Runbayou: Base Building

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Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan - Tom Landry

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Program   Hill Training   Repetitions   Intervals   Marathon Specific  Taper

Mileage base building is one of the most important phases of marathon training. Building the capillary beds in your muscles will allow you to recover quickly from the hard training you'll do in the weeks to follow.

General purpose of this phase

bulletBuild your aerobic capacity - your muscles can't work if they can't breath!
bulletIncrease your weekly mileage by approximately 10% per week. For example, if you ran 30 miles last week, you would increase to 33 miles this week...an increase of 3 miles.
bulletAfter every 2 weeks, plan to decrease your weekly mileage a bit to give your body a chance to fully recover.
bulletPrepare you for the hill and speed workouts in phases 2-5
bulletPlan to enter Phase 2 (Hill training) with no aches or pains, and no general tiredness. Trust me, the little aches and pains will come in the weeks to come. You don't want to be feeling them now.
bulletAt the end of this phase, you'll be running ~70% of your planned peak weekly mileage
bulletHave FUN

Remember

bulletYou are increasing your mileage by 10% per week. If you run too fast, you'll increase your risk of injury
bulletOf course you can run faster than the easy run paces in this phase...but it doesn't mean you should.
bulletKeep your eyes on the prize. The goal is the marathon; not to win a training run

Duration

bulletApproximately 6 weeks or longer, if possible
bulletDo a long slow distance run for at least an hour or hour and a half once per week
bulletTypically, you should take about 6 weeks to build up your base mileage after a training layoff (e.g., post marathon recovery period)

Workout tips

bulletRunning too fast during these workouts will increase the amount of lactic acid in your blood and muscles. It takes time to "clear" this acidic level. Your body recovers most rapidly when the acidic level of your blood is NOT elevated. So run easy.
bulletIncreasing mileage by 10% per week increases your risk of injury. Doing speed work increases your risk of injury. Increasing weekly mileage by 10% and doing speed work is a recipe for injury. Please, don't do both.
bulletRUN EASY!
bulletSome definitions of easy running:
1-2 minutes SLOWER than marathon race pace
Conversational pace...if you're dragging your tail back into Memorial Park after 10 miles, you ran too fast!
Check your VDOT for specifics (see Coach Jack's book below)

Key books to review

bulletDaniels' Running Formula, Jack Daniels, Ph.D.
bulletLore of Running, Timothy Noaks, MD

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Last modified: 07/27/08