12 Week 50k Training Plan

This is the plan I used to train for my fourth 50k race.

The basis for this training plan was a mixture of prior training plans I’ve used, other training plans I’ve gleaned from scouring the internet, and the working backwards from race day to fit my schedule. Even though it was my first long race and 50k of the season and it had been a full 5 months since I had last run the distance, I entered the plan with a good base. If I were starting from scratch (or the couch) the plan likely would be double the amount of weeks in order to get myself to a 10-14 mile run.

The training plan is based on total miles run (as opposed to time based) and I had a few goals in mind knowing that the race I was preparing for (Gorge Waterfalls 50k) was going to have a decent bit of elevation gain. The goals and assumptions of this training plan were:

  • Long runs should be slow.
  • It’s ok to walk/hike.
  • Maximize elevation gain on as many runs as possible.
  • Run on trails when possible.
  • It’s ok to substitute cross training (soccer/curling) for runs.
  • Alternate between hard weeks (big mileage) and easy weeks (low mileage).
  • Try as best as possible to keep all runs in heartrate zones 2/3.
  • Rest when you want. It’s ok to skip training runs.
  • Back to back weekend long runs are key.
  • Back to back weekday slightly shorter long runs are key.
  • Planned rest days are the days immediately following back to backs (Mondays and Fridays).

For the most part I followed all of my goals and assumptions of the plan except for the keeping all runs in the heartrate zones 2/3. This I found takes possibly even more control and discipline than going full out hard on a run. It’s easy to try harder and go faster. Try proactively purposely going slow. It’s harder than you’d think on first try.

A few last things: Just to be clear, you aren’t going to win any race with this training plan. Remember a plan is just a plan and it should be broke, bent, altered, chopped and revised as required to avoid injury, fit around your life schedule, and most importantly to have fun.


TT50 - 12 Week 50k Training Plan

30 thoughts on “12 Week 50k Training Plan

  1. I am looking at the plan. I was adding up the miles per week and I am confused on Wednesdays Thursdays. Some are miles and some are kilometers. Can you clear the chart up for me. It loks like a plan I want to use.


    1. Wes – Thanks for the comment. Yes, I used both kilometers and miles for this plan, for a few reasons (all of which are arbitrary): one normal loop I do from my place just happens to be 10k, at the time I had a friend who was training for a 10k so I tagged along, and I was trying to get a better sense of judging effort and time with distance in kilometers – I went so far as to set my watch in kilometers instead of miles. For ease and clarity in the plan, you might just round down the 10k (6.2 miles) to an even 6 miles. Good luck!


    1. Update: Just completed Alaska’s 49k Ultra using your plan and couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Though I didn’t win it you still get all the props.

      Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks! Though I was forced to shorten the 12wks to 10 I felt fantastic for 29 miles, which seems crazy to even type. If you make to Anchorage to run or fish let me know.


          Liked by 1 person

  2. I am about to start trailing for a 33km mtn run here in New Zealand.. google the tararua race, southern crossing. I have entered it before and finished – somehow, with a fractionally sub 10 hr time. i figured training may help and i like the look of your plan. Are all the distances in miles apart from the thursday k’s?? oh boy i need help….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, all distances are in miles except for the Thursday kilometers. The kilometers was convenient to a normal route I ran. Good luck in your race. I’d love to read your race report after you finish!


      1. @ Wim: I’m heading to a long slow session this weekend. I thought doing a 40k in Zoniënwoud in Oudergem this weekend… if you care to join 😊


  3. Thanks for this, just finished my first 50k a week ago and next one is in 13 weeks. Was trying to figure out my training plan, and this looks like a good fit!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I ran the Napa Valley Marathon in 1980 in about 2:48 and ran at Chico State in 1969 and 1970. Best 5 mile was 24:57. That was then this is now. Have stage 4 cancer and in a lot of pain. However..with God’s help I will beat this and 1 day run the Umstead 100 miler! Why? Cus running is in my blood!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, I’m late in replying to by a full year. Hopefully you completed met your 50k goal time! If I were to extend the plan out to 15 weeks, I’d probably add an extra week in one of the beginning training blocks (maybe week 4?), one in the middle training block (week 7?), and one in the beginning of the last training block (week 10?)


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