Base Training

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18/12/2009 at 14:34

Cheers Shades - really appreciate that.

I work strange shifts its really like a week on/week off so some weeks i have more time on my hands (or should that be feet) Am hoping for better times in 2010

18/12/2009 at 16:03
Hi Shades - don't suppose that you have seen my post on the previous page - as would appreciate any advice re my query about fueling strategy on medium to long runs. Thanks
18/12/2009 at 18:53

Hi GG - cross posting last night so have only just read your post.  You've done really well to achieve those marathon times so obviously have a great deal of natural ability.

Re fueling on longish runs.  This is a very personal thing and everyone is different.   For me I don't bother with anything at BT pace if I'm running anything up to 2.25 hours.   If I'm out longer that that then I would take a small amount of water and a handful of sweets.   For runs over 20 miles I would use some electrolytes in the water and a few more sweets or dates which I find really good (very high on the GI index but can cause runners trots in some peeps).    I never use sports drinks or gels as they don't agree with me.   You don't want to deplete yourself of fluids or carbs too much as this will delay your recovery from the run so not helpful.   I would suggest that you take a gel and/or some sweets and have access to water and take what you feel you need in the run.   If you eat a fairly decent breakfast before your longish runs then that will help, as the runs are done at BT pace there shouldn't be any problem with running fairly soon after eating.  

18/12/2009 at 19:19

Pammie - right the path to my marathon PB

July - had a couple of niggles which kept my mileage down and I DNS'd my 2 planned ultras in that month, weekly mileage in July was 30 to 50mpw


1st week only 22 miles including 2 days rest before marathon

2nd week (I was on holiday in the Isle of Man for the whole week)
Day 1 - marathon 26.2 miles
Day 2 - a.m. 10 mile recovery run, p.m. rest (was knackered!)
Day 3 - a.m. 9 miles, p.m. 6.8miles
Day 4 - a.m. 10.05 miles, p.m. 5 miles
Day 5 - a.m. 8.09 miles, p.m.3.02 miles
Day 6 - a.m. 10.02 miles p.m. 6.45 miles
Day 7 a.m. 6.69 miles

Total 101.32 miles

I then took a rest day and reverted to Mon-Sun as my running week

3rd week (back at work)
Day 1 - a.m. 6.58 miles, p.m. 2.89 miles
Day 2 - a.m. 7 miles, p.m.6 miles
Day 3 - a.m. 6.67 miles, p.m. rest
Day 4 - a.m. 7.56 miles, p.m. 6 miles
Day 5 - a.m. 8 miles, p.m. rest
Day 6 - a.m. 8 miles, p.m. rest
Day 7 - 21.5 miles, p.m. rest

Total 80.2 miles

4th week
Day 1 - a.m. 6.11 miles, p.m. 2.28 miles
Day 2 - a.m. 6.5 miles, p.m. rest
Day 3 - a.m. 7.52 miles, p.m. rest
Day 4 - rest day
Day 5 - Invitational marathon Longford 26.2 miles
Day 6 - rest day
Day 7 - Longford marathon 26.2 miles

Total 74.81 miles


18/12/2009 at 19:25

5th week

Day 1 - 3.19 recovery run, travelling home from Ireland then
Day 2 - 3.57 miles (knackered after journey home)
Day 3 - a.m. 8 miles, p.m. 5.65 miles
Day 4 - a.m. 6.31 miles
Day 5 - felt tired took unplanned rest day
Day 6 - rest day
Day 7 - Wolverhampton marathon 26.2 miles (10 mins and 12 secs off PB)

Total 52.92 miles

18/12/2009 at 22:17

Thanks very much for sharing very impressed, totally inspired and big congratulations on your pb
19/12/2009 at 06:20

Pammie - that's OK, though it's not really much help is it!!!

The only thing I will say is that running doubles does soon become a habit and I think the benefit training wise comes from running on tired legs.   Incidentally half way through the 80 mile week is when my min/mile training times started to drop, I've found that with Hadd training improvements can suddenly start to happen, but I didn't think it would reflect in my marathons that soon.  I had not planned to run a PB or even try for one, I just decided on the start line at Wolverhampton to run at 85%MHR  for the first 5 miles then up to 88%MHR for as long as I could hold it and it just turned out that I managed to hold it for the whole distance.

19/12/2009 at 11:33

That’s incredible Shades as you ran two marathons the week before you ran your PB! That goes against everything that I’ve read about tapering, rest etc. Would you recommend trying this sort of approach for anyone else?

19/12/2009 at 12:30

I personally like doubles a lot. Bizarrely, I ran my highest weekly mileage ever about 6 days before my best every 10k.......


