Jeff Browning's 20-week 50K Ultra Marathon Training Plan
Jeff BrowningAll plans by this Coach
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This 20-week ultra running training plan is designed for runners who want to improve their ultra trail running performance and prepare for an upcoming 50K mountain running event.
The plan includes an initial base building phase using MAF HR (Maximum Aerobic Function Heart Rate) principles in the first 4 weeks and systematically adds hills to build strength before using a 2 week build, 1 week recovery strategy as you slowly build your weekly long run. It also includes 2 days per week of strength training — quick workouts you can do at home with lightweight dumbbells and the other day a bodyweight routine.
The plan systematically builds with biggest volume blocks including back to back long runs 8, 5, and 3 weeks out from your target 50K event. The largest week peaks at 10 hours of running in week 17 (3 weeks from race day). The last long run is 2 weeks out, followed by a 2 week taper to race day.
BASE FITNESS NOTE: Individuals should have some running background and are capable of handling back to back weeks of around 3-4 hours of running to start the plan. If you're a beginner or it's your first ultra, it is recommended you have at least 4 weeks of 3-4 days per week of easy running before starting this plan.
Like any healthy, intelligent training plan, this plan mixes hills, quality, strength, mobility, easy runs, and the staple long runs — all at varying intensities. It is important to listen to your body and take into account lifestyle stress (work, family, commitments, etc.) so you are able to absorb the training and adapt to the more demanding weeks. That means taking an extra, unplanned day off sometimes if need be, even if the plan calls for a workout. Be smart and good luck in your goal event.
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Training Plan Sample Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
|Workouts||Weekly Average||Longest Workout|
|6:35 hrs||4:30 hrs|
|0:59 hrs||0:45 hrs|
|0:11 hrs||0:12 hrs|
Day Off x1
|Workouts Per Week||Weekly Average||Longest Workout|
||6:35 hrs||4:30 hrs|
||0:59 hrs||0:45 hrs|
||0:11 hrs||0:12 hrs|
Training Load By Week
This plan works best with the following fitness devices:
- Heart Rate Monitor