50k Ultra Training Guide: Tips and Strategies for Success

Are you looking to take your running to the next level and tackle a 50k ultra race? Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a beginner looking to push your limits, a 50k ultra race is a challenging and rewarding experience. However, training for a 50k ultra race requires a different approach than training for a marathon. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to 50k ultra training, covering everything from developing your training plan to race day preparation.

Getting started with 50k ultra training can be daunting, but with the right mindset and approach, you can achieve your goals. It’s important to start by assessing your current fitness level and setting realistic goals for your training. From there, you can begin to develop a training plan that takes into account your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your schedule and lifestyle. Throughout your training, it’s important to stay motivated and focused, and to listen to your body to avoid injury and burnout.

Developing a training plan is a crucial part of 50k ultra training. Your plan should include a mix of running, strength training, and cross-training, as well as rest and recovery days. It’s also important to consider your nutrition and hydration strategies, as fueling your body properly is essential for optimal performance. By following a well-designed training plan and adopting healthy habits, you can prepare yourself for a successful 50k ultra race.

Key Takeaways

  • 50k ultra training requires a different approach than training for a marathon
  • Developing a well-rounded training plan that includes running, strength training, and cross-training is key to success
  • Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for optimal performance during training and on race day.

Getting Started with 50k Ultra Training


all triathlon featured image

Congratulations on taking the first step towards training for a 50k ultra! Before you start your training, it’s important to understand what a 50k ultra is and set realistic goals for yourself.

Understanding the 50k Ultra

A 50k ultra is a long-distance race that covers a distance of approximately 31 miles. It’s longer than a marathon, and it requires a different level of training and commitment. Training for your first ultramarathon can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It’s important to remember that this is a journey, and you should be patient with yourself.

Setting Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is an important part of your training plan. It’s essential to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how you will get there. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Here are some examples of SMART goals:

  • Complete a 50k ultra within six months
  • Run a 10k race within the next three months
  • Increase weekly mileage by 10% every two weeks

When setting goals, it’s important to be realistic and consider your current fitness level, experience, and schedule. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. Remember, this is a journey, and it’s important to enjoy the process.

To stay motivated, consider finding a training partner or joining a running group. Having someone to train with can help keep you accountable and motivated. Additionally, finding a training plan that works for you is crucial. There are many beginner 50k training plans available online, and you can choose one that fits your schedule and fitness level.

By understanding the 50k ultra and setting realistic goals, you’re on your way to a successful training journey. Remember to stay committed, stay motivated, and enjoy the process.

Developing Your Training Plan


When it comes to preparing for a 50k ultra, a well-structured training plan is key to your success. Here are some tips to help you develop a training plan that works for you.

Building a Solid Base

Before you start any training program, it’s important to have a solid base of fitness. This means that you should be able to comfortably run for at least 60 minutes without stopping. If you’re not at this level yet, start by building up your endurance with shorter runs and gradually increasing your distance over time.

Long Runs and Endurance

Long runs are a critical part of any ultra training plan. These runs help build your endurance and teach your body to burn fat for fuel. Aim to do one long run per week, gradually increasing your distance over time. It’s important to listen to your body and not push too hard too soon.

Speedwork and Tempo Runs

In addition to long runs, incorporating speedwork and tempo runs into your training plan can help improve your overall fitness and running economy. Speedwork can include intervals, hill repeats, or fartleks, and should be done once a week. Tempo runs, which are done at a comfortably hard pace, can be done once or twice a week to help improve your lactate threshold.

To ensure consistency, it’s important to stick to your training plan as closely as possible. This means scheduling your workouts around your work and personal life, and being flexible when necessary.

Training Volume and Progression

When it comes to ultra training, it’s important to gradually increase your training volume over time. This means adding mileage and intensity gradually, and not trying to do too much too soon. A good rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week.

In addition to increasing your training volume, it’s important to incorporate progression runs into your training plan. These runs start out at an easy pace and gradually increase in intensity, helping to build your endurance and running economy.

By following these tips and developing a well-structured training plan, you’ll be well on your way to completing your first 50k ultra.

Nutrition and Hydration Strategies


If you’re training for a 50K ultra, you need to have a solid nutrition and hydration plan in place. Here are some strategies to help you fuel and hydrate properly during your long runs.

Fueling for Long Runs

During long runs, you’ll need to consume enough calories to keep your energy levels up. It’s recommended to consume between 150-300 calories per hour of running. You can get these calories from gels, sports drinks, or other snacks. Experiment with different options during your training runs to see what works best for you.

It’s also important to pay attention to the ratio of carbs, protein, and fat in your diet. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 45-65% of calories from carbs, 10-35% from protein, and 20-35% from fat. This will provide your body with the energy it needs to keep going during long runs.

Hydration on the Trails

Staying hydrated during long runs is crucial, especially when you’re running on trails. You’ll need to carry enough water with you to last for the duration of your run. Hydration packs are a great option for carrying water and other essentials like gels and snacks.

