PodcastTrees and DLake

How to fall in love with base training and run faster, with Mike Trees

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Want to become an endurance machine? Or are you looking to hit a 5k PB? It’s all about the base, ‘bout the base… base training, that is! You can do all the speedwork in the world, but if you’re not putting it on top of a solid foundation of consistent, aerobic base training, you’re wasting your energy. We’re talking with Mike Trees about how everyone – from beginners to the most committed runners – can up their running game with aerobic base training. And yes, we’re going to hit on anaerobic race training, too, for all you speed nuts. 

Base training is how you build your aerobic engine – the bigger your engine, the better your blood flow, the more efficiently the blood moves through your muscles and the more you can run without lactic acid buildup. Every runner should dedicate a considerable proportion of their effort to building a solid base. When you’re base training, aim to do at least 80% at a nice, comfortable pace. This is the foundation for your aerobic fitness, and it’s essential to any running goals.

Once you have a solid base, then you can apply your anaerobic race training on top. How much base training do you need? Well, it varies. For an event like the Ironman, you’ll probably want a year of base training. For a 5k, you’ll want to spend 8-10 weeks. After you’ve built your base, you can begin your speedwork or interval training. That’s when you’ll build up your fast-twitch muscle fibers and be able to dial in on those speed-specific goals.

I hear you saying, “but, speedwork is how I get fast! I want to be faster, so I don’t need to do all this base training.”

Nope. You’re wrong.

Think of your body like a car. If you have a car with a small engine, you can floor it and hit 100km/hr. That’s as fast as your car will go. But with a bigger engine, you can go faster. Floor it and you’ll hit 160km/hr. Your body is exactly the same. If you spend the time building up your aerobic engine, when it comes time to floor it (on race day), then you have a higher capacity. Don’t underestimate the power of base training! If you think you don’t need this base training stuff, you’re missing the fact that you can make your engine bigger!

Your exact race training program will vary based on your own goals, pace and time available and you’ll definitely find Mike’s race training plans an amazing resource. No matter what pace you’re training at, aim to grab an extra hour of sleep for every hour you train – your body needs it. 

What if you don’t have race goals? Can you just base train all year long? Yup, sure thing. It’ll keep you healthy. Might be boring, though. We’ve warned you.

Why is base training so effective in building your aerobic capacity? You have to teach your body to be an efficient running machine. When you exercise aerobically, you build your capillaries, make your muscles more efficient and make your heart stronger as well. And when your heart is stronger, it pushes blood around more effectively. All of these efficiencies are crucial for a fit body. We see a lot of beginners training for a 5k and they think it’s all huffing and puffing, but it shouldn’t be. At least, not if you do your base training!

We’ve only scratching the surface. If you want to learn more about mitochondria, perceived exertion, heart rate monitors and the oh-so-important cool down, you’re just going to have to listen to the whole podcast episode. It’s jam packed full of deep-dives that we just couldn’t fit into a blog post.

And if this kind of thing is your jam, you’ll want to sign up for our newsletter. We keep up on all the latest running trends and break it down for you, nice and digestible. You’ll love it.

What You Will Learn

  • What base training exactly is.
  • How to build volume properly
  • Why does base training help
  • What being aerobic is vs anaerobica
  • When to use it
  • What pace is the right pace for base training
  • And so much more!

Episode Highlights and Timestamps

[02:45] Going back to August: Mike’s favorite training sessions

[06:22] Running with a goal

[08:30] What’s base training?

[09:44] Doing meaningful training as endurance athletes

[15:06] Why you should not discount the aerobic base stage

[17:43] Base training and oxygen uses

[19:38] The benefits of mitochondria and capillary development

[23:54] Calculating your maximum heart rate

[27:11] The five-zone heartbeat models to train in

[29:57] Base training plus strength and conditioning

[37:20] Cooldown: Pace or perceived exertion?

[39:48] Novice runners mistakes when running

[43:49] Doing body checks when running

Notable Quotables

Question Of The Episode

“In a race your heart rate monitor breaks, what would you use: Pace or perceived effort?”



This episode is brought to you by NRG – Coaching which is Mike Trees’ coaching service. Mike coaches beginners to pros and all levels in between.

No one is too fast and no one too slow. They just want a desire to learn and improve.

They focus on 1,500m to marathon running and triathlon training.

NRG Coaching is constantly overbooked, so Instagram and this new podcast venture, gives Mike and the rest of his NRG coaching team a way to reach out to more people.

Contact mike and his team NRG-COACHING.com for more info


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Original Music Used Here

Full Transcript Below (or download pdf here)


Darren  0:04  

Imagine you want to bake the world’s best cake base training is like making the sponge cake possible. speedwork is the icing on the cake, and too much I think will spoil it. Not enough and it’s not so tasty, but in the right balance, you have a perfect and delicious cake. And this podcast will tell you everything you need to know about base training, and why it’s so important to making you an insurance monster. To find out keep listening on to this episode of Trees and D Lake.

Darren  0:43  

what is up Welcome to Trees and D like a podcast series by my Trees and yours truly Darren DLake Creates. In this series, our goal is to educate and entertain smart and committed runners a bit more than that from Mike Trees.

Mike  0:55  

And the aim of this podcast is to give in a light hearted amusing and entertaining way hints and tips to help your run better and enjoy your sporting life more. So let’s see how we can go with that.

