Aerobic base training alongside speed work?

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27/05/2014 at 09:26

Hope someone knowledgeable in this area can help I've found various articles discussing how great 12-16 weeks of aerobic base training is pre-season, so very slow runs, gradually building pace a bit through the 12 weeks.

My question is: is this supposed to be exclusive, so no fast runs or intervals at all?

My 2nd question is: mid-season when the intervals and long fast runs are in full effect, is there any real benefit in doing these very slow runs alongside (not to be confused with the LSR which are just e.g. 30s per mile slower than marathon pace).

28/05/2014 at 10:15

what is 'season'? What sort of races are you training for and when are they?

28/05/2014 at 16:09

Maybe I should rephrase. If I spend 12 weeks doing aerobic base (90s slower than racepace), do I have to avoid doing any fast running?

And once that's done, let's say I'm training for a marathon, do I bother with any more very slow runs (e.g. 90s slower than racepace) alongside the normal LSRs (30-45s slower than racepace) and fast work?

28/05/2014 at 16:48

Opinions vary. Some approaches seem to focus on easy running for a long while and gradually introduce running well shy of even threshold pace. They don't talk about speed work at all

others will use hills or speed work sooner. 

you've been running for a while I think so it's more about knowing whether you are focussing on running economy, lactate threshold, velocity at vo2max or what. akso if you are running a spring and autumn marathon then those involve a lot of aerobic work. Maybe the off season is a time to work on other aspects and cross train? im tending towards that view myself. 

 

 

Edited: 28/05/2014 at 16:48
IronCat5    pirate
28/05/2014 at 18:05

You'll need to do some easy stuff between your long runs & fast stuff, surely?

Hard stuff v hard, easy stuff v easy.

28/05/2014 at 23:56
If your 'normal LSRs' are only 30s slower than marathon pace then it sounds to me like you're doing those too fast. Slow those down to at least 60s slower than marathon pace and then the problem is solved isn't it?
31/05/2014 at 07:59
Charles R wrote (see)

Maybe I should rephrase. If I spend 12 weeks doing aerobic base (90s slower than racepace), do I have to avoid doing any fast running?

And once that's done, let's say I'm training for a marathon, do I bother with any more very slow runs (e.g. 90s slower than racepace) alongside the normal LSRs (30-45s slower than racepace) and fast work?

Hi Charles,

no you do not bother with the very slower work later in your training programme, except for mid week recovery runs.

You should have by that point already built up your endurance so later in the programme you are building your race pace endurance without fatiguing yourself hence why it is 30s slower than what you would run on race day.

 

However, some plans will have you running at the slower pace and the quicker pace within the same run, for instance the 22miler, again so as not to over fatigue the runner in the final stages of the training.

 

 

 

31/05/2014 at 17:08

Thanks for all the replies - great food for thought. I think I'm leaning towards Pete's idea. Now just need to figure out when I can fit in the base training - it sounds terminally boring!! It will build willpower too I guess.

31/05/2014 at 20:19

You don't say much about your "season" goals, which makes it hard to give advice.  But like Ballesteros said, if you are training for a marathon, your long runs should be about race pace + 10-20%.  Which, unless you are super fast, is more likely to be in the range of + 45-90 secs than + 30 secs.   A number of plans include marathon pace miles in the LRs, but they won't be the majority of your LR miles.     

That said, in ref to the original question, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't do a bit of quality (intervals or whatever) while you are base building, especially if you are used to it already.  Just don't be doing loads of quality work while simultaneously building up base mileage, because that will increase your risk of injury.

01/06/2014 at 09:16
Genghis Khan wrote (see)

You don't say much about your "season" goals, which makes it hard to give advice.  But like Ballesteros said, if you are training for a marathon, your long runs should be about race pace + 10-20%.  Which, unless you are super fast, is more likely to be in the range of + 45-90 secs than + 30 secs.   A number of plans include marathon pace miles in the LRs, but they won't be the majority of your LR miles.     

