The Maffetone Method I’m Running Again


I’m a horrible personal blogger right now, I blame Twitter.

I haven’t blogged about my new diet and weight loss because I figure you don’t care. Nor have I blogged about the fact I’m running again, but I’ve decided it is time.

The week before Memorial Day I decided to start running again. I don’t actually remember why, though realizing I was getting fat was part of it. When I decided to start I decided to use The Maffetone Method because it make running easy and fun.

The Maffetone Method was something I heard about from my Austin Chiropractor and Tony Robbins a number of years ago. It is a method of aerobic training focused on running by heart rate and time and not by distance. I did it somewhat in the past, but not very strictly and therefore didn’t get the promised effects. This time I did it by the book.

What is The Maffetone Method

Here’s an article by Phillip Maffetone himself explaining it. Here’s my break down of it.

1. Calculate your target heart rate using the 180 rule. Basically, 180 – your age. Your training range in 10 point under that. For me that means my range is 121-131 BPM.

2. Spend 15 minutes warming up to that range. When I started this was all walking.

3. Spend 15 minutes running in this range. The amount of time in this range can be increased once you are totally comfortable with it, but not more than once every 2 weeks.

4. Spend 15 minutes cooling down back under your heart range.

5. Run 5 or 6 days a week. For me first thing in the morning.

6. Once a month test yourself using a MAF test. Basically run a mile in your target heart range and record the time.

I didn’t do a MAF test at the beginning, but I did something similar a couple of weeks into it. I ran a 2.1 mile loop after warm up in my target zone. Doing a little division, that turned out to be a little over 17 minute miles.

The idea is that if you run at a particular heart rate for a number of weeks you will get where you are faster at that rate. I’ve found that to be true, but that you don’t really see it until you’ve been running about a month. I did a MAF test on Saturday and my mile was 16:12.

Even since that run I know I’m having to running faster to maintain the heart rate. I seem to have broken through some barrier and now every time I run I’ve got to run faster.

No Discomfort.

My running never hurts. Never feels horrible. I often feel like I could run forever.

When I have felt some discomfort I’ve learned it means something is wrong. Normally either I’m getting dehydrated, or I’m overheating – something easy to do in Houston’s summer heat.

When my feet gave me a little problem – something was rubbing on one of my toes – I took this as a sign something needed to be fixed. I’m pretty sure it was my socks, because I’ve tried a couple of different running specific socks and haven’t had the same problem.

Pain is an indicator something needs fixing.

My Ultimate Goal: The Houston Marathon.

I’ve decided I want to run a marathon. I know I’m signing up for Houston’s marathon in January. I’m not sure if I’ll really be able to do the whole thing, mainly because I’ve very slow and you have to complete in under 6 hours. But I’m going to start training for it. I may only do the half. Matter of fact there is a half in November that I plan on running and finding out if I can do the full from that.


  1. Mike says:

    Hi, are you still training with the Maffetone plan? I live in Houston and was thinking about a Marathon. I’m a 49 yr old male clyde who has done 2 sprint tri’s (both CB&I). I like running but I have gotten slower with age…oh well. Nice posting.

    1. Ron says:


      Sadly not running much at all these days. I find with Maffetone I can run forever, just not very fast. I think you need to mix in some short, hard, fast running to get you “slow gear” to move up.

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