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      03-19-2021, 09:13 AM   #1
Feddersen
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Am I fit/capable of a 50k run?

Hi all

I have been around the net and couldnít really find the answer so I hope there is just a single soul who can help on Bimmerpost.

Long story short Ė I have always loved to challenges myself and in 2007 I was in shape for running a marathon any time but was also diagnosed with osteochondrosis in my lower spine and stopped running due to pain and switched to biking (on/off). Two years ago I felt that all my training that included core strengthening a couple of times a week was just keeping me short of pain and that my ďflexinessĒ was so limited that it limited my daily life. So I stepped up the training massively. First with a rowing machine, then volumes of road biking and at last also running. And with the Covid-19 I stepped it up even further.

Today I have no more pain in my back on a daily basis and I have become quite fit and have therefore considered to do a 50k run. I know that my back will not enjoy a normal 50k run training program so I wondered if all my other training could help me do a one of 50k run.

My stats are age 46, 174cm, 76kg and a VO2max of about 48. I have no problems of running a half marathon within two hours and I have experienced that it is the speed that causes pain in my back so I thought slower pace = longer distance. Am om also capable of exercising more than 5 hours straight on the spinning bike with no problems (avg 161watt). In total I do between 7-10 hours of high intensity training a week (running, rowing and biking) and two 30 minute sessions of pure core strengthening.

My plan was to give it a go in about 2-3 months. I plan to set up a route that allows me to run 5-6k between depots with water/food and finish the 50k within 6 hours.

Until the day of my attempt I plan to keep up the 7-10 hours of high intensity training per week + core strength. Train to increase the VO2max to 50+ and do some slow runs of up to 3+ hours that will mimic the speed of 50k in 6 hours.

Does that sound achievable or am I way off?
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      03-19-2021, 09:36 AM   #2
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I don't think you are way off at all. I did a 50k back in January and must say if you can do a Marathon then 50k is not much harder as it's really only 5 more miles. Pace does play a big factor on what you are trying to achieve. The other large factor in a 50k is vertical gain as most 50ks are not road races. How much is there and what is the percentage incline as this increases fatigue and calorie burn rate. Your V02 Max is just fine with the fact that you can already train for hours on end which proves the cardio base is there. 50k is more about what your training looks like. The key is the long runs especially if you can do back to back long days. I typically do 20-22 on Saturdays then do It again on Sunday. If you can comfortable with this then you will be just fine. A huge factor for you since you are looking at a 6 hour target is going to be calorie intake and temperature. You need to make sure you have practiced fueling while running. 200-300 calories per hour. Make sure the salt balance and sugar balance is there with what your taking in. If the temp is low this will help a ton as the hotter it gets the calorie burn rate goes up a lot. As far as weekly mileage at least get to 60-70, I typically go to 85 bit it's really not needed. I'm about a 2:50 marathon runner or 6:25 mile pace and adding another 5 miles puts me around a 3:30-340 in a 50k range. My V02 Max is about 63-64 and I typically can get away with 1 gel every 30 minutes plus water intake. For example my last Marathon I took 4 gels total and drank about 22 ounces of water. May sound crazy I know but keep in mind I'm finishing in under 3 hours and it was in low temperature. Hope this helps a little!
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      03-19-2021, 09:43 AM   #3
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It doesnít hurt to attempt it.

Iím similar net stats to you, meaning I donít know your build and importantly for running your body fat.

VO2 numbers I donít care for.
And unless you build your training to 20 plus miles at your expected race pace, I donít think you can gauge your 50k performance.

Also the idea of a slow pace to complete 30 miles means probably cramp and tighten around the half-way point and your walking pace will increase beyond what you anticipate.
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      03-19-2021, 12:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. It really supports my thoughts on the attempt.
I will not participate in a race but build the route myself in the local area. Since I have been running/biking here for 20+ years I know all the hills and will of course try to avoid all of them. Hence I can also plan it to be in perfect running weather.

Also I am used to fuel 250-300 calories (gels only) during both running and biking so that is no issue either.

I have not tried 2x20+k during a weekend but I will certainly try it out before I do a 50k attempt. If it is done at race pace I certainly don’t think it will be any issue.

Training volume might be a problem. I can do 20-30k of running a week without back pain. The rest needs to be substituted by rowing and biking.

How about clothing? I did consider compression socks and a compression t-shirt to avoid too much skin movement during the run.
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      03-19-2021, 01:02 PM   #5
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I wouldnít use compression anything in, at, near or above marathon distance.
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      03-19-2021, 01:45 PM   #6
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Go for it.

My biggest challenge when increasing exertion/conditioning has been caloric intake/bonking. I eat several small meals per day and am slightly below average on BMI and BF%. So Iím not carrying around a storehouse of surplus food energy.

Remembering to pre-fuel with food before an activity, and keeping sufficient calorie intake flowing needs focus for me. Something to keep in mind as you increase your distance.
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      03-21-2021, 04:07 AM   #7
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I am definitely going to give it a try when the weather suits me :-)
.
For a long time I have been training without having a goal so it is really nice to have a goal to train towards :-).
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      03-22-2021, 07:42 AM   #8
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I don't see how many miles you are regularly running now. I am in a giant running group and too many sign up to do a marathon, then you find out they haven't run much ever or years. My opinion is they would be far better off training to do a half marathon now, then later do the full/50k, 6-12 months later. Too many of them increase their mileage too quickly and end up hurt, then likely giving up and saying they can't do a marathon because their body can't take it when reality is their body only couldn't take quick increase in mileage.

