The importance of base training

We continue our series on how to improve your running by looking at the importance of base training.

Why is base training so important?

Base training is the most important part of your training and where you will make most gains. If you are improving then you should continue with base training until you reach a plateau. Remember if your training is working then there is no need to change it. If you are approaching a target race then adding the icing on the cake may be beneficial and we discuss this later in the series. If you are new to running you can improve for years with base training. Elite runners will do months of base training in order to get their bodies using the most oxygen possible. If you want to improve as a runner it’s how much you do. Your speed is related to how much running you do. Always finish every run feeling like you could go faster and do more.

Adding other aerobic paces to your training

The more Chatty running you do the better but you also need to add in different aerobic speeds. We will look at the types of runs you could add as we go through a typical week of base training.

The long run

You will need to build this run up over the weeks ahead to tow hours, or two and a half if you are training for a marathon. Don’t be afraid to walk if you need to, as it is time on your feet is the most important factor here. We go into more detail on the long run in our next video.

The ‘breathy’ run

When you add a ‘breathy’ run be conservative because you still need to finish the run fresh and able to do more. If you feel tired and weary you are doing too much or running too fast.

How to do a ‘breathy’ run

Warm up by walking for three minutes and then run Chatty until you have been out for fifteen to twenty minutes. The first time you do this run just add ten minutes ‘breathy’ until you get used it. Finish the run with another fifteen to twenty minutes Chatty. After your ‘breathy’ run you should feel like you have more energy rather than feeling tired. Remember that ‘breathy’ pace is not as fast as people often think. It is just a little faster than Chatty. You can still say a full sentence but it isn’t comfortable and you will be aware of your intake of breath at the end of it.

The Chatty Sparkly run

Enjoy a lovely Chatty run and include some ten second Sparkles. The ten second Sparkles will make your muscles stronger, give you a longer stride length and improve your running efficiency. They also make you smile! Don’t forget to allow three minutes recovery time between Sparkles and find somewhere flat or slightly downhill to do them.

Other runs in the week

The rest of your runs need to be Chatty. Adding a walk is also beneficial as it includes another layer of varied speeds. You will notice that Chatty Sparkly base training is definitely not one pace running! It includes all paces from walking, SuperChatty, Chatty, ‘breathy’ and all the way up to the speedy Sparkles. None of these paces are ‘huffy puffy’ or anaerobic. Never ever run in this zone during base conditioning. Keep it aerobic.

Always have in mind as you build up:

Start from where you are and not where you want to be. So start your build up from the point you go to before your rest or even a little further back.

There is no need to include recovery weeks if you make sure you finish each run feeling able to do more.

Base training should always be relaxed fun and never ever hard work. Enjoy each run and focus on building up time on your feet.

Running hard and getting out of breath is counterproductive as the acidity it produces will knock out some of the aerobic gains you have made by staying Chatty.

Join our Facebook group for support and to share your varied pace base training runs.


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