# Using MAF tests as Race Pace Indicator or Predictor (Read 3161 times)

On page 53 of Training for Endurance, 2nd Revised Edition by Phil Maffetone ©2000. Maffetone gives the below chart based on his" hundreds of tests and several racing seasons." Based on the first mile pace:

MAF PACE...5k pace....5k time

10:00............7:30..........23:18

9:30..............7:15..........22:31

9:00..............7:00..........21:45

8:30..............6:45..........20:58

8:00..............6:30..........20:12

7:30..............6:00..........18:38

7:00..............5:30..........17:05

6:30..............5:15..........16:19

6:00..............5:00..........15:32

5:45..............4:45..........14:45

5:30..............4:30..........13:59

5:15..............4:20..........13:28

5:00..............4:15..........13:12

There is an odd jump in 5k pace from 7:00 to 7:30, with a 30 second jump as opposed to the 15 second jump seen in the rest of the chart from 5:30 MAF pace and slower. This could be because Dr. Phil had a small sampling in that area, or maybe it's correct. I decided to make a new chart starting at 10:00 MAF pace, and extrapolating in 15 second intervals with about a 7-8 second difference in 5k time between them. I then popped the 5k times into into the Team Oregon Pace Wizard, which I find to be a bit more realistic and accurate than the McMillan one for average runners (you could actually use both calculators to create a range to shoot for), and added the equivalent 5k, 13.1, and marathon times.

PREDICTION CHART USING THE TEAM OREGON PACE WIZARD (posted 8-1-15)

MAF Pace5k Pace5k Time10k Pace10k Time

Half

Marathon

Pace

Half

Marathon

Time

Marathon

Pace

Marathon

Time

13:00 9:00 27:59 9:31 59:08 10:06 2:12:24 10:40 4:39:50
12:45 8:52 27:35 9:22 58:17 9:57 2:10:31 10:15 4:35:50
12:30 8:45 27:13 9:15 57:31 9:49 2:08:47 10:22 4:32:10
12:15 8:37 26:48 9:06 56:38 9:40 2:06:48 10:13 4:28:00
12:00 8:30 26:26 8:59 55:51 9:32 2:05:04 10:04 4:24:20
11:45 8:22 26:01 8:50 54:59 9:23 2:03:06 9:55 4:20:10
11:30 8:15 25:39 8:43 54:12 9:15 2:01:22 9:46 4:16:30
11:15 8:08 25:18 8:36 53:28 9:07 1:59:42 9:38 4:13:00
11:00 8:00 24:53 8:27 52:35 8:58 1:57:44 9:29 4:08:50
10:45 7:52 24:28 8:19 51:42 8:49 1:55:46 9:19 4:04:40
10:30 7:45 24:06 8:11 50:56 8:41 1:54:02 9:11 4:01:00
10:15 7:38 23:44 8:04 50:09 8:33 1:52:18 9:03 3:57:20
10:00 7:30 23:19 7:55 49:16 8:24 1:50:19 8:53 3:53:10
9:45 7:22 22:55 7:47 48:25 8:16 1:48:26 8:44 3:49:10
9:30 7:15 22:31 7:39 47:35 8:07 1:46:32 8:35 3:45:10
9:15 7:07 22:08 7:31 46:46 7:59 1:44:43 8:26 3:41:20
9:00 7:00 21:45 7:23 45:48 7:51 1:42:55 8:17 3:37:30
8:45 6:52 21:22 7:16 45:09 7:42 1:41:06 8:08 3:33:40
8:30 6:45 20:58 7:07 44:18 7:34 1:39:12 7:59 3:29:40
8:15 6:37 20:35 7:00 43:30 7:25 1:37:23 7:51 3:25:50
8:00 6:30 20:12 6:52 42:41 7:17 1:35:35 7:42 3:22:00
7:45 6:22 19:47 6:43 41:48 7:08 1:33:36 7:32 3:17:50
7:30 6:14 19:24 6:35 41:00 7:00 1:31:47 7:23 3:14:00
7:15 6:07 19:01 6:28 40:11 6:51 1:29:59 7:15 3:10:10
7:00 5:59 18:37 6:19 39:20 6:43 1:28:05 7:06 3:06:10

