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What do you do for base training? (Read 145 times)

RunnerJones


Will Run for Donuts!

    *By base training, I mean being 6-8 months out from any goal race, but still looking to keep up the mileage and fitness.

     

    With the summer heat coming, my spring racing season is coming to a close.  I hit my spring marathon goal (3:20) but missed my half goal (1:30-:32; ran a 1:35).  I usually train year-round, with an average of 40-50 mpw, but generally that's just easy mileage, with few real workouts.  I'm looking to get my mileage consistently over 50 mpw, but I'm wondering what other sort of training I could do now with the goal of getting a sub-3:20 full and hopefully a sub-1:30 half, or even a sub-1:32 (the NYC marathon standard).  I've run sub-3:20 enough to know that's well within my grasp with a good training cycle, but getting closer to 1:30 in the half has been a struggle for the last couple years.  I've hit as close as 1:31, but that's it.

     

    So, what do you do to maintain fitness between training cycles?  I'm curious what I could add to set myself up for a stronger fall and maybe have another go at 1:30 when the cooler temps return in October and November.

     

    Thanks!

    Brewing Runner


    Cat Disliker

      Do a tempo run 5-8 miles mid week at your marathon pace. Do some speed work like 1,200m repeats or 200m repeats. Maybe look at some books on training like Hansons, Pfitz, Jack Daniels, etc. and see what they'd suggest for keeping up the speed. I haven't hit a sub 1:30 half, but I've also been focusing on the marathon. I think it is easier to keep a scheduled mid week workout than to go to all easy running and come back to doing workouts, but that's me.

      1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

      5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

      10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

      Half: 1:31:19.5* (2019 Mt Charleston Marathon)

      Marathon 3:05:22.9* (2019 Mt Charleston Marathon)

      Annual Miles 1,892.7 miles

      *downhill course with 5,126 ft net drop and 30F temp change. 

       

      2019 Goal: Get into the 4/19/21 marathon

       

        Do strides 2x a week and race a 5k week or three.

        Runners run.

        slingrunner


          *By base training, I mean being 6-8 months out from any goal race, but still looking to keep up the mileage and fitness.

           

          With the summer heat coming, my spring racing season is coming to a close.  I hit my spring marathon goal (3:20) but missed my half goal (1:30-:32; ran a 1:35).  I usually train year-round, with an average of 40-50 mpw, but generally that's just easy mileage, with few real workouts.  I'm looking to get my mileage consistently over 50 mpw, but I'm wondering what other sort of training I could do now with the goal of getting a sub-3:20 full and hopefully a sub-1:30 half, or even a sub-1:32 (the NYC marathon standard).  I've run sub-3:20 enough to know that's well within my grasp with a good training cycle, but getting closer to 1:30 in the half has been a struggle for the last couple years.  I've hit as close as 1:31, but that's it.

           

          So, what do you do to maintain fitness between training cycles?  I'm curious what I could add to set myself up for a stronger fall and maybe have another go at 1:30 when the cooler temps return in October and November.

           

          Thanks!

          You know what your body can handle, but I've found a simple routine is alternating tempo runs and track workouts... about 1 a week.  On days when it is too hot, you can slow your tempo run down, or split it into parts.  If you are upping your mileage, I wouldn't recommend doing a ton of speedwork at the same time.  Some racing might not hurt too.

          5k- 18:55 (2018)    10K- 39:04 (2017)    Marathon- 3:00:10 (2018)

          paul2432


            Do strides 2x a week and race a 5k week or three.

             

            This.  Strides are perfect for developing speed without being too taxing.

             

            You could also mix things up and do a trail race just for fun, or plan some sort of running adventure.

            Tchuck


              Getting over 50 mpw consistently is likely the ticket. With base training, once per week stay in touch with your speed. Over 3 weeks, do some tempo work, 10K effort reps and shorter intervals but drop volume so you are not stressed too bad. Like:

              - 3 x 1 mile at fast tempo or 2 x 2 mile at fast tempo or 4 continuous miles at marathon pace

              - 5 x 3 min at 10K effort or 8 x 2 min at 10k effort

              - 8 x 1 min at 1 mile to 3k pace

              mix in striders as well at least 2 x per week as mentioned. Just take pressure off yourself and don't have goals in your work outs

              H-WAVE - Helping Athletes Reduce Pain and Recover Faster

              JMac11


              Benevolent Leader

                Sort of surprised by some the answers here. Most of what's being recommended here is not classic base training. You should not be doing anything like 10K reps, V02 max, or long speed reps.

