End of Base Training 2002

Bob has been SERIOUS training for 3 months, now. He's finished the "base" phase and has begun the "Intensity" phase.

What does he have to show for his "base" work so far?

Here's a typical one week plan including modifications (starting Monday November 4, 2002)
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
15 SP
20 RP
110 OD (60)
push 50 OD to Friday
35 EN
25 ST
25 IN
push 50 OD to Sunday warm-up
25 UP
15 ST
50 OD
Key: EN=Endurance, OD=Overdistance, SP=Speed, RP=Race/Pace, IN=Intervals, UP=Hill Intervals, ST=Strength

The numbers are minutes of training. Numbers in parentheses are actual minutes when different from planned. As you can see, I had a hard time working in the second hour of OD. I had planned to run for 2 hours on Tuesday. I only had an hour available, so I decided I could run the second hour on Friday. Friday came around and I couldn't spare the time, so I pushed it over to Sunday. This is pretty typical for me. I try to leave Sunday open as a make-up day. As a rule, I don't carry training deficits forward to the next week, though. If I can't fit the session in, I make a note of it in the log and start the next week clean. No guilt. It's better that way. An occasional missed session is not going to make a difference, so I don't sweat it.

BTW: This was a light week (4 hours total) in a tapering cycle to prepare for race peaking in December. As you can see, it took less than an hour of commitment on each of 6 days out of this week. Needless to say, the near-8 hour week in early October was a bit harder to schedule.

Here's some examples of my workouts. The examples are taken from the last four weeks of training, so they don't correspond exactly to the one week plan above.
Type Why HR plot
OD: overdistance Improves efficiency of  metabolizing fat. Improves capillary and mitochondria number and efficiency. Must last at least 1 hour for any benefit. About 60 to 70% training time.

Example: 200 minute run in zone 1 (9:30 mile pace) with a little faster pace at the end when I realized I was late (Mary was waiting for here birthday celebration to begin). This example is the longest training run I've ever done. I ran 20 miles to make sure I could really run the SV Marathon two weeks later.

HR plot OD

EN: endurance

Some improvement in aerobic capacity, but not as useful as OD and IN. Not very much training here. 

looks just like OD except at 10 or 15bpm higher HR.
IN: intervals Increases AT. This allows me to race continuously at higher intensity for an entire race. Higher intensity means faster. This should be a good thing.

Example: after a 10 to 20 minute warm-up (not shown) I set the treadmill to between 5:40 and 5:10 pace for 1 minute. Wait 2 to 3 minutes for  zone 1 HR (<137bpm) before repeating.

There are several variables to interval training. I've chosen a short peak time so that I can fully recover between each peak and still get quite a few peaks into a single session. Next year, I may increase to 90 second peak time, but this year, it seemed best to start "easy". Even so, these are "hard day" workouts and I try to put "easy days" both before and after them.

interval workout

UP: hill intervals

Same physical effects as Interval training. Builds confidence that race challenges can be overcome. 

Example: treadmill at 7:00 pace and 8% incline for 1 minute. Wait 2 to 3 minutes for HR to drop into zone 1. Repeat. I call these my "eighty-eights" because the peaks are 8 miles per hour (or more) and 8% incline. The recovery is typically 6.3 mph at -1% grade. 

looks just like like IN. Hurts like hell, though.

RP: race pace

Measure performance at current fitness level.

Example: after warm-up and some speed work, I dial in a 6:40 to 7:00 pace and hold it for 15 minutes. This was my first RP - I plan to increase the distance to a nice round 5k (about 20 minutes). 

race pace


This is what it's all for, right?

Example: Bridge to Bridge Race 2002. This is a crowded 12k race so I had a hard time running my pace, but I had a great time anyway. I ran more than a minute per mile faster and at a lower effort than last year. Cool. 

SF Bridge to Bridge race 2002

SP: speed

This training teaches me to go fast with minimal effort. In particular, I should be relaxed, not straining.

Example: this is an old (August?) training run with 6 speed bursts thrown in. Each burst is only 20 seconds long. The idea is to smoothly and effortlessly accelerate and then drop back to an easy pace.

Another type of speed work I do is more goal oriented: The speed peaks are each 1/8 mile and the pace is designed to increase from week to week so that by the end of the base period I'm practicing race pace speed for 1/8 mile. These are called "Body speeds". Don't ask me why.

Stay tuned for "Training Bob"