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Pace for 50-Miler

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Pace for 50-Miler - Page 2 Empty Re: Pace for 50-Miler

Post  KBFitz on Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:20 am

A thread on the JFK50 that I missed? How could this be? So be it. I'll respond in my next post to the questions you posed, Vivian, in your original post.

A lot of great perspectives and advice have already been elicited. Let me just say that ultras in general and trail ultras in particular really bring out our running strengths and weaknesses. Schuey found that his legs were trashed but his cardio was good on the middle half of the JFK50. The converse was the case for me - aerobic fitness is my limiting factor while my legs hold up pretty well. Don't get me wrong, everything hurts by 40 miles, but each runner has a weakness and the distance magnifies that.

I don't know what training plans are in Byron Powell's Relentless Forward Progress, but I can't imaging they're very different from the approach used by Ultraladies or Hal Higdon's training plan for Comrades marathon. For each of my three JFK50s, I cobbled together my own training regime using the sandwiched back-to-back long runs found in these templates to modify an advanced marathon plan aimed at a fall marathon. In my view you should train for your first 50 miler just as you would for a marathon, adding double long runs every other weekend.

As far as nutrition, the JFK50 is great because the aid stations are fully stocked with real food. Protein supplements? Electrolyte caps? Gels? Who needs em? The only things I carry are a wide mouth bottle and NSAIDs. Everything else is provided on course. During your long 3-6 hour training runs, you may wish to bring real food (Cliff bars, trail mix, raisins, PB&J sandwich, cookies, etc.) just to ensure you don't bonk and to determine if your stomach can handle it. Leave the gels, etc. at home. These are ultras. Whee don't need no steenkin' space food. We got animal crackers and chicken noodle soup! In the end though, let you stomach be your guide. If you don't think you can handle real food, let your crew supply you with what you can stomach at the 5 aid stations they can access.

You don't need to do any strength-specific workouts (like stadium steps) to prepare for this event. But it would behoove you to get some trail work in. The AT section is gnarly beyond Gathland. The more accomplished and comfortable you are with trail running, the better the chances you will emerge from this section unscathed and fresh.

Organizers of the JFK50 sought to expand the field to 1,500 for this year's 50th anniversary. The Administrator of the National Parks Service responsible for the Appalachian Trail balked at that request by denying any permit. She did relent, however, granting a permit capped at the usual 1,000 runners. So while it will not be an expanded field for the 50th anniversary - it will be run ... and over the same hallowed ground.

@Michele: I ran NYC last year and ran with Schuey from mile 26 to mile 38. That's on the C&O canal towpath and where it's most useful. Nobody paces on the AT. It's single track and too gnarly for pacers to be of any use. It would be great to see you at the JFK50 this year.

Jerry says Jerry is going 2 run a 50 miles 2. ... ... ... Well Jerry ... we got a little run from Boonsboro to Williamsport MD in November ...

Now onto what pace to train at and what pace to run at for a 50 miler ...
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Pace for 50-Miler - Page 2 Empty Re: Pace for 50-Miler

Post  KBFitz on Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:38 am

@Vivian wrote:At what pace should training runs be run when training for a 50-miler?
Do the same as you would for a marathon. In fact, if you're going to run a fall marathon [something I highly recommend], train no differently except for adding back-to-back double long runs every other weekend or so. Pay no attention to pace in the very long runs [beyond 23 miles or so] and the double long runs. Go by effort - easy effort or even easier. The idea is to train your body to keep going and going and going even when you're tired. You'll find this comes in very handy on race day. ... Still going ...
@Vivian wrote:Also, what kind of pace should I expect to run on the flat portion of the race? I know it's hard to predict as it's my first ultra, but I'd like a ballpark figure so I can gauge whether I'm running too fast or not.
Your question shows you've got a pretty good handle on this already. It is hard to predict. It will get easier after you've got your first under your belt. But let's see if we can find a ballpark figure for you. My best shot at the JFK50 was my third attempt in 2010. Here is my elevation-pace profile from that race.

Pace for 50-Miler - Page 2 Kbfitz10

As you can see I was able to hold a 9:30-9:40 pace while running on the C&O canal towpath. But with a 5 minute shoe change at Weverton, a few short walk breaks and brief stops at aid stations, I covered the 26.3 miles of the towpath in 4:24:34 which is 10:04 minutes per mile and I finished in just under 8 hours and 20 minutes. Now, you're a 3:45 marathoner. I'm a 3:15 marathoner. So, all else equal, at double the distance I would finish a 50 miler an hour ahead of you. But all else is not equal. That was my best shot with two priors under my belt, but it will be your first. You may have better aerobic endurance than I. You will likely employ more walking in your first go at this distance than I did - which will allow you to run at a pace closer to your marathon pace than I did (with less walking). So let's see: my MP is 7:20 and I could hold 9:40 pace while running with 10:00 pace overall. Your MP is 8:30. So you may be able to hold an 11:00 pace overall and slightly faster while running. I know this sounds ridiculously slow to you. But 50 miles is a long distance...

The real test will come in the 11.3 miles between Antietam Aquaduct [mile 27.1] and Taylor's Landing [aka 38 Special at mile 38.4] - your first time under race conditions beyond 26.2. This is where being in the company of a friend can really help shorten the road for you.

My advice? Let the race come to you. Be patient on the C&O canal towpath - run easy to Antietam and even easier after. Fifty miles is a long way. You should focus on training for your fall marathon with some extensions to extra long runs, double long runs on some weekends and some trail work if you can. Then let the race come to you.
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Post  wrichman on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:57 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
@wrichman wrote:
@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
@Schuey wrote:
@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Good news is that I've crewed runners training (in DV) for Badwater - so I'm a pro (NOT).

You do know that Badwater is on my radar? So now that your daughter is way maybe you might consider a trip to Death Valley to do some pacing? I told Dave-O he needs to come and pace also.

Speaking of the pacing I didn't want to say to Vivian that he you offer to pace her for a part of it that she should take you up on that offer. One of the biggest lefts that I had was the 12 miles that Kevin and I ran together. He really didn't pace me it was more like run at the pace I wanted but the point is that in that long of a race it was a huge left to be running and talking with a good friend. Especially at the time he ran with me it was miles 26 to 38. It's amazing the emotions that can hit you at any given point during a 50 mile race and again the conversations that Kevin I had during that 12 mile part of my run is a moment that I will always cherish and remember as a highlight of my 1st 50 miler.

I think I can run Vivian's pace, so if I make it, I'd be glad to keep her company for a few miles. I'm running NYC though, so it would depend on my recovery and how treacherous the trail is.

Vivian - I'm not planning on my overall mile pace to be 9's - that's just the running pace I've been doing b/c here in Chicago we don't have those things called "hills". I only ran a little over 9 min. pace for my 1st 50 b/c it was a flat road 50 in Chicago. Next weekend I will get a better idea of my overall pace I'll be running IAT 50 b/c I'm going up to the IAT to do a 32-36 mile run next Sat.

I'm running NYC too Michelle. If I can do the whole 50, you can do some Smile

Got 19 yrs on you, girl Wink

Have you heard of Meghan Arbogast? She's 50 and still setting records in ultras. A-MAZING!

http://www.gazettetimes.com/sports/community/article_7bcf7730-bf1b-11e0-898f-001cc4c002e0.html
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