Base building

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09/09/2003 at 15:51
I have been told if I want to improve I need to build a base that is to run easy (70% MHR) for all my runs for three months.

After that I can start to do some speed training etc. If you have done it can you let me know if it was worth the time put into it?
The other option is to run just my easy days slowly it appears most of us run them too quickly anyway!

Any thoughts and views would be appreciated?
WildWill    pirate
09/09/2003 at 17:38
I'm doing base training from after GNR till end of year - you still need to do some speed work tho (a short track session will do) - but do most you runs at a easy pace with aim to build BASE endurance

To complimment this some general strength work is also good
09/09/2003 at 17:51
I'm six weeks into a (potentially) six months base programme. Results are encouraging so far.

I would disagree with WW about the need to do any speed work though. I think a good stretching / strength-training regime will prevent any long-term loss of speed.
09/09/2003 at 18:20
Wildwill, do you increase your weekly distance when you're doing base building, or is it the same as normal with steady runs instead of speedwork?

I ask because I'm planning a couple of months of base training after the Great Cumbria Run.
09/09/2003 at 19:23
I've been reading a bit on the subject and its been real interesting. plan to do a lot of this after southend (oct 5th) over the winter months so next year i should be capable of decent times

Read somewhere once the best form of training is to train for a marathon but without doing the marathon at the end

What do others think and would more than 3 months base training be more of a hinderance or a help.

09/09/2003 at 19:55
YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!!!

At last the message that quick fix speedwotk is not the answer is getting out! Hurrah!

All runs nice'n'easy keeping HR low, BUT the BETTER runners can do SOME alactic speedwork concentrating on RELAXED FORM. Alactic = too short for lactate to form. Some 100m reps with VERY long (several minutes) rest intervals keeping good form will keep the body ready for teh faster work later on.
09/09/2003 at 20:12
How low for the HR?

Are ALL runs at the same HR or do they vary? Been reading about this but need some direct answers.
09/09/2003 at 20:19
I have been keeping my HR around 130-140 for most of my runs training for my marathon and recently got a PB in a recent Half Marathon, I found I was able to keep a fairly fast pace for longer in the race and was less tired at the end and have recovered much quicker.
09/09/2003 at 22:39
Isn't it just the case that the physiological benefits of base training last longer than the benefits of faster paced training. Therefore you do your base first and that lasts whilst you concentrate on your speed ? I'm sort of guessing here based on what I've read.

I'd still be wary about doing a long period of purely slow running - based simply on the effects it had on people I knew - maybe a small sample but they didn't get faster except over ultra distances. However I think the idea of doing some fast running without turning it into a knackering interval session may be enough for maintenance. Again just an educated guess.
WildWill    pirate
09/09/2003 at 23:05
TT - my speed work fits into the fast but easy cattagory

Ard - I up the duration of my long run to 3hrs (i do 3hrs 1wk 2hrs the next alternating)

BR - what questions do you want answering
WildWill    pirate
09/09/2003 at 23:30
The purpose of base training is to build and expand an athletes aerobic base. Over-distance and endurance runs form the bulk of the training in creating this base. Building this base enables the cardio system and lungs to be able to cope with much higher intensity training that will follow. During this stage you normally work on muscular development, both sport and non sport specific, with the aim of improving the power to weigh ratio. The final element as I said is fast but easy work (short speed/track sessions) but only a small percentage of the work.

60-70% of the training hours should be aimed at the slow stuff with the aim of improving the body’s oxygen transport system (50-60%whr) – Endurance : Easy Cruising pace – Over Distance : long easy runs

10-20% of time on strength for the reason stated above

The reminder speed sessions to ensure you don’t loose the speed you have built in the past – emphasis would normally be short intervals working on body speed, tempo speed and kicks

I can recomend the book "SERIOUS Training for endurance athletes" BY Rob Sleamaker and Ray Browning
09/09/2003 at 23:42
we used to build bases in the park as kids... use tarpaulin, robe, wood, old tyres - any stuff like that

but watch out for that big rotweiller the old bloke walks down by the swings - its a bu66er
10/09/2003 at 06:52
So how long should a newbie do base training don't know which way to go now.

Have run before but am returning for the zillionth time
10/09/2003 at 09:34
I've posted this before on another thread but worth a read if you've the time:

Should answer a lot of the questions.

Happy reading!
WildWill    pirate
10/09/2003 at 10:05
Pammie - Base training normally last 12-16 weeks in 4 week cycles with every 4th week as an easy week to prevent over training - But as TwoTons says it can be 6 month especialy when new to OR returning to runing
10/09/2003 at 11:36
Have elected to follow this basebuilding route after some downtime this summer due to achilles. Partly I'd felt I'd trained up too hard and fast on lengthening runs/speedwork before so that the CV system stretches beyond the capability of joints and tendons.

Currently am doing 3 x 5+milers at 65-70%WHR, a 20mn speed session at club night and running through a weekend race by taking the first 1/3 easy and then running the second 2/3rd as a tempo type run. I intend to staedily increase the 5+ milers to 7 or so over the next month and then maybe to 9.

What I'd be interested in knowing is how much slowr do people find they go when base building than their current racing pace. I guess I could race a 10k now at around 7:20-7:30min mile but my base-building runs are at 9:30min/mile pace about - 80% of race speed.
10/09/2003 at 11:53
I do find running (if you can call it that)at 70%WHR embarrassingly slow! I often grind to a halt at the first sign of a hill!
10/09/2003 at 12:11
I am seriously considering buying a heart rate monitor after my half marathon in three weeks' time and going back to basics.

Although I do feel my running has improved in the past 6 months (I've only been running for about 17 months in total) I don't feel that the improvements have been as dramatic as I'd hoped or expected.

I think this is because I do all my runs at too fast a pace. The net result is that I have a certain amount of speed (which I'd like to improve on) but not nearly as much stamina as I'd like. In training runs I often find myself having to take a break because I've started out too hard. I've read a bit about base building but I find it almost impossible to slow down - my body's used to the pace I run at and changing it is proving to be very difficult. I often set out with the intention of doing an 'easy' or 'recovery' run but end up logging it as a tempo run because the pace was too quick.

I thought a heart rate monitor might help me with pacing, but am a bit put off by reports I've read about them chafing round the chest strap.

Do others find a HRM is best for learning to pace yourself?
WildWill    pirate
10/09/2003 at 14:05
Minkin - I use a HRM with no probs - it help keep the pace down

TSR - as base training progresses you'll finfd your speed will increase for the same HR - as you become more aerobicly fit and you oxgen transport system inproves
10/09/2003 at 14:59
Am currently following a programme similar to Hadd's approach as posted previously although mileage is less as am not aiming for a marathon. As an idea:

Resting HR = 55
Max HR = 200
10K race pace = 6.10

Currently doing 5 runs per week:

1. Long run (building to 16 miles) at 150HR
2&3. 2 x medium runs (building to 10 miles each) at 160HR & 150-155HR
4&5. 2 x shorter runs (5 miles each) at HR<145

Current avaerage pace at these HRs as follows:

145: 9.00
150: 8.40
155: 8.20
160: 8.00

Have been following this programme for about 3 weeks so far and have already seen a reduction in pace of around 20 seconds per mile at each HR. When pace at each HR starts to level off I will up my target HRs at each level by 5-10bpm. In the New Year plan to re-introduce the speedwork as well.

Am convinced this type of training will pay off with improved race times come next Spring/Summer but guess I will have to just to wait and see!

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