Everything About Base Building Training

If you aspire to better your physical shape or race results, training is the single most significant thing you can do to set a strong running foundation. Forming the base of aerobic fitness is fundamental and an essential element of any race preparation plan.

Running Base

Pretend you’re going to build a giant Lego skyscraper. Do you want the foundation for the skyscraper to be a single row of slender blocks? Would you rather have a stable, solid foundation made up of multiple layers of bricks that will let you build upwards and onwards?

The latter option clearly gives the best odds of constructing the skyscraper successfully and avoiding it collapsing. The same comparison can be made for running. A strong base of aerobic fitness is the main foundation for running.

You should have a strong foundation of fitness before beginning race-specific training plans, so your body is prepared to take on the higher intensity.

You have strengthened your cardiorespiratory abilities and stamina, in addition to developing changes in your nerves and muscles. Your body has a lower probability of getting hurt or becoming overwhelmed due to proper preparation.

Base Training Period

The focal point of a project must be significant, and the groundwork must be solid. Generally, you will require 4-12 weeks to establish this reliable base. There are a variety of aspects that need to be taken into account when outlining a schedule, including familiarity, physical condition, and objective.

You may need only 8 weeks to prepare yourself for running a half marathon. You may require more time to create a strong base of physical endurance if you are training for ultra-long distances.

Building Base Plan

No matter what type of base training program there is, they all have a single vital concept: Most of the time, running should be done easily and steadily.

Most of your weekly distance should be at an easy pace that keeps your heart rate in the aerobic zone. However, you may make adjustments to the focus of the workouts if you are an experienced runner (e.g. adding speed intervals).

Base running should be done at a pace that allows you to talk to another person while running without getting out of breath.

Miles Run During Base Phase

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The number of miles per week you must run to build a strong foundation will be different for each person, considering both their running experience and current physical fitness.

A new runner may be dedicated to covering a distance of 20 miles per week during the basic training phase. An experienced runner may aim for 50+ miles.

Generally, a starting stage will involve a few brief runs, one to two medium-length runs, and a single long run. Throughout the starting period, joggers may steadily increase the total amount of miles they run.

Here are some tips depending on where you are in your journey:

Base mileage for experienced runners

Reflect on the prior training cycle you experienced and recall the average distance you ran weekly. Take note that this refers to the average week of your training cycle, not the most intense week. You can utilize that average as a decent beginning point for your base stage.

For example, if you averaged around 40 miles per week in your last marathon training cycle, and you’ve finished recovering from that race – then a beginning base week might look like this for you:

  • Mon – 6 miles
  • Tues – 8 miles
  • Weds – Rest
  • Thurs – 6 miles
  • Fri – 5 miles
  • Sat – 12 miles
  • Sun – 2 miles

Some coaches may suggest goal times to reach bases, instead of having mileage goals. This can assist runners in concentrating more on the pleasure of relaxed jogs, rather than striving to reach a certain distance.

Base mileage for beginner runners

It is alright if you have not gone through a training process previously. That data is not necessary to create a practical foundation.

Begin by jogging for 20-30 minutes (or do 2-3 miles if you want to keep track of your distance) 3-4 times every week. If you cannot jog continuously yet, begin by alternating between running and walking until you reach a point where you can maintain it.

In our post about ways to begin jogging, you will locate a great running/walking program.

Once you’ve mastered the shorter runs, increase your time to a 40-minute run each week and progress from there.

Don’t focus on the distance that you’re covering at the moment, but rather be steady and maintain a slow speed.

Heart Rate During Base

When it comes to laying a foundation, keeping an eye on heart rate can be beneficial to guarantee most of your runs are truly effortless.

For a majority of runners, the goal is to keep the heart rate at less than three-quarters of the maximum level while running at a relaxed rate. This regulation does not cover the exercises that involve restricted running speed that is cited afterwards in the article; it specifically relates to those runs which are done at an effortless pace.

You can get an approximate value for this by doing the equation of subtracting 210 from your age to work out your maximum heart rate. Then calculate 75% of your maximum by multiplying it by 0.75.

An example of this would be a 35-year-old, whose age-predicted maximum heart rate is 185 bpm, and 75% of that would be close to 139 beats per minute.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the estimates for maximum heart rate by age can be inaccurate. Genes play a role in affecting the number of heartbeats per minute in an individual’s peak performance, which can differ by approximately 10 to 15 beats on either side of the average.

If the competitor’s authentic peak was 198 beats every minute, at that point 75% of the peak would make them increment to 149 beats for every minute.

You shouldn’t stress too much if your heart rate is slightly different than what you predicted. As long as:

  1. It’s close to the range,
  2. You can hold a conversation on the run, and
  3. You feel like it’s easy…

You’re doing it right.

Incorporating Speed Work Into the Base Phase

Race-specific training should not be the main focus of the plan, and it should be less intense than other areas of training.

If you’re just starting out, don’t be concerned with doing speed drills during your initial training. Start by gradually increasing your running days per week for an extended period, running at an even, relaxed tempo.

It could be quite some time before you make it to the point where you are running regularly, and that’s totally okay. Don’t rush it.

For those who have been running for a while, it is possible to introduce some quick bursts of activity to their typical running program.

This is what I might have my runners do in terms of speed workouts. These are the three options: A few important notes:

  • For these three types of workouts, we wouldn’t be paying attention to the heart rate limits discussed above; this work can exceed that.
  • Don’t load up on these sessions. At least 80-90% of your miles should be easy miles during base. That might mean you have one fartlek run this week and one progression run next week – not multiples of all of these every week.

1. Strides

Strides are very short bursts of controlled, fast running. Begin your workout at a jogging speed and increase your speed to a quick run throughout 20 to 40 seconds, and then take a few minutes to catch your breath.

