1st MAF Test Of The Year (2020)

After running for six weeks on MAF training, easy running using my Heart Rate Monitor, following the MAF Formula where my beats per minute range would be from 112 to 122 beats per minute must be maintained while I was on my running workout. As a review, Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Formula is 180 minus my age of of 68 plus 10 bpm being a runner of more than 65 years old and had never been “sidelined” from running due to injury. My MAF bpm is 122 and my range of MAF Beats Per Minute during my running workout should be 112 to 122. For the past 6 weeks, I was not supposed to breach the maximum bpm of 122 during my easy/recovery runs. However, with my training schedule being a CTS athlete for the past weeks, I have to follow my training schedule and workout as prescribed by my Coach. However, what I have observed was that I was not fatigued in my tempo runs and I could easily recover after a day of hard training.

After two days of not running due to the inclement weather in my Playground, I was fully rested during the weekend and I decided to have my first MAF Test today, June 29, 2020. After a short stretching exercises, I started my run with a warm-up for one mile where my Heart Rate steadily increased from 90 beats per minutes to 112 after my first loop in my Backyard. Before I finished my first mile, I was able to reach 119 beats per minute. Once I finished one mile, I went on on my First Mile for my MAF Test. I finished my first mile in 16:15 minutes where I had to walk for a few seconds after my bpm reached to 123 bpm on the last 400 meter of my first mile. After the first mile, I took a picture of my GPS Watch, take a sip of cold water, and walked a few meters until 30 seconds elapsed (this ritual was repeated every time I finish a mile) and started my 2nd mile. The following is the list of my time every mile:

1st Mile——16:15 minutes                      4th Mile——14:37 minutes

2nd Mile—–15:28 minutes                      5th Mile——14:35 minutes

3rd Mile——14:31 minutes

It was only on the first mile that I breached 122 bpm to 123bpm but it was able to bring it back after a few seconds of hiking. For the rest of the miles, I was able to maintain my average of bpm within 121-122. On my last mile, I was able to maintain the whole mile with an average bpm of 122.

1st MAF Test June 29
My GPS Watch Results For Every Mile On MAF Test

Although my Backyard Loop is not the ideal venue or location for my MAF Test, I am still satisfied with the result of my test and how my body felt after the workout. My body was very relaxed and not so worn-out or fatigued. In my past MAF Tests few years back, I have been doing them on Oval Track, being faster than my time in my Backyard Loop. With the uneven ground, lots of turns, and single-track trail in my Backyard Loop, I expect that my time would be slower than running in an oval track. On the contrary, I think I am faster now as compared when I had my MAF Test in 2011.

After 4 weeks, I will be doing my second MAF Test with the hope that I will be able to lower the times as compared to the results today. I will continue to apply MAF training in my easy/recovery runs in the coming days and weeks. I know that I will be a better and smarter runner in the next months and years due to this training.

$ 2.00 Donation




180 Formula

Click on the link below on the article by Dr Phil Maffetone on his Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) which is a detailed explanation on his training philosophy following one’s Heart Rate and the use of a Heart Rate Monitor.


Lately, one of my “friends” from Facebook who had been a triathlete for 17 years had called my attention when he read one of my posts that I am presently training using the Heart Rate Monitor. After his retirement from triathlon, he is pursuing his first ultra marathon run this coming December as he thinks that ultra running is “deeper” and more challenging than his past triathlon feats. I am sure this guy is a “purist” IRONMAN and one of the bests in the 90s or in his younger years. He even predicted that if I continued my plans to get into triathlon in the mid-80s, I could be a sure podium winner in my age category. (Note: I could be fighting it out with my brother Retired General Samuel and Retired Colonel Brigilio Balaba of the Philippine Constabulary for the top honors for our age group).

In one of his e-mails, he shared to me the following updated version of the MAF’s 180 Formula.

Here is the formula:

1. Take 180

2. Subtract your age

3. Take this number and correct it by the following:

-If you do not workout, subtract another 5 beats.

-If you workout only 1-2 days a week, only subtract 2 or 3 beats.

-If you workout 3-4 times a week keep the number where it is.

-If you workout 5-6 times a week keep the number where it is.

-If you workout 7 or more times a week and have done so for over a year, add 5 beats to the number.

-If you are over about 55 years old or younger than about 25 years old, add another 5 beats to whatever number you now have.

