Question about Ultra Training for a 50k

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Question about Ultra Training for a 50k

Postby Robbie-T » Tue May 23, 2006 11:04 am

Would/could I follow a similar training plan for a 50k ultra as I would for a Marathon? No goals in mind but to finish, however I would attempt to run at Marathon pace or slightly slower (or slower depending on the difficulty of the course) I'd like to do it at a pace that will be challenging for me, not a Saturday Stroll.

possiblily to run Vulture Bait 50k in October.
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Postby Size5 » Tue May 23, 2006 11:48 am

There are a couple of principles on building training programs for ultras. Last year during training for my first 50 km I used back to back long runs. They build endurance which is essential. This year, I used a coach and he wasn't as much a fan of back to back long runs.... He wanted it all in one shot. I've now done both and think there is advantages to both. What worries me about the long runs in one shot is the potential for injury. Although I didn't get injured, I think it is pretty risky to go out and run 60 km in one shot....

So for the training plan, the modifications you need is that your longest runs need to have milage higher than the typical marathon plan (usually ends up at around 32-35 km max). Beyond that, I'd look specifically at the course to determine what else I needed to work into training. Is it hilly? Is it a trail? If so, you will need both of those. Running 50 km on pavement is different than 50 km of trail.....

Hope that helps.... Others will offer their insights I'm sure 8)

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Postby dwayne_runs_far » Tue May 23, 2006 12:19 pm

Everything Krista said...

I've been following the back to back long run plan and while it is tough, I am feeling quite confident going into the race this weekend.

One thing I'll reinforce from the above is the terrain. Trails are slower than roads (generally) plus the terrain can make a big difference. Single track hill climbs are much different than grass or dirt trails. Train on terrain similar to the race conditions. That has been my challenge, training for a hilly course in the flatlands of Winnipeg.

Another thing is the mental game, going longer requires more mental fortitude, at least it has for me.

Good luck if you make the plunge!
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Postby Size5 » Tue May 23, 2006 12:47 pm

dsandall wrote:I've been following the back to back long run plan and while it is tough, I am feeling quite confident going into the race this weekend.


Yep,

I didn't want to come right out and say it :wink: but I did feel more confident doing back to back runs than I did doing one long run. I did do my longest runs followed by at least 10 km the next day..... '

However, IF I was ever crazy enough to train again for an ultra I'd likely go back to using back to back long runs....

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Postby Robbie-T » Tue May 23, 2006 12:56 pm

Size5 wrote:
dsandall wrote:I've been following the back to back long run plan and while it is tough, I am feeling quite confident going into the race this weekend.


Yep,

I didn't want to come right out and say it :wink: but I did feel more confident doing back to back runs than I did doing one long run. I did do my longest runs followed by at least 10 km the next day..... '

However, IF I was ever crazy enough to train again for an ultra I'd likely go back to using back to back long runs....

S5


ok guys what would length would back to back runs be? 30k each day?
How many back to backs would I need?

What would my longest run need to be? 40k?

thanks guys!!!
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"I just hope that people look at it and say, 'Hey if this yahoo can do it, then I can do it too.' That'd be cool if people thought that. It's just a matter of putting the miles in and working. It's not so much how much talent you have. I hope." - Brian Sell.

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Postby mlazenby » Tue May 23, 2006 1:57 pm

Just to reinforce/comment on what has already been said. I used both back-to-back and single long runs. My biggest back-to-back was 30/32k and my biggest single was 54k (probably overkill for a 50k race though). The back-to-back runs really are phenomenal strength builders. Also, as Krista said, it makes a huge difference if you train specifically for your terrain. I'd been doing quite a bit of trail and a lot of hills to prep for SS this weekend. So much so that I actually ran somewhat poorly on the much flatter, paved TUR course earlier this month. If you plan to push hard (as it sounds you do) then you definitely want to be training terrain-specific.

