5 Facts About Base Training

I believe that most runners are enjoying the doldrums of winter by slogging away at miles, on the treadmill or braving the cold. I know some are fortunate enough to be racing as many completed the Disney World races and the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon.

For those of us training for a spring race, most are in the midst of Base Training. What is Base Training? Base training is essentially the time when you are creating a base that your eventual race and season will be based off. If you think of something like a pyramid, then the base is… you guess it the bottom! Generally speaking the broader your base the more stable the rest of the pyramid will be. According to Running Planet base training is “designed to refocus and strengthen the base that has already been built over years of consistent running.”

  1. Base Training builds endurance – this training is designed to be easy runs while increasing your mileage. You can do some Fartleks for a little speed, but most should be run at conversational pace.
  2. Base Training is great for drills and skills – this is a good time to work on your overall running form and overall efficiency. It is also a great time to begin weight lifting which will help improve the aforementioned form and efficiency.
  3. Focus and Plan – You may have already selected a goal race, how about a goal pace? If you haven’t selected a race yet, this is a good time to do so. You might not currently feel very fit, but in a few short weeks you will be. This is also a good time to plan ahead for your overall training schedule and make sure that you plan for your long runs later in the year.
  4. Base Training aka Pre-Season Training – Running Planet actually calls their base phase: “Pre-Season Training.” I like their thoughts that for most of us we already have a base, we just need to get back in shape. They say, ” I do not like the term “base building” because it suggests that something must be built from the ground up. As I said earlier, competitive runners are never far from their base and never far from race shape.” I would agree that for most competitive runners that is definitely the case. I’m not sure how many age-groupers would fall into that category, so base training might still be the best term, if not the most common!
  5. Quantity over Quality – it is worth mentioning again that Base Training is about running miles, not speed. Focus on conversational pace (there is a really in-depth scientific reason for this, I promise) runs and increasing your miles. Note: For this point Quality is referring to speed not things like form. You should be running at 60-75% of your maximum heart rate and should easily be able to converse with training partners. This is hard for me because I don’t like seeing slow paces show up in my log. But it is important. If you want to add “quality” or speed work, keep it simple, things like longer tempo runs or fartleks are perfect.

Keep running and logging the miles. They have revised our forecasts and we aren’t getting single digit high temperatures as previously expected.

Sources include: Runner’s World, Running Planet, and Tri-fuel.

Yesterday’s Workout

Even though it was warmer than expected I hit the treadmill today. I did a lousy 2.5 miles in 21:05 and then the bike for 15 minutes or 4.25 miles. It was really really hot in the gym and I hate being stuck inside!

[tags] Base Training, Training [/tags]

1 thought on “5 Facts About Base Training

  1. Sarah Jo

    Great post! I guess you could say I'm in a "base training" phase, but I'm having trouble balancing running, strength training, speed work, cross training, and flexibility "training" all at the same time. Any advice?

    P.S. I wrote a post in more detail about my troubles today.


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