There was a time (not so long ago, in fact), where I thought running a 10k was impossible. (Someday I’ll share with you all what it was like for me to train for my first 10k, I thought I was going to die.)

Fast forward 6.5 years and I have completed seven marathons and more 10k’s and half marathons than I’ve kept track of. I love the marathon. (It is easy for me to say this right now, my last one was in May – I’ve safely distanced myself from the pain and repressed the memories.) I have many lofty goals for my running self, one of which is completing a trail ultra. (Another running goal includes the illusive BQ, but one thing at a time.)

Starting December 18th, I’ll be completing an 18-week training plan to run Endurance Evolution‘s Traverse City Trail Festival’s 50k. At the date of this publication, the date of that is still TBD (Come onnnnn, Endurance Evolution, don’t you know how impatient I am?!) However, in the past, this race has been run the 4th weekend of April. So I’ve created my training plan in hopes that will be the case in 2018 as well.

Hey, Ultra, I'm Coming For You - Run Leelanau
December 18th. “Patiently” waiting.

For training plans, I have a habit of finding one I like online and then manipulating it to fit my schedule, fitness level, and environment. I also don’t plan what I’m going to do each specific day – that just never works for me. Because life, ya know? So I write down all the workouts I’m supposed to do in a week and then evaluate what each week looks like and when I can do which workout. Because sometimes, it just doesn’t work out to complete a long run on Sunday (brunching and mimosas have a strong pull).

Week one is as follows:

‘Long’ 8 mile run

Easy Run or Cross training + Strength training

45 minutes of hills and trails

Cross training + strength training

45-60 minutes easy run + strength training


1 hour medium effort run

You’ll notice that the runs include “easy” or “medium” effort instead of pacing times. As this is my first trail ultra, I’m not concerned about time and will feel out my pace. My training program also includes more strength training than any plan I’ve come across. However, I’ve found that weight training is crucial for injury prevention (and it’s nice to have some indoor workouts in the winter). For accountability purposes, I’ll check-in weekly with my progress.

If anyone has any pointers for moving up from the marathon to an ultra (especially a trail ultra!) I’d love to hear them.

Hey, Ultra, I'm Coming For You - Run Leelanau
Winter trail running is a whole new world

Cheers, friends! Happy winter running!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: