16 weeks training for a 100km trail race. How do we structure running to be race ready? What does it take to prepare for a 100km running race?
This is a simple guiding structure to training.
There are pros and cons to the different ways of training. The approach presented here works well. It takes you beyond completing the distance. We want to run 100km fast.
What You Need To Train For 100km
To get the most from this program we need to have some base fitness. At least a year of running, preferably two.
My background spans many years, but over the last year, I’ve hardly run further than 25km in single a run. My weekly volume has varied between 20-80km. It has been fairly inconsistent.
The recommended running prerequisites:
- 2+ years running
- Able to run 25-30km long run
- Averaging 50km/week over last 6 weeks
- Injury free
More important than physical prerequisites come the mental traits. We need:
16 Week Overview
The 16 weeks is broken into 3 distinct phases:
- Base (8 weeks)
- Peak (4 weeks)
- Taper (4 weeks)
Each week will have 3 key workouts supported by easy runs and strength training. The key workouts will vary according to the phase of training.
This is the most important phase of training.
It sets up the ability to cover the distance. A proper base phase will have a direct effect on the Peak phase. We are better off to continue the base phase up to the Taper if we skimped on base training.
Base training is to develop a well balanced athlete capable of optimally responding to the stress of competition specific training.
The most important trait needed is patience. We keep most runs at easy paces. It is more important to cover the distance. Better to run further each week than to smash out some fast runs.
A Tempo run is listed once a week. This should be over one or two set courses. Begin with a pace just a little bit faster than your usual running pace. Aim to be a little faster each week. This should never be a lung searing, leg destroying effort.
Base running is supported by a good dose of strength training. Using the weight room to build improve the connective tissue, and give some stimulus to fast twitch muscle fibres. This should spare the body some of the impact that faster running brings.
The 3 key runs:
- Long run of 30-42km
- 3 hour run on technical and steep terrain
4 weeks of hard training. We need to be fit, healthy and injury free.
This is where we push the envelope. Where our performance will go up and down. The training will challenge our ability not to quit.
The distance of the long runs will be pushed further. Combined with a few intervals of moderately faster running towards the end. Some fast intervals will also be introduced.
The 3 key runs:
- Long run of 46-50km with some intervals 10-20 minutes
- 4 hours run on technical and steep terrain
- VO2 intervals 4-6 x 1000m
Time to absorb all the hard work.
The Taper phase has 3 objectives:
- Adapt to the previous training
- Eliminate fatigue
- Dial in race pace
To achieve this we will reduce the volume of the most runs by 75% each week. Intervals will be pushed hard up to 3 weeks out from the race. Fatigue will gradually lift. It is normal to feel sluggish as the body adapt throughout the taper.
Resist the urge to push out a long, hard test of fitness. Save this for race day.
16 Week Training For 100km Example
The following table outlines my progression of the key runs week by week. Which day each runs falls on will vary due to my changing roster and life commitments. In between all running should be easy and the will typically vary between 40-90 minutes.
Remember the following is a personal example and a guideline only. Everyone is different. My own circumstances may vary this plan.
This is my plan for the Surf Coast Century.
|Week||Phase||Long Run||Terrain Run||Speed
Over To You
What do you think about this plan?
Do you have any questions?
Let me know