19/12/2009 at 12:46
Shades it was a help - interesting about what happened when you got to 80mpw

I do like doubles myself though not do them all the time but when i do, find them enjoyable and does teach your body to recover quickly.
19/12/2009 at 17:20
Thank you Shades for the information about fueling and it is line with my own thinking.
I will take a SIS gel and water for BT runs of 2hrs or more, plus a few sweets and see how that goes.
Normally would take water and a gel for 90 mins or more.

Very impressed with your 100mpw and especially in the week that you did a marathon.

Will introduce 2/3 doubles a week into my BT very soon and run the extra run slowly
20/12/2009 at 08:13

Badbark -no, I wouldn't recommend running 2 marathons the week before attempting a marathon PB unless you are a serial marathon junkie as I am.   I have previously run marathons on consecutive days, quite a few doubles, 2 triples and I did the 10 in 10 at Windermere in 2008.  Running so many marathons close together generally will slow your marathon times (obviously), however when I did the 10. in 10 there was one guy that ran a marathon PB on Day 7 which was an astounding achievement but he was then injured for 4 months.  I ran badly at the 10 in 10 having missed my last 8 weeks training due to injury, I was pleased just to complete it.

The more traditional marathon training including the tapering has never worked for me, I've tried several times and have run like a donkey (with apologies to the donkey).   My last 2 marathon PB's 2005 and 2009 have been after a long spell of Hadd training but still been unexpected on the day, I guess you never really know how a race is going to pan out until you're well into the race.   I've been running marathons close together for a long time and my strength lies in my recovery, it's another element of fitness that improves with time.

GG - I find that with running doubles it's easier to increase the weekly mileage that way rather than increasing distance on your daily runs.  Time and work committments started me on doubles and even when I'm on holiday at Xmas when I plan to run15 miles a day I will probably do that most days with 2 runs.

20/12/2009 at 20:33
SHADES - re doubles - it does seem a good way of increasing mileage when you cannot increase what would be the single run for various reasons.
Might throw a few strides in at the end of a couple of the extra runs to keep the legs stretched out.

I like the idea of Hadd style training and the lower intensity runs, as think it will be helpful to the hamstring niggles that I have had in the past - caused mainly through running too hard too often during my marathon training.

Have done 5 weeks of BT now and up to 65mpw of single runs (inc 17 miles LSR today) - trying to avoid racing apart from a couple of xctry ones in January and February.
During this time will build up my base and attempt to be patient (will be the first time I think) and look forward to racing VLM in much better shape.
21/12/2009 at 13:06

GG - You're doing well  getting the mileage up especially in this weather.   We had ice yesterday so I missed my long run, ice is the only type of weather that I won't run in.

Do you do a lot of stretching to keep those hamstring niggles at bay?

21/12/2009 at 23:05
SHADES - To be honest I cannot stand running on ice, especially downhill as my balance is not that good.
There is a recreation area near where I live and can run longish laps around there and the conditions tend to be crunchy underfoot but safe to run on. It is a bit boring but helps to get a good portion of the run done.

Re the stretching - over the past few years have seen 3 or 4 physios and the problem stems largely from sciatic problems from my lower back.
Have been given stretches to do for hamstring and back and do them daily.
In addition need to improve my core muscles etc so doing some exercises as well.

My favourite distance is marathons (only done 8 since my first one at Abingdon in 2004)and after I increase the training runs to 13 miles or more then the right hamstring starts to niggle after a few weeks and I have to stop and stretch it out a lot.
It slows me downs as it tightens up and I cannot stride out as well.

The reason I am doing the BT is to try and combat this problem and so far I feel a lot happier with my long runs. I stopped for 2 stretches in my 17 miler but generally my hamstring is easier this time around, so fingers crossed.

22/12/2009 at 06:32

GG - good for you being so religious about your stretching routines.   BT is certainly your safest way to train and avoid injury and allow you to get those miles in.

No running for me last night or this morning as we have a lot of black ice, it looks evil out there, am not looking forward to driving to work either

17/05/2011 at 15:37

Took me ages to find this thread - RW's search tool wasn't any help - is anyone following this approach at present?

17/05/2011 at 15:44
I try. I find that it works. I enjoy it. Then I get carried away, go too fast and get injured and think "Why didn't I continue base training" and go back to the beginning of the cycle.

I really should learn
17/05/2011 at 15:54

Wow. I was looking at this thread yesterday! Coincidence

Not following it right now but have in the past - Dr Dan is for his Autumn marathon I believe so hopefully he'll contribute. I'll lurk, and answer any questions if I can

17/05/2011 at 16:08
The question that I've never figured out...

I used to base train with my heart rate gadget (following Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot) and it says to run at 70% of your (correctly calculated) WHR. Is that average over the whole run (so starting out at about 50% and possibly ending the run at 80%) or should you run faster at the start to get the heart rate high enough and then slow down to keep it at 70% for the run? Or perhaps just starting at the same slow speed and eventually getting to 70% even if the average over the whole run is 60%?

Or I could just go out and enjoy the run without complicating things...

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