Training for an Ultra

Prior to training for my first ultramarathon, I scoured the internet and bought Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning and reread Unbreakable Runner. I developed a hybrid training plan primarily based on the CrossFit Endurance model (WARNING: this has less weekly mileage than your standard ultra training plan). The original plan was for a 20 week training program.

Things I Did Not Do:

  • Average twice the race distance in total mileage per week (60-65 miles/week) in the 12 weeks prior to race day.
  • Train at least 3-4 hours a week on trails; weekly long runs should be on trail not road.
  • Trail runs at race pace at least 30-90 minutes every two weeks.
  • Include hill training.

Training Recap:

  • Week 1, August 3-9: 22.3 Miles
  • Week 2, August 10-16: 24.2 Miles
    Week 3, August 17-23: 29.1 Miles
  • Week 4, August 24-30: 27.8 Miles
  • Week 5, August 31 – September 6: 19.4 Miles
    • This was the Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare week.
  • Week 6, September 7-13: 4.2 Miles
    • I completed the New Albany Walking Classic and needed more recovery than anticipated.
  • Week 7, September 14-20: 36.3 Miles.
    • 10 Mile Long Run.
  • Week 8, September 21-27: 28.5 Miles
  • Week 9, September 28 – October 4: 25.8 Miles.
    • Completed a GORUCK Challenge in Cleveland and missed a 12 Mile Long Run.
  • Week 10, October 5 -11: 35.7 Miles
    • 12 Mile Long Run + 10K PR Race.
  • Week 11, October 12 – 18: 37.4 Miles
  • Week 12, October 19 – 25: 19.7 Miles
    • Recovery Week.
  • Week 13, October 26 – November 1: 20.9 Miles.
  • Week 14, November 2 -8: 38.8 Miles
    • 15 Mile Long Run.
  • Week 15, November 9 – 15: 35.6 Miles.
    • 20 Mile Long Run + Short Recovery Run.
  • Week 16, November 16 – 22: 24.2 Miles.
    • Cut Back Week (+Sick).
  • Week 17, November 23 – 29: 25.2 Miles.
    • Sick. Missed Long Run.
  • Week 18, November 30 – December 6: 48.6 Miles.
    • 20 Mile Long Run.
  • Week 19, December 7 – 13: 34.5 Miles.
    • 12 Mile Long Run in 68 Degrees!
  • Week 20, December 14 – 21: 16.6 Miles + 50K Race.

Training Analysis:

Even with the lower mileage of this training period, it was the first training period in a while where I could feel my confidence returning. I did train primarily on roads instead of trails (strike one) and while I did try to include hills during my runs, I did not do specific hill training workouts (strike two), and lastly I just didn’t get in the normal mileage for an ultramarathon. I did struggle kick starting this training period.

I did, however, work on regulating my breathing on my training runs. I also worked in a few fartlek runs as well as plenty of negative split runs. I made great strides in learning to maintain a steady consistent pace for my long runs and control going out too fast.

Overall I say that this training period was successful. It might not have produced the race result I wanted, but it did help fix a lot of struggles I have had training in the past.

Question: What Is The Best Training Advice You’ve Received?
Comment below!

As always thanks for reading; I’ll have more on my ultra experience shortly.

Jes

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