PREDICTION CHART USING THE MCMILLAN CALCULATOR (posted 8-2-13)

Mitochondria created this  table using the McMillan Calculator. Thanks, Mitochondria! :

MAF Pace5k Pace5k Time10k Pace10k TimeHM PaceHM TimeM PaceM Time
13:00 09:00 27:59 09:21 58:07 00:09:53 02:09:34 00:10:24 04:32:40
12:56 08:58 27:53 09:19 57:55 00:09:51 02:09:07 00:10:22 04:31:44
12:52 08:56 27:47 09:17 57:42 00:09:49 02:08:38 00:10:20 04:30:43
12:48 08:54 27:41 09:15 57:30 00:09:47 02:08:11 00:10:18 04:29:46
12:45 08:52 27:35 09:13 57:17 00:09:45 02:07:42 00:10:15 04:28:46
12:41 08:50 27:28 09:11 57:03 00:09:43 02:07:11 00:10:13 04:27:40
12:37 08:49 27:25 09:10 56:56 00:09:41 02:06:55 00:10:12 04:27:07
12:33 08:47 27:19 09:08 56:44 00:09:39 02:06:29 00:10:10 04:26:11
12:30 08:45 27:13 09:06 56:31 00:09:37 02:06:00 00:10:07 04:25:10
12:26 08:43 27:07 09:04 56:19 00:09:35 02:05:33 00:10:05 04:24:13
12:22 08:41 27:00 09:01 56:04 00:09:32 02:05:00 00:10:02 04:23:03
12:18 08:39 26:54 08:59 55:52 00:09:30 02:04:33 00:10:00 04:22:07
12:15 08:37 26:48 08:58 55:40 00:09:28 02:04:06 00:09:58 04:21:10
12:11 08:35 26:42 08:55 55:27 00:09:26 02:03:37 00:09:56 04:20:09
12:07 08:34 26:39 08:54 55:21 00:09:25 02:03:24 00:09:55 04:19:41
12:03 08:32 26:32 08:52 55:06 00:09:23 02:02:50 00:09:52 04:18:31
12:00 08:30 26:26 08:50 54:54 00:09:21 02:02:23 00:09:50 04:17:35
11:56 08:28 26:20 08:48 54:41 00:09:18 02:01:54 00:09:48 04:16:34
11:52 08:26 26:14 08:46 54:29 00:09:16 02:01:28 00:09:45 04:15:37
11:48 08:24 26:07 08:44 54:14 00:09:14 02:00:54 00:09:43 04:14:27
11:45 08:22 26:01 08:42 54:02 00:09:12 02:00:28 00:09:41 04:13:31
11:41 08:20 25:55 08:40 53:49 00:09:10 01:59:59 00:09:38 04:12:30
11:37 08:19 25:52 08:39 53:43 00:09:08 01:59:45 00:09:37 04:12:01
11:33 08:17 25:46 08:37 53:31 00:09:06 01:59:18 00:09:35 04:11:05
11:30 08:15 25:39 08:34 53:16 00:09:04 01:58:45 00:09:32 04:09:45
11:26 08:13 25:33 08:32 53:04 00:09:02 01:58:18 00:09:30 04:08:58
11:22 08:12 25:30 08:31 52:58 00:09:01 01:58:05 00:09:29 04:08:30
11:18 08:10 25:24 08:29 52:45 00:08:59 01:57:36 00:09:27 04:07:29
11:15 08:08 25:18 08:27 52:33 00:08:57 01:57:09 00:09:25 04:06:33
11:11 08:06 25:11 08:25 52:18 00:08:54 01:56:36 00:09:22 04:05:23
11:07 08:04 25:05 08:23 52:06 00:08:52 01:56:09 00:09:20 04:04:26
11:03 08:02 24:59 08:21 51:53 00:08:50 01:55:40 00:09:17 04:03:25
11:00 08:00 24:53 08:19 51:41 00:08:48 01:55:13 00:09:15 04:02:29
10:56 07:58 24:47 08:17 51:28 00:08:46 01:54:44 00:09:13 04:01:28
10:52 07:56 24:40 08:15 51:14 00:08:43 01:54:13 00:09:10 04:00:22
10:48 07:54 24:34 08:13 51:01 00:08:41 01:53:44 00:09:08 03:59:21
10:45 07:52 24:28 08:11 50:49 00:08:39 01:53:17 00:09:06 03:58:25
10:41 07:50 24:22 08:09 50:36 00:08:37 01:52:48 00:09:04 03:57:24
10:37 07:49 24:19 08:08 50:30 00:08:36 01:52:35 00:09:03 03:56:56
10:33 07:47 24:12 08:05 50:16 00:08:33 01:52:04 00:09:00 03:55:50
10:30 07:45 24:06 08:03 50:03 00:08:31 01:51:35 00:08:58 03:54:49
10:26 07:43 24:00 08:01 49:51 00:08:29 01:51:08 00:08:56 03:53:53
10:22 07:42 23:57 08:00 49:44 00:08:28 01:50:52 00:08:54 03:53:20
10:18 07:40 23:51 07:58 49:32 00:08:26 01:50:26 00:08:52 03:52:24
10:15 07:38 23:44 07:56 49:17 00:08:23 01:49:52 00:08:50 03:51:13
10:11 07:36 23:38 07:54 49:05 00:08:21 01:49:25 00:08:47 03:50:17
10:07 07:34 23:32 07:52 48:52 00:08:19 01:48:56 00:08:45 03:49:16
10:03 07:32 23:26 07:50 48:40 00:08:17 01:48:30 00:08:43 03:48:20
10:00 07:30 23:19 07:48 48:25 00:08:14 01:47:56 00:08:40 03:47:10

