Author Topic: MAF Method  (Read 3154 times)

MAF Method
« on: January 25, 2019, 11:36:15 pm »
This really changed my training, if you now the MAF method it is based doing the majority of your training HR at !80-age - that being 136 in my case.

Generally I do 65% at this level and the rest I tend do HIIT once.twice a week. But what I have noticed as a benefit

1. Recovery seems much better
2. On Rides I can go for longer at higher HR
3, Weight, because this is mainly in the fat burning zone, a few who had not seen me for a year said I look much better (but my diet not changed)

The principle about this is that you put less stress on your body and this gives you a much wider base than traditional training methods. I do throughly recommend it to anyone though at times it can ne slow to start with as you get fitter then the speed quickly catches up

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2019, 09:44:31 am »
I've tried it on and off over the last few years. It's not a programme for those who like to get thrills from their workouts.

Some fans of the method are very quick to denounce the 220-age method of determining MHR, only to then swear by the 180-age Max Aerobic Limit - which seems pretty selective to me.

It's a very broad brush - but there are some pretty significant success stories out there, from athletes who've literally turned their careers around using it. It seems very well suited to athletes who have broken themselves with years of chronic over-training - it's very good at resetting your aerobic base; that is, if you have the time and patience to follow it.

My MAF rate is 121. This seems crazy to me - my RHR is 55, and my most recently measured max is 190. I can barely get on a bike and pedal AT ALL for 121.

And yet, I've been able to measure some progression when following the method - in that I've gradually developed more power for the same HR.

It's a long term method, that is utterly, completely and mind-numbingly dull, but if one has the dedication to follow it through, it can work.


Pedal Castro

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    • Two beers or not two beers...
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2019, 10:13:52 am »
Not heard of it before but it sounds a bit like polarised training, e.g. 80% in Seiler zone 1 and 20% in Seiler zone 3.

For me 180-age=122, and Seiler zone 1 is 120-135. A polarised plan could be 3 HIIT sessions per week and 12-15 hours of zone 1 work. Fine if you’re retired, but hard to find the time otherwise.

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 10:18:36 am »
That's another point of course - the <Z2 work has to be high volume. For me, that's two hours a day, at <120W on the turbo. I guess I could do it - I too don't have to commute, so I could find the time. I'd have to want to more than I do though!

BTW - the HIIT addition is ianrobo's modification. The method as published by Phil Maffetone is 100% of your training volume at less than your MAF HR. No anaerobic allowed at all.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 12:26:17 pm »
hm, 143.
Seems I need to ride a bit harder...

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 07:31:39 pm »
It's daft.
How can a straightforward number minus age mean anything when peoples min & max HR are so different?
My resting HR is 45 and my max is about 175, so how is 180-age for me, the same level as it is for old man Smith up there who's older but whose heart rate runs faster?
If he'd said 'zone 2' I'd have more respect for the protocol, but no, it has to be 180-age. Ridiculous.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 07:41:10 pm »
I've used it pretty sucessfully in getting my running 5k, 10k times down and preparing for ultras.  I found it very good at either increasing overall endurance capacity or, as per OP reducing the impact of sessions as evidenced by teh recovery.

It's no different overall from most of the endurance methods out there really, even going back to a paper I found on cross country skiing as an example.  What all have in common is that to get really good at enduracne, you need to do lots of endurance stuff, with a pyramid that is a really wide base of loads of low stress, low HR that serves to build capacity. The really high intensity stuff should be short and sharp.  Most studies have shown that the pyramid becomes a diamond with people tending towards the middle and neither doing enough low intensity stuff, and the hard stuff they do is not hard enough. 

MAF is not really much different overall, with the exception of how it periodises things.  I'm not saying other methods don't periodise, but that MAF does it slightly differently.  I'll be interested to see how my HR is next week when I plan my first short run in three months
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2019, 01:00:38 pm »
Sounds just like LISS , LSD, Aerobic Threshold etc.  Improve fat burning etc.  He is a bit religious about the HR bit though as though your age determines your maximum aerobic function as the man calls it. He also says to only do MAF training for the first three months, no HIIT sessions. As Chris says it is so low stress that you need masses of volume of it to have much effect.

mattc

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Re: MAF Method
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2019, 01:17:34 pm »
...

Most studies have shown that the pyramid becomes a diamond with people tending towards the middle and neither doing enough low intensity stuff, and the hard stuff they do is not hard enough. 
More of a lozenge, IMO.

