12 Week 50k Training Plan: Tips to PR NOW

Are you seeking a 12 week 50k training plan to help you dip under your goal 50k ultramarathon time? If so, I am glad you have made it here to RunDreamAchieve, the home of running tips. I commend you for seeking to run a race of this distance. I have only run a few ultramarathons most of which were training for my marathons. So, I once did a 50k in 3:02:05 preparing for the 2011 Monumental Indianapolis marathon. So, I understand the complexities of this event. I created a 16 week 50k training plan here at the site devoted to help athletes get better results.

Remember, it isn’t the volume of mileage you are putting in as much as it is the quality of the work. The focus here is to improve the athlete’s lactate tolerance. Yes, easy running will build endurance. That being said, speed development and spending more time at the anaerobic threshold will improve strength and stamina. So, training for a 50k ultramarathon is not that much different than training for marathon.

Pace sustainment is the end goal and tapering down at the right time. I believe in a 10-day rather than 3-week taper. What I see a lot of runners doing is dropping mileage and intensity too far out from their main event. It leaves many feeling more tired than rested. I PR’d in every distance from the 5K to the marathon using this strategy. So, I share that tactic with the runners here and on the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel as well.

Can You Train for a 50k in 12 Weeks

Of course, but I do believe 16 weeks is better. One, you can build more of your aerobic base. You can spend 4 weeks running relaxed and build your foundational mileage and then work the last 12 weeks on specific training. Remember, to sustain pace you need to train at, near and far below your goal 50K race pace. So, it takes time and effort to get this right. 4 months is plenty of time to prepare for a 50k ultramarathon. Of course, a 12 week 50k training plan can still get the job done. That being said, I built our 16 week 50k ultramarathon plan for a reason. I wanted to ensure the athlete is 100 percent prepared for their next 50k trail ultramarathon or road ultramarathon.

Again, the idea here is to work smarter rather than harder. We all know how to work hard. Well, the hardest working athletes don’t always get the best results. Often times, it is the most well-prepared, smartest working athlete that does. So, it isn’t about quantity but quality of the mileage you are implementing. Hydration is absolute essential. You need to practice drinking rather than sipping in training. One of the biggest mistakes I see made is runners running their distance races without drinking sufficient fluids.

How Long Does it Take to Train for 50k?

There are many runners who do use a 12 week 50k training plan. Yes, you can get the job done in 12 weeks. That being said, the longer you can prepare the better. 16 to 20 weeks is even better. 16 weeks is the sweet spot in my opinion. It does take about 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load that you are placing on it. So, you cannot be in rush to get into great 50k ultramarathon shape. My plans range in mileage from 43 miles for a low week up to 97 miles for a high week. In addition, every 4th week is a recovery week. Rest is essential. Remember, all of the benefits of your hard work is going to come within the rest period. So, you have to have the same discipline to rest as you do to train hard.

There is only so many times you can continue to push the body hard before you get a diminished return on your time investment. So, training smart and having a plan is critical. I have built a 16 week 50k training plan for runners seeking to run anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. You are more than welcome to visit our about page also if you would like to know more about my background in our sport. I train my 50k athletes similar to how I prepare my marathoners. We focus on doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. In addition, doing a faster, varied place long run one weekend followed by an easy, relaxed long run the next. Again, the focus is always on stressing the body and then resting to ensure adaptation occurs.

How Many Miles a Week Should I Run to Train for 50k?

It depends on the athlete. Remember, this a 31 mile race. So, you do have to put in legitimate mileage. That being said, it doesn’t have to be crazy high like 200 miles a week. The mileage in our 50k ultramarathon training plans range from 43 to 97 miles a week with the high week being only once. Of course, you can adjust the mileage to fit your needs too. I recommend adding to or taking away on easy days rather than the harder, anaerobic workouts I have built into the plans. The reason being is I truly want the athlete to get the best results. You improve your lactate tolerance by training at, near and far below goal 50k ultra race pace. So, the track and road speed workouts are essential.

There are also some weeks where you will have a day off to ensure recovery is taking place. Remember, to run a great 50k race you need to focus on all the variables of success. How much sleep are you getting? Are you hydrating well before, during and after your workouts? Is your nutrition a high priority to you? Of course, I am sure that it is but all of these go into running fast over the longer distances.

Closing Thoughts

I know a 12 week 50k training plan may have been of interest to you but hope this article on the importance of 16 weeks has been helpful. Also, focus on extending the amount of time you are spending at your anaerobic threshold. You will be racing at or slightly above this effort. So, the longer you can spend training at this intensity the better. Our 16 week 50k ultramarathon training plans are built to ensure the athlete adapts to these efforts. We start out at shorter distances moving up toward 10 miles (16 kilometers) and slightly further for our tempo runs. It is also important to run long too. Again, this a 31 miler we are talking about here.

Our training plans start out at around 8 miles for our long run moving as far out as 32 miles. Of course, there is only one 32-mile long run in all of our plans. The rest are in the 8 to 28 mile range. Again, adaptation is the key and being patient to see the results come to fruition. Lastly, make sure to to also take mental training seriously. The best middle to long distance runners know how important mental rehearsal is. Your goals have to become real in your mind first before they can ever become reality. So, it starts in the mind first. I want you spending 10 to 15 minutes each day seeing yourself performing at the level you are dreaming about. Your subconscious mind will work in your favor. Seeking more ongoing coaching with me? If so, check out the resources here at rundreamachieve below.

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