50k 3 Week Countdown

Posted by on June 26, 2012

My next 50k ultra is 3 weeks away. Yikes!

I am feeling good about my training the last couple of weeks leading up to now. My running mileage has been 45, 40, and 40 over the last three weeks.  I also have some cross-training biking miles in there as well. I can’t seem to follow a dedicated plan for anything longer than a month. Life just gets in the way. I start a plan but I always seem to go off the rails eventually.  Then I feel bad about it and it snowballs from there.

My training plan has really been just based on total miles for the week. I might run 4, 5 or 6 days a week to get in what I feel I need. But the weekly end goal is getting up to the 40-50 mileage range. I still have yet to break the 50 miles weekly running mark. It seems that just one thing cuts me short on the 50. allergies, rain, biking with the family instead of running. The 50 will come sooner or later and when it does I think it will be a turning point in my training.

According to the 13 week plan (I am not following) this week is to be my longest weekly miles of the program. It has me at 56 miles but I’m pretty sure I won’t reach that. I’d be super happy just to hit 50.  I guess we will see.

I am fighting one injury right now. It is really not an injury since it is a tight left hamstring. It is something I have had before and I just fight through it. After a good 5 miles it seems to loosen up. But I don’t think I’d be comfortable doing a speed workout on a track. I would like to get a massage to try to work it out in the next week or so. I have never had a professional massage.

My next race will only be my second 50k ultra. It sure feels like I have done more. This year I have raced a trail 50k, trail marathon and a road 20k.  I skipped a 50k due to a knee injury as well. Despite this only being my second 50k I feel like I am going into it with tons more confidence and knowledge. My first 50k I was totally blind to food and water intake. The trail marathon I had the food intake and water firmly under control but I fell more than 12 times and it resulted in an injury. I struggled for the vast majority of the 50k race but learned a lot about my determination. Painful lessons learning.  Then the 20k road race was pretty straight forward and boring. I was happy with my time and effort.

The lessons learned and take-aways from in my short summer ultra racing season are as follows:

  1. Stop going out at 8 minute mile pace.  Sit back and conserve energy at the start. It will pay off when I have 10 miles left in the race.
  2. I need one gel every 20 minutes or about one every 2 miles. That is 300 calories per hour plus whatever I can inhale at aid stations.
  3. I need to grab something to eat at each aid station. Oranges and PB&J are my favorite fuels.
  4. Liquid intake for me is about 44 oz every 10  miles.   Maybe more in extreme heat.  
  5. Take time to drink Heed or Gaitor-Aid at each aid station in addition to the 44 oz between the aid stations.
  6. I am a toe dragger when I get tired. I am not a gazelle on the trail. The rhino shouldn’t try to keep up with the gazelles. This was my biggest mistake at the trail marathon that I keep falling in.  Take my time and race against no one on the tricky rocks and rooted sections.  When I get to the flat areas then do all the racing my lungs and legs can take.
  7. Aid station management is key. Tell them my number, refill water, grab food/drink, thank the volunteers, and walk away. If I am still eating I can walk and eat on the trail. When I am done stuffing my face start running again. Ideally 15 seconds at an aid station is perfect for me.

In addition to the 6 take-aways above my legs are incredible strong compared to the my first 50k this year.  It is a night and day different I think. Knowing that it fills me with confidence. If I can stop from falling and stay on my feet my legs will get the job done.

What I don’t have figured out is s-caps intake. I will hopefully experiment with this in my 50k and figure out what works and what doesn’t. I think I will start off with one each hour. If it is really hot then two an hours. If anyone has any advice on this let me know.

The next three weeks plan is as follows.

  • This week’s goal will be to get as many miles as I can out of each day. 45 miles minimum for the week is the goal.
  • One rest day and a minimum and a 20 mile single day weekend run.
  • Next week do 70% of the mileage I rack up this week to start my taper.
  • The week of the race will 4, 3, 2,0,0, race. I plan to be totally rested and ready to run my second 50k ultra.

Race goals are simple:

  • Beat my 6:36 50k time from my first 50k in March of this year. If I don’t get injured I expect to small it!
  • Finish injury free!
  • Have fun and try to get friends down in KC to come out and hang with the wife and kids while I race.

