First Trail Marathon/Ultra

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  • #34337

    Hi All,

    I’m interested in giving a trail marathon/ultra a try this season and was looking for some advice on planning my training.

    I am planning to do the Harricana 42km or 65km race which is Sept 12, 2020 giving me 39 weeks from today. I havn’t been training for over 6months so i will need to ramp back up i think for any plan.

    I already have the 24week mountaineering plan – which I have gone through once last year but was wondering whether I should give the running plans a try. I’m not worried to finish in a good time, just finishing would make me happy.

    With either plan, how can i extend it to something closer to 30-35 weeks? Would i increase the base duration? or add some time to the middle of the plan? Another option would be to to the moutaineering plan for 18 weeks then switch to the big vert plan or something.


    Thanks for your help.


Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #34380


    Thanks for writing in to us with your questions. You can certainly use the 24 week plan you already have for this race. As you know the aerobic training in it is done on foot and can be done running. If you have not been training for a while I’d suggest doing a 12 weeks of less structured running base work just to get back to where you can run almost daily for an hour or so. Then when you begin that plan you’ll get the most for it.

    If you want more structured guidance I’d recommend using the Luke Nelson intro to ultra plan and extending it by repeating the first 12-16 weeks. The first time through those weeks you should use a much lower running volume than is suggested. How much lower?? Try 50% of the suggested. This will give your body a chance to become accustomed to running regularly again before trying to follow the plan as written.

    I hope this helps,

    shalinpatel00 on #35793

    I had a question related to this. Is it possible to train for an ultra and a mountaineering event/alpine climb simultaneously with the 24 week plan? My thoughts are that I could use the aerobic workouts to do the runs and also follow all of the ME and strength workouts in the 24 week plan. Is there a way to make this work or would the limitations around training with a weighted pack (most running plans don’t incorporate training with a weighted pack, whereas mountaineering plans do) make it difficult to do both simultaneously?


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