Darren  1:08  

Mike’s being pretty modest. He has over 50 years of running and doing triathlons under his belt. And if you’re wondering about me, I’ve been in the endurance sport game for about 25 years now done a sub three hour marathon and completed an Ironman Triathlon in 10 hours. We appreciate all the help and support that we can get. So if you can please share this episode to someone that you know that would like this. Oh, quick language warning. In some rare instances, we might use some bad words. So apologies in advance for that. Base training might sound boring, but it’s so far from that. This is the literal foundation for everything from 400 meter sprinting to crazy endurance events like ultra marathons and Ironman triathlons. Without a base, you literally can’t do anything. What you’ll lear   n in this episode, what base training exactly is how to build volume properly. Why does base training actually help you what being aerobic is versus anaerobic when to use base training? What pace is the right pace when you’re doing base training, and so much more. So here’s what to expect. In this episode. We’ll start off with a quick warm up to see where we’re at in our current training. Then we’ll get into the main set of the episode, which is everything you need to know about base training. And we’ll end it all with our episode question in a race, which would you rather pace for perceived exertion? Enough for me, let’s get into the conversation with Mike.

A ride arrived we’re gonna start this episode off a bit different. We always usually talk about what we’re doing training wise. But let’s go back a bit to August. Let’s be optimistic. Let’s start off on a good note. What was your favorite trading session of August?

Mike  2:51  

Well, always in Japan is super hot. You wake up in the morning, it’s 30 degrees, and the temperature just goes up from there. So my my best sessions are getting up at 4am out the door and starting training by 5am. Before it gets hot, there’s no one around it could be a run it could be a bike ride. I can’t swim that early because I’m going to get to the ocean but it’s nice just getting out when the whole world is dead watching the birds waking up. Still super hard, but any kind of movement that time of day is great. The only downside is Yep, I’ve got to go to bed at eight o’clock at night to get the sleeping. So my I jokingly say on an evening my daughter reads to me, then my young daughter she reads to me then she tucks me in and I go to bed the other way around so people are waiting for you say she reads to me that I took her in and she goes to bed but yeah, no she reads to me then she texts me I go to bed and she goes and watches Telly with mommy again again getting up early any any early training session I love training early mornings in August before the world wakes up. What about you

Darren  4:03  

love it love it me August here in Sydney Australia is the coldest month of the of the year lots of seven degree six degrees Celsius mornings which is what about 40 degrees Fahrenheit for your Americans got to keep keep converting because obviously I’m American and I know we’ve got some American listeners but yeah, it’s a great time to be running it’s great temperature to be running and bit dark and humid. The human cold is a bit it’s a bit cold for me and uncomfortable. But I did a 30k run and that was an amazing amazing run 30 days into our 15 and it was a it was my longest run of the block. And I know I know you say not to run that long you know I go a bit against you I have okay this is I like to work on my strengths in the sorry I like to work on my weaknesses in the offseason and work with my strengths you know during the competition Race build. So my whole thing is is 5k. And I can use a lot of my fast twitch muscles, shorter intervals to get there. But you know, I want to go I like running easy, I like that that steady pace I was able to do to hold about a 14 for 15 pace for the majority of it. And yeah, it was I rarely run for distance. But I said in two hours, 15 minutes, I’m gonna do 30 Ks. And it was just, it was just perfect. It was a great morning, it was a bit windy, but somehow was protected from the wind, Sunny, so I felt warm, I got some great photos, it was just one of those, like, I plan that I plan that for two weeks, and everything worked out and I just you know, I got it all on Strava. And I got to do a lot of posts on it. And it felt good, it felt like I completed something huge. And that was the tip of my aerobic fitness and and I usually take that aerobic fitness with me and go into my competition six week build after that, that did not happen as if you’ve been listening, I kind of ran into a lot of things. But um, but it was nice to get there. I haven’t gotten you know that much me and funnily enough, like, I’m really on my way to marathon training with all that and you know, definitely half marathon specific type stuff, but moving into more marathon specific training is going to be much easier than if I never did this big aerobic base building blocks, um, you know, leading up to so I’m looking forward to marathons in the next few years and doing 30 35k runs.

Mike  6:23  

Anyway, I just need to correct you. So I don’t say that running 30k is wrong or against it. It depends on what the goal is. So this is what I I get lots of questions, people saying how far should I run? How fast should I run? What should I do? And he said, define your goal. If your goal is to run 30k, every Sunday, that’s what makes you happy, then only 30k is good. If, if your goal is to to run fast, or to eat ice cream every day, you need to decide what you want to achieve what the outcome is, so that nothing is wrong. So when people say Oh my You shouldn’t be telling everyone to change their running form. No, I don’t tell anyone to change the running form is all I’m saying is when people come to me saying I’m trying to run forefoot What can I do? And I can give them tips to help them because they want to change. So what I do is I try and help people achieve what they want to achieve. I don’t go out and say, oh, you know, unless I see something that really biomechanically wrong, I tend to just, you know, go with the flow. And so yeah, so that if you like doing a 30k run, and that gets the endorphins and makes you feel happy and good, who might say it’s wrong, you know. So it depends on what the goal is what the objective is.

Darren  7:35  

Warm up complete. So fittingly enough, and I actually did not plan this. It just seems to happen every time. This episode is actually about base training and anaerobic base training. And I know you just did a PDF training guide for base training, which I was super excited about when you put it out. It’s an amazing guide. So we’re going to get onto that into the episode. Cool. So this episode is everything you need to know about base training. And Mike Trees and I are big proponents of base training, I’d say I’d say most coaches in the last 2030 years are big proponents of base training. But so many new runners that that get into the game, they really think you can sprint your way to you know, sprint train your way to a 5k You know, or whatever it is they think that running needs to be hard and you be huffy puffy base training. While simple, it can be complex. So let’s jump into the complexities or the simplicity of it. Like we always like to make things simple. I know you have analogies to make it a bit easier to understand. Let’s start off give me the general what is base training,

Mike  8:43  

I need to take it a step further back. I’ve tried to simplify training into some easy levels, because there’s so many newbie runners that get into it. And as you say, they run too hard. Or they misunderstand it, they say, Oh, I can do a 5k I’m trying to get to do a marathon. Well, it’s not just about completing a marathon. It’s about completing it at the right pace, being strong enough to get through and running the 5k at a target pace. So there’s there’s different kinds of races, different distances, but basically anything over 1500 meters is more aerobically based than not. So 800 is the bottom line where you’re doing more anaerobic work than aerobic. So we’re talking about endurance sports.