THOUGHTS

The more aerobically fit you are, and the greater your endurance, then your times will come in line (e.g. a 7:00 5k will mean an 8:17 marathon pace is in the cards). A few thoughts:

—having the correct MAF helps. But even if you're off a bit, but are consistent in the one you use, then you can build your own chart over time. You'll know that (e.g) if your MAF speed is 9:00, and you've been improving through training to get to that number, then you most likely under good conditions could run a 3:30 marathon. Your own correlations count more than any chart or calculator. Self-knowledge is power. The treadmill test or getting an RQ test keep help verify an MAF.

—these charts are just approximate, and should be used along with other indicators. Using both charts could give you a range to shoot for. For example, if your  MAF test first mile id 10:00, your range for a marathon would be 3:47-3:53. It's very important to keep data on your training and racing. You can mine it for other indicators of performance.  For example, you might find that if your pace at 90% MHR in a lactate threshold tempo run is 6:55 in the first mile and your MAF pace is 8:00, then  3:22:00 is possible. Some people use a 5k or 10k race pace as an indicator. The more indicators you have, the better your race pace prediction.

—Of course, if you run races with a heart rate monitor, then you don't have to worry much about predicting pace. But if you want to truly maximize your potential in a race, then the optimal HR race plan has to be worked out and tweaked. You can study your race paces per mile vs. HR to see if you're always slowing too much down the stretch, or having too much left in the bank. Team Oregon Pace Wizard has some fairly accurate average HR's for races. You can use them as a guide. If it gives a HR of 170 bpm for a marathon, then you can build a plan around that number that (e.g) could have you running the first half of the race from 160-170, then the latter half letting the HR rise to 170-180.

—Adjustments have to be made for weather. If all your indicators point to a 3:30 marathon, and you've been training in 50-60º temperatures, and come race day it's 72º, then you have to adjust. Often your body will tell you. You'll feel the extra stress. Running with a HRM and sticking to the plan will slow you automatically.

