MAF Technique - Walk/Run and Number of Hours

by Antony G


Male, 44, 250lbs. I started training for a sprint triathlon a few years ago, and increased distance every year to do a ½ IM last year. I trained hard, and often injured and after each major event I then ‘tapered’ = did nothing, then holidays, then life, then start again.

Ive decided to put the end of this season, and pre season to build a good base, so embarked (sceptically) on MAF 6 weeks ago. Starting with 4 ½ hours per week for first 4 week block, now on 6 hours with the aim of being at 7+ in the 3rd block.

My question, or need for clarity. Although my times are getting better, I still need to jog/run and then walk. Prior to starting training, I did a ½ marathon and ran the whole thing, but HR was sky high and I ached for the next day(s). So mentally, I am struggling with stop start runs.

Should I keep at it or change to interval style to get HR up, but average at 180-age for the session?

Hills cause HR to sore, but I still train on them = more walking, but I don’t want to stay on flat - your thoughts?

You’ve mentioned before 7 hours as an ideal number of hours per week - does it matter if you do that in 2 sessions or 7? Is it purely volume based?

Thanks in advance


Nicole's reply
Hi Antony, thanks for the question.
In your past training, the fact that you trained hard but were also often injured or that you took a long time to recover after racing, means that something was not right so it is good that you are looking at alternative training methods.

6 weeks at MAF training is really not that much so I would definitely say to give it more time. 4-6 months of base training is really the minimum and if you can safely get to 7 hours a week of training, than that is good. How that 7 hours is divided is up to you and what your goals are. 2 x 3.5 hours might be too much for some people or 7 X 1 hour a day with no rest day might also be too much for some so you need to divide the hours based on you. I tend to do one long run a week and then 3 or 4 shorter ones of around an hour.

The fact that your times are getting better means you are making progress, even if you still have to walk at times. MAF training can take months for some people to see progress so you are doing really well. I know it is frustrating having to walk hills and having to stop start, but it will get easier. Once you get to a point where you are not seeing any improvement, that may be the time to start adding in small does of speedwork.

To me it sounds like you are doing great and that you are progressing in the right direction, so just keep on going and give it more time.

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