When to Resume Running (from walk)

by Steve M
(Southern California)

I am just starting MAF training and I'm over 50 and male. I had been running for about 7 years and hit a plateau in my training progress when I read about MAF. I chose a MAF range of 120-130. My normal walk pace is about 15 minute mile with an HR in the low 100s. Without MAF, running at what feels like a natural pace, I run in the range of 8 to 9 minutes per mile at an HR ranging from 160-180. Clearly that's not in the correct range!

Now down to the question. Since I'm just beginning MAF training, I typically warm up with a brisk 5 minute walk, then begin running as slowly as I can until HR reaches 130. At 130, I slow to a walk to let HR return. My question is what HR should the slow running re-commence? I chose to resume running at an HR of 110 or so. I found it mentally difficult to return to a walk when I wasn't winded or stressed! :)

My first MAF run I covered 4 miles at about 12:45 per mile and was walking about 3/4 of the time.

Nicole's reply:
Hi Steve, it can be frustrating at first until you find what works best for you and learn how your body reacts.
What I suggest is to do a 15 minute warm up, starting as you do with a walk and then gradually building the pace until you are running gently.
Secondly, don't wait until you hit your max MAF heart rate of 130 before you start walking. When you are in the 127 - 128 range, think about slowing down a bit and try to maintain your HR around that level. You may find that easier and less frustrating than running until you hit 130, then walking, then repeating etc.
If you are forced to walk, as you get fitter your HR will drop closer to normal at a much quicker rate so you will find that you can resume running again more quickly. It is up to you if you choose to start running at 110 beats, but the important thing is that you restart under your MAF max heart rate. I would suggest 5 - 10 beats below. With time you will find you get the hang of it and your running will get smoother and faster.

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