Eugene Smith is a beast
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Oct 27, 2011 at 7:52 am #1795539
That long run every week is very key.
but you don't need super high overall mileage unless you want to win races.
my peak mileage weeks for 100's is only about 75 miles a week, and only about 60 miles a week for 50's. I'm not any slower than some who do more mileage. I think the key is a deep long term base.
One way to get those long runs in is to run more races. Use 50k's as training runs for 50m's. use 50m's as training races for 100m's. I've run 50m races only two weeks apart when training for a 100.
I don't think you need back to back runs to train for 50m's. but a couple of them would be helpful for 100m's.
One problem with too many long slow runs is they make you slower. sure you can go all day but you're like molasses. a few 5 milers thrown in as speed work can help break things up.
Nick Clark is definitely a front of the packer. His blog details his weekly training and shows how he mixes it up.
Oct 27, 2011 at 9:27 am #1795578
There are some inspiring folks here. My dream goal is to run a 50 mi before I kick the bucket. I have a long way too go, but am working on it. The only thing that I believe is in my favor is I have begun to love running – Saturday and Sunday mornings and one day during the week. I want to get those three days to 10 milers. Eventually getting up to a real long run on weekend.
Again, Congrats on your run Eugene!
Maybe in a few years there could be a BPL 50 – I will sign up now.Don't care if I finish last, just want to finish : )Oct 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm #1795647David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Well done Eugene, that course looks awesome.
Endurolytes suck. Those perpetum solids are repugnant. Actually, for me all Hammer products suck (and they're 20 miles down the road as I type). The whole idea of Endurolytes allowing you to dose better has always struck me as BS. If you need electrolytes badly enough to take pills in addition to your standard nutrition, you need a lot more. Endurolytes should have 4x the goods in each pill.
Three things are needed for ultras:
-Physical/mental base fitness (later more important than former)
-Time on feet (connective tissue acclimation)
All other training is just for show.Oct 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm #1795650
Aim for hours on your feet when training, not miles covered. Speed comes from something like fartlek training. Don't listen to me though, as all my leg joints are shot. :)
Running distance is the sweetest feeling, but it sucks when your body gives in.Oct 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm #1795676
Connective Tissue Acclimation …
wow that's a term I've intuitively had on the edge of consciousness for a long time but never verbalized.
In long races my connective tissue issues are always more paramount than muscle issues.
yes, Time on Feet for "connective tissue acclimation".
… well that's a hotly debated topic among even the best ultra runners, so I'm not qualified to give my two cents.Oct 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm #1795691Peter RodriguesBPL Member
@prodriguesLocale: New York
I'm curious about how you define intensity/speed work. My hard efforts consist of 1 long run, 1 med long, a marathon pace/LT tempo, and hill repeats. Throw some form drills and strides and that makes up my intensity over a ten day cycle.Oct 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm #1795719AnonymousInactive
"I think I keep trying to fool myself that fitness and youth will make up for a lack of day long runs in training. I'm considering a few races in the spring so I'll likely keep the ball rolling after I recover and build off of the endurance I have now and the wisdom I'm gaining."
Youth and fitness will carry you a long way but, when you get out in ultra territory, they may not suffice. I'd say you did a great job considering. That course sounds a lot tougher than the AR50, and the fact that you even finished is a testament to your basic fitness, ability, and especially your mental toughness. I have no doubt that you will do a lot better in races to come. There has been some mention of fueling in the thread, and I'd like to add my 2 cents for what they're worth: Both EFS and Perpetuem are good choices, content wise. They used to be quite different in that EFS formerly used only glucose for carbs but contained a full complement of electrolytes and some BCAA's for protein/tissue repair. Perpetuem, OTOH, used maltrodextrin for carbs, plus soy protein, and a little fat, but was pretty short on electrolytes. If you look at the ingredients of both now, you will see that they have converged and there is now very little difference between them, Some, but not a lot. So, it comes down to a question of taste. Personally, I find Perpetuem easier on the stomach as it is quite bland, whereas EFS has mostly citrusy flavors that are quite sharp and can irritate the stomach. Another good source of carbs for ultras is plain boiled potatoes. Dave Hannaford, a top ultra marathoner in his day, once told me he always carried them late in a race for use when he felt he was going to bonk, because they gave him a quick lift and were easy on the stomach. Plus they are a welcome change from artificial liquid nutrition drinks. I totally concur with suggestions above about mixing a drink like Perpetuem or EFS into a triple-quadruple strength slurry and then diluting it on the move with a bottle of plain water. It cuts down on the time spent mixing more frequently. All you have to do is refill your water bottle for several stops. However you decide to go about it I wish you all the best. You're off to a great start.
