General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Base Mileage - Where to start now? Rss Feed  
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2013-12-25 10:28 PM


Subject: Base Mileage - Where to start now?
Hello everyone!
I'm going to jump right into my question. This next year I am going to pursue my "long-term" goal of qualifying for Kona. I know its possible but I need to put in the time, work and sacrifice. Here is a little about me:

PR Marathon Time - 3:53 - without training
I finished my first Ironman at 14 hrs - training was very minimal as I was hit by a car 3 months before the race
Half Ironman - 6 hours - very unexperienced and untrained

I have done all of this with sporadic training and less than stellar conditions (working full-time, going to school full-time, etc) I have decided to really buckle down now with training and get serious about the sport, now that I don't have AS MANY distractions. I feel like I have potential to do a lot. I want to stay healthy and do it right - not increasing my mileage by x% each week, etc.

My main question is, where do I start with my base mileage. I'm still in pretty good shape - I could run a half marathon right now without training and be fine. Should I just start with 10 miles and work up?

Any specific details or strategies do I need to do?


2013-12-26 5:29 AM
in reply to: atbaron10

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Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: Base Mileage - Where to start now?
Anything is possible and I wish you all the success.

Now some questions:

What age are you?

Is this miles per week or running?
“Should I just start with 10 miles and work up?”

What race are you targeting to KQ at?

What are you doing now?

Log you workouts so YOU can keep track and get a plan. If you have done nothing start slow 1-2mile runs, 45min-1hr bikes, 1000m swims maybe a couple of times a week for a 2-3 weeks. That may even be to much. Thing is start slow and of course you need to recovery.

2013-12-26 6:06 AM
in reply to: atbaron10

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Sarasota, FL
Subject: RE: Base Mileage - Where to start now?

You mentioned in another thread that you were 25.  Taking a quick look at past average Kona Q times, it's likely going to take somewhere around a  9:45 IM to get in, depending on the race

Pretty steep hill to climb.  Echoing some advice you received earlier, you need to find a plan that you can follow consistently and approach it as a multi-year effort.   

Good luck with your training.


2013-12-26 10:11 AM
in reply to: atbaron10

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Base Mileage - Where to start now?
To give you a general answer, your base mileage is a collection of all the miles that you have in your training. The notion that you build a base in 3 months is completely misunderstood. So each year your base builds stronger and stronger.

For example. my first year I had to do a lot of easier, less intense training. Now that I have x more miles under my belt I can move into more specific training earlier in the year, I can race more and closer to each race. Make sense?

As to the specific amount of miles hard to say but the best advice I can give is to get weekly mileage in that doesn't put you in the well, but rather sets you up well for the next week, and the week after.

How to get to Kona? Week and and week out of consistent training year after year. Someone in your situation that quickest turnaround I have ever seen is about 3-4 years. Keep in mind times get faster each year, less spots are available each year as well. Make Kona your long term goal but put in shorter term goals to accomplish to keep your fire burning.
2013-12-27 6:34 AM
in reply to: atbaron10

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Subject: RE: Base Mileage - Where to start now?
Irrespective of short term of long term goals, the best thing you can do for your running is to do it more often. I don't mean starting with huge volume but you need to be running almost every day. The focus should be less on speed at the stage you are at and more on increasing the miles your body can handle. I don't know what your weekly milage is now but 20-25 miles spread out over 6 or even 7 days of running a week is not too difficult for your body to handle. This is assuming you don't have any injury or overuse issues that need to be resolved. One of the easiest ways to get injured when you start increasing run volume is to push a large amount of your weekly milage into a weekly long run. Besides setting your self up for injury before your body is ready to handle a distance you also affect the quality of subsequent workouts with the extended recovery needed. You can get the same weekly volume and training effect by running more days while allowing your body more recovery. It's also much easier to add in more miles when it's spread out over a full week of running days.

I'm currently at around 40 or so miles a week and running 7 days a week. I schedule my week based on time instead of miles but you can get an idea from the below.

Mon - 30 min steady
Tues - 30 min steady
Wed - 1:30 with long threshold intervals
Thurs - 30 min steady
Fri - 30 min steady
Sat - 1:45 trail run with lots of climbing
Sun - 20 min brick off long ride

I've spent 2 years fighting overuse injuries but have been perfectly healthy since starting to run this type of schedule and have been holding a higher volume then I can remember in a long time. For now I've completely avoided speedwork except for some 5k races but I've managed to PR each of those events with paces that are well below my long run threshold intervals.
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