Base Training

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15/11/2009 at 19:52

base trainer - had to laugh at one of the original crew can't believe how long ago that was now.

Are you Finish, i guess you have some harsh winters. I'm trying to get back up to daily running

How many days a week are you/will you be running. Don't think its got to -10 so can't answer your Garmin question, even when we had snow last February
16/11/2009 at 14:56

I'm actually half and half so I guess i'm finglish, or something.   We haven't had a really cold winter for ages, just seems to get cold, snow, warm up, melt, freeze, melt.  Hovers between plus 5 and minus 5 until Jan, then it usually gets colder.  The snow is probably easy to run in but it's the slush and ice that will no doubt keep me indoors.  Global warming????????????

 Currently i run for 3 days and then have a day off so that puts my running at 5 days a week for 3 weeks and then one week of 6 days.  I think I could run more often but i'm not sure i want to at the moment.  With this sort of timetable I look forward to my day off, but more importantly i find that after my day off i'm looking forward to running again.  I also know that there is no way I could ever run every day for a prolonged period of time, just because I don't have the will power.  So I certainly take my hat off to anyone who can get their bones out every day. 

Last week I managed 52km which for me is a lot, seeing as though Jan - Sept I managed a whopping great err, well I was gonna say zero k, but i did run 3 or 4 times this summer so it was probably 10-20 km.  I think my normal weekly mileage is gonna be more like 40km a week ( which is only about 25m) so i'm not sure how much improvement is possible on that kind of mileage.  Hopefully i'll see some improvement and that will allow me to run a few more miles.

I did 8km today and noticed that my hr was much higher for the first 4km than the last 4.  I was struggling to keep it below 155 to start with and the av for the 4k was around 156 (not sure cos my splits are taken at funny places) but as the run progressed it settled down and was about 149 for the last 4k. Shouldn't it be the other way round? Surely I should find it easier to keep the hr down when i'm fresh and just started.

16/11/2009 at 21:41

Another question for anyone out there...

Have you noticed  that you need less extra calories when training at lower heart rates than higher?

Naturally I understand that running at a slower speed could result in lower calories anyhow (unless the time is significantly longer than what it would have been at the aerobic stage), but as low HRM isn't aerobic (and technically should burn more fat) I'm wondering how accurate the calorie calculation still is.  I've actually found one or two heart rate monitor calorie calculators on the web but thought I'd throw the question in here too... 

16/11/2009 at 22:41

Hi LN, not exactly sure but I'm currently trying to get fit and lose a few extra pounds so i've lowered my calorie intake and have had no problems training at lower hr's and i've lost a few pounds.  I know that when you train at higher hr's and you become anaerobic, you use more carbs to fuel your training session and therefore you would need to increase your carb intake in order to keep on going and not feel constantly tired.  However, I don't know if you burn many more calories at one hr rather than at another.  I suspect you burn more at higher hr's but most of those calories have to come from carbs, whereas when you train between 55 - 75% hr max you burn mainly fat.  I have a vague recollection about reading somewhere, that you burn a certain amount of calories depending on how far you travel, ie, if you run 5 km or walk it, you burn roughly the same amount of calories.  If you ran the same 5km flat out, you should burn the same amount of calories, but most of those calories will come from glycogen stores rather than fat.  So i think you burn a similar amount of calories but the composition of those calories will differ depending on how you train.  In other words, you (I) don't need as many calories when training at lower hr's as you would if training at higher hr's. 

Wow another long winded post about something i'm not even sure about, but that's my story and i'm sticking to it  Until corrected of course, at which stage i'll search desperately for the 'edit prior post button.'  whadu mean you can't edit stuff, they do it on the observer all the time.

17/11/2009 at 08:11

I must admit I am enjoying base training.

Really, I'm using it as getting from unfit beginner to a better level but even so, it's better than the training I did up until now (following smart coach and going how I feel).  In the last 6 months for the rest of the day and the day after I trained my head felt foggy but worst of all, I was in a foul mood for some reason.  I didn't push myself too hard (still at a slow speed, didn't feel as if I was ready to fall over, legs didn't feel tired) but for some reason it would effect my mind in a negative way.

However...when I started base training last week I made a conscious effort that I wouldn't go over 70% for my 30 mins and while I go slow and only sweat a little, I'm sure my wife would agree that I'm a nicer person to live with   In a display of stupidity I pushed up the level a little yesterday to test the >70% theory and yes, I'm not happy.  Not because the run was hard (it wasn't - it was still very easy and I'm actually happy at an increase I saw in my fitness since starting the base training) but for some reason my frame of mind is not good. 

Perhaps it's psychological or physical - I don't know.  But I do know that I'm going back to my old base training plod and I hope that with my slow fitness increase I can do more withing feeling as if I want to kick the cat!


17/11/2009 at 16:26
BT - that makes sense actually
17/11/2009 at 19:04

I've been bad. my run was going really badly tonight, in terms of keeping my hr down that is.  It was constantly around 157 or so and after about 5km I thought sod it.  The last 3km averaged out at about 180, however in the process I think I learnt that my max might be a bit more than the 196 I thought it was.  At the end of this run it was at 195 and I never even got into sprinting mode.  Therefore, i'm gonna estimate a new max of 200, 75% is now 150 every bit helps.  I'll get back to the bt tmrw, promise

Hey 84, I think the cat might appreciate your attempts to stick to bt too  Glad you're enjoying it.

LN, I think that's the 1st time someone's said I make senseso thanks for that.

17/11/2009 at 19:16

195?  My max is 175 and I have my 70% at 140.  Anything above 145 and I go looking for cat slippers...


18/11/2009 at 00:23

Not sure what happened there, but my post vanished.  195 was the highest number today but that certainly wasn't max effort.

Have you done a max hr test or are you using a formula?  I know plenty of people find that a formula is not very accurate for them.  I calculated your 70 -75% numbers and according to a max hr of 175 they should be lower than what you have.  I think i calculated about 122-131bpm.  Did you base your numbers off your whr rather than your max?  From what i've read on this thread I believe we are meant to work off our max hr rather than our working hr.

18/11/2009 at 07:58

I used the "Heart Monitor Train for the Complete (refuse to spell it incorrectly) Idiot" method. 

0.7*(max rate-resting rate)+resting rate

Max = 175ish according to a run up a hill like buggery, slow down then repeat times 4.  Resting = 55.

139 / 140 (which is 70% as above) seems about right for me I think - I can do it for 45 - 60 mins without breathing too heavily and can have a conversation while going at that rate.  Admittedly, it's an extremely slow speed but I've never been too nippy.


18/11/2009 at 14:52

Yeah, I thought you were probably using your whr.  I think i'd probably find it a lot easier to use that method too cos it means you can run at a higher hr, but i'm gonna stick with max % and struggle along at super low hr's and super slow speeds

18/11/2009 at 15:00
I'm doing super low speeds at the higher % - 7.5km/h is what I start at and drop down to 7.1ish at the end of the 30 mins.  I dread to think what I'd be doing if I was going at 122b/m
19/11/2009 at 11:23

Hi All,

I've been reading some of the earlier comments with great interest. I have been trying to plan a base training to ready myself for my first marathon next year. So far I have been a rather recreationnal runner and have never tried to run further then an hour - or 6 miles, which I find very tough ( I have to have a very relaxing day or evening after that because nothing functions anymore.. tee hee). My runs normally last 30 mins (3 miles)

I would really like to be at top form in Jan to start proper marathon training. I can run any morning of the week because I am lucky enough to be house wife with all my kids at school...

Is 5 X 45 mins per week for a couple of weeks a good start? That would take me to beg of Dec.

What should I aim for afterwards?

19/11/2009 at 13:06

Dont aim to fire straight in to doing 5x45 if you arent running that kind of mileage at the moment. Remember the 10% rule and build up gradually. 5x45 is a decent enough target but it might actually be better to run 4 times but go longer on each run.

You should really aim to build up your mileage as much as you can i think. I would suggest working up to the point where your typical run is round about an hour and then after that you can add sessions. I would also try to include one longer run and build that up as well. Your ultimate target will be to get that up to 2 hours and beyond but take it slowly and dont start to force it and add mileage too quickly.

19/11/2009 at 13:44

Hi LL, welcome to the club.  I've just started this base training myeslf, so i'm no expert, but here is my two cent.  It sounds like you move at a decent clip, but if you've been running for a while and find an hour tough then you are probably running at too high a hr.  The beauty of base training is that it is soooo easy.  Well, it can be tough having to run so slowly in order to keep the hr down, but your legs certainly feel fresh.  Your plan sounds pretty good to me.  The idea of base training is to be able to run 7 days a week for an hour at a time, however, I think that is a personal choice, I'm certainly hoping to see improvements on 5 days a week, 60 - 90 mins a time.  Once you are running 45 mins, then just add to it, at a pace that suits you, until you're running an hour a day. Aim to keep your hr at 70 - 75% of max and try to persevere through the snail pace you will probably have to run at. 

