Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Eugene Smith is a beast
Display Avatars Sort By:
George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 08:44:58 MDT Print View

Art, a trail. Flat one. There is one not too far from me that I might try next Oct or the following Oct. Gibbet 50 Thanks for the advice.

Mike, I'd love that one if I had the time and money - but not now. Maybe years down the road I will return to run where my ancestors ran. The website is cool.

Eugene, you are so good at videos - have you thought about documenting an upcoming ultra from training through to the recovery afterwards?

Edited by gmatthews on 11/02/2011 08:46:00 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 12:16:43 MDT Print View

George,

Tom was spot on in his comments on races over a marathon.

If you want to do a 50 miler, you really need to start by doing 5Ks, 10Ks, and then a marathon. The 5K and 10K will let you get a feel for pacing, which is important for any race and training. As you up the mileage races you can train at paces based on your race pace for the shorter distances (+/- race pace).

Unless an elite marathoner, super long distances don't require speed work. Most distance runners train in "modules;" base, strength, and then speed. For races up to 10K where winning is more important than finishing, distance runners work on their speed in the later part of the season... intervals at or below race pace. For example a miler who wants to break 4 minutes may do 20 1/4 mile repeats at or below 60 seconds with a 200 meter jog in between each interval. Cannot do this workout without good base and strength. Same concept when doing 1/2 mile intervals. For 5K and 10K, same thing but with some longer intervals and longer rest in between. You will find that most elite distance runners do 70-100+ miles per week. To run a sub 3 hour marathon, one would have to have a training schedule and specific targets. Just to finish would still probably require 50 - 70 miles per week towards the end with maybe a max of a 20 mile run the week before.

So if you want to do a 50 miler the first 1/2 of your training plan should be base... getting you mileage up. You don't have to do the same mileage every day. Maybe it is 5 mile days and one 10 mile day each week. If you have a good idea of your 5K or 10K race pace, it will help you to determine what training pace you need. You don't need to even do a single 50 miler in training. Once you achieve your base target, you can work on strength which is probably hills. The really hilly 50 mile races are the killers.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: "Eugene Smith is a beast" on 11/02/2011 13:06:23 MDT Print View

Congratulations Eugene!!!

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 13:25:57 MDT Print View

Nick & George
one problem with working your way up the racing distance ladder ...
(5k - 10k - 20k - marathon - 50k - 50 miler)
is that a beginner may get a warped idea of what his pace is supposed to be for a 50 miler.
if the goal is a 50 miler and you haven't raced before, I would say start with a marathon or a 50k. even a 50k pace is a bit faster than a 50 mile pace.

I assume we're talking average runner, not front runner.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
No speed work? on 11/02/2011 13:47:54 MDT Print View

I'll disagree that speed work is not needed unless you are an elite runner. Mixing speed/fartlek/interval training into your routine will inrease your tolerance to oxygen deprivation in your muscles. I was never a shorter distance runner, yet my times got better over longer distances when i 'mixed it up'. There were international class runners in my running club, and i trained with them. I never expected to compete with them, but i'm convinced the training helped me 'enjoy' my races at my pace. Getting used to pushing yourself to the limit in training, helps when the going gets tough in a race. Most of it is mental, and if you have been there before in training, you know you can do it when needed.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Working up and Speed Training on 11/02/2011 17:06:06 MDT Print View

Running the shorter races and working up will give a person an idea of pacing. Just going out and trying a long race could end up in not finishing if the runner starts out too fast. Also it provides a baseline for training runs.

Regarding speed work, there are advantages to it, and also more chance for injury for beginning runners. A lot depends on the goal. Lets say someone is training for a long race and mixes intervals into the training. Then the intervals should be based on lets say a 5K or 10K pace or even less, depending on the interval distances. That would mean they would need some experience running the shorter races. If someone is training 6 days per week, I would not recommend speed work more than one of those days.

You will find that most competitive distance runners (under a marathon), do no speed work for at least the first half of the season and still record some good times. Speed work starts as they head towards championship meets and try to time their peak performances.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: re: training on 11/02/2011 17:17:14 MDT Print View

"-Physical/mental base fitness (later more important than former)

To do an adequate job of the former, the latter is a prerequisite. There just aren't any wusses in the world of ultra running.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 18:07:10 MDT Print View

"If you want to do a 50 miler, you really need to start by doing 5Ks, 10Ks, and then a marathon. The 5K and 10K will let you get a feel for pacing, which is important for any race and training. As you up the mileage races you can train at paces based on your race pace for the shorter distances (+/- race pace)."

