MAF or FAF, That is the Question...

30 September, 2021

An off-camera athlete checks their smart watch

My running programme has four different paces on it, including one that is known as “Easy”, though I can’t vouch for that.

It suddenly occurred to me this morning as I walked/jogged along the road trying to stick to my MAF heart rate that I need to simplify things.

I will now have two paces in my repertoire - MAF pace and FAF pace.

MAF pace is that pace at which you can keep moving forward whilst keeping your heart rate below a certain level known as your MAF heart rate. MAF stands for Maximum Aerobic Function and the heart rate is basically 180 minus your age. For more detail see

FAF stands for Fast As Fuck and should only be employed by the over-60’s now and then - probably when seeing a snake or being chased by a rabid leopard. According to Mark Sisson, who I have a great deal of respect for and who is the man behind, even the over 60’s should be sprinting now and again. Not for long and only a few times a month, thank goodness, so this should tie in well with my snake/leopard method.

We completed a 42 km trail this last weekend which I was proud of as the heat was insane - as were some of those hills, and, for now, I cannot contemplate any type of speed other than in the wine drinking arena.

Speed work depresses me, end of story, so for now the FAF pace is out of the window and I will see where my MAF pace takes me. So good people, MAF on or FAF on, whatever takes your fancy!

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