Once you're running an hour a day I think you could start to increase one of your runs to get you used to being on your feet.  I recall pantman saying a long run shouldn't be over 2hours 30 mins, so I eventually plan to stretch one of my runs to about that length.  You can also start to add one or two work sessions into the mix, which are run between 80-85% of max.  When is your marathon?

I think I had a bit of a breakthrough today.  Don't know if it was the sun and the scorching hot ten degrees, but today was the first time i didn't struggle with my hr.  90 mins and my av hr was 144, with one 2k stretch of 141.  I was over the moon, last time i tried to keep my hr at 140 for the hadd test I had to walk constantly

19/11/2009 at 14:06

Congratulations on the breakthrough, BT - long may your feet be faster and your heart rate slower!


19/11/2009 at 14:10
I might need a spot of this when I get back from injury...
19/11/2009 at 15:44

Hi ChunkyGentleman, Hi Base Trainer, Thanks for your valuable advise. It makes all sense and I shall try and run slower (although it will certainly feel that I have stopped).

I don't have a HR monitor and I must admit that when I tried using my husband's (who's a keen cyclist) I didn't manage to work out my MHR. I've always been pretty fit (having always done lots of sports) but my heart always seems to have a train to catch... I understand however that I have to work according to my heart and I have asked Father Christmas for a monitor... Working on one will most probably be an eye opening experience.

Until then, I shall build up from 40 min (because I can run that distance without stopping) and like you BT, I shall look forward to my breakthrough! Congratulations by the way!

 PS: I really do hope I'll have my heart-rate monitor for Xmas, but I am very dubious after being told by my hubby that "we" have put a deposit on £300 for some skateboarding gear for our 3 boys... Which planet am I from??

19/11/2009 at 21:14

Thanks No84, I'm just hoping I don't go back to struggling again tmrw, time will tell.

Welcome to the fold S88, hope the injury isn't too bad and you're able to join us soon.

LL, there are a number of ways you can find your max.  You can find a hill of 100-200 m and run up it 4 or 5 times.  After each rep jog down slowly and increase the effort on the next run up until you go flat out on your last rep.  Another way would be to run a hard 800m rest for a short while and then do a flat out 400m, the number you see after your last rep will be pretty close to your max.  You might want hubby with you in case you collapse in a pile, or if their is a malfunction with the hrm he can take your hr manually  

I started this training before I got my hrm and I was just trying to run nice and easy.  When I got my hrm I realised that my nice easy runs had been run at about 82% or so.  Just try and keep the runs really easy, conversation pace.  When you are done you shouldn't be out of breath at all.  Obviously the better shape you're in, the better your pace will be, but I don't think i've read of anyone who hasn't had to slow down considerably for this appoach to training. 

As far as hrm go, If you don't need/want a hrm with all the bells and whistles then you can get some very basic models pretty cheap(£20ish but no idea about the quality.)  I got a garmin fr50, which I've been really happy with, for £44, and it does everything I need, plus it auto downloads the info straight to your computer when you get within a few metres of your computer.  There is an optional foot pod that you can get with it that will tell you distance and pace but that's an extra £60, well out of my price range at this moment in time.  You can have a look at if you want to look at diff models and prices.  I'm sure there are plenty of other places, but it's worth having a look there cos I think they have pretty decent prices and you can at least get an idea of price ranges,etc.  Hope santa doesn't forget you

Happy basing to all.

21/11/2009 at 19:36

Hi Base Trainer, You're so kind with all your advise. (Sorry if I didn'y reply more quickly but I have quite a limited access to the family PC at the moment...)

I have a good hill near home and I shall experiment on finding out my MHR. I should be good fun. (I see if husband could strip himself off his PC for a little while and help me with that).

Otherwise I was starting to plan my training for next week and from what I gathered from the previous postings, I am planning on running for 40 mins at easy pace for the next 5 days.

I have mapped my route on Fetch so that I know where I'm going. This will take the stress out of the work out!

Also, I am going to join the gym because I used to practice and seriously enjoy Pilates. It's really good for the core muscles, which at the moment need a good work out!

Did you go out today? How is the wheather near you? It's torrential here! (Herts)

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