Base building consists of easy distance running, concentrating more so on logging in miles. This phase is the “least” exciting part of “training”. This includes muscle cell adaption which:
- also begins in this phase, meaning increasing capacity for your blood cells to deliver “oxygen” to your body
- allowing other physiological improvements begin to take place during your long, slow distance.
This “base” phase allows you to begin the rest of your training journey, think the foundation of a house:
- you must have a solid foundation prior to building
- then add essentials to that foundation, i.e. studs, walls, plumbing, etc. (I’m not a builder, but you get the picture).
Strength building is when you build your strength, via intervals, tempo runs, harder/longer runs. This phase allows you to
- improve your lactate threshold
- and aerobic capacity, plus you begin to improve your running technique and form
- resulting in better running performance.
So what is lactate threshold (LT)?
- It’s a waste product created during exertion, it builds up in your system faster than your muscles can flush out.
- Why does it occur? It’s because your cardiovascular system cannot process enough oxygen to be rid of, therefore called anaerobic (without air) threshold. If you’ve ever run too fast too early in a workout and felt as if your legs were long wet noodles, you’re experiencing lactate threshold.
Okay, so what is aerobic capacity mean?
- This is your body’s ability to process oxygen. Not every breath we take (not the song from Sting) is used when we run or exercise.
- The amount taken in depends on your “V02 max” or “maximum oxygen uptake”, the amount of oxygen your body is able to deliver to your muscles during exercise. Training (and genetics) can help you maximize your potential aerobic capacity. This is done via track workouts, or workouts you’re training that are slightly faster than your 5k pace.