GOAR: Base Building

A running update! What a novel thought!

If you’re thinking of getting started running, check this out.

So, perhaps I’ve mentioned it on here before, perhaps not, but I’m a little listless with nothing to train for these days. I’m a very structured person. Even my weekends are scheduled down to the half hour (don’t worry, often this schedule includes things like, “Paint Nails” and “Nap”, but still). It’s hard for me to “just wing it” with anything, but it’s especially hard for me to get a workout in when I don’t have a defined training plan. I’m proud of myself because I’ve actually sort of been taking it easy and loosely following the workout plan I talked about here, but I’m starting to get restless, so I took to the Internets to tell me what I should do.

Normally, I just run when I can and do other things until about 12 weeks out from a major race. Then I begin training. The Internets spoke of this crazy idea of actually maintaining your fitness and going into training a little prepared. Supposedly it’s called Base Building?

In case you’re as confused as I was, read this article. I really like the approach of giving yourself 4 weeks to recover (both mentally and physically) from a serious effort and then returning to maintaining your fitness. It just so happens, that I’ve accidentally been doing that. The half marathon was on 4/22, and since then, I’ve been running a little, biking a lot, and strength training a minuscule amount. That’s 4 weeks of active recovery! Another big coincidence, if Chris and I decide on a mid-September half marathon, I’ve got about 18 weeks left to go. That gives me six weeks before I need to start training, and six weeks is apparently a great amount of time to build a solid base! Alright, enough math.

That was the long version, the short version is, I don’t have to worry about training for the half marathon for about a month and a half, so until then, I’ll be sort of following this schedule I made for myself.

I took a lot of tips from the above article and built a schedule that includes 4 runs a week, as 4 happens to be the current magic number of runs per week that keep me sane without breaking my body. The numbers (as in the “35” in “easy 35”) refer to minutes, not miles because I’m not insane.

The theory behind building my schedule based on time rather than mileage is that I really don’t want to push myself too hard during what should be my “off season” from training. I don’t want to burn out mentally or, worse, get injured when I’m not really even training for anything in the forseeable future, so my hope is that by focusing on just getting out and running (GOARing), I’ll put less pressure on myself to hit some crazy pace, and just enjoy the run, while still maintaining fitness. I’ve not tried this before, so here’s hoping. That’s also why the weekly mileage is really just an estimate. If I end up a little under or over, I won’t beat myself up for it.

The “st” in “rest/yoga/st” refers to strength training. I’m still aiming to do this twice a week, but I’m going to listen to my body and sub out strength training for yoga or plain old rest if I’m feeling rather depleted.

So, that’s the plan for now. Like I said, it’s not too far off from what I’ve been doing, but it’s nice to have the next 6 weeks of workouts laid out in front of me like that. It’s the little things for me. It really is.


8 thoughts on “GOAR: Base Building

    • I can’t speak with too much authority, but before I started training for my first half I had been running about 4-5 times a week for a few months averaging 15-20 miles a week, and I was able to do a long run of 6 miles, and that seemed to set me up for training pretty nicely. Hope that helps!

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