Training Plans

Beginner 5k Plan, in 6 weeks:

Suitable for all of our 7in7 5k events:

  • The Seven Deadly Sins 7in7
  • The Hot Runner 7in
  • The Explorer Series 7in7
  • The Halloween 7in7
  • The Guy Fawkes 7in7
  • The Xmas runs, Santa’s Little Helpers & The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Week 1
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 1 mile – interval, run for 3 min, walk for 30 sec
Wednesday – Workout, 20 min
Thursday – 1 mile – interval, run 1 min, walk 1 min
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 2 miles, run 5 min, walk 1 min
Sunday – Workout, 20 min

Week 2
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 2 mile – interval, run for 4 min, walk for 30 sec
Wednesday – Workout, 20 min
Thursday – 1.5 mile – interval, run 1 min, walk 1 min
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 2 miles, run 7 min, walk 1 min
Sunday – Workout, 20 min

Week 3
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 2 mile – interval, run for 5 min, walk for 30 sec
Wednesday – Workout, 20 min
Thursday – Effort & Recovery – 1.5 mile – interval, run 2 min, walk 1 min
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 2.5 miles, run 8 min, walk 30 sec
Sunday – Workout, 20 min

Week 4
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 2 mile – interval, run for 5 min, walk for 30 sec
Wednesday – Workout, 20 min
Thursday – Effort & Recovery – 2 mile – interval, run 2 min, walk 1 min
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 2.5 miles, run
Sunday – Workout, 20 min

Week 5
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 2 mile – interval, run for 8 min, walk for 30 sec
Wednesday – Workout, 20 min
Thursday – Effort & Recovery – 2 mile – interval, run 2 min, walk 1 min
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 3 miles, run
Sunday – Workout, 20 min

Week 6
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 2 mile – interval, run for 8 min, walk for 30 sec
Wednesday – Workout, 20 min
Thursday – Effort & Recovery – 1.5 mile – interval, run 2 min, walk 1 min
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 5k

Effort & Recovery: Short bursts of speed from jogging to sprinting to jogging again, all in the course of 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure you walk or rest for 45 to 90 seconds between each one.

Workout: These exercises will help keep you injury-free. Including but no limited to – Glute Lift, Leg Lift, Plank, Crunches – see our exercises section for more examples.

Beginner – 8 week 10k Plan:

Suitable for all of our 7in7 10k events:

  • The Seven Deadly Sins 7in7
  • The Hot Runner 7in
  • The Explorer Series 7in7
  • The Halloween 7in7
  • The Guy Fawkes 7in7
  • The Xmas runs, Santa’s Little Helpers & The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Week 1
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minutes, use run/walk if required
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 30 minutes easy run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 2 mile run

Week 2
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minutes easy run
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 30 minutes easy run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 3 mile run

Week 3
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minutes, easy run
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 20 minutes interval run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 3 mile run

Week 4
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 40 minutes, easy run
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 30 minutes easy run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 50 minutes, easy run

Week 5
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minutes, interval run
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 40 minutes easy run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 4 miles, easy run

Week 6
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minutes, easy run
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 40 minutes easy run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 5 miles, easy run

Week 7
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 40 minutes, easy run
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 40 minutes interval run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 4 miles, easy run

Week 8
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minutes, easy run
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 20 minutes easy run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 10k

Suitable for all of our 7in7 Half Marathon events:

  • The Seven Deadly Sins 7in7
  • The Hot Runner 7in
  • The Explorer Series 7in7
  • The Halloween 7in7
  • The Guy Fawkes 7in7
  • The Xmas runs, Santa’s Little Helpers & The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The Half Marathon 12 week training programme for beginners

Week 1
Sunday 30 mins walk/jog
Monday Rest
Tuesday 15 mins walk/jog
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 15 mins walk/jog
Friday Rest
Saturday 15 mins walk/jog

Training Objective: Getting over the inhibitions and mental preparation
for a regular training pattern. The amount of
running is irrelevant – it’s more about being ‘out
there’.

Week 2
Sunday 40 mins walk/jog
Monday Rest
Tuesday 15 mins walk/jog
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 15 mins walk/jog
Friday Rest
Saturday 15 mins walk/jog

Training Objective: As week 1

Week 3
Sunday 50 mins walk/jog
Monday Rest
Tuesday 20 mins jog
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 20 mins jog
Friday Rest
Saturday Circuit in a park – run 1 min continuous then walk
1 min recovery x 10 each

Training Objective: Starting to run short distances continuously

Week 4
Sunday 60 mins jog/walk
Monday Rest
Tuesday 25 mins easy
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 25 mins easy
Friday Rest
Saturday Circuit in a park – run 1 min continuous then walk
1 min recovery x 10 each

Training Objective:
Gradually increasing time of the feet – a mental
strategy or run 5 mins/walk 1 min for the long run
will help you get through 60 mins.

Week 5
Sunday 75 mins run/walk
Monday Rest
Tuesday 35 mins easy
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 35 mins easy
Friday Rest
Saturday Circuit in a park – run 1 min continuous then walk
1 min recovery x 10 each

Training Objective: 15 mins added to the long run – using the 5 min
run/ 1 min walk strategy

Week 6
Sunday 75 mins run/walk
Monday Rest
Tuesday 40 mins easy
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 40 mins easy
Friday Rest
Saturday 10 x 1 min running up shallow hill – walk back
down recovery

Training Objective: Consolidation week – slight increase in the
midweek runs

Week 7
Sunday 75 mins run/walk
Monday Rest
Tuesday 45 mins steady
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 60 mins steady
Friday Rest
Saturday 10 x 1 min running up shallow hill – walk back
down recovery

Training Objective:
The long runs are going to start to get you tired –
refuelling after the Sunday run & mid week hour
run is essential – it’s tough but it will start to build
the endurance you’ll need for the race.

Week 8
Sunday 45 mins run/walk
Monday Rest
Tuesday 45 mins run
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 20 mins easy
Friday 20 mins easy
Saturday Rest

Training Objective: Recovery week!

Week 9
Sunday 90 min steady run
Monday Rest
Tuesday 50 mins easy
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 60 mins easy
Friday Rest
Saturday Rest

Training Objective: An increase in both the long run and total running
time in the week. Emphasis is still on building up
the distance. Tapering at the end of the week so
you are fresh to tackle your first 2 hour run at the
start of the next week.

