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Discussion Starter #1
How does a person go about training for a 50K? Is doing so a help or a hindrance to a goal marathon 5-6 weeks later?<br><br>
Due to encouragement from the Umstead crew and some curiosity, I'm thinking about the Team Slug (DE) one in late September. I am the type who likes a training program to follow and there don't seem to be a lot out there, at least not based on searching the Internet.<br><br>
Also, if I did it, it would have to be set up so the 50K was preparation for a (probably) November marathon goal race, so maybe two training programs combined?
 

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A 50K is really just a long marathon. I think if you just tried to get your marathon training schedule to peak at the 50K, then did something like Hal Higdon's consecutive marathon training program for the time inbetween the marathons, you would be fine. Also, with the 50K, you are going to need to put some time in on similar terrain if it is on trails. Work on eating on the run as well trying to get 250-350 cals/hour between sports drinks and food.
 

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well, being a team slug event, the best way to practice is to run the first 26.2 miles at a relaxed pace, then grab a six pack of your favorite beer for the last 5 miles!<br><br>
on a serious note. . .it is a true fat ass style event. very casual. but the coarse lends itself perfectly to the event--like a 3.1 mile loop around the pond, so it's really scenic, and you've got an aid station and any gear you may need on each loop. not a very competitive situation, but there may be some fast runners. there were some guys running like 4:40'ish in January. and note--it's also on trails (maybe .1 mile on asphalt). pretty sandy soil, so it drains well, and much more forgiving than asphalt. as long as the weather is decent, even road shoes should be fine.<br><br>
as far as preparation, i would stick with a solid marathon training plan, but maybe bump your longest run up just a hair. when you actually run the 50K you'll probably just want to hold your pace back a bit to conserve some energy for those last five miles. when I ran my first 50K my longest long run was like 25 miles, and i finished feeling good enough to drive an hour home, shower, bust out the grill and cook for an octoberfest party which lasted till 2 a.m.. now that gives me an idea!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Let's see if I'm getting this right. Hmmm, OK, my last marathon training program was a 23 mile long run with the last 5 at MP 3 weeks before the marathon. To train for the 50K, I'd want to do something like a 25 mile steady run how many weeks before the 50K? 3-4 then taper for it? And then using a "train between two marathons" program such as Higdon or Pfitz to continue on to a marathon?<br><br>
The Slug race sounds like a lot of fun, with the added advantage of DETurtle & Durt there. I'm all about the 3.1 mile loop. My long runs are are almost all done going back and forth on a 3.1 mile paved trail with fuel on either end.<br><br>
What's the verdict on how doing a 50K would increase or decrease my chances of running 3:45:59 in a marathon?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm leaning toward seeing you there! Next week I'll go do some recon. <img alt="cool.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/cool.gif">
 

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Since your marathon is 5-6 weeks later, I think you'll be in great shape as far as training/tapering goes. What's your usual taper like? I would run the 50K as a non-competitive training run. The goal should be to finish with a smile on your face, and just spend some quality time on your feet. You've got a specific goal for the marathon...don't risk injury prior by trying to push yourself at the 50K.<br><br>
Mentally, these are two entirely different runs. You may find yourself walking a couple of the hills for the 50K. The loop does make the terrain feel a bit repetitive at times. Hills that are easily run for the first 5-6 loops are really tiring by the time you hit loop 8 or 9. Start walking hills in your marathon, and you'll probably jeopardize your time goals. The time buffer between the two is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My tapers have been 3 weeks, coming down nicely from a peak of ~ 55 mpw. Last round I could feel the taper working by the end of its first week.<br><br>
Is the course very hilly? That would actually be an advantage if I decide on Richmond which has a few hills. I guess first I need to decide a marathon!
 

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It's not very hilly at all. Just a couple of small bumps, and a couple of gently rolling spots. It really is ideal for a first 50K.
 

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In my quest for training guides for the 50 mile distances I found the following link to Hal Higdon's ultramarathon guide. He has it designed more for the Comrades and other 50 mile distances but it can possibly be adapted for a 50k.<br><br><a href="http://www.halhigdon.com/ultramarathon/ultramarathon2000.htm" target="_blank">http://www.halhigdon.com/ultramarath...rathon2000.htm</a>
 

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I second everything that Durt said. The Team slug 50K is an easy first ultra and it could probably be fit into your marathon training schedule. I think you would have no problem busting out a 3:45 6 weeks later.<br><br>
Plus, Durt, myself, The All-Nighter and Favorite Sluggette (James and Rebecca), of course Da' Hitman would be excited to see you at our non-event. If you don't mind tons of animals (cats and dogs) you can stay on the farm, or in the house if I have one bought by then!<br><br>
Okay back to training. My longest run before my 50K was 25 miles, so you should be fine. I am a "walk the hills" kindof preson, so I recommend that, although they aren't really hills, more like bumps.
 

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I've never done specific training for any ultra event. But then I've only run 12 so far. If you have a little marathon experience and the will (as you DO, SGH) I would argue that proper early pacing and good foot care/eating will trump training.<br><br>
Seriously, a slow start and the stubbornness/determination to finish will get you far.<br><br>
If the surface is going to be different from what you're used to, spend time on that. Technical trails take a LONG time to really get coordinated to run well. This training can be 6-8 mile runs as well as long runs.<br><br>
Ultra recovery is often much shorter than road marathon recovery, unless you really get beat up by tough trail conditions. With 6 weeks between, the obvious Hippo answer is that you.d be better off putting a couple of other marathons between. How does anyone survive a six week period with no marathons/ultras -- isn't that really bad for you? <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Added: I'll put in a vote for Richmond for you, SGH. I ran it the week before JFK/Philly and really liked it. I don't remember the hills as anything special, but some of the old neighborhoods it goes through are incredible and the run along the river is really fab.<br><br>
My only complaint was that it was a hot day and they didn't have any sodium or drink containing sodium. I would definitely take along a generous supply of pills (E-caps/Succeed etc) in case. You should probably make sure you've figured that out well before an ultra too. Those nasty foot pictures I put up were 100% due to low sodium, and the symptoms just get worse from there.
 

