If you’ve signed up for one of our 50K ultra marathons then you're probably beginning to think about your training approach. And if you're not, it’s a good time to start.
We recommend avoiding the ‘hope for the best’ training plan which many runners adopt. This typically involves doing a bit more running than normal and seeing what happens on race day - Don’t do this, you’ll regret it!
Rather than recommending a specific plan here are a few options that are out there. Everyone is different, so you may need to experiment with a few ideas before you find what works for you.
1. Get a coach
The most expensive option, but having an actual human running coach will give you tailored race plan, tons of advice and plenty of accountability.
Typically a coach will provide 1-on-1 monthly catch-ups to discuss progress, alongside setting up your training schedule via a website like Training Peaks.
There are some fantastic coaches out there that provide specific trail and ultra marathon plans. Here are a few that we can recommend:
Mountain Strong Coaching - https://www.mountainstrong-coaching.com/
Marcus Scotney - https://www.marcusscotney.com/coaching/
Harry Jones - https://www.harryruns.com/coaching
Allie Bailey - https://www.alliebailey.co.uk/
Robbie Simpson - https://www.hiddenpeakrunning.com/
2. Albon App
Created by Jon and Henriette Albon, the Albon App is my current training solution and I’ve really enjoyed using it for the last year.
After adding your upcoming races and specifying your commitment level, the app will generate a specific plan of attack for that race, all based on their own extremely successful training approaches.
There is flexibility in the weekly sessions which keeps things fresh and interesting. Plus, Jon and Henriette put plenty of useful video content out there and are always happy to answer your questions on their community forum within the app.
3. Use an ready made plan
There are plenty of one-size-fits-all plans that are a great way to provide structure and accountability to your training.
Typically, these are 16-week training blocks that plan out your runs and increase volume/intensity at a steady rate throughout.
If you use one of these then our advice is to treat it as a guide rather than than a fixed schedule. It can be really difficult fitting a static plan into your no doubt busy life and sometimes you’ll need to skip a session to avoid overdoing it.
Freetrail - https://freetrail.com/training-plans/
Ben Parkes - https://benparkes.com/collections/ultra-plans
Hal Higdon - https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/more-training/ultramarathon-50k/
4. Focus on your strength training
Many of us are great at getting out the door for a run, but neglect everything else. Longer trail races require leg strength, not just to get you up those hills but to ensure you can deal with the stress and additional volume you will be doing.
Regular strength training will help you maintain good running form on the trails, prevent injury and make you stronger going up and downhill.
If you are not sure where to start, i’d recommend following a tutorial via YouTube.
If you’ve got a specific weakness you need to work on, check out Jesse Fuller’s Instagram, it’s packed full with great advice and workout suggestions.
5. Don't forget your nutrition!
No ultra marathon plan is complete without a nutrition strategy. This is something that will fluctuate from runner to runner, so it's important do plenty of research and experimentation throughout your training.
Once you know what works you can make an informed decisions on how to approach your race day nutrition.
Zuzana Nemeckova, ultra runner and friend of Runaway Racing has some great advice on her website, along with offering 1-to-1 sessions.
That's plenty of ideas to get you started. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to send me a message via firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget to check out our events if your are new to Runaway Racing.