Yesterday I decided to do a two-hour time trial with my heart rate controlled to my maximum aerobic pace!!. This is inspired by the Maf-test (for “maximum aerobic function”) developed by Dr. Phil Maffetone, one of the earliest proponents of training to develop this capacity. His version is only 30 minutes. I made it two hours because it is a good way to come up with a longer challenge without overdoing it.
The problem with longer challenges is that you can get exuberant and go at a pace that feels good at the time but is actually at a moderate intensity steady state pace, which is not thought to be good for long-term health. By holding yourself to the upper end of your aerobic zone this is avoided. So I went out and back on the Coyote Creek trail to Metcalf park in just over two hours (2:03:33) at an average pace of 13 mph. Now the idea is to repeat that once a month or so and see if the speed improves. It felt great, challenging but not too much, and I didn’t feel “trashed” afterward.