Base building

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WildWill    pirate
14/09/2003 at 06:21
boinged for juststartin
15/09/2003 at 10:09
I did a ten mile aerobic run yesterday it took me nearly 2 hours but I did manage to keep my HR under 70% for most of the run. The best bit was getting home knowing I had a good session and enjoying every minute of it!
WildWill    pirate
15/09/2003 at 10:17
good stuff SR - i find these runs give me a chance to enjoy what is out there
15/09/2003 at 10:55
This continues to be a very interesting thread, and I am beginning to see the wisdom of a cyclical approach to training. It strikes me that my training to date has been approached in a somewhat ad-hoc way. I read a lot, and have tried to incorporate a balance of easy and 'quality' sessions into my schedule each week. However, I confess that although I do this, I am not always totally sure about WHY I'm doing it.

What is also clear to me is that although I can run comparatively quickly for a relative novice (total of 17 months running) I do lack stamina. I believe that I would benefit from a base building period, and I think I'll start this once the Windsor half is over in two weeks' time.

The question really is how to get from where I am now to building up sufficient mileage to benefit from a base building phase? I currently run 4 times a week (I could push this to 5 at an absolute maximum but no more if I want to keep my boyfriend!)

My current schedule is along the following lines:

Monday: 4 miles recovery run.
Wednesday: 5-6 miles tempo.
Friday: 3 miles quite fast.
Sunday: Long run of anywhere between 9 and 12 miles currently (I've run mostly 5-10K races up until now; the Windsor half will be my first).

How do I gradually increase my mileage to base-building levels without injuring myself? I know the general rules about no more than 10% per week but can I increase more than this if the pace is very slow?

What would be the best way to proceed? And how many miles a week should I realistically be aiming at? I don't think 80+ is a possibility at my current stage of running.

I would really appreciate any thoughts on this as I'm keen to give this a try. It makes a lot of sense and I will be interested to review my progress.
15/09/2003 at 12:55
HRM for £19 go to
03/10/2012 at 16:49

When starting off with basebuilding is it preferable to build mileage by adding more days or lengthening the runs first? I'm currently running about 20 miles a week  - although measuring it by time not distance - so this week is:

Mon 30 min

Tue 45min

Wed rest

Thur 45 min

Fri 30 min

Sat 60 min

Sun rest

Eventually I guess the idea is that I'm running 5-6 days a week around an hour each time, with a perhaps 90min/2hour run at the weekend. I should add that I'm pretty slow and these runs are all mostly within a pretty comfortable pace. I have a HR monitor with my Garmin, but I don't rate the accuracy of it, and I don't find it comfortable to wear, and frankly at this level I think perceived effort is a sound enough guide. If im getting breathless then I'm going too fast and I'll slow down.

So, I'd like to develop aerobic fitness as much as possible until xmas, then I plan to start a 16 week marathon training plan in Jan for an April Marathon in Manchester. What is the best use of my time between now and xmas/new year to make the best aerobic/endurance improvements?


03/10/2012 at 17:13

A 9 year old thread revived

03/10/2012 at 21:42

Still, a decent question.

My first thought is lengthen the runs, AgentGinger, instead of adding days.  This is because I'm assuming you're new to base building and therefore not 'training low' or anything like that.  It takes a while to start reaping the benefits of slower, aerobic running in each run, and you want to maximise that, so run a little further.

Running more often though will help to injury proof you and improve your recovery times as you strengthen.  So sometimes runners will run more before running longer.  Usually we're talking about doubles though, so going back to your case as it looks I would still go for longer first.

04/10/2012 at 09:52

Cheers Ratzer, appreciate it. I'm new to base building, you're right. I completed a marathon once before (Brighton 2010) but with little and sporadic "training" and the time demonstrated that. I've barely run since, but I'm keen to make it stick this time, and I think the way to do that is to invest the time to get properly running fit, which will no doubt take a few years. The marathon I've entered next April is really just to give me some short term goal, but the aim is to continue beyond that, by making running just another part of my life.

04/10/2012 at 12:17

Just completed my first marathon at Loch Ness on Sunday where the plan was too run it steady in 4.15 ish.I have a half pb of 1.49.03 and the calculators suggested i should be capable of sub 4.Didnt want to kill myself in the process so thought 4.15 was a reasonable target to aim for,got too 17 miles on target then slowly crashed and burned until 23 where i managed to pick it up again and run too the finish.

Training for this went well and i managed 2 long runs of 18 and 3 runs of 20 miles and rather naively i thought i just had too turn up on the day and cruise round in 4.15.I ended up finishing in 4.36xx,


On reflection i now realise i didnt have enough base mileage before my 16 week mara programme.

Next year i have targeted 2 A races(Alloa half in March) and an autumn marathon(venue undecided).Ive had this week as total rest and am planning a few easy runs next week in prep for a 2-3 month base building phase before i start a half mara programme for Alloa.Then if all goes well repeat the process for an autumn marathon campaign.Im thinking of building both base phases up to maybe 40 mpw.

Does this sound about right as i feel i have unfinished business with both the 13.1 and 26.2 distances?


04/10/2012 at 12:49
On my first marathon I started from nothing, no base miles, no expectations
, I just wanted to finish. I completed a 16 week program, didn't miss a single run and did it in 4:17, nothing to write home about. Several years later, with a half pb of only 1:49, I did my marathon pb (again rubbish, it is what is) of 3:41. So yes it is about conditioning yourself to keep the pace (however slow you are) for the distance, so the more longer runs you can get in the better.

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