running tips: start slower to finish faster

running crop pants and tank from lululemon
Fall is here, and with it comes a new racing season. How are you going to make this your best season yet? Time and time again, enthusiastic racers jump into running routines only to wind up exhausted or injured before the racing season is over.

This season try adding 3-5 weeks of base training before hitting the hard stuff. In the running world we call this process “building your base.” You can build your base by completing a series of long slow runs at low to moderate intensity to prepare your body for the harder runs ahead.

Yes, it sounds counterintuitive to run slower and expect to get faster, but think of it as laying down the foundation for your entire season. What you’re doing is training your aerobic energy system, the long-term energy system, to become more efficient. Through base training your heart and lungs will become stronger and you’re body will start to use oxygen more efficiently.

This adaption process takes time, but after a series of base training runs you will notice you can breathe easier, recover faster and run for longer before that nasty lactic acid creeps in. After you build your base you can add the framework to your training by introducing more specific workouts.

Training with a strong base will allow you to adapt to your training program instead of crumbling under the weight of it. Racing with a strong base will let you rely on your aerobic system for longer before the body switches over to the anaerobic energy system and quickly become fatigued. We are training smarter without training harder. In the long run (no pun intended) a few weeks of slow running will help you finish faster. Have fun and enjoy the run.

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In my experience, as a 10 and 1 runner, you end up passing a lot of the people late in the race that got ahead of you in the early stages when they were fresh.

Comment by Brian — September 25, 2010 @ 7:42 am

It would be awesome if you could start selling your product in sizes 12 and 14 like you once did. We all need to exercise, even us big girls who like quality exercise clothing.

you can consider me a customer lost… but i guess i never fit the image to begin with.

Comment by danielle — September 26, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

It really is like this with all exercise. You start slow, build a base, get the form down, get your core stronger and prepared, etc. Then you finish strong, you push yourself when you are ready to push. It’s good advice.

Comment by Matt Joseph — September 27, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

I second the motion for the larger sizes. I am big chested and just had a baby the smaller sizes don’t fit.

Comment by Dana — October 3, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

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