Darren  9:28  

So I just want to make it clear. 800 meter on the track, right, so two

Mike  9:32  

laps off. Yeah, two laps. That shock. That’s half a mile.

Darren  9:35  

Yeah, half a mile. 1500 is 100 meters. So shorter than a mile

Mike  9:40  

a mile. Yeah, yeah, metric mile. And so for the people listening here, we’re endurance athletes. So we need a big engine, a big aerobic engine. So I’ve realized that to get it simple and to get it simply across so that people can get training and and do some meaningful training without getting too complex. Let’s split the training into two kinds. Base training, which is an aerobic base training, and preparation for races. So the ideal, and these are not my ideas, I’ve cobbled together these ideas from a lot cleverer people than me. I’m just looking at the science and the research and trying to simplify it a little bit while adhering to scientific principles. So the aerobic training, the base training is aerobic training, it’s designed to make your engine bigger. And if we can do that for as long as possible. That’s the ideal. So if you can do it for six months, that’s better than four months, three months is still better than two months, I would say 10 weeks is about the minimum time you should devote to a base training plan. I like to work around about 12 to 16 weeks if I can. But it’s not always practical, because people races well,

Darren  10:53  

when would you implement it? So let’s say because you obviously, and not to derail this because I think it’s very important to know when to do a big base training block, because you can do base training throughout the seas, you could do a week basin, you could do six weeks. So why wouldn’t you do it based on your a race? So if Ironman you’re a race, right, right, now, when would you do the 16 week base block.

Mike  11:16  

So with something as big as Ironman, I take it a year back. So I’ll start a year previously, and I’ll be spending six months for Ironman in base training in aerobic training mode. And all I’m doing is focusing on becoming aerobic li efficient, you know, building the the aerobic engine, and yet people started calling me an aerobic monster I, you know, I’m nearly 60, I can go out and run for 30 pays per kilometer. And my heart rate is around about 105 to 110. So I have a big big engine, I’m very efficient, I got a lot of mitochondria, the capillaries development is good, the blood flow is good, it gets the muscles efficiently. And all this is developed through my aerobic training. And then what you need to do as well just to understand the basic training a little bit more as you then get race specific work. So I’ve developed plans as well for runners that that actually target their specific races. But it doesn’t matter what distance you do 1500 meters, the metric mile, whether you’re doing five kilometers, 10 kg half marathon based training the same for us all, we can all do the same base training, build up the aerobic engine. And then when we do the race specific work, we then focus on running specific sessions to get used to the 5k speed the lactic or developing a 5k. Or you’ll do some intervals with a longer slower pace for the marathon because you need to be more efficient, longer slower running and you need to be better at fat burning for the marathon and more efficient. So the training after base training separates. So what I do is my the way I coach is everyone does the same training, whether running a marathon or a 1500 in base. And once they’ve done the base training, they then split into blocks. So for a marathon, it might be a 16 week block to get ready for a marathon or a 5k probably eight to 10 weeks no more than that. And so that’s how it works. So just to recap it, we do training specifically designed to make the aerobic engine bigger in base training.

Darren  13:22  

The biggest thing that I’ve I’ve found out is any type of running you do I mean even 100 meter and not too many people running the 100 meters you know, there’s no 100 meter Park run yet. So, you know, there probably will be in the next 2030 years. But everything requires some sort of a base and you know, you get the most benefits out of your race specific training, if you have the aerobic base so a lot of people want and I was when I first got into into a proper endurance sports, I did my first triathlon I’ve you know downloaded do athalon training plan off of the off of the internet. And it had a eight week base block and I said oh, I’m fit this is 10 years, I don’t need that let me jump straight into week nine. And then you know I did the math on and I was like that wasn’t really you know, wasn’t really that fast. Then I went down the rabbit hole of Maffetone in his hole, do a whole lot of aerobic stuff where I ended up finding out that I did too much of aerobic and not enough race specific work but um yeah, I went you know, I went to the extreme on that in anaerobic base and I learned a lot about myself in that base base is fun, I really like aerobic base like I found out that it’s it’s almost like spiritual in a way and it’s Zen you know the that steady when you get to that that aerobic building I call it steady or high Z to heart rate. Where no lactate is building up and you’re just you know, you get efficient enough to me years to get to the point where my z two is fast like I could actually where I’m like, Oh, I’m actually moving here but my heart rate is low. That’s some next level shit and I I felt like I felt kind of like a pro motion to feel like a pro. I never became a pro like you but what was trying to feel like a pro and I’m like, Yeah, low heart rate. Running fast, you know, this is great. So, so yeah, don’t don’t don’t just discount the aerobic base stage.