+1 I neglected to mention that the guys in my running club who ran 50's in the 7-8 hour range were all very experienced at the shorter distances, but felt they would be more competitive at ultras. They had all done multiple marathons, in at least one case a sub 3 hour marathon, as well as numerous 5K-1/2 marathon races before beginning to train for a 50 miler. I would never recommend making a 50 miler your first race. The required training would put you at risk of injury, either during training or during the race, when the adrenaline start flowing. The body simply needs more time to adapt to that kind of distance than one training cycle permits with no previous racing experience at shorter distances, preferably including at least a couple of marathons.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 18:44:36 MDT Print View

Tom ,Nick , and anyone else

I think its a matter of objective.
Be a front runner v.s. finish the race.

To be a front runner I agree with your perspective.
To simply finish an ultra ... not so much.
I came from a mountaineering, fastpacking background. hadn't hardly run in over 20 years, then went straight to 50 milers (even before 50k).
You don't need to be a real runner to simply finish a 50 miler or a 100 miler.
The shorter the race the more you must actually be a real runner.

You guys must be real runners, and are thinking like real runners,
not that there's anything wrong with that :-)

Edited by asandh on 11/02/2011 19:05:06 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 19:18:41 MDT Print View

My first official race, ever, was a marathon. I've since run many more, some 50Ks, my longest to date a ~42 miler. Some were solo, some official. I still have never officially run anything shorter than a half marathon. So I don't agree that you have to race short and build up...at least not in official races. I think it's especially unnecessary if you're simply running to finish vs. truly "racing". If you're training for a 50 mile, you'll have run so many 5ks, 10ks, and HMs in the process that you'll understand pacing simply from training.

As Art says above, it's absolutely a matter of objectives.

I can tell you right now that for me to simply complete a 50 mile run is easier than the training it would take for me to run a sub 17:00 5K...If I ever even could.

It's the old debate between classic road, track, and XC runners and ultrarunners. Breaking 5 minutes in the mile is a whole different beast than running a 50K just to finish. As is running a sub 4 50K vs. 7 hours...

I'm now an assistant XC and distance track coach at the high school I work at and have been following "mainstream" (USATF, etc.) running for some time. Seriously, most of the more "classic" (non-ultra) running community scoffs at most ultrarunners, especially non-elites: 50 miles in 10-14 hours? So what. People can race walk faster times. Show them a sub-3 hour marathon, and then they might think you're legit. Better yet, sub 2:30. Now we're talking "real" running.

Crazy to think that I have a student who has been working hard, literally, for over two years to shave a single minute off of his track 5K. I can't imagine.

Apples and oranges, friends.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
training on 11/02/2011 19:33:59 MDT Print View

was going to start a new thread, but lots of experienced folks already looking at this :)

lets say you were (theoretically :)) looking at entering this race- technical (as in rough terrain) 20 mile race

http://www.winddrinkers.org/BRR/BridgerRidge.html

and lets say (theoretically :)) that you current fitness level running is a couple of relatively difficult 5k trails/week (~40 minutes)

can someone recommend a rough training outline, my goal would be more than just to finish (but well short of winning)

danke

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 19:59:58 MDT Print View

"My first official race, ever, was a marathon."

Same here, Craig, at age 40.

"So I don't agree that you have to race short and build up...at least not in official races. I think it's especially unnecessary if you're simply running to finish vs. truly "racing". If you're training for a 50 mile, you'll have run so many 5ks, 10ks, and HMs in the process that you'll understand pacing simply from training.

I don't necessarily disagree with your perspective; Rather, the point I was trying to make is that it is a lot safer for most folks to build up gradually by beginning with short runs/races to allow the body to adapt cardio-vascularly and soft tissue wise before getting into a situation where they're going to be pounding away for probably, as you mentioned, 10-14 hours. I probably shouldn't have used the term race. It would have been better to say "run". I suspect both our perspectives were shaped by that all important first experience. The difference is that it seems you went from there in the direction of ultra whereas I went in the direction of shorter races, although we both dabbled in the other end of the spectrum. I saw a fair number of guys who moved up, very successfully, from shorter racing to ultras, simply because they felt they would do better competitively at those distances. I moved down for the same reason. I am talking about guys who were running in the 35-36 minute range for 10K and hovering around 3 hours for the marathon, most of them in their late 30's and early 40's. With this background, it is no surprise they got down close to 7 hours in some cases, sub 7 in the case of Hannaford, because they had already developed the leg speed along with the cardio and soft tissue adaptation necessary to support that kind of effort at much longer distances once they altered their training. In my case, I ran 2:54 the first time out, and 2:45 9 months later, but I was seduced by much better results at 5-10K, local 8-10 milers, and The Dipsea to concentrate on that end of the spectrum. However, the training involved was almost equivalent to marathon training and enabled me to at least finish a 50 miler, but I paid a heavy price. It was not adequate to do it in good style and, although I avoided structural injury, I was severely depleted and had a lousy "rest of the season". I mention all this as background for my position that it is better for a beginner to start at the short end of the spectrum and build up. The only exception to what I have described that I personally know of was the guy I paced in the WS 100. He never raced shorter stuff and concentrated from the very beginning on ultra's. He finished in 22 hours and change so his experience supports your premise, but he is unique in my personal experience.