Week 10
Sunday 2 hours easy
Monday Rest
Tuesday 30 mins run
Wednesday 30 mins run
Thursday Rest
Friday 20 mins easy
Saturday Rest

Training Objective: You’ve done a big run – the rest of the week is
recovery time as you plan your next landmark – a
half marathon race. Choose one that has a lot of
runners so that you get the full atmosphere of a big
event.

Week 11
Sunday 90 mins
Monday Rest
Tuesday 10 min warm up – alternate 1 min fast/1 min slow x
10
Wednesday 60 mins
Thursday Rest
Friday 30 mins run
Saturday RestTraining Objective: Speed session gets you used to running a little
quicker than the predicted half marathon pace.

Week 12
Sunday 45 mins easy
Monday Rest
Tuesday 30 mins easy
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 30 mins steady
Friday Rest
Saturday Rest

Training Objective: Sunday’s run is a confidence booster. Plan a route with friends who can support you – take water out and generally pander to your needs. Make sure you eat plenty the night before and immediately after the long run.

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

First Time Half Marathon Training Plan

Suitable for all of our 7in7 Half Marathon events:

  • The Seven Deadly Sins 7in7
  • The Hot Runner 7in
  • The Explorer Series 7in7
  • The Halloween 7in7
  • The Guy Fawkes 7in7
  • The Xmas runs, Santa’s Little Helpers & The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Training Plan Overview

The First Time Half Marathon Training Program is a very popular program for first-time half marathoners and those who are currently running 3-4 times per week for 3-4 miles.

The 14-week program starts with three running workouts of 30-40 minutes and gradually progresses to three running workouts of 30-50 minutes, and one long workout from 4-10 miles.

The program also includes two optional cross-training workouts and rest days. Cross-training allows you to incorporate other activities you enjoy to complement your program. Cross-training activities may include strength training, cycling, yoga, swimming, elliptical or any activity that is not running.

This program is geared to first-timer half marathoners and gradually builds in mileage allowing your body to adapt to the new distances week to week.

The First Time Half Marathon Training Program is best suited for those who have been running at least three times per week for 30-40 minutes for at least 6 months.

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Week 1

Run
30 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
35 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
4 miles

Rest Day

Week 2

Run
30 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
35 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
4 miles

Rest Day

Week 3

Run
30 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
35 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
5 miles

Rest Day

Week 4

Run
35 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
40 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
4 miles

Rest Day

Week 5

Run
35 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
40 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
6 miles

Rest Day

Week 6

Run
40 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
40 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
7 miles

Rest Day

Week 7

Run
40 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
45 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
8 miles

Rest Day

Week 8

Run
40 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
45 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
30 mins

Run-Endurance
6 miles

Rest Day

Week 9

Run
40 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
50 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
30 mins

Run-Endurance
9 miles

Rest Day

Week 10

Run
45 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
50 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
6 miles

Rest Day

Week 11

Run
45 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
50 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
30 mins

Run-Endurance
10 miles

Rest Day

Week 12

Run
45 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
50 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
30 mins

Run-Endurance
8 miles

Rest Day

Week 13

Run
45 mins

Cross-Training
40 mins

Run
45 mins

Cross-Training
30 mins

Rest Day

Run-Endurance
6 miles

Rest Day

Week 14

Run
40 mins

Rest Day

Run
30 mins

Rest Day

Run
20 mins

Rest Day

Race Day!
13.1 miles

Steven James Half Marathon Plan:

Suitable for all of our 7in7 Half Marathon events:

  • The Seven Deadly Sins 7in7
  • The Hot Runner 7in
  • The Explorer Series 7in7
  • The Halloween 7in7
  • The Guy Fawkes 7in7
  • The Xmas runs, Santa’s Little Helpers & The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Week 1
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 5 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 10 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 2
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 5 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 10 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 3
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 8 miles, race pace (6:23)

Week 4
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 6 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 12 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 5
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 6 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 12 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 6
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 6 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 12 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 7
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 7 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 13 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 8
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 7 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 13 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 9
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 7 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 13 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 10
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 5 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 30 minutes slow pace (8:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 13 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 11
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Track Session
Wednesday – 5 miles, race pace (6:23)
Thursday – Hill Session
Friday – 6 miles, race pace (6:23)
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 7 miles, easy pace (7:23)

Week 11
Monday – 5 miles, easy pace (7:23)
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 20 minutes slow pace (8:23)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Race Day

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

The 24 week – Walk & Run Marathon plan – for First Time Runners considering taking on a Marathon.

Suitable for all of our 7in7 Half Marathon events:

