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Maffetone is the perfect addition to Slow Jogging

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Neither Slow Jogging nor The Maffetone Method care very much about winning races or about making world records, they both care more about health than fitness, more about a the long run of a lifetime of activeness over the short burst of achievement.

Maffetone is the perfect addition to Slow Jogging

The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-Stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-pain Way to Exceptional Fitness by Philip Maffetone

I am surrently reading The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-Stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-pain Way to Exceptional Fitness by Philip Maffetone on my Kindle and it's extremely interesting. To me, the thesis is:

You can build your aerobic system with easy exercise, and if you never work out hard, you’ll still reap great benefits.

In fact, while the method does support the importance of high-intensity training as part of its lifetime method towards success, which it calls anaerobic exercise, it really tries to minimize its importance. It'a sll about health above fitness, about being free from injury over pushing yourself, and about sustained movement and wellbeing above no pain, no gain

Never train anaerobically more than two to three times each week, and separate anaerobic sessions by at least 48 hours to assure good recovery. If your workout schedule includes six or seven days each week, at most three anaerobic sessions are acceptable; if you work out four to five days each week, two anaerobic days are more appropriate; if you work out only three days each week, only one of these sessions should be anaerobic; and if you work out fewer than three days each week, anaerobic workouts are not recommended since it would be too easy to create an imbalance.

Philip Maffetone's goal is balance and his method demands that I get my high school JROTC Ranger Commander, my high school Wrestling coach, and my College Crew Coach out of my head: at 50, easy does it—for the rest of my active life—is the method behind the madness of MAF. And, as in all things, taking time to warm up and then cool down, are also important parts of being healthy and not breaking or breaking down or getting injured:

All anaerobic training should be preceded by an easy aerobic warm-up and followed by an easy aerobic cooldown. On the days between anaerobic exercise, perform an easy aerobic workout.

The way to track this is via heart rate as a way to judge intensity and amount of work. That's cool because I have a dozen heart rate chest straps and I am still rocking my Garmin Forerunner 920XT, which I have already set up so that when I run, the only things I track on the face of my watch are: time of day, duration of run, and current heart rate.  Not pace, not distance. Nope. And here's the equation I will use:

Your optimal heart rate for aerobic training is determined with the 180-Formula as follows: 1. Subtract your age from 180 (180- age). 2. Modify this number by selecting from the following categories the one that best matches your health and fitness profile: • If you are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation, any hospital stay, etc.) or if you are on any regular medication (see below), subtract an additional 10. • If you have not exercised before, have exercised irregularly, have been exercising with injury, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or cases of flu per year, or have allergies or asthma, subtract an additional 5. • If you have been exercising regularly (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the above-mentioned problems, use the (180- age) number. • If you are a competitive athlete and have been training for more than two years without any of the above-mentioned problems and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5, The heart rate obtained by using this formula is referred to as the maximum aerobic heart rate. (less)

So, for me, it's 180-50 (my age) and then minus another 10 (I am on a lot of meds for my afib) and then yet another 5 for all of my allergies and general sickliness and my obeisity and all of that. So, 180-(50-10-5)=115.

Once a maximum aerobic heart rate is found, use a range from that number to 10 beats below that number. For example, if your maximum aerobic heart rate is determined to be 155, your aerobic training zone would be 145-55 bpm.

So, when I run, row, or spin, I will be sure to keep my heart rate no lower than 105 and no higher than 115, based on that range. This should not hobble me because this is only associated with my MAF training and my aerobic training. It shouldn't include those anaerobic bursts or any hard 10s or hard 20s I do—power-10s, power-20s, and power pieces—but for all the other pieces I do.

And, don't worry, this will result in an improvement both of heart strength, heart efficiency, V02, and general health and fitness because, as I work consistently and over longer periods of time, my body will require less effort for me to keep my heart rate between 105-115, so I will be able to run fast, longer, and more intensely while still keeping my heart as the very modest 105-115bpm. Here's the voodoo magic behind this in a way that makes more sense:

For example, if you’re presently jogging a mile in 12 minutes at a rate of 140 bpm, after three months of training at this heart rate your pace may quicken to 10 minutes per mile. Even though you’ll be jogging, or running, faster, you’ll be exercising at the same heart rate and feel almost the same as when you were jogging at the slower pace of 12 minutes per mile.

Clear? I feel like I do a terrible job of explaining this. This is the same voodoo magic behind the success and power of Slow Jogging: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Have Fun with Science-Based, Natural Running that I have when I try to explain it on my Slow Jogging subreddit

And, like the Slow Jogging method by Hiroaki Tanaka and Magdalena Jackowska, the Maffetone Method by Phil Maffetone, is more about being part of your 5 year plan, your 50-year plan. 

Once you find your maximum aerobic heart rate and can exercise successfully at that rate, continue to use the same rate for about four to five years if health and fitness continue to progress. Then decrease the training rate by about 3 bpm. At that stage your training heart rate may not match the 180-Formula since your overall health and fitness will have improved. Thus, this formula is most beneficial at the start of a program and during periods of great progress. However, if you stop progressing, it may be because your exercise heart rate is too high; in some cases this may be because the 180-Formula was not calculated properly.

So, it's something that you will be able to make part of your life for the rest of your life, which is why I believe the Maffetone method and the Slow Jogging method are siblings if not fraternal twins. Maybe even identical twins, but I will let you be the judge of it. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Floris Gierman does an amazing job of explaining this in this video:

Aug 17, 2020 11:40 AM | Comments (0)
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