long run advice sought

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  pski 15 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #1221


    i’m a bit short of 6 weeks out from the trailbreaker 26.2 and about 11 weeks out from the ice age 50M trail run. i’ve been focusing on one long run a week with another 5 days of 45-60 minutes of running. the last five long runs were…

    2/15 – 20 (<2:45)

    2/07 – 16.5 (3:25) – snow/slush trails

    2/01 – 18.5 (2:35)

    1/24 – 17.5 (2:32)

    1/17 – 14

    the next two weekends have family committments so getting in a long run may be a challenge. my question is this…if i want to aim at the ice age 50M…what would you guys recommend in terms of long run time/distance? (march 27th is the trailbreaker 26.2)

  • #13410



    If you can’t get the long run in over the next couple weeks then I would try and get a few more weekly miles under my belt. For example, try and get the same number of weekly miles in as you would have got w/ the long run in there.

    I would concentrate on 22 three weeks out from TB and another 18 two weeks out from TB at a little faster clip than normal. Nothing heroic, but w/ a little more effort.

    After TB you have basically 6 weeks to Ice Age. I’d look at something like this on Saturdays:

    4/3 = An easy 10

    4/10 = 25 miles

    4/17 = 35 mile build-up run

    4/24 = 15 or the 20 mile build-up, but w/ all the walking, etc.

    5/1 = An easy 10

    5/8 = Ice Age 50

    You have 2 weeks of major investment, but consider it necessary. The 25 mile will be around 4+ hours and the 35 will be around 6+ hours. Your comfort level at Ice Age will depend on these two runs.

    Again, my first Ice Age:

    Week ending on Sunday:

    2/27 33.6 miles w/ a marathon in 3:10:58

    3/5 38.9 miles w/ a 16.0

    3/12 43.9 miles w/ a 19.5

    3/19 40.2 miles w/ a 20.0 trails

    3/26 13.3 miles w/ a 7.1

    4/2 55.4 miles w/ a 25.5 trails

    4/9 60.3 miles w/ a 28.3 trails

    4/16 67.3 miles w/ a 32.5 trails

    4/23 67.3 miles w/ a 35.0 trails

    4/30 37.8 miles w/ a 8.7

    5/7 29.2 miles w/ a 7.8

    Last week:

    5/8 = 4.7

    5/9 = 3.4

    5/10 = 2.7

    5/11 = OFF

    5/12 = OFF

    5/13 = 50.0 7:23:45

    5/14 = OFF

    Your in at least as good as a position as I was. “Just give me 22 days of daylight, that’s all I need.” Gail Sayers paraphrase.

    ….and rest a lot after the 35 miler. I didn’t do the 20 mile build-up as you can see, but I did have 4 long weekends in a row.

    Let me know if I can help man.

  • #13411


    I’m no expert, especially when it comes to ultras. Just curious what race is more important to you Jerry, TB or Ice Age?

    Here’s what I show, given what you said and Double’s advice:

    1/17 – 14

    1/24 – 17.5

    1/31 – 18.5

    2/7 – 16.5 (3:25)

    2/14 – 20

    2/21 – < 15

    2/28 – < 15

    3/6 – 22

    3/13 – 18

    3/20 – < 15

    3/27 – 26

    4/3 – 10

    4/10 – 25

    4/17 – 35

    4/24 – < 15

    5/1 – 10

    5/8 – 50

    If you are just doing TB as a training run for Ice Age, then I would think you could be a little more aggressive. Personally, going into a 50 mile race with those long runs would scare me.

    Could you be more aggressive on 3/6 and 3/13? Maybe add a warmup/cooldown at TB? Then bump up 4/10 and 4/17 a little? Keep in mind that your long run is 3:25, not 20 miles. Think duration, not distance. If you applied your 20 mile pace to a 3:25 long run, it’s nearly 25 miles. Build off of that.

