MAF method or not...

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
Im just starting to get into running/jogging ive done a couple runs at maf pace and a couple just by feel, i know maf will pay in the long run but its so boring running so slowly and much more enjoyable just running by feel

My question is would i really benefit from maf anyway if im only doing 2 runs a week, one about 2mile and one 3/3.5mile?

Or does it need more time devoted to it for people training for longer runs?

Im keeping my s&s or anything else i do under maf too, done 3 days a week
 
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move

Level 4 Valued Member
Just run by feel, if you don’t really have any running goals.
If you are an inexperienced runner or looking for ways to run easy, effortless and have better recovery from strength training , try to stick to MAF running for 12 weeks or so. Your average speed per mile will improve too. Ideally I would work to 2 -3 weekly sessions of 30 - 45 min runs. After 12 weeks you can change it up a bit. Try shorter runs at higher pace , intervals and sprints.
 

BennyWalks

Level 2 Valued Member
Just bear in mind if you start to feel sluggish etc throughout your day, you may benefit from building that aerobic base.

If you wanna dump the heart monitor, a less precise alternative is: can I speak in a complete sentance, am I breathing exclusively through nose, do I feel that could I do the whole thing over again on finishing
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Im just starting to get into running/jogging ive done a couple runs at maf pace and a couple just by feel, i know maf will pay in the long run but its so boring running so slowly and much more enjoyable just running by feel

My question is would i really benefit from maf anyway if im only doing 2 runs a week, one about 2mile and one 3/3.5mile?

Or does it need more time devoted to it for people training for longer runs?

Im keeping my s&s or anything else i do under maf too, done 3 days a week
Ultimately the idea is to run easy... not slowly. But you need to pay your dues to get there.
 

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
Yeah i get it if i were training for longer runs etc but a couple 30min runs a week, am i going to benefit from it?

Where i live is very hilly and its hard to keep it under 140, it offen goes to 160
 
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Coyote

Level 5 Valued Member
I am not real sure that amount of running does you any good, no matter how you do it. You might be better served to get another S&S training session in.
Something is better than nothing, but MAF is a high volume program. To really get aerobic improvements you need a minimum of 30 minutes per session and 6 hours a week. Maffetone actually recommends a warm up of atleast 10 minutes at 10 beats lower then target.
 

Coyotl

Level 6 Valued Member
If you have no goals and just want to do what you enjoy, train how you like.

If you’re looking for performance or specific health benefits, then constraints may need to be applied.

If niggling injuries start popping up, “doing what you enjoy” isn’t working and constraints may be needed.

A lot of your posts make me think you’re exploring possibilities of staying active without any goals, other than being enjoyable. If you enjoy what you’re doing and it isn’t causing injuries, then it’s doing exactly what you asked.
 

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
A lot of your posts make me think you’re exploring possibilities of staying active without any goals, other than being enjoyable. If you enjoy what you’re doing and it isn’t causing injuries, then it’s doing exactly what you asked.

Yeah, just trying to stay active is right really, juggling what i can do and cant do, i find i get sluggish very easy if u do too much, which as it seems isnt alot these days.
I have future goals but nothing other than staying healthy at the moment.
Exploring things i enjoy and can fit in around work and family is the tough part.

I would like to be able to run 5k under 30mims comfortably 2 or 3 times a week.

I used maf last yr but got a couple little injuries and stoped, looking back at my strava it seems i didn't really do maf properly, was a little too high with the hr.
Gets hard as the weather gets hotter as it increases the hr quite alot meaning my runs gets even slower!

Id like to complete simple wich i could have done along time ago if i was consistent with it.

Id like to be able to use double 24s for clean press sqaut for reps without too much trouble.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
To really get aerobic improvements you need a minimum of 30 minutes per session and 6 hours a week.
This is not consistent with my personal experience. I've subjectively seen improvements from one 60 minute session, and I've seen improvements from working at even lower intensities than MAF, both unloaded walking with my dog and using a NordicTrack skier. By "seen improvements" I mean not getting as out of breath or tired playing basketball

I never enjoyed sustained aerobic exercise and so never did much of it. If was playing a lot of basketball, I got in good shape for basketball. But if I was coming off a layoff from playing, I'd be (to quote Charles Barkley) "sucking wind through every hole I could get it in," regardless of how much strength, "metcon," or high intensity interval training I had been doing off the court. I was convinced that there was really no way to do "conditioning" for full court basketball other than actually playing basketball.

But then I stumbled across an article on conditioning that asked a question that really resonated with my experience (paraphrasing from memory -- unfortunately I do not remember where I saw the article or the author's name): "How come you are doing tons of metcons and high intensity intervals and still gassing out when you compete?" The article then focused on the importance of a big aerobic base.

It was lightbulb moment, like when Pavel asked in PTTP, "If training to failure is so great, why has your bench been stuck on 185 since Arnold's last movie?"

Around this time I added two new (to me) modalities to my training. One was A+A style KB work, mainly using snatches, double cleans, and clubbell and mace swings. A+A gave me permission to take lots of rest between sets, minimizing the perceived level of effort of my training sessions, trying NOT to "keep my heartrate up," and just generally keeping training sessions relaxed -- letting the accumulated time and volume do the work instead of the intensity of my effort. I probably keep my A+A sessions more relaxed and take more rest between sets than most others who use A+A.

