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.