MAF all the way to the bank

IMG 4031 225x300 MAF all the way to the bank

The end of yesterday’s run

I’ve now had two successful outdoor runs–one on Sunday for four miles and one yesterday for five. Both felt really good and I’m excited. Now the trick is to keep myself in check with the mileage, but trust me, I will! Time away from running is too hard to blow it all by doing something stupid.

Speaking of not being stupid, my plan from here is to get back into MAF training. It’s not only key for base building, but it’s also the perfect way to return from an injury. I strapped on the heart rate monitor yesterday and went right back to my aerobic range. I kind of dreaded looking at the paces but of course I had to peek. I was actually pleasantly surprised. Even though I’ve lost fitness, I was able to run a better pace than I would have predicted at MAF right now. I’m guessing the big difference is that it’s much colder right now than it was last time I trained at MAF, back in late September.

How long will I stick to MAF this time? Patience willing, I’m going all the way this time. That means sticking with this heart rate range until I get two months in a row with no improvement. That could be six months, it could be a year, who knows? I regret not seeing it through all the way last time, so here’s take two.

That being the case, I don’t have any races on the horizon at this stage. I would like to do some late summer/early fall, but I’m going to refrain from signing up until this base is laid and I can then get back to some speed work. I think it will pay off on many levels.

So that’s the plan–slow and steady as she goes.

If you’d like more details on MAF training, I’ve got a collection of posts over here on my right sidebar.

Related Posts:


  1. I love the idea of MAF training coming off an injury, as a second encouragement to keep things slow and easy. Will be interesting to see what happens as the weather warms AND your fitness increases, two things working toward opposite effects on your heartrate. As usual, will enjoy following you on this journey.

    And I’m bookmarking this point, to remind you with, next time you threaten to bail early on MAF. ;-)
    Coach Holly @ Run With Holly recently posted..Stretch of the Week: C-Curves (Sides #1/Back #1)My Profile

  2. Very brave of you, and I wish you well…

    I can remember coming back from an injury back in 1999 and in week one I was doing track sessions!!!
    Coach Dion recently posted..PERMANENT NUMBERMy Profile

  3. Worked too hard to have it blow up and do something stupid – my thoughts exactly right now with my current state of running. I’ve been thinking a lot of MAF training. Now would be a good time to do it….rereading all your other posts now!

  4. Sounds like you have a solid plan! I should have done MAF training before diving into my half marathon training. I may have laid a better base instead of feeling like I was a complete beginner. I’m looking forward to your updates on this.
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted..Half Marathon Training Recap – Week SixMy Profile

  5. I wish I had your patience, wisdom and outlook on running. Too often after a break (regardless of how short/long), I sign up for races as a way to get back to where I was – which may or may not be feasible and then I rush training. I would love to have 6 months with no “big” races on the calendar and focus on mileage and easy running to build my base.
    Michele @ NYC Running Mama recently posted..23 miler + Small VictoriesMy Profile

    • Michele–at your age I wouldn’t have done this either! But age and injuries have convinced me that it’s the way to go for me right now.

  6. I love reading about your MAF training. I’ll have to go though your old posts too when I’m ready to give this a go myself. I may start in the fall after all my “big” races are done. Thanks for all the info!
    Allie recently posted..Raising Not-So-Girly Girls – Obviously A Guest Post!My Profile

  7. I am on the slow and steady plan too, not as much fun but hoping it pays off in the end, kind of tired of putting myself back on the injured list. Glad you had some great run!
    Christy @My Dirt Road Anthem recently posted..Week in review and SweatpinkMy Profile

  8. Sweeet, can’t wait to see your results. I am on month 3 now of it and really liking it this time. I will go above MAF for the race, but he said that was the exception if working on speed. Then my concern is seeing how it transitions to summer since humidity and I do not get along.
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..Timex Ironman GPS Watch ReviewsMy Profile

  9. I cant help with the MAF—but patience? Ill work on that with you…alongside you…that be my MARCH GOAL too.
    Carla recently posted..Puffer fish anyone?My Profile

  10. I think that is a great idea Amanda! One of my best friends (a 15:27 5k runner) uses this for her training and it keeps her on track so she does not overtrain. I also know Villanova University uses it, and they are one of the best running colleges in the country. I think it will definitely prevent you from overdoing it! I am pretty good at keeping myself under control on my runs….except my long runs (6:17 average pace yesterday may have been a little tooooo quick for this point in my training).

