# Treadmill test to determine MAF (KPH) (19 tests) (Read 2755 times)

Taranos' test

Age 40

Max hr 200

Currently training at 140 bpm.

Test at treadmill, 1º incline, + 0,1 kph each 10 seconds.

Was very difficult for me start at  120 bpm running, I can only be at this hr walking. Did the test twice.

Test 1: After 25 min warm walking I start the test at 120 bpm and when I start runing my hr jumps inmediatly to 140s, so I slow down  and  start again in 135 hr. I finish the test at 14,5 kph and 190 hr, I felt I can give much more but Im not very used to the treadmill and I started to remember treadmill youtube videos  and decided to stop.

Test 2

I was not sure if initial hr of test 1 was ok, so I decided to repeat it to see what happened. This time I started the test walking and  only started running when the speed forced me. I stopped at 15kph-195 hr( more confident this time) but still not in the limit.

I combined both tests in one graph matching the speed to see the equivalences:

For me the 180 hr plateau is clear, that's my good hr for half maratón.

For 10k I average 188-190 hr

Update.

Interestingly checking at the graph (test 2) beat to beat/second generated by garmin connect the plateau looks clear at 140 bpm.

@Taranos

three notes

1) in second test when you did walking, that distorts the results because it's different efficiency relationship to pace compared to running. btw at what speed or HR did you start running?

2) garmin graph is no good for analysis because as far as I can see its horizontal axis has time not speed. (even if it had pace, it would not be good enough, pace is not linear like speed is)

3) you probably have a lot of artifacts in both graphs, especially in first one; with HR jumping around like crazy - were you mentally stressed out about being tested? or did you get the jumps when you pressed buttons etc?

with all that said I'm guessing 154 from second test but I've pulled that out of my ass, I don't really know which plateau of the many is supposed to be the MAF, I simply picked the first plateau (at lowest possible HR) :P also note, if you started running just around 140-150 HR, that guess is completely useless then. if you started running at, say, 130 HR, it could still be usable

anyway... just my opinion. I'd say wait for jimmyb to see what he has to say about your tests

My answers in sake of the low hr science:

1) When I strted running I was at 135 or 136 bpm, checked from the garmin pace graph.

2) I agree the garmin graph is flatter. Garmin uses average hr per increments of 2 seconds ( the horizontal axis jumps two by two seconds) meanwhile the increase in 0,1 kph in the standard procedure is equivalent to average hr in 10 seconds, so garmin gets 5 horizontal dots per one in the standard procedure.

Maybe this flatter graph is good for difficult cases like mine, this is only a guess.

3) I suffer of some stupid stress when performing this tests, but this time I think I was quite relaxed, second test much more relaxed. Not looking at all to the watch to check the hr.

@Taranos

three notes

1) in second test when you did walking, that distorts the results because it's different efficiency relationship to pace compared to running. btw at what speed or HR did you start running?

2) garmin graph is no good for analysis because as far as I can see its horizontal axis has time not speed. (even if it had pace, it would not be good enough, pace is not linear like speed is)

3) you probably have a lot of artifacts in both graphs, especially in first one; with HR jumping around like crazy - were you mentally stressed out about being tested? or did you get the jumps when you pressed buttons etc?

with all that said I'm guessing 154 from second test but I've pulled that out of my ass, I don't really know which plateau of the many is supposed to be the MAF, I simply picked the first plateau (at lowest possible HR) :P also note, if you started running just around 140-150 HR, that guess is completely useless then. if you started running at, say, 130 HR, it could still be usable

anyway... just my opinion. I'd say wait for jimmyb to see what he has to say about your tests

Hi Tarano,

Thanks for posting. I can't tell too much from these results. Starting running after walking at 135 bpm probably threw things off. With your 180-40 being 140 bpm, that means your MAF could be falling between 130-145. C is right about shifting into running. My HR walking vs. running at the same speed is aprox. 10 bpm lower. Switching at a key point in the test skews things.

