I’m in the middle of a base building phase. I seem to find myself more unfit than I’ve been in the past but I’m determined to run a spring marathon in 2016 so I’m knuckling down and pounding the pavement (well…tow paths around me but you get the idea). Base building is about building up mileage without the added physiological stresses of specific speed work and intense training sessions. Base building will allow my body to adapt to a higher mileage demand before I enter a specific marathon training phase in December, when I’ll start to add in 1-2 marathon specific speedwork sessions each week. So for the next couple of months, I’m focussing on slower steady miles rather than to chase my – admittedly distant – best times.
The main way I keep my speed in check is to run to heart rate.
I have a GPS watch – the Garmin Forerunner 620 – with a heart rate monitor which enables me to keep an eye on my effort level less subjectively that I could without it. I can run faster but as my current goal is easy increase of mileage, I run to a specific heart rate and that puts the majority of my runs at around the 10 minutes per mile mark. I hope that, as my training goes on, I will see a gradual improvement in this pace, even before I introduce any speedwork.
Currently I run 20-30 miles per week. I hope to bring that up to an average of 45-50 mpw by December. This steady increase in mileage and more demanding routine will also help me drop the weight I have put on over a year of not running regularly, which will directly impact my race and training times.
I’ve recently moved from a big city to a small Yorkshire town. This has been fabulous for my running!
I’ve swapped grey, dismal, concrete for beautiful canal paths and rolling hills. I’m feeling much less in the way of niggles and aches by running on the gravel and compacted dirt surfaces than on concrete. I hope that means I’ll be less prone to injury. Fingers crossed! The next move for me is to move away from the relatively flat canal route which makes up my usual route and let my legs carry me up the formidable hills surrounding the town. But not today. Not today.
Are you currently running? Preparing for a health or race goal? Drop me a line in the comments and let me know how you’re getting on!
This week’s running stats:
4 runs out of a planned 5
28.5 miles out of a planned 33 miles
10 mile long run, as planned
Average pace of 10:04 minute miles
Average heart rate of 151 bpm