    I am so excited for you! Things are going to get even better :)
    Tina Muir recently posted..Rise Bars Giveaway Product ReviewMy Profile

  11. i think you’ve gained a lot more patience, so yes, MAF all the way!
    lindsay recently posted..Grain Free Lemon Shortbread Pie and Pie Round Up!My Profile

  12. That’s a really perfect plan. You’re so right, MAF is ideal for coming back from injury so there is no temptation to stress your body and overdo it!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Fueling with more than foodMy Profile

  13. You are the MAF expert. i ‘ll follow you on the journey. Can’t wait to see how you do. :)
    Katie recently posted..No Words Just MemoriesMy Profile

  14. I admire your patience! I think that MAF training is a great plan for coming back from an injury–I tend to run by feel and I push it when I feel good, risking re-injury.

    That year I had my stress fracture and Lyme disease–I didn’t do any races. It was tough, but I’m so glad I took it easy.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..Polar vortex? Black hole?My Profile

  15. So glad to read you are going to do this….I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results when you do decide to race again! So glad you are back from injury. Happy running.
    Robin recently posted..9 Weeks TodayMy Profile

  16. Awesome to see you are running! Wise approach. Take it easy and before you know it you’ll be back racing.
    Johann recently posted..What is your favorite type of race?My Profile

  17. Hooray for your return to running! I love that you’re taking a smart approach about mileage, racing, and training. I have no doubt it will pay off big time! Welcome back!!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Raising Not-So-Girly Girls: A Guest Post at VITA Train for LifeMy Profile

  18. Sounds like a good idea – you know it worked for you before and it should keep you from re-injuring yourself. So glad you’re back running!
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Basic Bodyweight ExercisesMy Profile

  19. So so excited to hear about your successful outdoor runs (and yoga too of course!). I too love that you are starting with MAF. So smart and you will come back so strong. I too wish that I had your patience!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Lessons from Ski School – Part 3My Profile

  20. MAF seems like a great way to come back after an injury – it will help keep you from pushing too hard too soon!
    Hooray for 2 outdoor runs – I hope that you can slowly build back up and get back to the mileage you are used to running.
    BTW – how is your son’s Achilles?
    Kim recently posted..What is Your Cure for Waking Up in a Funk?My Profile

    • Hi Kim–thanks for asking. He is better, but still has four more weeks before he can do any running activities. PT starts next week and then he’ll be counting down the days until he can return to soccer!

  21. James Cotter says:

    Can’t beat maximizing aerobic capacity while strengthening all your tendons and ligaments along the way.

  22. I’m glad to read you are starting to ‘get back out there’ :) I think it’s a great idea to focus on MAF and also not worry about races right now. Make your body happy first!
    Christina recently posted..Running, eating up the pantry, and a Coach bagMy Profile

  23. So glad you’re back running. And it sounds like MAF training was a good fit before so it makes sense to focus on it again. Wishing you the best of luck!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Monday Motivation – Reenergized!My Profile

  24. Happy to hear that you had two good runs!
    Kierston recently posted..Practice Breathing More Often…It’s Good For You.My Profile

  25. I LOVE that you are being smart about this & knowing you don’t want to re-injure! So many would go right back to it & end up injured again! So happy you are back at it!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Benefits Old School Weight LiftingMy Profile

  26. Yay for getting runs in pain free! I know you pumped you must be! One run at a time! :)
    Taylor @ LiftingRevolution recently posted..Kettlebell Athletics Level 1 CertificationMy Profile

  27. I love that you have recommitted to MAF! Such a wonderful way to come back from injury!

    I am seeing explosive growth (MAF through a pregnacy/emergency C section recovery) after a year of MAF training. I don’t have the core strength recovery/endurance/time to clock the miles I want…but staying in my target range has brought my pace down tremendously. I am so excited for Spring & despite basically not racing in 2013, I expect late summer/fall to be my best season yet!
    Teresa C. recently posted..Bountiful ThanksMy Profile

  28. so behind on my reading!! I was just talking to jessica (paceofme) yesterday about this…I think I am going to wear the heart rate monitor again just to see where I am!
    elizabeth recently posted..Hills, Nashville, and Fat TuesdayMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


Current ye@r *

CommentLuv badge