                 

                Classic base training involves aerobic conditioning. You should be running almost every run at easy pace. Some posters are right that strides should be the way you touch on speed, but do not add any sort of structured workout at those paces. A tempo run here and there is okay, maybe once every other week. Your goal here is to a) build endurance b) build up injury resistance c) build up mileage safely without the stress of quality days. Often base training sees your mileage go above what you would want to hold in regular training. So if you're looking to complete maybe 50-60 mpw in your specific training, base training can go as high as 70-80 because you aren't stressing the body with tough workouts.

                 

                As Mikey said, a 5K here and there also isn't awful, but only do it to break up the monotony. You should not be racing frequently in the base.

                 

                As you get closer (within 3-4 months) you can start adding reps and high end speed work to your plan.

                5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

                 

                Next Race: Suffolk County Half Marathon (10/27/19)


                Elite Jogger

                  So is the OP talking about maintenance between cycles or base building?

                   

                  If you’re talking about base building then forget about the odd tempo//5k race as that defeats the object.....those workouts will hinder your progress as they require more recovery....which means less base building progress.

                   

                  Building up to 70/80mpw won’t be any problem for you if it’s all easy miles and you’ll be surprised at how fast you can run a 5k without the speedwork.  Get comfortable with 70mpw easy and then start adding some quality.

                   

                  If you’re into heartrate running then you might be interested in this base building link https://www.angio.net/personal/run/hadd.pdf

                  5k - 17:53 (2019)   10k - 37:53 (2018)   Half - 1:23:18 (2019)   Full - 2:50:43 (2019)

                  RunnerJones


                  Will Run for Donuts!

                    So is the OP talking about maintenance between cycles or base building?

                     

                    If you’re talking about base building then forget about the odd tempo//5k race as that defeats the object.....those workouts will hinder your progress as they require more recovery....which means less base building progress.

                     

                    Building up to 70/80mpw won’t be any problem for you if it’s all easy miles and you’ll be surprised at how fast you can run a 5k without the speedwork.  Get comfortable with 70mpw easy and then start adding some quality.

                     

                    If you’re into heartrate running then you might be interested in this base building link https://www.angio.net/personal/run/hadd.pdf

                     

                    Re base building vs. maintenance training, I guess in my mind I was treating them as the same thing, but you're right, they're not.  I've been running between 40-50 mpw for the last 5 years year-round, and it's mostly been over 50 mpw so far this year.  I've already got a decent base of easy miles.

                     

                    So, rethinking my question, what's going to help me more in a fall half marathon - building up my weekly mileage, adding in some sort of quality workouts between cycles, or some of both?

                     

                    Thanks for all the replies so far.

                    JMac11


                    Benevolent Leader

                      For a half marathon, definitely mileage. You will see a significant improvement in your performance if you up your mileage to 70+ over staying at 50 and adding more speed work. Endurance takes the longest to build, but it's also the longest to lose, which is why you can go up to 70 for base building and then drop down to 50-60 with quality without losing everything you built from the higher mileage.

                      5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

                       

                      Next Race: Suffolk County Half Marathon (10/27/19)

                        I mean yeah you'll generally always get the most bang for your buck from adding mileage but doing *some* speed during base building won't in any way limit your aerobic development. I'm not talking doing gut busting workouts, but keeping in touch with some mile to half pace. It's also worth considering what are your limiting factors both in terms of mileage you're able/willing to run and what your strengths and weaknesses are as a runner.

                         

                        If your primary limiting factor is time--as it generally always is for me--then there's even less reason not to keep some workouts in the rotation. For example, even when I was chasing PR's I generally always limited myself to ~ 70 mpw when I was training seriously, and less when I was just in base mode. This wasn't because I couldn't physically handle more, it was simply the amount of mileage I could run the amount of time per week I was able/willing to spend on running within the context of the life I had chosen for myself. So avoiding all speed work would not have allowed me to run more mileage and so it was never a limiting factor. In that context, keeping some speed in the rotation was actually a more efficient use of my training time/mileage.

