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Today's run even worse yet! Didn't think that was possible! Today I was even slower on a flat route than compared with my previous worst run (which was already tragically bad compared to the others), and that was done on a slow/hilly route just to make things worse. HR was through the roof as well. Not enjoying the runs either.

It can only get better from here. I hope? :notrust:
 

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Thanks guys, that last one just felt stupid!

My max HR is 200 - I'm pretty confident that's right to within 2-3bpm. My resting HR is around 75, so my MAF HR is in zone 1. I think my heart rate's high for my age, so I wouldn't be surprised if the 180- formula isn't quite right for me.

I'm going to try sticking to around 150-160 and see if that's more comfortable. If not then I'll just go for a comfortable pace and see if my HR comes down over time.

Jono - I could be wrong but it sounds like you're worn out. Might be time for a week off, especially if you're not enjoying it right now. You've made loads of progress and I'm sure a few days off won't do any harm - sounds like you need it!
 

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I think there can be problems with the MAF approach. Cause when you're starting out, your HR increases rapidly no matter what, so not always a perfect indicator. And if it's interfering with your form so much that you're more inefficient (higher HR) trying to jog than walk, that doesn't sound optimal either.
But that is what it is like, and sticking with it does yield results. It is simply that at the beginning you feel really stupid for doing what is basically nothing more than running on the spot. Trust in the method, it really works well for a lot of people.
 

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Thanks guys, that last one just felt stupid!

My max HR is 200 - I'm pretty confident that's right to within 2-3bpm. My resting HR is around 75, so my MAF HR is in zone 1. I think my heart rate's high for my age, so I wouldn't be surprised if the 180- formula isn't quite right for me.

I'm going to try sticking to around 150-160 and see if that's more comfortable. If not then I'll just go for a comfortable pace and see if my HR comes down over time.

Jono - I could be wrong but it sounds like you're worn out. Might be time for a week off, especially if you're not enjoying it right now. You've made loads of progress and I'm sure a few days off won't do any harm - sounds like you need it!
If you are 30 and in good form your max HR would be around 150, or maybe slightly lower at 145.
 

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But that is what it is like, and sticking with it does yield results. It is simply that at the beginning you feel really stupid for doing what is basically nothing more than running on the spot. Trust in the method, it really works well for a lot of people.
The key part being: It only works for a particular person if the formula happens to agree approximately with what would be seen in a lab test for that person. Which is an impossible thing for a formula to be able to do for every single person. So there are gonna be exceptions (and more of them than they're willing to admit IMO). That said, it happens to be fairly accurate for me: approx 158bpm (180 - 22). I'd say I'm still aerobic at 163bpm though, which is why I run at 158-163bpm mostly for best bang for buck. It's a feeling more than anything else that I go by: easy but with a purpose - low breathing - low stress - repeatable/recoverable daily.

If it's really far out for someone, then they're not gonna progress very well if at all. The body adapts to running stress so that you can improve. In the case of aerobic stress you'd want it to be as high as possible for best results. Lower is not better. There are plenty of examples like this:

"Matt Fieldwalker 9 months ago
I was equally confused with the MAF method. (A friend recommended it).
At 45yrs, my max HR is 185+. 135 bpm is walking speed. I'm aerobic running at 155 to 165bpm (tested). His HR formula has me at walking speed for months of workouts??!! Didn't make sense to me, cheers for addressing."

One really good way to determine/approximate your aerobic zone is to do a race like a 5km and then compare it with the MAF table or put it into a calculator like the Jack Daniels one. It'll tell you your easy pace or you can extrapolate your MAF pace from it. From there you can go and do some field tests. So if the calculators/tables suggest your aerobic/easy/MAF pace is 10:00/mile, then you can go out and jog at 10:00/mile (in decent conditions) and see what HR this corresponds to. This will be a better estimation of your aerobic HR than following a generalised formula. If it happens to fit the formula then you're fairly lucky.

