MAF training for early 20s

by Richard Connell

I have run maff for the last 2 years with great success, my son has now started running at age 23 but he is really struggling to run at maffetone as he finds it frustratingly slow and easy,
He can run at 9 min per mile pace easy but his maff is 12-13 min pace
My question is does a younger athlete get as much benefit from maffetone as someone in his late 40s like myself
Or would they be better dong more running on feel rather than specific heart rate as their body can take more effort

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

I too have a 23 year old son who struggles with running slowly and especially since his peers are racing around. Often people turn to MAF training when they get injured or are older runners, so new, younger runners feel they don't fit into those categories.......yet.

Your son at 23 can certainly benefit from MAF training. In fact Maffetone only suggests that the formula is not applicable to teenagers under the age of 16. 180-Formula.

Running by feel is very subjective and as a new runner, it is very hard to know or gauge what an "easy" or "hard" run should feel like. MAF training will be a good guide for him to show him what an easy run really should be. Lots of people (of all ages) have no idea what an easy run is and think they are running easy when in fact they are running way over.

Your son is probably going through the frustrated period that most of us MAF'ers experienced at some point. The fact that he has to slow down so much, just indicates that his aerobic system is not as well developed as his anaerobic system.

Perhaps suggest to him that he does MAF training for 3 or 4 months and during the season that he is not racing and then maybe he could move across to 80/20 training.

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