    Again, I’ve never done an ultra, so you get what you paid for with my advice.

  • #13412


    I think Jerry could “survive” Ice Age on that program fairly reasonable. I don’t think his intention is to race, so if he sticks to a run/walk strategy he could finish in the 9 – 10 hour range.

    I ran a fairly smart first effort, but I layed it out the last 17 miles. It put the hurt on me. Getting out on the actual trail and practicing your pace and effort is a big plus for the locals.

    Actually, one of the big factors in the success bag is the weekly miles. People like to “think” the long run is the biggest part of the pie, but it isn’t. When your run 40-50 miles a week, the long run is hugely important. I could thrive on the weekly long runs Jerry has ran and what I recommended, but my weekly mileage is double that.

    Hundreds of people finish Ice Age every year and many on painfully small amounts of training. Jerry’s level of comfort/success will depend on what he is able to get in. Sometimes I think I’m a bad guy to ask. I try an offer minimums, or best case scenarios, but many people believe even my minimums are too much.

    Jerry has time to make this work. Keep the weekly miles up and don’t skimp on the few long runs needed out on the trails.

  • #13413


    Zeke, I was thinking similar to you. I would actually double up 20+ milers on 3/6 and 3/13, maybe 22/22 or something like that.

    Of course, I also strongly believe in Double’s point and that’s something I repeatedly stress when talking about marathon training. It’s not just about the long run, it’s about the whole package. A big part of that package is weekly mileage. Consider it this way. If you’re training for that 50 miler, what’s better training, a 22 mile long run in a 45 mile week or a 20 mile long run in a 65 mile week? Personally, I’ll take the 20 miler in a 65 mile week. If a few extra miles in your long run are going to greatly affect what you are going to be capable of doing over the following days, you’re probably better off cutting the long run a bit short and going longer on the following days.

    Of course, this is the advice of someone who has never run an ultra, even though Double says I train like an ultra runner.

  • #13414


    here’s what i’m hearing from you guys…

    * increase weekly miles

    * keep ratcheting up the LSD…think time not distance

    i like the idea of running more on T-W-Th and going easy M & F…i think that would be the best strategy in terms of upping my weekly miles. i’ll back off on the pace a bit for the LSD and i need to work on eating/drinking more on the run. hopefully the snow will melt soon so the trails will be run-able. i’m just pleased that i’m eleven weeks out from Ice Age and have a 20M & a 3:25 on my legs. (if i can get that fit 12 weeks out from a marathon, maybe i’d survive on the beck plan)

    double – i think the 9-10 hr range is what i’m aiming for…especially for a first 50M. the longest i’ve run (time & distance) is my first (of two) road 50K in 4:50-ish. (ran it a few weeks after a 3:18 at lakefront)

    zeke – trailbreaker will likely be just a training run. it’s a slow course anyway…unless you’re double. perhaps running a 5M warm up before the TB 26.2 would be the way to go.

    taking ryan/zeke/double’s LSD progression…perhaps i could aim at…

    2/22 – 22

    2/29 – < 15

    3/6 – 24

    3/13 – 26

    3/20 – < 15

    3/27 – 5M + 26.2 Trailbreaker

    4/3 – 10

    4/10 – 25 (IA buildup)

    4/17 – 35 (IA buildup)

    4/24 – < 15

    5/1 – 10

    5/8 – 50

    thanks for the help guys.

  • #13415



    Believe it or not I read yet another 1981 article from Runner’s World entitled “The Easy Way to a 50-Miler” by Tom Osler. He says you should be able to run a 50-miler off of marathon training by following 3 simple techniques:

    1) Developed a relaxed, playful, non-competitive attitude toward the effort.

    2) Mix frequent short walks with the running.

    3) Drink ample quantities of sweet drink.