The reason not to use max HR is that two people can have the same max HR but different threshold HRs. Depending on how fit they are, one could have a threshold HR which is only 70% of their max HR, whereas the other could have one which is 90% of it. And whether you're aerobic or not would depend more strongly on this value, not your max HR. Statistically, aerobic HR would be roughly 20bpm less than threshold HR. So it'd be better to do a threshold test than a max test if wanting to go by numbers.
 

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Gonna get more seriously into this approach from now on. Tonight, roughly 50mins/5.8miles @ 8:38/mile.

MAF=158bpm, so I ran in the MAF to MAF-10bpm range (148-158bpm) as recommended. Mostly ~153bpm once settled. Usually I run at <163bpm, so this was slightly different. Felt a lot more enjoyable I guess. Or maybe because I jogged in the dark. Felt cool.

That said, last month I commute jogged the same time/distance home @ 8:41/mile at the same heart rate as tonight. And this was all done with a backpack, not to mention after having already commute jogged 5.8miles in the morning. Lol.

So I can't say that I'm particularly happy about the current situation. But I'm going to forget about what I could do before, wipe the slate clean and look at the stats starting from this week going forward.
 

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Today, 76mins/8.9miles @ 8:37/mile. Same HR as yesterday (~153bpm once settled). Felt really good. Natural running form and cadence. This'll be my data point for comparison going forward.
 

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If you are 30 and in good form your max HR would be around 150, or maybe slightly lower at 145.
Unless you meant 'max heart rate' to mean somehing else, thats not right, a persons maxhr is entirely personal, and is for most is around 170-200, and usually is fixed doesnt change a great deal. Establishing your maxhr isnt easy, those formulas dont really work for everyone.
 

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Today, 76mins/8.9miles @ 8:37/mile. Same HR as yesterday (~153bpm once settled). Felt really good. Natural running form and cadence. This'll be my data point for comparison going forward.
Thats excellent jono, i agree that slightly slower pace but longer distance will serve you well. Do you have any running or race goals? Pbing in a race is good to guage if its working too! Id add a monthly parkrun or similar into the mix.
 

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Cheers Gary. As I said before, MAF definitely not accurate for some people, but I'm fairly sure it is for me.

I've been comparing my projected HR & pace zones from all methods & sources and field testing them out to make sure I'm in the right ballpark. E.g.
  • According to MAF, marathon intensity (subject to individual difference) is roughly MAF+5-10bpm (163-168bpm for me).
  • Half marathon intensity is roughly MAF+10-15bpm (168-173bpm).
  • Daniels' running calculator easy/marathon/threshold paces agree fairly well when compared to above.

Also my HR zones have definitely lowered since I began. Probably because I was unfit before, so my HR sky-rocketed no matter what. Nowadays they're more like this:
  • High 170s (around 180bpm) is my lactate threshold (1 hour race pace).
  • Low 170s is half marathon intensity, although could probably do mid 170s. (Kind of agrees with MAF+10-150bpm = 168-173bpm.)
  • 160s range is marathon intensity, although lower 160s probably safer. (Kind of agrees with MAF+5-10bpm = 163-168bpm.)
  • 150s range is a non-bonking, all-day type of intensity. Today I had runner's high and checked out the scenery. Running out of carbs/energy was a non-issue as I was probably fat burning.

So I think I can definitely benefit from keeping HR in the 148-158bpm MAF zone instead of 160s like previous runs. There is a fairly big difference in feeling between 150s and 160s. I was probably overdoing it a bit before.
 

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Did another short 30mins @ 8:35/mile earlier. GPS error at the start, so probably more like 8:27/mile (according to my 2.7mi private segment loop which starts after the error).

It's only now after 3 days of running in my new zone that I realise I was overdoing it before. I think it's because we get used to stress and so our perceived exertions go out of sync with what we're actually doing. Took me 3 runs to get back in sync. Can easily get used to running "harder" and not "feeling" it as harder, which is bad. So my "max aerobic HR" is probably in agreement with Maffetone after all, even though in the past I was "convinced" I was "still aerobic at 163bpm". Big mistake. MAF zone feels sustainable "indefinitely", whereas above it would be a slow burner (several hours in theory), still sustainable for a long time, but not "fat-burning mode". With this proper aerobic zone I reckon I will start making good progress again. Feeling really positive about everything now!

