Base Training



  • Hello base trainer. I don't think the thread has died, it just goes to sleep every so often

    I return to base every winter in one form or another and am back again. I know how hard it is to keep the HR down especially in the early days. One method you could try is maybe let it creep up to 155 as you mention if that feels comfortable and then when you notice a significant decrease in pace at that HR move the HR down gradually till you can manage 147 with ease.

    You have to be careful IMHO that you don't run too slowly that your gait alters. Run slowly enough to make it still comfortable

    I'm impressed you've decided to read the whole thread and have read quite a bit of it already
  • Hi Guys second week of LHR training Im getting on great try to keep my heart at 144bpm need to walk up hills but starting to enjoy running slow. My friends at running club think Im mad slowing down but I have got my mileage up to 40M a week image so happy days so far so good..
  • Hi Pammie, nice to hear from one of the original crew.  It's kinda weird to think this thread has been running for 6 years (pun intended.)  Like someone mentioned earlier, it's a bit like a soap opera and you can't turn it off.

     Just got back from my run, and despite setting my hrm to a 155 max, I somehow managed an av of 149, so I was fairly happy with that.  However, because i'm so out of shape it took me 85 mins to run 10 km, and i'm wondering if I should cut back to 60 mins, or mix and match depending on how i feel.  I started running just over a month ago and would run about 20mins a day 3 times a week, with the intention of improving my time each run (it worked for the 6 runs i did but i felt shattered and didn't feel I could keep on improving) then i found this thread and started running 1 hour a day at what felt like a really easy tempo, but could only managed 3 days on the trot cos my shins would be killing me by the 4th day.  I've stuck with the 3 on 1 off since then as it keeps me fresh, but I don't know if I am overdoing it with more than 60 min runs at this moment in time.  I have a million questions but don't want to make this post any longer than it already is, so I'll save some questions for the next post.

    Up to 40M a week in 2 weeks, sounds good Kazzy.  luckily i run on my own so I don't get to hear any of the 'you're so slow' comments image I just pretend everyone is thinking 'oh, he must be base training.'  Not sure that's what the old ladies think when they glide past me with their zimmer framesimage Ignorance is bliss.....

  • Hi all. image

    Why do you all use the HR method of training?  I've tried it and find I run too slowly - my mile splits are embarrassingly slow if I train using that method.  

    Kazzy, why do you walk up hills - is it because if you run your HR increases?  I'd advise to run up the hills, what happens if you come across one in a race you do?  You won't have the energy to run up it and therefore your time will suffer.  Start running up the hills as it will strengthen your quads and glutes and your running as a whole will improve.

    I agree with Pammie - if you run really slowly your gait may change which is not at all good for you...

  • There is absolutely no harm nor shame in needing to revert to walking on hills whilst starting out on base training. Indeed that is preferrable to trying to run so slowly that form breaks down. Yes you get strength benefits from running up hills but that will come later and indeed a lot of that will come from volume of running in any case and that is a product of base training.

     If you have tried HR training and you are 'too slow' that could  mean that you have an incorrect max figure or target HR to work to but equally it could mean that you are just not as aerobically fit as you thought you were and you are excactly the sort of person that would benefit from this sort of running. If you are embarassed by running that slowly perhaps your motivations for running are a bit skewed...

  • Hi CB, from what I understand, the benefits of running at 70 - 75 % of hr max is that as you get fitter and log more hours(running at a lower hr allows you to run more), your pace will increase for the same hr.  I doubt there are many people who find they can run very fast at a low hr when they start.  I think patience is required with this training method, but as I have just started running I have plenty of that.  For those who find it hard to run at under 75% (like me) another option is to run as close to that hr as possible and slowly bring your hr down as you progress. However, I think using this method may take a little longer to see the same results.  I recall pantman saying that his wife used to run at a higher hr and it took her over a year to get her hr down to the 75% for the same pace. 

     Different strokes for different folks.

  • I read the first 60 pages then realised I should be running rather than reading so much about running image  I do like the idea of base training, tho, and hoping it's OK for someone of my (lack of) abilities.

