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50 Ultra question

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Julie
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Post  Kenny B. Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:08 pm

I notice some schedules for an Ultra 50 mile suggests back to back long runs on some Sat and Sun. However, some suggest the longer of the two on Sat, while others suggest the longer of the two on Sunday.

Thoughts?
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Post  Mike MacLellan Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:22 pm

I don't think it's particularly crucial, to be honest, but the second being longer seems to make slightly more sense to me, given that the intended purpose is a long (long) run on tired legs. I know I'm mixing it up and doing both, personally...
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Post  Schuey Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:41 pm

Mike MacLellan wrote:I don't think it's particularly crucial, to be honest, but the second being longer seems to make slightly more sense to me, given that the intended purpose is a long (long) run on tired legs. I know I'm mixing it up and doing both, personally...

I would agree with what Mike said. I'm still learning and have seen plans both ways. Like Mike I plan on mixing it up doing my training for JKF., sometimes the longer run is on Saturday and others on Sunday. There are also times like last weekend were I did 20 and 20. So far Saturday has been my faster day for the long run and then on Sunday I will run with Lisa to spend more time on my feet.

Like training for a marathon since this is my first time training for a 50 miler I'm sure I will learn things and keep some training the same in the future and also make changes.
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Post  Kenny B. Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:45 pm

Thanks for the quick replies. Sounds appropriate what you guys said. Are you doing a walk/run approach on any of these long runs. They say you should walk the hills run the flats or do 1 min walk 5 min run things like that?
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Post  Schuey Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:13 pm

Kenny B. wrote:Thanks for the quick replies. Sounds appropriate what you guys said. Are you doing a walk/run approach on any of these long runs. They say you should walk the hills run the flats or do 1 min walk 5 min run things like that?

Yes I will be adding in some walking later on. I know most likely I will have to walk some of the uphills on the AT at JFK. So at some point when I do some of my trail runs that are really long I will add in some walking. Not only that I want to add the walking in for if I need it for at different stages of the race, like leaving aid stations after shoe change, etc.. Plus with the walking I want to practice walking fast. I don't want my walk to be a slow deal but rather a quicker pace.

Also I have read by walking fast on the uphills you can actually go faster and save energy vs. running them. I hope Kevin checks in and sees this because I'm sure he could give us all some great advice on this. If he doesn't see it I will try and get a hold of him and ask the question direct to him.

Also Kenny again I'm still new at this like you and Mike but as I learn so things or read about them I will pass them on to you. I know I was just reading an article not to long ago that talked about the walking thing. I will dig it up and either post it here for you or send it to you. It's funny being a newbie at something again and learning all over again.
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Post  Mike MacLellan Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:25 pm

Schuey wrote:
Kenny B. wrote:Thanks for the quick replies. Sounds appropriate what you guys said. Are you doing a walk/run approach on any of these long runs. They say you should walk the hills run the flats or do 1 min walk 5 min run things like that?

Yes I will be adding in some walking later on. I know most likely I will have to walk some of the uphills on the AT at JFK. So at some point when I do some of my trail runs that are really long I will add in some walking. Not only that I want to add the walking in for if I need it for at different stages of the race, like leaving aid stations after shoe change, etc.. Plus with the walking I want to practice walking fast. I don't want my walk to be a slow deal but rather a quicker pace.

Also I have read by walking fast on the uphills you can actually go faster and save energy vs. running them. I hope Kevin checks in and sees this because I'm sure he could give us all some great advice on this. If he doesn't see it I will try and get a hold of him and ask the question direct to him.

Also Kenny again I'm still new at this like you and Mike but as I learn so things or read about them I will pass them on to you. I know I was just reading an article not to long ago that talked about the walking thing. I will dig it up and either post it here for you or send it to you. It's funny being a newbie at something again and learning all over again.

I think Schuey and I are about in the same place right now, pace differences aside. I've been running straight through my long back-to-backs so far, but my longest runs have only been 3 hours (the other one being 2). I plan on incorporating walking breaks into every run over 3:30 with a 20run:2.5walk ratio. During the race itself, I'll try to keep to this as much as possible, walking more on long hills (there's only 1 that's going to really need it - ~1200' gain) and trying to bomb down the other side.

