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50K Event Training Schedule

Below is the training schedule that the UltraLadies have used when training for a 50K event. This schedule is designed with the "newbie" in mind and reflects the bare minimum training to “finish” your first 50K endurance run.

The 50K training builds upon a 20-week marathon program so ideally you will have completed a recent marathon followed by a 4-6 week recovery period, before starting the 50K training.

All distances are in miles.


Week Hard/Easy M Tu W Th F Sa Su Total
1 H -- 4 6 4 -- 16 6 36
2 E -- 4 4 4 -- 6 4 22
3 H -- 4 6 4 -- 18 8 40
4 E -- 4 4 4 -- 8 4 24
5 H -- 4 6 4 -- 20 8 44
6 E -- 4 6 4 -- 10 4 28
7 H -- 4 6 4 -- 22 8 44
8 E -- 4 6 4 -- 10 6 30
9 H -- 4 6 4 -- 22 10 46
10 E -- 4 8 4 -- 10 6 32
11 H -- 4 8 4 -- 24 10 50
12 E -- 4 8 4 -- 10 6 32
13 H -- 4 10 4 -- 24 10 52
14 E -- 4 10 4 -- 10 8 36
15 H -- 4 12 4 -- 26 10 56
16 E -- 4 10 4 -- 10 8 36
17 H -- 4 12 4 -- 26 10 56
18 Taper -- 4 10 4 -- 10 8 36
19 Taper -- 4 -- 6 -- 10 -- 20
20 Race 4 3 2 -- -- 31 -- 40

The 50K schedule alternates between hard weeks and easy weeks to allow recovery and help prevent overuse injuries that may occur from ramping up mileage too quickly. Rest is essential. A hard week followed by a recovery week will allow the next hard week to reach more optimal performance. I also recommend not running at all on Mondays/Fridays.

You will begin running "back-to-back" long runs on the weekend. 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 every easy week as scheduled. Although it is an effort to train for a 50K, 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 50K without the mid-week semi-long run, so it also may be dropped for a time, to allow problems to resolve. When toeing the 50K starting line, it is always better to be a little more under-trained than over-injured!

Questions? Send a note to Nancy Shura.

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