***Important*** Monitoring aerobic speed and which way it's moving is key. You might have a 10:00 MAF pace two weeks before a marathon, but if you started training with a 9:30 pace and have slowed throughout training, then your indicators might be a bit off when it comes race time. A slowing aerobic speed usually indicates a problem. The most probable cause is overtraining. When you go into a race overtrained, you can run into problems early and a pace you thought you could do based on 10:00 MAF pace might not be possible, and if you keep pushing that pace, DNF or a long death march is highly probable.

Thanks for filling in those higher MAF times. I had just been thinking that it would be nice if someone filled those in. Apparently Maffetone did not have a large enough sample of runners that run in that range. But we certainly have them here. We all know that these are not perfect predictors, but it is great to just have some ball park idea of how to tranlate your MAF time to a target pace. So, even if these are not perfect, they really are helpful. I have noticed that in reading a lot about running on the web, it appears that some of us a more naturally better at either long distance or shorter distances and that the curve is different for all of us. For me, I am not sure if I would ever see a flat line from my 5k time to a longer distance like a marathon. But, with MAf, who knows what we are capable of. I have personally used the chart in a sort of backwards way. Last year I was able to run a 23:30 5k, so I figure that my target MAF time should be close to 10 min/mile. If I ever got there, I would consider myself to be much more aerobically fit.

Master of Inconsistency

I 've never run a marathon so I can't comment on how that pace matches up with maf pace, but as far as the 5k times represented in your chart my times are pretty far removed. Only just recently have I begun to break the 11:00 minute mile on my Maf runs and when I first started Maf training my runs were like 12+ yet my worst 5k time is 23:17 and that was a week after I ran myself into the emergency room with heat exhaustion. I started out with a 8 minute first mile to see how I felt and then went faster from there. My last race before Maf was a 5 miles at 7:02 pace. I hope the 5k and marathon times line up though since I'd like to run around 3:40 Greg

Ain't  Wastin' Time No More !

I just thought of another reason maybe Maffetone did not go above 10 min MAFs. Maybe there is just more variability of results when you start getting to those levels, so he just did not include them. I look at the chart this way. If your MAF does line up well with your 5k time, then you are probably pretty aerobically fit, and thus you have a better chance of predicting your longer race times with this chart. In other words, there is more of a chance that there is a correct relationship between your shorter and longer races. But, if your MAF time is a lot higher than your 5K time, maybe this is a good indicator that you have room for more improvement aerobically. It seems to me that 5k is a race you can do pretty well in and still be in poor aerobic shape, because you can rely on your anearobic systems to get you through it. BUt, at the longer distances, your aerobic shortcomings are more likely to be more exposed.

Master of Inconsistency

Good point , this is true as my aerobic system is still a work in progress . You definitely notice this with HR drift on long runs. Hopefully in a couple of years my Maf pace will increase to the level on those charts.

Ain't  Wastin' Time No More !

Also, keep in mind that many of us don't train specifically for a 5K race (or 10K), etc. versus a half marathon or full marathon, much less taper for one. I usually run 6 to 8 miles the day before a 5K race. If I did train for a 5K, I would be including much more speed work, hill repeats, etc. with less mileage. I'm fairly certain that I am better suited to a 5K or 10K "best time" versus a half or full marathon, however with my training being what it is (fairly high volume, not much speed work) I doubt that I will (for now) ever reach my potential in those races. Maybe down the road I'll spend a spring/summer focusing on those races. As for the chart and I...my MAF pace outside with a few hills was 8:15 the week before my marathon last Saturday. I finished in ~3:12:20, but would have ran 3:10 aside from an unexpected stop, where the chart for an 8:00 MAF test (which is probably about where I am on a TM, perhaps a bit slower) predicts 3:16. My anaerobic threshold is way above MAF, however, which is why I think I don't fit that mold as well as some others might. My AT is about 180, which is MAF +36. That leaves me a lot of extra beats to use up during a race before I hit my downward spiral of anaerobic death. On the flip side, though...someone with a lower max HR and/or lower AT might very well be running a fair bit faster than me at the same HR (assuming we had the same marathon times for example). Perhaps we could gather data and post our results and someone could put them into a spreadsheet and go crazzzzzeee with it. Obviously, some people won't fit the chart, or even come close. Most of us should fall into a rough proximity though.
I finished in ~3:12:20, but would have ran 3:10 aside from an unexpected stop, where the chart for an 8:00 MAF test (which is probably about where I am on a TM, perhaps a bit slower) predicts 3:16.
I also beat the chart. As I wrote, we don't know HOW those MAF tests were done, how long, and under what conditions. Plus his athletes were gas-tested and knew their exact MAF. If his athletes ran on flat and in cool weather, and there I am doing mine on an incline in 65ยบ, and I'm going 5 miles when his athletes maybe did 3, and I'm using an MAF that's below my actual physiological MAF, then there will be a discrepancy. All speculation. Still, a fun chart to refer to as one gathers more and more data. Maybe a true MAF can be ascertained from the chart over time. Who knows. Keep posting, people. More datahol please. --Jimmy
Also when a test is done can make a difference. An MAF test done two days after a 20-miler might come out slower than if you waited 5 days.