-If you are about 60 years old or older OR if you are about 20 years old or younger, add an additional 5 beats to the corrected number you now  have.

You now have your maximum aerobic heart rate, which again is the maximum heart rate that you can workout at and still burn  mostly fat for fuel. Now go out and do ALL of your cardiovascular  training at or below this heart rate and see how your pace improves.  After just a few weeks you should start to see a dramatic improvement in the speed you can go at these lower heart rates.

The details of his e-mail is properly explained in the link below:


Based from the updated version, my Maximum Aerobic Function’s Heart Rate is supposed to be 126 beats per minute (180-59 = 121 + 5 for being above 55 years old). However, since I’ve started with my first MAF Test with a Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate of 121 beats per minute, I will maintain 121 bpm as my training’s MAF heart rate.

Good luck to my ultra running “friends” and BDM “veterans” who will be competing on this weekend’s CAMSUR Cobra Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Competition. Take it “easy” on the swimming event. Make sure to get a “spot” for the KONA IRONMAN this coming October in Hawaii, USA!!! Have fun and be the best to yourself!

For those who have started to train for the 1st Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run and for the yearly BDM Races, I highly recommend you to try the Maffetone’s Training on the use of Heart Rate Monitor/MAF Test.

“Two-Week Test”

The “Two-Week Test” is one of the salient parts of Dr Phil Maffetone’s training for endurance athletes. It is something to do with one’s ability to balance the presence of carbohydrates in the body with the other nutrients like protein and fats.

According to Dr Maffetone, there are signs and symptoms that you have more carbohydrates stored in the body when you are overweight, easily exhausted in simple exercises, and sleepy after every meal. There are more signs and symptoms stated in his books and articles but these are the things that I tried to experiment and be able to improve as my reasons in trying this “test”.

This is not a diet program but a simple test that will last for two weeks. This is a test of discipline, patience, focus and determination. All you have to do is to refrain from taking any drinks and food with SUGAR for 14 days. This is to include fresh fruits and some vegetables. Of course, coffee with sugar & cream is a no-no! Not even alcoholic drinks,beer, sodas, and Gatorade/Energy Drinks. It also means not eating rice during your meal. Forget your “hot pandesal”, pancakes, doughnuts, bagels, chips, cookies, oatmeal, ice cream, chocolates and cakes!

It is a challenge but it is worth trying if you want to improve on your training and endurance races.

As a start, you have to record your weight before you start this test and come up with a journal or daily diary. You have to record also what you observe to your body for signs of too much carbohydrate in the body like: easily exhausted in simple exercises; high rate of heart pulse/hear beat; easily irritated; moody; feeling too-stressed all the time; feeling sleepy after meal; and lack of focus.

As soon as you start with the test, put in your journal the things that you observe in your body; your daily weight; morning pulse rate; and the food/s you ingested. Be sure to maintain your journal on a daily basis. Just remember NOT to eat any kind of carbohydrate foods! If you feel hungry, just eat anything that is rich in protein and healthy fats!

During my test, I ate lots of eggs, omelettes, fish, meat (pork & beef), and other seafood. I could hardly count the number of egg trays that I consumed during the duration of the test. In one of the birthday parties I was invited, I finished more than one-half order of “Crispy Pata” and one order of Squid Platter Steak and broiled Tilapia without any rice! On ordinary days, I ate lots of pork barbecue, fried chicken, native chicken tinola, pork adobo, longganiza, fish (Salmon, Tilapia, Bangus and Lapu-Lapu), shrimps & prawns (from Pangasinan)  and our ever famous, “Laoag Bagnet”.

I just finished my “Two-Week Test” last Sunday. And here are the results:

