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# Marathon Base Building (Read 1732 times)

Abstract?

Hey Jeff, should I run a second run today?

You missed your chance to base-build ... you shoulda ran a 2nd run YESTERDAY.   Do you start the run after all the runners finish (doesn't the Boston marathon RD do something like that?).  Nice run.

I think doubles can help everyone. Especially when time is a factor and you need to build up the miles. I would start with one double per week for a couple of weeks to see how your body handles this. Then if that works try maybe two doubles a week. Some people handle it better than others but I don't think you have a certain of mileage a week that you have to be hitting to do this. Here is the big question! Which is better for you to do assuming you have the time.

 Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Notes Option 1 4.5 0 4.5 4.5 0 10 6.5 30 5 days Option 2 *2 (4) 0 7.5 4.5 0 10 0 30 4 days, a 2x and a med run Option 3 *2 (4) 0 *2 (4) 4.5 0 10 0 30 4 days, 2(2x) * Denotes Double runs

2013 Goals:

• Sub 18:30 5K ()
• Sub 1:29:30 1/2 marathon (1:29:52 try at Heart Mini 3-18-2012 )
• Sub 3:010:00 Marathon ()

To get back to the original question.....

We are all an experiment of one, so take this accordingly.

When my base was 20 MPW, I ran a half marathon.  I was sore for a week afterward.

When my base was 30 MPW, I ran another half marathon.  My time was better, and I was sore for a day.

When my base was 30 MPW, I did a 20 mile run.  It was a disaster.

When my base was 50 MPW, a 20 mile run was more tedious than difficult.  So I ran a marathon, and was sore for a day.

Then I got lazy and ran a marathon off a 45 MPW base.  I finished OK, but my time increased by 5 minutes over the previous year.

Below are a lot of questions of how I should build a base. With a solid base I plan to go into a training schedule once I know which marathons I plan to run.

How should a person build their base? What mpw is a good base for marathon running? What are the general rules to build to that base without the risk of injury? If speedwork is added would more days of rest be added with longer easy runs? Or would you cut mpw? When are doubles introduced or acceptable? (I’m slow, getting in longer runs takes time. May need to run in the morning and at lunch.) Are there planned cutback weeks?

I thought with increasing miles my speed would increase. That did not happen in 2012, so my plan to increase speed is to race shorter distances.

I am a list person. Knowing what I need to do for the week and checking it off is rewarding.

The best way to build-up is to do what you can do and only push the envelope when you're ready to.  I would consider any "I'd-have-to-run-XXX-miles-per-week-in-order-to-run-a-'good marathon'" type of "formula" not-so-best way to build up.

Just a quick look at your training log, I'm sort of overwhelmed with the amount of long runs that you do.  Within 5 weeks below, you had done 2 X near 2 hours (1:45 and 1:54), 2:42, 3:37 and 4-hour.  Also how close together those long runs are...  That seems way too much to me.  Training for a marathon is not like preparing for a history test; you can cram things in in the last minutes.  What you pile up this month would really pay off maybe 2 or 3 months from now.  I went back and checked your log and you ran another marathon in July...and then May...  Given the fact many believe you'll need a day per mile that you had raced to recover, you're hardly recovered from your previous effort before you started preparing for the next big effort.  Personally, I'd like to take 12-weeks (or 3 months) being MINIMUM to prepare for a target race, I think you're definitely running out of time.

 10/20/2012 Run Random Race 26.2 mi 5:11:49 11:55 10/17/2012 Run Random Easy 2.0 mi 22:00 11:00 10/15/2012 Run Treadmill Easy 3.3 mi 40:00 12:14 10/10/2012 Run Treadmill Easy 3.1 mi 35:00 11:27 10/9/2012 Run Treadmill Easy 4.3 mi 50:00 11:46 10/8/2012 Run Treadmill Easy 2.0 mi 24:00 12:00 10/6/2012 Run Random Long 10.1 mi 1:45:02 10:24 10/4/2012 Run/Walk/Steps Random Default 2.5 mi 10/3/2012 Run Random Easy 4.0 mi 42:00 10:30 10/2/2012 Run Treadmill Easy 5.1 mi 59:00 11:39 9/30/2012 Run Random Long 20.0 mi 4:00:07 12:00 9/27/2012 Run Neighborhoods Easy 5.0 mi 57:42 11:33 9/26/2012 Run Neighborhoods Easy 10.1 mi 1:54:07 11:18 9/25/2012 Run Treadmill Easy 5.5 mi 59:00 10:44 9/23/2012 Run Neighborhoods Long 15.1 mi 2:42:53 10:48 9/20/2012 Run/Walk/Steps Random Default 2.0 mi 9/19/2012 Run Neighborhoods Easy 8.0 mi 1:29:40 11:13 9/18/2012 Run Treadmill Easy 5.0 mi 58:30 11:42 9/16/2012 Run Neighborhoods Long 18.1 mi 3:37:46 12:02

I could be wrong but it seems to me that you ran so close to cracking 5-hours for a marathon in May, you thought sub-5 is around the corner so you ran another one in July.  You came even more painfully close so you tried another one in October...  I'm sorry if I'm wrong but that's definitely NOT the way to prepare for a PR.