TomOct 27, 2011 at 4:26 pm #1795721David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Speed work is an imprecise term. Let me rephrase: threshold work. Raising your aerobic threshold after you already have a good base of fitness but before your final stretch of endurance training (long runs, in this case) allows you to train that endurance at a higher level. You'll be running, hiking, or cycling faster but in the aerobic zone.
My experience, and extremely limited knowledge of exercise physiology, tells me this means intervals. On foot, structured hill repeats are my drug of choice. 30 second to 2 minute work periods with structured rest periods in between (typically twice the work time). 5-12 reps. If by 1/2 way through the whole affair you're not hating life, drooling, and getting tunnel vision you're not going hard enough. Ipod and loud music mandatory.
This was a great discovery for a lazy person like me, as the pain is high but the time required to do it right is very modest.Oct 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm #1795742
I like the term threshold work much better.
it encompasses an assortment of activities other than just interval runs.
Geof Roes, one of the top 100 milers in the country claims to do NO speed work, but he runs a ton of hills.
tempo runs of 1 or 2 hours length are another good option for ultra training. run faster than ultra race pace, in the upper range of your aerobic capacity, but still totally aerobic.Oct 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm #1795745Peter RodriguesBPL Member
@prodriguesLocale: New York
LT should be the pace which you can maintain for approx. an hour. There's different takes on HR for this area, but I feel like its one of the most important areas to work on even for ultra runners. Even on easy days, it's not a bad idea to approach LT near the end of a run, a la the Kenyan method of running.Oct 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm #1795767W I S N E R !Spectator
Forgot which coach said this:
"Hills are speedwork in disguise."
Running hilly courses = intervals.
I think Roes and Krupicka prove this point well. I've never heard anything about either of them doing intervals, speed workouts, etc. Vertical, vertical, vertical…Oct 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm #1795779AnonymousInactive
""Hills are speedwork in disguise."
Running hilly courses = intervals."
As long as we're talking ulta marathoning, I would wholeheartedly agree. For shorter distances, it is a different story because intervals are also used to develop leg speed and a very precise sense of pace. This is hard to do on hills. When training for 5-20k races we used to have a standard 3 phase training system: aerobic distance work for endurance; hill work for strength; and intervals on the track for leg speed and pacing. Ultra marathoning and distance racing up to the marathon are two different sports and require somewhat different training approaches, at least until you reach the truly elite level. Think Barney Klecker, who was the first to go under 5 hours for 50 miles. A different breed of cat. There is commonality, to be sure, but the intensity and emphasis differ considerably.Oct 28, 2011 at 10:06 am #1795968
Advice please on the concept of training run duration versus mileage.
I've gotten where I can run 1 to 1.3 hours on two consecutive days. This was over a five month period. (Starting point was 0 hours.)
I want to keep increasing the time I run to reach my…
Ulitmate Dream Goal: be able to run 10 hours so I could complete a 50 miler.
(12 minutes per mile x 50 miles = 600 minutes = 10 hours)
How much time is reasonable to add over weekly or monthly training runs?
For example, over a period of 24 months, if every month I increase my longest training run(s) by about 23 minutes, I will reach about 10 hours.Oct 28, 2011 at 11:46 am #1796014
is this a race you have in mind … or a run you made up ?
Are you talking about a road race … or trail race ?
Every trail 50 mile race is different.
I say this because 10 hours is a good time in an average difficulty trail race, and a great time in a difficult trail race.