That said, in ref to the original question, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't do a bit of quality (intervals or whatever) while you are base building, especially if you are used to it already.  Just don't be doing loads of quality work while simultaneously building up base mileage, because that will increase your risk of injury.

you need to read the OPs posts again mate. the +30s is in the later stage of training, which most plans have the runner doing.  This stage is building up speed endurance in the final third of the plan only.

the long runs at plus 1mm to 1:30mm pace is built up in the weeks before then.

01/06/2014 at 09:21
Charles R wrote (see)

Thanks for all the replies - great food for thought. I think I'm leaning towards Pete's idea. Now just need to figure out when I can fit in the base training - it sounds terminally boring!! It will build willpower too I guess.

If you have not done too much running (20 miles + a week) try to get in at least 3 months of base training then commence the 16 week marathon plan. Incorporating tempo runs, long runs, interval sessions, and progression runs, with each hard session split with a day off running or a easy run. 

 

If you are tired hard runs can be changed for fartlek sessions or an easy run ended with a session of strides.  Make your long run your main focus for your first marathon not the speed sessions.

 

01/06/2014 at 21:34
Pete Holt wrote (see)
Genghis Khan wrote (see)

You don't say much about your "season" goals, which makes it hard to give advice.  But like Ballesteros said, if you are training for a marathon, your long runs should be about race pace + 10-20%.  Which, unless you are super fast, is more likely to be in the range of + 45-90 secs than + 30 secs.   A number of plans include marathon pace miles in the LRs, but they won't be the majority of your LR miles.     

That said, in ref to the original question, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't do a bit of quality (intervals or whatever) while you are base building, especially if you are used to it already.  Just don't be doing loads of quality work while simultaneously building up base mileage, because that will increase your risk of injury.

you need to read the OPs posts again mate. the +30s is in the later stage of training, which most plans have the runner doing.  This stage is building up speed endurance in the final third of the plan only.

the long runs at plus 1mm to 1:30mm pace is built up in the weeks before then.

The OP asks in his second post whether to bother with any more "very slow" runs "once he's training for a marathon".  

Most marathon training plans last 12-18 weeks.  So my original answer stands - yes, during this period he should still be doing his long runs at race pace + 10-20%.  

If you're suggesting that during this 12-18 week period he should be doing his long runs at race pace + 30 seconds, then we will have to agree to disagree.  In my view that's just plain wrong; it's too fast (unless his race pace is 5 min miles) and doesn't allow enough recovery.  You will find similar advice all over this forum, and in most of the reputable plans that I'm aware of.

 

02/06/2014 at 00:29
+1 What GK kindly explained is where I was leading.
02/06/2014 at 12:56
Genghis Khan wrote (see)
Pete Holt wrote (see)
Genghis Khan wrote (see)

You don't say much about your "season" goals, which makes it hard to give advice.  But like Ballesteros said, if you are training for a marathon, your long runs should be about race pace + 10-20%.  Which, unless you are super fast, is more likely to be in the range of + 45-90 secs than + 30 secs.   A number of plans include marathon pace miles in the LRs, but they won't be the majority of your LR miles.     

That said, in ref to the original question, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't do a bit of quality (intervals or whatever) while you are base building, especially if you are used to it already.  Just don't be doing loads of quality work while simultaneously building up base mileage, because that will increase your risk of injury.

you need to read the OPs posts again mate. the +30s is in the later stage of training, which most plans have the runner doing.  This stage is building up speed endurance in the final third of the plan only.

the long runs at plus 1mm to 1:30mm pace is built up in the weeks before then.

The OP asks in his second post whether to bother with any more "very slow" runs "once he's training for a marathon".  

Most marathon training plans last 12-18 weeks.  So my original answer stands - yes, during this period he should still be doing his long runs at race pace + 10-20%.  

If you're suggesting that during this 12-18 week period he should be doing his long runs at race pace + 30 seconds, then we will have to agree to disagree.  In my view that's just plain wrong; it's too fast (unless his race pace is 5 min miles) and doesn't allow enough recovery.  You will find similar advice all over this forum, and in most of the reputable plans that I'm aware of.