Mike  15:06  

Okay, let me just nail it for you that why they need to do it, imagine you have a car, and you’ve got a little in Europe, we drive fits your little fit, and it’s a one liter engine, and you put your foot down and Revit, it can go will say 100 kilometers an hour. That’s it. Now, if you do aerobic training, you start off with an engine that’s a liter big, and you get it up to three liters in size. And then you drive this and then you put it in that little fear. And it’s now a three liter engine or a one liter engine, you put your foot down, it doesn’t go to 100 kilometers an hour, it shoots all the way up to 160 170 kilometers an hour. And then once you’ve got that engine at three liters going under 60 kilometers an hour, and you say, Ah, now I’ve done like aerobic training to make the engine big. Now I’m going to add a turbo on. So what a turbo does to car engine is it makes it more efficient, it doubles the power output. So a three liter engine really becomes a six liter engine because it’s in the turbo. Now this is the race specific work where you buffer the lactate that builds up and allows you to go faster before fatiguing. But you can’t maintain this because we all know a turbo engine doesn’t last very long. So we can’t maintain it for a long time. So you only need a little bit of this lactic speed with this very specific work to double the size of the engine for a short period of time. But it’s a short term benefit. But the car suddenly goes from a little one liter engine doing 100 ks an hour to a six liter engine equivalent of doing 250 ks an hour. So you can see that we add the base on we make the engine bigger. And then we put a turbo onto the engine with the race specific work. And that’s where we we really get the whole thing put together and race well. So those guys that say, Hey, I’m fit, I don’t need this base stuff, I’m already got a good base, you’re missing the the fact that you can make your engine bigger. And those guys that just do base all year round, sort of well, I don’t really know. Maffetone says base base base? Well, he does. But he does have a little bit of speed work in there as well. If you’re looking at the details, you know, people that do too much base, they make the engine bigger, but they don’t know how to handle it, they don’t really tune the engine properly, and take it to the levels that it could be raced that. So you need both you need both the base training and the race specific work. Now for healthy living. If I was to pick one and say, Well, I don’t race, I just want to be a healthy guy and live a long time and enjoy quality of life based training all year round. Forget the other stuff. You don’t need it. Just enjoying life just enjoying your sport and being strong and healthy. You could live on base training all year round. But you might get a little bit bored. Yeah, yeah.

Darren  17:43  

Let’s let’s go back a bit. And why does it help because let’s go into a bit of the exercise science on this. We won’t we won’t get too complex because of the podcast. We don’t have the visuals. We might have some some video as a component here, but I’m mainly gonna be a podcast. Talk to me about you know, oxygen uses and all that type of stuff.

Mike  18:04  

Well, I think I’ll do the same but with base training and with the aerobic output. ad break.

Darren  18:16  

This episode is brought to you by energy coaching, which is my Trees coaching service. Mike and his team of coaches work with beginners to pros and all levels in between. No one is too fast and no one is too slow. They just want a desire to learn and improve. They focus on 1500 meter races to marathon running and triathlon training. Energy coaching is constantly overbooked. So Instagram and this new podcast venture Trees and D Lake gives Mike and the rest of his energy coaching team a way to reach out to more people and help them contact Mike and his team at the letters mrg-coaching.com Or go to the link in the show notes.

And back to the show. Talk to me about you know oxygen uses and all that type of stuff.

Mike  19:05  

Well, I execute things relatively simple with base training and with the aerobic output. All we’re doing is working in an area that is training you using oxygen to find the muscle so there’s no lactic building up. There’s there’s no byproducts and we’re using fats for fuel generally and this is a nice clean way of burning energy. And doing this, research has shown that you will develop more mitochondria which which help get the oxygen to the muscles and the capillary development improves.

Darren  19:38  

I finally found out in your exercise scientist you probably know this but I finally I kept hearing mitochondria kept hearing about the capillaries didn’t know that I know mitochondria is the powerhouse of cells, the powerhouse of cells as everyone learned in probably fifth grade science, biology. But what happens is and you could probably help with this analogy, but better is You have to so if you think about a hose your blood, think about your veins and your blood arteries or whatever it is that that the bloods going through your bloods delivering the oxygen to the muscles, okay? And you are trying to make, what is it like you’re trying to you’re creating. So let’s say when you’re out of shape, you have really big bubbles that connect that and those are the, that’s the capillaries of the mitochondria, you’re trying to make mult more of them. So it’s the same, obviously, you’re not making your veins bigger, you’re not making your your arteries bigger, you’re just creating the connections. 

Mike  20:35  

Imagine, in in England, we have like A road, B road, C to little c Road, which is a little country road that’s very narrow and very slow. And you get from A to B along it quite happily. But if you build a motorway, or you go on the freeway, it’s like a superhighway. So by getting the the mitochondria and the capillary development, maximize, you’re building these super highways, so that the blood can zoom along them pretty efficiently and get to the muscles more efficiently rather than going on these little by roads. So it’s helping you get the oxygen and the fuel rich nutrients to the muscles much quicker and more efficiently. At the same heart rate. That’s the main thing so that your heart isn’t actually stressed anymore. So we’re keeping a nice low heart rate. But it’s super efficient, because the heart becomes bigger and stronger as well. So it can pump more blood volume needs to go. So every time the heart gets bigger and stronger, you have a much better capillary development. And each pump pushes more blood around the body. So it works more efficiently. So that’s why, for example, I have a heart rate, you know, very low heart rate when I’m running. But to get this what people miss is it’s consistency. I’ve been running 50 years. And I keep telling everyone that I started when I’m nine, I’m 59 now, and I’ve been consistently aerobically training for 50 years. And yes, I can categorically say that over that period of time, my working heart rate has got lower and lower at the same pace. So the first time I got a heart rate monitor was actually in my 30s. Because I think that’s about the first time they came out. And I used to monitor my heart like easy runs, I would run it around about 120-125 beats per minute, for about five minutes per km. That’s the pace. Now if I run out and take a nice, slow, easy for me, that is at five minutes per kg. My heart rate now is around about 105. So it’s come down possibly 20 beats over 30 years, almost a beat a year. Consistency, I mean that the thing is, you know, where I’m at is my heart good actually stop isn’t gonna do like one beat a minute. Yeah, there comes a point of diminishing returns and old age and hardening in the arteries and lots of other factors all take their place. But yes, I’ve shown and can categorically say that it’s a code that your heart rate will consistently come down over time, if you keep working at aerobic training, but it’s consistency over time getting injured, you spend six weeks training, you get injured, you’re out for six weeks, you’re back to square one, it takes you six weeks to get back to where you were. So it’s how can you consistently train without having unplanned breaks over a long period of time. And that’s how you’ll develop a good aerobic engine.

