Base Run Training

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What is base run training?

The Base period is when you practice for the sake of training and not to compete. Thus, during the base phase, the body is prepared for the more immense pressures of the build phase. A running base is analogous to a house’s foundation in that it supports the growing distance and intensity demands of a training program. It connects your racing seasons and prepares your body and mind for the more strenuous rigors of training and competition.

Athletes seem to have much uncertainty over the foundation phase of training. This is the time of year to train for training, not competition. Thus, during the base phase, the body is prepared for the more significant pressures of the build phase. The build begins soon after base training concludes, around 12 weeks before the first A-priority race of the season. During the development phase, you will engage in exercises that simulate the stressors you may encounter during competition. 

Preparation period

But before we begin basic training, let’s address the preceding preparation phase. Before base 1, you were in the preparation phase and simply getting back into the workout program. There was little to no structure to your training, and you simply did anything you wanted during exercises. The workouts were not confined to swimming, cycling, and running. You may engage in any activity so long as it is entirely aerobic, or moderate intensity.

During the preparation phase, you should have your athletes trekking, taking aerobics courses, utilizing aerobic equipment in the gym, or doing whatever else they love. In addition, you have them lift weights and do functional strength training with an emphasis on their particular physical demands. The repetitions are high and the weight loads are modest, focusing on proper technique. This preparation time may span between two and six weeks.

Base Running Drills
Source: Pexels.com / Andrea Piacquadio

When should you start base training? 

If you’re exercising to improve your overall fitness or to attain a particular training objective, you generally won’t need to be as strict with your start date. Plan to begin base training between twenty-four and twenty-eight weeks prior to your desired training completion date.

How many weeks do you run for base training?

The duration of a running base ranges from six to twelve weeks, depending on the runner’s experience and physical level.

Before beginning a program geared toward beginners, you should establish your aerobic base by running a few easy kilometers. If you currently run one to two miles per week and want to start training for a marathon in two months, you should run three to four times per week, starting with two miles per session, then increasing to four to five miles, and finishing with a six mile long run. If you run one to two miles per week, you should run longer as you get closer to the marathon. This increase in mileage brings you to the point where many first-time marathon training programs begin, and as a result, your body will be better prepared for your first marathon due to this increase in mileage.

If you are an experienced runner, your foundation may consist mostly of effortless running with a sprinkling of tougher efforts such as tempo runs, hills, or fartlek sessions. The key is to strike a balance between easy and difficult running so that you do not force your body into training mode and tire it out.

Cross-training exercises, such as cycling, elliptical, and stair climbing, may be used by injury-prone individuals to undertake the mid-week, high-intensity sessions necessary to maintain fitness. Fill up the remaining distances with simple runs. Simply substitute the high-intensity run in the plan with a hilly bike ride, elliptical workout, or stair climb. Lastly, strength training is an efficient way to bridge the time between runs. For example, after 15 minutes of easy to moderate cycling, do 20 to 30 minutes of total-body strengthening activities.

Base Building Running
Source: Pexels.com / RF._.studio

How to build a running base?

Many runners erroneously believe that foundation training consists of jogging extremely low miles with the purpose of merely continuing to run. A widespread misperception is that creating a training basis involves continuous low-effort and easy runs.

 Despite the importance of consistency in creating an aerobic platform for running, the majority of effective base training programs are anything from relaxed.

Following a strategy for creating a running foundation is a great way to prepare for accomplishing any running goal. Building a good running foundation is the greatest approach to position yourself to achieve your most ambitious objectives.

The establishment of a solid foundation is a step-by-step procedure. You should aim to increase the distance of your long run by around one mile every one to two weeks. After you have made some headway in laying the groundwork for your running foundation, you may consider adding one or two more runs each week every couple of months. Your weekly runs should include an additional one to three miles every few weeks.

After the first mileage-building phase of foundation training (about the first four weeks), it is appropriate to include more intense intervals. Include brief, intense efforts, such as fartleks, hill sprints, and strides, among others.

Base running training plan

Running is a fantastic way to get in shape, feel better, and even meet other runners. Starting a new jogging habit does not have to be difficult; all you need is a pair of comfy shoes and the courage to go at your own speed.

It is just a matter of logging miles at a leisurely pace and regaining the fitness level you had at the conclusion of your last training cycle. A runner who regularly runs 40 miles per week but recently took time off after a large race should not immediately return to running 40 miles per week (the full training load).

We prefer online workouts that are not overly complicated to those that are more complicated than necessary. These are the actions that must be performed to guarantee the success of the training program.

  • Jogging or walking 20-30 minutes twice a week.
  • On the weekends, you should aim to log between forty and sixty minutes of running time, either solely by running or by alternating running with walking.
  • On your days off, you should either rest or participate in some form of cross-training.
  • Maintain a pace that is consistent with normal conversation, and pause for breaks frequently.

Goals of base training

There are four primary goals of base training:

  1. Aerobic means “with oxygen,” and one of the keys aims of base training is to enhance your capacity to absorb and use oxygen. The more energy you can generate from your aerobic energy systems (and the quicker you can run), the faster you can race. During the base phase, both your ability to absorb and use oxygen (known as VO2max) and your efficiency at doing so (known as running economy) increase. (VO2max increases significantly in novice runners and less so in veteran runners, although running economy increases for all runners.)
  2. Runners get injured far too often because their musculoskeletal systems cannot manage the exercise; thus, one of the objectives of the base phase is to increase injury resistance. This happens in many ways. First, the base plan’s constant and frequent running pushes the musculoskeletal system to better withstand the rigors of running. And since the intensity of the running is modest in the base plan, the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and fascia have enough opportunity to heal and adapt. Second, foundation training consists of regular long runs and often one or two longer runs every week. In reality, Lydiard’s initial training plan for experienced runners called for three long runs each week.
  3. Our two oxygen-dependent (a.k.a. aerobic) energy systems provide the majority of the energy for distance running. Since fat is our most efficient fuel source (i.e., it provides the most energy with the fewest negative repercussions), one of the most important adaptations that runners undergo throughout base training is that they get better at burning fat as fuel. And this adaptation is really desired.
  4. The ultimate objective of foundation training is to attain what Lydiard termed a “tireless condition.” That is to say, it was a mentality in which running was as natural as breathing. In the beginning, you may have come across this when you just started jogging. During those first runs, there was a tremendous want to quit. Because it was unaccustomed to jogging, the mind emitted a great deal of tiredness.
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