With race organizers getting in full swing and races popping up in northern and southern California it is time to start your training if you haven’t already. There are multiple stages in training leading up to a race, and it is generally easier to plan your training if you have at least a couple races in mind. Once you have a race in mind you can focus on how you need to train and set some goals. The four primary stages that one should progress through in training should include base, build, peak, and race. This article focuses on the base training which will help establish initial fitness and prevent injuries from popping up in the season. Stay tuned for discussion on future topics that will include build (establishing specific fitness and skills for your upcoming AR), peak (resting, honing skills, shorter higher intensity workouts, and mental preparation), and race (rest and preparation).
Ideally you would want about 6 months to be completely prepared for a race. A lot of us don’t have the forethought for this but it is important to remember how important base training is for the body and your fitness for the season. Base training is used to establish fitness, prevent injuries, and provide a foundation that the rest of your season can build on. If you run out and start doing hill-repeats and sprints because you are pumped up, you will risk injuring your body that does not have a foundation. In addition, if you only do short high intensity workouts and take a couple weeks off for an injury you will lose your fitness and gains. If you establish a strong base and foundation, your “base” fitness will help you maintain your gains when you have to take time off for something.