How soon is the 50k, how much running do you do now and have done in the last year?

Also add my body/back feel better when I do my long training runs on something other than concrete, prefer a trail and lots of stretching helps me overall.
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      03-22-2021, 11:21 AM   #9
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Many years ago I was running 80-120k a week. For more than ten years i did not run at all but did a lot of biking. I started workout that was really, really focused on my back pain about two years. When I stopped biking last fall due to the weather I started running again in October. I do currently about 20-30k a week of running next to 10-20k of rowing and 2-300k of biking + 1-2x core training.

So all in all my legs are in pretty well trained and my last half marathon was just two weeks ago with no special training and no pain at all in the days after.
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      03-22-2021, 11:37 AM   #10
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FIFTY-K, I thought you said 5.

Never mind
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      03-25-2021, 08:12 AM   #11
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Feddersen,

I would check with a physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine for the best medical advice, especially for that level of competition. My physical therapist showed me preventative exercises and stretches that have helped me maintain my physical conditioning.
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      03-25-2021, 08:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feddersen View Post
Many years ago I was running 80-120k a week. For more than ten years i did not run at all but did a lot of biking. I started workout that was really, really focused on my back pain about two years. When I stopped biking last fall due to the weather I started running again in October. I do currently about 20-30k a week of running next to 10-20k of rowing and 2-300k of biking + 1-2x core training.

So all in all my legs are in pretty well trained and my last half marathon was just two weeks ago with no special training and no pain at all in the days after.
Your current 1/2 marathon plus your past are good information. I strongly believe that once you have done high mileage even if you take years off, getting back to it isn't the same as someone that has never run. I think the cross training is good, I used to do triathlons and this pushed me to mix it up, now I mostly run but try to get on my road bike, stair machine and lift weights (both at gym). If I only run my back and knees hurt, if I mix it up enough I am good. I haven't run a marathon in a long time, mainly just there isn't a good reason to do this long of a run unless you just have a strong desire, prefer to try to increase pace over increasing mileage.

Based on what you have been doing I think you should move forward with the 50k and see how it goes. Worst case is you find out you have problems at runs somewhere between the 1/2 marathon and the longest training run. Better to find out you can't than to wish you gave it a try but didn't.
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      03-25-2021, 12:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrus View Post
Feddersen,

I would check with a physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine for the best medical advice, especially for that level of competition. My physical therapist showed me preventative exercises and stretches that have helped me maintain my physical conditioning.
Been there, done that with success for almost 10 years but a couple of years ago I realized that it wasn't enough. Then all the home work due to Covid-19 showed me that my daily routine at work was actually a necessary part of my well being and I decided to take more responsible myself over my back pain by replacing daily routines with active exercises.

My physical therapist gave me a training program and I did my bike training within the given limitations but I felt that I was slowly degrading (not just by age).

Two years ago I had problems riding my road bike for more than two hours due to back pain. This was with my training/stretch/movability program given by my physical therapist (specialized within sports injuries). Just in order to do more than just biking I bought an ergometer. That moved my limit from about two hours to three hours without giving me any back pain.

As said Covid send me home for work and normally I would use steps several times a day. At home this was eliminated and I started getting back pain by just normal walking. I found that relatively slow running (sometimes uphill) at a pace of 6:00/km / 9:40/mile could substitute the stairs at work. Initially I did 5k at a time one a week and now its normally between 6 and 15k 2-3 times a week Ė still all without pain. The past six months I have increased my run and ergometer training as much as I could as long as I could do it without back pain.

The increased amount of running in combination with the ergometer increased the strength in my back a lot during winter. Just two weeks ago I got my indoor bike and the longest time on the bike so far has been 6 hours and 15 minutes Ė WITHOUT BACK PAIN!!

I have been aware of my poor back since I was about six years old. I have had problems with it since I was a teenager and as I finally got the actual diagnose about 13 years ago my goal with training was to be pain free on a daily basis. Now all the varied training has shown me that maybe I can come back to former levels of exercise without pain. Even though I donít experience pain on a daily basis anymore I always think about what I do due to the risc of pain. But beginning this month I got a glitch of hope that I might be able to train to a level where I donít even have to think about my back on a daily basis and I literally canít remember when I havenít done that. Yesterday, when I went to bed I realized that I hadnít thought about my back during the day for the first time in at least 13 years.

So the 50k is not for competing as such or for getting a new hobby. It is basically just for finding the limits of my back.
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      03-25-2021, 12:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David70 View Post
Based on what you have been doing I think you should move forward with the 50k and see how it goes. Worst case is you find out you have problems at runs somewhere between the 1/2 marathon and the longest training run. Better to find out you can't than to wish you gave it a try but didn't.
Thanks - worst case I need to phone my wife and ask her to pick me up. But then I know my self well enough to give it another try
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