By the way, I've been getting some premium physio and anti-inflams and it looks like all systems are go for me on Saturday guys!!!
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Postby dwayne_runs_far » Tue May 23, 2006 2:30 pm

I used Hal Higdon's Comrades Marathon plan as the basis for my 100k training (http://www.halhigdon.com/ultramarathon/ ... on2000.htm) I adjusted the long runs up by a bit to compensate for the 100k vs. the 87k of the Comrades.

I do find that the taper insanity is much greater in an ultra than a marathon, probably because the cutback from 6 hour to 2 hour runs leaves you with so much more time on your hands.

Good luck if you go for it.

And Mike, glad to hear that you're doing OK for Saturday!

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Postby Doonst » Tue May 23, 2006 2:53 pm

mlazenby wrote: If you plan to push hard (as it sounds you do) then you definitely want to be training terrain-specific.

By the way, I've been getting some premium physio and anti-inflams and it looks like all systems are go for me on Saturday guys!!!


That's great Mike! I've been looking for your posts to see how you were doing. See you in Ancaster. / end hijack.

Don't know about the distance, but I have done the Vulture Bait course (25K). It isn't too terribly hilly, just easy rollers. Nothing compared to the escarpment. Lots of winding single track though. Not rocky, but lots of tree roots. I can imagine that it might get muddy in a rain because its mostly dirt trails. I figure it cost me about 20 seconds/K compared to medium hilly road course. But I was taking it easy, it was my first 25. Good luck Robbie!
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Postby jgore » Tue May 23, 2006 6:09 pm

Just having a look around. Pretend I'm not here.

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Postby Size5 » Tue May 23, 2006 8:38 pm

jgore wrote:Just having a look around. Pretend I'm not here.


I SOOOOO have my eye on you Jim...... I can't tell you how thrilled I'd be to come out and watch you run an ultra :D

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Postby Robbie-T » Tue May 23, 2006 8:41 pm

Thanks guys, this helps, I appriciate it, I haven't decided yet.

Add whatever else may help me design a program for myself.
Mississauga Marathon - 2:52
Around the Bay - 1:58
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"If I'm running, it will be a good run" - Robbie-T

"I just hope that people look at it and say, 'Hey if this yahoo can do it, then I can do it too.' That'd be cool if people thought that. It's just a matter of putting the miles in and working. It's not so much how much talent you have. I hope." - Brian Sell.

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Postby Size5 » Tue May 23, 2006 8:43 pm

Robbie-T wrote:ok guys what would length would back to back runs be? 30k each day?
How many back to backs would I need?

What would my longest run need to be? 40k?

thanks guys!!!


I think one of the tricks here is it seems like you have a time goal in mind (or maybe I'm reading into this...). I've always done ultras "just to complete" and no time goal in mind. Having said that, I think my training for 50 kms was TOTALLY overkill. I did back to back runs of 4hrs followed by 3 hrs at the max.

I think it depends on if you want a one shot distance or back to back long runs when you look at how long your LONGEST run should be. There is something to be said for going close to that distance.... I'd definately do 40 kms but that is just me. Maybe someone else might like to chime in here (I'm certainly no expert!). I'd have probably about 30-35 km one day and 20-25 day the next if I was doing back to back....

Are you shooting for a time or am I reading into this?

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Postby SusanD » Tue May 23, 2006 8:49 pm

Size5 wrote:
jgore wrote:Just having a look around. Pretend I'm not here.

I SOOOOO have my eye on you Jim...... I can't tell you how thrilled I'd be to come out and watch you run an ultra :D S5

Me too. I'd be out to cheerlead that! But I'm just popping in here, having a look around, so don't mind me... *no pressure*...


Robbie-T! Yeh, man! I knew it was just a matter of time before the word 'ultra' came outta you! You are so cut out for it!
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Postby Size5 » Tue May 23, 2006 8:52 pm

Size5 wrote:
jgore wrote:Just having a look around. Pretend I'm not here.


