Is getting slower normal?

by Scott
(Wales, UK)

I have been running around my MAF HR only for 5 sessions, but I am already noticing that the times are slower?

The first time I tried this, I was averaging 13.28 min miles, then my next run was 12.51. I thought I was instantly making progress. My next 3 runs were 14.18, 13.32 and 14.22.

I'm just wondering if this is normal?


Nicole's reply:
Hi Scott, thanks for your question.

Your question is very common so you are not alone. The thing to remember is that MAF training is a long term process and takes time so 5 sessions is only just the beginning.

What you will find is that some days or even weeks are better than others. Lots can contribute to a slower run. It could be the weather, how you slept the night before, what you ate, coffee, stress and so on. Beginners to MAF training are often more stressed as they are constantly looking at their watch and constantly trying to improve their pace or are feeling uncomfortable and awkward with the slower running.

What I suggest is that you go with the flow. Relax and realise that it is going to take time. Give yourself at least 4 - 6 months. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and identify triggers that might make your HR go up. Also very important is to make sure that you do a proper 15 minute warm up before each run.

The best way to know if you are improving is to do a MAF test on a regular basis.

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