Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Poster: Viking Quest
Subject: RE: Summer base training... all easy mileage?
You need to change things up a bit, otherwise your legs and cadence will get too used to the slow mileage. At least one day a week, you should do some strides (preferably uphill such that you can concentrate better on your form). Start with 8 X 100m in this fashion one day a week. Don't run these super fast, but rather accelerate hard at the beginning and maintain the speed. On these days, I would merely warm up 3 miles, run 8 X 100m with 100m jog back to the start. That's a mile of strides and rest, and then run a 3 mile cool down. A mile effort. I did more than this, but it's a good start.
You should do mini pick-ups on at least one run a week (not more than two runs). I like 2:30 minute pick-ups with 3:00 slower, but that's for you to decide. Run the pick-ups at your 3200m or 5000m goal pace (whichever you prefer). The length of the run is up to you, but I liked doing at least 6 of these (up to 9).
After these days, my legs actually felt a lot better the following day, which is the goal of base training. Get some different speeds in your body and allow your legs to feel good for the next day.
I ended up running some of my fastest times off of this. In October, when doing this on 70 MPW, I ran 3:57 for the mile, so it can take you a long ways while still not really doing any quality work. Also, while training like this, my buddies PR'ed in the 3K for their first races of the indoor season, and we all made Olympic Trial finals in the 1500m after later doing quality work.
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