Improvements period, 10km race , marathon race and hills training.

by Lindiwe
(South Africa )

How long does it take on average to see improvements on MAF training method
2. Can I race a 10km after 4months in this training only.

3. Can I run a marathon qualifier after 4 months of strictly MAFs training or should I introduce some speed work ?

4.Do I need to do strength exercises and Hill repeats? ??

Nicole's Reply:
Hi Lindiwe
Thanks for the great questions.
1.It is very difficult to give a time frame on when to see improvement as a lot depends on what shape your aerobic system is in when you start, your level of running experience, your lifestyle (stress, diet, sleep for example) and how much time you spend training at MAF. Some people see great improvements in a couple of months and for others it can take at least 6 months or more. The way to stay positive is to say to yourself that every MAF run is doing you good, even if your pace is slow to improve.
2. Yes you can race a 10 km! It might not be a personal best time in the early months of MAF training as your body is still adapting. Some people choose to race at their MAF heart rate and others race as fast as they can and ignore their heart rate during the race. What you choose depends on what you are trying to achieve.
3. I ran a half marathon after several months of only MAF training. What I found was that I struggled mentally because I had done very little speed work. My body however felt good and I ended up with my best time but it was a struggle. I then went on to do a marathon and this time I introduced speed work to make up 20% of my training and the other 80% was all MAF. For me this was the best way to ensure that my mind and body were ready. If you are trying to get a time qualifier you might want to train this way and in fact Phil Maffetone does say it is OK to do this.
4.Strength training - a BIG yes! Aim to focus on strengthening your core and hips, especially if you are training for a marathon. Hill repeats are useful but keep them short (7-10 seconds so that you stay in your MAF HR zone) and gradually build up the number that you do.
I hope that helps!

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