Okay, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of ultra training- the plan. The training plan in the backbone of your quest to finish your first ultra. If you do a quick Internet search, you'll find dozens of plans dedicated specifically to ultras. On top of that, you'll also find hundreds of marathon training plans that could feasibly be modified for ultras.
You probably want me to recommend one specific plan, huh?
Too bad. I'm going to make YOU choose. I'll give you some guidance, but ultimately the decision has to be yours to make.
I'll present a few of the more popular plans here along with the criteria I recommend to make the choice. You should be able to quickly peruse the details of each plan and get an idea of those that might work well for you.
Let's start with the criteria. These should be your primary considerations:
- Consideration #1: What distance am I running? Some plans are specifically tailored to a given distance. Others can be modified for any distance. You can start by eliminating those that cannot be modified to fit your given distance.
- Consideration #2: How does the schedule of training runs (and crosstraining in some cases) fit your life? If you work 80 hours a week, a plan that requires several long, slow runs each week probably won't work. Make sure the plan fits your time allotment.
- Consideration #3: Does this running plan have a community I can lean on for support? Some plans (like Crossfit Endurance) have an active community of people going through the exact same thing you are. It can be handy to lean on them for support and guidance as you progress toward the race.
In the next section, I'll talk about some of the more popular plans.