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MAF for older runners vs 80/20 running (Read 107 times)

Farmgirl1961


    I'm an older (age 60) fit female. I've been an avid cyclist my entire adult life and over the past 10-years have gotten into Nordic skiing (particularly skate skiing). Running has always been kind of an okay cardio activity for me and I've tended to start and stop, primarily due to injury.  About 5-months ago, I started up again, in earnest and have been mostly doing MAF (180-age) running with a bit of interval training thrown in.

     

    I'm finding it quite difficult to run and keep my HR at/below 120 bpm over the course of a 50-60 minute run. I'm wondering if 120 bpm is too low, or if I just need to adjust/walk to keep my HR at/below this threshold on the slow days?

     

    I'm not sure of my lactate threshold, but when I've done some "free runs"...just running at a hearty pace but definitely maintainable over 30-40 minutes, my most recent 5K pace came in at 26:43 with my HR ranging from 142 bpm to 159 bpm. Overall run was 40 minutes; ave pace was 8:52 min/mi with a best of 7:37 min/mi and distance covered was 4.5 miles. I need to try a "talk-test" to get an estimate. Also, not sure of my MHR, but last year hit 174 bpm during a hard run.

    wcrunner2


    Are we there, yet?

      MAF (180-age) needs to be adjusted for older runners.  Add 5-10 bpm. At 75 my HR on easy runs falls between 120 and 130 (not 105 per the 180-age), but I've been running for over 50 years.  Note the portions I've put in bold.

       

      The MAF 180 Formula for determining your MAF HR

      Subtract your age from 180, then modify from one of the categories below:

      • If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.), are in rehabilitation, are on any regular medication, or are in Stage 3 (chronic) overtraining (burnout), subtract an additional 10.
      • If you are injured, have regressed or not improved in training (such as poor MAF Tests) or competition, get more than two colds, flu or other infections per year, have seasonal allergies or asthma, are overfat, are in Stage 1 or 2 of overtraining, or if you have been inconsistent, just starting, or just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
      • If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems mentioned in a) or b), no modification is necessary (use 180 minus age as your MAF HR).
      • If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, have made progress in your MAF Tests, improved competitively and are without injury, add 5.

      Exemptions:

      • The MAF 180 Formula may need to be further individualized for athletes over the age of 65. For some, up to 10 beats may have to be added for those only in category (d) of the Formula. This does not mean 10 should automatically be added, but that an honest self-assessment be made.
      • For athletes 16 years of age and under, the formula is not applicable; rather, an MAF HR of 165 has been used.

       2022 Races:

            03/19 Pistol Ultra 50K - 7:27:25

            04/02 Alexander County 6-Hour - 25.146 miles

            05/14 3 Days at the Fair 12-Hour - 35 miles

            05/28 What the Duck 12-Hour Team - 31.68 miles

            07/02 Merrill's Mile 6-Hour - 21.7844 miles
            09/03 Hainesport 12-Hour - 38.6607 miles
            10/08 One Day at the Fair 12-Hour - DNS

       

      runnerclay


      Consistently Slow

        There is a MAF group on this site. It does not appear to be very active but there are plenty of "Sticky" notes. Low HR Training group. It takes about 6 six weeks (25 mp wk) to adjust to the MAF training. I may start back using MAF training in November for my races in 2023.

        3.

        Run until the trail runs out.

         SCHEDULE 2016--

         The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

        unsolicited chatter

        http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

        dcowboys31


          I started trying the MAF plan when I started running 5 years ago, but I was like you and could not maintain heart rate that was recommended (136 bpm) so I just found the lowest heart rate I could get while still actually "running" not walking  and that was about 147 bpm so I aimed for all of my initial runs to be at that level, which I think was a good balance. I look back at my training in 2018 and at that heart rate I was running 11 and 12 minute miles, but it slowly got me acquainted to running and probably saved me from getting burned out or injured.

           

          Jay

          Farmgirl1961


            Thanks all. I saw the MAF forum, but it looked inactive -- apologies for starting a new thread on an old topic. I think starting off with MAF at the beginning - and using 120 bpm as my Zone 2 upper threshold was a good place to re-enter the world of running..and I've definitely seen improvements from the beginning, but am now plateau-ing and getting frustrated.

             

            I very much like the idea of slow running for conditioning, building base and endurance. At the moment, I've tweaked it slightly to give me an upper threshold at Zone 2 (using my Polar H10 heart monitor/Polar Beat) of 124 bpm by putting in a MHR of 178. This still may be too low, but gives me an opportunity to see if I can slow run at this HR.

             

            I'm also doing some hill interval training (aiming for once a week right now) - at the moment on my treadmill as where I live we've been in an air advisory for weeks, due to wildfire smoke.

