My experience starting to run based on MAF heart rate

After some research I decided to go for a slow challenge: running based on heart rate as indicated by the MAF method.


[some explanation here]

The plan

The plan is to run at least for a whole month solely within my MAF training zone. For me that is 126 - 136 bpm.

With that I want take take in mind to plus this with nasal breathing only and have a cadence of somewhere between 170 - 180 spm.

I will combine it with trying to teach my dog to run with me (without ripping me out of balance continuously).

Below a report of how it is going and what I learned in the process.

Week 1

Monday 🙈

Starting of with a walk to ease into it (well, everything is easy when going so slow - but still warming up the body a little before running is always a good thing).

It was impossible for me to be running longer than a couple hundred meters without getting my heart rate above 136 bpm. Every time my heart beat went too high, walking it was!

Activity on Strava

Tuesday 1/2 😕

Set my timer to walk/run for the first 500m in 116 - 126bpm. The rest in 127-136bpm.

Today was hell. The dog was tremendously unsettled going from left to right and constantly pulling. Hell.

Also some watch issues not picking up my heart rate and leaving it on pause for a while because the interface wasn't updating.

Activity on Strava

Tuesday 2/2 🙂

Same timer settings as this morning. Without the dog this time. And it was actually fun! I had a couple of times I knew just moments before the alert came that my heart rate was too high. Great experience to feel that!

I focused on nose-breathing only. And try to relax as much as possible. All the lessons of chi-running ran through my mind... Awareness was higher than in a long time. 

Some of my running was a bit longer than my first MAF tryouts. Still lots and lots of walking...

Activity on Strava

Wednesday 😋

Rest day (really, rest? 😂)

Thursday 🙂

Short leash for the dog went pretty well. Feels like it is getting better and obviously not smoking seems to help.

Activity on Strava

Friday 👊

First time I could keep running the full distance of my run without needing to walk to adjust my heart rate. Yahoo!

Activity on Strava

Saturday 🐴

Great route. Lots of wild horses, cows and even spotted a deer 🦌.

More of a power hike than a run, but great fun. Tried out the new backpack, and that was actually not unpleasant at all.

Activity on Strava