My 50 Mile Training Plan …

50 Mile Training Plan

I am getting really excited for the Pony Express 50 in October — sure it’s still 7 months away — but, I am getting really, really excited to just tackle the crap out of it.

I would do it tomorrow if I knew I could — well, I am sure I could — but, I’d be one hot mess if I tried. I am simply not prepared to tackle it physically, mentally and emotionally. I have this vision of myself laying in face down in ditch with tears of mascara pouring down my face because of my extremely poor decision.

So, yeah, that won’t be me.

This is one reason I have been going back to a half marathon training plan. I want to rebuild my base — I want to be able to not struggle through a half marathon. I want to do it with ease — or relative ease — like I used to a couple years ago. And, then I want to build onto that base with running marathons and eventually the 50 miler.

I am sure I could have thrown myself into training now and done an earlier race — but, I want to do this right. Mainly, because I don’t trust my training right now. Last year took a lot out of me — from my legs to core. And, I’ve got to get that back.

Anyways — below you’ll find how I put together my training plan — and my actual training plan. If you’re running your first ultra marathon — maybe this will help? But, just remember, I put this together for me. If you’re looking for a good plan I have some good links below.




I used a couple of training plans — since I am training for the St. George Marathon and the Pony Express 50 I tried to intermingle a marathon and 50 mile training plan into one. Since I am not a very fast runner — the training plan is more about mileage than pacing, splits and all that jazz.

But, I used the Hal Higdon Marathon Novice 2 Training Plan and a mixture of two 50 mile training plans — Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning, UltraLadies Running Club and Runner’s World Ultimate Ultramarathon Training Plan.

I didn’t really find an authoritative training plan for a 50 miler — which is okay, mainly because I will have to bastardize my marathon training plan some to also prepare for the 50 miler. The key more than anything is to get my miles in — and be prepared mentally, emotionally and physically for the run.

To prepare for all of that I am focusing on a few of my looooong 20 milers to be doozies. I want them to be tough. I actually got this idea from Jill — and I love the idea of mentally and physically making those runs HELL for me.

In August I have two 20 mile training runs planned. The first on the weekend of the 13th and the second on the 27th. The one of the 13th I am planning on doing on a treadmill — and that’s not all. I am planning on starting at midnight after staying up since 4am the day before. I want to experience the fatigue and mental strain that those latter miles are going to bring me.

Plus, I just love crazy.

The run on the 27th I haven’t decided on yet — it’s one of two runs. I was thinking of either running the indoor track at my Rec Center in Bountiful. It’s a small, small, small track that adds up to like 4-5 trips around per mile. I like the idea of the mental strain.

Or — I am going to an ALL up hill 20 miler. That sounds fun and crazy. There was a 20 miler up Emigration Canyon that Becky and I did a couple years while preparing for the Ogden Marathon that was a killer uphill.

Either way — stay on hold to see what the 27th will entail. But, the goal is to kick my trash in all areas where I want to get stronger. And, of course — if you want to join in the adventure you’re more than welcome to join me! Especially on my treadmill training run!

But, also of note — I have three marathons on my race docket as well — the Big Cottonwood, Huntsville and St. George Marathons. That’s a marathon every other week — which will be tough mentally and physically.

But, I am sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon and am planning on truly racing the St. George Marathon. I am treating Huntsville as a training run. So it will be somewhere in between racing pace and sweeping pace. Whatever that means.

Anyways — I am getting excited … and nervous, but that’s normal and I am pretty stoked about it. If you have any tips or suggestions for what else I can — please by all means let me know! I’d love your advice.



Like I’ve mentioned before — I am not a training or a running coach — but, if this works for you, go ahead and use it. It’s tailored towards me, but if it helps you … GREAT!

Just know it’s a lot of running. It’s 300+ miles just in looooong training runs! That excites and scares me all in one emotion! I LOVE IT!

I can’t wait until October 21st!

Here are the long runs —

NOTE: This does not include my fitness/running plan for the following 22 weeks. The meat of that will change the closer I am to the race and will depend on my fitness levels according to my goals. But, most of my running during the week will be outside around Bountiful either on the roads or trails.

June 4: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
June 11: Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
June 18-19: Ragnar Relay: Wasatch Back (~13.1-15 miles)
June 25: AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (13.1 miles)
July 2: 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 9: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
July 16: Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park (12 miles)
July 23: Handcart Days Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 25: Deseret News Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 30: Timp Half (13.1 miles)
August 6: Legacy Parkway Trail (15 miles)
August 13: Treadmill Madness (20 miles)
August 20: Big Cottonwood Canyon (12 miles)
August 27: TBA (20 miles)
September 3: Nebo Half (13.1 miles)
September 10: Big Cottonwood Marathon (26.2 miles)
September 17: Huntsville Marathon (26.2 miles)
September 24: Goldilocks Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
October 1: St. George Marathon (26.2 miles)
October 8: Emigration Canyon to Hogle Zoo (10 miles)
October 15: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
October 21-22: Pony Express 50 Mile Run (50 miles)

A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on



  1. You will need to add a bunch of off-road, trail miles. Your feet need to acclimate to that surface. It is a nice dirt/gravel road but there are rough sections. Put your shoes in the oven, while they are heating, have someone take a ball peen hammer and beat the bottom of your feet for an hour and then go do at least an hour run in those hot shoes. OH and do this at 2 am on a dark solitary place.

  2. Thanks for the advice — I should have added my weekly miles to the training plan as well, but I am planning on trails around Bountiful as well as plenty of hills. I might substitute some of my regular runs for trails up Mueller Park.

    Hammer, hot shoes and a 2am solitary run? WOW … sounds intense .. and fun!

  3. I ran the pony 50 last year and didn’t realize just how hard and bumpy/full of holes that road is- like concrete but worse? It hammered my legs and I wish that I had done more strength training for my legs. That’s my plan for next year when I do it again! Good luck- you got this!


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