  • The Seven Deadly Sins 7in7
  • The Hot Runner 7in
  • The Explorer Series 7in7
  • The Halloween 7in7
  • The Guy Fawkes 7in7
  • The Xmas runs, Santa’s Little Helpers & The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Week 1
MondayJog for 15 mins
TuesdayJog for 15 mins
WednesdayJog for 10 mins, walk for 10 mins, jog for 5 mins
ThursdayJog for 15 mins
FridayJog for 15 mins, walk for 5 mins, jog for 10 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 20 mins
Week 2
MondayJog for 15 mins
TuesdayJog for 20 mins
WednesdayJog for 15 mins, walk for 10 mins, jog for 10 mins
ThursdayJog for 20 mins
FridayJog for 15 mins, walk for 5 mins, Jog for 15 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 30 mins
Week 3
MondayJog for 20 mins
TuesdayJog for 25 mins
WednesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 5 mins, Jog for 15 mins
ThursdayJog for 25 mins
FridayJog for 15 mins, run for 8 mins, Jog for 15 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 40 mins
Week 4
MondayJog for 20 mins
TuesdayJog for 30 mins
WednesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, walk for 5 mins, run for 5 mins, jog for 10 mins
ThursdayJog for 25 mins
FridayJog for 15 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 20 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 50 mins
Week 5
MondayJog for 30 mins
TuesdayJog for 35 mins
WednesdayJog for 5 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 5 mins, run for 5 mins, Jog for 15 mins
ThursdayJog for 25 mins
FridayJog for 15 mins, run for 10 mins, walk for 5 mins, Jog for 15 mins, run for 10 mins, walk for 5 mins, Jog for 15 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 60 mins
Week 6
MondayJog for 40 mins
TuesdayJog for 40 mins
WednesdayJog for 5 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 5 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 20 mins
ThursdayJog for 30 mins
FridayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 15 mins, run for 5 mins, Jog for 20 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 70 mins
Week 7
MondayJog for 40 mins
TuesdayJog for 45 mins
WednesdayJog for 5 mins, run for 15 mins, Jog for 15 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 20 mins, run for 5 mins, Jog for 15 mins
ThursdayJog for 35 mins
FridayJog for 5 mins, run for 15 mins, Jog for 20 mins, run for 5 mins, jog for 10 mins, run for 5 mins, Jog for 20 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 75 mins
Week 8
MondayJog for 40 mins
TuesdayJog for 45 mins
WednesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 15 mins, Jog for 20 mins, run for 15 mins, walk for 5 mins, Jog for 25 mins
ThursdayJog for 40 mins
FridayJog for 60 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 20 mins, run for 15 mins, Jog for 15 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 35 mins
Week 9
MondayJog for 25 mins
TuesdayJog for 45 mins
WednesdayJog for 15 mins, run for 15 mins, Jog for 15 mins, run for 15 mins, walk for 5 mins, jog for 10 mins, run for 5 mins, Jog for 15 mins
ThursdayJog for 25 mins
FridayJog for 70 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 10 mins, run for 20 mins, walk for 10 mins, Jog for 25 mins, run for 10 mins, walk for 3 mins, Jog for 25 mins
Week 10
MondayJog for 30 mins
TuesdayJog for 60 mins
WednesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 15 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 20 mins, run for 10 mins, walk for 3 mins, Jog for 25 mins
ThursdayJog for 25 mins
FridayJog for 15 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 45 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 5 mins, run for 15 mins, walk for 3 mins, run for 5 mins, walk for 3 mins, jog for 60 mins
Week 11
MondayJog for 25 mins
TuesdayJog for 60 mins
WednesdayJog for 20 mins, run for 20 mins, walk for 3 mins, run for 10 mins, walk for 3 mins, jog for 40 mins
ThursdayJog for 25 mins
FridayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 20 mins, run for 5 mins, Jog for 20 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 25 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 25 mins, run for 5 mins, jog for 35 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 30 mins, run for 5 mins, walk for 3 mins, Jog for 20 mins
Week 12
MondayJog for 15 mins, walk for 5 mins, jog for 10 mins
TuesdayJog for 60 mins
WednesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 30 mins
ThursdayJog for 30 mins
FridayJog for 15 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayRace – half marathon distance
Week 13
MondayIf you raced on Sunday take a Rest day. If you didn’t race, Jog for 30 mins.
TuesdayJog for 30 mins
WednesdayJog for 45 mins
ThursdayJog for 30 mins
FridayJog for 60 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 90 mins
Week 14
MondayJog for 30 mins, walk for 5 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 10 mins
TuesdayJog for 45 mins
WednesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 15 mins, Jog for 20 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 20 mins
ThursdayJog for 30 mins
FridayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 30 mins, run for 15 mins, jog for 45 mins
SaturdayWalk for 15 mins
SundayJog for 90 mins
Week 15
MondayJog for 15 mins
TuesdayJog for 35 mins, run for 30 mins, Jog for 30 mins, walk for 10 mins
WednesdayJog for 15 mins
ThursdayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 40 mins, walk for 10 mins, jog for 5 mins, run for 5 mins, jog for 10 mins
FridayJog for 20 mins
SaturdayJog for 10 mins, walk for 10 mins
SundayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, walk for 3 mins. Repeat 5 times so the workout totals 115 mins.
Week 16
MondayJog for 20 mins
TuesdayJog for 40 mins
WednesdayJog for 20 mins, run for 15 mins, walk for 10 mins, run for 20 mins, Jog for 15 mins, run for 15 mins, walk for 5 mins, jog for 10 mins
ThursdayJog for 20 mins, walk for 10 mins
FridayJog for 45 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 20 mins, run for 10 mins, walk for 5 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Week 17
MondayJog for 20 mins, walk for 10 mins
TuesdayJog for 40 mins
WednesdayJog for 5 mins, run for 15 mins, jog for 60 mins
ThursdayJog for 30 mins
FridayJog for 60 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 15 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 100 mins
Week 18
MondayRest day
TuesdayJog for 15 mins
WednesdayJog for 45 mins
ThursdayJog for 60 mins
FridayJog for 30 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 90 mins
Week 19
MondayJog for 30 mins
TuesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 20 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 60 mins
WednesdayJog for 45 mins
ThursdayJog for 20 mins, run for 5 mins, jog for 35 mins
FridayJog for 60 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 150 mins
Week 20
MondayRest day
TuesdayJog for 15 mins, walk for 10 mins, jog for 10 mins
WednesdayJog for 60 mins
ThursdayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 10 mins. Repeat 3 times.
FridayJog for 30 mins, walk for 10 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 60 mins
Week 21
MondayJog for 45 mins
TuesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 25 mins
WednesdayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, jog for 60 mins
ThursdayJog for 5 mins, run for 5 mins, sprint for 30 secs, walk for 3 mins. Repeat 4 times.
FridayJog for 45 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 60 mins, walk for 15 mins, jog for 60 mins, walk for 15 mins, Jog for 30 mins
Week 22
MondayRest day
TuesdayJog for 30 mins
WednesdayJog for 30 mins
ThursdayJog for 60 mins
FridayJog for 30 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 10 mins, run for 10 mins, Jog for 15 mins, run for 15 mins, walk for 3 mins. Repeat 3 times.
Week 23
MondayWalk for 15 mins
TuesdayJog for 30 mins
WednesdayJog for 90 mins, run for 10 mins
ThursdayJog for 60 mins
FridayJog for 30 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayJog for 120 mins
Week 24
MondayJog for 15 mins, walk for 5 mins, jog for 10 mins
TuesdayJog for 45 mins
WednesdayJog for 70 mins
ThursdayJog for 15 mins, walk for 10 mins
FridayWalk for 15 mins
SaturdayRest day
SundayRace day

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

Steven James’s 16 Week Sub 4hr Marathon Plan:

