I think that the general "trajectory" of my running - post C25K graduation - is similar to many others Fluff around for a while, finally get to be able to run say 10k or so by either following a programme or just slowly adding distance, get a bit involved with parkrun, enter a longer race , get some PB's for different distances, start doing fast intervals,mile repeats and hill work -- etc,etc.
But I am slowly coming to the understand that it is time to go back to Square number One!!!! Almost all of the more serious trainers and runners that I have read about - all insist on one thing, that is runners need to have a solid foundation/base before they do any of the aforementioned things. Well -- you don't HAVE to and many have proved that they can run individual fast "races" without breaking down -- but nevertheless , they still say that a solid base is an absolute prerequisite for a "serious" runner.
How do we get a solid base?? By running many miles per week slowly -- called volume!! I have read statements calling for aspiring marathon runners to work on their base for up to 6 months before even thinking about starting on a marathon training programme.
Anyway - I am about to embark on a trip for a couple of months and I don't know what running opportunities will come my way . Probably I will be able to get some runs in , either on a treadmill or outside in varying conditions ( hot and humid in Hawaii, hot and very low humidity in California and high altitude in Colorado) but I won't be able to follow any kind of programme- so , I am going to work on my base for the duration. I have already started it over the past couple of weeks - running five days at a slow pace of 8 mins per K (up to an average 25 klms per week now) . This pace is what Jack Daniels recommends for somebody with a 5K time of just over 30 minutes. I have found running at this pace to be quite tiring - lungs are well under control and in regard to lungs, I could continue at this pace forever -- but from a "legs" POV , it has been hard work with tired and sore legs resulting . BUT - only yesterday, I thought "This is slowly working - it seems a bit easier!!!" Maybe my "base" is indeed starting to solidify!!