Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stone Cat 50 Training Plan

With only nine weeks to go before my first 50 mile attempt at the Stone Cat trail Races I thought I should devise a training plan to get me to the starting line. Up until now I have be winging it from week to week without any goals or plan in place. That worked fine for my 50K at the Green Lakes Endurance Runs but I don’t feel like it will work for Stone Cat. I think a more structured approach is better for the longer distance.

Of course this is just a plan and subject to change along the way. The biggest question mark I see right know is how my knee feels in the days and weeks ahead. Right now it’s still sore. I can run for about an hour before I feel pain in the left knee. It gets worse when running downhill to the point where I feel as though I am altering my stride. I’ve been icing it twice a day but haven’t tried stretching the IT band yet. I’m not even sure if it is the IT band but I suspect it.

Anyway, here is the plan by week.

  1. 40 miles, 14 mile long run, 3 x 1 mile intervals (50K recovery week #2)
  2. 45 miles, 20 mile long run, 3 x 1 mile intervals
  3. 50 miles, 24 mile long run, 3 x 1 mile intervals
  4. 50 miles, 20 mile long run, 10K trail race
  5. 40 miles, 18 mile long run, 4 x 1 mile intervals (recovery week)
  6. 50 miles, Mountain Madness 50K (as long training run)
  7. 35 miles, 15-18 mile long run or 15 mile trail race (taper week #1)
  8. 25 miles, 3 x 1 mile intervals, 15K race (taper week #2)
  9. 3 days easy running follow by 3 rest days (Race week!!)

I'm just not sure where I will find the time to do all this running!


  1. Sounds great. A couple of things from a novice:
    1) Knee pain - have you thought about strength training and crosstraining? These may not fit with your schedule, but I can say that, for me, biking has solved my chronic knee pain that I had while training for Boston (it was so chronic that I did not even worry about it, as I knew it was runner's knee).
    2) have you thought about varying the mile repeats - doing some 1200m a bit faster, some 2000m - 1000m combos, and even some 2 mile repeats a bit slower than mile pace? For me, the variety of these helps me fresh. Also, I believe the body responds well to variety.
    Good luck!

  2. It does look like a sound plan. I too would struggle fitting in the miles but I am sure you will pull it off. Good luck with the 50 mile....

  3. Wow, I can't believe you're after a fifty miler now. It looks like the miles are really adding up for you on your schedule. Looks like a good plan. So your longest run will be the 50k?

    Take care of your knee. Have you tried stretching with a yoga strap? It's helped my knees after all of the down hill stuff. Good luck!

  4. Nice plan, Dan. As to when to run, try 4 a.m. it's strangely peaceful. Willowdale, in particular, is beautiful then.

  5. I am in PT for my knee, and one of the exercises I have to do, which is specifically for the pain I feel when running downhill(feels like my knee is almost going to give out and it HURTS)is to stand with my heel on a 2x4 and do one legged semi-squats. 15 reps, 3-4 sets. Just a FYI... ;)

  6. Ana, thanks for the suggestions but I just don't think I could fit in the biking (plus I don't have a bike). I stopped strength training about 2 years ago because I have cervical stenosis and lifting was causing a lot of pain. I guess I could try doing lower body only. As for the intervals I don't think going shorter and faster will be that useful for the 50 since it's probably about 99% aerobic. I do like your idea to do some 2 mile repeats instead of all 1 mile. I will alternate them. Thanks!

    Kevin, I get into enough trouble with the wife already when I skip out on my weekend chores to do a long run. It will only get worse. I'm sure you can relate!

    Meg, I would like to do one run up to 35 miles but I don’t think I will get there. The two 50Ks will have to do. I know, I need to stretch more.

    Streph, 4 a.m.?? You are a sick man! What about wild animals? ;-)

    Julie, my leg did give out slightly during the 50K last weekend. I'll try the squats. So the heel is raised and the ball/toes are on the floor, right?

    Thanks for the input everyone.

  7. Hey There Dan,

    Regarding the knee pain - Be careful. 50 Miles is a great goal, and I think if you use the right strategy for Race Day, you'll be able to snag 50 miles. Think of it as your proportional test to a 100 miler, because I am sure those running 100s never get near 3/4 of the distance in a single run. One element you might want to add are weekends with consecutive long runs. Most training plans I consult highly recommend the training of doing a long stuff the day after a long run to simulate the feeling of going on dead legs.

    Just really be sure to listen to your body and let the healing happen at its own pace. Green Lakes was an awesome run for you, but make sure you aren't underestimating how much it took out of you. I think that is what is killing me these days - because I didn't back off more following the 6 hour.

  8. Looks good Dan and fall is the best time to ramp up the miles. Happy trails


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