A training plan for your first 100-mile race
Maggie Guterl says, with ultras, it’s important to listen to your heart and your gut.
“If it speaks to you, go for it,” she says. “It's ok to be scared or nervous about it but don't let anyone talk you out of it if that is what you want to go for. I was sick to my stomach heading to the start of my first 10-mile race ever and now I find that hilarious. It's a natural feeling and all part of the journey.”
Setting a Goal
The first step in developing a training plan for your first 100-mile race is to set a realistic goal. This will help you determine how much time and effort you need to dedicate to your training. It's important to remember that completing a 100-mile race is a significant accomplishment, and it's okay to have a few goals in mind. However, it's essential to focus on one primary goal that is achievable and measurable.
As elite ultrarunner and coach Jason Koop explains, "Setting a goal is a critical first step in the training process. It provides a clear direction for your training, helps you stay motivated, and gives you something to work towards."
Assessing Your Fitness Level
Before you start training, it's essential to assess your current fitness level. This will help you determine what type of training you need to do and how much time you need to dedicate to your training. It's recommended to consult with a doctor before starting any new exercise program.
According to ultrarunner and coach Hillary Allen, "Assessing your fitness level is crucial to developing a successful training plan. It's important to know your baseline so you can create a plan that meets your specific needs."
One of the most critical aspects of training for a 100-mile race is building endurance. This involves gradually increasing the length and intensity of your runs over time. It's recommended to start with a base of 30-40 miles per week and gradually increase your mileage by 10-20% each week.
As ultrarunner and coach David Roche explains, "Building endurance is the foundation of ultrarunning. It's essential to train your body to be able to handle the physical and mental demands of running 100 miles."
Incorporating Strength Training
In addition to running, strength training is essential for preventing injuries and improving overall performance. This includes exercises that target your core, glutes, hips, and legs.
According to ultrarunner and coach Ian Sharman, "Strength training is crucial for preventing injuries and improving performance. It helps to build a strong foundation for your body to handle the demands of running long distances."
Nutrition and Hydration
Nutrition and hydration are also critical components of a successful 100-mile race. It's essential to fuel your body with the right foods and fluids to keep your energy levels high and prevent dehydration.
As ultrarunner and coach Meghan Arbogast explains, "Nutrition and hydration are critical for ultrarunners. It's essential to fuel your body with the right foods and fluids to keep your energy levels high and prevent dehydration."
Recovery and Rest
Finally, recovery and rest are essential for allowing your body to recover and rebuild after long runs. This includes stretching, foam rolling, and getting enough sleep.
As ultrarunner and coach Krissy Moehl explains, "Recovery and rest are just as important as training itself. It's essential to allow your body to recover and rebuild after long runs to prevent injury and improve overall performance."
Developing a training plan for your first 100-mile race requires dedication, hard work, and guidance from experienced runners and trainers. By setting a goal, assessing your fitness level, building endurance, incorporating strength training, focusing on nutrition and hydration, and allowing for proper recovery and rest, you can achieve the incredible feat of completing a 100-mile race. Remember to be patient with yourself and stay committed to your training plan. It's normal to have setbacks and obstacles along the way, but with perseverance and the right support, you can overcome them and reach your goal.
"Running 100 miles is not an easy feat, but it's a journey that will test your physical and mental limits," Roche says. "Embrace the challenge, stay focused on your goal, and have fun along the way.