How do you prepare to run a 50-mile race on only 24 weeks of training? Well, it’s not easy, but it can be done. As I wrote about last week, the first steps are to determine your “high-enough” goal – in this case, the 50-mile run, then put together a sound and reasonable training plan, and lastly, adhere to your plan with an unwavering drive in order to achieve your potential.
Here are the top 5 things to keep in mind if you aim your sights on such a target:
- Have a well thought out training plan. I prescribe to a periodization method of training. The basic premise is to increase distances over a three to four week period, and then follow that with a greatly reduced recovery week, followed by another period of increasing distances over the previous period’s build. See below to see the basic run training plan for this particular example.
- Your training regimen should include weight training in to build strength and help with body composition. I would focus on upper body and core, and plan to supplement your running schedule up to three times weekly.
- Plan to include some form of stretching, yoga, massage, and/or foam rolling to aid in muscle recovery. I do not believe in immediate pre- or post-exercise stretching, as the data is pretty inconclusive as to the benefits, but it’s hard to dispute the many benefits of in-between runs stretching and other forms of muscle recovery activities.
- Monitor your nutrition and hydration needs. Eat enough, but not too much; balance your meals with healthy carbs, proteins, and fats; eat smaller meals more times; and stay hydrated during exercise and throughout the day.
- Rest and recover. This means to sleep well, relax when you can, take your vitamins, avoid unneeded stresses in your life, and listen to your body. If you miss a workout, don’t stress; just move on to the next one and stay positive.
We are currently 10 weeks into our training, and have run nearly 200 miles in training. Most of the training has been a slow, steady pace, in order to build our aerobic engines and slowing increase our capacity for near daily runs. As the mileage increases, we will also vary our terrain, add in “two-a-days,” and mix up our pace and intensity.
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Weekly Mileage for 24-week, 50-mile Race Goal
Week 1 – 10 miles Week 9 – 35 miles Week 17 – 45 miles
Week 2 – 15 miles Week 10 – 15 miles Week 18 – 55 miles
Week 3 – 20 miles Week 11 – 25 miles Week 19 – 65 miles
Week 4 – 15 miles Week 12 – 35 miles Week 20 – 75 miles
Week 5 – 20 miles Week 13 – 45 miles Week 21 – 45 miles
Week 6 – 30 miles Week 14 – 55 miles Week 22 – 35 miles
Week 7 – 20 miles Week 15 – 40 miles Week 23 – 10 miles
Week 8 – 25 miles Week 16 – 25 miles Week 24 – Goal Run