Two 100 mi races, in 10 and 25 weeks. Best way to apply plan?

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    Having just taken the leap to buy a plan, instead of my years-long slap-dash-on-the-fly approach (i.e. the same two workouts week in, week out).
    The plan I’m doing is “80/20 Running: 2021 Edition Ultra 100 Mile Level 2 (5.5 to 11.5.5 Hours per Week)”, HR based.

    Me/my training
    I’ve done several mountain and trail ultras, including 100 miles, before, so I’m pretty confident about my aerobic base, although my HIT training is lacking.

    I do most (99%) of my running on (snow covered) trails.
    I’ve done most of my training in zone 3/aerobic. Almost zero actualt HIT, except some sporadic fartlek when the mood strikes me.
    My workouts have been mostly 5-7 days a week. ~10 km / ~60 minutes on weekdays/saturday, and long runs on sundays.

    I’ve now done one and a half weeks of the 100 mile Level 2 plan (started 15.03.2021). I just set the start for 15.03 while considering how to best solve it with regards to my racing dates.

    The races:
    First race: 04. june (in 10 weeks), 100 miles, elevation: ~7000 m
    Second race: 17. september (in 25 weeks), 100 miles, elevation: ~8000 m

    That is 15 week between races.
    I started my plan last week (15. march).

    Now I’m considering how to “time” it.
    My options, as I see it, are these:

    Option 1:
    – Set it to End 04.06.2021, for the first race, i.e. starting at week 12 in the plan.
    – Then take two weeks off after the race:
    —- Week one = half week with “no” activity, then some walking the latter part of week 1.
    —- Week two = may feature some short and very light bike rides, perhaps some running too (<30 min, very easy), yoga and/or pilates.
    – Then start the plan again, with End at 17.09.2021. Essentially starting at week 7 in the plan.
    Worry: too much too soon, when starting in the middle of a plan, only a few weeks after a 100 mile race.

    Option 2:
    – Set the plan for ending 17.09.2021.
    – Fill up the next few weeks (until the plan would start) with runs copied from further down the plan.
    – This should place my fist race around week 7 of the plan.
    – I’d likely have to modify the last couple of weeks prior to the first race (week 5-7) to be a tapering period, akin the the actual taper period in the end of the plan.
    Worry: being in the middle of build-up when getting to the first race.
    Worry: not tapering/slowing down enough to be rested prior to the race

    Since I’ve done decently even with my unorganized approach, I’m not that worried that the fitness to finish won’t be there, no matter which way I go with the plan.

    The first race is the most important, as that’s the once I’m 100% sure I’ll actually get to attend.
    And yes, I’m acutely aware that it’s not optimal to use a 22 week plan for a race that’s in a mere 10 weeks 😅

    Any suggestions on which appriach would be the most sensible?

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hmmm. Neither option is very good. A custom training plan is the better way to go in such circumstances. Your best move at this point is to use parts of the plan twice. For the next 10 weeks, continue with the plan but lengthen the endurance runs. After that first event, reload the plan with the date of your second race as the end date and then complete the last 13 weeks of it after recovering.


    That does indeed sound like the much better option. A custom plan would of course be the best option, but unfortunately it’s not in the cards for me right now, so I appreciate your input to make the best of my current situation.

    I’ll move up the longer endurance runs from further down the schedule, then reduce the length/duration the last couple of weeks prior to the first race.

    As for a sorta-tapering — just thinking out loud here — the plan is still be at a low enough load/volume at that point (1st race) such that the workouts aren’t far off from the actual taper period at the end of the plan.

    Again, thank you for your input and advice. I really do appreciated it. I think this’ll work out quite nicely:)

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