I SOOOOO have my eye on you Jim...... I can't tell you how thrilled I'd be to come out and watch you run an ultra :D

S5


Correct that....... I'd come run WITH you if I thought I had a hope in HE$$ of keeping up to you!

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Postby Robbie-T » Tue May 23, 2006 9:03 pm

Size5 wrote:
Are you shooting for a time or am I reading into this?

S5


No not really, from what I've learned so far, with Ultras that just not a practical thing. Time goals are specific to courses only and don't easily transfer to other courses, like you can do with road races.

But I do what to run it fairly agressively for me.
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"If I'm running, it will be a good run" - Robbie-T

"I just hope that people look at it and say, 'Hey if this yahoo can do it, then I can do it too.' That'd be cool if people thought that. It's just a matter of putting the miles in and working. It's not so much how much talent you have. I hope." - Brian Sell.

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Postby Robbie-T » Tue May 23, 2006 9:08 pm

SusanD wrote:Robbie-T! Yeh, man! I knew it was just a matter of time before the word 'ultra' came outta you! You are so cut out for it!


thanks for the support, I do enjoy going long, the mental and physical aspects attract me. I gotta try it.
Mississauga Marathon - 2:52
Around the Bay - 1:58
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"If I'm running, it will be a good run" - Robbie-T

"I just hope that people look at it and say, 'Hey if this yahoo can do it, then I can do it too.' That'd be cool if people thought that. It's just a matter of putting the miles in and working. It's not so much how much talent you have. I hope." - Brian Sell.

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Postby Size5 » Tue May 23, 2006 9:10 pm

Just a general comment about ultras, having been crew for a racer more than once and run my own races....

Ultramarathons are probably THE most laid back races around with some of THE most modest runners I've met. People ask you about how you feel your race went for YOU. No one care about your time.... It is a bit of a shift from road racing where I find, often the first question people ask when you see them after a race is "what was your time". The ultra community is small and very encouraging/supportive. There is no chip timing at smaller races - just a simple watch and "go" :D

this message is not nearly subliminal enough to be directed just at jim :wink:

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Postby jgore » Wed May 24, 2006 6:03 am

GO, ROBBIE, GO. You are a machine.



[hijack]

Krista, You are persistent, aren't you? :D I appreciate your confidence in me and must say it's more than I have. Your comment about keeping up with me may be misplaced, as fast I am not. Suffice to say, I am considering it. My real concern is putting undo pressure on myself. We all tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else would be.

Somehow, I knew where your last post was directed even without the subliminal messaging. :wink:

Thanks also to Susan for wanting to come out and cheerlead - we'd finally get to meet - and Doonst for saying my participation would influence his choice of races. Gulp! Can I live up to expectations? :shock:

[/hijack]



So, with respect to these back-to-back long runs, I have a couple of questions.

1) When first starting them, what kind of distances were you doing? I've never done a marathon and the longest I've ever run was 33K, on roads. Recently, I've been doing anywhere from 20-30K on Sundays, no rhyme or reason to it. Would something like back-to-back 20Ks be reasonable?

2) If one run is longer than the next, even by just a couple of kilometres, does it make a difference which you do first?

3) How often do you do back-to-backs; every weekend; every 2nd weekend?

4) Why am I even thinking of this? Am I nuts? Why, why, why?

These are just general interest questions :wink: and in no way represent a commitment ... okay? ... ya got that?

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Postby Jo-Jo » Wed May 24, 2006 6:17 am

Jimm...from the way Krista describes the laid back nature of the ultra community...this is so you! As I said a few threads ago..you are made for endurance!

BTW...I'm just here keeping an eye on Jim :wink:
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Postby mlazenby » Wed May 24, 2006 7:14 am

jgore wrote: Would something like back-to-back 20Ks be reasonable?

2) If one run is longer than the next, even by just a couple of kilometres, does it make a difference which you do first?

