Friday, July 20, 2012

Best 5k - Marathon - Trail Ultra - 24 hour training plan

For the last 2 years I have focused on 24 hour training.  There have been a couple shorter diversions to get ready for a hilly ultra or get just fast enough to break 3 hours in a marathon before I go back to exclusively 24 hour specific training.

The 24 hour training = Total volume and really long runs.  I do believe these are very important to 24 hour race success, but I am missing out on some key components of training.

The 2nd half of 2012 - I am training to be a jack of all trades and a master of none.  I am training to be a strong well rounded runner.  I have this hunch that I will get much better at everything 5k - 24 hour.

My goal races include:  Glacial 50 Mile (Hilly technical trail), a 24 hour race yet to be named, a hilly marathon and I want to fit in a 5k-10k race that I can go for a PR.  My speed for 5k-10k range races is the farthest gone from that group.

I am finding it refreshing to try and fit in speed work, hill work, trail running and long runs (Long for me is 30+ mile runs).   It is easier to combine long and trail running then long and speed work.  Most weeks I fit in all 4 components.

 I am making progress in each area.  Age has crept up on me in speed workouts and I have to use a bit of caution or I end up with naggly injuries that have to be nursed.  I believe the longer and more consistent I do speed work the less this will be an issue.

I have had to give up really big mileage weeks (160-200+) to do this training.  Days with 3 runs are scarce and days with one run are much more frequent.  I am thinking I will fall into 110-130 miles per week.  This mileage range is sustainable.

Key workouts:
*  Long runs - Track (Foreshadowing), Treadmill, road or trail (Technical or flat) - 30+ miles usually with a goal of 6+ hours.
*  Speed work - Done typically in a 16-24 mile run:  5x5 minutes @ CV, 5x1 or 4x2 miles at LAT, 4 miles @ LAT or 8-10 mile tempo
*  Hill work - Run up and down hill (Grinding the hill) for 2-4 hours - this is just as much for the downhill running as uphill,  4-6 miles @ 15% on TM or Hilly technical trail
*  Hilly Technical Trail - Unless a race this workout usually is 4-5 hours on the Ice Age Trail in the Northern Kettle Moraine.  Occasionally I will make this a 6+ hour run to add "Long"

My end goal is to work into 17 minute 5k, high 34 minute 10k, 2:40 marathon and 160 mile 24 hour shape and be hill strong to do well on technical trail races ... Basically I want it all.

This will not happen overnight - But I think within an 18 month window (End of 2013) all can be achieved.

Good running to all -


  1. In my files I have something marked "Crazy-Ass Plan to run Superior Sawtooth 100 and age-class record 1 Mile" - in case you're interested. I'm sure not going to do it!

  2. You have the mental strength that can accomplish this.. Steve I think I remember you posting the concepts to that plan.

  3. I think you should come run this with me next spring... with me means running the same race on the same date, obviously not together... I am going to sign up for the 50 Mile.. I will sign up as soon as this becomes available for registration... if I continue my path this will be a enjoyable run... no intentions of racing it for me..this is just the first of many planned long runs.

  4. I've written a lot of crazy training plans, but never published that particular one. I did the Zumbro 100 the first year it was held; was in 1st place at 25 miles, last at the end, but it was my first 100 finish.

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