Week 1
Monday – 8k easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 5km at pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 16km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 2
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 6×3 mins fast, with 1 min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 5km at pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 16km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 3
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 10×2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 5km at pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 16km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 4
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 7×3 mins fast, with 1 min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 19km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 5
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 10×2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 19km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 6
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 8×3 mins fast, with 1 min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 22km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 7
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 10×2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 8km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 22km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 8
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 8×3 mins fast, with 1 min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 8km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 25km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 9
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 10×2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 8km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 25km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 10
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 8×3 mins fast, with 1 min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 28km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 11
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 10×2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 28km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 12
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 8×3 mins fast, with 1 min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 32km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 13
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, 3x1M fast with 2-min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 35km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 14
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 8×3 mins fast, with 1-min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run 16km, 1-2 minutes slower than race pace

Week 15
Monday – 8k recovery run, easy running
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 2km jog, then 12×60 secs fast, with 1-min jog recoveries, then 2km jog
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2km jog, 6km at race pace, then 2km jog
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Rest

Week 16
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 3km jog, easy
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 3km jog, easy
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Marathon

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

Steven James’s 16 Week Sub 3hr Marathon Plan:

Week 1
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Efforts & Recover – Fartlek
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 14M (approx 105 mins)
Sunday – Rest

Week 2
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 3 x 2M (or 11-12 mins) fast, with 800m (4-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wednesday – Conversational pace – 7M (53 mins)
Thursday – Half Marathon Pace – 1M jog, 3M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 14M (approx 105 mins)
Sunday – Rest

Week 3
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Marathon Pace – 6M (approx 6:52 Pace)
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Half Marathon Pace – 1M jog, 3M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 16M (approx 2hr 05), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 4
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 8 x 800m (or 3 mins) fast, with 200m (1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wednesday – Conversational pace – 8M (61 mins)
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 16M (approx 2hr 05), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 5
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 8 x 800m (or 3 mins) fast, with 200m (1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wednesday – Conversational pace – 9M (70 mins)
Thursday – Half Marathon pace – 1M jog, 4M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 16M (approx 2hr 05), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 6
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Marathon pace – 1M jog, then 6M (approx 6:52 Pace) fartlek, then 1M jog
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Half Marathon pace – 7M (approx 6:52 Pace)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 16M (approx 2hr), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 7
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 10 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wednesday – 11M (85 mins), conversational pace
Thursday – Half Marathon pace – 1M jog, 4M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 18M (approx 2hr 15min), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 8
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, 12 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wednesday – 12M (92 mins), conversational pace
Thursday – Half Marathon pace – 1M jog, 4M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 18M (approx 2hr 15min), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 9
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 14 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Marathon pace – 8M (approx 6.52 pace)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Rest

Week 10
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 14 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wednesday – 10M (75 mins), conversational pace
Thursday – Half Marathon pace – 1M jog, 4M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 20M (approx 2hrs 30), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 11
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Marathon Pace – 1M jog, then 6M (approx 6:52 Pace) fartlek, then 1M jog
Wednesday – 7M (55 mins), conversational pace
Thursday – Half Marathon pace – 1M jog, 4M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 20M (approx 2hrs 35), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 12
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 3 x 2M (or 12 mins) fast, with 400m (or 2-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Marathon pace – 12M (approx 6:52 Pace)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 20M (approx 2hrs 35), conversational pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 13
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, 6 x 1M (or 6 mins) fast with 200m (or 1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 21M (approx 2hrs 40), conversational pace

Week 14
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 8 x 800m (or 3 mins) fast, with 100m (or 1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wednesday – 8M (65 mins), conversational pace
Thursday – Half Marathon Pace – 1M jog, 3M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Rest

Week 15
Monday – Easy – 5M (7:54) – gentle jog
Tuesday – Efforts & Recovery – 1M jog, then 12 x 400m (or 90 secs) fast, with 200m (or 2-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wednesday – 6M (45 mins), conversational pace
Thursday – Half Marathon Pace – 1M jog, 3M (approx 6:35 Pace), then 1M jog
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Marathon Pace – 8M (6:52)
Sunday – Rest

Week 16
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Gentle jog – 2M (7:54)
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Marathon

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

Tips on Running an Ultra Marathon

Running farther than 26.2 miles, perhaps a race of 50 kilometer or 50 miles, presents an exciting challenge that tests certain aspects of your body and mind as you push the endurance envelope. The ultra world is populated by a wonderful variety of personalities, people from many different athletic backgrounds and approaches to the sport. You can belong to the unique and close-knit community by following some basic steps.

1.
Develop a big base building up your mileage. Increase your mileage gradually, not more than 10 percent per week.

2.
Schedule a number of “training races” that are shorter than your targeted distance so that you can learn how to consume plenty of calories and liquids during your ultra race. During your training, practice eating and drinking the same foods and liquids you will be consuming during the race and stay away from trying anything new and different during the race. Gastrointestinal problems and cramping are often ultra-runners’ nemeses. Both can be prevented through proper training and taking in sufficient amounts of salts, carbohydrates, and liquids. Each runner has a unique disposition, so you will have to experiment to find out what works best for you. It is a common strategy among ultra-runners to weave a number of “training” races into their schedules. Training races can either be organized events or group runs that challenge you to perform at a threshold pace. Running such prep races helps to develop your efficiency, speed, strength, and endurance that are important to ultra-running
3.
Set aside your preconceptions and to follow a structured program leading to your ultra, retaining some flexibility to account for weather, stave off any potential injuries, and to accommodate work, relationship, and family commitments.

4.
Harness your drive. You need to have your heart set on finishing to complete an ultra and the challenge it presents.

5.
Find an experienced ultra-running friend, acquaintance, or coach who can harness your drive and arm it with her or his knowledge and advice to make your desire, your ambition, your dream get closer to your reality.

6.
Running an ultra is all about stress management. A key ingredient to successful training is to condition yourself to adjust to hard and/or long workouts with relatively quick recovery. Try working back-to-back long runs into your training schedule. For example, if your goal is to run a 50k, you may work up to doing a Saturday run of 20 miles and a Sunday of 15, or other various combinations. On weekdays, you may want to roll back the mileage and focus on recovering through active rest and cross training, as well as some speed training, hill workouts, and some shorter tempo runs. Weight training, swimming, and other activities that strengthen your upper body and build muscle mass without impact on the joints will help to round out your ultra-marathon training.