Meanwhile, as a data point, the YACF "Base Training" thread is mostly about intervals :P
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=93165.msg2363262#msg2363262
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2019, 09:29:21 pm »
Although I'm prepared to accept the general principle behind MAF, I'd find it extremely difficult to keep my HR down to 180-age on any ride involving even gentle hills. And to ride for hours at such a low level of effort in winter temperatures I'd be risking hypothermia, and probably terminal boredom. Doesn't sound like fun - but I suppose that's not really the object?

I'd be tempted just to lie about my age; I'm 76.

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2019, 09:41:06 pm »
I think increasingly we are seeing that equations like this are failing in the older athlete. I suspect 180- age is a good way of getting a 30 year old to work on aerobic base. It for 60-70 year olds with a history of exercise then I think it fails.

I try to keep my outdoor rides to a maximum HR of 130 which has really produced a big improvement in aerobic capability.

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2019, 04:57:27 pm »
Its working wonders for my marathon training this time around but I have found I need to add on huge volume - I am doing my 30-40 miles for the running ad then adding on 6-7 hours a week of maf turbo training.  The only time I break out is on my long runs where I am slowly building in some marathon pace.

I am seeing real gains.  My first marathon I was 10 minute mileing at around 160-180bpm.  Last Sunday I did 16 miles at sub 140 bpm and 5 miles at 9 min miles and only just got up to 160.

I am doing a slightly modified version so I will break out if I feel good but all my recovery runs are at Maf and I am not doing any speed work as such - its really feeling good

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2019, 05:16:30 pm »
That's similar to my experience, I found my training pace improved at a lower hr, and come race day, there was more left in the tank in the final third to either push harder on the shorter stuff or go the distance on the ultras
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2019, 05:28:03 pm »
That's similar to my experience, I found my training pace improved at a lower hr, and come race day, there was more left in the tank in the final third to either push harder on the shorter stuff or go the distance on the ultras

I guess biggest improvement I can say is that my first marathon i constantly got injured during training.  I never got beyond 35 mpw and 14 mile long run and I felt terrible most of the time.  I was doing speed work on a Saturday then long runs on sunday and just could not recover.  This time around I am u to 40 mpw and 16 mile long run and I feel pretty good.  Maybe I am just a bit more sound as a runner (I was very new to it last time) but I feel moving most of my running into sub 145bpm has just completely changed the consistency.  I am not dreading the runs and that is helping to build up the volume.

I am not scared of breaking out of MAF if it feels right but it really seems to be guiding me towards training that is sustainable and from which I am improving steadily.

My weekly volume is around 14 hours with over half of that on the turbo trainer.  Plan is to slowly start dropping out the turbo work closer to the marathon and build in some more tempo or interval work based on feel.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2019, 02:08:14 pm »
I think increasingly we are seeing that equations like this are failing in the older athlete. I suspect 180- age is a good way of getting a 30 year old to work on aerobic base. It for 60-70 year olds with a history of exercise then I think it fails.

I try to keep my outdoor rides to a maximum HR of 130 which has really produced a big improvement in aerobic capability.

 It belongs in the same bin as 220-age. I’ve had 196 recently and I’m 47. Another guy I row with is also 47 and can get over 200.

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2019, 02:17:54 pm »
The 180-age is not intended as some kind of predictor of anything, unlike the 220-age formula. Maffetone's intent is to provide a HR that guarantees everyone will be aerobic.

Well - I don't care about everyone. I care about me, and what's best for me, and as such need to find a different way of expressing my aerobic limit. Maffetone himself offers some suggestions - such as never working out at a level where you can no longer nose-breathe. It's an easy thing to measure - I can do that up to about 135/140; much higher than my 180-age limit.

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2019, 03:36:43 pm »
That's similar to my experience, I found my training pace improved at a lower hr, and come race day, there was more left in the tank in the final third to either push harder on the shorter stuff or go the distance on the ultras

I guess biggest improvement I can say is that my first marathon i constantly got injured during training.  I never got beyond 35 mpw and 14 mile long run and I felt terrible most of the time.  I was doing speed work on a Saturday then long runs on sunday and just could not recover.  This time around I am u to 40 mpw and 16 mile long run and I feel pretty good.  Maybe I am just a bit more sound as a runner (I was very new to it last time) but I feel moving most of my running into sub 145bpm has just completely changed the consistency.  I am not dreading the runs and that is helping to build up the volume.

