Which have people found better?
I'm training for my first Ultra, just a 50K. I've been basically following the "Run for the Toad" plan, which increases the long run distance one week, then increases the length of the back-to-back (next day) run the next week, then increases the longest run again, so it peaks at 24.85 miles/15.5 Miles. An alternative plan I looked at (ultraladies) maxed the next day run at 10 miles and increases the long run progressively instead, peaking with two weeks of 26M / 10M (with a 10 / 10 weekend in between).
Any recommendations which pattern to follow - stop increasing the second run at 10 miles and keep increasing the long run each time, or the alternating pattern? I'm presently at week five in the RftT schedule and in the middle of a week which will be approx. 0 - 5 - 7.5 - 5 - 0 - 14 - 10, with the longest run taking me about 2 hrs 10 (may be 0 -5 - 7.5 - 5 - 0 - 3.1 - 14 - 10 because I might parkrun this week).
My schedules are always end up being very flexible - adapting around domestic hiccups of life with small children. When I trained for the Highland Fling back in April I was doing a long run followed by anything between 8-12 miles the next day. I was very limited by time so I think my longest run ended up being about 25 miles (for a 50-miler) with 10 miles the next day. In the end I only managed about 5 back-to-back runs that went something like 18-8, 20-9, 22-10, 15-8, 25-10. I got round feeling fit and strong, even at the end, the thing that let me down (and I knew it would) was not doing enough hilly stuff (had achilles problems) so my quads were in absolute bits. Am attempting to follow similar style of training now for Januarys 50-miler, but trying to run up a lot more hills!
I am sure more experienced people will advise more constructively. From what I've read though, it really does seem to vary from person to person as to what works best for them and fits in with day-to-day life. I'm hoping the Christmas holidays and arrival of the grandparents might let me get in a 28 or 30-miler ... we shall see.
To be honest, I really can't see the need for a back to back of that magnitude, afterall, you are only 8k beyond a marathon and the risks of injury are quite high if not used to that sort of thing
A 50K is (usually) easily achievable off a marathon programme with a couple of extra weeks of 20mile plus long runs and some sensible practice on pacing and nutrition
Would also advocate hill practice where you can
Or put another way
Plenty of people doing 100milers would be doing that B2B as a maximum
So, top out the second weekend long run at 10 miles, and just keep increasing the long run (with some lower-mileage weeks to reduce the overtraining risks)? That would be easier logistically, as it means I could either run the long run on Saturday by myself then 10 miles with the club on Sunday, or do the club run then keep going to whatever time/distance i'm aiming for on a Sunday, followed by a 10 mile run on a Monday by taking a two-hour lunch break.
That would give me a basic pattern of 0 - 5 - 7.5 - 5 - 0 - Long - 10 (with variations to allow for occasional parkruns, days when I'm at meetings and can't run, etc.). I could also increase the midweek longish run later if my legs are feeling okay or try for some hill repeats.
Club runs do tend to incorporate hills (Croydon - okay, only suburban hills, not Lake District type hills, but a fair amount of up and down). Also I'm planning to start taking some of my long runs further out onto hillier trails (which should also be more scenic).
So you are probably maxing out at 50miles a week which really is a significant amount of running
You should be in a good place
Also remember to have a couple of back to back rest days - I am a huge fan of these - especially if you have done some longish back to backs
Seren, your runs do sound like mine! This morning was meant to be 8-12 and was 9.5, was going to run in the forest and did the river instead - much hillier and muddier and more fun!!!
I do agree that I found the back to back great for stamina - important thing was to make sure pace was always easy easy easy.
My first ultra was a 33-miler (so 53 km I think), I did it on the back of a marathon I did 3 weeks before which I had trained 40-50 mpw. Felt fine. Apologies - obviously reading too fast earlier and missed it was 50ish km not miles!!!
veggieboy wrote (see)
To be honest, I really can't see the need for a back to back of that magnitude, afterall, you are only 8k beyond a marathon and the risks of injury are quite high if not used to that sort of thingA 50K is (usually) easily achievable off a marathon programme with a couple of extra weeks of 20mile plus long runs and some sensible practice on pacing and nutrition
thats what im planning on doing, like you have said VB, its only another 8k so my ultra is going to be based on the back of mara training..and using the mara training ti work out nutrition along the way and recovery methods.
like seren, if the schedule says 12 and i fancy doing another route which only makes 11.5 , im not going to fret over 0.5 of a mile-running around a housing estate just to make up half a mile isnt my idea of a nice run
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going straight from half-marathon to 50K, for various reasons including, strange though it may seem, avoiding overtraining - by encouraging me to concentrate on stamina, not try to go for speed at the same time as upping the distance, so it's a bit of a leap into the unknown.
Do I need to go for a walk-run strategy at this distance (I know I need to do that for 50M, but do I need to for 50K, where my long runs are intended to reach 24-26 miles), and if so, when do I start? I'm okay running for two hours or so at present.
My strategy for ultras is walk the hills otherwise jog/run so on the proper long runs, if there are any especially nasty hills then I usually always walk those. On the medium-long runs I run all hills regardless of how evil they are, just to build stamina on hills (although one did defeat me today). I find it useful to practice reminding myself to start running again once the terrain flattens off, so you don't get too comfortable with the walking!!
Just thought I would throw this in to the pot re back to backs (B2B).
I am a great beliver in b2bs, my training plans are always planned around my b2bs.
However do be careful when using this method as it can easily lead to over training if you are not used to this method. I built this method up over a period of 2 years, and had no injury troubles in this period.
For a 50K as stated previous, I would not bother with b2bs as there is little benifit to be gained. To be fair its only 5 and a bit miles more than a marathon so a good marathon schedule should be sufficent to see you through (a different ball game if you wish to contend with the lead pack however)
For 50 mile plus Ultras then the benifit of b2bs start to show there true benifit.
The main reason for them is to train your body to run on tired legs.
I like to mix my b2bs up, there is the usual long run followed by a shorter run the next day, there is the 2 long runs of equal distance.
Or one of my favourites is the short fast 10k / half mara paced run in the evening, followed by the long run in the morning this is a very good way of testing your body on tired legs.
Ultimatley what ever method you use dont forget the rest days this are just as important as the long runs...
Thanks for all the advice, which I have taken on board. I enjoyed a nice short parkrun this morning in lovely weather (not very fast today - but then I have been training for distance rather than speed). Long run (2 hrs or so) with the club tomorrow morning and hopefully (work permitting) a 7-8 mile run nice and gently on Monday (with a rest onTuesday).
Yes, I will remember the rest days, absolutely. I'm keeping at least two days a week as rest days, sometimes three.
Sounds good to me
As far as rest days are concerned, even when training for a 100miler, I never run on more than 4 days a week, although at least 2 of those are double run days
I trained for a 50 mile hilly ultra in the Lakes last year and only did one B2B. I am prone to injury so have to avoid running on consecutive days. However I was going out to the Chilterns and covering 26-30 miles most weekends. My B2B was 5 weeks before the ultra when I ran the course, 33 first day and 17 second day - and there was a lot more walking involved for the second day!
On the day of the ultra I felt great and got round no problem. So this proves that B2B runs are not necessary for anything up to 50 miles if you just want to get round.
Having said this I am a middle of the pack finisher so if you are hoping to finish higher up the leaderboard then maybe B2B would be a good idea!
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