Introduction to Building your Training Base

It is hard to believe that we are already two weeks into February 2014. As we plan our training and races for the year we can’t forget to look at the fundamentals, especially building our preseason base.

Aptly titled, the goal of the base phase portion of a training plan is to create a strong foundation for us to build our harder workouts and races efforts off of. Why is this so important? Not only does a proper base phase help minimize the potential for injury, more importantly it builds the muscular, cardiovascular and bio-chemical processes that our bodies need to reach our full potential.

The principle component of a proper foundation is the LSD (Long Slow Day). The goal is to get out and put the miles in while keeping our efforts aerobic. Think conversational pace. In fact, this is the perfect time to do group runs and catch up with friends. If you can’t carry a conversation, you are going too fast!

As our foundation becomes stronger we can start throwing in limited efforts, such as a fartlek once a week, to spice things up and prepare the body for the higher intensity work down the road. However, these types of workouts should be saved for the latter portion of the base phase. For example, if we have planned our base phase to last a month (the minimum time period required to build a proper base) the first three weeks would be made entirely of LSDs, with the third week having a workout with an effort.

The secondary component of preseason training is to hit the weight room and work on muscular deficiencies that we might have, specifically our core and upper body strength. This is the perfect time to do this because as the season develops, and our training becomes sport specific, we won’t have the time to work on focused strength training. Again, here it is important to add weight slowly. The goal is not to build explosive power, but consistent strength.

These are just the basic fundamentals for developing your preseason base training. For additional information on how to plan your training cycle we recommend contacting a USA Triathlon Certified Coach.

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