There's no magic formula for sub-5 marathon or sub-4 marathon or sub-3 marathon.  There's no such thing like "if you ran 50MPW, you can run 3:30 marathon..."  If you try to look for a program like that or, worse yet, if you try to follow one, you'll be sourly disappointed particularly if you're not even that level of fitness to handle that sort of mileage.  Also, adding random interval training, again when you're not quite ready for it, can be one of the worst things you can do as well.  If you feel happy about running 3-4 hours every other week and try a 5-hour marathon every 3 months, that's fine.  In a way, to me, one line that you said sums up: "I thought with increased miles my speed would increase.  That did not happen..."  You are doing way above your head.  You have to find your limitations and you work within your limitations and THEN you'll improve.  You've been only focusing on increasing the duration of the run and something would have to give--and, in this case, your effort and speed suffered.  You'll need to find the balance.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am a big fan of doubles - especially for older runners.  I was never able to handle more than about 50 mpw until I started doing doubles.  Now, I run twice 4-5 days a week and I can run 70+ mpw without problems.  Everyone knows that your body adapts to the amount of stress you put on it, assuming you don't stress it so much you get hurt, but it also adapts to how frequently you stress it.  Rather obviously, if you are running doubles, you are stressing your body more frequently.  Beyond that, I find that my legs are fresher for my afternoon runs if  I can get in a 20-30 minute very easy jog in the morning.

Short term goal: 17:59 5K

Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

runfoolery

Do you run those morning recovery runs the morning after speedwork, or before? Or which would you recommend if someone is just introducing doubles to their running?

At least for me, those morning recovery runs are especially important the morning after speed work.  They are very slow and easy - typically 45-60 seconds per mile slower than my easy pace and occasionally even slower than that.  My only objective is to do a bit of jogging and, in fact, I refer to them as "recovery jogs" just to cement in my mind the correct level of effort.  Doing a recovery jog in the morning when I'm planning a speed session later in the day helps mostly in that I can cut my warm up a bit.  If I start on stiffer legs, my warm up ends up being about 20 minutes before I feel like I can start into the speed work but if I have done a recovery jog that morning, I can get by with a 10-15 minute warm up.

Short term goal: 17:59 5K

Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

At least for me, those morning recovery runs are especially important the morning after speed work.  They are very slow and easy - typically 45-60 seconds per mile slower than my easy pace and occasionally even slower than that.  My only objective is to do a bit of jogging and, in fact, I refer to them as "recovery jogs" just to cement in my mind the correct level of effort.  Doing a recovery jog in the morning when I'm planning a speed session later in the day helps mostly in that I can cut my warm up a bit.  If I start on stiffer legs, my warm up ends up being about 20 minutes before I feel like I can start into the speed work but if I have done a recovery jog that morning, I can get by with a 10-15 minute warm up.

Hear, hear!!

Japanese twin marathon runners, Soh brothers, used to call morning jog "extension of warm-up".  I believe it's very valuable BEFORE the fast workouts AS WELL AS the morning after for extra recovery.  However, if you have to choose, personally, I like to do the morning jog the morning OF tempo run (because of the extra warm-up) and the morning AFTER intervals (for recovery).  I personally like to start out intervals slightly sluggish so I won't start out killing myself right from the get-go.  Another thing I've found out, if you really have inspiration, time and inclination to do so, is to do a very easy jog the evening of the weekend long run.  It'll do you a wonder to loosen up your stiff legs.

Hear, hear!!

Japanese twin marathon runners, Soh brothers, used to call morning jog "extension of warm-up".  I believe it's very valuable BEFORE the fast workouts AS WELL AS the morning after for extra recovery.  However, if you have to choose, personally, I like to do the morning jog the morning OF tempo run (because of the extra warm-up) and the morning AFTER intervals (for recovery).  I personally like to start out intervals slightly sluggish so I won't start out killing myself right from the get-go.  Another thing I've found out, if you really have inspiration, time and inclination to do so, is to do a very easy jog the evening of the weekend long run.  It'll do you a wonder to loosen up your stiff legs.

I'm glad I've been barking up the right tree - I'd resisted doubles when I first started running, I actually did have trouble recovering my first year or two. I think one of the keys is making one of the runs super easy, and I personally take some of the time I've got for that run and having a very good stretching session as well.

The second run the day of the long run is a great idea, I may work that in when I'm back to doing long single runs, right now I'm to a single run distance, just going to do it twice as a long run.

