MAF Training

I bought a book a while back written by Dr Philip Maffetone, The Big Book of Endurance and Training. It came recommended from a website I follow and as I am training for a marathon I figured it would be a good, interesting read. At the end of the day running a marathon is all about endurance.

Dr Philip Maffetone goes into amazing detail about the body, how it works, how it trains and the benefits/downfalls of aerobic vs anaerobic training.

Putting it simply aerobic training is training where your heart rate is kept at a lower rate and uses fat burning to fuel your body during exercise, anaerobic takes your heart rate to a much higher level and whilst used by many athletics and training programmes can have its downfalls on your body. 

MAF training uses the 180 rule, taking a starting heart rate of 180 less your age and then adding or subtracting amounts to reach your ideal maximum aerobic heart rate. 

For me it is 180 less my age 42 =138 beats per minute. The principal being that when I run my heart rate never goes above 138. To record  this a heart rate monitor is required there is no other way you could track your heart rate whilst running without one. 

I use a Garmin Vivoactive and to save having to keep checking I have set up an alarm to notify me when my heart rate reaches 138. 

I have to be totally honest running at a maximum heart rate of 138 is quite difficult, at times it is a very slow pace so much so at times i was walking to bring the rate back down.  During the book many examples are given of elite athletes using the technique and struggling the same as I have. I was really quite lucky as my pace was only just over 10 minutes 10.28 per mile which is over 1 1/2 minutes per mile slower than  my normal pace.

Dr Maffetone and all of the reviews show that over a period of time whilst your heart rate will stay below the designated amount (for me 138) your speed will actually increase (sometimes considerably) as your aerobic fitness improves.

Sticking to the MAF training is going to take hard work and dedication, it’s probably going to be a slow process but overall from everything I have read it will benefit my health, Fitness, endurance and speed.

So day 1 I did 3.76 miles in 39.31 minuted at an average pace of 10.28 per mile. To see how over the next few months this improves and how I improve too.

Watch this space đź’—


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