Darren  23:26  

Sorry, totally derailed it. My apologies. I just wanted to clear up the whole mitochondria versus capillaries. Because we hear this and if you’re not science based, you don’t understand biology. It is confusing. And it’s just those two phrases. Get there, they might be said a bit more. You might hopefully we don’t we don’t talk about them anymore. But it’s just more you need to understand that in the context of all that. So yeah, back to back to the oxygen use and how we process that and the metabolism.

Mike  23:54  

So yeah, so basically, that’s what all we’re trying to do is we’re just trying to through the training, keeping it simple, is by running at the correct pace, we’ll develop this aerobic capacity, the best and Maffetone Dr. Maffetone, actually, you know, was one of the first guys to do actually, specifically talk about this with his math theory, you know, 180, you know, minus your age, he found out through through experiments and testing seemed to be about the right pace to run up to develop this aerobic maximum aerobic function, as he called it, so masks down to maximum aerobic function. And he did the test on young guys. And so it tends to be more efficient with younger people. And over time, they have corrected it a little bit. But my theory says 180 minus your age. So if I’m 51 at minus 50, my maximum aerobic heart rate would be about 130. So he’d say get out there and do lots of running. Don’t exceed 130 beats per minute. And it don’t don’t use that as your average he says Don’t exceed that. But we find that in hot climates, it doesn’t quite work. And some people have a very high heart rate, it doesn’t work. Some people have very low heart rates. And what I did, I looked at this and my runners, and now that I’m on Instagram, and I’ve got so many followers, and it’s easier for me to calibrate, you know, I’ll put a post asking a question on my story. I’m getting like, you know, 8000 replies and responses. So it’s it, I’m getting a lot of data. And I’m finding out that as people are messaging me that, if you know, your maximum heart rate, it seems to be a little bit more efficient to use maximum heart rate minus 40 is basically modeled on math theory. So it’s not, I’m not a genius, or rocket science, math Maffetone. Dr. Maffetone is the genius that’s come up with the idea. But I found that if people actually know their maximum heart rate and a lot of people do these days, then the theory fits a little bit better. So my idea is I’m at individual, maximum aerobic training heart rates, is maximum heart rate minus 40. So my maximum heart rate is actually 170. And then 170 minus 40, would give me 130. According to my theory, I’d be around about 121. So there’s not a lot of difference. And it shows they’re both in the same ballpark. But for some people who have a really high heart rate, this could be more efficient. So I’m not saying one is better than the other. But it helps you play around some people don’t want to go out and find out the maximum heart rate because I get questions, how do I know my maximum heart rate, and I said, Well, you’ve just got to go out, run about 3000 meters and make sure the last 400 meters if possible, uphill, and you are actually pushing it, when you can’t go any further run another 100 meters. check with a doctor that it’s safe to do so painful, that sounds dangerous, literally run until you can’t go anymore. That’s how you find out how hard your heart works. And a lot of newbie runners don’t want to do that. So they’re happy to take math theory, a lot of serious guys who really wanted to push it happier to find out their maximum heart rate, and test it push themselves to the limit and use that. So there are different methods to work out. And then Paul, it is designed back in the 90s, that the five zone model becomes standard these days. And it was pretty much Polar heart rate monitors that did the early work. And you have zone 1234 And five. And that’s another example that you put in your theoretical maximum heart rate to 20 minus your age into the model, and then you work zones out, I’m assuming that people listening this podcast have come to us through, you know, my Instagram page and have a little bit of understanding of the five zone model. Because to keep explaining everything right back to the basics, we’ll be here forever. But if you don’t know anything about the five zone heartbeat training model, just Google it, there’s so much information. But that’s another way of checking in. And by the five zone model, you want to be training in Zone One and two. And really polar actually had you up to zone three on their module. But recently, a lot of scientists are saying, well, zone three is a gray zone, it’s probably a little bit too fast for aerobic training, and not really fast enough for anaerobic economy training. So seven, three is become what’s known as the the gray zone these days we don’t talk about as much.

Darren  28:21  

Let’s not go that far, because we actually, we might talk about the great we might talk about the gray zone as it’s known. We know we can talk about the gray zone because I am obsessed with the gray zone, we could talk about the gray zone on another podcast, let’s kind of let’s bring it back to the base training. Obviously we now we now know what’s what’s not based training

