I am sure we all have heard runners talking about the importance of base training. Maybe we have just passed it off as another over exaggerated thing on the runners to do list, like hill workouts and new shoes.
I suggest we look at it as more of foundation training. Not just going for long runs day after day but also working on strength training and form drills. This is so that when it comes to the continuous and intense training at the next phase of training we can avoid impact injuries, over use injuries, and we can maximize our time and energy.
Over the past several years I have been working with several high school girls through the cross country, indoor and outdoor track seasons. At the beginning they were not very committed and did not do much over the summer months to prepare for cross country. As a result we often fought fatigue and nagging injuries as we used the XC season to prep for indoor and outdoor.
Finally our numbers have doubled and the girls have started to train consistently over the summer, and this season there are virtually no issues with injuries despite the intense nature of their training plan. Unfortunately the boys coach left unexpectedly so I moved to the boys and took on another coach that I work with to train the girls.
The boys team on the other hand has not had the same type of commitment and even though I have tried to ease them into the season but they continue to battle lower leg problems due to over use and impact. They also complain a lot more than the girls and are harder to get motivated and require constant encouragement.
So if you want to have an awesome season it starts weeks before your interval training starts. It isn’t just running either. Strength training, flexibility training, form drills and even mental training all play a crucial in getting you ready for your best race seasons