Runners & Workouts: Bryon Powell – 50k Continuous Long Run (for Ultras)

posted in: Running Tips, Ultramission

In this space, we will share the key or favorite workouts of our running friends and elites and provide all the Runivores out there some training tips. Run with a smile, of course, but be ready to take on some pain!!

(photo by Jared Campbell)

This week we are handing the car keys to Mr. Bryon Powell, founder and editor-in-chief of irunfar.com, one of the best resources for all things ultramarathons and trailrunning. With quarter century as an elite collegiate runner, badass ultrarunner, renowned coach, sports journalist and author of the popular and timeless training book, Relentless Forward Progress: Guide to Running Ultramarathon (this book was one key factor that pushed us towards trying runs beyond 42k – so much great knowledge inside). It’s an honor to have him share his running tips. Here’s more about Bryon.

We asked Bryon to share a favorite workout with us, below is his response:

 

Continuous long run 

Fast intervals, hard runs, hill climbs, and dizzying descents certainly have their place in training. In addition, we all love a fun day hiking up and running down the mountains and few of us fail to get in a sufficient number of these in training. However, many of us might choose to skip out on working on our actual running. However, if you’re prepping for nearly any ultramarathon, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t log a few long runs of nearly continuous running. Even in the most grueling, most mountainous races, there’s still plenty of running. That’s the case at Hardrock, at UTMB, and at so many more.

I’ve come to find great value in heading out for a continuous run in the 50k range at a casual pace after I’ve built a training base in a particular season. Even if I’ve been logging 30k+ runs every week, the first jump up to 50k is often a disaster. I learn a lot about my current strengths and weaknesses. As I bag two or three more such runs in the coming months, I find myself able to run comfortably for longer and stave off more complete collapse for longer, as well. This builds my confidence.

Heading out for 50k of continuous running isn’t compatible with everyone’s needs, but going out for a few continuous runs that are 50% longer than you’d naturally find yourself choosing, can have big benefits. For example, if you get out for 20k of straight running on occasion, that’d mean logging a few 30k outings of nearly continuous running.

What are the Benefits?

  • Identify and work on weaknesses in running stride that aren’t immediately apparent.
  • Practice fueling and hydration while maintaining a consistent effort.
  • Enhanced mental toughness.
  • Growing confidence as you can continue to comfortably run further.

 

Please see other books from Bryon here.

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Hard work and fueling go together like peanut butter and jelly. Here are some of our energy gel reviews. Have a read and start making your fueling plan for the next big challenge.

The Best Energy Gels for Ultramarathons

Fuel From Real Foods – 5 All-Natural Energy Gels We’ve Tried and Liked

Review: Huma All-Natural Energy Gels, Eat Chia Seeds and Run

Review: Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels, Instant Surge

Review: What is Maurten Hydrogel? The No-Nonsense Energy Gel

 

 

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