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Trail/Road Running Training
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Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Trail/Road Running Training on 12/15/2009 13:30:46 MST Print View

Hey guys,
Not a backpacking question but rather running. Over the years to train for backpacking I have done a fair share of running and have grown to love it just as much as UL backpacking. So here's my question for all of you seasoned runners. If you were to do a 30K road race, how far would you make your longest training run in prep? For the past 3 years I have run 3x week averaging 3-6 miles per run with some kind of hike or longer run on the weekend. My main motivation in running has pretty much always been for pure enjoyment. That said I enjoy pushing myself so I would not consider myself a casual jogger (i.e. my wife cannot understand why I love sprinting up the hills). I also try to switch up my training locations for each run so I am getting a good mix of technical, fast and endurance runs with 20-30 minute treadmill "hill workouts" on the days in between. In the past I have done several races on a whim with distances up to 20 miles and used different training plans for each event. So I am just curious how other would approach something like this. Thank you for your feedback.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Trail/Road Running Training on 12/15/2009 14:15:05 MST Print View

Not that I've done any racing in about 18 years but I'd probably shoot for the full 18ish at least once on something that short. If it was a 50k I'd probably just shoot for marathon distance since I know personally if I can run 26 miles I can run 30 miles and that wouldn't be as much for time as an 18 miler would.

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Trail/Road Running Training on 12/15/2009 14:36:17 MST Print View

Was just asking myself this same question the other day. Heres a good link I found:

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Trail/Road Running Training on 12/15/2009 15:10:02 MST Print View

I'd run in the ballpark of 20 to be safe, but I'd do it plenty of times before doing 32.

Just remember, things tend to get exponentially worse as the mileage gets higher.
32 is not necessarily "only" six more miles than 26...

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
answers on 12/15/2009 15:44:12 MST Print View

There are many different answers available, the correct one depends on what you want out of the race. To finish? To be competitive? Time goal?

Merely running a certain distance doesn't necessarily have much value. It can be a huge psychological boost (I can actually run that far!) but it sounds like that doesn't apply here. The other obvious thing is that 30k on pavement is tough on the joints. Building up and having plenty of miles in your legs (on the same surface and terrain) is essential to prevent injury.

Beyond that, my training (for mountain biking and trail ultras these days) focuses on building your threshold before training long distances at tempo. Translation, get fast and push your aerobic limit before going far at speed. You'll train yourself to run the long distances faster, which is much more valuable.

This means you'll be doing a variety of intervals, after your base period, and then transition into long runs. Very effective, and you won't need to run overdistance or anything close to it. I did a 50 miler trail race this summer, and my longest training outing before hand was around 24 miles.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Trail/Road Running Training on 12/15/2009 18:32:26 MST Print View

great suggestions guys. I guess I should have stated my intentions/goals in doing this race. Pure and simple, just to do it and feel strong. I am not a competitive runner so my intention is purely to have fun and take advantage of life. I find stuff like this also makes cruising down the trail that much easier. Thanks for the feedback guys!!

Edited by Jkrew81 on 12/15/2009 18:33:09 MST.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Trail/Road Running Training on 12/15/2009 20:00:43 MST Print View

if enjoying yourself and cruising down the trail is your primary goal ...
then skip the 30k road race and do a 30k or 50k trail race instead.
much more fun, much more training specific to hiking trails.
be sure to train Hills, meaning pick trails to train on that have significant elevation gain and loss.

many ultra trail runners walk the up hills on a long run, so don't let a long run intimidate you.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Re: Trail/Road Running Training on 12/16/2009 05:34:37 MST Print View

Good call Art, I totally agree about the relaxed vibe in trail races. I did a 10 miler a few weeks back and I have never enjoyed a race that much. As for this specific road 30K, it is put on by a great group of people and attracts a really fun crowd, thus its appeal.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Trail/Road Running Training on 12/16/2009 18:13:22 MST Print View

"As for this specific road 30K, it is put on by a great group of people and attracts a really fun crowd, thus its appeal"

Heck, just treat it like your long run of the week. Kick back and enjoy the ride. Not every race has to be raced. We used to call 'em "fun runs". Enjoy the ambience, pace a friend, fall in with someone running your pace and maybe end up with a new friend....