50K Training Plans (Read 483 times)

    Just got picked in a lottery today to run my first 50K in March.  Does anybody know of any good training plans for a 50k.  I've followed Pfitzinger's 18/55 plan for my last two marathons and my initial thought for the 50K was to follow this, but add some more mileage to my long run day.  Also, I thought I'd drop the VO2 Max workouts and just do some occasional tempo runs to keep the speed in the plan.  This 50K is mostly trail (inclines/declines), but does has some asphalt at the beginning.


      Some 50ks are like long marathons, while others are much MUCH tougher.  My fastest 50k has been 4:23.  My slowest was 7:45.  I was actually in the same basic shape for both... the difference?  The courses!  One was rails-to-trails (basically like road) and the other was gnarly trails.


      For a race more like the first, just stick with ye olde marathon training plan.  And I wouldn't even worry too much about extending the long run.  Maybe do one more long run.... maybe...  More importantly, get your volume (mpw over time) up and pay particular attention to pacing on race day.  You CAN go out and do a 25-27ish long run, but that may just beat you down.  Or not.  I've done it.  But I don't think you need to do it.


      For a race like the second, things get murkier. 


      Either way, try to get some running time in/on surfaces and climbs/descents similar to your race if at all possible.



        Srlopez hit most of it pretty well. I would argue weekly volume is most important. I finished two 50 milers based totally on weekly volume. My plan was to try to get as much time on the trails or similar surface as possible and to get my MPW above 50. My first 50 was a flat .5 mile loop (it was actually a 12hr race) but I think I only had one long run in the 18-20 mile range. However, my weekly mileage was above 50. For the second 50 miler, my volume was capped out above 50 mpw. I also ran a couple of 20+ runs, a 28 mile FA, and a trail marathon before the race. I prefer having runs above 20 miles during training. But everyone is an experiment of one. I tend to use ultraraces as training runs for a goal race. I also like to run far with friends so FAs work well for me. The nice thing is that the ultra season is long so as long as you base is good you could experiment with both styles of training in a year.


        As far as VO2 Max workout and temps, don't stop doing them. I think Pfitzinger's plan allows you to fit them into an ultra training plan well. You could replace the VO2 workout or speed work with some hill repeats. I would recommend this if your race is going to be really hilly. If the course has a lot of hills/elevation gain, you could also do some walking/hiking cross-training or replace one of the recovery runs with a hiking session. I like to use the treadmill, set it on 10-12% incline and walk as fast as possible for 20-30 minutes. The stairclimber is also a good alternative.


           I like to use the treadmill, set it on 10-12% incline and walk as fast as possible for 20-30 minutes. The stairclimber is also a good alternative.


          I am doing the Chattooga 50K in May, it will be my first ultra as well as my first real trail race. This is what was suggested to me to do once a week in place of an interval/speedwork day. 

            Going out with some friends today to hit the trails up in Auburn, CA...part of the Western States.  I'm sure this will motivate me.  The one worry I do have is that I just ran the CIM December 2nd, took a week off, and this week was my first back.  There is only 11 weeks until my 50K.  I hope I can get the training in that I need to be successful.  I've run the CIM the last three years as my goal race with no other races planned for at least 4 months, and that was only a half.  I've always been able to ease into my next race.  With this 50K, I'm right back to training after a tough marathon (my quads were really messed up from all the rain...extra weight in my shoes).

              Yeah, definitely have to hit the trails more.  So much more different than the road and so damn fun.  SRL, you are a West Coast guy so you might be familiar with the Way Too Cool 50K in Auburn?  That's the one I'm doing and part of that course is the Western States.  I did wear my Wave Riders and they seemed to do fine so I don't think I'll buy any trail shoes.