If it is an established trail race, then go here :
to look up your race and get a realistic idea of what's a decent time.
In a 50 mile race, its typical to run the second half 30-60 minutes slower than the first half, depending on your conditioning and whether you went out too fast.
Training should be done in cycles. 4 weeks is a typical short cycle, then you combine these into bigger cycles.
You should only increase your mileage (or time on your feet) by around 10% per short cycle. a 20% increase is pushing it.
The first 3 weeks should be at the cycles mileage target, then the 4th week should be lower, maybe 10% lower. this gives you a short rest break before upping your mileage in the next cycle.
etc ……. etc.
To get your mileage up, I would say do not worry about that 12 minute per mile target, just do long slow runs.
For your first 50 mile effort, I would suggest not even worrying about a time, especially your 10 hour target. Just finishing the entire 50 should be your goal.
Your longest run does not have to equal your target race, 50 miles. a bunch of 25 milers, and maybe a 30 miler or two will get you ready.
As others have said, time on your feet is key, so track both mileage and time on your feet.
Finally, if you have a specific course in mind, the best way to train, is to mirror that course as closely as possible in your training.Oct 28, 2011 at 11:54 am #1796017
If you ever want to come to Scotland for an ultra, the West Highland Way Race is worth a shot. :)Nov 2, 2011 at 7:44 am #1797739
Art, a trail. Flat one. There is one not too far from me that I might try next Oct or the following Oct. Gibbet 50 Thanks for the advice.
Mike, I'd love that one if I had the time and money – but not now. Maybe years down the road I will return to run where my ancestors ran. The website is cool.
Eugene, you are so good at videos – have you thought about documenting an upcoming ultra from training through to the recovery afterwards?Nov 2, 2011 at 11:16 am #1797819Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Tom was spot on in his comments on races over a marathon.
If you want to do a 50 miler, you really need to start by doing 5Ks, 10Ks, and then a marathon. The 5K and 10K will let you get a feel for pacing, which is important for any race and training. As you up the mileage races you can train at paces based on your race pace for the shorter distances (+/- race pace).
Unless an elite marathoner, super long distances don't require speed work. Most distance runners train in "modules;" base, strength, and then speed. For races up to 10K where winning is more important than finishing, distance runners work on their speed in the later part of the season… intervals at or below race pace. For example a miler who wants to break 4 minutes may do 20 1/4 mile repeats at or below 60 seconds with a 200 meter jog in between each interval. Cannot do this workout without good base and strength. Same concept when doing 1/2 mile intervals. For 5K and 10K, same thing but with some longer intervals and longer rest in between. You will find that most elite distance runners do 70-100+ miles per week. To run a sub 3 hour marathon, one would have to have a training schedule and specific targets. Just to finish would still probably require 50 – 70 miles per week towards the end with maybe a max of a 20 mile run the week before.
So if you want to do a 50 miler the first 1/2 of your training plan should be base… getting you mileage up. You don't have to do the same mileage every day. Maybe it is 5 mile days and one 10 mile day each week. If you have a good idea of your 5K or 10K race pace, it will help you to determine what training pace you need. You don't need to even do a single 50 miler in training. Once you achieve your base target, you can work on strength which is probably hills. The really hilly 50 mile races are the killers.Nov 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm #1797839Kendall ClementBPL Member
@socalpackerLocale: Cebu, Philippines
Congratulations Eugene!!!Nov 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm #1797849
Nick & George
one problem with working your way up the racing distance ladder …
(5k – 10k – 20k – marathon – 50k – 50 miler)
is that a beginner may get a warped idea of what his pace is supposed to be for a 50 miler.
if the goal is a 50 miler and you haven't raced before, I would say start with a marathon or a 50k. even a 50k pace is a bit faster than a 50 mile pace.