Finishing vs racing = apples vs oranges. No argument there, although sometimes the alchemy of success transmutes an apple into an orange. ;)

Edited by ouzel on 11/02/2011 20:11:29 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: training on 11/02/2011 20:09:18 MDT Print View

I'll take a crack at that Mike...

It looks like you'd have 10 months to train, which is a ton. Outside of base building, the "real" training likely wouldn't have to start until 16-20 weeks from your race. It's 20 miles, but technical and full of elevation, so I'd wager that following an intermediate-level marathon program would have you more than covered in mileage and intensity...but make sure to do the majority of running on trail, most importantly your long runs. Race-specific training.

I started with Hal Higdon (halhigdon.com) for marathons, tailored his plans to fit my schedule. He's an old-school coach that's got a ton of free sample training plans on his site, most in the 16-20 week range. They're the typical +10% volume/week, usually running 5-6 days/week, with a step back recovery week every so often. They typically will include a few shorter runs (ranging from 3-5 miles, one of which will be a recovery run, one a speed/tempo run- faster than race pace), a medium run (6-12 miles at goal race pace), and a long run ( 13-23 miles, slower than race pace- just building time on the feet).

You've got so much time, you could easily follow a beginner marathon program long before your more race-specific training starts, then step into a slightly more intense intermediate program. That would allow you to get your head around your pacing and goal time for the actual race.

I think programs like his (most marathon programs are very similar) are a great place to start, just to get your head around what a regular training schedule/volume buildup looks like. Then you tailor to your own strengths, schedule, and terrain from there.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: training on 11/02/2011 20:19:08 MDT Print View

"and lets say (theoretically :)) that you current fitness level running is a couple of relatively difficult 5k trails/week (~40 minutes)"

Work up slowly to relatively difficult 20 mile trail runs. As close as your body will tolerate to what you will encounter in the race. If you can do some of your later runs on segments of the actual course, so much the better.


"can someone recommend a rough training outline, my goal would be more than just to finish (but well short of winning)"

At the end of your training cycle, if time permits, get out on the actual course and run as much of it as you can. Probably with a partner on a race of this nature, in case something goes bad. I say this because on a race as difficult as this, you are going to be pretty tired in the latter stages, and knowing what to expect will be invaluable. Along the lines of the WS 100. The serious runners all do part of their training on the course, or used to. I doubt that has changed.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 20:20:45 MDT Print View

I agree Tom...I think we might be saying the same thing. Either way, a person has to start small and build up; doesn't matter if it's in training or in racing or both. The point is, it has to happen. Nobody jumps straight into multiple hour runs. I remember when I did my first non-stop 30 minute run and thought it was a big deal...because at the time, it was. It could've been an official 5K or a neighborhood run and the result would've been the same...building up to longer (or faster) distances. I guess the main difference is that some people hang at the shorter distances and focus on speed whereas others (like myself) get excited about going further.

I still have the "ultra" bug, but I often feel like a complete hack because I'm pretty slow (though close, I still have never broken 4 in a road marathon)...Sometimes I want to dismiss getting into ultrarunning and focus on qualifying for Boston...there's a beast of a goal. I'm more intimidated by the thought of that than simply finishing a 50 mile. To each their own!

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: real runners vs finishers on 11/02/2011 20:22:55 MDT Print View

Really good information from both you experienced runners and your renegades.

I've never raced in an official race. So far I run a bit over 10K runs usually on Saturday and Sunday and then something shorter Tue, Wed or Thur. So I'm now less than 20 miles per week - three days per week. But the 10k distance is not a strain to me. Based on my current times for 10K I would be at the back of pack based on the times I see. My gut feel is that I'm a slower pace but longer distance runner.

My plan is to keep adding time and distance to those. I am going to try to run 4 days some weeks. I want to be able to run 10 miles three times per week as my next goal.

What is helping me so far, I think, is giving myself ample recovery after the Sat and Sun runs. With only one run either Tue, Wed, Thur. I plan to always rest on Fridays and Mondays even if I run 2 or 3 days Tue-Thur.

I'm going to be careful, but see if I can increase my runs on Sat and Sun over the next couple of months. For now I will focus more on time than distance. Like to run ten 10 minute miles (1hr 40min) or nine 11 min miles (about the same time). Something like that.

I hope we can keep this thread going for a while. I really appreciate all of you sharing your knowledge.