I've found that what Schuey said about walking hills is true, particularly if they're above 10% in gradient. I was "running" up one in Auburn at ~14min pace, and when I switched to power walking (really swinging the arms, taking big steps up it), I sped up to ~13min pace and my HR dropped 4-5bpm.

EDIT: And to add a quote (or paraphrase one, anyway) that I heard regarding walking hills, as the general advice is "if you can't see the top, walk," and that really, really toys with one's pride... "Yes, you probably COULD run up that hill, but could you then run another 50 miles after it?"
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Post  Jim Lentz Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:50 pm

To confuse the topic further I think you can succesfully train for and complete a 50 mile race with one long run/week. By long run, I mean runs of 20+miles. For one training cycle I got to as far as a 36.2 long run. I ran 9 miles to the Chicago Marathon and then did the race as a supported 26.2 mile run. If doing the best/fastest 50 mile race I believe the back-to-back long run makes sense. I also think when you start doing ultras longer than 50 miles the back-to-back long runs become more critical.
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Post  KBFitz Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:58 pm

Kenny B. wrote:I notice some schedules for an Ultra 50 mile suggests back to back long runs on some Sat and Sun. However, some suggest the longer of the two on Sat, while others suggest the longer of the two on Sunday.

Thoughts?
Your question answers itself. Running long on tired legs is the key. Do what pleases you.

Kenny B. wrote:Are you doing a walk/run approach on any of these long runs. They say you should walk the hills run the flats or do 1 min walk 5 min run things like that?
This question is moot. YOU, or rather, YOUR BODY will answer it late in your own long-long runs. If you can run, run. If you can't, walk. Simple. The idea is to train your body to sustain a decent effort for 4-5 hours. In training for the JFK50, I covered 30 miles in 4 1/2 hours without much walking and 33 miles in 5 1/2 hours with lots of walking in the last ten miles. Much depends on the conditions you're running in and the terrain you're running on. Maintain a constant decent effort throughout. This may mean walking uphill or taking walking breaks late in your run, if necessary, to avoid crashing entirely.

And since we've been so kind as to humor you ... what 50 miler are you planning to run Kenny? Cheers! Razz
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Post  Kenny B. Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:26 pm

Great responses. Thanks everyone. Lots to absorb and I am sure I will ask more questions as the months go on.

I am looking at JFK50 for 2012 at this point. It will be 50 years next year. Seems appropriate 50 in 50. Also fits well in schedule. Still have lots of time so keeping my opportunities open.
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Post  Jeff F Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:30 pm

I agree with everything that has been posted. I think it is important to train the run/walk strategy. In a 50 miler you are going to do some walking, so I think it is important to incorporate some walking into your long training runs. So upme people have a 10/1 or 15/1 strategy. I am not that structured and just naturally developed a run/walk strategy during my 50 miler. You just know when it is time to walk such as most uphills and/or certain places on the course which just make sense. I believe in specificity for all ultra training, so this supports some walking during your long training runs.
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Post  Jim Lentz Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:16 pm

Jeff F wrote:I agree with everything that has been posted. I think it is important to train the run/walk strategy. In a 50 miler you are going to do some walking, so I think it is important to incorporate some walking into your long training runs. So upme people have a 10/1 or 15/1 strategy. I am not that structured and just naturally developed a run/walk strategy during my 50 miler. You just know when it is time to walk such as most uphills and/or certain places on the course which just make sense. I believe in specificity for all ultra training, so this supports some walking during your long training runs.

Along with what Jeff says here, I saw an Ultrarunning Magazine article that claimed a run 5 miles/walk 5 minutes allowed the best average finishing time with the best fatigue resistance.
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Post  Schuey Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:26 pm

I thought I would add this little thought in this tread for you Kenny and others.

I just picked up the August issue of TrailRunner and like RW there is a section called "Coach's Advice". The question asked was:

How Long Is Long Enough?

Now this was based around how long one should run for a 100 miler. Some would say 7 plus hours or 40 to 50 miles. Then some would say you only need 4 hours or 30 miles.

