Women’s First 50K Training Plan

by Coaches Sandi Nypaver, Sage Canaday, and Ray Nypaver

Plan Details

Distance: 50K

Goal: Complete a 50K

Weekly Volume Max: 4-5 hours

Experience Level: Beginner

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About this Plan

The goal of this plan is to get you to the start line of your first 50km race feeling confident that you can complete the distance and then, of course, to actually finish it! It’s not a plan to just get you slogging through your first ultra. There are workouts that will push you to become a stronger, faster runner.

Is This Plan for You?

To start the plan it is suggested that you have run 3.5 to 4 hours per week for the past few weeks, but have previously run up to at least 4-5 hours per week in the past. Ideally, you have run a marathon in the past or at the very least a half marathon.

Why This Plan Goes By Time

We want any woman who wants to run her first 50k to feel like she has enough time to properly train and competently finish a 50k. We’ve successfully coached runners of different abilities who have run around or less than the weekly total times suggested in the plan. With that said, if you feel good and have the time, by all means, go by miles (or kilometers) when training for your 50k. Just keep in mind that a 3 hour long run at a “fun” moderate effort can be more beneficial than a 4 hour long run at an easy effort.

A Message from the Coaches

We know that there are many reasons as to why there is a higher percentage of male ultra-runners than female ultra-runners. While we can’t address all those issues ourselves, we realize that we can at least try to make a small difference in a way that we know how to. That’s why we’re not only offering the free 50k plan and guide. If you have questions or concerns that are holding you back from doing your first 50k race send Coach Sandi or Coach Ray your questions and we’ll do our best to help you.

Coach Sandi: vo2maxcoaching@gmail.com

Coach Ray: ray.higherrunning@gmail.com 

(Please do us a favor and put “1st 50k” in the subject line of the email. Thanks!)

To feel and perform at your best while using this training plan, check out Using the Research on Female Athletes to Perform at Your Best.

What’s Included:

A 16-week training plan. The plan progresses with periodized phases to build your fitness, speed and strength so that you peak for your goal race in 16 weeks time.

A two-part training guide. Part one of the guide will help you understand the different types of workouts within the plan. Part two discusses issues such as how to avoid getting lost, what to do if you see a bear, etc.

Women’s First 50km Training Plan

Why our plans are different

This plan is derived from the theories and practices of the most legendary distance running coaches and exercise scientists from around the world: Arthur Lydiard, Jack Daniels, Renato Canova, and Peter Pfitzinger to name a few. Unlike other “cookie-cutter” training plans that just list mileage and a general pace, this Higher Running plan gives you essential specifics on how to do workouts at the right intensity for the most beneficial training stimuli. Furthermore, it does not follow a strict 7-day cycle (like most competitor’s plans), because at Higher Running we believe some workouts take longer to recover from and adapt to. Therefore sometimes recovery running days are extended and shortened appropriately to give you an ideal boost in fitness. Most other plans do not take this kind of periodization into consideration. Our Higher Running guideline gives you the information you need to make the plan more specific to your needs and the race you’re training for.

We realize that great coaching is both a science and an art – and we’ve used this philosophy (as well as knowledge gained from our own careers as runners) along with experience from coaching many others, to create a plan that emphasizes consistent, smart progression: A true Higher Running™ experience!

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