5 Essential Elements I Include In Base Training

We will cover 5 essential elements that go into my base training week.

First we’ll run through a quick recap of my latest week of training to give you some context:

Base Training Recap

Monday was scheduled for a 1hr40min run at Zone 2. I ran on my local trails, mostly flat and nothing technical. My intensity zone on pace and feel. I finished with 16km in 1h33 at a pace of 5:47/km and an average heart rate of 137bpm.

A little over 3 hours later I performed some Strength Training. The main lifts included:

  • Deadlifts
  • Nordic Hamstring curls
  • Push press

But more importantly I mixed this training up with my son.

Tuesday is an example of the limitations the rest of life impose. I had a 12.5 hour work shift starting at 0600. After work the kids had there their own sport training. Which cut out any opportunity to train then. This meant I squeezed in a very easy 20min Zone 1 run before work.

With more time available on Wednesday I ran another 1h40m in zone 2. I took this run into the hills on much harder trails. Because of the terrain I couldn’t go by pace. Also, my legs aren’t used to this type of running. So I used heart rate as a guide on intensity. I finished this run with 14km in 1h42m at 7:05/km and average HR of 129bpm.

Thursday was an hour on the treadmill in Zone 2. I ran on feel only.

Straight after the run it was time for another Strength session. 40min with the main lifts covering:

  • Squats
  • Pull ups
  • Calf Raises

On Friday and Saturday I had early starts again at work. Both days I ran 30min super easy. Zone 1, which was basically active recovery.

Finally on Sunday I ran Threshold Intervals. This was 6 x 5min @at a speed just below my predicted Anaerobic Threshold with 1 min of walking recovery in between. On either side I had a good 20 plus minutes of warm up and cool down.

Training Totals

The week covered at total of 63km for the week over 7 runs.

  • 3 classed as very easy / recovery.
  • 2 longer runs in Zone 2
  • 1 medium distance run in Zone 2
  • 1 higher intensity run (Anaerobic Threshold)
  • 2 Strength training sessions.

1. Zone 2 Training

The main element in my base training week is Zone 2 Training.
Somewhere around the aerobic threshold (or 1st lactate threshold). This is where the majority of my running volume comes from. I plan on gradually increasing the volume of this training over time.

2. Recovery

I clearly define the point of these days as recovery or regeneration. So training will be either a day off or as seen this week about low intensity movement.
There’s more to recovery, such as sleep, nutrition and maybe other elements. Just for this video know it is as important as the rest of training.

3. Strength Training

I am trying to ensure I keep regular strengthening in my training to the point I may skip a run to make sure I get it in.
Strength training will help reduce my injury risk, improve my hormone profile and may even make me a little faster.

4. Higher Intensity Running

I consider it a necessity to include faster running if you want to race faster. However, I think most people way too much emphasis on this very element. Remember a little bit goes a very long way.

5. Holistic Approach

No part of training operates in isolation. There is a cross over between every training session, every aspect of recovery and the rest of your lifestyle.
I am trying to remember and apply this. But it isn’t easy. The temptation to really push the envelope is always strong.
But I have to remember that if I am still improving then training is still working. Having the patience to maintain consistency that leads to progress is a fundamental element that is harder to live that it sounds.

If you have any questions or want a detailed video about any aspect I’ve raise here let me know in the comments.
What elements do you make sure go into your training?


Keep on running.

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