            Farmgirl1961


              I started trying the MAF plan when I started running 5 years ago, but I was like you and could not maintain heart rate that was recommended (136 bpm) so I just found the lowest heart rate I could get while still actually "running" not walking  and that was about 147 bpm so I aimed for all of my initial runs to be at that level, which I think was a good balance. I look back at my training in 2018 and at that heart rate I was running 11 and 12 minute miles, but it slowly got me acquainted to running and probably saved me from getting burned out or injured.

               

              Jay

               

              Jay -- I agree.  It's been a great place to start. At first I was doing about 50% walking and 50% super slow jogging. I'm at the point where I can slow jog it all, but get the "slow down" feedback as I plod up some slight inclines. My usual HR at the end of a 50-min slow run is 117 ave HR with a high of 124. I think if I adjust the MAF formula just a bit and find a slow jog pace where the Polar Beat program isn't talking to me, I'd be averaging around a 122 HR at probably 11:45 min/mi pace (which is pretty darn slow).

              runnerclay


              Consistently Slow

                4/11/2009  MAFF TEST 5.0 mi 18:25

                 

                9/13/2011   MAFF TEST  5.0mi 11:00

                 

                9/18/11    BQ 3:37:38

                 

                I bought a bike in 2009 because my knee would not allow me to run. I started  MAFF training. I was running so slow no one in my running club would run/ walk with me. I suggest you stay the course and not adjust the MAFF heart rate.

                Run until the trail runs out.

                 SCHEDULE 2016--

                 The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                unsolicited chatter

                http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                  Back when I started running at age 52, I struggled to run for a city block.  After a few months of little progress, I tried Maffetone.  I'm too lazy to go find my old log books, but my recollection is that my average running pace for the first month was about 15 MPM, along with walk breaks at 14 MPM.  I was slowing down to run and speeding up to walk.  I recall one run at 19 MPM.

                   

                  My speed increased about one MPM per month - 15 MPM the first month, 14 MPM the second month, etc.  I was able to run a 1:57 half marathon that fall.  I abandoned MAF after that, and have done all base mileage at conversational effort since.  My average training pace was 9:30 to 10:00 MPM until about four years ago.  Now, at age 70, my average training pace is about 11:00 MPM.  I don't know my max heart rate, but I hit 177 during some hard intervals in 2017, and 173 during fast finish (but not race effort) run last week.

                   

                  My advice is to stay with the low heart rate running.  If in doubt, run slower.  Running too slow will get results slowly, running too fast will set you back.

                  Farmgirl1961


                    Thanks for that. I've tweaked the Zone 2 just slightly and will see how that feels (instead of a 120 upper Zone 2, it's now 123.5). Trying hill intervals (40 sec run/90 sec walk - recovery; 7 repeats) one time a week. Did it today. Tough but great. My goal is to have one intensive cardio per week (whether it be run or Nordic ski) and the remainder in Zone 2 (or slightly above -- but use the "can I talk?" as a check-in)

                    Jogger bobby


                      I'm 48 and MAF. I'm pretty strict most of the time but let the rate drift up 2-4 bpm toward the end of my long runs. I've been doing it long enough now that I have a good feel for what I'm doing and mostly use MAF to keep me from going too hard/fast toward the end of a long run or when I'm doing a lot of hills. When it's really warm out my HR is 10+ bpm higher and I don't even stress it; I slow down a tad and just keep running.

                       

                      Following this, my pace at the start of a long run is 8:45; in the middle about 9; toward the end 910-920. If it's getting warm by then my pace might drop to 930 and that's when I stay closer to 920 and don't worry if my HR bumps up a few bpm.

                      Born: 1973

                      Marathon PR: 3:44 (2000)

                      5k PR: 22:02 (2022)

                      1 mile PR: 6:09 (2022)

                       

                      Goals:

                      5k - 21:42

                      Mile - 6:30

                      400m - 1:10

                      Farmgirl1961


                        I'm 48 and MAF. I'm pretty strict most of the time but let the rate drift up 2-4 bpm toward the end of my long runs. I've been doing it long enough now that I have a good feel for what I'm doing and mostly use MAF to keep me from going too hard/fast toward the end of a long run or when I'm doing a lot of hills. When it's really warm out my HR is 10+ bpm higher and I don't even stress it; I slow down a tad and just keep running.

                         

                        Following this, my pace at the start of a long run is 8:45; in the middle about 9; toward the end 910-920. If it's getting warm by then my pace might drop to 930 and that's when I stay closer to 920 and don't worry if my HR bumps up a few bpm.

                         

                        Are you using the 180-48= 132 as the upper limit of your Zone 2 running? I've been trying to be pretty strict about my upper limit of 120 bpm (180-60), but invariably I hit a spike of a 124 or 125 bpm in my 50-60 min run. At the beginning, my pace was a 13:54. My best pace was an 11:48, but my usual is around 12:00 min/mile (sometimes a bit more). I feel like I'm not making any more improvement...but I haven't been as consistent as I probably should be on the high intensity running.