7.
Know the terrain of your planned ultra. More so than shorter races, ultra marathons require sustained concentration and focus so, to make it easier to keep your focus on the day of the race it is helpful to run some or all of the course prior to the event. At least get a course map and study the topography to learn where the major hills and challenges lie. Try to reduce your background stress level as you enter the final week of the race and make some quiet time to visualize the course.

8.
Taper your training and allow your body to mend any strains and work out some of the toxins that build up from extreme training. The reduced output will probably result in a slight weight gain, which is actually beneficial for longer ultras because the reserve comes in handy after your body runs out of glycogen, the fuel your muscles use to keep you moving. It is also recommended to get used to waking up at the hour at which you will be rising on race day.

9.
In “racing” your first ultra, the most important thing you can do is to slow down and focus on maintaining a manageable pace, one that you can sustain throughout the event. You should run your own race. Ultras are rarely raced, which adds to the noncompetitive, friendly atmosphere that surrounds most ultra events.

10.
As you do all of this training and racing, listen carefully to your body. Ease off if you feel you are hitting a lull in your training. You may be overdoing it or suffering from the beginnings of an injury.

11.
Think about the proper clothing, shoes, and equipment you will be using for the race. Unique to ultras, you will need to consider such items as a flashlight or headlamp for running in the dark, lubricant, nipple covers, hydration, gels and/or energy bars, rain and sun protection, hats, and gaiters. If the ultra you will be running allows for drop bags at different points along the course, then you will need to think about what spare supplies you will want to place in those bags. Your running shoes should not be brand new, but you don’t want to run in a shoe is too broken down either.

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

Getting Started in Ultra Running, by Gary Cantrell

There seems to be a consistent demand for how-to articles on ultra-running. Newcomers to our joyous sport eagerly seek advice on how to minimize the time spent as novices so that they can play the game without learning many lessons through painful experience. So, in answer to that call, I will offer you the tips of an experienced plodder. These are not secrets to becoming one of the great ones — that is all done with talent and hard work. This article is about how to have fun. After all, that is what ultra-running is all about.

Not very long ago choosing an ultra was an easy task. If it was possible to find one within your geographical area, that was your race. Times have changed and now we see a great variety of choices in each month’s listings. Since no one can do them all, and most of us can do very few, a selective process is necessary.

The first factor to consider is distance. Weigh this factor based on your experience. If you have never even run a marathon, then do one first. Certainly many, perhaps most, of us can successfully negotiate an ultra-marathon without prior experience at the marathon distance, but that is not the point. Ultra running reserves its greatest rewards for those with the patience to work toward long-term goals. The first lesson that we each must learn is how to take one step at a time; that is how every ultra is done. Marathoners deal with a mythical 20-mile wall. For ultra-runners there turns out to be a series of walls, each indicating a change in the basic nature of the race in question. If we bypass all these landmarks and run a 1,000-mile race after our first 10-km, then we have wasted the opportunity of enjoying the personal fulfilment at the successful passing of each of these barriers.

Here is an evaluation of the different race groupings as I see them. Most ultra-runners would agree with this division, although the exact cut-off points depend on individual ability and the nature of the course.

  1. Races fewer than 20 miles are your basic road races. Be it a 10-km or a 30-km, the factors to be reckoned with are roughly the same. Being able to finish is not the question; it is simply a matter of how fast.
  2. The 20-40 mile distance consists, essentially, of races similar to a marathon. Fifty kilometres is technically an ultra, but it is run simply as a long marathon. At these distances mistakes no longer penalize only your finishing time, but bring to the fore the very real possibility of failure to finish at all. The 20-mile wall is real, and going beyond it while attempting to perform at the maximum of your ability is an accomplishment to be proud of.
  3. The range between 40 and 70 miles brings us to the realm of the 50-mile and 100-km. The barrier we passed at 20 miles seems only to have been put there to prepare us for the bigger wall waiting between 40 and 45 miles. For the average runner, walking is now an important part of the equation for success. Still, these are essentially running events.
  4. Races between 75 and 100 miles put us into elite company. Walking is now a major consideration and sleep deprivation becomes a new critical factor. If the barrier we conquered to reach 50 miles seemed demoralizing, the wall between that and 100 miles is devastating beyond description. Training and experience may render marathons and 50-milers routine, but even the great ultra-runners will tell you that 100 miles is always hard.
  5. At 120 miles and beyond we reach the multi-day level (if you can run 120+ miles in an event that is not a multi-day, then my advice will be of no use to you anyway). At these distances the barriers are no longer clearly defined and periods of depression and elation rise and fall as inevitably as the ocean’s tides. Here, during these ultimate running experiences, we one day reach the realization that no longer are we limited by distance, but only by the time it will take to achieve it.

So my first sage advice is to take each of these steps one at a time. Savour each moment of success, celebrate each passage into greater things separately, and, most of all, learn to appreciate the journey as well as its completion.

Now that you have decided to work your way up the ultra-distance ladder, there comes the choice of which races to run. The variety here is almost infinite. There are the choices between road, track, or trail, and the great variation in race organization, from the small low-key events to the mega races. Again, my philosophy is one of gradual accretion of difficulty. Begin on the more moderate track or road courses and work up to the monsters.

When selecting your races, start well in advance, go through all the listings, and send for every entry form that interests you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about items of concern, such as probable weather, requirements for handlers, and so on. The information you collect will be useful far beyond that one year’s running. The wise ultra-runner is out to experience every type of event available; if two of your choices are irresistible, then one may have to become another year’s dream.

For your first race at some landmark distance you want to select a moderate course and a small event. The moderate course is due to the fact that your challenge will be merely to make it, and that is enough. Choosing a small event will mean that most of the runners and race people will know what you are after and you’ll be aided by the kind of personal support that such a special occasion warrants.

Later, as the distances become part of your normal range, you can go after the challenges of the monster courses and the celebrations of the big races. Some will become annual pilgrimages and others you’ll taste once only as you move on in the quest for new experiences. These decisions may not be so much conscious decisions as simply a feeling you’ll have in your heart about certain events.

There is one final consideration in picking an ultra: location. Initially you might prefer to stay close to home and concentrate on the race itself. As he or she matures, the smart ultra-runner begins to think about more exotic locales. Ultra running constitutes more than just an opportunity to travel; it is a reason to travel. The average tourist visits a place by staying in a motel full of tourists, visiting tourist places, and, generally, leaving without ever really “seeing” the place at all. As an ultra-runner we go and spend our time with the local runners, doing something that gives us a genuine taste of the locales we visit.

