The Leadville 100 Trail Run lottery drawing is just around the corner and if you are a first time runner and especially if you are new to the 100-miler game, you may be asking what kinds of training and runs you really need to be doing. Well, this article, Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching and Training Milestones is geared to answer just that.
Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching and Training Milestones
For starters, I can tell you that my DNF in 2009, though it had many components that led to it, not training enough or running enough miles that year certainly played a big part.
Of course, that year, I did run more than I had ever in my life – it just was not enough. I probably went into the LT100 with 1200 miles on my legs as opposed to the 2000 or so which is about the bare minimum to give a runner a chance at finishing.
However, after accumulating 2000 miles, is that enough, really? What other kinds of runs should you be doing and what would a standard training week look like?
I cannot give you all the specifics, after all, I am not selling the store here, but here are some base mileages to consider.
To be able to finish Leadville, especially for the first time, the training has to start early. Earlier than the lottery even as your first big training run for the year should be the last weekend of January or the first weekend of February, in which you can do a comfortable 50K run, either a race or on your own, in under six hours.
After that, in March, another solid 30-mile day followed up with a 20-mile day to make for a 50-mile weekend. Moreover, by March, a runner really needs to be hitting or danged close to the 200 miles per month average.
That is about 50 miles per week and for ultra training, anything less than 50 miles per week or under ten hours a week is suspect, meaning, it is not enough. By May and June, that should be upwards to 250 miles per month.
Of course, I do not like to train by calendar months and work backwards from the race-date month per month to create training cycles, but for the simple state of explaining it here, July should be a 300-mile month before one begins the taper for Leadville.
Other key milestone distances… a fifty miler in April or May, and even longer than that in June and July.
One way to set up the bigger mileage weeks is to do back to back to back runs. For instance three months out, I like to do a 12-12-12 mid week. Then two months out, 15-15-15, and in the last big month three 20’s in a row.
However, the back-to-back-to-back runs are never to look the same. For instance, I might have a runner focus the first 20 mile run out of the three on a track ran at MAF. The second day may be a 20 miler with a huge vertical focus, and following up the third with one on more rolling type of terrain. Each run is different and each run with its own purpose and objectives.
Finally, I believe that 30 is the new 20 when it comes to ultra training. That if you really want to succeed in this game, a 30-mile long run every week that you can do will go to great lengths to ensure that success. The value of 30-mile runs is two fold… the greatest benefit comes in those last ten miles where you are tired, as the 20 miles before is only the warm-up. Secondly, when you can consistently do 30-mile runs every week, your confidence will SOAR!
So there you have it… Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching and Training Milestones and what to do with them. Of course, these are only the broad strokes, and everyone is different but after so many years in the game, the practices are what I know that works.
If you are stuck in your training, or unsure of where to even begin, please leave a comment below or send me a message via my contacts tab. I’d love to help you to get started and be a part of your Leadville 100 Trail Run journey.
If you enjoyed this article or if it helped you, please consider sharing it! Leadville 100 Trail Run Coaching and Training Milestones
Photo by Andy Wooten 2011 LT100