50K training - question for a friend - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 12:43 AM - Thead Starter
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Hi all. I don't normally post in here but I'm hoping you might have some insight to this situation.

About a year ago I renewed a friendship with a guy I knew back in college (about 10 years ago). He is currently training with some friends for a 50K trail race that is Feb 20. When we first talked last year, he had told me he took quite a bit of time off of running because he was having some knee trouble (he took several years off), was cycling instead, and just started back running mid-December 2009. December 27 he ran the same half marathon I did on 2 weeks of training, his first half ever, in 1:43 and some change. So I'd say that whatever he was doing besides running he has some fitness and maybe some natural talent? He's 36 like me. And this 50K will be his second race, ever.

So he's been posting his running reports on Facebook and it appears that his friends are coordinating the training (I don't know them) and they are up to around between 11-14 miles on long runs, doing some road running as well as trail running. Today he posted something about taking a break to relax and the first thing I thought was that the race is 5-6 weeks out and they're not even close to what looks like a 20 mile run or more. It seems to me like this should be the toughest part of the training, so I asked him if he really had time to "take a break" and he said yes, then I asked him what his longest training running would be and he said 15 miles. This is raising red flags in my mind...for a sanity check, I looked at the 50K training plan on this site and while he's running 30-40 miles/wk he's nowhere close to a long run for that kind of distance race. Or it doesn't seem like it to me, but I've only run one marathon.

I am concerned that he might be grossly undertrained for that kind of race and that injury could be a problem, or at the least, disappointment. He said his goal is 5 hours for this 50K. For those of you who run that kind of distance more regularly than I do, what do you think? Are there training plans that keep your long runs that low? I did read in RW about splitting a long run into two double-digit runs on consecutive days with the first run being the harder effort, but he didn't say anything like that. I'm excited that he is running and hope to see him more at races but wouldn't want to see him come out of this thing injured. At the same time, I don't want to appear overly critical when his friends may have more experience than I do at this kind of racing. Thoughts? Right now I'm just worried about him but I do wonder if I should say something to him...but it may be too late.

Thanks.
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#2 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 11:04 AM
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It's going to be a very long race for him Nothing you can do about it, imo, except maybe offer advice after his race for the next one. I would think he would want to run at least 20 miles before his race! you could easily do a 50K (to finish) on marathon training, but his training seems more like half mary training! I would maybe just tell him to listen to his body.

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#3 of 8 Old 01-20-2010, 04:22 PM
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How much cycling did he do? If he was doing endurance distances, his cardio base MIGHT be ok. But I agree that the time on his feet will be long ....
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#4 of 8 Old 01-20-2010, 06:55 PM
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I think he can make the distance, i am sure it will take longer then 5 hours. If you do a 50k on road he might be able to do 5 hours but on trail that is different. Your stride is always changing so your speed changes as well. But, like i said he can probably make it on that training, he may not walk for a week but he can make it...lol
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#5 of 8 Old 01-20-2010, 07:03 PM - Thead Starter
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Time-wise, 7 years, numerous 100 mile races. I asked him about what they were doing for training and was told they are "winging it", that miles on the feet were "cumulative" and that he (and his friend) was not worried. I mentioned that most traditional training plans have more extensive long runs than the 15 miler he mentioned and he informed me that even marathon training only had long runs of 75% of race distance or 18 miles (actually 19.65 to be exact but he said 18 ) ??? (mine had 3-20's), so I reminded him that 75% of 50K was 23.3 miles, not 15...he seems to think they will be fine and that from his cycling days he knows "how to suffer" and listen to his body when it gets tough...so I told him it sounded like I was a lot more worried about him and his race than he was and wished him luck. He said he was going to continue running and racing afterwards so I am guessing he'll have some lessons learned. It was a good conversation - I managed to ask without sounding critical and no offense was taken and if he's not worried then I don't need to either.

One thing that was interesting in the conversation was that he is training with a friend and he mentioned that training together helps push him and keep him going when he may not get out there and do it by himself...although I'm not running a 50K I have always trained alone so planning becomes more important to me--I don't have that partner to push me or plan for me so writing it down and sticking to the plan is how I hold myself accountable. I think that is part of why I don't see eye to eye with him on his training, besides the fact that it just doesn't seem enough based on what I have learned about long-distance running. Winging it for a long race like that is just something I can't wrap my brain around! But it's all good, I got my answers from him so now all I can do is sit back and see how it plays out.
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#6 of 8 Old 01-20-2010, 07:47 PM
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keep us posted!!

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#7 of 8 Old 01-20-2010, 09:20 PM
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Sounds like he's not taking it very seriously and doesn't care much how he does so you probably shouldn't worry about him. The 5hr time goal is probably a bad idea. A good goal for your first 50k would be to finish.
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#8 of 8 Old 02-18-2010, 11:48 PM - Thead Starter
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Quick update - my friend got injured during training, not sure exactly how but he has dropped down to the 25K and may not race at all and just crew for his friend, depending on how his leg feels. Something in his lower leg, he said right leg above the ankle but no specifics.
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