April 9, 2019 – Run

April 9, 2019 – Run


Spring is nearly upon us and we are moving outside for our first outdoor run workout of the year! For our run workout this week we will be doing the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) test. For some of you this will be a re-test, for others this will be your first time. The MAF test is a great way to objectively measure your aerobic progress and can be performed with any exercise except weight lifting.

To perform the test, you must first obtain your maximum aerobic heart rate with the help of the 180 Formula.

The 180 Formula

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

  1. Subtract your age from 180.
  2. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:

a)  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.

b)  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.

c)  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.

d)  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.

For example, if you are 30 years old and fit into category (b), you get the following: 180–30=150. Then 150–5=145 beats per minute (bpm).

While working out at that heart rate, determine your walking, jogging or running pace—the time that it takes you to cover a certain distance—in minutes per mile, cycling speed in miles per hour, or repetitions (such as laps in a pool over time), and make a note of it. This is the parameter you will test for improvement later on.

The MAF Test should indicate faster times as the months go by. This means the aerobic system is developing and you’re burning more fat, enabling you to do more work with the same effort. Even if you walk or run longer distances, your MAF Test should show the same progression of results, providing you heed your maximum aerobic heart rate.

For experienced runner: run 5 miles @ MAF heart rate, recording the time for each mile run

Less experienced runners: run 3 miles @ MAF heart rate, recording the time for each mile run.

REMEMBER TO RECORD YOUR TIMES! This will be the benchmark for observing your progress the next time we re-test.