Type of terrain for Z3/4 while training for 50k

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  • #36771

    I’m currently finishing up my base period and about to launch into the higher intensity/specific phase leading up to my first 50k in March so I’m starting to work on building some speed into my legs. I started some Zone 3 intervals a few weeks ago at Scott Johnston’s suggestion. I’ve done them on a track just to get used to what it feels like but I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of them. I know I’ve read that the Z3/Z4 intervals should be done on terrain that mimics the event as closely as possible but I have a bit of an issue since my race is going to be a bit mixed. I’m running the Chuckanut 50k which has a (mostly) flat 10k, followed by 30k w/ ~5k of gain, and then a flat 10k to finish. I’m not sure if I would be better off doing interval work on flat ground, steeper trails, or mixing it up week to week.

    I’m new to running so I feel like I’m slow on everything but I know my legs can at least handle elevation gain/loss from a long backpacking history. In longer training runs where I’ve tried to mimic the format of the race, the flat parts at the end are where I feel like I start to lose it.


Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #36772

    Given your background, I’d focus more on the flat terrain, since for that race you can pass lots of people who blow themselves up before the flat 10k to the finish. That will also give you time to get your leg speed. Depending on the rest of your training plan, you could shift to uphills for the last couple of weeks to make it a global strength workout as well, which will help for some of the climbs at Chuckanut. Cleater road feels endless, and doing some uphill work will help make it a little more enjoyable. Have fun-it’s a great race!

    Dane on #36773

    Thanks for the reply Alison!

    That’s kind of what I was thinking but it’s nice to have some confirmation that it’s a reasonable approach. Since I’ve never ran any sort of race I’m trying to approach this as a big learning experience but I still want to perform as well as I can.

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