3) How often do you do back-to-backs; every weekend; every 2nd weekend?


I did my first b2b 20/24k and it was surprisingly easy. You just need to remember to drop the pace back a bit. I don't think it really matters whether you do long-short or short-long. There are lots of ultra programs out there and you see both, although I think more of them use long-short. For some reason I don't agree with that approach and since I always design my own program I do short/long (or sometimes equal). Same for the frequency. I personally like to alternate b2b and really long runs.

CU out there.
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Postby Size5 » Wed May 24, 2006 7:34 am

I like the longer/shorter approach but purely from a psychological reasoning not a scientific one.....

As a starting point, I'd try something like longer followed by 10km the next day. Pacing is important - it is all about being SLOW.....

I do the same peroidization that marathoners use with long runs (b2b) for 3 weeks and then an eazy week for the 4th. Having said that, last year, I used any kind of cross trail for the first 8 weeks or so of the program and then switched to runs. My program was 3-4 hr run on Sat followed by 2-4 hr snowshoe on Sunday (it was Jan/Feb). I really liked the variety of the cross train. If this was a trail race, I'd consider even some cross train with hiking the next day....

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Postby Size5 » Wed May 24, 2006 7:42 am

jgore wrote:[hijack]

Krista, You are persistent, aren't you? :[/hijack]

4) Why am I even thinking of this? Am I nuts? Why, why, why?

These are just general interest questions :wink: and in no way represent a commitment ... okay? ... ya got that?


No pressure You can do what you like, I just know you are interested. :wink:

Persistence (aka stubborn) is the hallmark of an ultramarathoner.

Why run an ultra??? I believe the answer to that is as varried as there are runners. There are numerous superficial answers such as: I want to see where my body can take me, it is a challenge, I want better conditioning, I want to eat a lot of butter tarts....

Maybe the boys will call me nuts but I actually think people have a deep reason to want to run that kind of distance and if you can peel back all the layers it can be found. To be frank, running that kind of distance heals my soul. And, racing at an ultra is a time when I know, in one day, I'll likely experience every emotion life has to offer, all jamed packed into one day that I'm sharing with my friends and community :D . All you non philosophical types can beg to differ....

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Postby Size5 » Wed May 24, 2006 7:43 am

mlazenby wrote:By the way, I've been getting some premium physio and anti-inflams and it looks like all systems are go for me on Saturday guys!!!


And since this thread has been all about hijacks :wink:

MIKE THAT IS GREAT NEWS!!! GO OUT AND GIVE'ER

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Postby jgore » Wed May 24, 2006 11:27 am

Good luck this weekend, Mike.


Mike & Krista, thanks for the responses. It didn't occur to me that I was almost doing b2b long ones anyway until Krista mentioned a long run followed by 10K; I already do that as my Monday nooner with the Speedy Ladies is usually about 10K. I was thinking of 2 long runs on the weekend, but the Monday run hadn't even registered. The funny thing is that my legs feel better on Monday if I've done the long run on Sunday than if I did it on Saturday. Strange, eh?

To be honest, I've not really thought about why it interests me. I'm not as goal-oriented as I perceive Robbie to be. Perhaps some introspection is in order. Mind you, butter tarts is as good a reason as any. :D

Sorry for the hijack, Robbie. :oops:

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Postby Robbie-T » Wed May 24, 2006 11:30 am

jgore wrote:
Sorry for the hijack, Robbie. :oops:


don't be, I found it very on topic.
Mississauga Marathon - 2:52
Around the Bay - 1:58
Click>> Race History
ItsMyRun.com

"If I'm running, it will be a good run" - Robbie-T

"I just hope that people look at it and say, 'Hey if this yahoo can do it, then I can do it too.' That'd be cool if people thought that. It's just a matter of putting the miles in and working. It's not so much how much talent you have. I hope." - Brian Sell.

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift." - Pre


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