What is a realistic 100M pace compared to 50M

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    I am a newbie in ultrarunning. I August this year I ran my first 50M on flat terrain. Now I signed up for 100M – same race, same flat terrain. Total running experience is about three years. I understand that probably I progress too fast, but I am where I am now and will attempt to finish. I found one calc (McMillan) suggesting paces based on a recent race. My average moving pace on 50M was 6:22/km and the calc gave me 8:21/km for 100M. According to my understanding of ultrarunning in just 5 months to the upcoming race my pace won’t change much. For longer distances I need years of training to see improvements. The problem I even don’t know how to run at 8:21/km pace as this is my fast walking pace. Even during toughest kms on 50M my pace did not drop below 7:30/km. That is maybe because I am a rather tall – 6’1” and it is difficult for me to run slower. My question is the following. According to your experience, what would be a realistic adjustment of my 50M pace to 100M? I need a rough estimate excluding all factors, assuming ideal circumstances – same temperature, nutrition is going ok, no issues happened. I just need your opinion with no obligations or responsibilities as I understand that there are way too many factors impacting a runner especially on the longer distances.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    It’s very likely that you will do a fair amount of walking in your 100-miler, mainly on hill climbs. I recommend that you start at your slowest comfortable running pace and power hike the tougher climbs throughout the event. With this approach you probably will end up with an average pace >8:00/km by the end.


    Thank you, Matt. So the pace I was given is probably not a moving pace, but an average pace over the full distance and is not far from the truth in my fitness. Got it.


    Things to keep in mind:

    * With a typical trail race, people hike the uphills. When you’re on a flat course, you don’t have uphill hike breaks. I know a lot of people who succeed at a flat 100 mile by intentionally implementing a run/walk ratio.

    * Even a flat trail race still has rocks and roots. Once you hit nightfall, the terrain and general fatigue will likely cause you to slow down. I know some people who run all night. I know some who powerhike all night. If you don’t do a run/walk (like mentioned above), simply walking more at night will slow down your average.

    * Don’t forget that 100 mile aid stations will include real food (that is hard to eat while running, so you’ll need to walk) and the opportunity to sit down and relax for a few minutes.

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