Having made it clear that I am reestablishing my aerobic abilities, it is important to decide how to measure this. Again I am going back to what has worked for me many times in the past. I will follow the concept I originally learnt from reading all about how Mark Allen trained. I will apply the Maffetone formula to calculating a so called Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate. A good article written by Mark Allen can be found here.

The calculation is as follows:
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.

For me personally my calculation is: 180 - 31+ 0 = 149bpm.

Mark Allen would run an 8km time trial at his Maximal Aerobic Heart Rate to monitor improvement. This is very well described in Timothy Noakes classic book: "The Lore of Running" (which I recommend as one of the most comprehensive reads ever on running). For myself I have chosen a course that is mainly flat covering 8.4km and marked off in 2, 2.2, 2.2, 2km segments. After a good warm up the goal is to cover the distance with a heart rate of exactly 149bpm and let the pace take care of itself.

I performed my first test last week which resulted in a pace of 5:34/km. Much slower than I am used to, but I already expected that. Over the next few months I expect to see an improvement to faster than 5:00/km as I have achieved in previous years. From experience, as my body works to readjust its physiology it is likely I will see a slight slowing over the next month, before things start improving. Why this happens I'm not sure, but it has happened each time I've started reestablishing my base.


  1. It is interesting how anerobic training takes away from the aerobic base - very obvious with tests like Maff and Hadd.

    My calculation came out at HR129, but I use 138 for this sort of test. I guess as long as it's totally aerobic is the main thing.

  2. Thanks for the link to the article and explaining Maffetone. I've heard of it but hadn't seen it explained before.

  3. Great information thanks for sharing. That calculation puts me at 158 which is right on target.


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