Ultra plans: 50 vs 100 and levels

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  • #18085


    I’m doing my first 50 miler next year (May) and looking for an ultra plan. Currently, I’ve been using the level 2 Marathon plan, as both a training program and a maintenance program (chopping/changing the workouts to suit).

    Between now and when I start the 50 mile program, I’ll continue to use the existing workouts from the marathon program.

    I’m looking at the lvl 2 or lvl 1 50 mile vs 100 mile programs, and other than the extra 3 weeks the only real difference I can tell (by looking at the sample week and plan overview) is the inclusion of doubles made up of recovery sessions.

    Is that correct?

    The reason I’m thinking this, is then I can restart the program if/when I do a 100er and, also, if I’m feeling good on my 50 mile training days then I can throw in some doubles without the need of changing the plan.

    If that’s the case then is there any negative to getting the 100 mile plan and just excluding (most/all of) the doubles from my training (for the 50)?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by thatashguy.

    I need to clarify the above, I confused the comparison part, I was looking at lvl 2 vs lvl 3 plans where the difference appears to be in the inclusion of doubles. However the 50 vs 100 mile level 2 appears to just be the addition of 3 weeks;

    50 mile level 2:
    19 weeks, 5.25 to 11 Hours per week
    Weekly avg: 07:22:00
    Longest Workout: 05:00:00

    100 mile level 2:
    22 weeks, 5.5 to 11.5 Hours per week
    Weekly avg: 07:29:00
    Longest Workout: 05:00:00

    Differences, based on week 11, additional 10 mins on the 50 mile’s Tuesday session.

    Is the main difference just the extra 3 weeks or is there some substantial differences in other weeks?

    Or am I just splitting hairs between the plans?

    David Warden


    You’re correct, the 50-mile and 100-mile plans are very similar. The closest comparison I can think of is that the 50-miler is like a mission to Jupiter, and the 100-miler is like a mission to Saturn. Saturn is twice as far away as Jupiter, but the effort to get to either planet is virtually the same. It’s just a huge distance, and the hardest part is just getting pointed in the right direction.

    50 miles and 100 miles are just incredibly large distances, and the training requirements are going to be very similar. You could technically do either race on either plan and be just fine.

    However, that 3 extra weeks may seem trivial, but that’s 22 more hours of running on the 100-mile plan! It’s a notable difference.


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