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50K Plan - Beginner, 26 Weeks


Coach Pittman

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26 Weeks

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Plan Description

This is a 50K plan for both the first time Ultrarunner and even more experienced athletes transitioning to ultra distances. I suggest you have a base of running at least 20 miles per week before attempting this plan.

Recovery Runs - These runs are designed to develop your aerobic system while enhancing recovery. Run them very easy at an effort you could carry a comfortable conversation with someone. Most people don't understand just how easy this needs to be, but if you are uncertain, slow down. You cannot go too slow during these runs. Additionally, you will generally have a harder or longer run the following day.

Endurance Runs - This is a little harder effort than Recovery, but you can still sustain this effort for 4 to 5 hours.

Steady State - This effort is more aligned with your marathon race pace effort if you are in the 3 to 4 hour range.

Tempo Runs - This effort is really hard, but sustainable for about an hour. This efforts is somewhere between 10K effort, or half marathon for really fast runners.

Running Intervals - This is a max effort for a short duration. This is really, really, hard running. Think about how hard you would run if you did a 1 mile race.

Variety - Run your easy (recovery and endurance) days, easy. Run your hard days, hard.

Strides - Strides are utilized early in this plan to build a good structural foundation for speed work. Additionally, Strides are an excellent way to improve running economy through better mechanics. Make sure to read the pre-activity comments to understand how to execute strides efficiently.

Cross-training - While I'm a huge proponent of strength work for runners, I have only included minimal cross-training that includes hiking in the build and peak phases. More than likely, you will hike a good portion of your race and we need to train as specific as possible for the demands of the event. Often, it's not about how fast you run your fastest miles, but how slow you run your slowest miles. Learning to hike efficiently will give you an advantage when hiking is necessary in your race.

If you have any questions, email me at

Coach Cliff Pittman

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
6:26 hrs 5:00 hrs
Day Offx1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
6:26 hrs 5:00 hrs
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

Coach Pittman

Fit 2 Endure

USA Triathlon Coach and Running coach