Saturday, September 9, 2023

If you 'handicapped' your MAF pace, how do you know when to go full bore?

MAF pace, or Maximum Aerobic Function, is a pace that both builds cardiovascular capacity, but is slow enough for low-risk-of-injury and high volume training.   The general formula is 180 minus your age, however Dr. Maffetone suggests 'handicapping' that value for a number of reasons like a recent illness, being overfat, or overtrained.

I am 45 years old, so the baseline for my pace is 180 - 45 or 135, however because I am overfat, and started largely sedentary, I subtracted 10 points for a target of 124-125.   Since I have been regularly training in this zone, I decided to de-handicap my pace by 5 points, and start to train around, but under 130bpm.

I did a workout at this pace yesterday, and just felt amazing.  I was bringing in more air, able to let go of the control a bit, and just kind of air out my walk.  I'm still not jogging due to the extra weight and a desire to protect my joints, but I can easily reach this pace by walking up an incline.