Let’s Talk Training: Base Runs

Sunday workout: 30 mile bike ride, 1035 calories burned

How to Start Running: For le beginner

 I can’t claim to be an expert runner. Hell, I’ve made enough mistakes to land myself on the injured list for 2012 (so far), but I’ve learned a lot throughout my various trainings.

Friends and family are always asking me for advice, and what ensues is a 2 hour soapbox talk, where I feel like I’m geeking out about how much I love running and what everyone just has to try, but to anyone listening, it’s overwhelming.

So begins this, my very long post after a not very long blogging hiatus where I attended to real life things. To my readers, family and friends, I missed you and hopefully my crazy life will slow down enough to let me get back to blogging regularly, which I love.

My sister is starting a Hal Higdon training plan in an effort to train up to a level of fitness that would allow her to run a Ragnar Relay. Yeahhhh girl! Laura, this is your training plan. Anyone else who stumbles upon my heap of advice is welcome to take what they wish from it. Oh yeah, and you may as well retire your “cute” wardrobe because you’ll be spending all of your time in running clothes, and all of your money at RunningWarehouse.com.

Part I.

Building a base.

I wasn’t always a runner, or even fit…

In college:

I cannot tell you how hard it is for me to hear people say, “I hate running”. Getting your body intotop running fitness hurts, I spent the better part of a year gasping for breath, feeling like a lap was 10miles, not even being able to comprehend what it felt like to actually run for 10 miles straight and wondering why anyone would ever run a full marathon if training for a half was this hard. Then, one day, things started to come together. New runners, or runners who are getting back into the swing of things, I promise, I may not know much, but I know that when you have you’re “a-Hah” moment, you’ll never stop running. It’s like you’re flying; strong and unstoppable.

Base runs are :

This is a short to moderate length run at a natural pace. This type of run should be done frequently to stimulate improvements in aerobic capacity, endurance, and proper running style.
Example: 5 miles at natural pace.

Basically those 3, 4 and 5 milers during the work week that you hammer out over and over and over until you are so sick of the 5 mile loop around your house that you contemplate moving apartments just to spice up your training. I do these runs sick, tired, sore, happy, sad, whatever and they can be tough. The problem with me and so many of my running friends, is that we want every run to be perfect. I want to feel like a  million bucks, I want to run at my goal race pace, but the truth is, that Tuesday 5 miler, after a hard 9 miler on Sunday, sucks. It’s slower, and can be a real morale buster, BUT! Base runs help us build our strength and endurance, provide a working recovery and keep us focused.

If your base runs are getting boring, or you don’t want to do one, try switching things up. Run in a new place, at a new time, with a friend, with your dog. Listen to a new playlist or better yet, no music. I love running to silence sometimes; it really helps me keep in tune with my body, even if it does mean I’ll go a little slower. Base runs are not meant to be done at your fastest pace. <–remember that!

Before you know it you’ll be running 26.2 miles, just so you can eat a bucket of ice cream at the end.

Focus on the week of your training plan you’re currently working on. Don’t stress about whether or not you’ll be able to do your long run in week 8 or whatever, just keep building on the hard work you’ve started and everything else will come with time.

Does anyone else have good tips and tricks to offer? Did I miss something? Am I totally full of crap? 😉

Up Next: Strength Training 😉


6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Training: Base Runs

  1. Thanks sister!!!! I need all the help I can get! Hoping to get back to it on Thursday!!! Can’t wait!! Until then cough, cough GASP cough I think I’ll try and take it easy.

    1. Being sick is no joke, take it easy and work on strength training, new healthy protein rich recipes (try my protein bar recipe from a few weeks ago it’s UHmazing!) and get better!!! xoxoxo

  2. This is awesome!! I think that the hardest thing for beginners to realize is that your base runs shouldn’t kill you. You shouldn’t be running your hardest, fastest pace every time you run. Run at a pace that’s comfortable and sustainable. If that means leaving the watch at home, so be it. But once you have a good base, then you’re golden.

    Another helpful tip for building a base. The first mile always sucks. Just promise yourself to run just the first mile of every run, and you’ll make it through all those runs you would have otherwise given up on.

    1. The one mile rule is SO true! I also think that leaving the watch at home can be SO good for those of us who start obsessing over pace. It’s a good way to take a step back and enjoy our workouts/get our zen on 🙂

  3. Yes, right on. Base runs are supposed to be “easy” pace which is generally slower than marathon goal pace and most certainly much slower than half marathon goal pace. Every once in a while I find that my 3 or 4 miler might end up faster than marathon pace, but that’s a rarity.

  4. Great post girl!! I need to slow down on my base runs. I just don’t know how slow and that’s the problem I have. My easy pace right now (since I have a good base) is about an 8:10. Well, a few miles in I find myself naturally going faster and then I push. I need to stop that. Thanks for the reminder!! (((hugs))) to you. Get those knees strong and ready to run!

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