Ultra marathon training

by Daniel Hubboy

How can you use the 100 day marathon plan adapted into ultra marathon training ?

"Hi Marius,

I'm planning to run a ultra-marathon (100 miles) race in August 2010. Don't worry, it's not my first 100 miler :)

Do you think I can use the marathon training schedule as a base for my training?

What would be adaptations needed? Maybe a looonger long run?

Back to back long runs?

Thanks and best regards,

Answer: Hi Daniel, this is a quite interesting question and I actually have some experience with that.

Some years ago I helped a guy who has a personal best of 256 km in 24 hour runs (held the Norwegian record at that time, not sure if it is beaten now) So we got to test the principles I talk about in the 100 day plan in the ultra marathon training context.

Our experience was this - you want to combine the extremes of both. Meaning, you take the 100 day plan and take the most intense sessions you have in there (in terms of length and effort) and replace them with very, very easy long runs - even walk-runs. Since you have done 100 milers before you know what I talk about.

Point is : the 100 day plan will get your cardiovascular system really nicely well tuned BUT you want to avoid some of the most intense sessions in there and instead replace 1 of these weekly with the really long, easy work. If I were you I would experiement with the "walk-runs" on those - so that you get many minutes of muscular/mechanical work without the stress of continous running (so you run 3 min, walk 3 min, run 7 min, walk 7 min etc)

That will give you the periodization of the 100 day plan and give you all the benefits of that plus the muscular adaption you'll need for the 100 miles.

Also, be really strict with the easy days and avoid Effort 2 on those days.

Wish you all the best with your ultra marathon training !

Kind regards,

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