     One question tho...should you go for an average of 70% or should you go at a constant speed so you end up at 70% even if you spend most of the time at quite a bit less?


  • Hi No84, welcome to the club image

    I think the idea is to try and keep it between 70-75% at all times (at least in the beginning) but it doesn't matter if you run at a lower hr.  So if you ran most of the time with a hr of 65% max then I think that would be fine.  However, if you're like most people you might find it hard running at under 70%.  My average for todays run was 151 (it should be 147 for me) and I found it a lot harder to keep my hr down than i did yesterday.

     Happy running image

  • Well that's another hour in the bag but it sure is tough trying to keep the hr down.  I passed a running track and had a moment of madness, decided i should do an all out 400m but luckily/unluckily the track was covered in a small layer of snow and ice so i decided it probably wasn't the best idea.

     Now i'm enjoying my first beer in 2 months image and after tonight's party i'm thinking tmrw will be a run free zoneimage Good weekend to all.

  • Snow and ice?  Where are you from, BT?  And have a beer for me
  • Hi Guys

    Training going well second week at 40M so far so good I walk up big hills to keep my heartrate from going sky high .I have decided to add in two harder days to my runs maybe 85% effort over the next few weeks I dont plan on racing till the new year so just going to enjoy getting the miles in before I start my VLM training.

  • I live in Helsinki, so we have to deal with the cold every now and then.  Few days of warmer weather means it's back to normal.  I was wondering about cold weather running, my hrm says it works to -10 but does anyone have any experience of using a hrm in those kind of temperatures?

    Hey Kazzy, was just wondering what kind of mileage you used to do pre base and also whether you run daily?  I'm still wondering whether i should aim to run 7 hours a week despite not running 7 days a week.

  • Hello

    base trainer - had to laugh at one of the original crew can't believe how long ago that was now.

    Are you Finish, i guess you have some harsh winters. I'm trying to get back up to daily running

    How many days a week are you/will you be running. Don't think its got to -10 so can't answer your Garmin question, even when we had snow last February
  • I'm actually half and half so I guess i'm finglish, or something.  image We haven't had a really cold winter for ages, just seems to get cold, snow, warm up, melt, freeze, melt.  Hovers between plus 5 and minus 5 until Jan, then it usually gets colder.  The snow is probably easy to run in but it's the slush and ice that will no doubt keep me indoors.  Global warming????????????

     Currently i run for 3 days and then have a day off so that puts my running at 5 days a week for 3 weeks and then one week of 6 days.  I think I could run more often but i'm not sure i want to at the moment.  With this sort of timetable I look forward to my day off, but more importantly i find that after my day off i'm looking forward to running again.  I also know that there is no way I could ever run every day for a prolonged period of time, just because I don't have the will power.  So I certainly take my hat off to anyone who can get their bones out every day. 

    Last week I managed 52km which for me is a lot, seeing as though Jan - Sept I managed a whopping great err, well I was gonna say zero k, but i did run 3 or 4 times this summer so it was probably 10-20 km.  I think my normal weekly mileage is gonna be more like 40km a week ( which is only about 25m) so i'm not sure how much improvement is possible on that kind of mileage.  Hopefully i'll see some improvement and that will allow me to run a few more miles.

    I did 8km today and noticed that my hr was much higher for the first 4km than the last 4.  I was struggling to keep it below 155 to start with and the av for the 4k was around 156 (not sure cos my splits are taken at funny places) but as the run progressed it settled down and was about 149 for the last 4k. Shouldn't it be the other way round? Surely I should find it easier to keep the hr down when i'm fresh and just started.

  • Another question for anyone out there...

    Have you noticed  that you need less extra calories when training at lower heart rates than higher?

    Naturally I understand that running at a slower speed could result in lower calories anyhow (unless the time is significantly longer than what it would have been at the aerobic stage), but as low HRM isn't aerobic (and technically should burn more fat) I'm wondering how accurate the calorie calculation still is.  I've actually found one or two heart rate monitor calorie calculators on the web but thought I'd throw the question in here too... 

