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50 mile day
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William Lesmerises
(bjlesm) - F
50 mile day on 02/12/2010 08:29:14 MST Print View

Looking for some advice from some of you super-hikers on training to be able to hike 50 miles in a day. I am fairly experience in long distance hiking, have hiked the AT twice, have done multiple 30 mile days, though never over 34. Of course, all this was done in the context of a long hike, and now will be looking to train while living a "normal" life, with work, etc. Any advice on training patterns, incorperating weight workouts or interval training? Information on nutrition while hiking longer distances would be appreciated, as well any other sources I could read to help. Thanks much.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: 50 mile day on 02/12/2010 08:56:42 MST Print View

Is this and "Event" or a "personal goal"?
Just ONE 50 miles day, or several back-to-back?
Is any gear involved?
What support is possible?
What is the terrain of the 50's versus training terrain?

IMHO, if you have 34 miles dialed, 50 is Now within your reach, for a single day event.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: 50 mile day on 02/12/2010 08:58:53 MST Print View

I think you're trying to address a very small elite crowd.
If you've done multiple 34 mile days, you must have a pretty decent understanding of the training required already.

If you get your pack light enough you could simply approach it like an "ultra run".

But if you are talking about "multiple" 50 mile days, like JMT in 4 days, that's very different and "apparently" requires a thorough understanding of your bodies limits.

Of course you're already aware of these factors:
1. Terrain - more or less mileage depending on this.
2. Time - there are 24 hours in a day, not just 18, for moving.
3. Pace - this is something you can potentially increase through training.
4. Weight - get the pack as light as possible.
5. Efficiency - this can be trained, fewer stops, less down time eguals more miles.

Training Advice
If you are talking about a fastpacking situation, I would say definitely train with a pack on, at least some of the time, BUT do not train with a pack heavier than the one you will actually use. A heavy pack will make you strong but it will also make you slower.

Edited by asandh on 02/25/2010 12:51:47 MST.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: 50 mile day on 02/12/2010 09:53:44 MST Print View

I am not a superhiker and have only done a small number of 45-55 miles /day. Only once did I do two 45+ miles days back to back. If it's only about the distance, a one time thing, and you have done 30+ milers then you most likely know all you need to know and are in good enough condition to just do it. You just push yourself and make it with two factors that make it easier:

1) Do it near summer solstice, you will have enough light to get 50 miles in if you can maintain a pass of around 3 miles/hour.

2) Go someplace flat-ish

If you are looking to do multiple 50 mile days, back to back, over rugged terrain, then I would recommend looking up folks who do ultra marathons and asking them. They are a different breed.


Edited by verber on 02/12/2010 09:55:34 MST.

Spruce Goose
(SpruceGoose) - F

Locale: New England
Re: 50 mile day on 02/12/2010 09:55:51 MST Print View

>>Any advice on training patterns, incorperating weight workouts or interval training? Information on nutrition while hiking longer distances would be appreciated...<<

Over the past 3 years or so, I've done about five or six, single day, 50 mile "hikes" each year.

Personally, the only training I do is hiking and trail running. Mostly just "big" miles on the weekends (20-35 miles per day), with one or two short runs during the week (5-10 miles). I usually just carry whatever is necessary. If I'm out for a backpack, I carry more weight. If I'm out for a 5 mile run right from my front door, I *might* carry a water bottle.

As for nutrition, if you're just talking about a single 50 mile day, I prefer to mostly eat lots of little bits of "real" food. I do lots of rice/bean/quinoa burritos, and PB&J wraps. Cookies and brownies are good, too. I supplement that with various gels (I like Crank Sports).

If I'm trying to really cover lots of ground with minimal weight/volume, I make a sugar/Morton's Lite salt/water "slurry", and slurp it up with a bunch of clear water. Doesn't taste great, but it works.

Most others I know use more "advanced" nutrition, but I find the simple (and cheap) stuff works for me. I'm definitely not setting any world records or anything, though, so...