Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Adapted with permission from “Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning” [VeloPress, 2014]
This 50-mile training plan is laid out to be progressive, with a healthy and exciting buildup of mileage and intensity. You’ll find the weekly mileage to be straightforward and easy to follow. There are also targeted workouts in the plan, built in alongside your miles, which will build your strength and also give you opportunities to customize the intensity and duration of your workouts.
Tempo Runs: Tempo runs are inserted during peak training weeks to enhance the feel of a race-day effort and to make your body more efficient for the duration of the event. The key is to work on your rhythm and tempo for 30-60 minutes at a comfortably hard pace. Warm up and cool down with a couple miles of easy running.
Fartleks: Fartleks (Swedish for “speed play”) are designed to provide some change of pace for the legs, since most of the running at this time is at an easy pace. For fartlek training, run a 1-minute surge every 6 or 7 minutes for the entirety of the run. This surge is perhaps 15 to 20 seconds per mile faster than tempo pace. At the end of the surge, simply return to your relaxed rhythm.
Hill Repeats: Hill repeats are another tool for building strength, and they also give you greater confidence come race day. Locate a consistent grade on which to perform your repeats. The key is to do a sustainable effort for 90 seconds followed by a 2- to 3-minute recovery, and to repeat this 10 times. Ideally, you would work this exercise into the designated run, perhaps running to your preferred stretch of climb as a warm-up and back again for the cool-down.
Click here for the printable PDF: 50-Mile Training Plan