My pace at MAF/158 is probably ~8:15 at the moment, seeing as am doing 8:27 at well below it (barely reached 150 at end of today's run). I can still do a better a 5km than an ~8:15 MAF pace predicts according to the tables though, so my aerobic system is still underdeveloped.

Hopefully I can see it head towards a proper sub 8 MAF in the coming months. That will be amazing (for me) if I can get to it.
 

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This week:

MON: Sub Threshold - 24mins @ 7:00/mile
TUE: Maf - 50mins @ 8:39/mile @ 150bpm avg
WED: Maf - 76mins @ 8:37/mile @ 150bpm avg
THU: Maf - 31mins @ 8:35/mile @ 142bpm avg
FRI: Maf - 50mins @ 8:37/mile @ 146bpm avg + Strides
SAT: Maf - 50mins @ 8:26/mile @ 147bpm avg + Strides

Total: 4h44m / 33.7mi
 

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"Matt Fieldwalker 9 months ago
I was equally confused with the MAF method. (A friend recommended it).
At 45yrs, my max HR is 185+. 135 bpm is walking speed. I'm aerobic running at 155 to 165bpm (tested). His HR formula has me at walking speed for months of workouts??!! Didn't make sense to me, cheers for addressing."
Ok, I accept that everyone is different, but the point that Maffetone always stresses is that at first, the speed you go is almost walking pace. I had five year old children walking past me in the street when I started. For this reason alone, most people dismiss the MAFF HR as way too low. The results start to come very quickly however, within a few weeks, and you will find that instead of jogging at a snail pace you are jogging along quite nicely at a low HR. It does work.
 

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read a good QUOTE recently.
Man ; I cant run MAF its far to slow.
coach ; IF YOU GET FITTER YOU CAN.
CAC:d
 

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Useful quotes from the one and only legendary triathlete Mark Allen himself, regarding aerobic training:

"Max HR is a number that is partially a reflection of your age (the older you are the lower it will get), partly a reflection of your overall fitness, and very much influenced by your aerobic/anaerobic development. If a person has done tons of speedwork but little true aerobic base building their max HR will be very high for their age. The average as you most likely know is supposed to be 220-age=maxHR. However, if someone always trains fairly fast they will never develop a good aerobic base and their max HR will be well above that predicted number. Not only that but their heart comfort levels will be skewed way up also. So if that person has say a max aerobic HR in our training of 140 they may still feel comfortable running at 160. However, just because a person is comfortable training at a high heart rate that does not mean that they are necessarily going to be going extra fast at that high heart rate. But back to our formula and max heart rate. Once you start to develop your aerobic/anaerobic fitness balance by doing some pure aerobic work (which can be painfully slow for someone who has never done this) they will find that their max HR begins to drop, but also that they are going to be going faster at that lower max than they did at the higher max because they are now balancing their body's fitness development. If you base training zones off of an out-of-balance person's high max HR, they will alway be training at too high of a HR and will never ever maximize either their fitness or their racing potential. As a personal example, I came from a swimming background where all my training was anaerobic and almost no aerobic. My max heart rate at age 22 was about 215, which was almost 20 beats above what it should have been. Then in triathlons once I started to work with heart rate training and slowed my workouts down my max heart rate began to drop. Eventually at age 28 it was about 178, almost 15 beats below what would have been expected from the formula. But I was going so much faster at that lower max than I did at the high max simply because I had a good aerobic/anaerobic fitness balance. The process was not an easy one, however. Initially I had to slow my run pace down by over three minutes per mile from my normal training pace just to keep my HR from skyrocketing. I had to walk every hill and slow to a crawl at the end of every moderately long run. But over time I was able to run aerobically at under a 5:30 pace! I hope that helps,"

