50 Mile Training Plan
A 50 mile training plan will be needed to run your very first 50 mile ultra trail race. 50 miles is a long ways to run for the very first time and you need to be prepared with a 50 mile training plan. There are many different 50 mile training plans that I have come across, but the 50 mile training plan that worked for me is outlined below. My suggestion before using the 50 mile training plan below is to have a base which you are running about 20 to 25 miles per weeks for the last few months, and can comfortably run a marathon. You can use my Marathon Training Schedule to build your base.
Before I go into the 50 mile training plan, I would like to discuss some of the important things that you will need to know before even starting a 50 mile training paln. Let’s take a look.
50 Mile Training Plan- Time on Your Feet
The 50 mile training plan that is outlined below is not based on distance, but rather in hours. Training for your first 50 mile ultra trail race is all about time on your feet. I’m going to assume that you are the average runner an it will take you about 10 hours to run an 50 mile ultra trail race. Are you ready to be on your feet that long. . . moving? Also, your 50 mile training program should include hiking as part of the time on your feet.
Racing in Colorado dictates that you will hike at some point during an ultra trail race. Therefore your 50 mile training plan must incorporate hiking. Take it one step further, and load up the backpack for some extra weight. Come race day you will feel like you are “flying” up the hills as you are hiking.
50 Mile Training Plan- Train Like You are Going to Race
In a successful 50 mile training plan you will train like you will race. This means that you should be using the gear that you will be racing with because you do not want race day surprises. Also, in a successful 50 mile training plan you should be eating and drinking the same foods that you will be using at the race. I always use my own electrolyte drinks and never rely on what will be at the race.
A fact that you need to consider in your 50 mile training plan is that you only have about 2,000 calories of stored glucose in your body. This supply will last only about 2 hours. However, you can’t wait until the 2 hour mark to start replenishing your energy, a 50 mile training plan will incorporate eating while running. You must know what will work and what won’t come race day.
50 Mile Training Plan – Keep Your Core Strength
A good 50 mile training plan will have you work your core muscle groups. I am a firm believer in keeping my core strength all year round. Running your first 50 mile ultra trail race you will discover that your back and stomach are very important players in getting to the finish line. Core strength will also come into play when you have been running for 7, 8, 9 plus hours and you trip on a rock or root. You will be amazed that if you did not incorporate core training into your 50 mile training program how much it hurts all over to catch your balance.
Don’t be a victim of this unnecessary pain, incorporate core training into your 50 mile training program.
50 Mile Training Plan – Learn to Run Slow
One of the hardest things for me to do in my 50 mile training Plan was to slow down. I did not finish my first 50 mile ultra trail race because I was cocky and went out fast. Take it from me and have your 50 mile training Plan have slow running in it. A 50 mile training Plan to finish your first 50 mile ultra trail race is not about speed, it is about getting across the finish line before the race cut off; period. Set your goal to be a finisher!
50 Mile Training Plan – Pushing Tired Muscles
Here is the secret to a successful 50 mile training Plan; push tired muscles. You need to get comfortable pushing muscles that have not recovered from yesterdays long run. Keep this in mind, during your 50 mile training plan you will never be as tired as you will be when you are actually racing. So, when you are pushing tired muscles during training, you need to tell yourself when you start to cry-babying, that this is not even close to what it will feel like on race day.
A 50 mile training plan that pushes tired muscles does not mean everyday all the time. The 50 mile training plan outlined below takes every Monday and Friday off, and has “easy” runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I do however include surges in my 50 mile training plan on Wednesdays. I use Tuesdays and Thursdays for recovery runs.
In the 50 mile training plan below, Saturdays and Sundays are the days where you push tired muscles. It is these long back-to-back training runs that will test you, and get you to the finish line.
The 50 Mile Training Plan
|1||Rest||45 Minutes||60 Minutes||45 Minutes||Rest||90 Minutes||3 hours|
|2||Rest||45 Minutes||60 Minutes||45 Minutes||Rest||90 Minutes||3 Hours|
|3||Rest||45 Minutes||60 Minutes||45 Minutes||Rest||2 Hours||3.5 Hours|
|4||Rest||45 Minutes||60 Minutes||45 Minutes||Rest||1.5 Hours||2 Hours|
|5||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||3.5 to 4 Hours||3 Hours|
|6||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||3.5 to 4 Hours||3 hours|
|7||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||3.5 to 4 Hours||3 Hours|
|8||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||2 hours||2.5 Hours|
|9||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||4 Hours||3.5 Hours|
|10||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||4 Hours||3.5 Hours|
|11||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||2.5 Hours||3 hours|
|12||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||4 Hours||5 Hours|
|13||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||4 Hours||5 Hours|
|14||Rest||60 Minutes||90 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||2 Hours||2 Hours|
|15||Rest||60 Minutes||60 Minutes||60 Minutes||Rest||1.5 Hours||1 Hour|
|16||Rest||60 Minutes||45 Minutes||30 Minutes||Rest||50 Mile Race!||Rest (Duh)|