 

no - in  the final third of the 12 to 18 week plan he would introduce quicker pace into his long runs.  either as steady runs or as intervals i.e. half at the normal easy pace the second half at MP.

have a look on the Asics 26.2 section of this website and check under the training plans for an example as to what I mean (go to home\ asics 26.2 train like a pro tab\the open a pdf plan). It would only be the 3 or 4 long runs leading up to taper.  The months of training leading up to this period is adequate enough for the endurance to be sufficiently built up.  As my physio once said to me about long runs (he's an elite class runner) "if you only train to run slow you will only run slow."

 

Edited: 02/06/2014 at 12:59
02/06/2014 at 21:03

Well, as I said, most plans do advocate doing a % of LR miles a bit faster.  For example, the P&D plans (which a lot of folk on these forums have used with great success) have one out of every four LRs as a marathon pace run - where the majority (not all) of the distance is done at goal race pace.  

That said, doing all of your LR miles in the month before the taper (let's say 80 miles worth) at race pace + 30s (per mile) still strikes me as too much work too close to race pace.  I don't dispute that some plans may recommend this.  But for every one that does, I'll bet you I can find another equally reputable one that argues the opposite.  So, horses for courses, but there is certainly more than one side.

As for "train to run slow, run slow" - sure, but it's a bit of a strawman.  Nobody's arguing that all marathon training should be done at easy pace.  That's what the tempo runs etc during the week are for.

02/06/2014 at 22:11

The goal would be a sub3. I've done a 3:20 in pre-breakfast training run (I got to 20 and wondered what the next 6.2 miles would be like), but I'm trying to decide if I should concentrate on speed (by doing 5k race training) or endurance (by doing 12-16 week aerobic base training). Or perhaps the former and then the latter if I'm patient enough. So just trying to plan the logistics.

02/06/2014 at 22:28
What are your strengths and weaknesses at the moment?
That will help point you in the right direction.
03/06/2014 at 10:36

Thanks. My heartrate is good at 3:20 pace - nice and easy, but as soon as I try and run quicker e.g. 3:05, it goes up too quickly and I know I won't be able to sustain it. However, the long distances (half to full) are my strengths - I find the short distances (1mile-5k) very tough. 10k is somewhere in limbo.

Edited: 03/06/2014 at 10:36
03/06/2014 at 12:27
Genghis Khan wrote (see)

Well, as I said, most plans do advocate doing a % of LR miles a bit faster.  For example, the P&D plans (which a lot of folk on these forums have used with great success) have one out of every four LRs as a marathon pace run - where the majority (not all) of the distance is done at goal race pace.  

That said, doing all of your LR miles in the month before the taper (let's say 80 miles worth) at race pace + 30s (per mile) still strikes me as too much work too close to race pace.  I don't dispute that some plans may recommend this.  But for every one that does, I'll bet you I can find another equally reputable one that argues the opposite.  So, horses for courses, but there is certainly more than one side.

As for "train to run slow, run slow" - sure, but it's a bit of a strawman.  Nobody's arguing that all marathon training should be done at easy pace.  That's what the tempo runs etc during the week are for.

this is why I suggested that you e-read the OP, as he acknowledges that the majority of his work LRs will be 90s slower!!

"Train to run slow" is a direct reference to LRs, LRs run at the quicker pace are about speed endurance, therefore different to intervals and shorter distance tempo runs.

 

04/06/2014 at 23:30

Pete, I have no interest in arguing with you (or anyone else) on the internet, but you keep moving the goalposts.  

The OP's question was: does he need to do ANY more LSRs at easy pace, once he has built his base and is at the business end of "the season"/marathon training.  He then implies that he thinks the "normal" pace for LRs during this period is race pace + 30s.  (I grant you this is not completely clear but that's how both Ballesteros and I interpreted it.)  

My answer: yes, there will still be a place for LRs at up to 90s slower than race pace, and + 30s is too fast to be the default speed for LRs, even in the last couple of months of marathon training.  

eg - last 3 LRs, 5, 4 and 3 weeks out from the marathon respectively.  Probably 60 miles or so.  Should he run all, or most, of those 60 miles at mgp +30s?  No, that would be mental.

 It may be we are both saying the same thing in a different way, i.e. once you've built a good base, do some of your LR miles at closer to race pace.  Not all; not none; but some.  In which case fine, nothing to see here etc etc.

 

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