Long Runs: Mininum Effective Dose

  • Creator
  • #40164
    Josh Gray

    I’m curious what UA’s take is on what is considered the minimum amount of ultra-specific training runs prior to a race of 100k or longer. It’s my understanding that there’s a point of physiological diminishing returns after 3 to 3.5 hours of running and that going longer is mostly a matter of testing fueling, gear, and mental training. For me 3 hours amounts to about 14 miles and 3600’. Would performing 3-4 big weekends of something like a 50k run or a back to back runs like 25/20 in the specific period be adequate for a 100k+ ultra? Then maintain solid conditioning with 5-7 hrs of volume on weekdays and a 3-3.5 hr long run on between weeks?

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    Reed on #40247

    That sounds roughly right for 100K distance ultras. The 100K training plans in Powell’s Relentless Forward Progress and Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning both have multiple ~25-mile long runs and one ~30-mile long run. For 100-milers, you’re probably looking at a 50-miler as your longest training run. (My experience caps out at a ~43 miler.)

    Josh Gray on #40252

    Thanks Reed! I’m still curious how many of those big weekends are adequate for say a cat1/2 runner.

    Reed on #40265

    It seems difficult to sustain those for too long – definitely “specific” period training. If you have a a 6-month timeline, you might ramp up to your longest runs in months 4 and 5. So something like [longs runs of ~20mi, then ~25mi the following week, then recovery week of ~15mi] x 3. Then a few weeks to taper down before racing.

    Josh Gray on #40301

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again!

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