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.