The most important element of this phase is to keep your runs aerobic, where the
oxygen that you are able to take in provides your energy needs without your
physiology going into oxygen debt. If your runs are of an intensity that
requires you go into anaerobic metabolism for more than a few minutes you can
quickly defeat the purpose of this phase.
Four Aerobic Checks
- Follow the pace guidelines.
They are designed to keep you safely within your aerobic limits.
- Check your Recovery Indicators daily.
- Make sure you can always pass the "talk test".
You should be able to engage in conversation easily. If you have to take
pause to catch your breath between sentences then chances are you are
running too hard. Make aerobic running a social activity. Team up with
others your same pace and keep each other honest with some good
- Pace Maintenance.
Use an out and back course. Make sure that on the return
journey you can maintain at least the pace you started with, or faster. If you
have to slow down or feel pushed, you are running too fast.
- If you consistently run too hard use a Heart Rate monitor to gauge yourself .
You can estimate your Aerobic Threshold (AT)
heart-rate with a simple formula: 220 minus your age 65% if you are a beginner,
75% for average runners, and 85% for highly trained athletes. Keep below that.
Guidelines for Aerobic Running
- Once your AT Heart Rate is determined, beginning runners and those who tend to
overdo it, may find it useful to wear a heart-rate monitor
until you have locked in the feeling of where your threshold is. Once established
the HR monitor is no longer needed. Do not go above your AT during your runs.
As long as you stay within your aerobic zone your program will work for you.
- As you progress you will be able to run a faster at the
same effort (HR).
- Vary your pace and distance from day to day within
the ranges set by the schedule. Naturally you will have 'up' days where you run
comfortably at your AT followed by 'down' days at a slower pace. Pay attention
to your own rhythm and recovery rate.
- Generally follow a harder (faster or longer) day with an
easier (slower or shorter) one.
- All paces count in developing your aerobic
capacity as long as you do not get 'stuck' on one pace. Do not be afraid
to jog your long run, or to incorporate walk on an easy aerobic day if you are a
beginner. All aerobic activity is valid and will afford you all the benefits of
strengthening your legs and building your circulatory roadways. There are no
- Resist timing your miles until you have built up to the
minimum distance or time required. The competitor will be invoked later
- If you are training for a marathon or are a beginning runner your main focus
and time commitment will be on this phase of aerobic development.