I'd been wishing for a stronger foundation, mileage wise, since beginning the Higdon marathon training program over this past summer. And, with the dearth of appealing distance races scheduled this month, I finally outlined a training schedule for me that will help me establish some decent base miles.
For those of you who are newer at this than me, base mileage is important because these added miles facilitate a boost in aerobic conditioning, develop muscle fibers, increase blood volume and glycogen storage, strengthen connective tissue, and enhance the body's ability to burn fat. Essentially, base miles help you become a better runner.
A Runner's World Online article, Build a Better Base, conveys the following pointers for base building:
- Know your base pace. Base miles should be run at a comfortable, conversational pace.
- Plan your increases. Jack Daniels's rule for increasing mileage, in which he mandates that a runner should never add more than one mile per week for each running workout you do per week, is a popular method for adding weekly mileage. So if I run four times a week, I'll add up to four miles to my weekly training. But it's important to keep in mind that, once those new miles are on the weekly schedule, one must train at the new weekly total for three weeks before adding more mileage. A ten to twelve week base training program often allows for maximum benefits.
- Don't forget quality training entirely. When base training, the majority of workouts should be made up of steady aerobic mileage. But, it's also beneficial to throw in a 20- to 25-minute tempo run once a week. Hills or strides once or twice a week will be helpful, too.
So, with those points in mind, my mileage buildup plan is in effect for the winter.