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The base phase, typically 12 weeks in duration, is considered the most trainable and important facet of the entire race preparation (far more than speed workouts).

The purpose of the base phase in running is two-fold:

* To build your aerobic fitness (i.e., your endurance/stamina) via regular low-to-moderate intensity long runs, progressively increasing mileage; and.

* To prepare the athlete for more intensive, race-specific training later in the training cycle (i.e., hill training, speed development and race tuning).

What are the body’s physiological adaptations during this phase?

Aerobic training produces muscular adaptations that create denser capillary networks to deliver oxygenated blood to the muscles, reduces the rate of lactate formation, increases energy production and utilization, and teaches our body to use fat as a primary fuel source. This process also enhances and allows for denser mitochondria (inside your cells) to develop greater energy during exercise.

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