His Lordship complete his first MAF test two years ago. His coach told him, “We’re going to slow you down to get you faster.” Methodology I don’t quite understand, however it makes a bit of sense that after going much slower than your average pace for a longer period of time, you only want to go faster.
He completed another MAF test the following month. And then the month after that. And after that. His times improved. Then came the big day—his first Ironman—where he saw his maximum aerobic fitness really come into play.
On his marathon course, I noticed how effortless he looked. Granted, anyone who knows him will probably remark that he always looks effortless in every race regardless the distance, but this was after a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride. Most of the time, after the pros in an Ironman, it begins to look similar to a death march. The work that he had accomplished over his course of training—getting faster paces at a heart rate of 150-155—was evident in the final miles of his Ironman. Before the race, Coach Sonja told him he could go faster if he wanted. But he couldn’t. His body was on autopilot at a 150 heart rate.
Cut to two years later, I finally completed my first MAF test.
For 10 laps around the Great Lawn, I was practically speed walking. And every time I thought I was going slow enough (per my heart rate), I wasn’t.
The upside to this, is that I felt I could go on for several miles. The downside, is that “going on for several miles” would take forever, and I’d probably end up being bored with myself.
So, who knows if this will make me faster. But I’m optimistic.