Base Training



  • I think TT is spot on here. Lydiard was pre-HRM and so everything, by necessity, was done by perceived exertion.

    When TT says,"If your HR goes above your ideal training rate from time to time, that is not a problem, so long as over the course of the run you are not building up lactic acid" he has defined precisely what Lydiard's guys were doing.

    "Best aerobic pace" or "Maximum steady state" would not be a set HR or pace as it would vary depending on whether they were running 7 miles or 27 miles - the point was the level of exertion at the END of the run. IN other words it should never take so much out of them so as to prevent the next day's workout.

    BUt if they WERE tired they WOULD run easy or miss a day (Snell has one on record on this). The thing that I wonder about is whether if they had of had HRM and HAD kept within pre-set limits even on hills, whether they would have needed to ease off as much or would have better maintained the levels day in and day out.

    Re. Hills - he used hills for specific strengthening work after the conditioning phase. During the conditioning phase it was just a case of running up them as TT described. The "Hill phase" was totally another thing - it involved bounding/springing up the hills, jogging at the top, running fast DOWN the hills and some leg speed at the bottom in addition to more jogging! Not to be attempted until VERY conditioned...

    But, BR, aren't you doing some easier stuff now, rather than "best aerobic pace"..? ;-)
  • Minks - cross post! Just to add that, while baring in mind what I have said above re. effort over different distances, MArk Allen's FB HR is, for me, about 10bpm below what I'd hit doing a Lydiard "best aerobic effort" or "maximal steady state" run.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Thanks PM! I might have some more questions for you once I actually start on my base training - hope you don't mind!
  • Of course, Minks. I've got quite a few questions of my own for once I get a bit further on, mind you...
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    I'm really looking forward to starting this training - from what you and others have said, and from what I've read of Hadd, Lydiard, Allen, Maffetone et al, I'm confident that it really will work.

    It'll be nice to train knowing the reasoning behind what I'm doing too, rather than the fairly inconsistent and ad-hoc approach I've been using up until now.

    One small question - will it matter that much if I don't always manage to run every day? I'm going to try, but I know at times that I'll have to miss the odd day through work or social commitments. This will annoy me, as when I do something I like to do it 100% - no half measures.
  • Shouldn't have thought so. Even with low-intensity work I think there is still a case for having rest days - mentally as well as physically. If I felt I had to run every day it would become a chore rather than a pleasure.
  • You could always cross-train for the odd day. A change is as good as a rest, and all that.
  • I'm planning the Hadd `monitoring' sessions of 5 x 2400m @ 140, 150,160,170,180 bpm on Saturday.

    Anyone else trying this or got any views?
  • I think Chaos just did it, BR...

    I wouldn't know what 160bpm looked like, let alone 180...
  • Is that a `don't do it' then PM?
  • No, not necessarily...

    I am just building up slowly and LT intensity is some way of for me, so why would I need to know what mine is yet?

    I'll push the intensity up in the new year and when I can feel lactate I'll know I've overdone it, ease off and then not go QUITE so hard next time! Pantman's simple approach to LT testing... :-)

  • BR - I can see why you want to do it, to monitor your progress through the winter. Are you sure you have recovered enough from Nottingham to give an accurate result?

    Also bear in mind that each time you do this test, you should 'ease up as if for a race'.....wouldn't you rather be racing? ;o)
    (sorry Pants)
  • Yes I'll take Friday as a rest. That's more than easing up before a race!

    I know what you mean about leaving it a bit but I've races the next 3 weekends. We'll see.

    Really it's only a steady run with a fastish 3 miles at the end.
  • Mornin'

    I did have a go at the Hadd-type tests but really need to do it again. Firstly it was during a club track night so it conflicted with the other sessions going on, secondly I had people chatting away asking why I was going round the track so slowly and thirdly I found it v.difficult to keep a steady HR as a result. Anyway the not-very-accurate results were that my 140 pace is around an 8+ m/mile, 150 is about 8 m/m and 160 about 7 m/m. Didn't do the 170 in the end as everyone was heading home and I don't think I'm ready for a 180 test as had to pull up in my last two races. We have a monthly 5k anyway so in the future I might just treat that as the high-end part of the testing.

    I like the idea of doing them every 6 weeks or so as a measure of progress but it looks like you do need to find yourself a quiet time to test it. Will report back when I've managed this.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Phil Maffetone recommends a different type of self-assessment, although the principle's fairly similar. I'm not sure it's as thorough as Hadd but will give a reasonable indication of improvement.

    A significant benefit of base building is the ability to run faster at the same effort - i.e. the same aerobic heart rate. The maximum aerobic function (MAF) test objectively measures the improvements in aerobic speed during base building. The test is performed wearing a HRM and running at maximum aerobic heart rate (worked out using the 180 formula). The test is done folliwng am easy warmup, and is probably best done on a track for consistency although as you need to run 3-5 miles this might be a bit tedious! Record your times for each mile at your maximum aerobic heart rate - the test should show faster times for the same heart rate as the weeks pass. Probably it's good to do the test about once a month to monitor progress. During any one test, it's normal for your times to get slower - the first mile should always be the fastest and the last the slowest. If that's not the case it usually means you haven't warmed up enough.

