We work so hard to build our running base but what happens next? Most runners don't want to lose their conditioning but aren't sure what to do next.

Stephanieruns Fitness

September 23, 2018 Newsletter

Maintaining your running base

You put hours of blood, sweat and tears into training for a race. You most likely picked this race distance because it was a distance you wanted to conquer. So what happens after the race? We all know that after you race there's a period of rest but I find a lot of runners don't want to lose the conditioning and the distance that they've trained for and built up. That's where maintaining your running base/conditioning comes in. 

Maintaining your conditioning can also give you a lot of flexibility with your training. I know a lot of runners who like to sign up for races on a whim. If you want to be race ready for a certain distance you can use maintaining your base conditioning to be ready. You can also use maintaining your running condition to get through difficult running seasons. If you live in a hot and humid area where it's difficult and taxing to follow a training plan during the summer you might choose to build your base in the spring and maintain that base in the fall. Just as summer can be difficult if it's cold, snowy and miserable in the winter you might choose to build your running base in the fall and maintain that base in the winter. When you're maintaining your base you don't need to run as often as when you're building your mileage. This gives you flexibility to do other fitness activities or just more time for life and family commitments. 

It's important to remember that maintaining your base is not the same as a training program that builds your mileage. You're not looking to have any running gains while you're maintaining. You're looking to keep things status quo. When you're maintaining your running base/conditioning I recommend having a weekly mileage target but every third week increase your mileage with a longer long run. Here are some examples. Remember what works for another runner might not work for you.

10k Maintenance:

Weekly mileage: 20k

Every third week: weekly mileage 25k with a 10k long run.

Half Marathon Maintenance:

Weekly mileage: 25k

Every third week: weekly mileage 35k, with a 19k long run.

Marathon Maintenance:

Weekly mileage: 35k

Every third week: weekly mileage: 45k with a 32k long run.

I would say the majority of runners could maintain their running base with three runs a week. This leaves you four days a week where you're not running. I'm a strong believer in using your extra time to add in strength training. While maintaining your base is not about working on performance gains if you add in strength training you'll be giving yourself a stronger start for your next training cycle. Try it, you'll be surprised how much of a difference it makes on your next training cycle.

If you have any questions on maintaining your running base/conditioning feel free to reach out to me on twitter @srunsfitness I'd love to answer your questions!


Weekly Challenge: Strength Training

I'm a firm believer that adding in strength training while you're maintaining your running conditioning will help your overall running. Which means it makes sense for me to give you a strength training workout for this week's weekly challenge. Even if you aren't maintaining your conditioning right now you can do this strength workout. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Warm up: dynamic warm up. 5 minutes of step ups, lateral shuffles, leg swings/kicks, arm swings/kicks, ect.

Main Set: 3 sets of 12 reps, give yourself 2-3 minutes between sets. Use weights that will fatigue your muscles but allow you to do 12 reps in good form.

1) Squat, go as low as you can with good form

2) Single leg dead lift

3) Bicep curl

4) Tricep Kickback

5) Dumbbell side bends

6) Plank hold with good form for up to 30 seconds

Cool down: yoga poses, stretching and foam rolling. Give yourself at least 5 minutes for a solid cool down.

As always I love to hear how this goes! Send me a tweet or an e-mail after you complete this workout and let me know what you thought!

Training Week While Maintaining Your Base

What does a training week look like when you're working on maintaining your conditioning? Of course not everyone's training week will look the same. I thought it would be helpful to go over a couple of sample training weeks so that you have a better idea.

Sample training week: maintaining 10k conditioning

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Tempo run 5.5k

Wednesday: Strength train

Thursday: Easy 6k run

Friday: Strength train or yoga

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: long run 8.5k

Sample training week: maintaining 10k conditioning, third week: increased mileage via your long run

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Tempo run 5.5k

Wednesday: Strength train or yoga

Thursday: Easy 6k run

Friday: Strength train, 3.5k speed work run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: long run 10k

Of course these are just samples. Any training plan should work for your life and goals. I hope this helps give you an idea of what your training week could look like while you're maintaining your conditioning. Let me know if you have any questions.

This year I'm offering a fall/winter coaching program where I'll work with you virtually from November 4th, 2018 to February 2, 2019 to help you with your training and help you reach new goals.

You'll get customized running and strength training workouts as well as access to me. I'll share my knowledge and encouragement to help you reach your goals. You'll receive your running and strength training workouts delivered to your Training Peak's account. The cost is $450 for my newsletter subscribers. E-mail me at fitness@stephanieruns.com for more details or to sign up.

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Let's keep the conversation going all week on social media! 


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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

Website: Stephanieruns Fitness

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.