Do I have to give up all other training to do MAF?
For this method to work, do I have to give up all other forms of exercise that lift my heart rate such as strength training or cycling? I'm particularly worried that starting this will mean I have to give up parkrun on Saturdays as I won't be allowed to run it (I would be too embarrassed to shuffle round the course at MAF pace) - in this pandemic world, it is the only social contact I have. My life is already monotonous and dull, and while I want the benefit this brings, I'm really concerned about the impact it could have on what's left of my mental health - no variety to exercise, just endless awkwardly slow jogs!
Hi Sharon, thanks for your question. I totally understand what you are saying about not wanting to give up something that you enjoy and that brings you lots of social and emotional benefits.
I too had the same worry when I started MAF training as I really benefited from my weekly club run which was always at a tempo pace. I weighed up the pros and cons and decided to stick with my weekly club run and in between I stuck religiously to MAF.
The thing to bear in mind is that the more you practice solely at your MAF heart rate, the quicker and the more you benefit. By adding in speed work or activities that raise your heart rate above your MAF heart rate, then the slower you might progress in your MAF training. Normally it is recommended that you do 4 - 6 months of pure MAF training and then if you have been improving but have reached a plateau, you can then add in some speed work.
In your case, I would weigh up the pros and cons of sticking purely to MAF and then choose what you feel best suits you. Do regular monthly MAF tests to see how you are progressing and then adjust if necessary. Also remember that it will feel awkward and slow at first. Most people complain of the plodding and the need to walk often. Hang in there though as things will improve.
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