                         

                        Regarding your individual strengths/weaknesses, if for example your 5k is weak relative to your other times, then that could be limiting how much upside you have at the longer races. In that case improving your speed while maintaining endurance will lift the whole performance curve. The other thing I like about 5k's and why I suggest doing them even during base building is that in addition to being a good workout that you recover from quickly, it's just a good way to practice the skill of racing. Practicing the mental focus, killer instinct, learning how to go to find the redline but not go over it--all of that will definitely help at the half and other distances. I also always found that unless I was race sharp--i.e. doing *some* 5k specific work, I couldn't never really reach the level of effort where I could do any real damage at the 5k so there wasn't much to worry about in terms of recovery or injury. But ymmv, know thyself and all that.

                         

                        But I'd never poo poo a summer of just mileage and strides.

                        Runners run.

                        Tchuck


                          To piggy back off off my previous post and Mikeys as we have a similar mindset around base training. When you look at my work outs listed above....not one of them is a really hard work out at all for a 50 mile per week runner. I run 25 miles per week and none of those work outs I would consider really hard. To run 3-4 miles per week out of 50 at at faster pace will DO NOTHING to negate base training for a seasoned runner.I kind of think the old "run everything slow in base training" mindset is an old school way of thinking, i hope we have evolved. Striders and one day per week mixing in a non strenous work out keeps you sane and also keeps those energy system awake so when you get on your structured plan you respond even quicker and can more easily handle the more taxing work outs.

                          H-WAVE - Helping Athletes Reduce Pain and Recover Faster


                          Elite Jogger

                            To piggy back off off my previous post and Mikeys as we have a similar mindset around base training. When you look at my work outs listed above....not one of them is a really hard work out at all for a 50 mile per week runner. I run 25 miles per week and none of those work outs I would consider really hard. To run 3-4 miles per week out of 50 at at faster pace will DO NOTHING to negate base training for a seasoned runner.I kind of think the old "run everything slow in base training" mindset is an old school way of thinking, i hope we have evolved. Striders and one day per week mixing in a non strenous work out keeps you sane and also keeps those energy system awake so when you get on your structured plan you respond even quicker and can more easily handle the more taxing work outs.

                             

                            So have you ever actually tried base building “the old school way” or do you just agree with whatever MikeyMike says?  If you don’t have the time or inclination to run more miles with everything easy then fine. I’m no coach and just go by my own experiences....I ran my half PR after 6 weeks of high mileage all easy 8+min/miles and then raced at 6:15 pace. I get fed up hearing people say they can’t increase mileage because they’re injury prone....it’s because their training paces are too fast.

                            5k - 17:53 (2019)   10k - 37:53 (2018)   Half - 1:23:18 (2019)   Full - 2:50:43 (2019)


                            From the Internet.

                              I also like to keep in touch with speed. When I get injured, it's coming off blocks of easy miles and then trying to jump into workouts again, or coming off blocks of slower workouts (marathon) and trying to jump into faster stuff (5k). After having this happen to me a few times, I finally connected the dots and just prefer to keep in touch with a little tempo and a little faster while I'm base building.

                               

                              I agree with Mikkey re: people running too hard and blaming that for an inability to run higher mileage, but that's not 100% the same issue as running something a bit quicker now and then in a base phase. I try to run my recovery/easy runs REALLY easy no matter what I'm doing, and that allows me to hit workouts harder while in specific training and to pack on mileage without breaking down.

                              Cyberic


                                I think that if raising your weekly mileage is a goal if yours, make it a goal of yours. As long as you do it smart, and by smart I mean to make it a long term objective, you'll be able to raise it injury free.

                                What I like to do (I've been raising my avg weekly mileage for a couple of years now) is wait until an off season, lay back on the speed work (you can do some, but they are not the focus) and gradually build your mileage up to where you want it and hold it there. Week after week. That is, of course is your goal weekly mileage isn't too much above what you were already running.

                                After weeks or months of this,  you can gradually put the focus back to speed work, while keeping the mileage up there. You can actually decrease a bit the mileage when focus comes back to speed work, or a "balanced" plan, but it should still ve higher than it was before.

                                After years of this, I've increased my avg weekly mileage without issue.

                                Feel free to ignore what you've just read. 

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