Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Base Building

With the conclusion of the Father’s Day race this past weekend, I officially close the chapter on my running life titled the 2009 Spring Racing series. That’s right, from now until middle of August, there’ll be no more racing for these tired legs. Although the results of six races in the past two months were rather meager by my standards, with only 2 PR’s scored during that span, I had a blast trying to milk whatever speed and fitness I had gained as part of Boston Marathon training for as long as I could. But now that I realize with each passing race that I can no longer tap into that running well, I must regroup, refocus and move on to the next marathon training cycle.

As I’m crunching numbers and comparing notes on different marathon plans, I’m giving myself two weeks to build a 16-week training program for the NYC Marathon on November 1. For these two weeks, I’ll be running 30-35 miles at a comfortable pace as part of base building. But to be honest, even while I was racing during the past month, I’ve been scheduling my workouts during the week as if I was already in base building mode anyways. The basic weekly structure for me during this base building phase has been 2 easy/recovery runs of 6 miles during the week, one mid-week longish run (10-12) and a long run or race during the weekend. To my credit, I have been pretty diligent with the midweek longish run over the past month even as my weekend plans have been all driven all of wack by my races. Looking back at my log, for the last four weeks, I have done every single midweek run of 9.5-12 miles, keeping an average pace of 7:13-7:15 for each one of them. Since one of the goals for the new training plan is to run more weekly mileage, I’m hoping this midweek longish run will be the new wrinkle that will help get me to my goal. The only trouble for me is trying to keep a slower pace as I’m running them. I find it extremely difficult not doing tempo pace for the last 2-3 miles when I’m tired and just want the run to end. I know that’s not exactly the right attitude to have but I’m seriously trying to work on that.

Another thing that I’m trying to be more diligent with during base training, is to be consistent with stretching after runs and doing slow recovery jogs after speed workouts. Instead of stopping right after I’m done, I’m forcing myself to jog a good half mile or a mile cooldown to allow my heart rate and muscles to equilibrate back to a normal state. I’ve found I’m able to recover quicker and have less residual soreness when running the next day.

Oh, and one more thing that I’m incorporating into my daily life in honor of base-building: more sleep! God knows we all need a bit more of that no matter what stage of training we’re in.

17 comments:

B.o.B. said...

I hear you on the sleep! Personally I hate the mid-week long run. I would rather do speedwork.

Eliza said...

Keep it going!

I second the sleeping more ... I should try to work that in too!

The Happy Runner said...

Ah, more sleep. I've heard that's a good thing :-)

NY Wolve said...

I always do better with great sleep.

Now actually getting that sleep is often harder than a tempo run...

Nitmos said...

Every one of my easy runs turn into a tempo run for the very same reason.

Katie said...

Over the last year or so, I've also realized that I need to take easy runs easy, stretching is a must, and there is a reason for doing a cool down. It is hard though, if I don't run with someone I have a tendency to run harder than I should.

Oh and sleep...yeah I need that too, except my 22 month old seems to disagree.

Susan said...

I'm sure I've said this a bazillion times, but it can be so so hard to slow down on runs! I get stuck on the numbers (go garmin!) and like to play the "I can run the next mile faster than the one I just ran!" game. Oops?

aron said...

Sounds like a great basebuilding you have going!! I love my mid week ML runs! They are my favorite one usually :) Sounds like you are going to have a great training cycle coming up.

I also think sleep is one of the best things I do during training :) haha I have no problem getting enough!

X-Country2 said...

I've been really working hard to get more sleep. It makes a huge difference in all aspects of my life when I'm well rested.

lindsay said...

yeah so what point were you trying to make on my 8:55/avg pace? 'cause i see yours is 7:15-ish. (aka my half-marathon race pace) :)

cooling down, stretching and sleeping are so "hard" for some reason. running 20 miles, no problem, taking time to relax and stretch - can't find the time. i've been treating myself to a cooldown walk in these hot runs, mostly because i don't feel like running all the way back to the car and a walk sounds much more pleasant.

what mileage are you going to max out on? just curious. i'm digging the mid-week medium-long run theory too!

Jamie said...

oh sleep. I try so hard but it is ever so elusive.

Sounds like you have a good plan. I know your legs will thank you for the racing rest ;) And I know I need to work on the post-run stretching and not turning mid-week runs into tempo runs for the same reason as well.

runningcommentaries said...

Sleeping enough and running slowly require much more discipline than you realize. Although they both sound like a lot of fun-- they're often so difficult to make happen! I think it's going to pay huge dividends for you, though. Great job recognizing it-- marathon training is around the corner!

Robert James Reese said...

Sounds like a good plan. And sleep is always good. What do you have in mid-August? The NYC Half? That's going to be my next race.

J said...

The longish runs during the week will prolly work great. I have been wanting to do that but I prolly wont be able to start that until after I have a concrete work schedule...

more sleep is always good!

carpeviam said...

Sounds like you know exactly what your body needs right now. I think taking a brief hiatus from racing is a good idea. I love LOVE to race, but I have such high expectations for myself, that if I can't race to my fullest ability, I won't. I don't like running in a race just to run it, but to compete in it!

Good luck in the next 2 weeks of base!

Running and living said...

Good luck with the base building.
I have the same issues with going too fast. I start with an OK pace, and then "something happens" and I am going much faster than planned. This is why I am looking forward to following a training plan. I may go a few seconds faster, but I typically manage to stay on pace.

Thanks for your comment about my plan of racing in lieu of speed work. I agree, the 2 are not the same. I have one day off and one day of crosstraining plus 3 easy miles the 2 days after the race(s), so I am hoping that, in addition to running on trails (so much slower than on pavement) would keep injury at bay.

I am excited to follow your training for NYC. One of these years I plan to qyalify! Ana-Maria

sRod said...

More sleep! That's what I forgot to add to my plan!

 
Clicky Web Analytics