Now the thing that I noticed with ultra training so far from what I have read and seeing question that people ask is that it is a lot like 5k, 10k, half and marathon training. There really seems to be no clear cut answer to what is right or wrong. What it really comes down to is what works best for the runner and what are the limits of each runners body.

Since this issue just came out I could not find a link to the above question.

But what I did find interesting and I want to look more into is how Karl Meltzer trains. Meltzer has won more 100 mile races then any other runner, so I guess there is some reason to look into his training techniques.

"I don't schedule runs longer than 20 miles when training for any 100-miler. I feel it's too hard to recover in one evening to have an effective run the following day."

So Meltzer favors building a mileage base with consistency over doing super-long runs to get "closer" to the 100-mile distance.

Now that is what works for him and may work for me or others or might not. Again the point is like any training it is up to the individual to find his or hers bodies limits and what one feels the most comfortable and most confidence with there training no matter what the distance is.

Also here are a couple more quotes in the answer that stood out to me:

"In training for a 100-miler, you could run 50 miles as a long run, but how long would it take to recover? Is the increased risk of injury worth the extra miles or time on your feet? How long is long enough depends on the individual athlete."

"Ultimately if you have gradually extended your long run without injury, cranking out 30 to 40 miles could be the challenge you need, but not if it takes two weeks to recover."

Now I know this is based around the question of a 100-miler but feel the same principles can be applied to doing a 50-miler. Especially if a guy who has won the most 100-milers and his long run is only 20 miles. Just something for all of us to think about.



"




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Post  Dave-O Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:53 pm

This thread makes my head spin. One long run is more than enough for me.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:17 pm

I would think that if your body can handle 100 mile weeks, then it can handle a 50 mile race without back-to-backs. I think your race strategy is really what is in question, and you can practice that in your 20 milers.
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Post  Schuey Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:32 pm

Dave-O wrote:This thread makes my head spin. One long run is more than enough for me.

Especially after a night of wine drinking Razz

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:I would think that if your body can handle 100 mile weeks, then it can handle a 50 mile race without back-to-backs. I think your race strategy is really what is in question, and you can practice that in your 20 milers.

You know Michelle I think you make a very good point and the thing that is in question right now is my strategy. There is no doubt that I'm still formulating my plan for JFK. My strategy will also come down to how I approach running Chicago, therefore the reason I'm formulating a few different plans right now. Thanks for your post and vote of confidence.
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Post  Mike MacLellan Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:51 pm

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:I would think that if your body can handle 100 mile weeks, then it can handle a 50 mile race without back-to-backs. I think your race strategy is really what is in question, and you can practice that in your 20 milers.

I agree with this to an extent, as I've read interviews with successful ultra-runners who just do 2 30's/month and 2 shorter long runs on the weeks between... But I think it depends on the course, too. A flat 50, like the AR50 (flat until the last couple miles, anyway) would probably not require the doubles, since you're not going to be shredding your muscles as badly on a flat course. I feel like the NF50 (the one I'm training for) will definitely be benefited with the doubles, as it's got about 8-10 beastly climbs and hardly anything flat in it, so running on obliterated quads/calves might be helpful.
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Post  KBFitz Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:47 pm

Schuey wrote:Also I have read by walking fast on the uphills you can actually go faster and save energy vs. running them. I hope Kevin checks in and sees this because I'm sure he could give us all some great advice on this.
Sorry I didn't see this before, Schuey. Yes, it's true. By power walking when the grade rises well above 10%, you can indeed save energy which can pay back big time later in the race. On the way up South Mountain [~ mile 5] at the JFK50 you will encounter a paved fire road with several ~500m stretches with grades from 10% to 17%. Nobody but the most hardened veterans or gnarly billy goats run these ... and I wouldn't be surprised if they walk em too. It's all about conservation of energy early on in these ultras. But I wouldn't be too concerned. Camaraderie between runners is one of the things that stands out in the ultra world. You'll naturally fall in with others running at your pace on the AT and will likely form a band of brothers. Walk when they do and you'll be just fine. They'll keep you in line.
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Post  Kenny B. Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:53 pm

