Our 100k Training Plan – Improver is designed for runners who want to do well in their 100k, perhaps setting a new PR.
The plan is 6 months long and is aimed at runners aiming to continuously run their 100km, and finish in 10 – 15 hours.
Once you go beyond marathon distance and stray into ultra territory, the training strategies and advice vary an incredible amount.
This 100k training plan was initially developed by pulling strategies from a few sources, and has been refined by myself and several other ultra-runners.
100k Training Plan Improver
Who Is It For?:
Our Improver training plans are for established runners who want to challenge themselves, and perhaps set a new PR. If you’ve already run a distance event such as a marathon and want to improve your performance, check out these training plans.
Our Improver training plans balance training and miles with rest days and (optional) speed work; only include the speed work if you want to improve your base running speed.
If you’ve got some distance running experience, and want to push yourself a little, this is the training plan for you.
Six months // 24 weeks.
How Many Days Per Week?:
The majority of this plan features 5 days of training per week.
One day of speed work is included in this plan; this is to improve your base running speed and your running economy.
Time On Your Feet
This is paramount – more important than speed or miles. It’s also the biggest commitment you’ll have to give for your 100km preparation. Your body has to get used to being on your feet for hours on end, so it holds up well come race day.
Hence the huge amount of miles included in this plan. This can mean committing serious chunks of your life (weekends) to running.
An 100km run is all about endurance, and muscular strength makes you an endurance animal. Many runners can get by with marathon-length runs by doing only running training.
But once you are on your legs for several hours at a time, having some core strength really helps you keep your form and fuels your endurance. Remember – your whole body is active while running, not just your legs.
I highly recommend doing cross training once per week (more if you manage). If you only have time for one cross-training session, focus on your legs with lunges, squats and stretching – your body will thank you when you’re 10hrs into the race.
Just like marathon prep, you should be factoring in one long, slow run every weekend. As a minimum, you want to have completed at least one 30+ mile run (50km) before your 100km.
This plan features several 30+ mile runs, peaking with a 37 miler.
Tapering For 100k
Tapering is the age-old marathon training technique of letting your training peak 4 weeks before your race and gradually backing off. It’s a nice rule of thumb that means you’ve given yourself plenty of time for preparation.
Tapering minimises the risk of injury prior to the race and means you should arrive at the start line in the best possible condition. However, you’ll often find that it’s harder to apply such a rigid structure to ultra-marathon training. Many seasoned ultra-runners barely taper at all – they might just relax a bit more in the week leading up to the event.
Download The Training Plan Here
Enter your email and I’ll send you this free training plan now, in PDF and Google Sheets formats (completely customisable), in both miles and kilometers.
Check Out The Premium Version of The 100k Improver Training Plan . . .
Access the plan via the TrainingPeaks website and app, track your workouts in real-time against the plan, and get performance data analysis on your progress.
The most comprehensive plan you will find
I had run a couple of half marathons and was in reasonable shape coming into the plan and it was a good rise in intensity throughout. You need to want to do an event like this – I was getting up at 3am to get my long run in before kids weekend sport etc and this was hard. When you combine the plan with the online community through the Marathon Handbook FB page and website, you get complete support. Have used this plan with great success and now looking at upping the pace in the marathon space… GREAT JOB!
Good overall plan, but should include non running days of weighted squats and lunges, anerobic exercises
This training plan was amazing! I started this plan 11 weeks in advance of the Boston Marathon hoping I would be able to find a bib, and I was accepted onto a charity team 8 weeks in advance. This was my first marathon, and the longest I ran before this was 13.1 miles. I followed this plan and was able to finish the Boston Marathon in 4:11:22, having had food poisoning the day before.
Half Marathon Under 2 Hours
I completed my first 10 K with my daughter at the end of May and she invited me to run a half marathon with her. She told me her goal was to complete the half marathon in under two hours, so that became my goal as well. In order to accomplish that, she recommended that I start following a training plan. After looking at several plans, I requested this 10 week half marathon plan. What really made the difference in my training was the helpful emails covering various topics that I really needed to succeed. I followed the plan and we both finished the race in under two hours! Thank you Thomas at Marathon Handbook.
Weekly milage totals
Weekly milage totals do not equal the sum of the weekly workouts
Proven Training Plans by a UESCA-certified Running Coach
Every one of our training plans has been developed by Thomas Watson, a UESCA-certified running coach.
Thomas is also a podium-finishing ultra-marathon runner, and has dozens of marathons under his belt.
Each training plan has been road-tested by hundred of runners, refined and improved – and are free to download and customise to suit your needs!