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Am I doing this low heart rate training right?

By June 28, 2024July 1st, 2024No Comments
Am I doing this low heart rate training right?

Am I doing this low heart rate training right?” was one of my first thoughts when I discovered MAF low heart rate training in early 2013.

Here are some common frustrations and challenges you might face as you learn how to train within your aerobic target heart rate:

Significant Slowdown

  • You have to slow down significantly to keep within your target heart range.
  • You may even have to take walk breaks to keep your rate lower, especially on any hills or in hot weather.

Feeling “Out of Shape”

  • You know you are fit, but when you switch to this kind of training, you will find yourself questioning how in shape you are.

Judgment from Others

  • It’s easy to feel like you are being judged for running much slower than you are used to.
  • You might find yourself not wanting to publicly post your runs on platforms like Strava, out of embarrassment.

Doubts About the Formula

  • Maybe I didn’t figure my heart rate correctly.
  • Maybe this doesn’t really work.

Lack of Fatigue

  • You’re used to being exhausted at the end of a run and you might feel like you aren’t doing it right if you aren’t.
  • You might doubt the benefits you are receiving from the training.


  • It may not feel as exciting as running all out.


  • You might find yourself uncomfortable as you change your stride or cadence.

Turning Frustrations into Excitement for Low Heart Rate Training

There are many ways to deal with these frustrations. I’ve chosen a few quotes from members of our Personal Best and Extramilest community that show real-life examples of their journey:

  • Patience and Persistence – “Realize that the initial slow pace is part of the process. Stick with it and trust that you are building a strong aerobic base.” (from Wissam Kheir).

  • Accept Your Current Fitness Level – “Recognize where you are and build from there. Lose the ego, be consistent, and enjoy the process of gradual improvement.” (from Gareth King)

  • Embrace the Journey – “Accept that the journey will have ups and downs. Don’t judge your effort during the run; save the analysis for later.” (from Julianne Dickerson).

  • Start with Something Easy – “Allow yourself flexibility. If you’re not up for a run, start with a walk. Often, the act of getting outside will lead to a more productive session. Start easy, and you may find yourself running and enjoying it more than you expected.” (Amelia Vrabel)

  • Celebrate Personal Progress – “Compare your progress to your past self rather than others. Reflect on how far you’ve come over the years and acknowledge improvements, even if they seem slow. Focus on doing your best each day and appreciate the small victories.” (Maria Lurenda Westergaard)

  • Stay Consistent – “If you get up every day and do the right thing consistently, you’ll see improvement.” (Bobby Barker)

Understanding and embracing these challenges is part of the journey. Stick with it, and over time, you’ll start to see improvements in your endurance and overall running performance.

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Have fun out there on your runs!

Floris Gierman

You can find me, Floris Gierman, here:


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