Hawt and sexy

I beat that chart by about 15 minutes when training at 11 mm last spring. Hmmm. It's the girl cooties, isn't it? I have been racing marathons at 2:30 faster than my MAF. I am guessing the difference will decrease as I improve but at the slow speeds it seems to stay the same. My sample size it 2 trues races. Steamtown did not pan out last year, too hot. And my last marathon I paced a friend and had a blast so that does not count. Looking at my HRM at mile 23 and seeing that I was still at MAF was kinda fun though. Boy, she cussed me out a little when I mentioned that... MTA-My 5k times are very close to thr chart though.

I beat that chart by about 15 minutes when training at 11 mm last spring. Hmmm. It's the girl cooties, isn't it? I have been racing marathons at 2:30 faster than my MAF. I am guessing the difference will decrease as I improve but at the slow speeds it seems to stay the same. My sample size it 2 trues races. Steamtown did not pan out last year, too hot. And my last marathon I paced a friend and had a blast so that does not count. Looking at my HRM at mile 23 and seeing that I was still at MAF was kinda fun though. Boy, she cussed me out a little when I mentioned that... MTA-My 5k times are very close to thr chart though.
Hey Willa, Did you do MAF tests? If so, what was your best in the weeks around the marathon? Under what conditions? Marathon time? Were you happy with your job? Was life "flowing?" --Jimmy
This may not be accurate, be careful, it may not be wise to use it to determine your pace for a marathon: MAF....5k pace....5k time.....Marathon.....Mpace 13:00...9:00.........27:57..........4:32:29.......10:25 12:30...8:45.........27:11..........4:25:00.......10:07 12:00...8:30.........26:23..........4:17:12.........9:50 11:30...8:15.........25:37..........4:09:44.........9:32 11:00...8:00.........24:51..........4:02:15.........9:15 10:30..7:45..........24:04..........3:54:37.........8:58 10:00..7:30..........23:18..........3:47:09...........8:41 9:30....7:15..........22:31..........3:39:31...........8:23 9:00....7:00..........21:45..........3:32:02...........8:06 8:30....6:45..........20:58..........3:24:24...........7:49 8:00....6:30..........20:12..........3:16:55...........7:31 7:30....6:00..........18:38..........3:01:39...........6:56 7:00....5:30..........17:05..........2:46:32...........6:22 6:30....5:15..........16:19..........2:39:04...........6:05 6:00....5:00..........15:32..........2:31:26...........5:47 5:45....4:45..........14:45..........2:23:48...........5:30 5:30....4:30..........13:59..........2:16:19...........5:12 5:15....4:20..........13:28..........2:11:17...........5:01 5:00....4:15..........13:12....... ..2:08:41...........4:55 --Jimmy
Ok Jimmy, so if this is correct, and I did read the disclaimer, I could potentially run a 4:09:44, since I'm running between an 11:00 and 11:30 pace at MAF. Where do I sign on the dotted line to get that for a debut marathon? Now, that's today. Since I have 10+ weeks to go, it may be better. My luck, it will be 70 F and 90% humidity on Pig day. Oh well, nothing I can do about that. Just "run my race." Anyway, I'd take that time if I can get it.
Ok Jimmy, so if this is correct, and I did read the disclaimer, I could potentially run a 4:09:44, since I'm running between an 11:00 and 11:30 pace at MAF. Where do I sign on the dotted line to get that for a debut marathon? Now, that's today. Since I have 10+ weeks to go, it may be better. My luck, it will be 70 F and 90% humidity on Pig day. Oh well, nothing I can do about that. Just "run my race." Anyway, I'd take that time if I can get it.
