8 Week Base Building Plan - Beginner
This Aerobic Base Building plan is suited for beginner level runners (running on average 3-5 times per week). The training composes 8 weeks of building an aerobic base where the majority of the runs are done under a specific heart rate (Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate - see below for more details).
The first week has three tests to determine starting level of fitness and guide in required paces for the higher intensity sessions. After the 8 weeks, the 9th week incorporates the same three test, this allows you to quantify improvement.
This plan is ideally suited for anyone who wants to build their aerobic base, is starting to run again or is returning from injury. The weekly distance and intensity is increased gradually to allow appropriate buidling. Further the HIIT sessions are specifically targeting your aerobic system without overly taxing your muscles.
As a general guideline it works on 4 to 5 days training per week. The sessions are a mixture of time and km based as well as pace/heart rate based sessions. It is strongly advised to utilise a heart rate monitor to obtain the maximum benefit from this training plan.
The average weekly km's run is 25-30km which equated to 4h30m training per week.
VERY IMPORTANT: De-activating autolap on your watch will also make the sessions easier to administor and follow. The reason for this is, most sessions are programmed that your watch (provided synced correctly with TrainingPeaks and right model) will automatically lap for you. This makes navigating through the session far easier.
If you are carrying an injury then I strongly advise you recover first before embarking on this program. Should you develop a niggle during the program, then I advise that you back off the Hight Intensity Interval (HIIT) sessions and replace them with MAHR/Low Intensity sessions. Once your niggle subsides, then you can continue with the HIIT session. Should you develop an injury, then I advise that you stop the program and seek the required medical advise before continuing on the program.
Week one includes three test sessions, namely:
1. VO2Max Pace Test: This session will determine your VO2Max pace. Majority of the training sessions are run at a certain % of VO2Max. For example, if your VO2Max pace is calculated at 5m30s/km, then 90% would equate to 6m07s/km.
2. MAF Test: This test is used to determine your running speed below your aerobic threshold. It is based on calculating your maximum aerobic heart rate (MAHR). See below terminology on how to calculate this.
3. Lactate Threshold Test (LTHR): This test is used to determine your lactate threshold heart rate and pace.
1. Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate (MAHR) is calculated by subtracting your age from 180. For example if you are 40yrs old then your MAHR is 140bpm. Sessions run when MAHR is prescribed entails that you run at whatever pace you can keeping your heart rate BELOW your MAHR. Should your heart rate exceed this then you walk until it comes back below your MAHR before you continue to run again. For more information on this I strongly advise to you to read up further by clicking on the link https://philmaffetone.com/method/. If you don't have a heart rate monitor, then these can be run at within the range of 50-65% of VO2Max Pace
It is important to stay disciplined on your Low Intensity Runs (ie: keeping below MAHR or below 65% of VO2Max pace), as these allow your body to recover and prepare for the Higher Inensity Session the next day or later in the week. Running these Low Intensity sessions too hard, increases risk of injury and not obtaining the desired adaptations from the High Intensity Work. This will compromise your chances of obtaining your desired goals on race day.
Hope you enjoy ;-)
Average Weekly Breakdown
|Workouts||Weekly Average||Longest Workout|
||4:18 hrs||1:30 hrs|
|Workouts Per Week||Weekly Average||Longest Workout|
||4:18 hrs||1:30 hrs|
Sample Day 1
It is best to do this on a 400m track. However, if cannot do on a track use as flat as piece of road as possible and ideally when there is no wind either. If there is wind then turn around at 3min mark on 6min TT so that this evens it out somewhat
Sample Day 3
MAF Test 3km: Warm Up for 1.5km. Complete 3km sticking below your MAHR (180-age HR). As soon as your HR got over your MAHR, then walk until HR comes back down below before start running again. Cool Down for 1.5km
Sample Day 4
Warm up for 15min
Run 4min hard, followed by 2min passive rest (ie: standing or very easy walking). This is one repetition. Do 4 repetitions in total. Your 2min passive rest is your chance to recover before the next 4min hard section. As a guideline, use the Borg Scale of Perceived Effort. The hard section, must be 8+. Use your brain to determine the spped you think you can maintain for 4min of running hard.
Cool down for 10min