Training Plan Choice for Multiple Objectives

  • Creator
  • #47347

    Hi All,
    Looking for some advice on choosing a training plan for some summer 2021 goals. My main goal event is a mid-August trail race in the Cascades that is around 40 miles and 9,000′ gain. As intermediate goals over the summer I have a trail half-marathon scheduled in April (13 miles, ~1500′ gain) and a 4-day Rainier climb (Emmons Glacier route) at the end of May.

    I am coming in with a pretty solid base of 1 year of consistent running (around 25 miles per week) and hiking (typically 1 per week with 3-4000’gain) which I used for training for a 6-day Mountaineering course and climb on Baker (included 8 weeks of ME work leading up to this).

    I am debating between the intro to ultra-running plan and the big vert plan. Both the vertical gain and distance of my goal event will be larger than I have done in the past and are a similar percentage increase of my prior 1-day maximums (about 3x for each).

    My thoughts were to use the Big Vert plan as I think the ME work in that will carry over well to my mountaineering objectives (and use some more mountaineering specific ME work in the period prior to my climb), but wondering if others may think that the intro to ultra-running plan would suite my goal event better?

    Thanks for any input, really appreciate all the amazing information you put out here.

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    patrick.nygren on #47350

    I’ve done the intro to ultra-running plan, and it is specifically for a 50k. Since your event is longer, I’d use the Big Vert plan as it scales to your goal event distance and elevation. I”m sure others could chime in with advice specific to that plan.

    Since the Big Vert plan is 20 weeks, you would be starting it towards the end of March, so you wouldn’t have much training before the half marathon and would need to be smart about modifying your training load in the weeks before/after the half marathon.

    Only you know your actual fitness, but I think a 4-day Emmons climb in May is already doable if you are hiking and running that much. Again, you’d need to be smart about modifying your training load pre/post-Rainier.

    Josh on #47474

    Thanks for the advice. I didn’t realize the ultra running plan was tailored for a specific distance, agree the big vert sounds like it makes more sense

    Josh on #47711

    An additional question. Any thoughts on the best way of implementing the big-vert plan for an objective that is so far out (mid August). Would it make sense to hold off on starting it for now, or to start it and repeat certain weeks of it? I have seen info on the forums about extending other training plans (e.g. the mountaineering ones) but nothing much for the Big Vert plan.


    Anonymous on #47988

    The same principle applies. Extend the plan, primarily the beginning phases.

    Josh on #47990

    Thanks for the input!

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