It’s important to drink water regularly during your run, even if you don’t feel thirsty. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 16-20 ounces of water per hour of running. If you’re running in hot weather, you may need to drink more water to stay hydrated.

In addition to water, you can also consume sports drinks to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. Look for sports drinks that contain sodium, potassium, and magnesium to help prevent cramping and fatigue.

In conclusion, proper nutrition and hydration are essential for a successful 50K ultra training plan. Experiment with different fueling and hydration strategies during your training runs to find what works best for you. Remember to carry enough water and other essentials with you on the trails, and drink regularly to stay hydrated.

Strength and Cross-Training


To build a strong foundation for your 50K ultra training, it’s essential to incorporate strength training into your routine. Strength training helps to build muscle, improve bone density, and prevent injuries. It also helps to improve your overall performance by increasing your power and endurance.

Incorporating Strength Training

When it comes to strength training, you don’t need to spend hours in the gym lifting weights. Bodyweight exercises can be just as effective and can be done anywhere, anytime. Some of the best bodyweight exercises for runners include squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks. You can also incorporate resistance bands or dumbbells to add more resistance.

To get the most out of your strength training, it’s important to focus on the muscles that are used most during running. This includes your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. Aim to do strength training exercises two to three times per week, and gradually increase the intensity and duration over time.

Benefits of Cross-Training

In addition to strength training, cross-training is also an essential part of your 50K ultra training. Cross-training involves doing activities other than running, such as cycling, swimming, or yoga. It helps to improve your overall fitness, prevent injuries, and provide active recovery for your muscles.

One of the biggest benefits of cross-training is that it helps to build leg strength without putting as much stress on your joints as running does. This can help to improve your running form and reduce the risk of injury. Cross-training also helps to improve your cardiovascular fitness, which is essential for endurance running.

Incorporating strength training and cross-training into your 50K ultra training plan can help you to build a strong foundation, improve your performance, and reduce the risk of injuries. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration over time. With consistency and dedication, you’ll be well on your way to completing your first 50K ultra.

Race Day Preparation


Congratulations! You’ve made it to race day. You’ve put in the hard work during your training, and now it’s time to put it all to the test. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your 50k race.

Tapering Before the Race

In the weeks leading up to the race, it’s important to taper your training. This means gradually reducing your mileage and intensity to allow your body to recover and prepare for the race. Tapering helps to ensure that you arrive at the starting line feeling fresh and ready to go.

During your taper, focus on maintaining your fitness while reducing your workload. This can include shorter runs at your race pace, cross-training, and stretching. Don’t try to cram in any last-minute training – trust that you’ve done the work and give your body the rest it needs.

Strategizing for Race Day

On race day, it’s important to have a plan in place. This includes everything from your race pace to your fueling strategy. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Race Pace: Stick to your race pace, and avoid going out too fast. This can lead to burnout later in the race.

  • Aid Stations: Know where the aid stations are located on the course, and plan your fueling strategy accordingly. Make sure to hydrate and refuel at each station.

  • Fueling Strategy: Experiment with different types of fuel during your training to find what works best for you. On race day, stick to what you know works and avoid trying anything new.

  • Mental Strategy: Stay positive and focused throughout the race. Break the course down into smaller segments, and focus on one segment at a time.

Remember, the key to a successful 50k race is to stay calm, focused, and positive. Trust in your training, stick to your plan, and enjoy the experience. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the ideal number of weeks to prepare for a 50K ultra marathon?

The ideal number of weeks to prepare for a 50K ultra marathon depends on your fitness level and experience. Generally, it is recommended to have a minimum of 12-16 weeks of training to prepare for a 50K ultra marathon. During this time, you should focus on building your endurance, strength, and speed gradually.

Can you suggest a training plan for a 50K that fits into a busy schedule?

Yes, there are many training plans available that can fit into a busy schedule. You can look for plans that offer flexibility and allow you to adjust your training based on your schedule. Some plans even offer shorter but more intense workouts that can help you prepare for a 50K ultra marathon in less time.

Are there any comprehensive training plans available for free for a 50K trail run?

Yes, there are many comprehensive training plans available for free for a 50K trail run. You can find these plans online or through running communities. Some plans even offer coaching and support to help you prepare for your race.

What should I aim for as a good finishing time in my first 50K race?

It is important to remember that the goal of your first 50K race should be to finish strong and injury-free. The finishing time will depend on many factors such as your fitness level, the terrain, and weather conditions. A good finishing time for your first 50K race can range from 6 to 8 hours, but it is best to focus on completing the race and enjoying the experience.

How can I incorporate a 50K training regime using my Garmin device?

You can use your Garmin device to track your training progress and monitor your heart rate and pace during your workouts. You can also use the device to create custom training plans and set goals for your 50K race. Garmin devices offer many features that can help you prepare for your race, so be sure to explore all the options available.

What’s the minimum number of days per week I should train to be ready for a 50K?

The minimum number of days per week you should train to be ready for a 50K race is three to four days. During these training days, you should focus on building your endurance, strength, and speed gradually. It is important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, as this can lead to injury and burnout.

Scroll to Top