The other was adding some low intensity locomotive aerobic training, mainly using a NordicTrack cross country ski machine while watching sports on TV. I never used a heartrate monitor, but stuck to a comfortable level of effort I could sustain with exclusively nasal breathing and that I could sustain for an hour at a time (and still feel like I could continue basically indefinitely if I had to). I mostly did one hour sessions, often only one per week and never really more than 3 sessions in a week. Recently, I also adopted a new young dog who needs lots of walking, so I try to get in at least one walk of at least 30 minutes (and often 60 or more), plus a couple of 15 minute walks.

BTW, since I've started doing more walking, I've noticed a lot of positive effects on my posture, thoracic/shoulder mobility, and how my back feels. When I walk regularly, I can tolerate a lot of sitting and working at a computer without ill effects. When people talk about the negative effects of sitting, I'm convinced that they are less directly related to sitting and more to not walking enough.

Once I had been doing this for a while, all of a sudden I stopped getting tired on the basketball court. And if I had a layoff from playing, I still had excellent stamina when I started up again. The difference was very dramatic from what I had experience most of my training and playing life. And it not only comes at a low recovery cost, but I believe also enhances recovery from other activities.

One significant caveat is that this transition in training coincided with a period where age (I'm now 56) and accumulated orthopedic injuries and arthritis really began to catch up with me. The high school kids, college students, and twentysomethings I play with often compliment me on my conditioning (maybe they're just being nice), and I now joke that I can't run fast enough or jump high enough to get tired ;-). But even within that context, I am convinced that my training made a clear difference in my fitness for playing.

tl;dr: IMO, in the context of general health and fitness, even a relatively small amount of sustained low intensity aerobic exercise is worthwhile and it would be a mistake to think that it isn't worth it if you don't do long sessions and many hours a week.
 

Coyotl

Level 6 Valued Member
Yeah, just trying to stay active is right really, juggling what i can do and cant do, i find i get sluggish very easy if u do too much, which as it seems isnt alot these days.
I have future goals but nothing other than staying healthy at the moment.
Exploring things i enjoy and can fit in around work and family is the tough part.

I would like to be able to run 5k under 30mims comfortably 2 or 3 times a week.

I used maf last yr but got a couple little injuries and stoped, looking back at my strava it seems i didn't really do maf properly, was a little too high with the hr.
Gets hard as the weather gets hotter as it increases the hr quite alot meaning my runs gets even slower!

Id like to complete simple wich i could have done along time ago if i was consistent with it.

Id like to be able to use double 24s for clean press sqaut for reps without too much trouble.
It sounds like doing what you like is fine for now, and if you don’t want to run easy, you don’t have to. But remember that easy running has become a major component of training in the past 20+ years. Not to mention if you’re training easy, even when you’re feeling sluggish it’s mentally easy to go out and just walk or run easily.

We don’t have to exercise certain ways. We can do what is enjoyable. When we start wanting to train towards something, we usually have to start doing things that we don’t like - highlight our weaknesses - which can be quite uncomfortable. This is where a good coach or personal trainer can be a blessing.

As For going slow, Mark Allen started training with Maffetone and to stay inside his goal heart rate he was doing like 6.5 min kilometers (that’s almost 11 min/mile pace). But he stuck to the method. In I think two years he dropped that to i think 3.5 min kilometers. Slowing down can be painful... but it can also pay huge dividends! I can’t imagine an “easy run” with a sun-6 min mile pace!!!

Sorry for rambling, I hope you got something out of this conversation. :)
 

BennyWalks

Level 2 Valued Member
I am not real sure that amount of running does you any good, no matter how you do it. You might be better served to get another S&S training session in.
Something is better than nothing, but MAF is a high volume program. To really get aerobic improvements you need a minimum of 30 minutes per session and 6 hours a week. Maffetone actually recommends a warm up of atleast 10 minutes at 10 beats lower then target.

This sounds like a lot...do you have a source? Could you clarify what you mean by 'really' get improvements?

No worries if you have nothing to hand though :)
 

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
I think i will give it a go for 12 weeks and see how i get on, the main thing i like is that i can get up the following morning to do my kettlebell workout
This weekend i just ran by feel and although i enjoyed the run more got a good time (for me) the day after i feel tired and not able to do much at all.

So i will stick to MAF running tues and sat poss thurs if i feel up to it and my kettlebells MWF keeping that under 140bpm too as i feel better through the day like that.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

2 30 minutes MAF sessions a week are obviously better than sitting on the couch. However, if one looks for noticible cardio vascular improvement, 4x sessions or more would be better, IMHO.

I noticed that 4 sessions of 35-40 are 'enough' to see results and are easily doable day in day out.

Nasal breathing can be a good starting point to secure Z1-Z2 (aerobic zone) and so make these sessions repeatable. Some sort of 'box breathing' (done with the nose) also work well to stay relaxed. For example inhale 4 times, while doing 4 strides then exhale the same way.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

vegpedlr

Level 6 Valued Member
Disciplined MAF training is always good.

Until it’s not.

There is a point where to improve, you must increase volume. But that is dependent on your goals. The more ambitious the goal, the more volume you will need to build to. But low to moderate volume are still beneficial. Maffetone says most athletes, regardless of level, train too much.

Walk when needed and run when you can. All trail runners and ultra runners hike a lot due to terrain variation.
 
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