First Time Ultra, by Sherpa John.

Training for your first ultra marathon is sometimes an arduous task. It can be very overwhelming at first when you truly start to consider everything you need to consider on your road to personal endurance greatness. Thousands of ultra runners have been there long before you ever even decided to run one of these things. And during our time as ultra virgins, we’ve all had to swallow the same piece of humble pie along the road in order to see the light a little clearer. My goal here with this post is designed to truly lay it all out there and to help you get into an appropriate mindset in training for your first ultra.

“Get Started” Training Tips

1.) You are NOT Jurek or Karnazes
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen runners join the sport of ultra running with the frame of mind that they are as good, if not better, then DK or Jurek. They arrive at the starting line of their first 100 miler, that sounded like a great idea, with the idea that they can run this thing relying on their marathon training or because they read it somewhere in a book. Look gang, I’m sure you’re a talented runner and you can really take it to the road in that local 10K or marathon you’ve run every year for the last 10 years; But Ultra Running is a completely different animal that not only deserves your respect but your willingness to be a student before you can be a master. You are not DK or Jurek; so simmer down and get your brain in the mindset that you are essentially starting over from scratch again. Because… you are.

2.) K.I.S.S.
No, not the band. This is the Keep It Simple, Stupid! frame of mind. Look, running isn’t rocket science. It’s as simple as Left – Right – Repeat. Think about that for a few seconds and then continue reading….. ……. ……. …… Left – Right – Repeat…. ….. ….. …… ….. Ok, now stop reading your running porn about what shoe’s work best for you (the ones that fit), what kind of food the pro’s are eating (it’s different for you, eat what you can digest), what your splits were this weekend on your 16 mile training run (IT DOESN’T MATTER) and just K.I.S.S. ! Left – Right – Repeat. You don’t need to worry about anything else until you start getting the hang of simply finding the finish line a few times.

3.) Research, Research, Research
Yeah, a tip that contradicts the last. Something tells me you’ll get over it. But then again, I’m not talking about shoes or splits or food. I’m talking about the race you’re going to run first. What is your goal race? Find out as much as you possibly can about that race. The number of aid stations and how far apart they are. Are you allowed a crew or not? Drop Bags? What does the course look like. Once you have all of this information, it’s up to you to put it into practice. I learned long ago, “if you don’t do it in the game, don’t do it in practice.” I turn it around and say, “If you plan on doing it during the race, you better be doing it during training.” Find out as much as you can about your target race and mimic everything about the race as you can in training. Essentially, your training becomes actual dry runs of race day. Start experimenting with different food types. Start running at different times of day or even through the night. What headlamp fits you best and lights up your life like you hoped it would? What kind of butt lube keeps those cheeks moving without the deadly friction force of a rasp file against your cheeks? Find that stuff out!

4.) Mimic Course Conditions
Find a way to train on terrain the most closely resembles the terrain of your target race. Set up make-shift aid stations in the woods to simulate aid stops. A friend of mine was training to run a marathon completely barefoot. He actually put roofing shingles inside his shoes to simulate the abrasiveness of the pavement. He then wore these shoes to work, around the house, and on select training runs. This was all part of his plan to train by simulating the conditions on race day. If you’re ultra is on a road, you better be training on a road. If it’s on the trails, you better do most of your training on trails that closely resembles the actual course. Even better… GO SEE THE COURSE and gather your own recon.

5.) Ditch the Watch
It used to be in ultra running that the individual who finished in first place, got the same finishers award as the person who finished dead last. So ditch the watch! The very last thing you’ll hear an ultra runner ask another ultra runner is “what was your time?” That’s what they do in marathon land and below. In ultra world we ask “did you finish?” very few people actually care what your finishing time was, so in essence, neither should you. Ditch the watch and just run for the sake of running. This is your first ultra. Worry about interval training and getting faster at various ultra distances later after you’ve popped your ultra cherry.

6.) It’s Not All Running
I’ve seen it a few thousands times at this point. First time ultra runners show up to the starting line thinking that they’re really going to run all 50 miles.. and I do mean run all 50 miles. That’s just not realistic. For your first ultra, you should definitely make it your plan to walk all the ups, run the downs and run the flats where you can. You’ll enjoy your experience much more and learn a hell of a lot more as well. Training your body to power hike and walk fast is some of the most important training you can do as an ultra runner. See how I emphasized the above point? Ask me how I really feel about the importance of what I just said. I’ll tell you more if you need it. Hey, you’re not going to run the entire thing; that’s actually a bit naive. So stick with the plan, slow it down Mr. Hall, ditch the watch, and practice your walking. “Mall walking” is not allowed! I know of 20 people who can actually run an entire ultra without stopping.

7.) You Are An Experiment Of One…Experiment
When it comes to everything else.. and even what I’ve shared with you here.. remember one most important rule; You Are An Experiment of One. What works for me may not work for you. What works for 150 other ultra runners, may not work for you. It is up to you to ultimately find out what works for you. What shoes work for you. What hydration pack works for you. What shoes work for you. What food you can stomach and actually works with fueling you. What kind of race strategy works for you. What kind of crew members work for you. What kind of pacers work for you. What kind of race works for you. What kind of skin lubricant works for you to prevent chaff. What kind of cartoon works for you after you’ve finished and are drooling on yourself. Get the picture here? You can ask a thousand ultra runners what works for them and you’re likely to get a thousand different answers. It’s up to you to utilize your training time wisely to figure all of this out for yourself. Use your time wisely and don’t look for handouts from others. And keep in mind… what you find works for you this year, very well may not work for you next year.

Hey, what do I know? I’ve been in this sport for 7 years. I’ve run in 38 different ultra marathons from 50K to 100 Miles. I’ve even run clear across a state, 125-miles, without stopping. I’m not here to lay it all out for you on a silver platter so I can watch you lick the butter fat from the edges of the plate when you’re done with the biscuits. Hell, my opinion is also one of a few thousand. But I promise you.. something you just read here, will help you be a better ultra runner.. guaranteed.

The Green Man Plan, by Steven James. Also suitable for the Malvern Hills Ultra.

