Monday, October 06, 2014

My 30K Training Plan

First things first: I am NOT an expert runner. In fact, I am the most injured runner I've ever known, so that should tell you something. I made my training plan up after consulting a couple of different sources, and threw together a plan that: A) fit my schedule, and B) fit my time-frame.

I was quite surprised that 30K training plans are hard to come by on the internet! So here's what I did: I looked at a marathon training plan, checked out when the long runs hit 18 miles, then laid out the long runs up to that point. Then I had an "oh shit" moment when I realized I had one less week than those marathon plans called for to run those runs and just cut one out and winged it with the rest. I asked around a little to make sure that my total mileage wasn't insanely low, and voila! A plan was born. Here are the last six weeks of the plan, I officially began training on Week 1's Wednesday-- it was my girls' first day of school! I didn't write down anything concrete up to that point because it was summer and my summer was all over the map for training. At Ragnar in July I ran 17 miles in two days, so I sort of considered that my actual starting point for building mileage.

1restrest7mi4mi + strengthyoga12miRest23 miles
24mistrength7mi3mi + strengthyoga14miRest28 miles
34mistrength5mi3mi + strengthyoga10miRest22 miles
44mistrength8mi4mi + strengthyoga16miRest32 miles
54mistrength6mi3 mi + strengthyoga10miRest23 miles
6yoga4mistrength3 miyogaRestRACE! 27 miles

As you can see, I mostly followed three main rules: two days of strength, one day of yoga, and my mid-length run was half the distance of the long run. Wait, four rules: my weekly mileage had to match (or just slightly exceed) my Saturday mileage. I wish I had time for swimming but my favorite pool's fall swimming schedule doesn't work with mine. So sad. So far I have followed this plan fairly closely, but not exactly.

There were two big things that concerned me going in to this training: First, I really did not know how long I had to run in training to be able to run a 30K. Knowing that someone can run a half marathon on a 10 mile long run, and a full marathon on a 20 mile long run, I figured a 16 mile long run should get me up to 20 miles in the race (I have heard the 30K race I am running is actually closer to 20 miles than 18.6). But being that it's a new distance for me, I am nervous! 

The second thing is not quite understanding how the long runs work when training for a trail race. Is a 12 mile trail run as good as a 12 mile road run in training if the trail run takes me an hour longer? After running my 12 miler on the road with some of my very favorite running buddies, I kind of got freaked out about doing any more long runs off the trail because trail running takes so, so, so much longer than road running, and I needed to have lots of time on my feet logged in order to survive this race!  

Speaking of time on feet . . . I posed this question to my new massage therapist, who also happens to train running groups. One of her suggestions to me was look at the race distance and elevation and difficulty and see if I can get an idea of how fast I can finish it in, then train using that time as the goal. An extremely hilly or technical trail race will take quite a bit longer than a flatter, less technical one. I don't know for sure, but I *think* the "30K" will take me about 4:00-4:15 to finish, so because of this I feel confident that I have done a long run that took 3:45.

Maybe when I make my next training plan I will do it in time and not miles?

The proof will come on October 12th on whether or not this plan worked! 


  1. Woohoo!! I am so excited to hear how your race goes. I know you've got the solid training to back it up. Honestly, I did a lot of my training on the road because that's where all my run buddies were running. I couldn't have made it through my 18, 20, 24 mile runs without friends at least partway through, and there were no good trails near where they met up. Oh well. Your guess sounds about right. I finished my first lap in 2:04 or 2:08. Have a great race!

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I will have to pick your brain once I am ready to start training for a 50K :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!