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Finally approaching my base... but what then? (Read 321 times)

sunkid


    After a long hiatus, I am back to running regularly with a goal of building base first before thinking about racing. In about a month or so, I will have reached my base-building goal of 30 miles per week on five days of running. Maybe a bit prematurely, but nonetheless I am starting to wonder "what next"? Ultimately, I want to qualify for Boston and run it with a decent time before I turn 50 (which leaves me 3 years).

     

    Here's a bit of background that might help in answering my questions below: my first (and only) marathon was in 2005 when I ran just under 3:30 using Higdon's Novice 2 program. I had very little base going into it but made it through the program OK and had a very strong race for a n00b, methinks. Afterward, I took some time off running but started again in 2006 jumping pretty quickly first into an intermediate half marathon program and after that race into the Pfitzinger 18/55. I had some really strong training runs during the latter (around 8:10/mile on my second 20 miler with negative splits) but sustained a mystery knee injury (likely due to overuse and/or "too much too fast") that kept me from reaching the starting line just three weeks before my target race (San Diego R&R).

     

    My current plan and summary are in my profile... I followed these suggestions to get to around 27 miles/week at the moment with a 10 mile long run, two recovery runs of 3 or so, and two "general aerobic" runs of 5 and 6 that I typically run a bit faster than the long. No concerted strength training or speed work other than the occasional strides or a 3/1 for the fun of it.

     

    Soo... Once I reach my targeted base of 30 miles, what do I do next? Do I need more than 30 miles per week to BQ? Should I just stay at that (or a slightly higher plateau) for a while, maybe run a couple of 10k or halfs? Should I try a not-so-demanding marathon program for training/confidence?

     

    Any suggestions, criticisms, advice, or pointers would be very welcome!

    JimR


      Why 30/week?

      sunkid


        Why 30/week?

         

        That number was merely meant to be a reasonable base for my schedule and advanced age. That said, I think I can fit in 40 on a regular schedule if that is helpful to my goal. I am still wary about going much above that for fear of re-injuring the knee. I have had no problems so far but very much want to keep it that way. For an actual training program, I would probably look at 25-30% higher peak mileage than my base, but that is sort of one of my questions, really.

        FTYC


        Faster Than Your Couch!

          I think 30 mpw is a bit short for  a marathon, but if you can run a 3:30 Mary on that, it obviously works for you.

           

          However, you'll have to consider that you ran that time many years ago, and it was a one-time event, so it might not be a given you can qualify for the Boston in your first attempt.

           

          Your runs seem short to me for a marathon attempt, but I've never followed a training plan, nor run a marathon, so that might be just my impression. I usually try to run about 1.5 times the race distance as a weekly mileage, with a bit more in the weeks before the race as peak mileage. However, as your knee has a tendency to act up, you can try getting by on the shorter side with less mileage, but at a higher effort.

           

          What might be just as important is to figure out your nutrition, hydration and electrolyte needs on the long runs.

          Run for fun.

            A while ago, I asked a similar question. There are many great answers on the thread you may be interested.

             

            http://www.runningahead.com/forums/topic/d0833d04115a4fd7b208c5bd20f9c1a0/0

            5k - 20:56 (Sept 30, 2012)

            7k - 28:40 (Nov 18, 2012)

            10k trial - 43:08 (Mar 29, 2013), 42:05 (May 05, 2013)

            FM - 3:09:28 (May 19, 2013)

            GC100k


              All your base are belong to us.

              sunkid


                I think 30 mpw is a bit short for  a marathon, but if you can run a 3:30 Mary on that, it obviously works for you.

                 

                However, you'll have to consider that you ran that time many years ago, and it was a one-time event, so it might not be a given you can qualify for the Boston in your first attempt.

                 

                Your runs seem short to me for a marathon attempt, but I've never followed a training plan, nor run a marathon, so that might be just my impression. I usually try to run about 1.5 times the race distance as a weekly mileage, with a bit more in the weeks before the race as peak mileage. However, as your knee has a tendency to act up, you can try getting by on the shorter side with less mileage, but at a higher effort.

                 

                What might be just as important is to figure out your nutrition, hydration and electrolyte needs on the long runs.

                 

                Just to be sure, my current 30 mpw is just the base I was thinking to start a marathon training from. I agree that that would not be enough for an actual training program with the goal of a BQ.

                 

                My conundrum, in more general terms is really "for how long, how much, and what do I run before starting a 'real' marathon training program"?


                The Irreverent Reverand

                  What the hell do I know? I've run one marathon (couch-to-marathon in 12 months after not running for 17 years), took time off, tried to run another marathon and got myself hurt in the training (too many miles too quickly). Fun stuff.