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SGH - I found some training plans on the runnersworld website. I'm going to be running a 50k trail run in Chattanooga on October 6 (Stump Jump 50k) 5 weeks out from the Richmond. I'm still feeling my way along in 50k races but I think I can still maintain my 3:45 goal for Richmond with the 5 week separation.<br><br>
Hippo - you think 5 weeks is enough time between the two?
 

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Silly GRR! you should know better than to ask me a question like that.<br><br>
The honest and non-Hippo answer is "it depends."<br><br>
The Hippo answer is, "5 weeks is a really bad idea unless you toss a couple of marathons into that huge hole."<br><br><img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
I'm actually in a panic right now because my schedule has no races between June 2 and July 4th. That is an absolutely unacceptable time between marathons; I'm beside myself trying to find a mid-June race to add.
 

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I can take either side of the argument and agree. The question is not if you can finish the 50km. You can. Its if you can finish the 50km and continue training for your fall marathon. You don't want any interruptions in the final phase of marathon preparations.<br><br>
Understanding that all 50km runs are not equal, Team Slug promises a not too technical trail. I say this, because trail running pace is sometimes 2-5 minutes (or more) slower than your standard long, easy run pace. This equals 5-7 hours time on feet.<br><br>
I'll try to answer your questions:<br><br>
Agree with Meri that 50km its just a long marathon. But still a marathon (not taken for granted) and I assume what would be a distance PR. In your marathon season, consider you'll want to schedule a recovery week either before or after the 50km. With marathon as the focus, I doubt you'll want to spend too much time tapering (if any) for the 50km. Post-50km, I also imagine that you'll want to get right back to quality workouts without too much delay.<br><br>
I think you can do it with the right attitude and preparations. Your knowledge and practice of cross-training and active-recovery is an asset.<br><br>
Since the course is not too technical, I would just stick to your marathon plan and add distance to one run. An easy one, for me, is to add to the day after the weekly long run. By progressively adding miles to your recovery run, by mid-season you will accumulate good milage in two runs (within an 26-30 hour timeframe.)<br><br>
In addition to preparing you for the 50km, the practice of back-to-backs training runs, or "big weekends" could have that positive on your marathon. Besides adding volume, you'll train your endocrine system to conserve gylcogen as a fuel and burn a larger percentage of fat as fuel. A good thing, I believe.<br><br>
I also think you can accomplish the same with added cycling.<br><br>
On the schedule, plan the 50km on a long run day. Approach it as a 20-miler and anything over that is bonus. Consider a run/walk strategy to the finish.<br><br>
The mental benefit is that your 3:45 marathon will seem somewhat a breeze a 5-6 hour 50km. At a minimum, you'll have a better understanding of your nutrition needs.<br><br>
And not to forget, the time spent on the trail with friends and like-minded folks is precious. Sounds like I want to get to a Team Slug event sometime very soon.<br><br>
Whatever you choose, I imagine you'll kick butt. The professor always does her homework. Hope I helped. Have a great season.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hippo -- thanks for the encouragement as well as your impressions of Richmond.<br><br>
GRR -- where on the RW site did you find those programs?<br><br>
Coach roots -- your perspective always helps. Thank you.<br><br>
My coach was a bit iffy about the 50K, but didn't advise against it. She's not knowledgeable about ultra training so isn't sure how to approach the preparation.<br><br>
Today I have been wavering on EVERY possible fall option so I am going to distance myself from mulling it over for a few days, do some recon in Richmond, and go from there.<br><br>
Aren't we fortunate to have these happy decision dilemmas? <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> What a luxury.
 

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My apologies SGH. The ultra training plan I found was only an article in Runner's World. For some reason I was thinking it was under their training plans. It's a 16 week plan for a 50 miler entitled "The Ultimate Ultramarathon Training Plan". If you are interested in it let me know and I'll send you the link.<br><br>
But try this link for a 50k training plan: <a href="http://www.rockcreek.com/articles/trail_running/articles/Make_The_Stumpjump_Your_First_50k.asp" target="_blank">http://www.rockcreek.com/articles/tr..._First_50k.asp</a>
 

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the 50 Mile plan from RW is really good. I used it for my first 50M race.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks GRR.<br><br>
My coach doesn't want me to do a first 50K and possibly have to spend the next 2-3 weeks recovering when I should be peaking for a BQ attempt. I sort of see her point ... I just really would like to do that event! [Violet Beauregard]I want it all![/Violet Beauregard] It looks like such a good time, and venturing past the 26.2 distance is motivating to me right now.<br><br>
Honestly I have been wrestling with a non running related personal stress issue that comes up a lot on during training runs and unless I can tame/resolve that am not sure I feel like battling the mental beast and hauling what feels like a heavy burden around with me on the next 5 months -- then again it could be a great opportunity to improve this aspect I seem to continually struggle with. (Sorry for the TMI, I know this is something I need to figure out for myself.)<br><br>
I guess I need to decide if I want to focus on fun and friends with my running this fall or if I want to buckle down and fight mentally so hard (physically I love working that hard) to go for the BQ which I KNOW I am capable of.
 
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