Base Training



  • My experience (admittedly on a tready so things like slope and speed were closely controlled) was that my BPM was pretty much steady to within a couple of beats.

    There was a tendency for it to slowly creep upwards (is this heart rate drift?), so every time I went over my target I just knocked the speed down a notch - 0.2kph. I managed to keep within a band about 5 beats wide all through the session.
  • OK, here goes...

    Sth Legs, a few things:
    1) To my mind one of the biggest goals of base training is to allow mileage to increase with minimum risk. With only 30mpw you are going to see progress at half the rate of someone doing 60mpw. It is not bad to do 30mpw, but you should look to keep increasing if you want to see real progress.
    2) Base training does not NECESSARILY make you faster, so much as PREPARE you to run faster. When you do get round to faster work it is then that the benefits of base training will REALLY be seen.
    3) If you want to improve your aerobic capability you will have to run many more miles. If you are NEVER going to do more than 30mpw, then an eclectic mix of training like MikeS does is probably your better option. If I were you I would look to continue to slowly pick the mileage up to 50mpw. That is where you'll start to see what you want to see - look at the current training as a step in getting there and any progress in the meantime as a bonus.
    4) Base building is a LONG term project with LONG term results... it's very early days...

    Minks, I'll e-mail you again over the w/end but a few pointers for now...
    1) Go to 150 for now - it's good to keep running. But a drop of 1:20 a mile to hit the right pace is not at all unusual - you WILL be back to 8:40's again, but at a lower HR. THis has just shown you that you WERE more untrained than you realised - NOW you are doing somethig about it.
    2) Try, eventually, to look at the Max Aerobic HR as being you upper limit. I would not get it up to the limit and then slow down as Fruity describes, but aim to allow for cardiac drift so as to hit the HR limit at the end of the run and on hills during the run. The other day I felt like taking it easy and my HR dropped to 117 at one point, yet still 7:30-8:00 pace. As the run progressed, I loosedned up, felt better and picked it up as I went - this is vastly preferrable to teh opposite.
    3) I would try not to go over 150 - if you do go up to 155 then walk until you are back to 120-130. Not too long - just to get it to resonable levels. It may even be better to do 2 shorter runs a day instead of one longer one - gives you more run time until it picks up.
    4) If you are patient you will get there. While you are run/walking this is a great time to increase the TIME you are training with little risk.
    Mrs Pant was EXACTLY he same - erractic HR - impossible to stay in range, etc... It WILL come - but it WILL take months rather than weeks... BE PATIENT!
  • For all you base-building devotees, below is a link to a lecture given by Lydiard in Japan in 1990 (nicked from those crazy Americans!). Jumps about a bit, but all the essentials are there:
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Thanks for you comments, FR - and for the pointers, PM. I guess it's just a matter of being patient and sticking with it. It's just vaguely dissatisfying feeling like a beginner again, walking up hills and wanting to say to people, "Look, I CAN run this, I'm just taking a new approach to my training!" On the plus side, at the end I felt as though I'd barely done anything - certainly wasn't out of breath and I didn't need to 'recover'.

    This week I've run 30 minutes each day (but only one with HRM as I had to wait for it to be delivered), planning to follow PM's advice at the beginning of the thread to build up to an over over a period of a couple of months. Will I really only start to see improvement when I reach this level? I think I might get rather demoralised if I don't notice any improvement along the way.

    I did try to look at maximum aerobic HR as my upper limit. The problem was I'd set upper and lower limit zones on my HRM before I set out and I think I started off too fast to get the bloody thing to stop beeping at me (won't be doing that again!) - this meant I got the HR up too quickly then couldn't get it back down again fast enough. I do see the wisdom of aiming for the maximum aerobic HR as being the end point of the run - or at least from halfway or more through. I didn't let it go over 151, and on the plus side the second half of the session was almost all running between about 142 and 146 (but it was mostly downhill by then too - it's the hills that cause the problem, but unavoidable where I live).

    Have ended up returning my HRM as it didn't show average heart rate (less important) or time and % of session within target HR. It just had this silly graph function which was impossible to interpret as it didn't give any figures.

    I'm glad to hear Mrs Pant was exactly the same to start with, although I do worry that I'm going to lose any speed I've got at the moment. Still, FLM is a long way off and I don't have any race plans until then. I WILL be patient, as I really want to do this, but think I need to devise some kind of schedule otherwise I'll find it hard to keep a focus.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    BTW, will buy another HRM this weekend hopefully!
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Minkin, my run on Wednesday was exactly the same - I just couldn't get my HR low enough without walking, and I had gone for my 7 mile route, so it seemed to take forever! In fact I took 82 minutes, but I had given up looking at the HRM for the last 2 miles, as it is all uphill on the way home.

    I hope some of it is just me not having fully recovered from the marathon. I may have to delay starting it until after the half on 2/11.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Thanks Nessie - makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one who finds this disheartening. Especially so as I consider myself quite fit. I live right on top of a hill so the last 1-2 miles of any route I choose is always uphill. Tried to choose the least steep route yesterday but was annoying having to walk.

