Base Training

Base Training

Here is the training program you’ve been looking for: Base Training (previously called “Spring” Training). I designed this 12-week program several years ago to bridge the gap between the end of winter, signaled in Chicago by the Shamrock Shuffle in March, and the Chicago Marathon in October. But the program seemed to work well any time of the year, thus the name change. Looking for a program to develop your base fitness before starting a marathon program? This is it.

So let us begin. While all of the information on how to do specific workouts is contained in the Novice, Intermediate and Advanced introductions that follow from this screen–as well as in my various books–it’s not always convenient to search and surf to get what you want to know. You want that information now! And you have it here. You’ll find the weekly Base Training screens that follow from the introductory screens crammed with information on how to train. And if you would like to sign up for one of my Virtual Training programs where I send you daily e-mail messages telling you how to train, you have that option too. Click here. Regardless of which one of my programs you choose, Base Training specifically is focused on how to get ready to run and ready to race, particularly if your long-term goal is a marathon or half marathon.

Time to get in shape
For Novice runners–those who never have run before–this may mean getting into some semblance of shape so that they can begin my 18-week marathon training program. For those of you who have been running several years, Week 1, which is climaxed by a 6-mile long run on the weekend may not seem that tough, but it’s like Mount Everest for those who have never run before. This Base Training program will give novice runners a chance to gradually raise their fitness level so they can begin that first week of training with some chance of success.

Advanced runners often have a different problem. They’ve run a bunch of marathons and other races at different distances, and they want to improve their performances, not merely in the marathon, but in other distances they run frequently, like the 5-K, 8-K or 10-K. These advanced schedules will tell them how to do just that, showing how to mix various forms of speedwork (interval training, tempo runs, hills, fartlek) into their training week. They also get a chance to race frequently (5 times in fact) with goal 5-K and 10-K races in the last few weeks.

The Intermediate runners fall somewhere in between. These are runners who probably have been running several years, may have run one or two marathons, have faithfully trained through the winter, maintaining a certain mileage base, and now they want to build on that base. They want to continue to maintain that fitness level–perhaps improve on it slightly–so they can start marathon training in better shape than before. The 12-week Intermediate schedule offers some speedwork and some racing and should provide what they want.

So here is Base Training in multiple variations. Whichever one of my programs you choose, I hope it will help you to achieve your running goals.

Base Training

Hal offers three levels of his 12-week Base Training program, designed to get you into shape for a race later in the year or help you maintain performance between races.

  • Novice

    This 12-week Base Training Program for Novice runners is designed to get you in shape so that, later, you can begin Hal's 18-week Novice...

  • Intermediate

    This Base Training Program for Intermediate runners was designed to bridge the three-month gap between Hal's Winter Training Program and the start of the...

  • Advanced

    This Base Training Program for Advanced runners was designed to bridge the three-month gap between the Winter Training Program and the start of the...