Mike  28:38  

to make it easier. So base training in in the plans for people that I’m giving. So I’ve thought what do we need, we need a lot of aerobic training so well over 80% match this general sort of coined it really made it same as you’ve been around for a while, but he sort of coined it the 8020 rule that it seems to work in everything in economics in life that in the way you eat, you know, eat healthy 80% of the time, it’s okay to have junk food 20% of the time you train in the aerobic zone 80% of the time, it’s okay to go a little bit over 20% of the time. So the thing so in my base training zone, we’re doing at least 80% of the work at nice, easy aerobic paces. Zone one, zone two as people might say, or maximum aerobic heart rate the MUFE or IMAT pace. So nice and easy, it should feel easy. You should be able to talk if you want to talk and you should be able to breathe through your nose if you want to. I’m not saying to breathe through your nose, eyebrow through my mouth all the time, but you should be able to get enough oxygen through the nostrils quite happily. So it’s a very easy pace. If you’re grading yourself out of one and 10 and 10 being absolute maximum can’t go any harder. And one being sort of walking very slowly. It’s a three out of 10 so it’s a nice easy pace to work out. Then just doing that I think is a little bit too simple. We need A little bit of strength and conditioning. So in my base training, I like to put a little bit of strength and conditioning, because running is very bad at building up muscles and muscle mass. So we need some strength and conditioning, some core works and gym work to build the legs and strengthen the legs. So I put a little bit of strength and conditioning in, then we need another big word neuro muscular activation, which people hear a lot, it really means a little bit of sprinting. That’s all we’re doing. We’re getting the legs to work quicker, we’re just trying to activate the fast twitch muscles as well. In our legs, we have fast twitch, and this is very simple, fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers. And the slow twitch muscle fibers are the ones that basically carry us a long way doing the long, slow aerobic running. And the fast twitch muscles are the ones that are good for sprinters. But even as long distance runners, we still need to maximize our fast twitch muscles as well. So we do a little bit of strides and easy work for very short distances, probably only 10 seconds of striding long rests just to keep that going. So that’s a simple plan would be lots of easy aerobic work, interspersed with a little bit strengthen conditioning, a few strides with stretching, and once in a while, three to 5k run because it never does anyone any harm. It’s perfect. VO two Max work, it develops your maximum capacity, the top end work, and then you’ve got a nice rounded base training plan. As I would see it very simply put, and getting on to sales talk, if people think stocked far too quickly and didn’t understand it all I have put together a basic trading plan, and the links in my bio in my Instagram page, and also the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee. So super cheap. And it’s a 30 page document with photographs, tips, and all sorts. And it’s a it’s a training system that will guide you through basic training. So it will cover everything I’ve just said now, but in more detail and simpler and easier to understand.

Darren  32:02  

All right, go out and get it go out and get it that’s a that’s a direct a direct action and call to action. Yes, call to action because this is something that actually funnily enough, you find it in all training plans, but you don’t, you don’t see just a devoted but I have yet to see a devoted base aerobic training plan. People talk about doing base but I’m really grateful thank you, Mike for you and your team of coaches for putting this together. Because I feel like this is gonna be a game changer for a lot of a lot of amateur runners and and you know, sub elite people who are trying to be somebody like myself,

Mike  32:38  

can I decide one interesting fact with with base, and we split it into two groups base training and race training. And what we’re separated is in base, you run to time. So you pick a level based on how much time you can devote to training, not on how fast you’re going. And the system will pick your heart rate your your work with the system, and train at the correct heart rate for you. But it’s all individualized around your own heart rate your own paces. And based around the time you can devote to training, bearing in mind that for every hour that you do extra training, I want you to do an extra hour of sleep. So you need to think how much time you can devote to the training. And it’s based around time and heart rates. Whereas race training, this is a different concept. And this is where people say, oh my you contradict yourself. But now you’re talking about racing a specific speeds and paces and you’re not mentioning heart rate? Well, no, I’m not contradicting myself. I’m saying the aerobic development, the heart does not know how fast you’re running. It’s just how hard it’s working. When you’re a training for a race, you have to hold a specific pace. And to be quite blunt, I don’t care what the heart rate does. If you can’t hold the target heart and the pace that you want for a race. It doesn’t matter whether the heart rates 110 150, it doesn’t matter. So in the race plans, we actually work more about a you know, running at higher paces and holding target paces so we can actually run at the pace we’re targeting and getting used to running at race pace. So that’s how we we’ve simply split the categories out and it works quite effectively. And the amount of message I got to people saying wow, it’s opened my eyes open my eyes up. And I’m just getting PBS every race I go. It’s a simple plan. And we’ve managed to get it to the people can understand it now. And as you say you love it. I trained to it. My son shines through it and we sell 1000s of these copies because they’re very cheap and easy, and they’re effective. So that’s that’s how we’ve done it. Base you train on time and heart rate and race training. You pick a specific distance and work mostly still 80% is still easy aerobic running but the 20% hard is all at race pace. It’s the hardest hard and the easiest easy, but you’re under pace mostly on the race plans.

Darren  34:58  

Mean said finished Let’s move into the cooldown. All right, it’s that time at the end of the episode where we call down we’re doing nice, nice static stretching, you know, some mobility stuff right now. And this is the the question. So it’s the questions everyone’s a two way conversation and make sure you message us, Mike is run dot energy, the letters and I am at DLA crates on Instagram, mainly as well we hang out. We’re not on any other thing right now at least we check that very seldomly, or you can email me talk at DLA creates calm, that’s an easy one, with your answer. So the question for today’s episode is, here’s the setup. So your heart rate monitor is broken, right? You’re about to start your heart training session, or your race, and your heart rate monitors just not it’s not connecting. It’s not working your battery’s dead, whatever it is. What do you use to maintain speed that you need to maintain? Would you would you use your pace, or your perceived exertion? And a definition of perceived exertion is how hard it feels? It’s actually that simple. And basically, there’s there’s a lot of scales out there. I think there used to be the the Borg scale, which was one through 13, they actually have condensed

Mike  36:10  

it. It’s what 20 to 20. Another simplified scale is one to 10. So

Darren  36:15  

yeah, and just think of it as one as sitting on the couch doing nothing. And you know, maybe maybe I think one is walking out or no zero sitting on the couch, one is walking, and then a 10 is you’re at the end of the race, you’re about to die, it’s the worst feeling ever you want to stop. That’s a 10. So however you it’s so individual and so subjective, however you feel in the middle, is whatever it is, and it’s a beautiful system, because it actually and a lot of studies have shown that perceived exertion when someone says how do you feel on a scale of one through 10? It actually is usually how hard they’re working. So that was a bit of definition. If you don’t know what procedures Archon is, again, back to the question

Mike  36:54  

as yours actually validate camp medical research, you know, sports sciences, you know, when you’re running on the treadmill, and they’re working your heart rate, they also ask you to pick a number from usually one to 20 on how hard you’re working. So it’s pretty valid. It’s pretty good system.

