Updated 6/6/2020

Your race is picked out and your ready to start training.  First things first, you need a training plan.  There are different approaches to a training plan.  You can use a free online plan, hire a training coach, or be your own coach.

Trail Running

They say Trail Running is mostly mental. But, if you don’t train your mind is going to have to work overdrive!

The first year I started training, I was new to ultramarathons.  I was relying on the Podcasts I was listening to for guidance.  I had friends who were also training and I would join training runs with them.  One just found out she would be running Western States.  I figured I was in the right hands.  But, surgery and later injury prevented me from completing my 50k that year.

The second year, I knew more from my researching, and I found an online training plan that was free and highly recommended.  I followed almost to a tee.  I was getting my miles in, feeling stronger each week.  I knew I would be ready for race day.  Of course, races were canceled.

Trail Running

This is why you train!

Between the two years, having a training plan was unquestionably the better training experience for myself.  Unless you have experience with sports training, ultramarathons, and your body’s capabilities, I would suggest using a training plan.  I have listed 5 plans that were recommended while I was searching for a training plan.  I hope one of these work for you!  I listed the plan I used first.

Ultra Ladies is not just for ladies!  But they were created to encourage women to participate in the sport!

They offer plans for many firsts races:  Marathon, 50k, 50 mile, 100k, and 100 mile.

They offer coaching in case you rather have a personal coach.

You can get a free plan by downloading Hal Higdon’s app in your favorite app store.

You can also upgrade to personalize it by customizing your workouts, track your progress for just under $10/month.

Hal offers a training plan for every race from 5k to 50k as well as Cross Country, Triathlons, Winter Running, Fitness Walking, and a Beginning Runner’s Guide 30/30 Plan which will give you all the details you need to know to start running.

Becoming Ultra

Becoming Ultra is a Podcast where you can follow an athlete training for (typically) their first ultramarathon through weekly phone conversations with their coach.  They often have guest speakers on as well that provide information to help guide you on your ultra.

You can apply to be a participant on BE Ultra coaching Program where you are featured on their podcast with one on one coaching.

You can become a Team BU member, a monthly subscriber to their patron page between 15-250/month.  You will get coaching resources which start at being a part of the Private BU community to sitting on the board of BU.

Download Becoming Ultra on your favorite podcast to get a feel for the community.

Rugged Running

Founded in 2012 by elite runner and professional trainer and coach, Michele Yates, Rugged Running was formed as a way to provide runners successful training programs that focused on our unique approach of consistent time and effort based running workouts combined with proper strength, mobility and running drill sessions to enable runners to achieve their full potential. (Taken from Ruggedrunning.com)

Requires a 6 month commitment to her training program.

Be Your Own Coach (This actually wasn’t recommended)

Create a training plan that will keep you on track.  Increasing miles without over-training which will lead to injury.

Find and customize a free online plan that will meet your needs.  Adjust the days, add strength training, use is as a guideline.

Find a local running club to run with.  There are typically runners who have competed in ultramarathons that can give you feedback to your training and goals.

Keep a log of your training.  What days will be rest days?  What days will be Back to Back days?  What day will be your long day?  Keep a record of time on legs, distance, how you felt during and after the training run. What you ate before and after.  Seems like a lot of work, but you will start to see patterns in how you perform.

Training is important for your ultramarathon success.  Find the right avenue that works for you.  If you can stay focus and don’t need a push to get your training in, a self supported training plan may work for you.  If you need accountability, and support both physical and mental you may find a training coach will suit you best.  Training coaches can coach online or over the phone, but depending on where you live, you may find one who can work with you in person.

I have trained without a plan, with a plan, and the third attempt I am looking into a training coach.  I feel I have room to grow, physically, mentally and through my diet.  I want to do more than just finish the race.  I want to push my limits!

I hope this list helps lead you to the right plan that works for you.

Happy Running!



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