Ultramarathon training for beginners: How I’m gonna cross the finish line of my first 50K!


Last week, I signed up for my very first ULTRA MARATHON! I’m so excited, honored, elated, and terrified (plus so many other adjectives) to run the Bryce Canyon 50K on May 29, 2021. I officially started training this week. So far, so good!


Running an ultramarathon is no joke…so the training is definitely hardcore. But I’m ready for the commitment! After running consistently for the past year, including logging many 20+ mileage weeks, I’m feeling prepared to start my 25-week training program. I’ve done a ton of reading and research – and I’ll do much more before race day.

Nutrition

Nutrition is so critical for runners – especially for distance runners. The last thing I want to do is under-fuel, so I’m doing my work ahead of the long mileage weeks. I’m doubling down on my love of the EAT FAST, COOK FAST cookbook series (ordered the first book in the series this week to complete my collection). I love the simplicity of these recipes, and they taste fantastic (thank you, Shalane and Elyse!). In addition to recipe research and endless Pinterest browsing, I’m getting serious about meal planning. I found a fun meal plan/grocery list notepad that is helping me with my cause. I’m committed to meal prepping and sharing my meal plan with you all every week. Gotta keep me accountable! My blog and Instagram will definitely feature more food shots, recipes, reviews, etc. Can’t cross the finish line without proper nutrition – so of course I have to share this part of my training journey!

Training Plan

I found a fantastic (and free!) training plan from well-known running coach Jenny Hadfield. I researched several other plans and Jenny’s was my favorite. It’s a 24-week plan (I’m adding an extra week since I have exactly 25 weeks until my race). I appreciate the simplicity of Jenny’s plan, plus the breakdown of intensity for each workout. Click here to check it out.

For my cross training days, I’m planning to continue my love of hiking and adventure whenever possible (especially on the weekends). I’ve also started Peloton bike/strength classes, which have been AMAZING so far. I felt it was time to try something new with strength training, and Peloton classes are exactly what I was looking for. I will also program my own Olympic lifting-based workouts every so often, but I will rely on the masters at Peloton to do the majority of my programming.

My weekday running will continue to be with the stroller. On some days, I hope to do some solo runs…but those will be few and far between. And that’s okay! Stroller running has gotten me this far. Let’s keep it going. My weekend long runs will be stroller-free and they will be on the trail! As high as I can get – the Bryce Canyon ultra will start at 7,000 feet elevation. HOLY SMOKES. Altitude will be a big factor for this race.


Support

I am so fortunate to have a family that supports my crazy dreams. My kids join me for training (not that they have much of a choice!), and my husband is always willing to hang with the kids while I do my long runs on the weekend. He’s also willing to eat all of my “healthy running food”. The kids…we’re working on it. The 20-month-old likes kale this week, but who knows what will happen next week!

I’m also beyond lucky to have a group of wonderful running friends. One of my friends is actually running the Bryce 50K too! I’m so excited to have someone to train with.

Finally, I’m also exploring the option of working with a coach. I wouldn’t start this until the new year – probably in February – but I love the idea of having a coach to keep me accountable!