50k key training session

So I’m looking at hitting some 50k+ races next year. What are the key sessions people use in training? They won’t be technical mountain races, fire roads and moorland single tracks so all runnable without “much” climb.

Can anyone recommend a good training plan?



Are you a subscriber of Ultra Running magazine? They have a library of training plans for all types available for members.

Long runs are going to be your key sessions before your first ultra. You’re going to top out somewhere between a 30-40k long run. Not only are you training your body to cover a long distance but it’s an opportunity for you to practice your race strategies. Wear your pack, carry your water and nutrition, nail down your nutritional needs, plan “aid station” stops at strategic points, consider bathroom needs, dress appropriately, try cooling strategies…and remember that whatever goes wrong during the training run can be adjusted. Bonked at after hour 2, eat more food. Chafing, try some nut butter. Too hot, try to carry ice or slowing down.

This is why long runs are key because if you don’t have practiced strategies like a hydration and nutrition plan practiced you may crash during the actual race (as I did my first ultra).


Thanks for the replies. No I’m not a subscriber, I’ll look into it. I was considering going and looking for one on training peaks.

Yeah I’m going to start building my long runs, I ran a slow marathon with some friends about 5weeks ago, and have done a couple of 15milers since then, but going to do a few more 20milers on the fells before Christmas. What sort of pace should these be run at? I’m guessing slowly slowly, time on feet, rather than deep fatigue.

I’ve also been using a marathon session of 25min, 15min, 5min (I’ll increase these times as I progress) at about 15seconds per km faster than marathon pace. And I’ve got a local hill (it’s more a long gradient climbing 30m in 500m) which I can rep when my daughters at Beaver Scouts. It’s not great but it’s the best hill available on a regular basis.

I agree with every single word of @curleypg here…
My experience (as long as my memories serves well… :slight_smile: ) was that long runs are THE key.
If you miss a 40 minutes run in the middle of the week, that’s fine. But never miss the long runs on the weekends.
Test your nutrition plan before the race.

+1: “Expect the unexpected”
On my very first ultra, there were a few things that I never planned during the training sessions:

  • we had to save a cat (!!!) during the race
  • there were less hydration stations than they originally announced
  • some tiny bit of dust went under my contact lenses - which caused the most terrible pain that I felt in the last 10 yrs. I could not see the road at all for at least 20 minutes.