Monday, April 23, 2012

The North Face Endurance 50K Training

One week until I start my training for The North Face Endurance 50K - I'm really excited, because I think the Smart Marathon Training plan I will be following is sure to get me to the finish line both happy and injury free. Even though it is a plan prepared for marathoners, my 50K ultramarathon is not that much farther and Jeff Horowitz, the author, instills a sense of confidence.

The above image was the proposed plan. As you can see, Saturdays are the day off, giving the body some rest before the long run Sunday. Nothing wrong with that, since I've usually done my long runs Saturdays, but I couldn't wrap my head around a day off on Saturday. We've recently gone to nearly full time telework at my job, which means that, barring something special, Wednesdays are now the only day I must go into the office. To me it made sense to move the day off to Wednesday, knowing that I had to be at the train station at a certain time to get to work on time. I usually get up very early anyway, but this would alleviate the time crunch that sometimes happens around our house.

I emailed Jeff and asked him about adapting the plan, changing the day off to Wednesdays but changing the long run to Saturdays. Being the wise and experienced coach, he demurred and suggested I do my long runs on Thursdays instead. So that's what we're doing:

Except for the last week, the schedule has just been adjusted back, with the weeks starting on Mondays and days off on Wednesdays. I fiddled a bit with the last week, which is a taper week anyway, so hopefully it won't throw me off too much.

Shortest week in terms of mileage (besides the final taper week) is Week 1 at 40 miles + hills, while the biggest volume occurs in Weeks 10, 14, and 17, with 96 miles + Speedwork. Longest run will be 20 miles, repeated 3 times, while a top ride of 60 miles will also appear 3 times. All the longest runs and rides happen on Thursday, so I will either get up extremely early to get it done before work or, per Jeff, I can split up the distance into 2 same-day workouts, or, again per Jeff, I can shorten the distance but up the intensity. My plan is to get up early those days--since I'm working at home, the commute is easy and I don't have to be anywhere besides at my desk.

Week 7, Sunday, calls for Speedwork/Drills, but is also the day Laima and I will be participating in the Warrior Dash - since it's sprints interspersed with obstacles, I'm thinking that it can count. :)

Besides the actual physical training, I'll also be working on going vegan full time and also hoping to lose some weight. Between the healthier eating and ramped up training, the weight loss should come naturally. I'd like to lose a pound a week or so, so that'll be interesting to track as well.

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  1. I'm looking for a new marathon plan. Not into ultras (yet) but your plan looks good and I might give it a try just for "marathons" sake. :)

  2. wow--96 miles is mega mileage! It sounds like a great plan, though. I'm envisioning you nodding off at your desk on thursdays...

  3. Good luck with this, man.

    Curious - what would a top mileage week be without a plan with the cycling element, e.g. it was all running?

  4. Looks like a super good plan! It will work for 50km for sure. I love 50km and prefer it to marathons. All the best with the weight loss also. Have a good week!

  5. Without counting speedwork/hills, I believe the top running week is 28 miles. But this plan makes up for the lower running mileage with the cycling and strength work. We'll find out in September if that theory holds true.

  6. 96 miles? Hols samoley. Have fun!


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