Not sure why you can't run below 120. Unless you're really aerobically deficient. Try shortening your stride. You might try doing the test with all walking. See if a deflection point  is defined. You don't need to go much higher than 155-160 to see if there is one. You could always set a higher incline to insure you will be able to get your HR high enough while walking. Keep the same incline throughout, though.

Relax. It's just for fun. As far as the Maffetone Method goes, this test isn't really necessary if you follow the suggested adjustments in calculating MAF. It doesn't hurt to err on the low side. If the suggested adjustments give you 135, go with it.

Thanks for posting.

--Jimmy

Taranos' test

Age 40

Max hr 200

Currently training at 140 bpm.

Test at treadmill, 1º incline, + 0,1 kph each 10 seconds.

Was very difficult for me start at  120 bpm running, I can only be at this hr walking. Did the test twice.

Test 1: After 25 min warm walking I start the test at 120 bpm and when I start runing my hr jumps inmediatly to 140s, so I slow down  and  start again in 135 hr. I finish the test at 14,5 kph and 190 hr, I felt I can give much more but Im not very used to the treadmill and I started to remember treadmill youtube videos  and decided to stop.

Test 2

I was not sure if initial hr of test 1 was ok, so I decided to repeat it to see what happened. This time I started the test walking and  only started running when the speed forced me. I stopped at 15kph-195 hr( more confident this time) but still not in the limit.

I combined both tests in one graph matching the speed to see the equivalences:

For me the 180 hr plateau is clear, that's my good hr for half maratón.

For 10k I average 188-190 hr

Update.

Interestingly checking at the graph (test 2) beat to beat/second generated by garmin connect the plateau looks clear at 140 bpm.

Hi Jimmy

My answers in sake of the low hr science:

1) When I strted running I was at 135 or 136 bpm, checked from the garmin pace graph.

2) I agree the garmin graph is flatter. Garmin uses average hr per increments of 2 seconds ( the horizontal axis jumps two by two seconds) meanwhile the increase in 0,1 kph in the standard procedure is equivalent to average hr in 10 seconds, so garmin gets 5 horizontal dots per one in the standard procedure.

Maybe this flatter graph is good for difficult cases like mine, this is only a guess.

3) I suffer of some stupid stress when performing this tests, but this time I think I was quite relaxed, second test much more relaxed. Not looking at all to the watch to check the hr.

1: ahh, well that's too bad then :/

2: oh, hmm, actually it's not bad then, I didn't think of how the 0,1kph increments are done in standardized time intervals then thats not so bad... but doesn't help in your case with lots of artifacts

3: so first test was so crazy not only because it was hard to run slow but because of mental stress as well... you can safely disregard the results of the whole first test, don't bother to compare it to 2nd test at all. though 2nd is not great either because of the walking

Hi Tarano,

Thanks for posting. I can't tell too much from these results. Starting running after walking at 135 bpm probably threw things off. With your 180-40 being 140 bpm, that means your MAF could be falling between 130-145. C is right about shifting into running. My HR walking vs. running at the same speed is aprox. 10 bpm lower. Switching at a key point in the test skews things.

Not sure why you can't run below 120. Unless you're really aerobically deficient. Try shortening your stride. You might try doing the test with all walking. See if a deflection point  is defined. You don't need to go much higher than 155-160 to see if there is one. You could always set a higher incline to insure you will be able to get your HR high enough while walking. Keep the same incline throughout, though.

Relax. It's just for fun. As far as the Maffetone Method goes, this test isn't really necessary if you follow the suggested adjustments in calculating MAF. It doesn't hurt to err on the low side. If the suggested adjustments give you 135, go with it.

hey jimmyb Heh, I would be interested in seeing a test result from Tarano that's all walking, maybe do it on a higher incline (walk very slow first), to have a chance to get to somewhat higher HR's without killing the legs.

