Build a Strong Base - Page 2
Phase 1: Aerobics Class
Getting your body used to moving continuously for long periods is the main requirement for distance running. Your off-season focus should be on running slower than in the racing season, and going for higher volume to maximize your aerobic conditioning, train your slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers and “teach” your body to efficiently burn carbohydrate and fats. This endurance base will enable you to safely incorporate speedier training as you approach racing season.
“The key to base building is to keep it pretty easy,” says Morrison. “A common mistake is to run overly hard in the winter and come out feeling flat and over-trained by spring. I try to do one day a week of tempo running from three to six miles on flat terrain, while the rest of the week is very easy running.”
Gradually lengthening your long runs over a period of eight to 10 weeks should be your primary goal. A typical training schedule contains at least one long run (of 1.5 to 2.5 hours) per week and one or two medium-distance runs (of 1.2 to 1.5 hours). Recovery runs or cross-training workouts are 30 to 45 minutes. Every third or fourth week, cut back your running by 30 to 40 percent for recovery.