Anatomy of Steady Base
The listing in the program looks simple enough:
Run: Steady 0:60 @ 75-85% plus extensive warm up with speed drills & cool down.
...but what does the session actually involve?
The essence of this training is to prepare me for the harder race specific training in two ways:
- Develop technique/efficiency and power for fast running
- Develop a relaxed steady-state running style
Point 1 is achieved during the speed drills.
Point 2 is achieved during the 60 minutes of running a bit below threshold pace.
The typical set:
10 minutes of very easy running, typical HR 60-75%.
5-10 minutes of dynamic mobility work and technique drills including high knees, lunges, A-line marches, heel kicks, hip extenders. The timeline varies depending on how I feel.
After the 15-20min of warming up its time for about 10 minutes of plyometrics and sprints. I'll take 30-60 sec rest/walk recovery between sets. A typical set will include:
- 2 x 3-5 counter swing broad jumps
- 2 x 3-5 split jumps
- 2 x 30m bounding
- 2 x 30m high skipping
- 4 x 30-40m sprints
This usually now has me feeling like I can do anything running-wise. My body is in a hyped up state and anything less than a sprint just feels easy. I'll give myself about 5 minutes of easy running before starting the steady portion.
Steady is simply one full hour over flat to undulating, mixed terrain (nothing too steep) at an even pace. I don't measure the distance, just set out at a pace that feels quite doable. This has me at 75-85%HRmax, I tend to fall in right on 81% for most of the run. This is definitely my favourite run. Not too fast that it hurts, but fast enough that you know you are getting something out of it.
In the end I'll take 10-20min of progressively slower running to cool down. The time depends on how well I judge the distance away from home when turning back during the steady section.