Darren  37:10  

Yeah, it’s amazing how valid is for something that’s so subjective to what you’re experiencing? Because no one else is experiencing your your, you know, rate of exertion and how much you’re suffering. Alright, anyway, back to the question. heart rate monitors broken? Are you going to use pace or perceived exertion? Mike?

Mike  37:26  

I, this is my whole train of thought with everything. Big one rate of perceived exertion feeling as I call it, so on all my Instagram posts, people that follow me feeling so my view would be if you’re a runner, that’s only been running for less than a year, possibly two years, throw away your heart rate monitor, well, don’t throw it away, put it in a drawer for two years time. Get out there and just run and run on feeling learn how the body feels. There’s too many people that you know, the heart rate set, you know, we’ve got a program in England, it’s like computer says no computer says yes. So it’s like, if their monitor says go quicker, they go quicker. If it’s Oh, I’m running for 20 Oh, it’s gonna run for 30. So they gotta slow down. Well, the GPS isn’t a time lag, it’s gonna be delayed. So you slow down to 430 then all sudden the GPS has caught up, you then slow down even more, you then accelerate you yo yoing up and down. I would say you know, for those kinds of runners, put the heart rate monitor the smartwatch away and just get out and run and then come back and say was that run hard or easy? And if you feel it was hard, it was probably hard. You feel it was easy would probably easy. So when I say go for an easy run, people say well, what’s an easy run? And quite simply, I say, well go out for a run. And if it feels easy, it’s an easy run. And if it feels hard, it’s a hard run. And that’s how we trained when we were kids. My coach would say, Guys, you got an hour’s run. I want it to be pretty hard. So we’d go out pretty hard. And that was it. We get back he say can you another mile? It’s a Yeah. Okay. Another two miles. Yeah. He said you probably about right then. And they come back the next time, do a 40 minute run, make it really hard. We get back and he said okay, you have another mile to do. And we say I’m going to throw up I can’t do another mile just Yep, you probably weren’t the right pace, then. That’s how we run Sunday run. It was a pace of the slowest runner. So it wasn’t the pace of the quickest runner. It was the easiest pace that the slowest Runner was doing. So the quickest runners were were going very slowly, but we knew we were developing it and science has now proved that, you know, this maximum aerobic function is developed by running at a nice slow, easy pace. So yeah, if the heart rate monitor is broken, I’ve got no problems and just running on feeling and enjoying it and just getting out and enjoying the running. So sorry, I got a bit of a rant on that one. But I just think that too many novice runners just run to technology and don’t understand the technology. They don’t understand the science and they don’t get a feel for how they’re running, I just want them to run and enjoy the running and understand how their bodies moving naturally. That’s all I want. And that’s how I get on to a big round on to feeling, though, I got no problems with heartrate monitors breaking.

Darren  40:14  

That was a very, very coach response of, you know, having many athletes, and I’m gonna be a bit bit of a devil’s advocate on this one, usually we agree. But we have different wise, I’d say a mixture of both if I come to this race, and you know, it’s a race I’ve been training for, I know what pace I should be doing. So I you know, on a flat course, hopefully, I’ve been training what that course is, I shouldn’t be training flat if it’s a hilly course. So I would say, I’d say a gentle balance of both. And definitely, if I’m trying to, to get a best time, which right now I am in the 5k I want to be peaking at the pace, I want to be going like, you know, for race, funnily enough, ironically enough, I don’t care about heart rate on a race. It’s more like, you know, like, I’m just like, are Am I hitting the time? Do I have enough my reserve to, you know, go a little bit slower, a little faster. But um, I’d say, you know,

Mike  41:06  

I’m gonna jump in there. Yeah, but I absolutely agree with you. I don’t give a monkey’s about the heartbreak in a race. Because if you can maintain a higher heart rate than you think it should, and you’re just maintaining your pace, we’ll go for it. I don’t care what your heart rates doing, if you can maintain the pace. So for that’s why pace training is done to pace but I agree on that one. Yeah, totally. Yeah. Not the heart rate in the race.

Darren  41:30  

Oh, yeah. I’m on hard hard workouts in heart and races. Heart rate is an afterthought. It’s more like, Oh, my heart rate got that high. Interesting. You know, I felt this way. Yes. So yeah, it’s I call it the the another car analogy, I call it the oil temp gauge. Were back in the day cars had oil temperature. And I cared about that because I was a car guy and I wanted to make sure my oil temperature to get too high. Nowadays, no one gives a shit about oil temperature. It’s like coolant temperature, you wanna make sure you caught an overheat, but oil temperature, so it’s more of a oh, that’s what that thing’s doing. Cool. I’m making note of it. I’m not going to do any, you know, hardcore adjustments right now. Because everything feels good. So that’s, that’s my quick and easy answer to it all. If I had to pick one, it definitely a perceived exertion. Depending on on a lot of things. If it’s a humid day, and I’m a bit tired. The procedure sessions gonna be a bit harder and and I might be able, I might be able to pick up the pace a bit, depending on a lot of things and you know, go like, Oh, wow, it feels like I’m doing four minute paces, but I’m actually doing 415. And I might some days I’m I’m able to shift into another gear, dig a bit deeper, and bring out another another pace of faster pace, because of other things happening. That that’s not the case all the time. I’m not going to make this overly complicated. But I’m always how you feel. And the more you run, like Mike was saying, the more I’ve found that I’ve run, the more years I get under my belt, not weeks, not months to years, the more I know that this pace feels like this, I feel like this, I’ve got more in my tank, I can do this. And that kind of like self talk really helps in races in particular, because I’m like, I’ve got more in my tank, and I remember my 5k That was my best time. The whole time. I kept going, okay, I’d get the you know, one camp split, I’d be like, boom, okay, that was a bit fast, but I feel good. Alright, hold this, oh, that was a bit slow. I feel good speed it up. And that kind of like self talk was really new. I’d never had that before it was a road race. So there was undulating kind of up and down rolling hills, there was some 180 degree turns. So it wasn’t like on a track where you can hold a steady pace. There was a lot of weirdness happening there was headwinds and stuff. And I was able to to do this dance between exertion effort and pace and know where everything was, I don’t even think I looked at my heart rate. I think it would have freaked out if I saw my heart rate, or whatever, like, oh my god, it’s that high for that low.

