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100-Mile Event Training Schedule

Below is the training schedule that the Ultraladies have used when training for a 100-Mile event. The schedule is designed with the "newbie" in mind and reflects the bare minimum training to complete your first 100-Mile endurance run.

The 100-Mile training builds upon the 50-Mile training so ideally you will have completed a recent 50-Mile followed by a 4-6 week recovery period recovery period before starting the 100-Mile training. A few of the smaller ultra distance races will teach you the "mental" things you will need to know to get through your first 100-Miler.

All distances are in miles.
Week Number M Tu W Th F Sa Su Total
2 -- 4 6 4 -- 16 10 40
3 -- 4 6 4 -- 18 10 42
4 -- 4 6 4 -- 20 10 44
5 -- 2 4 6 -- 10 8 30
6 -- 4 8 6 -- 20 12 50
7 -- 4 8 6 -- 22 12 52
8 -- 4 8 6 -- 22 12 52
9 -- 2 4 6 -- 10 8 30
10 -- 4 10 6 -- 25 13 58
11 -- 4 10 6 -- 25 13 58
12 -- 4 10 6 -- 25 13 58
13 -- 4 8 6 -- 10 8 36
14 -- 4 12 6 -- 28 15 65
15 -- 4 12 6 -- 28 15 65
16 -- 4 12 6 -- 28 15 65
17 -- 4 8 6 -- 10 8 36
18 -- 4 15 6 -- 30 15 70
19 -- 4 15 6 -- 30 15 70
20 -- 4 15 6 -- 30 20 75
21 -- 4 8 6 -- 10 8 36
22 -- 4 15 6 -- 30 20 75
23 -- 4 15 6 -- 30 20 75
24 -- 4 10 6 -- 10 10 40
25 -- 4 -- 6 -- 10 -- 20
26 5 3 2 -- -- 100 -- 110

The 100-Mile schedule will have you training in cycles of three weeks hard; one week easy to allow recovery and help prevent overuse injuries that may occur from ramping up mileage too quickly. Three hard weeks followed by a recovery week will allow the next hard weeks to reach more optimal performance. Rest is essential; I recommend no running at all on Mondays/Fridays.

You will begin running back-to-back long runs on the weekends. Each weekend you will do one long run followed by one semi-long run. You will also begin building a semi-long mid-week run, preferably on Wednesday. Obviously you will have higher weekly mileage as a result. You may vary your schedule as necessary but nothing substitutes for the weekend long runs. Your long runs should simulate the conditions of the race course as to running surface, degree of hills, etc. As much as possible, try to train under conditions that will best prepare you for the race you've chosen.

Do not get caught up in over-training. Take the easy week every fourth week. Although it should hurt to some degree to train for a 100-Miler, you should gradually begin to notice that you feel stronger and recover faster than before. If you develop any recurring pains, ongoing fatigue or illness, you should consider dropping one of the mid-week runs for a while. It is entirely possible to run the 100-Miler without the mid-week long run so it also may be dropped for a time, to allow problems to resolve.

Studies have shown that running 100+ mile weeks does not increase one's chances of finishing a 100-Mile run. Many ultra runners have completed 100-Mile runs with weekly mileage in the 50s or 60s. The rule here is "quality" of training, over "quantity" of training.

The three-week taper is essential for going into the 100-Miler well rested and injury free. Do not get caught up in last minute training that withdraws from your training account. If you are nursing an injury, you might even consider taking a four-week taper.

When you are training for the 100-Miler, all other races should be used as training runs. Always go for "time on your feet" over speed. The more time you spend on your feet, the better prepared you will be. It's best to avoid distances over 30-miles during the last 16-weeks of your training. Don't risk developing injuries that will interfere with the last phase of your training or will not heal by race date. When toeing the 100-Mile start line, it is better to be a little under-trained than over-injured!

Questions? Send a note to Nancy Shura.

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