So I am in week 14 of the cool impossible and am really enjoying it. I am working up to Ultras and ran my 1st 25k in April. I have a trail marathon in 3 weeks and while I feel confident I can cover the distance, I am curious about the pace/HRZ I should run this in. I look at this marathon as a stepping stone and test for the Fall where I plan to go up to 50k's. With that being the case, I try to not only cover the distance, but hydrate and eat as if I will be going another 10 miles once I finish.

I was thinking that in this Marathon, I would plan to stay in HRZ 2-3 as much as possible early on (with occasional spikes on hills) and evaluate after the 1st 25k. If all is good, I would up the effort a bit and keep evaluating etc. 

Does this sound like a decent plan of attack or are people going out and going harder right from the start? I don't want to derail my training and I still want to test/push myself so I am trying to find that balance.

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I think this sounds like an excellent plan! ...and congrats on your progression. While I'm no expert, I've done a few ultras and staying in zone 2-3 the first half to 2/3 I would say is wise and re-evaluate. My goal in these distances is to get to the halfway point feeling GOOD and making adjustments to effort, fueling, hydration to ensure that I can feel as good as possible to tackle the back half.

Thanks Lori.

I completed the Trail Marathon and learned a lot. Overall, my plan worked and I was on track for my time until I ran into these issues/hurdles. 

1) I need to do more Core work. This has suffered recently with busy work/family and the run training. The course had 4500 feet of elevation gain with some rather steep sections. I was not planning on as much power hiking as I had to do and I wore my back out at about mile 20 from leaning into the hills over my legs going uphill. My time went to hell after that and it was just about finishing.

2) Bring more water and nutrition. I had this all dialed in on my training runs but underestimated the terrain so this threw off those plans. The aid stations were rather far apart at various points so I need to up my ultra game and get a vest and another hand held, at least. 

3) Despite all these things I had the guts to push through and get it done!

Thanks for the advice.

"I went out too easy" said no runner ever.

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