Week 1
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Hilly Tempo – 8km – 0:40
Wednesday – Hilly Road – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions Road – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady, Flat Road – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Pacing (Out & Back) 18km – 1:30

Week 2
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Steady Flat – 8km – 0:40
Wednesday – Hilly Road – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions Road – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady, Flat Road – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Pacing (Out & Back) 18km – 1:30

Week 3
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Efforts – 8km – 0:40 (4x 8mins, 90sec jog)
Wednesday – Hilly Road – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions Road – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady, Flat Road – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Endurance, off-road – 24km – 3:00

Week 4
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Steady, flat – 6km – 0:30
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Hill Sessions Road – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady, Flat Road – 10km – 0:50
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Endurance, off-road – 12km – 1:00

Week 5
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Hilly Tempo – 10km – 0:45
Wednesday – Steady Hilly – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions Road – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady, Flat Road – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Pacing (out and back)24km – 2:00

Week 6
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Hilly Tempo – 10km – 0:45
Wednesday – Steady Hilly – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Steady, Flat – 9km – 0:45
Friday – Hill Sessions – 12km – 1:00
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long Run, off-road – 27km – 2:15

Week 7
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Efforts – 10km – 0:50 (5x 4mis tempo, 60sec jog, 4mins tempo, 60sec jog)
Wednesday – Steady Hilly – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 1:00
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Endurance – 30km – 4:00

Week 8
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Steady Flat – 6km – 0:30
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Endurance – 12km – 1:00

Week 9
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Hill Tempo – 10km – 0:45
Wednesday – Steady Hill – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Pacing (out and back) 30km – 2:30

Week 10
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Hill Tempo – 10km – 0:45
Wednesday – Steady Hill – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long Run Hilly off-road – 33km – 2:45

Week 11
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Efforts – 12km – 1:00 (5x 2.30 tempo, 30sec jog, 2.30 tempo, 30sec jog)
Wednesday – Steady Hill – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 1:00
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long Run Hilly off-road – 33km – 2:45

Week 12
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Steady Hill – 9km – 0:45
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Endurance, off-road – 36km – 5:00

Week 13
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Hilly Tempo – 10km – 0:45
Wednesday – Steady Hill – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Endurance, off-road – 36km – 5:00

Week 14
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Hilly Tempo – 10km – 0:45
Wednesday – Steady Hill – 9km – 0:45
Thursday – Hill Sessions – 12km – 1:00
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Pacing, out and back – 24km – 2:00

Week 15
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Efforts – 6km – 0:30 (2x 2.30 tempo, 30sec jog, 2.30 tempo, 30sec jog)
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Steady Flat – 6km – 0:30
Friday – Steady Flat – 9km – 1:00
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Endurance, off-road – 12km – 1:00

Week 16
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Steady Flat – 9km – 0:45
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Hill Sessions – 6km – 0:30
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Race Day

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

The 100 mile Siren Call, by Gary Dudney

Sooner or later most ultrarunners hear the siren call of the 100-mile run. It seems to be the distance that defines ultrarunners. It sure is the distance that elevates us in most people’s minds from being merely obsessed with running to being certifiable nutcases. But nutty is the last thing you feel like when you cross your first 100-mile finish line. Instead you feel elation and pride and relief, and you feel an overwhelming confidence in your ability to rise to any challenge. The confidence is well-founded. After all, when you cross the finish line of a 100-mile run, you’ve just proven yourself capable of overcoming some awesome physical, mental, and logistical challenges.

The physical demands of running a 100-mile race are substantial. You’ll need amped up endurance and strength, and the physiological adaptations that come from running lots of long slow distance. Plan on continuing the ultrarunning training you are already doing but adding in more long runs in the five- to six-hour range. You don’t need to approach the full distance of 100 miles while training, but you do want to put plenty of miles on your legs. About 50 miles a week is typical for most runners whose goal is to reach the finish of their first “hundred” within the time limit. You can forego the “junk” miles (shorter runs just to get in more miles per week) if it helps you keep up a steady stream of long runs. Many runners like to enter a series of ultras in the six months leading up to their hundred attempt to gauge their fitness and stress test their eating, drinking, clothes and equipment. A 100-kilometer race or a difficult 50-miler will give you some sense of the strains you will feel during a full hundred.

You can also push yourself and build added endurance by running back-to-back long runs, working out twice a day or going out for a 20- mile run the day after a race. Running on fatigued legs when you really want to stay on the couch is an excellent test of your will power. Plan to do some of your long running at night to get used to your lights and experience that midnight to six a.m. stretch of sleepiness. Also run long in the heat, in the rain, in the cold, or in any other adverse conditions that you might experience during the race. Back off your long run schedule for a week or two if you feel any signs of overtraining or burnout, such as insomnia, prolonged fatigue or elevated resting heart rate. Pick up the training again after a good rest. And be sure to leave the final three weeks before the race for an extended taper. A draining effort done just a week or two before the big race will not significantly increase your fitness and may leave you at the starting line with less than full strength.

The saying goes that you run the first half of a hundred with your legs and the last half with your mind. This is so true. The mental component of the race can’t be overstated as you will almost invariably get to the point of physical exhaustion and want to quit. At that point, it is your will power and sheer determination that will carry you through. Use the latter stages of your long runs or your preparatory ultras to work on your mental techniques. Practice repeating a mantra to yourself that will replace negative thoughts with some personal motivating phrase. Work at accepting the painful feelings and seeing them as a positive, as proof that you are giving your maximum effort. Break the running down into manageable segments and congratulate yourself on each segment completed. Focus on what you need to do for yourself to keep going right at the moment rather than thinking about the whole piece that remains. Keep in mind that you’re not alone, that other runners are also finding it hard. Be patient and determined to finish but also be determined to do all the things that will ensure success.

There will be high points and low points in your run. Trust in the fact that the low points will not last forever. In fact, when the sun comes up, most runners experience renewed energy so you can always focus on that boost that will come with dawn as you push through the night.

The logistics for participating in a 100-mile race are a lot more complicated than for the shorter ultra distances and require fairly extensive preparation. First you’ll need to make your travel plans for yourself and possibly your crew. Most hundreds can be tackled solo, but a supportive crew and pacer can be very helpful and can make the difference between success and failure. If you get a chance to volunteer at a hundred, or serve as a pacer or crew member for a runner, do it. There’s no better way to learn what to expect for your own attempt. Race orientations are usually held on Friday of race weekend so you need to arrive Friday afternoon at the latest and you should consider staying through to Monday as you may be totally wiped out on Sunday after your finish.