Mike  43:49  

Okay, I’m gonna tell you something here. I’ve not really mentioned this. Not deliberately not tell people but 75k. I will do mental checks around the 5k. I’ll start off, and I’ll just have a quick glance down at the watch. And now think, okay, how is the breathing? Now it’s under control. I can hold this breathing. How are the legs? The cadence is a bit slow. Okay. Why is the cadence actually my ground contact times a bit bit long. I’ll speed the ground contact time up. Okay, that’s good. Now I need to strengthen my stride a little bit. Okay to do that, I need to drive the arms a little bit more to drive that. Oh, I’m now tensing my shoulders. I need to relax my shoulders. I need to look down I’m not looking down properly. I need to look down a little bit more. Okay, I’m not leaning forward enough. It’s a bit windy I need the whole 5k will go with me just talking to myself doing these mental checks. And I become so good at them. I’m just constantly just doing mental checks. And if I can find someone tagging off the back of the the best thing is okay, someone’s running at my target pace. I’m just jumped in behind them. I’ll then do mental checks. Okay, how can I relax more? So I’m just trying not to fall off the back of them. I’m not looking to watch at the heart rate or anything. I’m just looking mental checks. Can I shorten the stride a little bit or that feels a little bit easier, slightly shorter still. I can sit in behind the with the shortest dry, that’s like keep the cadence high, keep relaxing. So what runners I think need to do is, you’ll find a lot of elite guys do this, they need to learn to talk to themselves as they’re running, just to keep themselves relaxed and keep focusing. And I write a lot about good form and how to do it and just keep checking it. They’re relaxing, they’re fluid. Are they are they struggling? And seriously thinking themselves? Actually, this breathing is quite hard. Can I seriously keep this breathing rate up for the next 5k? Probably not. Okay, I’m gonna knock it down a tad, Can I keep this pace up? probably can. That’s how I get through a race. And it’s very rare that I look down, I might look down in a marathon because I’m getting bored. So we’re only 21 Chase, heart rate 150. That’s quite high. Oh, well, keep on rolling. I mean, I don’t actually adjust anything because the heart rate I’m just sort of thinking, Oh, that’s, that’s up today probably a bit hotter, maybe dehydrated. In some people do need it they not as in tune with the body. I’m not saying to ignore it totally. If you’re not that in tune, and to help you get into and you can use the heart rate to help you get in tune with the body. But the ultimate is to run without needing the heart rate and just have the date the feeling of the body. And it’s good to know the pace, you know, even if it’s old school when you just run each kilometer and you go past the kilometer mark and just look at time on the watch to check you on target with the pace. But yeah, talk to yourself when you run. That’s my advice.

Darren  46:57  

Is the health and fitness internet too much sometimes, too many conflicting articles and videos that confuse you on how to train a deep right. Or you don’t have time to just read and watch everything about I don’t know the new trends on carb cycling for trail running. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of all that for you. Sign up for our free email newsletter three thing Thursday. We’ll put three perfectly curated and created things in your inbox for better living and training. Go to dlakecreates.com/ttt. We do the hard time consuming work and scour the health and fitness internet’s deepest and darkest corners. This is so that every Thursday you have a piping hot new email with the latest and coolest tips, tricks, tools, tactics and skills. Also that you can train and live consistently to do dope shit in your next endurance event. If you sign up now, you can receive my quick guide on how to get healthy, stay fit and use data to create habits that last a lifetime that dlakecreates.com/ttt to be inspired and motivated on the regular. time time is a resource no one can make more of. So we appreciate you taking precious time out of your day to listen this far. Our goal is to show the world how to live better the running, cycling and triathlon. The episode and many others have a transcription go to the show notes description to find out more. This was produced in Sydney, Australia. And I’d like to acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora nation who are the traditional custodians of this land. I pay my respects to the elders past, present and future. I recognize that continuing connections to the land, waters and culture, these lands were stolen and sovereignty was never ceded. If you liked this episode, again, we’d highly appreciate if you go on whatever app you listen to, and make sure to follow. Dlake Creates Podcast. We’re on Spotify, Apple podcast, Google podcast, Amazon, a cast and a bunch of others. And if you’re feeling real loose a rating review or share of this episode to anyone you know that would be into something like this would be amazing. If you have any questions concerns, suggestions for the episode or hell you want to be on the show? Hit us up. The best way is to email talk talk@DLakecreates.com. We’re also on the socials mainly Instagram, you can hit up Mike Trees at the letters run.nrg or you can hit me up on Instagram at DLake creates.com Or just wherever you can find us. It’s fine. If you need any transcripts, you’re into podcasting or let’s say you just are big into accessibility. Please use the company that we use speech docs. You can check them out at speechdocs.com Don’t worry if you didn’t get all that there’s a link in the show notes description. Thank you again so much for listening. Peace.