MAF Training Zone

What is MAF training?

MAF stands for Maximum Aerobic Function.
This training method focuses on improving the function of the aerobic system, the fat-burning engine responsible for fuelling all of the body’s needs.

A well-functioning aerobic system leads to:

  • Burning more body fat for fuel and a leaner body as a result.
  • Increased overall energy and brain function.
  • Greater endurance, strength, speed and physical fitness.
  • Injury and disease prevention.
  • Many other improvements in all areas of life!

Using a heart rate monitor makes MAF training a lot easier.
We whole-heartedly advocate the use of the POLAR brand of Heart Rate Monitors. (See what I did there?)   

Why is MAF training so slow?

Should your aerobic system be underdeveloped, it will take a few weeks for your body to get used to the lower intensity training.
Don’t worry, the body is very adaptable and improvements will happen.
Initially, it will be hard on the ego to go so slow, but if you have a little patience, you will be very happy with the results.
I have found that after taking a full months break after the racing season ends that I need to walk on the uphills when I start running again.
Every season, however, the time before I can run the hills becomes shorter.

Traditionally, it was thought that only anaerobic training (speed work) builds speed.

However, developing the aerobic system first, before attempting any hard work, is ideal; and you get faster without the “wear and tear” (and possible injuries) that often accompanies anaerobic training.

Is there one MAF training zone for all sports?

Yes, although all sports will have different maximum heart rates (running being higher than cycling, cycling being higher than swimming), MAF training focusses primarily on your body’s Aerobic Functioning so it is necessary to use different training zones initially.

Later, once you stop improving on MAF training, higher and sports-specific intensities can be introduced into your training program.

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