Use the race information received prior to the run to educate yourself and your crew on all the driving directions, aid station locations and calendar of events. The aid station mileage chart and past race results can be used to work out a rough schedule for when you expect to arrive at different aid stations. See if split times are available from past races and look for a runner you know to be about your ability level and work out a schedule based on that runner’s splits. Once you have a guess at when and where you’ll be on the course, you can pre-pack your drop bags and crew bag with the food, supplements, night-running gear, extra clothes, and other items you’ll need during the run. Check the race information for weather predictions and learn what you can about the course layout. No plan will be perfect given all the unexpected issues that invariably crop up over 100 miles of trail, but good preparation will give you the best chance of having what you need when you need it out there in the cold and dark.

Before my first hundred, I asked a 100-mile veteran how in the world he got through the second half of the race. He looked at me and smiled knowingly, “The second 50? Oh, that’s all zen.” At the time, I couldn’t appreciate what he was saying, but after several hundreds, I’m beginning to understand how the zen concepts of meditation, simplicity, direct experience, and enlightenment apply to those soul-searching miles run during the last half of a hundred. Ironically, I think we sign up for the 100- mile because of the enormity of the challenge and the chance to try something so astonishing, but what we most take away from the experience is something that happens almost imperceptibly along the way: a glimmer of enlightenment.

The Joust 24hr Race:

A 24-hour race is a type of ultramarathon, but it’s the competitors who choice to complete as many or as few laps of the course. Instead of a set distance, there is a set time. The ultrarunner’s goal in such an event is to see how far he or she can run within 24 hours. Each loop of the Joust course is just over 5 miles, with three water stations along the way.

Within the Joust 24hr Race there is also a 12hr option, the J12. The J12 differs, as the aim here is to complete a minimum of 50 miles within the 12hr set time.

Training is much of the same as used in a 50 or 100 miler race.

Setting your distance goal

In a typical ultra where the distance is set, your intention is probably to make a new personal record (PR). You want to know how much faster you can complete 50 miles or 100 kilometers for example and therefore measure any improvements in performance. In a 24 hour event on the other hand, you want to establish a target distance.

It’s really up to you on how far you want to go. Is a hundred fifty miles doable? Would you be satisfied with such a goal? You apparently have to base the feasibility on what you accomplished during your training.

Setting your pace

This aspect of your running is just as critical as in a set distance ultramarathon. In fact this is likely going to be your main pre-race planning preoccupation. Some decide to go out strong in the beginning and shift to lower gear as the day winds down while others use the opposite approach and attempt a strong finish. Then there are those who plan to maintain a steady pace all through 24 hours. Ultrarunners who move fast on the course usually spend longer rest periods off it. Those who go relatively slow and steady almost never leave the course except for short breaks.

It can be helpful to break down the day into more digestible morsels and set your run/walk strategy accordingly. You can for example take it 30 minutes at a time and set a 25-minute run to 5-minute walk ratio. Others cut it up even smaller and run for only 5-minutes followed by a minute of walking.

24-hour races are more of an intervals game. This type of training run should at least have been part of your pre-race regimen if not one of the greater focus. A timer with alarms set according to your planned pacing is going to help a lot.

Preparing your provisions

Aside from a good watch, you’re obviously going to need lots of fuel and extra gear. If you’ve already run a set-distance ultra then you know how important replenishing lost calories and fluids are to a successful performance. Plan for how many times you’re going to change shoes and socks and other necessary clothing such as a raincoat for when the weather turns inclement. Bring along first aid medication and tools and treat your blisters and chafing before they start becoming a problem. The Joust does allow competitors to bring their own support crew and there are three water stations located on the course.

Take especial note of how you plan to stay up and running when the sun sets. When it’s the graveyard shift, coffee is going to be your best friend.

Preparing your mind

You’ve probably heard how some ultrarunners get more enjoyment from set distance events that run through a trail. Seeing varied landscapes can certainly take your mind off the numerous aches. A 24-hour race with its looping course however doesn’t offer such an advantage. After 6 or 12 hours you’ve probably memorized every detail in the surrounding area.

This is one of the reasons why it’s often recommended to divide the day into smaller intervals. Thinking about how many hours are left can just discourage you. 30 or 10 minute distance goals on the other hand are so much more manageable sanity-wise.

Summary:

  • Put the levelling of training in to make your target goal achievable.
  • Organise a support crew if needed. (Don’t forget this works both ways so you can return the favour some time).
  • Prepare and understand your nutrition requirements – if you don’t put fuel in your car, it doesn’t go!
  • Enjoy the experience, and certainly don’t stress out.
  • Whatever you do mileage wise, be proud of your achievments. And cherish your medal.
  • There’s always another race if things don’t go to plan – time is on your side.

Disclaimer

URL strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge URL from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of URL’s advertised training programs.

Why is tapering important?
Research has shown that tapering is essential for a successful race.
Tapering allows muscle glycogen stores to return to peak levels. Metabolic enzymes, antioxidants, and various hormones, depleted during training, return to their optimal ranges.

Muscle and connective tissues repair and strengthen.

 

What are the key elements of an effective taper?

Successful tapers are a mix of precise, intense training, substantial rest periods, mental focus exercises, meditative visualization, dietary management, and a restriction of extracurricular activities that could be a distraction or a drain of energy.

 

How often should you taper?

Several of the studies concluded that the optimal length of taper is from seven days to three weeks, depending on the distance of the race and how hard you’ve trained. Too short a taper will leave you tired on race day, while tapering for too long will lead to a loss of fitness.

 

What happens at a physiological level when we taper our training?
Another physiological change that happens to athletes during taper is that their anaerobic thresholds increase. The anaerobic metabolic pathway does not rely on the presence of oxygen; instead, it breaks down glucose for energy and produces by products of lactate and hydrogen ions (which create an acidic environment).

Can you over taper?
It’s no less important to racing success than, say, long runs. But now there’s enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that too significant of a reduction may do more harm than good. Just as you can add miles too quickly (and get injured), cutting them drastically can lead to a sluggish or sickly feeling.