Running too slow?

by Michael
(Houston, TX)

I started the MAF running method a few weeks ago. I am 53 years old. I am an avid body builder who likes to add in running. My MAF max is 128. My pace is now 16 min/Mi after 1.5 miles I have to walk to keep below 128. If I barely shuffle walk/run my rate goes up to 130 within 3 minutes.

I'm trying to run 5 to 7 hours a week. How long will it take till I am able run without walking at a more "normal pace"

Nicole's reply:
Thanks for the question. How long it will take until you can run instead of walking depends on so many factors. Generally though if you can do a good block of purely MAF training for about 4-6 months, then you should start to see a difference in your pace. 5-7 hours a weeks is certainly a decent amount of time. After that time if you are not seeing progress, then you need to look at other factors such as diet, nutrition, sleep, stress and so on.

What might hold you back/slow down your MAF progress, is your body building especially if you stress your body to fatigue or exhaustion. Phil Maffetone advocates "slow weights" which places far less stress on the body.

Quote from Phil Maffetone:
A separate muscle issue is strength. Traditional weight-lifting routines can often diminish aerobic function, impair gait, and reduce endurance, leading to sub-par economy and slower times. Instead, rely on workouts like my slow weights plan that don’t produce significant fatigue. Such a weight-lifting routine can strengthen without impairing the aerobic system or adding extra bulk (that extra weight can slow you down, too!).

Have a listen to this podcase with where he explains how slow weights work. The part that focuses on slow weights starts at 35:00. 'Slow Weights' Concept with Phil Maffetone

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Feb 26, 2022
How to run during MAF zone running
by: Ignatius

I am 55 years old man living in a tropical country in Asia. I have become a running enthusiast since 2016 and completed my 5 full marathons and numerous HM distances. Over the last one year, I feel my heart has been higher at the same pace that I did normally before.

I would like to retry doing MAF running (before I failed due to less discipline). My MAF HR should be 125. To be able to run at 120-130 HR, my pace drops to average 10 min/KM (shuffle fast pace run of 6-7 min/KM & walk).

Please advise how to run with MAF, whether I should run very slowly at 10 min/KM eventually I will still have to walk if my HR reach MAF zone OR I can do what I am doing now (shuffle fast pace run 6-7 min/KM and walking). Which option will give me a better result? Thank you very much.

Feb 28, 2022

by: Nicole

Hi Ignatius, I always think it is best to do what feels most comfortable. I also think it is best to try and even out your pace so that you can run as much as possible, rather than a lot of stop-starting. In your case, I would try the slower running rather than the fast pace/walk. If you feel that running slowly is awkward or uncomfortable, see if you can improve your running mechanics. I find Pose or Chi running to be very helpful in that respect.

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