The good Dr Maffetone recommends that we refrain from any anaerobic exercise whilst building our aerobic base and what he says does make sense. He recommends that one builds this base first without stressing the body with high intensity and only then introduce high intensity workouts.
Now I am adding four gym sessions a week to my 40 to 50 km of zone 2 running. I don’t think it’s right at this stage but let me explain.
I live in a very small rural town – no Virgin Active workouts these! For the last 30 years a group of us have met to do “aerobics”. It’s part of our social structure. We have had various different instructors over the years and people come and people go but our group is still going strong. We’ve seen so many different styles of exercise come and go – I think my favourite is still channeling Jane Fonda in g-string leotards, footless tights and funky leg warmers back in the 80’s!
So you can understand why I don’t want to abandon my four workouts a week with the group, even for a few months – it’s part of my life and a very enjoyable part too. At the moment we do a weights class, a step class, a circuit with weights and a general “cardio” and toning class. Often I’m pushing myself into the anaerobic range which I don’t need at the moment. What I reckon is though, my body should adapt and that I should build an aerobic base with the slow running/walking but it won’t be as quick as it would be if I were following the Maffetone method properly.
I do have a way to test my progress running-wise though. It’s based on Dr Maffetone’s MAF test but I have simplified it somewhat. I have base figures to compare against and my first “MAF” test will be this coming Tuesday – more on this subject then!