                         

                        When I do more of what I call a "free run" which is where I'm running at a pace that feels comfortable and is probably close to my LTH, I'm running at around an ave pace of 8:51 min/miles (over 40-min). I haven't done a max HR or LTH test...


                        SMART Approach

                          My first question is, what are your running goals? Is it simply to keep running at low heart rates? I have nothing against MAF. You gave it a nice run and entry back into running. Kudos. I like numbers but analytics don't over rule what you are feeling. You can run an easy run with HR in 130s and not feel guilty. It is time to start having some fun running varying paces. I think it's time to go to a more traditional multi pace training approach. I determine training paces based off time trials or race performances to give ranges or paces to train at including easy paces, tempos, critical velocity etc.. I think your run fitness will bump significantly while still being smart and safe with this approach.

                          Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

                          Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

                          Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique

                          www.smartapproachtraining.com

                          Farmgirl1961


                            My first question is, what are your running goals? Is it simply to keep running at low heart rates? I have nothing against MAF. You gave it a nice run and entry back into running. Kudos. I like numbers but analytics don't over rule what you are feeling. You can run an easy run with HR in 130s and not feel guilty. It is time to start having some fun running varying paces. I think it's time to go to a more traditional multi pace training approach. I determine training paces based off time trials or race performances to give ranges or paces to train at including easy paces, tempos, critical velocity etc.. I think your run fitness will bump significantly while still being smart and safe with this approach.

                             

                            Regarding my running goals, that's a very good question. When I first started back in March, it was to cross-train for the Nordic ski season and to learn the art of slowing down to speed up. This winter, we put on well over 600 miles of Nordic skiing, most of it in skate miles. I majorly hit a wall and felt terrible -- most likely a combination of overtraining and the fact that I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and my thyroid doesn't respond well to excess stress.

                             

                            So, initially I didn't mind just doing the Zone 2 running based on the MAF formula; and after a few months of baseline conditioning I started to put in some occassional interval or free runs...but I haven't been as consistent as I should be. Honestly I am still struggling to figure out what a good Zone 2 pace and HR is for me. I don't really know my max HR (last year I hit a 174 bpm but I don't think I was going all out. During my latest hill interval training - 7 repeats of 40 seconds - I hit a 165) and I also don't know what my LTH is.

                             

                            So -- back to my running goals -- I would like to be able to run for an hour at a sub 9 min/miles pace while keeping my average HR in mid 130's and I'd love to be able to do a 5km run/race in @ 22 minutes and a 10km run/race in <50 min... without totally crapping out.


                            SMART Approach

                               

                              So -- back to my running goals -- I would like to be able to run for an hour at a sub 9 min/miles pace while keeping my average HR in mid 130's and I'd love to be able to do a 5km run/race in @ 22 minutes and a 10km run/race in <50 min... without totally crapping out.

                               

                              To do this, you need to improve your cruising speed and threshold. More endurance work as well and stamina work with a touch of speed. I am big on Critical Velocity work and various paces of tempos and hills as well. It is all attainable. It starts though with a time trial of 2 miles or 5K to know your current level of fitness. Training Paces and structure is determined from this.

                              Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

                              Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

                              Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique

                              www.smartapproachtraining.com

                              Jogger bobby


                                 

                                Are you using the 180-48= 132 as the upper limit of your Zone 2 running? I've been trying to be pretty strict about my upper limit of 120 bpm (180-60), but invariably I hit a spike of a 124 or 125 bpm in my 50-60 min run. At the beginning, my pace was a 13:54. My best pace was an 11:48, but my usual is around 12:00 min/mile (sometimes a bit more). I feel like I'm not making any more improvement...but I haven't been as consistent as I probably should be on the high intensity running.

                                 

                                When I do more of what I call a "free run" which is where I'm running at a pace that feels comfortable and is probably close to my LTH, I'm running at around an ave pace of 8:51 min/miles (over 40-min). I haven't done a max HR or LTH test...

                                i do 137 as I've been running for years and that's permissible with MAF. I don't really sweat it until I hit 140 then I do back off a touch. I do my long run of ten miles at as low as 8:35 in cold rainy weather and 9:15 if it's summer. normally I come in right at 9 flat.

                                 

                                i do 22-23 miles a week at this pace, and 4-6 at either CV pace or tempo pace or a track workout, etc.

                                 

                                i'm not a slave to MAF but it really helps keep me from going too fast, which is my tendency, especially toward the end of my long runs.

                                Born: 1973

                                Marathon PR: 3:44 (2000)

                                5k PR: 22:02 (2022)

                                1 mile PR: 6:09 (2022)

                                 

                                Goals:

                                5k - 21:42

                                Mile - 6:30

                                400m - 1:10

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