KBFitz wrote:
Schuey wrote:Also I have read by walking fast on the uphills you can actually go faster and save energy vs. running them. I hope Kevin checks in and sees this because I'm sure he could give us all some great advice on this.
Sorry I didn't see this before, Schuey. Yes, it's true. By power walking when the grade rises well above 10%, you can indeed save energy which can pay back big time later in the race. On the way up South Mountain [~ mile 5] at the JFK50 you will encounter a paved fire road with several ~500m stretches with grades from 10% to 17%. Nobody but the most hardened veterans or gnarly billy goats run these ... and I wouldn't be surprised if they walk em too. It's all about conservation of energy early on in these ultras. But I wouldn't be too concerned. Camaraderie between runners is one of the things that stands out in the ultra world. You'll naturally fall in with others running at your pace on the AT and will likely form a band of brothers. Walk when they do and you'll be just fine. They'll keep you in line.

Another reason to run Ultras.
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Post  Jeff F Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:50 pm

Just thought I would share an ultra running quote I read somewhere, "If it hurts to run then walk, and if it still hurts to walk, then run." If it is going to hurt, the faster you finish the better.
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Post  Kenny B. Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:06 pm

Jeff F wrote:Just thought I would share an ultra running quote I read somewhere, "If it hurts to run then walk, and if it still hurts to walk, then run." If it is going to hurt, the faster you finish the better.

Love the quote!
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Post  Julie Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:46 pm

I had a question about 50 miler and just am bumping up Kenny's thread, I hope that's OK.

My question is, if I want to run it and finish feeling ...alive..but not in any way have any time in mind, what training is realistic? I don't see 100 mile weeks in my near future and I have to be mindful of how this affects my family since I'm taking care of our 2 yr old all the time.

So just a few questions, 1. is this crazy? I should just stick to marathons, possibly a 50K?

2. Do the 50 miler but wait till all the kid(s) are grown up?

Seriously, not really sure if I should just put this idea out of my head or if it's appealing enough I should actually pursue it. I run about 50-55 miles/week right now training for my 13th marathon. Thanks for any ideas!


http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-244--7556-3-2X3X4-3,00.html

Here is an article I found on Runner's World about 50 milers including training plan

http://www.scrunners.org/ultrasch.php?month=8&day=3&year=2012&dow=6&schedule=50m&submit=Draw+Schedule

here is a completely different training plan, I followed their plan for the 50K when I ran my only 50K
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Post  Mike MacLellan Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:58 pm

I've read that if you can run 30, you can run 50. You might be walking a lot. Find a flat course. Then just do it.
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Post  Julie Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:51 am

Any course recommendations? I spent awhile last night looking at different ones but have no idea what I'm getting myself into.
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Post  Alex Kubacki Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:58 am

Julie I'm kind of in the same thinking as you. I want to do a 50M. I do plan to give myself 3 decent shots to BQ first starting in the spring. Then I look to do a 50M in the fall of 2013.



I don't have much for trails near me so I was thinking of maybe that Chicago Lakefront 50M.
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Post  jon c Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:14 am

Julie, you've probably already checked out the Heartland 50 which is in October. Another way to get into this type of running would be to enter an 8, 12, or 24 hour race. I know there is one of these in Des Moines in either late October or early November. This is a roughly two mile loop in a suburban area at a park. Advantages are you can stop and go as you please and not be far afield, it is relatively flat, and you're never far away from food and drink. Looking back, perhaps this is the type of race that I should have done for my first attempt.



http://www.crankygnomeathleticclub.com/equalizer/index.php



Here is a listing of some ultra events that might give you more options.



http://www.ultrarunning.com/calendar.html



From what I understand, the amount of mileage you are putting in is probably sufficient to complete a 50. Plan on walking some of it and learning to eat on the run. There is definitely a learning curve there as I found out last fall in my failed attempt. However, I think you are probably tougher than I am. Anyone who has had a child qualifies as tougher in my book anyway. Smile



As you have probably figured out already, there are several schools of thought in how to train ie total mileage vs. back to back long runs etc.
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