Week 5 Road to 50 Status

Week 5 has come and gone of our trek to doing our first 50.

It was an interesting week, Thursday we had a split 10k, 5K in the morning and 5K in the evening.   In spite of differing conditions, flat versus a little hilly, warm and humid versus warm and torrential rain and wind, I ran both 5K’s only 4 seconds apart in time.   On Friday I had a 5K race which I managed to cut 30 seconds off my Thursday runs in spite of being hillier.

Bunny’s Boat Anchor

Bunny on the other hand cut 3+ minutes off her evening run versus her morning run but then she’s a badass who suffers from significant #boatanchor status.

Over the weekend we had back to back long runs, a 15K and a 25K which went… slowly and badly but the distance was done and frankly at this point I’m okay just getting time on feet and distance on the long runs.

I’m thinking though that one of the three regular training weeks of the month cycle I’m going to drop the back to back weekend and just make the Sunday run longer.  5K or 10K longer than the currently plan.

This week our runs were –

  • Tuesday – 3K Pyramid which is run 3K at zone 2, 3K at zone 4, 3K at zone 2, cooldown.
  • Wednesday – 6K zone 2
  • Thursday – 5K Z4 runs in the morning and evening.
  • Friday – Special 5K run for a race in the evening.
  • Saturday – 15K
  • Sunday – 25K

The Wednesday run I skipped as I had the race on Friday but I also plan on skipping this run more often depending on how I feel the week is going because a slow 6k run I’m feeling doesn’t gain us a lot in terms of performance or conditioning and skipping it gives us some more recovery time during the week.

We’re both feeling the heat of constant training and I’ve not had a break in training in over 2 years, just keeping upping the target distance after reaching a milestone.  Although I’m feeling it more.

Week 4 Road to 50 Status

Week 4 has come and gone.   Week 4 is a ‘light’ week with only 27 ish miles in it.   The weekend had a 10K and 20K run.

Over all things didn’t go too badly although even a light week was still a little on the hard side. With only a month into this training plan it’s been going okay but I’m leaning toward dropping the Wednesday run.   It at most is just to get rid of that “something is missing today” feeling.   That will leave Tuesday and Thursday as the various tempo, interval, threshold, hill repeats, speed etc runs.   Saturday and Sunday will be the back to back training and long slow runs.

A problem I’m trying to get ahead of before it’s a problem is over-training.  Wear and tear is cumulative if you don’t have time to recovery.

And a reminder that this plan is a hybrid 50 plan.  A bit more than needed for a 50k and a bit less than a 50mile plan.

Also to be remembered is this is our first attempt at going beyond a marathon which we’ve done a whopping 2 of, one road, one trail.

Next week will be some solo training runs as B won’t be available most days.  The difficulty ramps up a bit with Tuesday being a ME day, where the run is done in the Morning and Evening which for this first ME day is a 5K.

Thursday is a 3K pyramid which is a 3K z2, 3K z4, 3K z2.

The weekend is a 15k and 25K weekend.

Total distance is thus 59K or 37ish miles.  That’s assuming we skip the 6k on Wednesday which I’m pretty sure we will. Otherwise it would be 40+ miles.



The Road To 50 Starts…

This is the first week of our 50 training plan.   50K, 50M, take your pick.   We’ll be possibly over training for a 50k and honestly possibly under training for a 50M.   But at the end of this particular road is just a 50K on November 18th so I’d rather be extra ready for it than not ready enough.

Our first long run tomorrow I’ll be doing solo because Bunny will elsewhere #sadface and Eric who has decided to run with us will be also elsewhere #sadface.

On this training plan which is of my own personal devising the first long run is a 20K with a 10k the day before. I ran the 10K this morning on trails and thanks to it being 30 degrees cooler this morning than it was on Thursday afternoon I didn’t end it feeling like I was dying.

The RunSalty 50 Plan is based on other published plans I’ve seen and books I’ve read but set up to fit my schedule of STWTS with MF rest/core/cross train days.    W is almost always a 6K, just a shake out run plus some core/cross training work.   Tu is usually something complicated like a pyramid or threshholds or intervals.  Th tends to have longer slower runs with hills and the like.

One weekend a month our Su long run starts at midnight.

One weekday a month we have a morning and evening run, usually for a total of 10k-15k between the two.

One week a month is a recovery week with mileage of around 25-27 miles max.

Mileage is set to increase 8-10% a week over the 4.5 month plan with the last .5 (two weeks) being a taper and the last long run being a marathon.   The longest run happens a week or two prior to that.

All runs are mileage based and heart rate zone targeted with most runs falling on HR Zone 2.

Total mileage over the 14 weeks including the 50K race is right at 800 miles.

I don’t believe there’s anything basically egregious about it even though I don’t even play a coach or trainer on T.V.   I’ve poured over lots of training plans for marathons, 50K’s, 50M’s, 100K’s and 100M’s and other than making things fit our needs (4 month training with 2 week taper after).