  • Hi LN, not exactly sure but I'm currently trying to get fit and lose a few extra pounds so i've lowered my calorie intake and have had no problems training at lower hr's and i've lost a few pounds.  I know that when you train at higher hr's and you become anaerobic, you use more carbs to fuel your training session and therefore you would need to increase your carb intake in order to keep on going and not feel constantly tired.  However, I don't know if you burn many more calories at one hr rather than at another.  I suspect you burn more at higher hr's but most of those calories have to come from carbs, whereas when you train between 55 - 75% hr max you burn mainly fat.  I have a vague recollection about reading somewhere, that you burn a certain amount of calories depending on how far you travel, ie, if you run 5 km or walk it, you burn roughly the same amount of calories.  If you ran the same 5km flat out, you should burn the same amount of calories, but most of those calories will come from glycogen stores rather than fat.  So i think you burn a similar amount of calories but the composition of those calories will differ depending on how you train.  In other words, you (I) don't need as many calories when training at lower hr's as you would if training at higher hr's. 

    Wow another long winded post about something i'm not even sure about, but that's my story and i'm sticking to it image Until corrected of course, at which stage i'll search desperately for the 'edit prior post button.'  whadu mean you can't edit stuff, they do it on the observer all the time.

  • I must admit I am enjoying base training.

    Really, I'm using it as getting from unfit beginner to a better level but even so, it's better than the training I did up until now (following smart coach and going how I feel).  In the last 6 months for the rest of the day and the day after I trained my head felt foggy but worst of all, I was in a foul mood for some reason.  I didn't push myself too hard (still at a slow speed, didn't feel as if I was ready to fall over, legs didn't feel tired) but for some reason it would effect my mind in a negative way.

    However...when I started base training last week I made a conscious effort that I wouldn't go over 70% for my 30 mins and while I go slow and only sweat a little, I'm sure my wife would agree that I'm a nicer person to live with image  In a display of stupidity I pushed up the level a little yesterday to test the >70% theory and yes, I'm not happy.  Not because the run was hard (it wasn't - it was still very easy and I'm actually happy at an increase I saw in my fitness since starting the base training) but for some reason my frame of mind is not good. 

    Perhaps it's psychological or physical - I don't know.  But I do know that I'm going back to my old base training plod and I hope that with my slow fitness increase I can do more withing feeling as if I want to kick the cat!


  • BT - that makes sense actually image
  • I've been bad. my run was going really badly tonight, in terms of keeping my hr down that is.  It was constantly around 157 or so and after about 5km I thought sod it.  The last 3km averaged out at about 180, however in the process I think I learnt that my max might be a bit more than the 196 I thought it was.  At the end of this run it was at 195 and I never even got into sprinting mode.  Therefore, i'm gonna estimate a new max of 200, 75% is now 150image every bit helps.  I'll get back to the bt tmrw, promiseimage

    Hey 84, I think the cat might appreciate your attempts to stick to bt too image Glad you're enjoying it.

    LN, I think that's the 1st time someone's said I make senseimageso thanks for that.

  • 195?  My max is 175 and I have my 70% at 140.  Anything above 145 and I go looking for cat slippers...


  • Not sure what happened there, but my post vanished.  195 was the highest number today but that certainly wasn't max effort.

    Have you done a max hr test or are you using a formula?  I know plenty of people find that a formula is not very accurate for them.  I calculated your 70 -75% numbers and according to a max hr of 175 they should be lower than what you have.  I think i calculated about 122-131bpm.  Did you base your numbers off your whr rather than your max?  From what i've read on this thread I believe we are meant to work off our max hr rather than our working hr.

  • I used the "Heart Monitor Train for the Complete (refuse to spell it incorrectly) Idiot" method. 

    0.7*(max rate-resting rate)+resting rate

    Max = 175ish according to a run up a hill like buggery, slow down then repeat times 4.  Resting = 55.

    139 / 140 (which is 70% as above) seems about right for me I think - I can do it for 45 - 60 mins without breathing too heavily and can have a conversation while going at that rate.  Admittedly, it's an extremely slow speed but I've never been too nippy.


