Adding bike & swim into 50 mile ultra plan

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    I’m starting the Level 3 50 mile ultra plan next week for a 45 miler at the start of March. This is my first ultra coming from a road running/triathlon background. Looking at the plan the majority of weeks seem to come in with well under 20% efforts. It would be really helpful if you could enlighten me on a few points:

    1) Should Zone X be included in efforts? I’ve assumed so.
    2) Is the lower than 80/20 split for intervals to reduce accumulated fatigue towards the end of the plan when you start getting in to the really long runs?
    3) Given that there seems to be lower than 20% efforts could I build in some cycling and swimming efforts to help me transition into triathlon later in the year and for some variety and enjoyment? Having not done an ultra plan before this might just be wishful thinking as I guess later in the plan the volume of running will probably make me not feel like intervals in other disciplines!
    4) Will the plan be less effective if I replace some of the foundation runs with foundation bike/swim sessions?

    Thanks for your help.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Maree,

    Here are my answers to your questions:

    1) It is assumed that a fair amount of time will be spent in Zone X during Endurance Runs, bringing the overall intensity balance closer to 80/20.
    2) I believe the answer above answers this question as well.
    3) It’s okay to mix in some cycling and swimming.
    4) When I trained for my first 50-miler I only ran 3-4 times per week and cross-trained 9-10 times per week. It worked great!

    Enjoy the journey!


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