You may take 3 to 6 strides while completing a leisure jog. These drills provide reinforcement of the correct way to run and assist in preparing the individual for faster training that may happen later on in the season.

2. Fartleks

Runners with some knowledge of the sport may opt to incorporate fartlek training as part of their basic plan. Fartlek training, sometimes referred to as speed play, offers an entertaining way to mix things up by changing the rate of speed.

As an illustration, you could have a light jog and then sprint for three telephone poles, then resume a slower pace for the following three. The music you’re hearing can influence the speed of your movement.

The advantage of fartlek workouts is that they are unstructured, which allows a runner to forget about counting exact figures and to just simply enjoy the activity.

The purpose of these exercises should be to have a quick rate of leg movement and alternate paces consistently — not to exert yourself to the point of tiredness at the end of the session.

3. Progression Runs

At the beginning of these exercises, you will begin at a low speed, making sure it is comfortable and simple. As you move along, faster and faster speeds will be incorporated until the end of the given amount of time or distance. This aids you in regulating your speed more effectively and teaches you to maintain a steady pace when running for an extended time.

As an illustration, you may hit the track for a 6-mile jaunt in which the first 4 miles are effortless, the 5th mile is more strenuous, and the 6th mile is comfortably challenging.

Tips For Base Training

1. Always Stay At Conversation Pace

Make sure that your running speed is such that you could easily hold a conversation with someone else.

Your exertion level should be between “somewhat hard” and “hard” on the perceived level of exertion chart. It is essential to calculate your heart rate zones with accuracy as opposed to just utilizing formulas that derive from the typical age range. If your heart rate is either faster or slower than the normal beats per minute.

To figure out your heart rate zones accurately, you can either see a cardiologist in a laboratory and get a test done or with approval from your physician, do a high-intensity effort test on your own. Should you be enthused by the notion of undertaking this, peruse the accompanying piece to acquire further insight.

2. Adjust Your Pace Depending On The Terrain

Maintaining a steady speed is more complicated than it may appear, particularly if you are running on mountainous terrain or are a trail runner!

If you are training to be a runner on uneven surfaces, you’ll need to adjust your speed according to the terrain. You will have to reduce your speed when climbing uphill, and you can move a bit swifter when descending.

For trail runners, some walking will inevitably be necessary! In my trail running exercises, a lot of hiking is usually a basic part of the routine, particularly on the tracks I practice on.

The continual uphill portion makes for a demanding trek while on a base run. When you start to notice your pulse increasing and you’re having difficulty breathing, reduce your speed and walk if necessary.

Stay at a pace that allows you to keep up a natural conversation without feeling overwhelmed. The difficulty of this particular task will vary greatly based on your physical conditioning, the kind of ground you are on, and even the weather.

3. Forget About Pace

It is often difficult for runners who compete on the road to avoid repeatedly looking at their timepieces to stick to their target speed based on the specific exercise they are doing. With base training, we forget about all of that.

Don’t think about your actual pace at all. It is important to take into account the amount of effort you think you are putting forth when beginning a base training program. If you need to, make the pace out of sight and establish a watch display showing just the time! The old-fashioned way, just a chronometer.

4. Run With A Friend

Jogging with a partner while doing fundamental training is a great method to occupy yourself and guarantee that you will be conversing! Make sure to arrive with a multitude of anecdotes to share.

5. Be Patient

We all hope to get faster, and the steady movement that may seem unimaginably slow to us may not seem like advancement, though it in fact is.

Remaining patient while going through the basics of training is difficult to achieve, but it is essential to see the process to the end. Beware of temptations that may cause you to fall off your training path, whether these temptations come from outside sources or from yourself.

Enjoy it. How frequently do you go for a run without stressing over how swift you are running or how many 400-meter sprints at peak oxygen usage are remaining? Take your time; you will be pleased with the end result if you are meticulous.

A coach can clearly tell the difference between athletes who heeded his advice to stick to a slow, easy run tempo during the early training portion, and athletes who ignored his guidance and went all out.

Athletes who stuck to it consistently have been rewarded with a steady heart rate even when running at a quick speed.

The Benefits Of Base Training

1. Increases Glycogen Stores and Fat Burning Capacity

After sustained running, your glycogen levels decrease. It needs to resort to burning fat for energy. Jogging leisurely for extended periods will activate and get this energy system ready to work.

As well as operating in the “fat-burning” zone, the body will also become more and more proficient at storing glycogen, so this “shortfall” will be better managed by the body every time.

2. Increases Cardiovascular Endurance

Your body can increase oxygen to its muscles by doing more low-intensity workouts, which stimulate the growth of capillaries that bring more blood around the cells.

An incredible change that our organism manages while performing exercises in our fundamental preparing region is with our mitochondria. Don’t you remember high school biology class? Mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell! The more mitochondria we have, plus their larger and stronger size, the more energy they will generate that we can utilize while running.

It is incredible how adept our bodies are at adjusting to whatever we require, don’t you think?

3 Improves Your Mental Toughness

Engaging in a solid foundation of exercise not only boosts physical health but can also benefit mental health. Even short, simple jogs can seem like a tremendous accomplishment when first starting out with running. Our physical form must adjust to this issue, but our intellectual capacity must as well.

Heading outside day after day, at your usual walking speed, will make each outing seem more doable than the prior one. Certainly, you will ultimately be content with your progress, and not aware of the actual running anymore.

It will become like second nature to you; you will be unstoppable. Once you and your body have become acclimated to your basic training, you can start to challenge them with unfamiliar elements, such as interval training.

Upon learning of all these great advantages, shouldn’t you construct that foundation? The alterations your body will experience will get you ready for the targeted race sessions and paces you will do in a later part of your preparation routine.


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