Thursday, July 21, 2016

MAF Test (1st Mile = 8:18)

Today I did a MAF ("maximum aerobic function") test for the first time in a really long time. I used to do these a lot a few years ago. Basically, you warm up for about a mile, then run steady at your MAF heart rate (180-age with possible minor adjustments up/down) and record each mile split. You can read much more about the MAF test from Phil Maffetone himself. And the 180-age formula too. I used 180-age+5 for my MAF maximum heart rate. My first mile was 8:18. This was indoors on a treadmill.

For the test, what I was most intrigued about was the ability to match MAF test paces (specifically the first mile) to 5K, half-marathon, and marathon race paces. As you get more aerobically fit (running lots of easy miles), your MAF test results should show a trend toward faster paces at the same MAF heart rate. If you plateau or regress, then something is wrong and you should make adjustments (often going back to pure aerobic training without speed training, races, or weights). Here are prediction charts based on MAF test first mile results (from Running Ahead forums):

MAF
test
1st
mile
5k
race pace
5k
race time
half
marathon
race time
Mcmillan---Team Oregon
marathon
race
time
Mcmillan---Team Oregon
13:009:0027:572:09:12---2:12:154:32:29---4:39:30
12:308:4527:112:05:39---2:08:374:25:00---4:31:50
12:008:3026:232:01:57---2:04:504:17:12---4:23:50
11:308:1525:371:58:25---2:01:124:09:44---4:16:10
11:008:0024:511:54:52---1:57:354:02:15---4:08:30
10:307:4524:041:51:15---1:53:523:54:37---4:00:40
10:007:3023:181:47:42---1:50:153:47:09---3:53:00
9:307:1522:311:44:05---1:46:323:39:31---3:45:10
9:007:0021:451:40:32---1:42:553:32:02---3:37:30
8:306:4520:581:36:55---1:39:123:24:24---3:29:40
8:006:3020:121:33:22---1:35:353:16:55---3:22:00
7:306:0018:381:26:08---1:28:103:01:39---3:06:20
7:005:3017:051:18:58---1:20:502:46:32---2:50:50
6:305:1516:191:15:25---1:17:122:39:04---2:43:10
6:005:0015:321:11:48---1:13:302:31:26---2:35:20
5:454:4514:451:08:11---1:09:472:23:48---2:27:30
5:304:3013:591:04:38---1:06:102:16:19---2:19:50
5:154:2013:281:02:15---1:03:432:11:17---2:14:40
5:004:1513:121:01:01---1:02:272:08:41---2:12:00

Today's 8:18 first mile MAF result placed me between rows on the chart, but I can take some comfort in knowing I'm better than the 8:30 predictions of 20:58 (5K), 1:37-1:39 (half-marathon), and 3:24-3:29 (marathon). I'd like to bring my MAF first mile down to 8:00 (or at least 8:15) in the next couple of months. I actually ran fairly hard the day before this MAF test, so my "real baseline" might be 8:15 or better if well-rested. I'll check again soon, then try to do this once per week to track changes.

In terms of my upcoming marathon, I might just be in 3:25 marathon shape. You need to have faith. Believe!

2 comments:

janak said...

I have read Dr, MAF's website. Here is my observation - humans are not clone machines and so no single formula like 180-age is appropriate. Real life is a statistical distribution where it may be that mean value over many individuals is 180-age. But he gives no statistical variance like - it should be 180-age plus/minus one or two standard deviations. So may be a range like 180-age-10 to 180-age+10 may make far more sense. Remember you are an individual not a clone!

Chris Ⓥ said...

Very true, but now I have the stats to connect MAF tests to 5k, half-marathon, and marathon races! I am a robot.