"Above that max aerobic heart rate is the point where you cause the adrenal system to rev up and kick in its hormones, some of which will turn off fat burning. This is what happens in speed work. Some stimulation of this system increases fitness. You want to do thing periodically at the right times in your training to get really fast and strong. You don't want to do this every week of the year because it will inhibit your potential. These zones do not relate to max heart rate. Your max HR (heart rate) is linked to the amount of aerobic and anaerobic fitness you have. If someone goes hard all the time, they will stimulate the anaerobic system all the time (a high stress situation) and end up with a very underdeveloped aerobic fat burning system as well as find that their max HR is very high. However, just because their max HR is high DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY ARE GOING FAST! In fact, most people who have a higher than predicted max HR are going relatively slow at that heart rate. This is because they do not have aerobic fitness, which you gain by training at or below your aerobic max heart rate."

"What you are describing is what all athletes should be hoping for in their fitness gains. You are going faster at a lower heart rate. That is the ideal situation for an endurance athlete. And this happens when one does the appropriate amount of base aerobic work along with just the right amount of high heart rate speed work. One of the reasons that the max HR drops has to do with how the body accesses fuel. If someone does not have a developed aerobic system, they cannot access fat for fuel, but can access carbs. Carbs come into play in as a majority source of fuel above your aerobic max HR. If you do not have the capacity to burn fat for fuel, the body will actually kick the heart rate up quickly so that it can access carbs. Keep in mind that this fat/carb fuel mixture is exactly that...a mixture. You are never burning only fat, and almost never burning pure carb except at the extremely high output level. But without the ability to burn fat, the heart has to work really hard to keep delivering carb to the working muscle. There are additional hormonal reasons why the max will change with a better balance in the workouts, but that is the short version."
 

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Those are big quotes ;)

So when you gonna put all this HR training to good use jono and race something? Anything lined up for the summer?
 

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Gary that's what I've been doing all along lol, although kind of slacked off the last 1-2 months

Did a hard thresholdy/hard'ish type of run with the parkrunners at the beginning of January https://www.strava.com/activities/466272184
I don't plan on doing anything else for a while though

The original plan at start of year was half marathon in June, still unsure if I will do it though. Entry price is a rip off!
 

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Just started running again after only a couple of runs in 6 months. Will try this method and try to do about 45K a week. Started a year or so ago but didn't continue for whatever reason. Will do this for about 4 months and will monitor the results. Any of the original posters still doing this ? CAC.
 

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So its now been 1 week since i started MAFF training and today did a MAFF TEST so I can compare foture times and heart rates.

Overall it has been very easy, I have had to adjust my MAFF HR from 129 to 135 for 2 reasons.
1, I read a lot of reports and interviews stating that the 180 - age for HR is not set in stone and is NOT a 1 size fits all value.
2, I found on my 1st couple of runs that 129bpm is just a very awkward and nonrhythmic pace to run at the moment. I upped it to 135bpm and it seems pretty good.

I tend to keep an eye on my watch , if its in the mid 130s then I keep the pace, if im floating around 139-142 then I slow a tad. Overall its trending at around 137bpm and im happy to use that as my yardstick.

Ironically ive actually found running MORE enjoyable using MAFF as I know im not going to be shattered every time i finish.

Today I done the 3 mile test so I can compare future runs.
The runs I did were a lap of a local lake that is 1.46km ( 0.91 mile ). Dont think it really matters that its not a full mile as its only a referance point to compare and if I use same lap and MAFF HR for future runs we will see what the result are.

Lap 1 9m 00
Lap 2 9M 14
Lap 3 9m 34

5min WU and 5 min CD.

I have also been keeping an eye from the start on Beats per KM also for reference.
This started at 952 beats per K on my 1st run with HRM to today's run with 878 beats per km. I will put this down to just my fitness that I have lost over 6 months coming back. Dont think this this is MAFF working ( just yet :d )

I will try to do an update each week or 2 with progress and stats. CAC
 

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I did MAF for a bit last year and got a marathon pb a few months after starting it, I did the marathon at MAF + 20, anyway u slacked off after that and have just started again, my MAF pace is very slow now around 13 min miles, work to do.....


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