                   

                  That being said, I resumed running in January, and I've been at 30+ miles/week for the past three weeks. I've got three half marathons on the schedule for the summer, with a marathon in October. I haven't figured out what plan I'm doing. The plan I did for my first and only marathon was adapted from a Runner's World issue, with two days rest, long day, short mileage day w striders, interval day, a tempo or hill day, and a 4-6 mile day. It was an "intermediate" plan that topped out at 51 miles. I'm currently looking at some plans in the back of a New York Running Club book, and a book by the guy who started The Running Room (a Canadian running store with locations in the Upper Midwest).

                   

                  I'm looking to run in the neighborhood of 3:30 this October ... So I'd love to hit your 3:30 time! I'm 38, which is about the age you were when you ran that time, if I'm doing my math correct. My BQ hopes, if they happen, will be a year or two for now. I've got lots of work to do to get there ...

                  So, "what next" for you? Do some half marathons, see how you feel, and then perhaps get a fall marathon in there - just for fun. Don't look to get your BQ this year. Yes, you've gotten some base back, but the real base you'll build is your training this whole year, and next year you can talk BQ with a strong base and a good sense of where your body is at. But take it easy for now, particularly with your history of knee injury and all the time off you had from running ....

                  Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. Overweight runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

                   

                  Goals for 2014:

                  Sub-3:30 marathon; run for a year free from major injuries or interruptions

                  PRs: 3:27 marathon; 1:41 half; 45:07 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run

                    My thought is simply:  The higher the base, the better the result.

                     

                    I am about to turn 40, and I personally would consider the ages of both 40 and 47 as still in prime running years.  IE.  Most folks in my running club with the high MPW BASE are in that 40-49 year old zone.  I personally moved from 20-30 MPW up to 40 MPW and saw a drastic improvement in my marathon time.  I am moving into a plan to put my MPW at 50-60 MPW for a time during the summer.  I expect more improvement in endurance/times will occur.

                     

                    So, if you reach your base of 30 MPW, my suggestion as to "what next" is simply moving it up to 40 MPW, provided your body can take that all right with no injuries developing of course.   Additional MPW from to 30 to 40 would seemingly almost guarantee a better marathon result.  Also, increasing your long run from 10 max up closer to some long runs reaching 18ish MPW.  --Hopefully that knee strengthens up fine and the increased mileage does not affect it, but of course dial back if any recurrence of knee symptoms.

                    .

                    The Plan (big parts)→  /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer  ///   May:  3 Days at the Fair (12 Hour)  ///  Nov:  New York Marathon (Staying at the Waldorf Astoria, its a "Bucket List" thing.  Can someone loan me some Zamunda money to help pay for it?)   ∞

                    zonykel


                      I think it all depends on how much time you have and what your goals are. Increasing mileage makes sense, but can you make room for it in your schedule?


                      Fat butt on couch

                        Being at 30mpw, I think you should forget the marathon for now and focus on shorter distances.  Get your feet wet and use the speedwork (tempos and later intervals) to get the most you can out of the base you have.  Then back off the faster work and take your base up to the next level, say 40mpw.  Once you can consistently run 40mpw and are ready to commit to doing some 50mpw during a marathon schedule, you are ready to go for the marathon.

                         

                        My position is I don't recommend running marathons if you can't commit to 50mpw for at least a period of time.  YMMV.

                         

                        People tend to forget that while more mileage is better in general, the person who progresses over time from 30, to 40, to 50 and pauses for a few months at each level to consolidate their gains is going to perform better than their identical twin who jumps straight from 30 to 50.  Don't overlook what you can get out of each step up the ladder.  Giving your body time to strengthen and adapt also reduces the chances of injury.

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                          (assuming based on your OP that you began building your base about 6 weeks ago...)

                           

                          I think that your definition of "base" is a little skewed.

                          The base is a foundation, and the foundation is built with consistency in volume over a prolonged period of time.

                          After you have the base, you can add onto it to the point where you're able to have specific training with what you used to consider "unattainable results".

                           

                          I think your triangle is upside down, and that might cause you an injury if you shoot for tough goals at this stage.

                           

                          Cheers,
                          Brian

                          2014 Goals:

                          #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                          #2: 365 Hours training

                           

                          sunkid


                            Thanks for all the input so far! Taking it to heart and looking at the calendar, I decided to forgo the marathon for this year and maybe do a half or two instead.

                             

                            Just to clarify, by "approaching my base" I meant the base I was planning to maintain for a while. I fully realize that it really only is a base after staying at that effort for a while, so no upside down triangles here Wink

                             

                            That said, I think I will aim for it to be closer to 40 mpw but will take my time getting there. My 10 milers don't nearly take as much out of me as the first one did, but I am still far from the shape I would like to be in even for a half.