I did a MAP test this morning. Despite the heat, it turned out pretty good.
MAP stands for Maximum Aerobic Pace. At least, that's the definition I use. There are some variations on the exact terms, but the meaning is the same. In my case, the test is three miles on the track with a heart rate cap (153 for me). The objective isn't to go fast, it's to understand your aerobic pace -- how "fast" you can go without generating lactate (as in lactic acid, not breast milk).
There are various formulas to get that HR cap, but most of them point to 152-154 for me. The important thing isn't to get the exact scientifically perfected HR formula, rather, it's to find something that works and test it repeatedly.
I'd probably be able to track the trend better if I tested every month, but with my limited training time, I prefer to get a regular run in instead of "losing" a session testing every four weeks.
Here are the results from the four tests I've done since I started up training after Lake Placid last fall.
So that's cool. I'm not exactly sure what this means for my race capability, but it's kind of exciting. Consistent training does make you fitter. Who knew?