I am not scared of breaking out of MAF if it feels right but it really seems to be guiding me towards training that is sustainable and from which I am improving steadily.

My weekly volume is around 14 hours with over half of that on the turbo trainer.  Plan is to slowly start dropping out the turbo work closer to the marathon and build in some more tempo or interval work based on feel.

Constantly getting injured just sounds like you were overtraining.  Too much stress and not enough recovery. Stress is a combination of intensity times duration.  The lower the intensity the more duration you can endure and vice versa.  It is during the recovery periods you get stronger not during the exercise which is slowly breaking your body down.   Insufficient recovery and you will start breaking down, ignore it, and it may become health threatening.

mattc

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Re: MAF Method
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2019, 05:14:05 pm »
I think this is where running differs from cycling:

Overtrain on a bike and you mainly just get knackered (and stop getting fitter)
vs
Overtrain on foot and you get injured, which sets you back lots in addition to the fatigue of overtraining.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2019, 07:57:44 pm »
MAF isn’t really designed for peak performance - although people have made it to the top using it.

What it does well is build a really strong base for you to work from - on the bike I could follow pretty much any plan and do ok.   I went from 20 stone inactive to 10,000 miles a year on the bike and never really thought too much about pace or heart rate or effort.... if I pushed it too hard I just had tired legs - no injuries and I got quicker consistently 

I think with cycling you can get away with lower volume and very high intensity for a long time ... I can’t do that on my feet and I don’t think many others can either.

When I started running I jumped into a marathon way too quick and followed all the traditional advice and got injured every time I stepped up the volume.  I got more tired and slower and weaker.   All I had to do to improve and stop that cycle was to massively cut back on intensity at the same time.   I’m getting more improvements doing none of the speed work and my body actually feels strong.

Eventually maf will stop being effective and then you add in the intensity butbst my level I do not think I will get to that point any time soon

I can only tell you from my experience it’s a superb way to improve a beginners running ability and all it really requires is a good healthy diet and a lack of ego in seeing slow mile splits pop up for a year or two

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2019, 08:03:46 pm »
REmember, MAF does not state anywhere "only do low intensity stuff to build a massive base and nothing else", it periodises just like any other plan, but has the exception of extended periods of JUST low intensity, with a strict control.

It can, as REJ has discovered, make a differene, but as always you do need to know when to step outside it.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2019, 08:15:24 pm »
I think people get annoyed with the perceived rules of MAF.  It’s really very simple old fashioned base building with periodisation built in.   The only bit that’s different is that you are forced to start our way slower than you think you should. 

I was training at around 9 min miles and it felt ok but I couldn’t improve.  Maf took me back to 11 minute plus miles which have now become high 9s.

I’m pretty sure if I wanted to I could go out next week and run a 5k Pb.   I never felt like that when I was actually training to run a 5k Pb.

My numbers are up on maf , I’m running Pb half marathons without trying and I’m fit ... good enough for me .  My aim is a sub 4 marathon so I’m not exactly elite

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2019, 12:11:00 am »
This really changed my training, if you now the MAF method it is based doing the majority of your training HR at !80-age - that being 136 in my case.

140BPM?  That sounds like a Bike Ride to me.

I can anecdotally confirm that doing Bike Rides improves my ability to ride bikes...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2019, 08:06:44 am »
I think people get annoyed with the perceived rules of MAF.  It’s really very simple old fashioned base building with periodisation built in.   The only bit that’s different is that you are forced to start our way slower than you think you should. 

I was training at around 9 min miles and it felt ok but I couldn’t improve.  Maf took me back to 11 minute plus miles which have now become high 9s.

I’m pretty sure if I wanted to I could go out next week and run a 5k Pb.   I never felt like that when I was actually training to run a 5k Pb.

My numbers are up on maf , I’m running Pb half marathons without trying and I’m fit ... good enough for me .  My aim is a sub 4 marathon so I’m not exactly elite
Spot on and more importantly it does far less damage to your body

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: MAF Method
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2019, 02:15:32 pm »
Absolutely agree. REJ is finding everything i found.  I'm looking to restart running after my injury and I think this will be a good way to make sure I don't overdo it early on.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: MAF Method
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2019, 05:00:53 pm »
If interested I did this podcast and it ties in very well with Keto but is applicable to anyone as it is about fat at higher HR rather than glucose

http://2ketodudes.com/show.aspx?episode=86