home |
Trail & Ultra Running Forums Index » General Discussion » From 0 to 100 ultra in 4 years?

From 0 to 100 ultra in 4 years?

Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 1
California, United States
Posted: Fri 22 Apr 2011 09:41 pm GMT   topTop
Greetings trail runners.

My 46th birthday is in a couple weeks and I've been thinking about doing a "big thing" for my 50th. After letting myself get out of shape for a few years I'm slowly getting in better condition. Three years ago I hiked the 220 mile John Muir Trail in 15 days. Last year I climbed a few mountains. This year I'm doing more regular exercise, hiking, and doing a little running as part of my workouts. Last week I did a 5k "mud run" and loved it. It has reminded me that I really like running. It also reminded me that I like the shared pain/competition of organized events.

(I used to run in college, and did a lot of cycling till about 10 years ago when I did a double-century. Then the kids came along...)

So in setting goals for myself I have decided to do at least a 50 mile trail race after I turn 50, maybe 100. That give me 4 solid years to prepare and ramp up.

The question is how to program, and what intermediate goals to keep me interested and motivated. Here is a possible general plan. I live in Southern California and do much better in cool, clean air than hot, smoggy so most of my best training time will be winter/spring.

Summer 2011: Hike John Muir Trail in 10-12 days
Fall 2011: 10k in under 50 minutes (8 min/mile)
2012: LA marathon
2013: 50k trail run (Wild Wild West in Lone Pine?)
2014: 50m trail run (Bishop?)
2015: 100m trail run (WS 100?)

Have any of the rest of you set out with a long-term plan from nothing? How did it go?

Joined: 10 May 2008
Posts: 18
Tokyo, Japan
Posted: Sat 23 Apr 2011 12:38 am GMT   topTop
Entirely possible. I could not run even 10K when I came back to running, but finished a 100K just two and a half years later. You have one thing going for you, and that is clearly you are used to being on your feet for long periods (walking the Miur Trail in 15 days etc.). During the early days of long distance practice, hours on ones feet seems extremely difficult, but as you get used to moving for extended periods it all becomes easier.

Since you are training for a 100 mile race and 50 mile race that is on trails, you would benefit from at least one long trail run per week. That will also get you above the heat on the roads, since you don't like the heat (neither do I!). I find that the hours go by much faster on trails, while road runs are a slog.

Best of luck!
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 196
Utah, United States
Posted: Wed 27 Apr 2011 05:38 pm GMT   topTop
Jim - Sounds like a doable plan to me. Moving up a notch every year as you've outlined is a great goal to look forward to and a totally reasonable progression (some coaches/pros say you can move even faster; jumping from a marathon to a 50 miler and skip the 50k without problem). Especially if you keep active throughout each year. Not necessarily constant running, and not on a heavy training schedule; just don't be inactive for months and then start completely from scratch each year (i.e., do some cross training/hiking/nordic skiing/whatever in the off-season). That way you should naturally, gradually improve without injury or overtraining problems.

[edited: Wed 27 Apr 2011 05:39 pm]