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Ultra Running Series - Complete 26-Week Training Plan for 50K to 50 miles

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Ultra Running Series - Complete 26-Week Training Plan for 50K to 50 miles

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.

Learn More about Structured Workouts.


Adam Hodges

All plans by this Coach


26 Weeks

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.

Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Plan Description

This plan provides a comprehensive 26-week training program for runners with at least four years of training experience who are targeting an event from 50K to 50 miles.

The program’s progression follows the training principle of moving from the least specific physiology to most specific physiology for your racing distance, progressing from VO2max Training (4 weeks) > Lactate Threshold Training (8 weeks) > Endurance Training (12 weeks) > Taper (2 weeks).

The first 4 weeks of VO2max training holds training volume relatively constant while focusing on developing your aerobic capacity with VO2max intervals. Your aerobic capacity, or VO2max, refers to the highest rate of oxygen transport by your body during maximal physical exertion. Think of this as your performance “ceiling.” By raising your ceiling, you will raise your overall fitness — including your ability to run faster over the distance of your event at an aerobic pace.

The next 8 weeks focus on intervals at or below your lactate threshold. The purpose of this training phase is to raise your lactate threshold by improving lactate tolerance and decreasing lactate accumulation, which allows you to stay aerobic at faster speeds.

The plan culminates with 12 weeks of endurance training. The endurance training phase is arranged into three 4-week training blocks. The first block focuses on intensity rather than volume with two key aerobic tempo runs per week. The second block begins to build the duration of your long runs while cutting back to one aerobic tempo run per week. The final block focuses on increasing volume, including the duration of back-to-back long runs to achieve the ultrarunning minimum/maximum guideline for events from 50K to 50 miles — targeting at least 6 hours per week over 3 weeks starting 6 weeks prior to your target event. The progression finishes with a taper to ensure you’re ready to race.

The plan assigns running volume based on training hours and training stress score (TSS). Adjust the frequency, volume, and intensity of the workouts up or down based on your personal starting point — see the guidelines within the plan to customize the plan for your own situation.

To target and monitor your training intensity, the workouts provide training zone descriptions based on breathing and talking cues to help you gauge your perceived exertion, as well as heart rate ranges, if you use a heart rate monitor. The Alp Fitness training zones are also compatible with Stryd running power. But you are encouraged to learn to judge your effort levels "by feel" even if using these other tools.

The plan includes an optional strength training program to supplement your running workouts.

No matter where you want to go, you must start where you are with your own unique goals in mind. This plan — like any training plan — represents an initial draft, rather than a final document set in stone. You will write the final version over the coming weeks as you glean feedback from your training and adapt the plan to your specific situation and goals. Train smart!

How it Works

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Run x6
04:23:00 03:00:00
Strength x3
01:13:00 00:30:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
04:23:00 03:00:00
01:13:00 00:30:00
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Adam Hodges

Alp Fitness

I offer training plans for those seeking personal growth through self-defined challenges, whether those involve races (e.g., 50K trail runs, winter triathlons) or solo adventures (e.g., fast-packing, mountaineering objectives). Learn more about my training approach at where you can also find additional videos and articles to help you train smart.

  • This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
  • Access your training plan anywhere on the TrainingPeaks mobile and desktop apps.
  • Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
  • Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Syncs daily with other popular apps like Garmin and MyFitnessPal.

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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