As for the other points. I can't run well below 120 myself, not because I'm aerobically deficient, it's simply a very low intensity for me. Well to be precise, I can "wog" below 120 or I can actually run on a nice downhill though still slow. To give more concrete data, recently I went to run with a friend who tried to run for the first time in his life. At 13min/mile pace my HR was in the 120's. So I assume I could go below 120 at 14-15min/mile pace and yes I used to do that pace at 150's HR a while ago but now it's a bit different to me. (I'm sure I'm still capable of doing this pace but I'd prefer to call it "wogging" :P I'm not degrading anyone who trains at such paces, I used to train at that pace, I just mean it's all individual really.  I can totally understand if someone has a hard time slowing down to something that feels like a "wog" instead of running to them.)

The thing is, I'm sure there's some forum members who do maybe 4 hour marathon that can run below 120 simply because they have their heart "calibrated" at a lower frequency. I hope I managed to put it in a way that makes sense Yes I do mean lower HR max by it but I do also mean lower anaerobic threshold and lower MAF HR as well. Naturally, that will result in said person being more able to run below 120 than me even if they have slower PR's including long distance races such as marathon.

So, before declaring that the issue must be due to being "really aerobically deficient", it's best to try and think within a wider framework to see what else it could be. I hope I am making sense I do believe though that things are really more complex than just simply a formula of 180-age and a few fixed limited range adjustments. I think this is very important!

Another note on another point of your post. When Maffetone invented the MAF it was meant to stand for "Maximal Aerobic Function". This means the heart rate that's maximally aerobic, that is, will allow you to improve most efficiently without unwanted anaerobic load. Maximally aerobic then, does not mean a very low HR. It will be a low HR, but most likely not as low as only 67% of maxHR for most people - Taranos' maxHR is 200 and we were talking about 135bpm here as possible MAF HR right? This is 67% for him.

You are right of course that it doesn't hurt (too much) to err on the low side. It certainly won't make you overtrain It will mean less efficient training but high mileage and using periodization with "anaerobic phase" faster running will take care of that issue to an extent.

The only thing I don't believe works is erroneously choosing a HR that's well below MAF and then sticking with it and not making up for it in any of the above mentioned ways. (Or even erroneously choosing a HR above MAF, if you have a low HRmax and you are young. I know such people for who the 180 formula will give a HR above MAF.)

But then of course, if you track your progress (checking training runs progression over time or doing MAF tests etc etc), nobody would get stuck there for long. So then, the only thing I really take issue with is that on this forum it seems that when the MAF training doesn't work, the thing people will first always think of is "try and lower your HR more". It should be just as often mentioned "try and increase your HR a bit". Or manipulate training load in other ways (lower/higher mileage, adding faster runs, etc.) of course, just to make the picture complete.

Let me also mention, your post sounded like the 180 formula was a better method of setting the MAF HR than this treadmill test...? Why? Surely an empirical test is better than a generic formula that does not take into account individual variation? It's just a statistical formula. Even Maffetone himself does not use it for his patients, he uses more precise methods instead (I just wish he'd have gone into detail on that in the article where he talks about this!).

I believe Maffetone has written about some really good points in his books but with introducing this statistical formula he really made a big mistake. At least he should have emphasized it more in the books how it's statistical and not magic at all. Unless I skipped something in the books... He only clearly explains in his online articles that it's not a magical formula.

I don't know, maybe people want a simple solution that doesn't require thinking. They'd prefer magic instead and that's why they jumped so happily onto this formula lol. I myself was guilty of wanting to believe that there was some real trick to it But nope, nope, you just need to get to know your body better to understand it and then be able to train properly. A process that takes long years. Certainly one little formula will not do the work instead of you.

OK, well, end of rant I hope it's okay to have written so much here about this lol. I just find all these are important issues.

Well cmon2, looks like you read my thoughts, I did the test few hours before your post.

I was not sure if post it, kind of shy, but here it is:

Test procedure:

Warm 20 min

Walking the full test, increasin 0,1kph each 10 seconds.

