Is 12 weeks too short to use MAF for a 50km ultra

by Leah
(Beaudesert, Qld Australia )

Hi, I have just done the Tarawera 54k ultra & have the UTA50 coming up in May. That gives me 12 weeks. Can I incorporate MAF in such a short time with all the stair & hill training I need to do? I have a high resting HR too 61bpm will this affect the MAF method? I’m 40 in July, female & 54kg (which is heavy for me - despite all the training, I can’t shift the 2-3kg I shouldn’t have on me). Cheers Leah

Nicole's Reply
Hi Leah, thanks for your questions. As most of your ultra training is probably done in your aerobic zone, then doing MAF training will probably be quite a smooth transition for you. 12 weeks is certainly time to improve your MAF pace (but only if you stick to it), although the longer you can MAF train the better. Theoretically your resting HR should not matter when working out your MAF HR so stick to the calculation as normal.
Regarding weight gain, I was the same when I was training for my first ultra! In the end I put it down to muscle gain and perhaps that I was eating more as I was training through the winter. Maybe write a food diary and see if you are actually eating more calories than you need and check if those are healthy calories. There are also lots of other causes such as stress, hormones, illness etc so see if any of those could be an issue.
Here is a link to a podcast with Phil Maffetone which will also help answer many of your questions. The ultra training section starts at 49:06. MAF Method for Ultrarunning.
Best of luck!

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