Dream Goal: finish a 50 Mile race

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: training run duration versus mileage on 11/02/2011 20:31:16 MDT Print View

"I think we might be saying the same thing."

Yup. I think we're pretty much on the same page. No surprise there. Toward the end of the racing stage of my running career, I came to realize that speed was a bit over rated. There's always someone faster, and the ever present danger of injury; for what, a few seconds off your 5K time? For which you risk an early end to an activity that yields pure joy and exultation like no other I have ever experienced. Quite frankly, looking back, I wish I had spent more time trail running.

From what I know of you, you shouldn't be intimidated about qualifying for Boston. You're a tough enough guy, and intelligent enough, that if you set your mind to it, you'll do what is necessary without breaking yourself in the process. It's just a question of deciding if that's what you want to do.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: training on 11/02/2011 20:54:30 MDT Print View

Mike

How far do you live from the course?
Have you ever been on any portion of the course?

The Garmin map shows elevation gain = 5937 ft , elevation loss = 8731 ft
1. that's quite a bit for a 20 miler
2. it is net downhill almost 3,000 feet with last 5 miles all downhill.

so my main focus would be hill work, especially downhill work.
you won't be running the uphills at your level so learn and practice fast uphill power walking.
you can gain (or lose) a lot of time on the downhills so learn how to run downhill and train on long mid steep downhill runs - short fast steps, slight lean forward from the ankles. downhill is much harder on the quads than uphill, so once or twice a week for serious downhill training at most.

Trailbed - my guess it is pretty rugged, that's why I asked if you had seen it.
try and train on equally rugged terraine as much as you can to build up your stabilizing muscles.

The most bang for you buck is actual training on the course.
if at all possible train on the course itself once in a while.
all else being equal, familiarity is faster than nonfamiliarity.

Peter Rodrigues
(prodrigues) - F

Locale: New York
Re: training on 11/02/2011 21:20:33 MDT Print View

Mike,

The guys above have said some really sound things. One thing that I would consider essential givenht yourrae isten months away would be some intermediate goals. They dont have to be races, but instead paces or efforts on similar type terrain. Personally I find that working toward paced efforts over shorter courses helps me to believe in my fitness as my main event gets closer.

Keep us updated of your progress.

Pete

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: training on 11/02/2011 23:59:38 MDT Print View

Craig,

I didn't know you were coaching. Good for you. About that kid working to lower his 5K time. So many times I have seen the average or below average kids set a goal and they persist, work hard, attack it with tenacity and then finally hit it. Those performances often become the highlight of the year for everyone on the team. Encourage and work with him.

A couple of links you may find interesting:

http://www.tech-fall.com/2005CAtrackfield7.html

scroll down to the 1600 meter race. Acosta was disqualified because with 3/4 of a lap to go go, he knocked Joe of the track while Joe was leading the race. Joe got back on the track and finished 2nd. Joe had run the fastest qualifying heat the day before at 4:11.

2004 XC State Finals: http://www.sml1.com/recordtiming/cifxc2004/cifd2b.txt


Regarding apples and oranges. I agree. My interest in running has always been competitive; as a runner and coaching others. But nothing wrong with running for fun; even the elite have fun. And it is completely possible to make one's first race a big one. You did that. But for most people they need to set milestones along the way and achieve incremental personal wins as they progress. And no matter why someone runs, I always encourage that method. It is not necessarily the correct way, but more beginning runners will keep running with that method. Less likely to get discouraged or injured.

Mike,

That 20 mile race is close to a marathon. I would definitely set up a 6 day a week training schedule. For some ideas check out this article

http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_4/143.shtml

Art provided some good information on the downhills, but I would try and stay upright, not lean. The short step is important, otherwise you will heel-strike which is killer on long downhills. You want a fore-strike. And as he said it is hard on the quads... not to mention the calves... it is even harder than he made it sound :(
If you remember from some of the minimalist running shoe threads, people said they were very sore at first because they started running with a front-strike. Well that will be compounded on downhills. Here is the trick on downhill training. Do a downhill training day, and then uphill the next day. You will be working opposing muscles and will almost give those sore muscles a day off when you run the opposite direction. And definitely train on the course if you can. Craig if you ever do the Boston marathon, I think it is net downhill so this would probably apply to that course.

George,

You might also want to look at the coolinrunning site mentioned above. I sure would encourage you to run some shorter races. Just getting used to the organization of a race and running with others will be helpful. As far as pacing, I have seen a lot of below average runners in the middle distances, they are fair at 10K and get better as the mileage goes up. Pretty rare to see someone who is good across the board unless you grew up in Kenya.

I sure am enjoying this thread. To the OP and Eugene, sorry we got off subject but you inspired a lot of people which is a good thing!!