My underlying base!!

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!! :)


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

13 Replies

  • Yessssss!!!!! I think you are spot on. I'm a recent grad and still slow anyway. Two experienced runner / cyclists I know both concur. Both excel in their own way, both train seriously, both say SLOW pace, extend duration not speed. My next target is to run for one adding slowly and running slowly. Apparently, running slowly so you can still speak in effect tricks the brain in to thinking you are not running at all....hence you can run forever aka Forest Gump! I'm no expert, but that's my plan :)

  • I also am starting to believe/understand that we need to apply increased stress to our bodies in a series of "jumps" rather than incrementally. It is common practice to ramp up say distance incrementally by say 10% every week - but I have read that this kind of "confuses" the body because it never gets to understand what you are asking of it. Whereas , if you "jump" by say 20% to a new level and maintain that level for say 3-4 weeks, the body at first objects a little but then starts to acclimatise to the new effort demand and your fitness level stabilises at this new level over the time before another jump upwards is placed upon it. This second method makes more sense to me - even though it goes against established dogma :)

  • Re increases: my current MyAsics personalised marathon plan jumps up in larger than 10% increments. It does 3 weeks at the new distance, then falls back to about half of that.

    My weekly long runs went 12, 12, 12, 8, then jumped to 16, 16, 16, 12, 20, 20, 20... I've just done a 'rest week of 12km before jumping from 24km two weeks ago to 28km tomorrow. 4km seemed a huge jump before I started this plan, but it is working.

  • Yes -- this is what Jack Daniels plans do - jump up and then maintain that for about 3 weeks- then jump back to the previous level for a week as a rest . Then jump to the next level for 3 weeks, etc.

  • Are you always on holiday Bazza?!!!

  • Well - Yes!! I am retired - my life is one long holiday!! :)

  • Good for you. I semi-retired last year and have now been sent on a course that needs a masters level 3000 word assignment in the next 3/52. Something has gone wrong with my plans!! Have a great time.

  • Not another holiday Bazza! I don't know how you find time to get the Ks in!

  • Yes - well , the next couple of months may prove a bit difficult to get the miles in - at the least , I would like to be able to maintain my current level of fitness until we get back home.

  • I am definitely not a serious runner.

  • I am a silly runner.

  • I still feel like laughing on most of the runs I do.

  • I am certainly not a "serious" runner -- just someone who has discovered that he can run - and what I want more than anything is to be able to run more easily than now. So any info that I can find that supports and encourages this is manna to me :)

    I did read someone who said that we should not use the word "training" - but use the word "practice" - as in practising running. Golfers practice their swing - runners practice running and like golfers, we can benefit from assistance by others who do it better than us :)

You may also like...