# Using MAF tests as Race Pace Indicator or Predictor (Read 3186 times)

... I took the rate of slowing at MAF of 8:00-10:00 MAF pace on Maffetone's chart and figured up to 13:00. This could be way off, as if you notice on his chart there is a jump between 7-8:00 that increases twice the rate of slowing on most of the chart...
It would be interesting to see results from someone with, e.g., a MAF pace of 13:00 min/mile. McMillan says that for those whose marathons are over 4 hours, the difference between training pace and marathon pace will be less than for those whose marathons are under 4 hours. I would suspect that as someone's marathon time goes up this difference narrows more and more. McMillan's pace calculator works pretty well for me, plugging in HM or Marathon time to predict the other. HM pace is about 1:30 min/mile faster than training (MAF) pace. Marathon pace is about 30 sec/mile faster than training pace. Unfortunately for me, that's way slower than the extrapolated chart would predict.
lowgear1

Max McMaffelow Esq.

It would be interesting to see results from someone with, e.g., a MAF pace of 13:00 min/mile. McMillan says that for those whose marathons are over 4 hours, the difference between training pace and marathon pace will be less than for those whose marathons are under 4 hours. I would suspect that as someone's marathon time goes up this difference narrows more and more. McMillan's pace calculator works pretty well for me, plugging in HM or Marathon time to predict the other. HM pace is about 1:00 min/mile faster than training (MAF) pace. Marathon pace is about 30 sec/mile faster than training pace. Unfortunately for me, that's way slower than the extrapolated chart would predict.
Hey Gino, Ditto! Unfortunately. I guess that's the price we pay for wisdom/maturity. lg
♪ ♫ 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)
One more note - 30 years ago, running comfortably/easy without a HRM, the chart is pretty much right on for me at an 8:00 min/mile (if that really was "MAF") training pace as a predictor of marathon pace.
Another reason this topic interested me is that when I first started MAF training last January, my best 5k time was 23:30. When I checked the chart, it said that my MAF pace should be about 10 min. Well, it was more like 12 minutes. So, there was no correlation. But, then I recently read that Dr. Maffetone used the "first mile" in the MAF test as his data point. In his book, the Maffetone Method, on page 73, is the following quote: "The chart below compares first-mile MAF test times with 5K average mile times..." and he is referring to this chart..... ......Does anybody know why this seems to be the only place he ever refers to this data point as the "first-mile MAF test times", but he never refers to it that way anywhere else?
Thank you for both of your great posts, Run. I had never read that interview with Phil, and thoroughly enjoyed it. He's hanging with the Chili Peppers...interesting. I completely missed the "first-mile MAF" statement. I'll look into my book collection and see if it is mentioned at all. If it isn't, it's probably just him getting more detailed in his rewrites. He could probaboly just read this forum and get a good idea of the holes in in his books (the places where questions pop up all the time). Thanks again. --Jimmy
Just checked--no mention that the chart is using first mile MAF test times in Training For Endurance, but it is mentioned in the Mafffetone Method. Nice bit of info there. I'll revise the initial post a bit to include this info. --Jimmy
lowgear1

Max McMaffelow Esq.

Some people will get faster in mile two or three, which is not normal. Maffetone says that's a warm up problem but I think it's a metabolic issue.
I've often wondered if I were indeed, abnormal. To wit: Not to be morbid, but would a bad ticker, (me) and perhaps a degree of atherosclerosis manifest this way? My non professional thoughts: I tend to get significantly faster in later miles at maf (even when factoring in a proper warm-up). I'm assuming that expansion/relaxation of blood vessels could be at play. Yes, to a degree, "normal cardio" type runners would also experience this affect, but probably to a less proportional degree, occuring over a shorter time frame. I do know that the longer I run, the more comfortable it becomes. (The first mile or two, of course, are like what many others describe. Not their fav.) One sure way to find out would be to get a calcification work-up, etc., etc.? Any thoughts? David, aren't you a physio? scientist? lg
♪ ♫ 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)
LG, What do you consider a proper warm-up for an MAF test?
lowgear1

Max McMaffelow Esq.

