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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Distance training for my first 100 Miler.

I would be interested to know how you trained and raced your first 100 miler, how could I guesstimate a time?


The Jackal said...

Lifted from the P.I.H. chatline
Garfeild sugested I check out this:-
On your blog you were looking for information on training for a 100 miler.

Some ideas from Steven Siguaw.

Several runners have asked me for a training schedule to run a 100 mile race this summer (usually Leadville). My typical training for a 100 mile race begins in October and ends the following August (to peak for the Leadville Trail 100). Since WS is in June and Vermont is in July, all you have to do is shift the schedule to meet the these race dates. Here is the schedule I have used successfully both at Leadville and Vermont. It is based primarily on the work by the legendary coach, Arthur Lydiard (Running the Lydiard Way) as well as a lot of personal experience training for these races:

October - April (Build Base Mileage)

Run 70-75 miles/week (2 workouts/day during the week)
25% of weekly mileage at 10K or 5K pace
Longest run (one day on the weekend) is 22 miles
Every 3-4 weeks, run 25-50 miles for your long run instead of 22 miles
Weight training 2-3 times/week
May (Transition to very long training runs)
Increase mileage to 80-85 miles/week (2 workouts/day during the week)
Begin Track workouts of 800 meters and 400 meters with 400 meter recovery; run at 80-90% effort
33% of base mileage at 10K or 5K pace
Longest run (one day on the weekend) is still 22 miles
Every 3-4 weeks, run 25-50 miles for your long run instead of 22 miles
Weight training 2-3 times/week
No races of 50 miles or greater from now until 100 mile race day

June-July (Intense training)

Increase mileage to 100-125 miles/week (2-3 workouts/day during the week)
Continue Track workouts of 800 meters and 400 meters with 400 meter recovery; run at 100-110% effort
Longest run (one day on the weekend) is between 35-45 miles (6 to 10 hours on trails-ideally on the actual race course)
Weight training 2-3 times/week

August (Taper! and SHOW-TIME!!)

Decrease mileage to 70-80 miles first week
Decrease mileage to 50 miles second week
Third week is light jogging for 3 days then rest 2 days then RACE!!


Practically all of this training occurs above 8,000 feet altitude so you may have to adjust the mileage upward if you train at sea level.

The long runs during June and July prepare you for both the physical demands of a 100 mile race as well as the mental stress of being out on the trail and running all day long.

Racing (any distance) will help you build strength during the base mileage phase; however, see below:

I have found that when I race 50 miles or more in May or June I am still fatigued at the 100 mile race; therefore I recommend no races of 50 miles or greater for the 3 months before the big race.

The Jackal said...

This plan works better for me, I am not 25 y/o, I do not plan a podium finish on my 1st. 100M......
Most ultrarunners have moved up the ladder from running marathons to the 50k, 50M, 100k, to 100-mile races. Unfortunately many have forgotten the lessons that they learned while training for marathons.

1. Exercise training is specific- if you want to run long and slow you must train long and slow. If a good time for a 100 mile race is a 24 hours, which is around 15 minutes per mile, why do people still advocate running 400 and 800 meter intervals? 2. When training for a marathon most runners believe that 20-mile training runs are the most important aspect in their preparation for running a 26.2-mile race. So, as 20 miles is 76% of the race distance, why don’t more runners run 76 mile training runs in preparation for a 100-mile race?

O. K. so it sounds crazy, but so did running 20-mile training runs when you were a beginning runner. How many times have you read about a someone having a “bad day” and dropping out of a 100-miler at 65-75 miles only to rebound and finish another 100 miler 3-4 weeks later. Guess what, those 70 miles that they ran prepared them for their 100-mile finish.

Many times I have overheard runners criticize others who finish several 100 milers in one year as being crazy or destined for injury, but I contend that these folks are much more prepared to complete 100 miler and less prone to injury than those that aim for one 100-miler per year. Ask any of the Grand Slam finishers and they will tell you that although they may be tired from the travel and running that they are in great shape when they finish and soon ready for another challenge.

I know that it is difficult to go out for a 76-mile training run, but why not split the distance up over 2-3 days. This technique is used by some of our best local ultra runners. You can join Jorge Pacheo, Tommy Neilson and friends twice every year running the entire AC 100 course every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends in preparation for WS100 and the AC100. They run 44 miles on day one, 36 on day two, and 20 on day three. There is usually a large group on day one, but very few continue and complete days two and three. Those that can’t finish the first two days are not ready to run a 100-miler in 3-4 weeks!

I believe that Joe Prusaitis has one of the best 100-mile training programs that applies these training ideas.

Last year at Rocky Raccoon Joe related this story to me. Rocky is a loop course and Joe was situated at the start finish area. Every time a couple of runners passed through this checkpoint they would curse at Joe. Joe was perplexed, he didn’t know these folks and he was wondering what he and done to make them mad at him. Finally after the runners had finished the run they both gave Joe a big hug and a handshake. Joe asked why they were mad at him earlier. They said that they had followed his training program and promised that if they ever met him that they would give him a piece of their minds. At the finish they both agreed that if it weren’t for Joe’s program that emphasized long back-to-back runs they would have never finished the race!