Hi folks,

Have just read the Cool Impossible 6 weeks out from my first 50km and feeling a tad underprepared after reading Cool Impossible.. I have been going at it the old fashioned way of increasing mileage.  The last 5 weeks I have been running 20-25km in my maximum long run, plus 2 or 3 60 - 90min runs during the week.  My 25km runs take just under 3 hours - and I am not very effected by them (not much soreness).

This weekend was aiming for my maximum long run of 34km - however I now am wondering if there is is more I can do to maximum chances of finishing this 50km trailrun in 6 weeks (without too much pain) - and I am a little late to start the foundation program (even though have been training all year for this run). I plan on starting the foundation after this event.

I have built a ramp board to begin the strength exercises straight away. My running form has improved a lot since I switched to minimalist shoes one year ago - and I know this as I used to get ITB / Runners Knee with my heel striking .... now I just get warn out calves and my cadence seems right, and foot strike - however plenty of form work to do still.

Can anyone recommend some additional training that could drastically increase my chance of success vs my heart rate zone plods, and extra long run on the weekends? Aerobic fitness has never been my issue - it is just strength and ability to stay on my feet for that long.  Something that may have effect in the next six weeks?

Ideas from Cool Impossible:

Incorporate the strength training straight away (ramp board) - I do plenty of outdoor  rock climbing and bouldering which sounds like it helps.

Hill Sprints replacing two of my 60-90 minute easy runs to build strength

90 minute heart rate zone form run

1 long run per week - maxing out at a 4 hour run (35-40km) in the next 3 weeks before taper.

Appreciate any thoughts.

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Hi Graham, given your so far down the track of your training for the 50km you don't want to change too much & get injured. The elements you have incorporated sound good but again don't over do it. One of Eric's mantra's is "Awareness = Athleticism" & you are taking a Great Leap Forward as you become aware of your body & form. Running effiency & form are always a work in progress, a life long pursute & it sounds like your on your way.
Good luck with the remainder of your training & the 50 km, keep us posted.

Well the training seems to have paid off - I finished the 52km in 6 hours on some beautiful and sometimes harsh trails.

I really think adding the slant board exercises and hill sprints the last 6 weeks made a huge difference.  My only trouble came in the form of a cramp at 50km after pushing it the last 20km to finish in under 6 hours.  Feet were not sore at all in my minimalist shoes - but my quads felt a bit abused.

I noticed a bunch of runners in some goofy looking Hoka shoes... apparently for the Ultras moving to a more cushioned shoe can make a big difference on your legs. Any thoughts? I can't imagine switching away from Innov-8 Trailrocs but curious as to why those monster of a shoe are so popular.

Looking forward to getting into the Cool Impossible training plan between now and the 100km in May!

Congratulations Graham and well done on your 6 hour finish in the 50k, what 100k race have you entered in May?

Was going to enter the North Face 100km in Sydney's blue mountains if I can get a late entry as the event sold out in the first 10 minutes. Going to train for it regardless.  Failing that - we are visiting my wifes family in South Dakota in June, and we are eyeing off the Black Hills 50 miler for an adventurous addition to the holiday.  

Have run the two tests and beginning the foundation program today!

Congrats! Sounds like you had a great day! And the fact that you made it through training and the race with minimal problems and the bouldering and climbing, it sounds like strength may not be too much of an issue. I DO NOT recommend switching to Hokas. Innov8s are awesome. You will very likely develop problems with Hokas. You will lose a lot of proprioception and eventually lose strength due to decreased foot and leg muscle activation....this is just my opinion, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it

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