The same goes with this chart as with using LT or races popped into the McMillan Calculator. You might be able to do the 5k, but the equivalent marathon given by the calculator is dependent on level of aerobic fitness, temp, course difficulty, wind, mental endurance, how rested you are, how close you eat to the race, whether or not Mercury is in retrograde, high tide or low tide, how deeply you love yourself, and whether or not you can cha-cha with abandonment. 10+weeks with some long runs is a nice chunk to have left. --Jimmy
Ok Jimmy, so if this is correct, and I did read the disclaimer, I could potentially run a 4:09:44, since I'm running between an 11:00 and 11:30 pace at MAF. Where do I sign on the dotted line to get that for a debut marathon? Now, that's today. Since I have 10+ weeks to go, it may be better. My luck, it will be 70 F and 90% humidity on Pig day. Oh well, nothing I can do about that. Just "run my race." Anyway, I'd take that time if I can get it.
That's the good thing about the first one- it's going to be a PR no matter what. I think you will hold a better pace than you think. Are you keeping your long runs at MAF for now, or are you starting Pfitzinger's 10-20% slower than goal pace long runs as we are ~10 weeks out. Maybe I will do a MAF test tonight as part of my 11 "general aerobic" miles on the treadmill.
That's the good thing about the first one- it's going to be a PR no matter what. I think you will hold a better pace than you think. Are you keeping your long runs at MAF for now, or are you starting Pfitzinger's 10-20% slower than goal pace long runs as we are ~10 weeks out. Maybe I will do a MAF test tonight as part of my 11 "general aerobic" miles on the treadmill.
Nope, I'm keeping all my long runs at or under MAF at this point. I'll probably start sharpening the first full week of March. That way I can use the Heart Mini Marathon (15k) as a tune-up for the Pig. I figure four weeks of tempo runs, and a couple of Marathon Pace finish runs will go a long way to telling me what I'll be able to do. That 15k is on my birthday, so it WILL be a PR.
lowgear1

Max McMaffelow Esq.

11:00...8:00.........24:51..........4:02:15.........9:15 10:30..7:45..........24:04..........3:54:37.........8:58 --Jimmy
I find it somewhat comforting that I can train in your maf pace chart 'above the line' and still portend a BQ time (sub 03:59:59)...I guess age has it's privilage. A rather silly fantasy at this point, but it would certainly look nice on the resume. I'm guessing that the Wellesley gals would be pretty much screamed out by the time the slowest of the slow twitchers come drifting through, if in fact they're even in sight much past the 3 hour group. Being that i've completed well over 12 weeks of sub maf base, would a transition to a small amount of anaerobic progressive type runs, similar to what you describe in your anaerobic thread, be practical for me? I don't necessarily have an eye on any races, but it sure has an appeal, and I figure I can always return to all maf. I must admit that I haven't done enough downhill running, so my maf pace has sort of hit a plateau. LG1 itchin n' twitchin
♪ ♫ Hey, hey, we're Maf Monkees And people say we monkey around. ♪ ♫ (The Monkees)
Give me 12:59 in '09, please. I deserve it! (Maf of course)..No more teens! No more teens! (ME! ME! ME!)
♪ ♫ I Thank The Lord For The Night Time...And I Thank The Lord For You ♪ ♫ (Neil Diamond)