50K Training Help

Hey all.

I only started running properly in January this year.  I completed my first half marathon a week ago and average 4 runs a week with a weekly distance of around 26 - 28mi (long run is about 14mi).  Average pace on the half was around 8:30 per mile if that's significant?

I'm hoping to skip a full marathon and jump to a 50k taking place in mid-March 2013.  Normally I'd take this kind of thing slowly but I'm running for charity for a very ill family member so time is a factor.  I've accepted that I'm not going to race particularly well but on this occasion I'll settle for a survival shuffle.

WIth this in mind I'm looking for advice on the best way to prepare for this, should I just use a marathon training plan and then keep increasing distance to the 31mi mark?  Also, is this really a good idea or should I be less ambitious?

Thanks in advance


  • Hi longface,

    I'd say you'd be more than capable of getting round a 50k by march next year. It's not all that much further than a marathon and you've got more than 6 months to train.

    Obviously you'd need to up your mileage a little and build up to a few long runs of 20 miles plus and you'll get round fine

    Good luck, which one is it?
  • Like Andy says, 50K isn't all that much further than a marathon really. I think you'll be fine with your idea of following a marathon plan and just upping the distances a bit more. Most marathon plans are 16 weeks, and you've got another 8 weeks on top of that before next March, so plenty of time to prepare. MAybe not necessary to get up to the full 50K distance in training though - remember most marathon plans' longest training run is usually 20-22 miles and that gets people round the full distance on the day. If you can run 24-26 in training you should be fine and will probably manage much better than the 'survival shuffle' (LOL!) you're anticipating.

    I think it's a great idea and definitely not over-ambitious. As well as training for distance, remember to practice re-fuelling while running. Most folk can get round a marathon on just a few energy gels but for ultras most people need to take on real food, especially at the slower end of things. My personal favourites are jam sandwiches, hula hoops and jelly babies...

  • I'm in the same position CL

    However i've gone from 10k to 30k to 50k. I started running January this year and hope to complete a 50K beginning of December. I really started training for 50k about 3 months ago. I'm off out tonight doing 23 miles (I never ever thought I'd ever run anything close to this in my life). Then I will do a run tomorrow of about 6 miles (Trust me that's harder than running the 23 image Then Sunday I'll do another 10 to 15 miles. Then I might do a 5 miler or a few miles on the bike on Tuesday. It's pretty unorthodox but its works for me and I really feel good and confident about completing in December. I am doing the Dorset CTS the Endurancelife event and it has a lot of ascent in it so I train on the trails for my long run. I do believe quality is far far more important than quantity. So train specific for you event. Keep your pace slow slow slow, its a bit of an art to run fast enough to not look too daft but slow enough not to have any lactic build up and tire your legs. Remember to eat and drink on your long runs, it makes a massive difference and I found out the hard way at the Salisbury 54321. For instance running the the trails I cover 4.5 miles that takes me 55mins. Then I do 3.5 mile loops with a lot of ascent and I try to do each lap in 44 minutes. I am not going to break any world records that's for sure but I'm pretty certain I will finish baring the unforeseen. Also walk the hills don't be a martyr. Even in training I walk the hills, one day I will run them but I know my limits at the moment and I do this during training as its good drills image

    Other than that enjoy it. hardest thing I find is the gremlins saying why are you doing this and why don't you just stop image Its all good fun.

    Good luck and if I can do it anybody can and I really really mean that.

  • Like everyone says, what you're wanting to do is do-able. If you're wanting a plan, try the Ultraladies 50K, although the starting milege for the long run is rather high, or the Run for the Toad plan. I used a combination of those to go from HM to 50K - have alook and they should give you an indication of what you'll need to do.

    From my experience, as you go up the miles, on each long run the "new" last mile or two is the hardest - the mile or two that were the last ones on the previous long run are already easier! Back-to-backs are hard work but I found them useful.

    Don't forget to have rest days (I have two a week) and drop-down (easier) weeks.

    Also, if you want to follow a schedule, start it at least two weeks early (so start a 20-week schedule 22 weeks before the race), to allow for time off with a cold or a niggle or whatever!

  • Glad you said that Debra.

    Ran 23 miles last night and it was bloody hard the last mile. The thought of doing another 10 miles on top of that was worrying me. But last week I ran 21 miles. So hopefully next week i'll get 25 miles and thats where I am going to top out I think. Then I will look to run 25 miles a few more times and get comfortable with it. It was just the build up in my legs. My hydration was spot on so was my eating. But it was just the time spent on my feet. The moment I sat down and put my feet up the pain instantly went and I felt I could do a few more miles lol I have just under 3 months to get there and I think if I can run 23 miles at this stage I should be OK.

    Thats the thing with Ultra running you learn all the time from other people and their ideas. I think thats why I enjoy it so much

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