One of the bad things about Garmin is there is no way to share, download, copy or otherwise make sure multiple runners have the same schedule.  At least out of the box but Eric found a java based tool that can take a CSV file saved out of Excel and create both the runs and schedule them.  By piping the output into all of our Garmin Connect accounts I was able to somewhat easily create the same schedule for all of us with the same workouts.   And far faster and less prone to human error than trying to manually create the plans on all of our schedules.

Here’s a Google Sheets copy of the export file that should make it semi easy to figure out what each work out is.

Here’s an example of the first 3 weeks in Garmin.  I gave all the workouts a 50P prefix to their names so I know what they are and to avoid potentially stomping on any existing workouts.


All about that Bass…Pro Marathon

Our next big run, okay our next Marathon or greater run because I just signed up for the 20 mile Midnight Madness run on June 30th by TATUR, is likely going to be the Bass Pro Marathon.  The reason for that is a two piece.   One of my bucket lists is to join the Marathon Maniacs which the entry level condition is to do 2 marathons (or longer) runs in 2 weeks or 3 marathons or longer in 60 days.  The second piece is it lines up perfectly with our ‘last long run’ weekend before our first attempt at a 50K, the Dead Horse Ultra, on November 17th (ish).

So doing the Bass Pro fulfills our long run and sets us up to get the 2 Marathons or longer races in 2 weeks.   And it’s within driving distance so that saves on costs.  And they have pretty medals.

This summer we’ll have a couple of shorter races, the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5K and Bedlam Run 10K although I’m not sure if Bunny is going to run those with me.   I may have to go solo or find another running wife temporarily to fill in.  It doesn’t look like the August run is a thing right now, I forget the name of it but I placed 3rd in my age group at that one mostly because all the fast old guys stayed home in the AC. 🙂

The Midnight Madness run will be our first long run weekend to kick off our training program for the Bass Pro / Dead Horse combo.   We’ll be taking it a bit easy this week definately, maybe a couple or three mile walk later this week and possibly a short easy run on Sunday.   Then the next week just start easing back into things before we hit the 20 mile race.

My current training plan is a combination of a couple of plans I’ve gotten from Ultra books and online.   It’s a 5 day a week, TWTSS running schedule because that’s what I’m used to.  Wednesday is always an easy day, Saturday and Sunday are always a medium/long combo back to back.  One long run a month starts at midnight.  Every 4th week is a light recovery week.   The T and T days are where I mix it up with pyramids, sprints/strides, thresholds, hill repeats and power hiking.   One thing I’ve read and agree with is you have to train your hike/walk as well as your run.  A prime example was this last marathon we did where due to injury and heat we ended up walking far more than normal.  As a result I ended up with a blister on the side of my right foot back by the heel and my shin muscles are especially sore because they were much more engaged with my walking gait than my running gait.

So don’t just practice running when you’re training for distance, have a couple or three long power walks in there.

My other goal is going to be to drop weight as much as I can between now and November as each pound I can shave off my bod is one pound less I have to haul for 26 and 31 miles respectively.   I’ve been holding rock steady at my current weight plus or minus about 4 lbs since last year so on top of my stepping up my weekly mileage for training, I’m going to be stepping down my calories or at least the ‘bad’ calories.

We’ll see how it goes but pending showstopping injury or death I’m going to be climbing those Utah hills and deserts in November so that’s something to look forward to.


Quest for the 50K

The search for our 50K continues. “The” 50k we want, okay I want, is one that doesn’t have a ton of elevation change, no loops although a minor lollipop is okay, the scenery has to be decent, it has to have a long enough cut off that I can finish it and it has to be well supported. My primary running wife would prefer a trip to Paris and not Texas but she’s got bigger tastes than I do. For me the race is the thing, the achievement of doing something I would have had no idea was possible.

Cut off times is an issue. I’m not fast. I’m currently at my lowest weight since I was in high school and that’s 250lbs. It takes a lot of energy to move that much mass. Your typical runner is going to be more like 160 to 170 so I’m humping 80lbs more. Imagine putting an 80lb backpack on and then going and running?

Since the longest distance we’ve done is 17+ miles we don’t really have any idea of how fast we can do 31 miles. Or if we can. That 17 mile day was a good day for me but a bad one for my RW. I felt like I could have gone a few more miles pretty easily. She was done in.

When things get tough for us we tend to diverge. She hurts more when she walks than when she trots. Me I’m the opposite, I’m out of energy and ‘done’ and walking is a chore.

Due to the cut off time, a 50K that’s part of a longer race is a preferred set up because they have longer cut off times. When 50K is the longest race the cut off times seem to be 7.5 to 8 hours. Yes I know, who can’t run 31 miles in 7.5 hours? Well… probably me, especially if there are serious hills involved.

There’s a local 50K in June that I’m probably going to try regardless. Why not? I can drive there before the race, the race proceeds go to keep wild horses a place to hang and you get a bandana of the route map. Seems like a no brainer to try it.

It’s certainly not my ideal ‘first race’ for a 50k. But at some point I’ve got to give it a shot regardless and a cheap local race if I fail is far less disappointing than spending a grand flying somewhere, hotel, race and daily expenses and getting a DNF.