MAF - time on feet

by Lotte
(Copenhagen, Denmark)

I am 43 female. I have never been a consistent runner. I have taken it up from time to time over the years, but always quit because of injury, life getting in the way and primarily because it felt miserable because I ran too hard.

I have now discovered MAF/low heart rate running. I have only been following the method for 1 month and have not seen any reliable progress in speed - but most importantly I have thoroughly enjoyed my runs. And by runs I mean run/walks, because HR constantly spikes over my max. I don't mind running at snails pace, but I am looking forward to being able to run/jog the whole session and not having to take walk breaks. It also means that i cannot go for more than 1 hour max before cardiac drift means primarily walking - at which point I go home because it feels pointless.

So my question is - how much time on feet is necessary to make progress? I have seen the comment about 7 hours - but that does not feel realistic for me - more like 3-4 hours. If more time on feet is needed is it pointless to do for instance the last 30-45 minutes of a 90 minute session primarily walking or would this be a waste of time? I am in no hurry to reach a certain pace, but I would of course like to know if I am on the right track.

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

The 7 hours that you mention is not set in stone but rather it is an observation that people have made in that 7 hours a week of MAF training has seen them progress more readily. Having said that, it is not all about running and you can certainly count walking, cycling, cross training and any other sporting activity that you like to do as MAF training, so long as you stay within your MAF zone.

You have only been MAF training for 1 month so give it more time, in fact 4 - 6 months would be a good timeline to aim for. I'm sure after that period you will be running more and at a faster pace and you will find cardiac drift is less noticeable.

To gauge your progress, try and do a MAF test every month as you might be pleasantly surprised at the progress you are making. I hope that helps!

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