50 mile Beginner (20 weeks)-HR based

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50 mile Beginner (20 weeks)-HR based


Lindsay Zemba Leigh

All plans by this Coach


20 Weeks

Typical Week

5 Run, 3 Other, 3 Strength, 1 X-Train, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

24 miles

Plan Specs

running ultra beginner hr based

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The 50 mile Beginner plan is geared towards experienced marathon and 50k runners who are ready to race farther and run their first 50 mile. The plan progresses from an 8 mile stand alone long run to a 24 mile long run, and also includes back to back long runs, speed work, tempo runs, strength training, cross training, yoga and rest days. There is also a field test to set heart rate zones.
This plan is best for those who have been running at least a year and are currently running at least four times per week, a total of at least 30 miles per week, and a long run of at least ten miles.


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 04:39
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 04:39
Average Weekly Breakdown

Lindsay Leigh

No Limits Endurance Coaching

I have had a passion for fitness and endurance sports all my life and use this passion and knowledge to motivate athletes to be their best. I have a M.S. in Biology, I am a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through NSCA, USAT Level II Endurance Coach, Certified Yoga Instructor, and NESTA Nutrition Coach. I have experience coaching athletes of all levels – from beginner to expert, and distances – from sprint triathlons to Ironman, and from 5k to Ultramarathons.

Sample Day 1

Functional Warm Up

Perform 10 reps of each move to activate your legs and core. Once you're comfortable with this warmup, it shouldn't take more than 5 min.
1. 4-way lunges - Start in a split squat, knees held at 90 degrees. Hold your arms up in a W, pulling your shoulder blades down and back. Use glutei to stabilize the movements. Keep your R knee steady over your foot. Repeat each on the left side. 1. Lean your body forward over your front leg, then squeeze your glutei to pull back up. 2. Rotate while stabilizing your hips. 3. Rock your torso. 4. Pulse your hips up and down 3 inches. 
2. Good Mornings - Stand with your weight on your heels, toes pointed slightly out and knees soft. Pull your shoulder blades down and together. Lean forward, pushing your hips back, then return to standing.
3. Glute Step-Backs (curtsy) - Step back with L leg crossing behind your right. Drop you left knee to the ground. Pressing thru your R heel return to standing. Repeat on other side.
4. Calf Raises, 3 ways - Lean into wall, putting weight on elbows. With feet pointed straight ahead lift heels. Repeat with feet pointed in 30 degrees and again, turned out to 45 degrees.

Sample Day 1

Steady base run with drills (1)

You can do some light core or dynamic stretches to warm up.
Complete 2 x 30 seconds, with 30 seconds rest of each drill.
Take the first 10-15 minutes to warm up easy into the run. (as you need). Then, run at a steady, zone 2 effort. As you run, think about the different elements of your form that the drills focused on.

Sample Day 2

Run HR Calculation (20 minute)

*Please be sure to read the description and pre-activity comments fully before starting.

This may be done as a 5k race if you prefer.
Run10 minutes easy, building to steady
5 x 20 second strides, followed by 40 seconds easy jog between. (*a stride is a quick burst of speed, where you accelerate for the first part, maintain almost max speed for the middle and gradually decelerate for the remainder. You should concentrate on good form and fast feet)
20 minute TT
Immediately following the warmup, you will run for 20 minutes at the fastest pace you can sustain for this duration. This should be about 80-90% of your max effort. It will be hard. Stay strong!
It is better to find the rhythm in the first few minutes and make sure the effort is sustainable than it is to start off too hard and fade.
Hit the lap timer when you start and end this segment.
Walk or jog EASY for 10 minutes
In your log:
- Upload the HR file from your Garmin
- In the post-activity comments, note your rate of perceived exertion for the 20 minute segment
- Include any additional comments and feelings about the test you think will be helpful.

Sample Day 3

Crosstrain or rest

Sample Day 4

Easy to steady base run

Run easy to steady - as your legs feel, but don't exceed steady. Anywhere in the range below is good. :-)

Sample Day 4

Yoga post-run


Sample Day 6

Pre-run Activation

Before you run: Do some activation for the body. Here's a good list of items. Select a combination of these - and vary them from day to day. Total activation time should be 15 minutes :-)

You are not doing ALL of these exercises - you can pick a mix of 8-12 and do one set of each, or pick fewer and do 2-3 sets of each. As you like :-)

Vary these up!

Calves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Zs4hh4cp98

Full range of dynamic stretch motions: https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20821629/a-dynamic-stretching-routine/

- Plank - 30-60 seconds
- Side plank - 30-60 seconds
- Side plan w/ hip lift - 15-20 lifts per side

- Bridges (one legged, to really isolate the glute on each side) - 15-20 reps
- Bridges - straight legs on a stability ball - 15-20 reps
- Bridges - bend legs on a stability ball - 15-20 reps

- Side leg lifts - 10 reps with leg straight up, 10 reps with leg out just slightly (maybe 5 degrees) over the top one with foot inverted toward ground, then 10 more with leg out a little bit further than previous set (maybe 10 degrees) foot still inverted toward ground
- Leg circles - you get in position as if you are doing a leg lift. Lift the top leg, then do 5-10 circles of the leg in one direction. Then 5-10 circles in the opposite direction. THese are not huge sweeping arcs :-) - just little circles.

- Static lunges - 15-20 each leg (really focus on the glutes doing the work here) - so you lunge in position, one leg at a time
- Dynamic lunges - 15-20 - you alternate legs each lunge
- Walking lunges - 15-20 lunges, alternating legs, per walk
-Single leg lunges - 10-20 per leg (back leg is propped up on chair or other item. Make sure that item is STABLE!!)

- Lateral squats - w/ band, 15-20 reps to each side (so when you squat, you step to the left or right instead of just going straight down)
- Single leg squats (you can hold something for balance if you need to maintain form) - 10-20 reps per leg (or less if you need to maintain form!)
- Walking side squats (also sometimes called "monster walk" - 10-20 squats per side per walk

- alternate superman - 15-20 reps per leg
- clamshells - w/ band - 15-20 reps per leg
- Single leg deadlift - 10-20 reps per leg
- Calf raises - 10-20 reps (toes straight, toes inverted, toes everted)

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