Saturday, April 9, 2011

The most important time of the year

I believe I have just wrapped up the most important time of the year. My base is established- past 5 weeks averaged 81 mpw. I'll keep upping the mileage to 90-100 mpw, but I've found that a month of 80+ gets me to decent racing shape. Now, I can focus on speedwork and peaking. Thanks to a nice SC winter, I'm about 2 months ahead of where I usually am this time of the year, though I'll likely take a little time off in the heat of the summer. But it feels great to be in shape and running strong one week prior to my first big race of the year with no real niggles (other than the twisted ankle from today).

Personally, I would guess the typical runner doesn't establish a big enough base to reach their racing peak. The Runner's World-type training program just doesn't have enough mileage and has too many days off/cross-training to allow most runners to reach their true potential. Everyone is different in how many miles they can handle, but it seems lots of people try to "gimmick" their way to fast times, rather than establishing a true base. I don't think speedwork does much good until a nice base is in place. My most common advice to new runners is to just run as many miles as you can, day-in and day-out, and the rest will take care of itself.

Thoughts, anyone?


  1. I seem to remember you despairing last fall about how your running career was over due to not having time to run? Glad you got decent mileage this winter and spring, and that you've worked out a schedule to fit it all in and keep the balance.

    As far as comments, the only way to get better at running is by running.

  2. I think you're crazy :) in a good way of course. AND you have a pretty awesome wife!

  3. Agreed 100%. Most typical runners hate base building. It is the most essential part of training. The physiological changes that take place during this phase are huge. I set a 5k PR at the end of base building for a 50k in 2009. No speed/tempo work, just base building. Took a full minute off my old PR.