Training Overview: Surfcoast Century

Here I present a very basic outline of my training plan in preparation for the SC100. Developing this plan involved a good number of scribbled potential plans on scraps of paper that were written over, annotated, thrown out and rewritten. On the side was usually a calendar and list of potential development races. It is a mix of what I know does work for me, what I expect will work for me, all placed through a filter of what I believe is required to race an 100km trail ultra.

While the plan wasn't modeled on any one else's, after it came together I was surprised at how clear and obvious some of the influences are. I'm sure these will be picked up by running geeks despite differences in terminology.

All discussion on my training plan must be made under the assumption that consistency and injury prevention is paramount. Since the race is an ultra endurance event then endurance is the most important attribute required. Endurance development requires volume which requires consistency which requires a lack of injury. Both the overall plan and the finer details work together to achieve this. The details are very important, but first here is the basic structure.

Three training phases:
Base: 8 x 8 day weeks
Focus: 6 x 8 day weeks
Peak: about 20 days

Each week includes the following sessions:

  • 2 Long Runs: 4 hours and 2 hours
  • Tempo: MAF test
  • Hills: Technique power circuit
  • Speed: relaxed strides mixed into an aerobic conditioning run
  • All other days have an aerobic conditioning run aiming to maximise volume to the point it improves the long runs.
  • Strength/weight training 2-3 sessions

The first two weeks introduce some higher intensity running and more speed training.

  • 2 Long Runs: 6 hours and 3 hours
  • Hills: 4-8 x 3-4min at VO2 intensity
  • Speed: sprint training, fast technique drills and some sprints over 60-100m repeats
  • Strength training 2 sessions
  • All other running will be at the lower level of aerobic conditioning.

The remaining four weeks get more race specific.

  • 2 Long Runs: 6 hours and 3 hours.
  • Hills: anaerobic threshold circuits of about 60 minutes fast both up and down
  • Speed: fast, but relaxed sprints over 80-120m, never quite all out
  • Tempo: either a MAF test or anerobic threshold run of 40-70min
  • Strength training 2 sessions
  • All other days will be aerobic conditioning.

Hard to plan this far out. As a basic guide the main long run will reduce to 4, 3 and 2 hours in each of the weeks. All the other running will likely be reduced to in volume to 80, 60, and 30%. The fastest stuff will have the intensity knocked down a little and the aerobic conditioning work will all be run at expected race pace. Rest/recovery will always take precedence.

Quick Notes
There are no specific mileage targets. Other than the increase in time allocation for the long runs from Base to Focus, the time commitments will be almost the same each 8 day week. The kilometers covered should increase as a by-product of gradually getting faster throughout the training period. On paper the above looks like a massive load, once I get into the details in a later post, it should be much more manageable than it appears here. The main difference is managing intensity in order to meet the volume.

It all begins this Saturday.


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