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The Extramilest Podcast

Mar 21, 2019

MAF Training can improve endurance athletes of all levels, from beginners to advanced. Jonathan Walton is one of the fastest runners I’ve come across who has improved significantly over the past 4 years in his running and marathon performance. He trains consistently by running 100+ miles (161+ kms) per week. He is able to run a MAF pace of 5:55 min / mile (3:41 min / km) while keeping his heart rate low at 135 beats per minute. At age 49, he recently ran a 2:30 marathon and he has several big goals to break soon.

I thought I had a lot of experience with MAF training, however Jonathan is on another level with his deep knowledge on low heart rate training, nutrition, improving marathon performances and more. He shares a lot of great feedback and tip several tips for athletes looking to improve their performance.


  • How the running journey started [2:35]
  • Jonathan’s first marathon experience and his struggles around mile 20 [3:45]
  • How the Maffetone method helped improve Jonathan’s endurance [4:50]
  • How Jonathan ran his first 100k and won it [5:50]
  • Jonathan’s training before and after MAF training [6:20]
  • What Jonathan would do to overcome a plateau in MAF training with speedwork [8:30]
  • Jonathan’s calculation with the MAF 180 formula [10:45]
  • Record keeping to see your progress and how you felt with low heart rate training [11:30]
  • Running different terrains, flat, off-road, track and hills [12:00]
  • Jonathan’s marathon improvements after starting low heart rate training [14:15]   
  • The benefits of high mileage training [15:10]
  • How does Jonathan combine a full time job and running 100+ miles per week / 2 hours a day [16:00]
  • Jonathan runs many miles at 15 to 20 beats below MAF [16:30]
  • Every Sunday Jonathan mimics race day, covering almost 24 miles in about 2.5 hours [17:30]
  • Benefiting significantly from running below MAF, after you have a solid aerobic base [19:00]
  • With low heart rate training, the recovery is much faster because your body becomes very strong [20:05]
  • Jonathan’s warm up and cool down with dynamic stretches, leg swings, side swings, squads and lunches. [20:40]
  • His post run drink after every run [22:10]
  • Jonathan’s thoughts on nutrition, what works and what doesn’t work [22:25] 
  • Not drinking any caffeine to keep the heart rate low [24:08]
  • Taking in more carbs and protein during harder training sessions and races [24:50] 
  • Jonathan’s pre-race nutritional strategy [27:00]
  • His nutritional strategy during the race [28:40]    
  • His PR of 2:30 at the Yorkshire Marathon in the UK [29:15]
  • Jonathan’s pace strategy, running by feel  [29:48]
  • London Marathon goal of breaking 2 hours 30, plus breaking 2:30 in October at age 50, breaking British record under 2:25 [30:40]
  • What Jonathan has changed in his latest training cycles to improve his race time [31:45]
  • How Jonathan will be working on his Lactate Threshold in the coming weeks with longer hills and 800 intervals x 15 or 6 x 2 miles [33:00]
  • Heart rate strategy for the longer runs [35:10]   
  • MAF HR strategy for race vs racing by feel [35:30]
  • Strength training with 25 kg bag, 3 sets of 10 squads and lunges + core strength [36:00]
  • Running uphill and downhill to strengthen and stretch your muscles [37:00]
  • Trying to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep [38:50]
  • How Jonathan gets through tough spots in a race, importance of race experience [39:30]
  • How to become a stronger, healthier and happier athlete with MAF training [41:20]
  • Importance of setting achievable small goals. [42:30]
  • Jonathan doesn’t take any step back weeks, maintaining high level mileage [43:40]
  • Jonathan tracks all his runs on Strava and posts races on Facebook. [45:15]


Jonathan Walton on Strava and Facebook.


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