  • Yeah, I thought you were probably using your whr.  I think i'd probably find it a lot easier to use that method too cos it means you can run at a higher hr, but i'm gonna stick with max % and struggle along at super low hr's and super slow speeds image

  • I'm doing super low speeds at the higher % - 7.5km/h is what I start at and drop down to 7.1ish at the end of the 30 mins.  I dread to think what I'd be doing if I was going at 122b/m image
  • Hi All,

    I've been reading some of the earlier comments with great interest. I have been trying to plan a base training to ready myself for my first marathon next year. So far I have been a rather recreationnal runner and have never tried to run further then an hour - or 6 miles, which I find very tough ( I have to have a very relaxing day or evening after that because nothing functions anymore.. tee hee). My runs normally last 30 mins (3 miles)

    I would really like to be at top form in Jan to start proper marathon training. I can run any morning of the week because I am lucky enough to be house wife with all my kids at school...

    Is 5 X 45 mins per week for a couple of weeks a good start? That would take me to beg of Dec.

    What should I aim for afterwards?

  • Dont aim to fire straight in to doing 5x45 if you arent running that kind of mileage at the moment. Remember the 10% rule and build up gradually. 5x45 is a decent enough target but it might actually be better to run 4 times but go longer on each run.

    You should really aim to build up your mileage as much as you can i think. I would suggest working up to the point where your typical run is round about an hour and then after that you can add sessions. I would also try to include one longer run and build that up as well. Your ultimate target will be to get that up to 2 hours and beyond but take it slowly and dont start to force it and add mileage too quickly.

  • Hi LL, welcome to the club.  I've just started this base training myeslf, so i'm no expert, but here is my two cent.  It sounds like you move at a decent clip, but if you've been running for a while and find an hour tough then you are probably running at too high a hr.  The beauty of base training is that it is soooo easy.  Well, it can be tough having to run so slowly in order to keep the hr down, but your legs certainly feel freshimage.  Your plan sounds pretty good to me.  The idea of base training is to be able to run 7 days a week for an hour at a time, however, I think that is a personal choice, I'm certainly hoping to see improvements on 5 days a week, 60 - 90 mins a time.  Once you are running 45 mins, then just add to it, at a pace that suits you, until you're running an hour a day. Aim to keep your hr at 70 - 75% of max and try to persevere through the snail pace you will probably have to run at. 

    Once you're running an hour a day I think you could start to increase one of your runs to get you used to being on your feet.  I recall pantman saying a long run shouldn't be over 2hours 30 mins, so I eventually plan to stretch one of my runs to about that length.  You can also start to add one or two work sessions into the mix, which are run between 80-85% of max.  When is your marathon?

    I think I had a bit of a breakthrough today.  Don't know if it was the sun and the scorching hot ten degrees, but today was the first time i didn't struggle with my hr.  90 mins and my av hr was 144, with one 2k stretch of 141.  I was over the moon, last time i tried to keep my hr at 140 for the hadd test I had to walk constantlyimage

  • Congratulations on the breakthrough, BT - long may your feet be faster and your heart rate slower!


  • I might need a spot of this when I get back from injury...
  • Hi ChunkyGentleman, Hi Base Trainer, Thanks for your valuable advise. It makes all sense and I shall try and run slower (although it will certainly feel that I have stopped).

    I don't have a HR monitor and I must admit that when I tried using my husband's (who's a keen cyclist) I didn't manage to work out my MHR. I've always been pretty fit (having always done lots of sports) but my heart always seems to have a train to catch... I understand however that I have to work according to my heart and I have asked Father Christmas for a monitor... Working on one will most probably be an eye opening experience.

    Until then, I shall build up from 40 min (because I can run that distance without stopping) and like you BT, I shall look forward to my breakthrough! Congratulations by the way!

     PS: I really do hope I'll have my heart-rate monitor for Xmas, but I am very dubious after being told by my hubby that "we" have put a deposit on £300 for some skateboarding gear for our 3 boys... Which planet am I from??

Sign In or Register to comment.