training plan for my first 50-mile ultramarathon

The 2016 edition of the Sulphur Springs Trail Race will be held on May 28th, and it will also be my first attempt at an ultramarathon. While my only goal is to beat the cutoff time (~14 hours), I would also like to finish in good enough shape to drive myself home and go to work on Monday.

One of the initial challenges was to find a training plan that would match my needs. After much research, I found Byron Powell’s excellent book “Relentless Forward Progress – A guide to running ultramarathons”, which details options for distances up to 100 miles.

I settled for his “40M-100K on 50 miles a week” plan (page 94) and modified it by trading speed days for equivalent cycling sessions, plus adding daily yoga for strength and flexibility. The final 90 days before the race look like this (in miles):

ultra training sulphur springs

Most would consider this a (very) low-mileage plan, yet is hard for me to believe that I must run 500+ miles over the next 3 months (in addition to the 350+ already accumulated since the start of the plan).

I should add that I have settled on a 8-1 run/walk strategy, and that I am still experimenting with hydration and nutrition. Future progress updates will include my findings in all of the above.

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