MAF Test

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

‘Maximum Aerobic Function’ – Monitoring Fitness

MAF training requires a heart rate monitor.

Aerobic and Anaerobic

  • Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses your arms and legs to move your body. Your muscles are used in continuous (and generally easy-to-perform) rhythmic or repetitive motions, increasing your heart rate and respiration while building your physical endurance. Aerobic means “with oxygen” — aerobic exercise uses oxygen to burn fat and carbohydrates, producing energy.
    • Aerobic exercise can strengthen your heart and reduce your resting heart rate, while increasing the number of red blood cells that help distribute oxygen throughout your body.

If you want to exercise aerobically but do not have a heart rate monitor a good gauge is that while running you can still breathe comfortably through your nose 

  • Anaerobic exercise targets your individual muscles. Because you’re not jumping around and moving your entire body, this type of exercise doesn’t require oxygen, and only burns carbohydrates. Anaerobic exercise builds muscle through short bursts of strenuous activity like weightlifting or performing push-ups at high levels of intensity.
    • This type of exercise builds your skeletal muscle, increasing your overall levels of power and strength through weight and resistance exercises using gravity and your own body weight or machines.

Your MAF

What is the MAF Method 180 Formula?

To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps –

  • Subtract your age from 180.
  • Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:
    • If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
    • If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
    • If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems in (a) and (b), keep the number (180–age) the same.
    • If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems in (a) and (b), and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5

So when I am doing MAF paced runs, I run as fast as a heart rate of 137 allows. Which is 180-48(age)+5(training consistently for more than 2 years)=137.

The Test

MAF1Once a month, preform a MAF Test –

  • 10 minute warm up so your heart rate is around your MAF 180 heart rate.
  • Use a GPS to track your heart rate and time on a race track or flat route (will need to be the same route each time you do it). 3Km is a good test.
  • Each time you do the test, your minutes per kilometer should be less, and there should be less variance between your first kilometer and last kilometer.
  • Then repeat every month on the same track, trail or road.  Wear similar attire/shoes each time and avoid inclement conditions if possible.

5 Ways to Test

  1. Minutes per mile or kilometer. Following the traditional MAF Test format, one measures minutes per mile or kilometer. One should become faster per mile or km.
  2. Course time. Measure total time of your test course, regardless of the distance (which you’ll know from GPS data). Course time should get faster.
  3. Distance per workout. Determine the distance traveled during your regular workout. A one-hour workout, for example, should have more distance covered.
  4. Power meter (watts). How much power output is measured over the test course, or during the workout period.
  5. Pool laps. The number of laps in a pool in a set time. A swimmer can perform more laps in the allotted timeframe.