"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New Thoughts on 100 Mile Training

Just thought it was time I talked about running again. As time goes by, I find my thoughts on training to be changing from "why doesn't anyone try..." to "this is starting to look sensible." The old dictum: 100 mile training should look like marathon training, but with longer long runs.

I no longer think back-to-back long runs are essential, nor that one needs to ever run faster than marathon pace in training. Here's a plan for those who can run a marathon between 3:00 and 4:30, which is most people who can also finish 100 miles before the cut-off, but isn't looking for medals.

3 week cycle:

Monday 6 miles
Tuesday 6 miles
Wednesday 9 miles hard (marathon pace or hills)
Thursday 6 miles
Friday 6 miles

First week
Saturday 20 miles
Sunday 9 miles

Second week
Saturday 12 miles hard (marathon pace or hills)
Sunday 9 miles

Third week
Saturday 31 miles
Sunday 12 miles

At 11-12 minutes per mile (4:30 marathoners), this is about 12 hours per week.
At  8 minutes per mile (3:00 marathoners), this is 9 hours per week, and one can add two-a-days, running an additional 6 miler on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Then one could also make 14 miles of the 31 miler fast.

I'd schedule a 50K race every 9 weeks, then drop the hard 9 miler before and after the race (run the miles, just not fast). If closer to 4:30 than 3:00 in the marathon, I'd also drop the hard 12 prior to the race - if around a 3:45 marathoner, maybe run 6 of the 12 hard.

That gives an adequate mileage - higher than most do - with an appropriate amount of hard running. Moreover, it looks doable.

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