This program is based on a plan that was written for a girl we were training to race the Wasatch 100 in 2007. It would be her first 100-mile race. She’d never even run a marathon prior to it so a half-distance test race was appropriate. She ran the test-race about seven weeks out from the main event. If training her under the same conditions again I’d put the 50-miler about ten weeks out from Wasatch to give her more time to recover in between. As it was, we had no idea how difficult the 50-miler would be or if she would recover fully in the time allotted.
She was training six days per week. We used maximum heart rate instead of speed as “1RM” to work from for percentages since speed was affected by terrain and too variable.
The week prior to the race I had her over-reach a bit with four key workouts. These two-day blocks accumulated good volume during a 24-hour period without damaging her as much as the same volume done in a single session would have. She began her taper for the race right after this heavy week.
Due to the heavy volume required by this program keep on top of recovery work (especially foam roller)
THis program could be done as a 10 week lead up to an Ultra Marathon race.
Pre Race Intructions For Taper Week:
Rest enough – put energy in the bank. Reduce ALL unnecessary stress, and sleep. No training after Tuesday (hike for 60-75 with 3x10 minutes at a decent clip). Wednesday thru Friday walk around the neighborhood or swim but that’s it: make whatever you do easy, make it enjoyable – no stress, no spending energy.
Eat/load: Wednesday morning go for a walk before breakfast and then start the loading process: eat more. The first thing to eat for breakfast Wednesday should be cereal with applesauce, some toast with jam or honey (speedy sugars). And then you can slow things down. Don’t overeat but eat 10-15% more than usual. Favor carbohydrates, these should be slow-burning, low glycemic index carbs and about 70% of your calorie spread (potatoes, beans, fortified pasta [Barilla makes a good one called Barilla Plus], whole grain bread, cereal, tortillas, fruit, etc). Drink plenty of water or 1:1 water-juice with your meals. You’ll gain some water weight as your body stores more glycogen, which may make you feel a bit heavy or stiff but it’s just water and it’ll help in the long run.
Stop caffeine on Monday.
Increase salt intake Thursday and Friday (you can use Endurolytes for this).
Plan: know where the aid stations are, how long it will take to get there, and what will be available there (i.e. gel, water, drink mix, electrolytes, etc). If you know this you can plan what you will have to carry with you (i.e. Endurolytes).
Drop Bags: where are they going, what’s in them? Change your socks! Send bars, gel, drink mix, sandwiches, salty foods, ANYTHING YOU MIGHT WANT therefore NEED in the drop bags.
Put new batteries in your headlamp.
Friday night: eat dinner early – no later than 6pm (so you can get to sleep early). Don’t over-feed at dinner. Eat snack later if necessary but keep it 100-200 calories, and mostly protein. Get everything ready tonight so you don’t have to think about it.
Saturday morning: what you do depends on where you wake up (will you sleep at home and make the drive to the start line or sleep closer to it?) Wake up, drink some water, go for a short walk to get the bowels moving. Because the pace will be slow at the start you may be able to eat a real breakfast but you may not want to (nerves). At minimum drink Sustained Energy (3 scoops = 300 calories) with a few almonds for breakfast. Do this no later than one hour before you start. Then eat a gel with some water about 10 minutes before you start.
Program written by Mark Twight, Founder of Gym Jones
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