How many miles a week on MAF

by Veronica Connochie
(Glasgow, SCOTLAND)

I am 56 and have been running regularly for 9 years my average weekly mileage is between 15 to 20 miles. However this can increase when training for races.
I decided to try MAF training because my heart rate was always about 155-160 during most runs, but I never mastered easy runs because I would have to run very slow to achieve the desired HR.
So I’m doing MAF because I’m totally washed out after my long runs 10-15miles.
I have completed a week of MAF and I’m shuffling as long at 14-15 min/mile.

My question is at this:

How many runs can i do in a week without jeopardising my MAF. ?
Would it be ok to do approximately 4x 5 miles a week?
Can I do 2x5m and one 10m a week?

I have already written this question under another comment without realising I could write it here. However, on this copy I have hopefully corrected my typos!
Thanks for any help

Nicole's Reply:
Hi Ronnie, thanks for your question. No worries about double writing it!

Like any training whether it is by heart rate, time, power or pace, you need to build up gradually. Phil Maffetone never prescribes distance but always refers to time. Many people have felt that 7 hours per week of MAF training is the magic number to see steady progress.

In your case whether you do 3 or 4 runs a week is up to you. Look at how much time you can spare a week and make sure to also build in rest days. The fact that you became washed out with your long runs, makes me think you need to take a step back and reset your system, so start with a manageable time that doesn't leave you exhausted. If you choose to do a longer run once a week, build that up gradually. Start with an hour and then add 5 minutes each week. After 3 weeks dial it back down a bit for a week so your body has a bit of a rest. Also it is very important to do a 15 - 20 minutes warm up and cool down. You should include the time spent doing those in your total time.

As you have only just started your MAF training, "shuffling" is not uncommon. I know you might find it frustrating at first as you will be doing far less mileage as well. Don't worry about the miles and just concentrate on the time and your HR. I hope that helps :).

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