This training program works because it lets you gradually build and broaden your Base, which allows your strength and endurance to grow naturally over time. Therefore, when we move into the “workout phase” your body will be conditioned to work harder for longer periods of time than if you try to run hard from day one. In this system, with the Base training and workout phase, we cycle from easy to harder workouts over a period of 20-24 weeks. Ideally, after the 20-24 weeks, you will start the process over again. This approach allows your body to go through a recovery period. This is why the Base phase is so important. Even at the Elite level, if this is incorporated into your system, you will see fewer injuries in your running career and you will experience a faster rate of improvement. It is important to understand the role of Base Training. Most visitors to this website have running backgrounds. This makes it appealing to assume you are fit and just jump into the advance workouts. DO NOT DO THIS! Successful running is about building a proper foundation. You do not need to be running hard to achieve this.
It is important to understand the role of Base Training. Most visitors to this website have running backgrounds. This makes it appealing to assume you are fit and just jump into the advance workouts. DO NOT DO THIS! Successful running is about building a proper foundation. You do not need to be running hard to achieve this.
The program is very simple. For the first 10 weeks (14 weeks for those on a 6-month schedule), there is one long run a week. All other supporting runs will be at least half that distance. The goal is to build up long easy runs. By the third month, most people will be running around 1 hour and 45 minutes for their long run. If you are already doing short runs, you may find you are running those too hard. In this stage, all runs will be at a nice relaxed pace. For those who have never run or for those who do walk/runs, we will forgo the long runs for the first few weeks.
As noted, this method can be used for marathon training, but it can also be used for any pre-season track or cross-country. Whether your goal is to compete, or to simply run comfortably for 5k or 10k, this is as a good as place as any to start.
For people who have decided that they will be running a marathon in 3 months (which, for the record, I do NOT endorse), then your entire program will consist of Base Training. For those who may have more time before their marathon, you simply add additional weeks to your Base Training phase. For example, if you are 34 weeks out instead of 24 weeks, then add the appropriate amount of Base Training weeks. (Important: Do not add any weeks to the “workout phase” because it is concentrated exercise and should not be done for an extended period of time. Elite runners may extend it another week or two, but everyone else should focus primarily on Base Training).
Base Training will illustrate methods of endurance and strength gain so that you can run the harder workouts properly for the maximum benefit. More importantly, it is a step that will successfully take you to the next level without getting injured.
Not to sound like a broken record but I will say it again
DO NOT SKIP THIS TRAINING AND GO STRAIGHT TO THE HARDER WORKOUTS, EVEN IF YOU ARE COMING OFF A TRACK SEASON OR CROSS-COUNTRY SEASON AND THINK YOU ARE IN SHAPE.
Due to infinite variables like weight, running experience, and overall athletic ability, there isn't a one-size-fits-all type of workout. It is better to foucs on TIME as opposed to DISTANCE. For instance, in the early stages of training the short run may last for 30 minutes. For some, that may be a four-mile run, and for others, two miles. Distance doesn't matter. Time does. Howeve,r I realise most people prefer distance charts.
The key to successful running is to keep adding to your “running bank.” For people who want to run sub-three hours and have been running for years, I suggest running two workouts a day for several days a week.
(Note Based on feedback I have added distance-based charts for those that prefer to base their workouts on mileage.)
To better illustrate this concept, I'll provide you with specific examples on time and distance for runners of different levels. This will help you create a program customized just for you.
I cannot emphasize enough how you should not push yourself too hard during this phase. If it takes an hour to recover from your workout then you are running too hard. Even if you are in Olympic shape, your emphasis should be placed on running relaxed! For those that wish to accelerate the rate of their improvement, I suggest going to the Running efficently section. Many runners can improve their marathon time by ten percent or more by mastering the steps in this section. For example, if a four-hour marathoner improved only ten percent by adopting these techniques, he or she would see an improvement of 24 minutes.
Following is a guideline to help you select the training level that is appropriate for you:
TRAINING FOR THREE HOURS AND UNDER. If you are healthy and injury free and have a run a marathon under 3 hours and ten minutes,or a 5k under 18 minutes,or a 10k under 38 minutes or a half marathon under 1 hour 24 mins
TRAINING FOR FOUR HOURS AND UNDER If you are healthy and injury free and have a run a marathon under 4 hours and ten minutes, or a 5k under 24 minutes, a 10k under 50 minutes, or a half marathon under 1 hour and 50 minutes
TRAINING FOR FIVE HOURS AND UNDER, If you are healthy and injury free and have a run a marathon under 5 hours and ten minutes, or a 5k under 29 minutes, a 10k under 1hour and 3 minutes, or a half marathon under 2 hour and 20 minutes
TRAINING FOR FIVE HOURS AND OVER , If you haven't run any races to get a gage on your time or if you haven't broken 5 hours then I suggest you start here.