  1. I was able to reduce my weight by 12 pounds. I was 150 pounds when I started the test and last Sunday’s weighing on the scale resulted to 138 pounds!  Since Dr Maffetone advises its athlete to take the “two-week test” during the aerobic phase when observing his MAF (Maximum Aerobic Function) by following his 180 Formula of HR Monitor, the body tends to use its fats during workouts. So, in my experience, I was able to burn some of my body fats while doing my HR Monitor workouts. Thus, I was able to reduce my weight within a limited number of days!
  2.  I did not feel any exhaustion, soreness, and pain during and the days after the last MILO Marathon Elimination. I did not even experience any muscle cramps even if my longest run before the MILO Marathon was only 16 kilometers. Although I ran only 32 kilometers in the MILO Marathon by following the MAF Heart Rate of 132 beats per minute, it was surprising that I was able to run the distance without taking any solid food before and during the run. Moreso, I did not have any “carbo-loading” to speak of, days before the run.
  3. Before I started following Dr Maffetone’s training, my tendency is to be sleepy after my breakfast in the morning, with or without any runs before breakfast. What is worse is that I always go for a nap after my lunch almost every day. As a result of the “two-week test”, I am now fully awake and don’t feel sleepy at all after breakfast and lunch.

If you think this is a “big” challenge to undertake, I think it’s not. If you have some signs and symptoms like I had before I did this
test, then it is worth trying it. However, if you want to have better results on your training and in your endurance races, I think this is best “test” that I can recommend to everybody!

Good luck! Think DISCIPLINE!!!

Maffetone’s Training

If you ask any of the local triathletes if they know such “Maffetone’s Training” and if they tell you, NO, it’s either they are ignorant or they don’t want to share their training “secret” to you. If an average or competitive triathlete does not know about this kind of training, I guess, he/she is not training properly to develop what the training calls, “aerobic speed”! In the truer sense of the word, the “holistic approach in endurance training and racing”

I bought the Kindle version of the Dr. Phil Maffetone’s “The Big Book On Endurance Training and Racing” two months ago and started to follow his Training by adhering to the 180 Formula as my Maximum Aerobic Function by monitoring my Heart Rate. With a purchase of the simplest and most basic HR Monitor watch, I started to follow such training for the past weeks. 180 Formula would simply mean subtracting your age to 180 as your maximum aerobic heart rate during your aerobic phase workouts.

On my first week of the training, I could hardly bring down my HR to 121 beats per minute while on a slow jog. I started with 142 beats per minute on the first days of my 1st week and then gradually bringing it down to 138 bpm. Later, I could easily jog at an HR rate of 135 bpm. During the Takbo Runfest 16K and MILO Marathon Eliminations, I was able to bring my average HR to 130-132 beats per minute. This is the very reason why I am always on the tail end in the past road races. Actually, I was trying to “cheat” on the 180 Formula as my desired training HR could had been 121 beats per minute which translated to a brisk walking activity.

But on my 1st MAF Test on an oval track lately, I was able to constantly follow the desired Maximum Heart Rate of 121 beats per minute throughout the workout. And the results follow what the Maffetone Training intends to advocate. We will see what will be the result on my 2nd MAF Test after 3-4 weeks.

It is also surprising to most of the runners (in these past road races) that they observed me to be using some “wires”. Yes, I renewed my love to music during my workouts and road races by sporting an Ipod Shuffle which is light and easy to clip! Maffetone’s training includes music and some form of cadence and beats through selected kinds of music as part of one’s playlist.

What are the initial observations and benefits I got from this kind of training? First of all, I can have a workout that lasts for hours and hours without any pain or sorenes. After running for almost 5 hours at the MILO, I could walk straight and without any limp after the race, moreso, on the following day there were no pains on my legs. On the nutrition side, by following a “no carbo”diet one week before the MILO run, I did not feel hungry during the duration of the run and maintained my constant hydration through water and my Gatorade G2 mix. I did not mind getting and eating those ripe bananas in the Aid Stations. The best result? I did not have any kind of muscle cramps on any part of my legs and body! I was amazed and surprised about such result. No “bonking” and no “wall” to speak of even if my past training long runs would last for only 2 1/2 hours with an average HR of 130-132 beats per minute!

Last week, I discovered that Dr Phil Maffetone has a website which is very informative and updated as compared to the book I purchased. I am going to share his website to my readers with the hope that they will be able to follow the training and its philosophy with patience and positive attitude.

The following is the website: http://philmaffetone.com. For those who are joining the 1st BR Barefoot Run, it would be an interesting one for them to read his article “GAIT–Why Every Runner Is Different, and How You can Go Faster……, and other related running articles.

To my ultra running friends, I suggest you take a look at this training and try it. Patience and Positive attitude play a great role if you want to adhere to this kind of training philosophy.

Enjoy and have fun reading the articles and essays of Dr Phil Maffetone. Happy weekend!