I assume we're talking average runner, not front runner.Nov 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm #1797862
I'll disagree that speed work is not needed unless you are an elite runner. Mixing speed/fartlek/interval training into your routine will inrease your tolerance to oxygen deprivation in your muscles. I was never a shorter distance runner, yet my times got better over longer distances when i 'mixed it up'. There were international class runners in my running club, and i trained with them. I never expected to compete with them, but i'm convinced the training helped me 'enjoy' my races at my pace. Getting used to pushing yourself to the limit in training, helps when the going gets tough in a race. Most of it is mental, and if you have been there before in training, you know you can do it when needed.Nov 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm #1797932Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Running the shorter races and working up will give a person an idea of pacing. Just going out and trying a long race could end up in not finishing if the runner starts out too fast. Also it provides a baseline for training runs.
Regarding speed work, there are advantages to it, and also more chance for injury for beginning runners. A lot depends on the goal. Lets say someone is training for a long race and mixes intervals into the training. Then the intervals should be based on lets say a 5K or 10K pace or even less, depending on the interval distances. That would mean they would need some experience running the shorter races. If someone is training 6 days per week, I would not recommend speed work more than one of those days.
You will find that most competitive distance runners (under a marathon), do no speed work for at least the first half of the season and still record some good times. Speed work starts as they head towards championship meets and try to time their peak performances.Nov 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm #1797936AnonymousInactive
"-Physical/mental base fitness (later more important than former)
To do an adequate job of the former, the latter is a prerequisite. There just aren't any wusses in the world of ultra running.Nov 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm #1797960AnonymousInactive
"If you want to do a 50 miler, you really need to start by doing 5Ks, 10Ks, and then a marathon. The 5K and 10K will let you get a feel for pacing, which is important for any race and training. As you up the mileage races you can train at paces based on your race pace for the shorter distances (+/- race pace)."
+1 I neglected to mention that the guys in my running club who ran 50's in the 7-8 hour range were all very experienced at the shorter distances, but felt they would be more competitive at ultras. They had all done multiple marathons, in at least one case a sub 3 hour marathon, as well as numerous 5K-1/2 marathon races before beginning to train for a 50 miler. I would never recommend making a 50 miler your first race. The required training would put you at risk of injury, either during training or during the race, when the adrenaline start flowing. The body simply needs more time to adapt to that kind of distance than one training cycle permits with no previous racing experience at shorter distances, preferably including at least a couple of marathons.Nov 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm #1797979
Tom ,Nick , and anyone else
I think its a matter of objective.
Be a front runner v.s. finish the race.
To be a front runner I agree with your perspective.
To simply finish an ultra … not so much.
I came from a mountaineering, fastpacking background. hadn't hardly run in over 20 years, then went straight to 50 milers (even before 50k).
You don't need to be a real runner to simply finish a 50 miler or a 100 miler.
The shorter the race the more you must actually be a real runner.
You guys must be real runners, and are thinking like real runners,
not that there's anything wrong with that :-)Nov 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm #1797994W I S N E R !Spectator
My first official race, ever, was a marathon. I've since run many more, some 50Ks, my longest to date a ~42 miler. Some were solo, some official. I still have never officially run anything shorter than a half marathon. So I don't agree that you have to race short and build up…at least not in official races. I think it's especially unnecessary if you're simply running to finish vs. truly "racing". If you're training for a 50 mile, you'll have run so many 5ks, 10ks, and HMs in the process that you'll understand pacing simply from training.
As Art says above, it's absolutely a matter of objectives.
I can tell you right now that for me to simply complete a 50 mile run is easier than the training it would take for me to run a sub 17:00 5K…If I ever even could.
It's the old debate between classic road, track, and XC runners and ultrarunners. Breaking 5 minutes in the mile is a whole different beast than running a 50K just to finish. As is running a sub 4 50K vs. 7 hours…
I'm now an assistant XC and distance track coach at the high school I work at and have been following "mainstream" (USATF, etc.) running for some time. Seriously, most of the more "classic" (non-ultra) running community scoffs at most ultrarunners, especially non-elites: 50 miles in 10-14 hours? So what. People can race walk faster times. Show them a sub-3 hour marathon, and then they might think you're legit. Better yet, sub 2:30. Now we're talking "real" running.
Crazy to think that I have a student who has been working hard, literally, for over two years to shave a single minute off of his track 5K. I can't imagine.
Apples and oranges, friends.
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