Stopped at 160 bpm.

Change in breath, just light stress, at 144bpm

I think the zone for me is 144-146, should macth with 180-age+5.

Well cmon2, looks like you read my thoughts, I did the test few hours before your post.

I was not sure if post it, kind of shy, but here it is:

lol cool.

more data is always good!

interesting how you got such a steep increase in HR after 145-ish, not that I know what that means.

knowing that estimate about your anaerobic threshold I don't think you can go wrong with 145, in terms of, I don't think it would be too high. maybe a bit low but def. not high! but that's just my opinion

gpardo

Hi there, finally I was able to get a treadmill and do this test. However I found that the speed setting in the treadmill was only in mph, so while was warming up, I decided that if the increments were 0.1 mph instead of 0.1 kmh, that means 1.6 higher, my time increments should be 16 secs instead of 10 secs. I know this is not the protocol but I hope is close:

My Data:

Age: 49, next month I will be 50.

25 minutes of warm up below 110.

Increments: 0.1 mph

Increment time: 16 secs

To be honest I was really busy doing the math for the 16 secs increments that I didn't realize anything about breathing during the test. Your input is appreciated.

Thanks for posting. Following the 10-second protocol would have given you more data points and perhaps a better defined deflection. The KPH function on some treadmills is kind of hidden, like on my Pacemaster on which I have to hold a button down (a button that says nothing about KPH) right away when I turn the ™ on in order to switch. Check your manual if you haven't.  There's another test I created for MPH here, using incline. You can also try redoing the test as you did it, booping the watch where you feel a slight change in your breathing, body, or even your gate. See in how it coincides with your calculated MAF. Remember that this test isn't that important or proven at this point, and that using the formula with adjustments will work just fine for this training.

Thanks again for posting.  --Jimmy

Hi there, finally I was able to get a treadmill and do this test. However I found that the speed setting in the treadmill was only in mph, so while was warming up, I decided that if the increments were 0.1 mph instead of 0.1 kmh, that means 1.6 higher, my time increments should be 16 secs instead of 10 secs. I know this is not the protocol but I hope is close:

My Data:

Age: 49, next month I will be 50.

25 minutes of warm up below 110.

Increments: 0.1 mph

Increment time: 16 secs

To be honest I was really busy doing the math for the 16 secs increments that I didn't realize anything about breathing during the test. Your input is appreciated.

Thanks for posting. Following the 10-second protocol would have given you more data points and perhaps a better defined deflection. The KPH function on some treadmills is kind of hidden, like on my Pacemaster on which I have to hold a button down (a button that says nothing about KPH) right away when I turn the ™ on in order to switch. Check your manual if you haven't.  There's another test I created for MPH here, using incline. You can also try redoing the test as you did it, booping the watch where you feel a slight change in your breathing, body, or even your gate. See in how it coincides with your calculated MAF. Remember that this test isn't that important or proven at this point, and that using the formula with adjustments will work just fine for this training.

Thanks again for posting.  --Jimmy

is there a deflection point at 158? or you don't see any deflection point?

is there a deflection point at 158? or you don't see any deflection point?

It looks like there is one at 123, but if the protocol was followed, the curves, plateaus, and deflections of the graph probably would have looked different...including that mini-plateau at 158. Didn't want to make any conclusions.

It looks like there is one at 123, but if the protocol was followed, the curves, plateaus, and deflections of the graph probably would have looked different...including that mini-plateau at 158. Didn't want to make any conclusions.

Yeah I see what you mean.

I actually have had this question lingering in my mind for a while and I've finally put it into words: how does one determine which plateau is the MAF when there's several?

btw if results are so heavily dependent on protocol, how was the proper protocol determined, or do you just mean that the default protocol of doing the speed increases in every 10 secs and doing smaller increases will show plateaus in a more detailed fashion? (Slightly less refined protocol of a bit larger speed increases at every 16 secs would still then have them, just harder to see them.) I guess you meant that