    (Above paraphrased from an article by Dr Philip Maffetone - "Want speed? Slow down!")
  • Hi All

    Here is the link to the article Minkin was refering to.

  • Thanks Mike. Very interesting article.

    I have been doing weight training in addition to my base training. Looks like that was the wrong thing to do...
    I had also planned to do a 10k every month to test progress - another wrong thing.
  • MK - thanks for that, have printed a copy for some bed time reading.
  • Very interesting bit about anaerobic work actually harming your aerobic development.

    I think I had assumed that it just didn't help rather than it positively being a bad thing during the base building phase. It is v.difficult to avoid it when training with a club that have lots of races, get enthusiastic during track sessions, do hills every week and so on. I guess you either need immense self-discipline or just give up on training with the club for a while - which I'd rather not do.

    Our coach is convinced that you lose leg-speed unless doing some speedwork every week so got a bit of a battle there.
  • Chaos - you can always get leg speed back with a few weeks of faster work.

    I've spent the last 5 years eating pies and drinking Guinness - if that doesn't ruin any leg speed I ever had, I don't think a few slow runs will!!
  • I agree with you TT. I don't think I'll convince our coach but will just have to live with that.

    Pies and Guiness? Mmmmm... am going to Ireland in a few weeks, I'll be sure to stock up.
  • Chaos, couldn't you drop down a group so you are running at an easier pace?

    Over the last couple of weeks our `fast' group has got so big that I can run quite comfortably well within max aerobic HR.

    Last night we ended up returning in pairs as different people wound it up at different points. I plodded on at same rate with our 32 min 10k star who seems to like his easy runs.
  • "Our 32 min 10k star who seems to like his easy runs".....more proof of the value of steady mileage ?
  • Definitely TT. He hardly ever pushes it on club nights, runs plenty of runs with his girlfriend but when he goes he really goes!
  • Folks, is it just me, or has this thread been really good..? And is MK the link man or what!?!

    RW Forum has always been fun and friendly, but it has been getting very informative of late too... Lots of good reading!

    Question for TT - do you really think you can get leg speed back very quickly. A lot of teh 2nd Generation Lydiardites (Kellogg, Hadd, et al) are very into regular alactic speed work - not necessary? I read somewhere that Lydiards boys did a fair bit too, but never in his books...
  • PM - I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'leg speed'. If I was aiming for 800s and 1500s early in the summer, then I probably would do some alactic work through the winter.

    For marathon training, speed-work this side of Xmas will be a few 10k 'races' (trying to run fast/relaxed). My only track-work before the marathon will be longer timetrials.

    After the FLM, I may well try to have a track season. I suppose we'll have to wait until then to see how quickly the 'leg speed' returns.
  • Great thread - very informative.

    I've always been convinced by the theory of base training, but always been too impatient to put it into practise.

    After reading all this I thought "Right! - get out the old Polar hrm and force myself to an 8-miler really slowly".

    220 minus age (50) isn't accurate for me - reckon my max is nearer 180, and resting hr is about 40. So tried to run with hr below 150.

    It was hellish. By 3 miles my lower back ached and my backside muscles cramped from the sheer effort of shuffling along with my brakes permanently on. I know I'm a plump middle aged lady, but I felt embarrassed to be seen going at that pace in public. It was just so joyless - how do people suffer this for all those miles? I was losing the will to live by the 5 mile point, and had to do some sneaky little sprints between lampposts to cheer myself up. Oh dear. More practise needed at this slow running, I fear - cos I know that doing all my training runs too fast doesn't actually improve my endurance as much as the long slow runs.

  • LynneW, I believe the formula is 180 minus age, plus 5 if you are a regular exercise. I am 48 and my maximum HR for base training is 137. I have been running at about 130 HR for most of my runs over the past few weeks with the ocasional HR over it, usually at the top of hills. I am beginning to think I am abnormal as I find running at an easy pace suits me and if I cared what people thought of a middle-aged slightly overweight person running I would never have started running in the first place. Best of luck with the rest of your base training.
  • I really useful thread, have been ready as much as I can and following up the links. Have some questions though...
  • I fit in with Hadd's stereotype of a runner whose performance drops below what is expected the longer the race, although i'm only a 1:52 HM runner. Target is sub 1:45 and sub 4 FLM. Am interested in this stuff as it seems to hold some interesting theories. So, questions...

    Is there one source of info other than Pantman ie a book or website?

    According to Hadd 80+ mpw is recommended, could I get by on 40/50?

    I assume that weekly club speed sessions are out

    What should the length of base building be? Maffetone say 12 weeks, Hadd 20. Should I start now for Spring marathon?

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