Experimenting with the MAF method
I’m really enjoying discovering new blogs and reading other people’s posts tagged with the #100DaysToOffload. One I came across jist over a month ago has had a big impact on my approach to exercise.
In this post, Graham Williams (who goes by the handle ‘gray’) talks about experimenting with a month of using the MAF approach to his training.
There’s no need for a lot of waffle here. We’re looking to train in a low HR zone – I need to know my targets. This is how you get that:
Subtract your age from 180, then modify from one of the categories listed. For me this worked out to be 180 – 34 = 146 (Training consistently for ~ 2 years without injury).Graham Williams
I’m five years older than Graham, so my target should be 141. By way of context, my heart rate has often been around 160-165bpm when finishing exercise.
The creator of this system, Phil Maffetone, suggests that you may add 5 to your target heart rate “if you are a competitive athlete training for more than a year without issues”. I’m not a competitive athlete, but I’ve been doing regular exercise ever since I can remember, so I decided that I’d aim to stay in the 141-146 range during exercise.
I have an Amazfit Bip smartwatch which allows me to see my heart rate in realtime while I run. While it’s not as accurate as a chest strap, I’ll not be buying or wearing one of those anytime soon, so it’s the best I’ve got for now.
It’s been almost a month since trying this approach and, looking at my data (11 runs) I can see that I’m running slower, sometimes much slower, as heart rate depends on multiple factors. For example, when we were on holiday in Devon, it was hotter and I was drinking more alcohol.
On average, this approach has slowed down my average pace by ~20 seconds per kilometre, which is significant. I can feel it while running, wanting to go a bit faster, as this method doesn’t really get the endorphins flowing.
What it does do, however, is ensure that I’m not exhausted after running first thing in the morning. I tend to be hard on myself, so the MAF approach looks like a simple way to have a more sustainable approach to my exercise regime.
This post is Day 28 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com