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Slow Jogging and MAF Training are sibling training strategies

Slow Jogging is a form of exercise slower than jogging, and perhaps slower than the average walking speed.
Slow Jogging and MAF Training are sibling training strategies

Run Slow to Run Fast

How quickly you slow jog, be it a slow shuffle or a quickstepped, ball-of-your-feet, bopping along, really depends on how quickly or slowly you need to run in order to keep smiling, not get injured, and maintain the ability to chat without being out of breath.

This is completely relative. One man's Niko Niko, low-heart-rate, slow jog, can be much slower or faster than another—and both are absolutely perfect!

And, that pace and speed and distance per hour of effort should organically increase naturally as your body becomes more fit, stronger, more durable, and your heart and lungs and quads and calves and feet become more naturally used to the trauma and battering that running can inflict on a body that's not used to moving quickly.

Slow jogging solves it by saying that there is no such thing as too slow. That you can shuffle along on your forefeet even slower than mums walking their toddlers and that's OK. No shame. As long as you're out there putting in the time on the road, even if that doesn't even break a sweat or leave you panting (that's good!). I have slow-jogged as slowly as 16:00 minute miles and sometimes 13:00 minute miles. And sometimes faster but I don't even really care about that. What is slow jogging?

Unlike traditional training, that requires concentration and effort, slow jogging is more like taking a walk, at the intensity light enough to enjoy conversation or, if by yourself, to just smile. For most beginners it means jogging at a walking pace.

Always remember that the way of slow jogging is a lot like MAF training: Niko Niko is like MAF in that the "speed" and "pace" required to keep a low heart rate or to keep smiling and able to chat is not set in concrete or written in stone, it's directly proportionate to how fit you are and how much stress you can be under while still maintaining an absolutely sustainable and enjoyable level of running and jogging and movement effort. I just heard non-elite runner Kofuzi say that when he started MAF training (he's not a slow jogger and wants to go fast but he also wants to not get injured and wants to run a sub-3-hour marathon). MAF training isn't slow jogging but they're related. Either siblings or cousins. Here's the definition:

MAF provides simple exercise guidelines based on individualized heart rates that work for everyone from sedentary individuals to professional athletes. Tracking the progress of the aerobic system helps predict when strength and speed workouts can produce healthy gains.

MAF tracks heart rate as the indicator and Slow Jogging tracks body feel. And both of them suggest people focus only on the duration of time running rather than the pace or the number of miles.

Dr. Phil Maffetone had a similar idea: run for duration instead of pace (minutes-per-mile or minutes-per-kilometer) or mileage (miles or kilometers). Look at your Garmin, Polar, FitBit, or Apple GPS smartwatch and remove the pace and the distance from your running screen. Just wear a heart rate chest strap and link it to your watch and then only keep an eye on that heartrate and then only care whether your heartrate is within the limits recommended by the MAF Training Method:

Forget pace and speed. As a general rule your MAF heart rate is 180 minus your age. So if for example, you are aged 50 and are in good health, then your MAF heart rate will be 180-50 = 130. Your MAF range for training will thus be 120-130 beats per minute.

So, for me, my MAF heartrate is 130bpm, which is 180 minus my age, 50. I think I will try this while I am just doing Niko Niko. I will go into my Garmin Forerunner 920XT and remove everything from my run tracking watch face except duration and heart rate. I'll wear my watch and also sport my Yahoo TICKERX or Garmin HRM-Dual chest strap heartrate monitor, and then make sure I never work any hards, first, than my Niko Niko, my smiling, pace. Niko Niko is a central philosophy around Slow Jogging, and is Japanese and is interpreted this way:

The Japanese word “niko” means “smile”; following a common pattern of word doubling in Japanese, “niko-niko” has a meaning closer to “smiley”.

Then, after that, make sure that my heartrate doesn't exceed 130 beats-per-minute. I won't base my speed or quickness on my HR but on my happiness and my smiling and my ability to keep on running for an entire hour, for example.

Here's a very interesting, albeit long, interview of Mike Ko AKA Kofuzi, by Floris Gierman, about his experience, frustrations, and successes (and failures) of committing to a dirty MAF training regimen for over one-thousand days:

What Bard Thinks

I think that slow jogging and MAF training are both great ways to improve your running performance and health. They are both based on the principle of running at a low heart rate, which allows you to train for longer periods of time without getting injured. Slow jogging is a bit slower than MAF training, but it is still a great way to improve your running economy and endurance.

Here are some of the benefits of slow jogging and MAF training:

  • Improved running economy
  • Increased endurance
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Improved mental health
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased energy levels

If you are looking for a way to improve your running performance and health, I would recommend trying slow jogging or MAF training. Both methods are effective and safe, and they can be tailored to your individual fitness level.

Here are some tips for slow jogging and MAF training:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase your speed and distance over time.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.
  • Stay hydrated and fuel your body properly.
  • Find a running partner or group to help you stay motivated.

If you have any health concerns, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

What ChatGPT Thinks

Both Slow Jogging and MAF (Maximum Aerobic Function) Training are similar in their focus on maintaining a comfortable pace and prioritizing aerobic exercise to improve endurance and overall health. They share a common goal of building a strong aerobic base and avoiding injury by not pushing too hard or too fast during training.

Slow Jogging, as described in Hiroaki Tanaka's book, emphasizes the importance of running at a pace that allows for comfortable breathing, avoiding injury, and enjoying the process. The goal is to create a sustainable exercise routine that leads to long-term health benefits and increased fitness.

MAF Training, developed by Dr. Phil Maffetone, is a method that focuses on training at an individual's maximum aerobic heart rate. This heart rate is determined by a formula that takes into account a person's age and other factors. The aim is to improve aerobic capacity and overall fitness while minimizing the risk of injury and overtraining.

Both training strategies have similarities, including:

  1. Emphasis on aerobic exercise and building endurance.
  2. A focus on avoiding injury and overtraining.
  3. The importance of finding a sustainable and enjoyable pace.
  4. An individualized approach, recognizing that what works for one person might not work for another.

In conclusion, Slow Jogging and MAF Training can be considered sibling training strategies, as both promote a sustainable, enjoyable, and individualized approach to aerobic exercise and endurance training. The key to success with either method lies in finding the right balance that works best for each individual, taking into account their fitness level, goals, and preferences.

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