LG, What do you consider a proper warm-up for an MAF test?
Good question Jimmy, A confession. I've never really done a proper/classic maf test, but keep pretty close track of comparative data. Garmin Training center downloads mostly. Had in the past done many, many laps at a H. S. track, but have gotten away from that. What prompts your inquiry? lg eta I've experienced this type situation: These are not actual times but just for example. On a mid-long (for me) run of say 7 miles, I would gradually build from say 107 bpm up to 115 bpm, by miles 6 and 7. Mile 6 would be 13:50 whereas mile 7 might be 13:32 or so. Not huge, but nearly always quicker for identical heartrate. Furthermore, i've seen this trend in even longer runs (maybe not each and every mile, but an unmistakable trend.)?? eta 2 re, my half ,run this past Sun. Being just an experiment, I was truly delighted I didn't "blow up". Quite the contrary, it became more enjoyable with each successive mile. Not that it was a cake walk. 79 % heartrate, I believe. I'm gonna check my data to see if I can find similar evidence in that run. Thank God, I seem to have a modicum of endurance. eta 3 What the heck's wrong with me. I forgot. I had a darn nice negative split in the half. It appears that for very steady heartrates, I improved quite dramatically. Of course it's very subjective, as the terrain changes and a host of other factors likely played a role. Still emboldened.......I go now.
♪ ♫ 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)
Jimmy, Is that chart from Maffetone's book based on true MAF (assuming blood tests?) or just the MAF +5 formula like you outlined for your times in your original post?
It would be interesting to see results from someone with, e.g., a MAF pace of 13:00 min/mile. McMillan says that for those whose marathons are over 4 hours, the difference between training pace and marathon pace will be less than for those whose marathons are under 4 hours. I would suspect that as someone's marathon time goes up this difference narrows more and more. McMillan's pace calculator works pretty well for me, plugging in HM or Marathon time to predict the other. HM pace is about 1:30 min/mile faster than training (MAF) pace. Marathon pace is about 30 sec/mile faster than training pace. Unfortunately for me, that's way slower than the extrapolated chart would predict.
If this helps My MAF pace before HM was between 12:30 and 13:00m/m MAF 143 HM was 11:00m/m (10:30 m/m run for 10 minutes with one minute walk breaks) MAF +21 (164) actual race time 2:26:00, McMillian prediction 2:17:00 I felt I could have run slightly faster, maybe 1-2 minutes. Maybe I'll do a MAF test soon, how long should I wait after a race to attempt one? A

Recalculating...

labhiker

The chart is just one possible indicator. One that might not come into play until you have a few marathons under your belt, along with correlating MAF test data. The test you did at MAF-2 puts you in the 4:00 range on the chart, but might not mean you can yet do 4 hours. The marathon times were taken from the MCMillan calculator after popping in Maffetone's 5k times. One thing to remember is that basing a possible marathon time on a 5k pace using the calculator gives you the best possible time under optimal conditions and needing to be an aerobic machine. Have you any other information? A race of any distance? Have you done a marathon before? If so, did you keep track of all your training times and HR's? For indicators, I use MAF tests, MRP runs, races (popped into McMillan) and comparisons with past training times under similar conditions. I found the Maffetone MAF chart to be fairly close (for cool weather). --Jimmy
Jimmy - here is a little more information from a few races and long runs. 26.2M (10/07) 10:25 ave. pace 161ave/ 184max (a few pit stops along route….) 13.1 M (10/06) 9:14 ave pace 169 ave/ 190max 10M (this summer - 85F+ & humid) 9:43 ave pace (slow) 174ave/ 198max (can I correct this time based on a previous post prior to plugging into McMillan?) - if 12% for 85F+ 8:40 pace +/- - if 7% 9:05 pace +/- Plugging in previous race times into McMillan (both actual and corrected for heat & humidity) I am coming up with an approximate 9:15 to 9:45 MP (from a 10M) and a 9:45 MP (from a 1/2 in 07). I had about four 20 milers at sub-MAF pace. Two were at an averaged about 11:05 (MAF-2 ave with a 2 - 3 mile pick up at the end >> MAF). The other two were at an average 11:15 pace (MAF-12 ave). Two 19 milers averaged about an 11:10 pace @ MAF-14. (MAF runs corrected for summer heat and humidity). Using these results and the expanded MAF chart (with average MAF pace not 1st mile pace) it suggests a possible 9:15 – 9:32 MP. Based on all this does it seem practical to go after a 9:15 to 9:45 pace? Is it OK to look at previous MAF runs and correct actual paces for the hot dog days of summer?

