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How I Plan on Training for a 100-mile Ultramarathon

Here’s my training plan that I’m hoping will get me to the finish line of the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile ultramarathon at the beginning of February:

1. Run.  Lots.
2. Stop running before I get injured.

Yup, that’s basically it.  I’m not laying out a week-by-week calendar of workouts.  More than anything, what I need to do is listen to my body.  Run when I can, stop before I need to.

In addition to steps 1 and 2, I’d like to do some (or all) of the following.  I won’t lose any sleep over not getting these done though (well, except number 5 – I might lose sleep over not doing that one):
3. Longer tempo runs to help build up the mental stamina that it takes to push through uncomfortable running (because let’s be honest, the last 60+ miles of a 100 miler is nothing but “uncomfortable running” at best).
4. A couple of night runs (although I’m already relatively comfortable running at night)
5. Long runs, particularly back-to-back long runs.  I don’t have a specific distance that I want my longest training run to be, but I’d like try to have at least two weekends with back-to-back 20+ mile runs, preferably Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to limit the recovery time in between.

We’ll see how everything plays out though.  I’m most concerned about getting my average weekly mileage up without getting injured.  Outside of that, I’ll take what I can get.

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18 Comments

  1. Laura says:

    I’m trying a “running by feel” training plan too – I think it’s healthier for me to amend workouts according to how I feel. The most important thing for me is keeping the regs days in – I always want to skip them.

  2. Good luck! I hope you come through the training healthy. I’ve thought about doing an ultra at some point but haven’t made the leap to actually commit. Way to make it happen (again).

  3. This is super exciting! I hope you post throughout your training! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you stay injury free and get in those back to back long runs. Good luck!!!

  4. Running Girl says:

    If you ever want anyone to run a long run with you, and by “running with you” you mean following in a car and yelling at you, I’m happy to oblige.

  5. decidida74 says:

    Sounds like a great plan! Best of luck!

  6. tlsylvan says:

    Good luck, glad you’re back doing ultras! I have a friend doing Rocky Raccoon and a few crewing, so I may find my way out there in February!

  7. watchdinorun says:

    Look forward to reading about your progress. I start training for my first 50 miler next week… Will see how it goes….

  8. Joey says:

    how much would you say your biking benefits you as a runner? I’m debating adding biking to my training for my first 100

    • I’d say to add it in. It seems that it’s helped me tremendously, but I think it’s mostly due to the constant muscle fatigue that comes from biking in the morning, running at lunch, and then biking home again in the evening.

      If nothing else, it’s a good way to get my legs moving without the constant impact of running. Different muscles than running, but it probably helps to balance out my legs compared to doing nothing but running.

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