A bit of advice from the experienced please...
I have completed 6 marathons and a couple of marathon distances off road but I am going to train for a 50m in the summer. I'm just wondering how people tackle training for such a distance. Are there schedules to follow as in the marathon, or do people make their own based on ability, strengths and weaknesses? Time must be a major factor.
Any tips greatly apprciated.
wot FB said.
depends on how much time you have available - other commitments etc.
Train specific if you can (i.e. if its a hilly race, then training on the flat isnt ideal)
adjust your pace accordingly and fuel from early on
Not built like a runner and therefore anything around 50 miles is a walk pace for me. Did 15:02 for a 54 mile event in September, I was joint 13th with only runners in front of me and a few runners behind me which we overhauled in the dark due to better constant pace and better navigation. Have done 6:15 for a hilly, off road thirty.
For a thirty I don't change much from marathon training and just use walks on uphills (not upflats) and some steep descents due to sanity.
However I have read some stuff on endurance training as I used to do national trails 20 miles per day multiple days with backpack and this stuff just interests me.
Training is about building the body up to be stronger and fitter not breaking it down. So if a 40 mile training run wipes you out for two weeks then it is bad training. You can afford to wreck yourself in the event itself if that is your only goal and that just requires mental toughness not physical ability.
Learning how to run on tired legs is important and two shorter runs with a rest between will be less detrimental to your body than one long run. e.g. two 20 miles rather than one 40. Building training volume is important, walking wise this is termed time on your feet and 5 lunch time walks of 3 miles (45 minutes) adds 15 miles to the weekly volume. Not stressful on the body and helps the body get used to time on your feet. Reduces chances of failure through blisters, knees and hips seizing up.
So you need to monitor your training as you build up. Write down your stress score for physical, mental and emotional factors such as hectic work, family, travel schedules, sickeness and especially the training schedule. Write down credit points, for sleep rest and theraoy, a good nights sleep, stress free life, massage anything that is a plus. It is subjective but an imbalance for too long will reduce the benefit of training. (Rick Crawford a cycling coach gets the credit for this not me). Also rate how hard you are finding the regular training sessions that you are used to e.g. the 6 mile evening circuit and be prepared to back off.
Easing off and putting in a good 30 mile effort will boost mental confidence for the goal, quick rest and back to training. Two 15 milers back to back may have the same training benefit but won't boost confidence as much.
One of things to consider is how long it takes to recover from a marathon. If you are back at it in a matter of days then you are able to cope with a higher volume of training and therefore the finish time for the 50 might be more important than just finishing it. Equally if it takes 3 weeks to recover then doing any runs over 26 miles in training would be counter productive.
I did a thirty mile event on a wet cold Jan day and commented at the finish that I hoped to be walking by Thursday, (on Sunday). The guy next to me said bloody hell he better be back to normal by Tuesday as he had a marathon on Ben Nevis (or some other stupid big hill) the following weekend!
Not a training plan as such but just stuff to be aware of around the training plan.
Hi Minni, I can only attempt to add to what has been written already. I have done numerous off and on-road marathons and did my first two ultra's this year. The first was a 33-miler three weeks after I did the Shakespeare marathon - legs were fine but I suffered from not having done much off-road running so definitely train for the terrain.
My second was the Beacons Ultra - meant to be 45 but actually 46.6. Anyway, I trained on hilly off-road stuff and that made a big difference - felt strong on all the hills. I couldn't fit in back-to-back long runs or anything over 4 hour training runs (young family and husband working away a lot) but did manage 1 x 19, 1 x 23 and 1 x off-road marathon (Clarendon Way) all done with loaded pack, along with numerous 13, 15 etc milers + a mixture of other runs during the week too. Upon reflection I would have liked to have got a 30-miler in and would also try to perhaps do a 1 - 1.5 hour run the day before a long run to try and get that tired legs feeling.
Definitely work out what you need to eat - you get hungrier being out for longer and might want something more substantial to eat than just gels. Do practise at the pace you will run/jog/walk at so your legs get used to it - jogging is a much more restrictive movement than running. If you have to be self-sufficient on the day then train with what you will carry. Work out a strategy to go the distance - I walk hills and run/jog the flats and downs. Pacing is KEY - go out too fast to start with and you will not get to the end in style!! But if you can keep yourself in check you will be fine towards the end. Definitely agree mind over matter too.
Hope that isn't too repetitive and of some use. I loved them and intend to do more next year and on and on!
Glad I found this thread. I am training for the Ecotrail Paris in March., I entered the northampton to Tring 40 miler in Jan as a build up but have recently found it is now 45 miles so am panicing a bit
I did 33 in august so had managed to get my head around the jump to 40 but up to 45 seems too big!!
In total I have done 17 marathons (or slightly longer) this year including 2 in a weekend at the start of Nov. I am paniking though because my 33 miler was ages ago and by the time it comes to the 45 mile the double marathon was ages ago. I have done quite a lot of 10/20 at the weekend and did 15/20 a couple of weeks ago. I was going to do 15/20 this weekend but the ice stopped me doing that!!
CC, your post reassured me a little but maybe you are just unusual in that you survived withouth the B2Bs?
Hellen - reading what you've done I'd definitely second what Nick says. You've got decent training in and obviously got stamina so don't panic. Be confident and it's really mind over matter for those last few miles - and it's the same for everyone, no matter what the pace. I did my off-road mara two months before I did the ultra, I got the 23-miler in about 3 weeks before the ultra and then tapered from there.
Have a look at the Comrade schedules on www.comrades.com in my expereince if you want to run 50 miles you need a couple of 35+ training runs, back to back long runs work for some but not for me, its all about miles really. Learning what your body can cope with food wise after 25 miles is also important, build in walk sections, you are going to walk at some point
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