Now, for the uninitiated. An MAF test stands for Maximum Aerobic Function. It's a simple and effective self test to gauge your aerobic improvements over the course of your training, especially base training. It does require you to know what your heart rate is at your aerobic threshold (AeT), either through a test like LT or VO2 or another self- test.
The MAF test is very straight forward. Go to your local 1/4 mile track. Warm up. Run 3 miles, splitting each mile for the pace. Run the 3 miles at EXACTLY your calculated AeT heart rate. No more, no less. Take an average of the 3 times and that's the result.
When I began Ironman training with my coach, we determined my AeT was 148 bpm. When i first did my MAF test, I was around 7:40 average per mile at AeT. Since then, over the course of 5 months, I have been seen my pace increase at the same heart rate. Today, I averaged 7:03 per mile pace at 148. If you ever had a doubt about long slow base training, here is where you can see the benefits in a very tangible way. The faster you can go while remaining aerobic, the better your perfrormance for long course triathlon.
-Of course it's 'effing hard, it's IRONMAN!
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