labhiker

RER

Thank you for both of your great posts, Run. I had never read that interview with Phil, and thoroughly enjoyed it. He's hanging with the Chili Peppers...interesting. --Jimmy
The guy has "dropped out." Grew his hair long and everything. I went to see him perform when visiting family in Arizona. We had a great long chat afterwards. He's worked with Johnny Cash and and a bunch of some of my favorites. But he can still talk the talk when it comes to training and racing.
RER

Jimmy, Is that chart from Maffetone's book based on true MAF (assuming blood tests?) or just the MAF +5 formula like you outlined for your times in your original post?
Hey, something's missing here. "True MAF"...blood test? ... meaning? MAF+5? Not many people I know fit that category.
Jimmy, Is that chart from Maffetone's book based on true MAF (assuming blood tests?) or just the MAF +5 formula like you outlined for your times in your original post?
Whatever you are using for MAF (if you are using the +5, he would assume that you fit the rule of +5, and aren't just taking the +5 because you want to) . Blood tests? You mean gas tests? --Jimmy
Jimmy - here is a little more information from a few races and long runs. 26.2M (10/07) 10:25 ave. pace 161ave/ 184max (a few pit stops along route….) 13.1 M (10/06) 9:14 ave pace 169 ave/ 190max 10M (this summer - 85F+ & humid) 9:43 ave pace (slow) 174ave/ 198max (can I correct this time based on a previous post prior to plugging into McMillan?) - if 12% for 85F+ 8:40 pace +/- - if 7% 9:05 pace +/- Plugging in previous race times into McMillan (both actual and corrected for heat & humidity) I am coming up with an approximate 9:15 to 9:45 MP (from a 10M) and a 9:45 MP (from a 1/2 in 07). I had about four 20 milers at sub-MAF pace. Two were at an averaged about 11:05 (MAF-2 ave with a 2 - 3 mile pick up at the end >> MAF). The other two were at an average 11:15 pace (MAF-12 ave). Two 19 milers averaged about an 11:10 pace @ MAF-14. (MAF runs corrected for summer heat and humidity). Using these results and the expanded MAF chart (with average MAF pace not 1st mile pace) it suggests a possible 9:15 – 9:32 MP. Based on all this does it seem practical to go after a 9:15 to 9:45 pace? Is it OK to look at previous MAF runs and correct actual paces for the hot dog days of summer?
Those races are very out of date. The 10-miler isn't very helpful, too many variables. Do you have an actual 3 or 5-mile MAF test? When is your marathon? Your training paces aren't too different from mine right now. I'm pretty confident if I ran a marathon tomorrow, I could break 3:40. Doesn't mean you can, BUT it doesn't mean you can't. I suggest that you try a 10-mile MRP tempo run structured like the folllowing: (MILE) (AVE HR PER MILE) Mile 1 145 Mile 2 146 Mile 3 148 Mile 4 150 Mile 5 152 Mile 6 154 Mile 7 156 Mile 8 158 Mile 9 160 Mile 10 161 Average about 153. I base this on your 161 ave HR in your last marathon. The 10 miles should mirror the first 10-miles of a marathon. This will help give you a ballpark number. This MRP tempo can be adjusted as you learn more about how hard you can actually run a marathon. I find that with more experience the tiredness you feel in the last 5 miles doesn't have to slow you down and you can push your HR pretty high. My MHR is like yours (199) and I average 173 in a marathon. If you decide to try such a tempo run, be sure to warm up for a few miles before hand and cool down for 20-30 minutes after (walking). Rest for a few days with no or very light running. Can be stressful. --Jimmy --Jimmy