Phil Maffetone on Why You Should Run Slow


One of the most frequently asked questions Jason and I get at Run Your BQ is our opinion of the Maffetone Method.

You may have heard of Dr. Phil Maffetone and his unusual training philosophy which, put simply, suggests that running slow — almost exclusively — will make you faster.

It sounds a little out there, but since first reading one of his books a few years ago, I’ve heard from complete beginners and elite runners who have all had success training with the Maffetone Method. Even Rich Roll used it while training for the Epic 5.

In this new episode of NMA Radio, I talk to Phil Maffetone about his approach to training, and learn more about why he believes you need to run slow in order to run fast.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The truth about heart-rate training
  • Balancing the aerobic and anaerobic systems … and what that means
  • Are you fit but unhealthy?
  • How to calculate your heart-rate zones
  • How diet impacts whether you’ll burn sugar or fat

Click the button below to listen now:


If you’re a fan of NMA Radio (and you like all these new episodes we’re making!), we’d greatly appreciate it if you’d leave us a rating and review on iTunes. Thank you!

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  1. MP3 link is not valid…

  2. Patrick Nottingham says:

    He has a lot of good information except when it comes to nutrition. It’s funny how he’s literally talking to people who are doing it while he’s saying it can’t be done. Be that as it may the method is worth looking at. Also, the download link is broke.

  3. Link appears broken.

  4. Gary Bartlett says:

    Agreed Patrick, funny comments on nutrition. I’m wondering if his method can work in parallel with higher intensity workouts as well? I like the theory behind his method, but have no intentions on abandoning my higher intensity workouts. Building a better aerobic base following this should be interesting. I know my recovery day shorter runs aren’t slow enough & I should be able to increase my weekly mileage a fare bit by incorporating some of these slower runs. I’ve tried something similar in the past, but gave up because I felt too ocward running (if you can call it that) at these paces. Especially when people around you see you going so slow…

  5. Mike Randolf says:

    Can’t take this guy seriously based on the nutrition segment. Has he never heard of Scott Jurek, Rich Roll, Brendan Brazier? Gee, how do they manage to be super human ultra athletes on a Vegan diet? Matt handled it well, but Phil dude is not well educated in plant-based nutrition, hence, in my opinion, loses overall credibility.

  6. Christoffer Holmstedt says:

    As Chris says, the MP3 link doesn’t work.

  7. It seemed pretty credible until he started talking about how carrots have sensory systems… found it hard to take him seriously after that.

  8. Tried this for a couple of months and all it did was to lower my already modest VOMax of 44 into the red zone(old and sick ppl) of 39. I understand the importance of long slow runs to avoid injury but personally i seem to need crazy hard intervalls to ever improve.

  9. He hasn’t met me then ( in reply to his comment that he hasn’t seen athletes perform well without eggs??) . I am 48 and still perform internationally overseas, with various guinness world records, and I haven’t eaten meat for 15 years. I don’t eat animal products.

    Also, what is he talking about with Vitamin A. It’s found in abundance in carious plant foods.

    I only started finding out about this guy doing some research on a project i am working on. I am in Australia.

    The interview was not clear, hard to understand his philosophy if a person had no idea about this guy or a first time listener. He needs to develop a simple strategy to talk to a laymen about what he teaches.

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