    For #1 he gives a chart that includes best marathon race times, best 50-mile race time, recommended 50-mile race time and 50-mile training time. For example, a 3:15, 8:00, 8:20, 10:30. So if you’re a 3:15 marathoner, you should shoot for 8:20, not 8:00 and your training pace should be what you need to run a 10:30 50-miler. You probably need to adjust this based on the course, conditions, etc.

    For #2 he suggest different walking invervals based on your marathon time. For example, a sub-2:40 marathoner should be able to race 50 miles, without any walking. A 2:50 marathoner can run for 20 minutes, walk for 5 minutes. A 3:15 marathoner should be able to run for 10 minutes and walk for 5 minutes. As with everything, experiment in training to find the run-walk ratio that works for you.

    #3 may have been written before sports drinks as the author seemed shocked to discover that sugary drinks could help him run longer.

    He does mention long training runs. The goal of these runs is to cover 30+ miles without generating significant fatigue. He even says you should be so fresh that you could easily do a regular workout the following day.

  • #13416


    i did a search on “Tom Osler” on the google.com and found numerous references to him. seems he really knows his ultra stuff. where are you finding 1981 runnersworld’s? how do they read from that time frame compared to the present? (i stopped subscribing in the late 90’s)

    as far as tom’s three things to do…i’m trying to be non-competitive, i haven’t included walk breaks (yet) and i’m using water with GU for the time being.

    i did get in 22.5 miles on sunday which was very evenly paced in 8:45-8:50 pace on a hilly road course. this pace was about 30 seconds per mile slower than what i ran my 20 mile in last week. i found a quote somewhere that said “any fool can run 20 miles fast…” and i guess it stuck with me. i think i could still slow down a little more and gain from it…we’ll see.

    regardless, i need to work on adding short walk breaks and eating more on the run than just GU. (perhaps a powerbar)

  • #13417


    where are you finding 1981 runnersworld’s? how do they read from that time frame compared to the present?

    My dad dug them out of his attic for me.

    Although I haven’t read RW for some time, I get the impression that the 80s version was much better. Articles from Lydiard, Clayton, Sheehan, Burfoot, Dellinger etc.

  • #13418


    i had 4 hours of vacation to burn before the end of march so i took the afternoon off and ran 5 green loops at the scuppernong trails. splits were…

    46:57 AVG HR 152

    47:49 AVG HR 150

    48:21 AVG HR 154

    49:49 AVG HR 161

    50:16 AVG HR 166

    4:03:00 AVG HR 157

    (my HRM can break down the AVG HR by splits)

    here’s a pic of my HR in 15 second intervals…

    i had 5 GU’s and ran the last 15M with a waist-sized camelback. each of the last 5M loops i drained the camelback.

    DOUBLE…4:03 for 25M at scuppernong…that puts me in the 9 – 10 hr finish range…right?

    i’d like to do one more long run before trailbreaker 26.2 (on march 27th) thinking of sunday afternoon. is it too close to go WED/SUN for long runs?

    thanks guys!

  • #13419



    I don’t believe mileage itself does it for the ultra 50 miler. The big key for me anyways was long long runs and doing them back to back. I’m currently working on this, but work and court screwed me this week. Call me when you can, work number 524 3929.

    Check this out, Last week I scuppernonged a 20 miler in 3:07 and followed it up the next day with 14 milers on the roads. Day off before and after these long efforts.

    This week I did 20 miles at scuppernong in 3:07 again. Today I wanted another 20 but had court, so I’ll do 4X1 mile in6:30”s and another 20 tomorrow morning before taking off.

    I will peak out two weeks where I do back to back 4.5 hour runs followed by a 3-3:30 run the next day, then take a break week before the two Ice age build ups, culminating with the 35 miler.

    My last two weeks ended up being 55 and 62 miles. This week will probalby hit about 62 again and then the two big back to backs will probably hit 75 each of only two weeks.

    If interested in this madness, call me up. Hey I can’t tell you why it works, but George Parrott is the guy who came up with this stuff and I guess he was OK PSKI

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