Training Tuesdays: 0 to Ultra in 100 Days?

As of tomorrow, I have exactly 100 days until my scheduled ultra marathon. Up until now I have sort of assumed that I won’t be running it. My latest injury has caused a 1.5 month set back and I doubt I’ll be running for a while yet (at least not in the way that you need to run to prepare for an ultra). I’m back on trails but very slowly building up to more intense elevation gains and distances. And yet, that little idealist inside me wonders if it might not just be the greatest coup ever to go from 0 to ultra in 100 days.

Is such a thing possible? Trusty Google came up short on 100 day training plans for ultras–at least, for people essentially starting at 0.

But then I started to do the math. All I really need is to reach the 18 km mark of the race within 2.5 hours. That means I need to move at roughly an 8.5 min/km pace. If I do this, they cannot disqualify me! No matter how slow I am after that point, they have to let me finish the race. It’s possible that I should apologize in advance to the race volunteers who will be waiting hours and hours for me to walk my way out…

As I thought about the feasibility of this pace and plan, I realized I can actually hike that fast! At my fittest (which granted I am not at right now), I typically hike at a pace of 8-10 min/km on flat to rolling terrain and can maintain a 10-12 min/km pace on moderate incline (which is all the uphill component of the Mount Robson marathon really is). All I need is to run a few a few strategically placed flat sections, which the first 18km of the course is chock full of.

I can almost taste victory! And by victory, I mean simply finishing.

But I still need a plan. So next Tuesday, I will reveal to my tiny little group of followers* what I’m sure will one day be a mass-marketed, highly lucrative, sought-after-by-every-wanna-be-lazy-runner “100 day couch to ultra” plan. And before you get any ideas, you better bet I’m already in the process of trademarking this puppy.

* Obviously as early followers I will offer you a discounted rate on my new plan when it goes viral.


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