2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

DoppleBock

I love the triple - But mostly because I love to run.  Usually if I triple the only benefit is calorie burning ... That and I can't be stuffing my face if I am running ... Well that's a lie ... Stuffing your face while running is pretty much the basis of ultra-running for distances 50 miles and beyond.

My favorite run of the day is the lunch run - I cannot get a ton of training in at lunch, but a little sun on my face sure is nice.

All due respect, I don't think you'd actually "doubled" before???  Let me tell ya, if you're really getting up your mileage, you probably don't feel like doubling because then you feel like all you do during the day is to put on running clothes, go out for a run, come home, change, take a shower and, with a brief rest, you'll be putting running clothes again for the next round of your run!!  The fact is; the sooner you can start "doubling", the better off you'll be.

2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35

I love the triple - But mostly because I love to run.  Usually if I triple the only benefit is calorie burning ... That and I can't be stuffing my face if I am running ... Well that's a lie ... Stuffing your face while running is pretty much the basis of ultra-running for distances 50 miles and beyond.

My favorite run of the day is the lunch run - I cannot get a ton of training in at lunch, but a little sun on my face sure is nice.

Me too (favorite run of the day is lunch time).  I CAN get a good run of 8 or so miles at lunch and I do pretty much every day.  Second run is usually but not always an easier, shorter run in the evenings on a grass loop.  Seems to help with recovery.  Triples?  I like the idea of them but the only time I ever did them was a 'stunt' to run 100 miles in a week.  Did a morning, lunch and evening run to get >100miles in a week.  Only time I've ever done 100 ... just wanted to see what it was like!

tjaffer

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to say this is a great post and very informative.

Taha

5K - 23:33 (10/14/2012)                                                                         twitter: @tjaffer

Thank you for all the responses. I had planned to start base building this week, until my family went from giggles and tickles to WWE wrestling and DD #2 at 80lbs jumped on me. Felt a pop in lower rib area making breathing and walking difficult. Hope to start soon. Basic Plan: Run at an Easy Pace (easy pace can vary run to run) and push the pace when I feel like it.  Using time not distance during my lunch runs will work best. This will help on the weekends too when kids activities take over again. Doubles: I had 2 thoughts on this. 1) Split the medium long mid week run. Answer: Not a good idea.      2) If I know my lunch time run is going to be shorter (due to work schedule) would it hurt or help to add a few miles in the morning or afternoon. Answer: Can’t hurt if the pace is slow/jog. Think I will pass on the triples. In the end: Not one set mpw will allow me to run a great race. Just need to find what works and keep a balance for me. A good balance will allow my body to increase fitness level/speed and recover quicker. The true reason for running 3 marathons in 2012 is another goal: Travel and run a marathon in every state before the age of 60. Approx. 2-3 marathons per year should get me there. Keep in mind I want to run not race all marathons. Don’t get me wrong to BQ would be very cool, but not a goal for me. Must admit runners that BQ and run Boston are AWESOME! Right now my only speed goal is sub 5 hour marathon. We are looking at Louisville and Chicago for 2013. My ultimate goal is to enjoy a marathon for the run. I did this in San Francisco (July), had a blast after I got off the Bridge all the way to mile 22. At 22 I just wanted it to be over, not because I was in physical pain. The park was beautiful. The bison, beer, and bacon gave me a chuckle. No, I did not eat any of it. The Dodgers were in town and their fans were awesome! (tailgating and cheering us on) Wish I could have said the same for SF Giants fans – I spent plenty of time weaving in and out of them by the stadium. (SF Giants may have to join the St. Louis Cardinals on my ‘do not like’ list for baseball teams. Yes-still bitter about them beating The Reds in the playoffs too.) In the back of my mind I know I ran a sub 5 hour if I could have stood and pulled my shorts to the side to go potty (as the 5 hour pacer dude did). I had a 4 minute wait in the potty line and was stopped twice by traffic since they can’t close the course.

2012 Goals: No Injuries Run 1000 miles Bayshore Marathon- May Indy Full Marathon-October

Happy to be running

I also am digging this thread! I am trying to build a base now also.

New runner base building for my first marathon

I have run 2 half marathons 1:52:42 & 1:58:00

Whatever the merits of doing doubles in terms of training benefit, I do not see them as being an advantage in terms of time. Illustration

AM: get dressed - warm-up - run 5m - stretch - shower -dress

PM: get dressed - warm-up - run 5m - stretch - shower -dress

Everything in bold you are doing twice, so where is the time gain?

Personal bests (bold = this year): 5K - 24:20 / 5M - 38:42 / 10K - 51:54 / 10M - 1:24:26HM - 1:52:08 / M - 4:13:04

Next races: Millburn Red Cross 5K 12/8; Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate 10K 12/15

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