Looks like I've given the impression that I'm following Maffetone's training guidelines. A few people have asked me specific questions about the program. I have never read the book or delved too deep into what the exact program (publicised) program is. What I have incorporated into my training is the MAF test only. The test is a way of settling on a heart rate that should give a guide to the my aerobic development. The heart rate is reasonably arbitrary, I could have achieved something similar by choosing to perform the test at 80%HRmax.

This has lead me into considering what has influenced my training philosophy. Obviously completing a bachelor degree on the topic and working in different coaching and fitness roles certainly forms a big basis of theory and practice to develop from. However, here I will comment on the events that have stuck in my mind that really have led towards my training and racing philosophy today.

Table Tennis
I used to play competitively, but my sister was in the development squads. As a family we spent half our life at the Albert Park centre. To fill in time when my own training was over I would run laps around Albert Park lake. Each lap was 4.69km, and I would run for as long as needed to fill in time, 1,2,3,4 and every now and then 5 laps. All this was without knowing anything about training or getting injured. I was lucky, I hardly got injured, in fact I discovered I was really good and at running lots. What I did notice, was that when others tried to do the same thing, half of them came down with an injury. This got me thinking seriously about running.

The Complete Marathon
So I decided to run a marathon. For my first I followed Jack Daniels' program "One Size Fits All" published in Runner's World magazine, August 1996. This was my first introduction in planning training.

Scott Tinley
In my search for further training knowledge I went to my local library. Here I found Scott Tinley's Winning Guide to Sports Endurance: How to Maximise Speed, Strength & Stamina. This book sucked me into triathlon.

Jones Cycles Triathlon Club
Started as newbie triathlete. The first training session were an absolute onslaught to my body. The training was directed to learning how to win. Flat knacker intervals in groups of four with the aim to muscle your opponents out of a good line through corners. It wasn't always the fastest who one. Over time the club changed it's demographics and training techniques. I saw first hand what generally worked and what didn't. I developed my coaching through the club.

The Lore of Running
A big, heavy book by Timothy Noakes. The most comprehensive and interesting book ever written (and probably ever will be written) on running.

Monas and Deeks
I had posters of Australia's marathon greats on my walls. They inspired me even before I seriously took up running.

Mark Allen
The Ironwar. Multiple Hawaii wins. He trained hard and then learnt it took more than that to win. Time, patience and intensity at the right time. Mark Allen showed that working at relatively low heart rates are necessary for success at long distance sports. Training using the early philosophy of Maffetone, Allen showed improvement at his MAF heart rate throughout 15 years of competing.

John Hawley
The professor from South Africa. I was a lab a rat in so many exercise studies that he played a hand in. He predicted my physiology and performance abilities in the lab way too accurately for my liking. I learnt so much about my body, including VO2max, power outputs, lactate dynamics, muscle fibre composition, response to different high intensity intervals, substrates dynamics on various diet regimens, response to caffeine and many more.

Dr Andrew Garnham
A doctor that thinks running 40km around the rough terrain of Wilsons Promontory is a really good idea, is definitely one to keep going to back to.


  1. Thanks for the insight into the influences on your training. The story of Mark Allen is impressive, and adds to the evidence in favour of the Maffetone/Hadd approach. I have not read Maffetone, but have read some of Hadd’s writing. As I understand Hadd, he is against any training at high HR zones during base building (expect when doing occasional Hadd tests, which include a series of 2.4K runs, with successive reps at increasing HR up to 90% of max.) I cannot understand the logic of prohibiting any other high intensity sessions during base building, provided most sessions are at an intensity low enough to avoid appreciable lactate accumulation. I note that you include one ‘intensity’ session in each 7-9 day cycle even in the first phase of base building. I note that you also include some strength and flexibility sessions. This all makes sense to me. I would be interested to know your logic for including the intensity session in each cycle during base building.

  2. I love the Lore of Running, a very well thumbed book in my house, if any of my runners asks me a question I can't answer my first thought is "check with Dr Noakes"

    You didn't know a guy called Paul Langley did you?

  3. PS - I got to drive Deeks to the airport after the Melbourne Marathon last week, the life of a fun run volunteer can be pretty tough sometimes ;-)

    A childhood hero of mine so I was pretty stoked to get the gig (ok, I jumped up and down and said pick me pick me pick me and I think they felt sorry for me)


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