50 Mile/100K Trail Race - 20 Week Training Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:17
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:17
Training Load By Week

This 20-week 50 mile/100K Ultra Run training plan requires the use of a heart rate monitor. It was designed by Eric Orton using his proven training principles developed from 11 years of coaching experience. It works well for seasoned runners and following this plan will prepare you for your 50 miler /100K by including all of the elements used by Eric in training his personal coached ultra runners. To start this plan you should have completed a 90 minute long run or more and have an experienced background in running, including marathons. The workouts included in most weeks alllow you to customize the plan to your capacity for weekly volume. Weekends are very specific, with a focus on "quality" back to back runs. The exception is in R&R weeks every fourth week when training is greatly reduced for 4-5 days. These R&R weeks will allow for adaptation and improved performance.

Sample Day 1
Program Start-up vVO2 Test - 1 mile.

BT: WU: 20 min. at an easy to moderate effort + 5 X 30 sec. building speed. TEST: The test is best done on flat terrain or track. TEST - After your WU, run ONE mile as fast as you can. Focus on being steady and not going out too hard. CD: 5-10 minutes nice and easy.
Data RECORD: Capture your average heart rate for the one mile test and follow the directions below to create your HR training zones.

Sample Day 2
Easy Endurance Zone 2 with cadence work

WU: 5-10 min. in zone 1 working on good mid foot strike and quick turnover. MS: Steady in zone 2 with a focus on cadence. Count how many times your right foot hits the ground in 15 second. Look to hit 23 per 15 seconds. CD: Zone 1.

Sample Day 3
Foot Strength - Barefoot or Nike Free

Today work on building your foot strength. Foot strength is vital for injury prevention and your run strength. Run EASY barefoot on an all-weather field or manicured grass turf. If this is not possible, I recommend using Nike Free shoes or Vibram FiveFingers for this run, preferably on soft terrain/trail. After the run, stretch your calves.

Sample Day 3
Zone 2 with Pick-ups

WU: 5-10 min. in zone 1-2 working on quick turnover and driving knees forward. MS: Zone in zone 2 with a 10-20 second moderately hard pick-up every 8-10 min. during the run. CD: Zone 1.

Sample Day 4
Strength - 15 sec. steep hill repeats.

WU: 20 min. in zone 1-3 + 5 X 30 sec. building speed. MS: 6 X 15 sec. steep hill repeats with 2-3 min. RI. These should be done at a strong, progressive effort. Focus on starting out fairly easy and ending hard. Go by what feels hard for you. These should not be a max effort. Train, don''t strain. This means that the focus should be on consistency. Have a goal to be consistent with all of these at the same quality. CD: Zone 1-2.

Sample Day 6
Endurance Threshold - Zone 2-3.

WU: 15 min. in zone 1-2. MS: Fluctuate your efforts between zone 2-3 as you feel. Avoid running steady for very long, change it up often. Great on a hilly course. CD: Zone 1.

Sample Day 7
Endurance Threshold - Steady in zone 3

WU: 20 min. in zone 1-2. MS: Steady in zone 3. CD: Zone 1.

Eric Orton

Triathlon, running, cycling.

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