base building

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  • #28418

    Hello – first time on this forum. I am a endurance runner – both trail/mountain ultras and road marathons. I’ve suffered from overtraining and have been recovering from it since March. ( your article on OTS was the only comprehensive info I could find online! ) I think I understand the importance of aerobic base building by now. But how do I know if I have a base built? I know everyone is different. is HR monitoring the only way? Does it come down to how long you’ve spent running slow?
    Also during base building, can you mix in some tempo/speed or should it be 100% slow? – thank you

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    Anonymous on #28474


    Welcome to the forum and thanks for writing in with your questions.

    I hope you feel like you have climbed out of the OTS black hole of despair. It’s not fun down there and some people NEVER recover. Since you’re coming back from OTS you do need to spend a few months rebuilding the aerobic base that will have gone away during your OTS imposed lay off. The aerobic metabolic pathway sees the fastest rate of decline once aerobic training is stopped. Luckily it comes back pretty fast as well for folks like you that have a good history of aerobic training.

    You can never stop building or maintaining aerobic base if you are an endurance athlete. So there is no “Now my base is big enough I can stop base training” moment. The only real difference between base building and base maintaining is that in the base building phase (if you are aerobically deficient) you will want to JUST train at and below you AeT. As we have written in TftUA and here on this site You need to get your AeT to within 10% of your AnT in terms of pace or HR before you can consider your ADS cured and be ready to add intensity. In the base maintenance phase, where you will get after a sufficient base building period) intensity will be a regular part of your training.

    During the base building phase we prescribe short (10sec) maximal effort very short hill sprints with full recovery (>2min) but no classic tempo workouts or extended speed work.

    I hope this helps

    akikocrawford on #28484

    Thank you so much for the quick response! I have been careful about building back slowly but I may have jumped the gun and added tempo workouts too much too early as I have experienced set backs- although this time I know not to go down that slippery slope! I will go back to focusing on aerobic running. I also just got a new watch with wrist HR monitor. Interested to see the data. Akiko

    rcoales on #28494

    Hi Akiko, sorry to hear you’ve been on the side-lines but glad you’re on your way back. I also experienced OTS by training too soon after illness and getting sicker as a result. That you’ve posted and told your story is great! I too have found very few places online where you can read similar stories and experiences. Knowing I wasn’t alone really helped me get back on my feet. So, I’ve set up a FB group for people to share their OTS and injury training stories – message me if you you’re interested in getting involved

    akikocrawford on #28513

    hi rcoales – sure I would be interested in your FB group. Thanks !

    Anonymous on #28523

    @akikocrawford: Does your watch connect with chest straps for the heart rate monitor? Wrist-based monitors are popular, but they’re not accurate enough to train with.

    akikocrawford on #28633

    Scott Semple – its wrist based. I am hoping the technology has gotten better by now. As long as its in the ball park I am ok with it. I did compare the numbers while at rest by counting my actual beats and seemed pretty close.

    briguy on #28634

    The wrist-based HRMs are improving but I still personally don’t trust them. A nice compromise from the discomfort of the chest strap style is the forearm-based OHR devices from Scosche, Polar, and Wahoo. I use a Scosche and it’s interchangeable with my chest strap in side by side results.

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