There you have it, 3 weeks of from my next 50k. Do you have any other advice for me?

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10 Responses to 50k 3 Week Countdown

  1. jonathan

    great post! this is my first visit to your blog, got the link from daily mile, and will certainly check back later..

    it seems like you’ve got this 50K figured out and i’m sure you’ll do great.. i’m also training for my second 50K and have had to take some time out for an injury..mine is a road race, i haven’t quite gotten a handle on long trail runs (even though i love them)

    i’m looking forward to watching your training progress and seeing you conquer this 50K!

  2. Ed

    I thought about doing the 50k North Face Endurance road race this year. It is in Kansas City Nov. 17th. But to be honest 50k on the road will tear my body up pretty bad. I like the less impact of the dirt a little more. That is when I am not tripping over roots and rocks. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Good luck on the road 50k. When is it?

  3. Jake

    Nice post. I would consider stinger waffles or stinger gels or something else – so you do not get bored with gels. Assuming that is a problem? I am trying some new things and am going to break things into small zip locks by calories (I am aiming for about 300 an hour, like you). Looking for some less sweet options for my Saturday race. I have a few things (stinger waffles is one – 130 calories each) as well as Bobo’s oat bars – not as sweet, going to cut them up. I am also thinking of bringing a small spray bottle to spray myself and cool down. I plan to bring 2 hats, so I can swap them once one gets soaked in sweat. I like the advice and tips and will try a few of them that I am not already doing. I have the same issue with training and am working on a better way to track the training. DM works okay, but looking at a couple other programs. I am looking at total bike miles and total running miles – as well as total time spent working out (so that ties in weights). You can look at that on DM – and that can be interesting to compare week over week total time for example.

    Anyway – keep it up! Looking forward to hear about the race. I’ll post an update after my Saturday race (on DM) – [Leadville Heavy Half].

    • Ed

      Jake, I find that the drenched in sweat hat keeps me cool. I turn it around backwards when then sweat start dripping off the brim. I also put ice in my cap at aid stations. The number one killer is body temps. Ice on the head cools the body pretty good. If the sweat bothers you switch it out otherwise keep the wet one.

      Also the gels don’t bother me at all.

      I’m looking forward to your update!

  4. ryan

    I am looking forward to my first 50k down at this race! I really appreciate the advice you have laid out here. I am trying to inhale any advice i can at this point. And most importantly, remembering to fight like hell to finish. I think that will be the key.

    Hope to see ya there!

    • Ed

      Ryan, let’s try to connect the the race. Email me at husar (at) Mac dot com. It really is about just keeping the body moving forward. I’d love to toast a beer at the finish line. Read my post on the trail marathon. I could have quit but I just kept moving. I finish and glad I did. Good luck at the 50k!

  5. HermanTurnip

    I’ve been throwing in more road runs recently. Can’t seem to find enough time for the trails. Wife bought me a pair of New Balance 730’s. I’ve never had a pair of minimalist shoes before, but instantly fell in love with these things. They’re now the shoes I wear when I can’t hit the trails.

    • Ed

      I was really close to ordering the 730’s myself before I discovered the Altras. Now I am pretty sure I won’t wear anything else. The comfort level is off the charts.

  6. mtnrunnr

    Sounds like you have your nutrition dialed. If I were you I’d start experimenting with salt caps now. 1 endurolytes an hour is usually good enough for me, but on really hot day I need 2. I fuel with Perpetuem also which contains electrolytes so I’m careful not to take in too much salt. Good luck on your 50k! Aid volunteers are awesome, they’ll get you in and out of there at super fast speed. I run with a pack and someone is always taking my pack from me filling it and even helping me put it on. I always run with a bandanna to keep me cool and they would even fill it up with ice and put it one me. You definitely feel like a rock star coming through the AS. There people are amazing

    • Ed

      I just started on the s-caps last week. It is super hot here so I am popping 2 an hour on long runs. No stomach problems with that. When it gets cooler I am expecting to drop back to 1 an hour.

      Good luck on the 50k! I just signed up for a 50 mile in Sept. Yikes x 2!