    You may not be fully recovered from the marathon, as you've said - think this can cause HR to be a bit more elevated than usual?
  • Apart from one run last Saturday after a day's rest my morning 5 mile run @140-145 bpm is staying the same time within 15 secs either way.

    This is encouraging as I have upped the mileage and been running hard aerobic runs.

    Club run last night - @ 155+ I was strining the field out. It was only when they decided to race in at the end they came back and overtook me.
  • My last run was on Monday because I came down with a bad cold. I hope I get better soon! I was going to do four runs this week, so it will have to wait. So it's nice to read what everyone else is doing!

    And if it's any consolation, unless I run endless one mile laps of my local park, I have to encounter hills as I live half-way up a fjord!
  • he he BR beer kils mitochondria.. the guinness is ruining all your hard work
  • although i did 50 mins run am, 1.15 run pm followed by 2.00 cycle all aerobic.. so 5 cans of guiness and a couple of red wines is good for me
  • and of course a turbo-charging curry
  • Andy, is posting #311 serious?
  • You seem in an impish mood tonight?
  • actually yes BR - and there was an article about it in some magazine recently (i think this month's RW actually)

    although i wouldn't worry too much about it - what fun is life if you cant enjoy it?

    i have never gone teetotal in base training seasons (I've done 4) and i've seen some benefit nonetheless... of course i might have seen more if i had, but what the hey? and maybe it would have been negligible?

    lifes rich tapestry and all that
  • Cheers for that Andy.

    Was reading about Antonio Pinto and his bottle of red wine every day.

    `Guinness is Good For You' according to the ads. So if it affecting my base training do you think I should take out a lawsuit against them?

    Went teetotal for a week before FLM. Don't think it helped much. Just ended up eating more.
  • being teetotal during the race is probably a good idea
  • Andy, just knocked another 30 secs off my 5 mile course time @ 140-145bpm. The gains come after an easy / rest day.

    So the wine, Guinness and Stella is working. Hallelujah!
  • what are you doing BR? two runs a day?
  • 5 miles every morning Mon - Sat; last week evenings were 10, 9, 15, 8.5, 0. Will do 4 later on.
  • Hi all

    Enforced rest this week as I have had a horrid cold.

    Went out for 30 mins this morning and felt really good. I am improving, I'm running more and I think marginally faster. I've got nothing pressing before christmas so I'm just going to plough on :-)
  • BR, I did once finish a Nat X/c champs event with a can of Guinness in hand :-). I clearly wasn't placed.


    thanks for comments
    Milage/intensity is dictated by state of achilles. I am indeed aiming to push above 30mpw, 50 would be great but the life compromises might win. #1 aim is avoid serious injury recurrence.
  • Minkin

    I recall you are similar pace to me (1:52 for HM), I am 3 weeks into base training having done 35, 45 and now 50 miles each week. It is frustrating but the HR does settle down. I approach hills running in very small steps on my toes - my mindset is positive... even though I'm running slow each step is lifting my bodyweight and slower means more lifting. Rather than walking i just trot, shake out my arms and breathe deeply to relax. I now find that I go over only 4/5 times instead every half mile (it usually happens if I daydream about how fast I will be at the end of it all)

    I don't feel faster, and I am going through a stage where my legs feel weary. However I knocked a smidgen off my 2m circuit. Staying with it at least until Xmas
  • Just to motivate you all I have been trying this for 3 weeks now on a treadmill using hrm so I can gather all the relevant data. My average run time for each week has increased from 5.0 to 5.18 and 5.30 mph each week. Still *very* slow but at least its an improvment. Today I had the urge to run faster and go above 145 bpm but resisted - must be getting stronger. Another positive is my mileage is up from erratic 6-10 miles to week to about 13 now. Anyone having doubts stick with it for a while - I intend too.

  • Well
    i had a go on the tready
    an hour at just under 13 min miling(yes i was running)
    Kept HR below 150


    well, i glowed slightly and didnt sweat much
    at NO time was i in the least bit out of breath, i could have been singing while running
    My percieved rate of exertion is spot on, when i drifted to 153 at the end, i knew by the way i felt

    and i think I found that zone thing you all keep talking about

    Trouble is, i didnt feel id done enough when i got off the tready, how silly is that!

  • Hips - that is just great! But when you do it every day, you WILL be getting tired - promise!
  • im sure i will

    But me pint of beer after, well, i didnt feel id deserved it

    Nor the swim after

    Nice tto know i wont have to walk-thank god
  • Pantie

    So there arent rest days in this base stuff/

    Does it matter if you miss a day?
  • Base is base however many days you do - more is better (as long as you don't over do it of course). The theory is that you can do more due to the effort of each run being less. BUt because the heart and lungs feel comfortable there is often a tendency to do too much too soon - you must be patient and let the muscles/tendons/etc. catch up and get strong...
  • does one get the same amount of base fitness out of cycling at my aerobic training HR as per running for the same amount of time? (obviously not as good for leg strength tho)
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