Originally, I was planning on beginning my base training for next spring in mid to late September. Before that I was focusing more on general fitness ahead of this base period - that consisted of one rep day, one threshold day, one longer day, and a couple of easy days per week along w/ the weightlifting and core and ab work.
The reason for the faster reps before the base period was to lock in my running form and economy (and only the faster work does that for me) such that I could carry that improved form into the base period, thus increasing the overall efficiency of the base work.
Well, after that Evaluation Day, my running form really felt like it locked in. So there's no need to continue this rep work for 3 more weeks, instead I can jump into the base work right now. I'll of course be picking the rep work up again at a later time.
The other thing I learned on Eval Day was that my speed is at a similar level to where it was in February while as expected, my cardio fitness is still a good 2 months behind. This indicates that the weightlifting is really helping w/ the speed, so I need to continue to have that as a focal point of the base work. Additionally, I want to incorporate plyometrics into the program about twice per week, and after talking to a fellow Masters runner at the gym who focuses on the 100m and 200m, I've decided to include deadlifts into the weight routine once per week.
With all of the lifting and plyos, I will cut my two fast sessions per week down to one giving me one additional easier day per week. The long single will be every other Sunday, and I'll try to increase this single from the current 11-miles up to 16-18 miles by December. Another new wrinkle will be the addition of doubling twice per week where the morning session will be only 4-miles at a very very slow pace. This will help me to get the mileage up w/ minimal impact to my fatigue levels.
At the end of the day, it's going to shape up like this:
Mon: No running - Upper body lifting, core work, easy leg lifting.
Tues: Running Double - 4 miles in the am, 5 - 7 miles pm.
Wed: Fast running day. (either long intervals, tempo work, mile repeats, etc) followed by plyometrics.
Thurs: No running - Upper body lifting (different session from Mon), core work, If legs feel good, heavy lifting - if not, put off until Friday.
Fri: 8-10 miles.
Sat: Upper body lifting (Same as Mon), core work. Easy 5-7 miles.
Sun: Long single - 12+ miles.
* Note - the long single is every other week. In the weeks where there is no long single, it will be replaced w/ a running double of 4 very easy miles in the am followed by 5-7 miles pm. (very similar to Tuesday) Only difference is plyometrics will be included afterwards.
This gets me about 40 miles/week to start and I'll ramp that up a bit every 3-weeks or so. Eventually I expect to hit about 48 mpw by late October / early November and at that point a 6th day per week will be added (another easy day) to get me into the 50s and then I'll just go from there. I'll have the flexibility to up the tempo of the late Tuesday run or the Friday run if I'm feeling really good, and if not they can just be days to get the mileage in. I expect to be in this phase for a total of 13-16 weeks before cutting back on some of the leg lifting and plyos and starting with the hill repeats.
Generally speaking, what I want to get out of this base phase are several things. #1 - increased endurance. I believe the higher weekly mileage compared to what I've done in the past will accomplish this. #2 - build solid running strength through the long single. Most milers / 800m runners are not doing 16-18 mile singles during the base phase. I hope that doing this early will pay dividends down the line. #3 - build explosive power in the legs for speed (that will be developed more fully in the spring) through the plyos, heavy leg lifting, and deadlift. #4 - drastically increase all core muscle strength for injury prevention, ability to hold running form, etc through all of the work on abs, lower back, obliques, hip flexors, adductors, abductors, etc, #5 - continue to develop upper body strength, and #6 - have the one fast day per week to maintain form, running economy, and at least some level of sharpness.
Obviously, I'm not training for a marathon - it's for track events from the 800m up through the mile. I'm going to need to be doing an unbelievable amount of speed work, reps, and intervals starting in the spring and I need to make sure my body has the overall strength, power, and fitness to handle the work load w/o breaking down. With that said, nothing is rigid here - if I need to make adjustments or back off, then that's what I'll do. Aside from lengthening the single and adding the plyos, this really isn't much different from what I've been doing the last 6-8 weeks, so I'm not all of a sudden starting a more difficult program here. In fact the faster work is being cut back. I'll just see how it goes and adjust if needed, but that's the plan for now.
Mon 9/1: Weightlifting (Upper-B and core), stretching and rolling, easy leg lifting
Tue 9/2: AM - 4 very easy miles @ 8:22 pace, HR-137
PM - 5.6 miles @ 7:05 pace, HR-157