How Long Is A 50K In Miles (50K Training Guide)
Athletes who have successfully tackled a marathon often find themselves looking to the 50K for the next challenge. If you have been wondering what your next adventure should be, this is for you.
How many miles is 50 KM?
How far is 50K in miles? The 50K distance translates into roughly 31 miles. Officially an ultramarathon, the 50K is just a smidge longer than a marathon yet shorter than the 50 milers many race officials host for “short” ultra runs.
When running a race in kilometers, shifting your mindset from kilometers to miles can be difficult. If you are racing in the United States, the course is usually measured in miles, regardless of the distance in the name of the event.
When converting 50K to miles (or any kilometers to miles) just remember that a kilometer is approximately .60 of a mile.
What is a 50K run?
Although it is only 5 miles longer than a marathon, those 5 miles can pack a lot of punch. This is because most ultramarathons are done on trails.
Often with features such as hills, streams to cross, and technical paths to navigate, ultra runs are challenging on an entirely different level than a marathon.
So is a 50K an ultramarathon?
A 50K is an ultramarathon. Although the ultra-distance does go up into triple digits, the 50K is considered the gateway race to the ultra. If you take on the challenge, runners often either thrive or survive. Sometimes a bit of both.
The trails are often a veritable happy place for runners who have been looking for their next adventure. And although some people truly race the 50K, many athletes just settle in and enjoy the view.
That is not to imply they aren’t working hard.
Remember: it is 31 miles we are discussing here. But it is difficult to fly over this type of terrain. You need intention with your steps and footfalls.
How do I train for a 50K?
Some ultra runners plan their schedule based on the distance they should run, while others use time on feet as the standard of measure. That means you may use a plan that tells you to run xyz miles, or it may have you running a total of 9 hours for the week.
The amount of time you are running in any given week is based on your anticipated finish time.
If you plan it to take you 7 hours to complete your ultra, you want to spend 20-30 % more time on your feet. This equals 8 or 9 hours of training to hopefully reach that 7-hour goal.
If you are looking for a great 50K training plan, you may want to look where many others do. Running coach expert Hal Higdon has training programs for every distance out there, including the 50K.
|1||Rest||3 mi run||5 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||5 mi pace||10 mi run|
|2||Rest||3 mi run||5 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||5 mi run||1.5 hr run|
|3||Rest||3 mi run||6 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||6 mi pace||8 mi run|
|4||Rest||3 mi run||6 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||6 mi pace||13 mi run|
|5||Rest||3 mi run||7 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||7 mi run||2 hr run|
|6||Rest||3 mi run||7 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||7 mi pace||10 mi run|
|7||Rest||4 mi run||8 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||5 mi pace||16 mi run|
|8||Rest||4 mi run||8 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||8 mi run||2.5 hr run|
|9||Rest||4 mi run||9 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||Rest||13.1 mi|
|10||Rest||4 mi run||9 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||9 mi pace||3 hr run|
|11||Rest||5 mi run||10 mi run||5 mi run||Rest||10 mi run||20 mi run|
|12||Rest||5 mi run||6 mi run||5 mi run||Rest||6 mi pace||2 hr run|
|13||Rest||5 mi run||10 mi run||5 mi run||Rest||10 mi pace||20 mi run|
|14||Rest||5 mi run||6 mi run||5 mi run||Rest||6 mi run||2.5 hr run|
|15||Rest||5 mi run||10 mi run||5 mi run||Rest||10 mi pace||20 mi run|
|16||Rest||5 mi run||8 mi run||5 mi run||Rest||10 mi pace||3 hr run|
|17||Rest||4 mi run||6 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||4 mi pace||8 mi run|
|18||Rest||3 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||Rest||2 mi run||26.2 mi|
|19||Rest||Rest||Rest||3 mi run||Rest||1.0 hr run||1.0 hr run|
|20||Rest||3 mi run||10 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||1.0 hr pace||3.0 hr run|
|21||Rest||3 mi run||6 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||1.5 hr run||2.0 hr run|
|22||Rest||3 mi run||10 mi run||3 mi run||Rest||1.5 hr pace||4.0 hr run|
|23||Rest||4 mi run||7 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||2.0 hr run||3.0 hr run|
|24||Rest||4 mi run||10 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||2.0 hr pace||5.0 hr run|
|25||Rest||4 mi run||8 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||1.0 hr run||1.0 hr run|
|26||Rest||4 mi run||4 mi run||Rest||Rest||2 mi run||31.1 mi|
How much should I train for a 50K race?
First off, you need to ask yourself what your goals are and what you are willing to do in order to achieve them. If you are hoping to do well, we recommend not just running. Adding strength training (including some focus on core work) at least two days each week is smart.
You will run 5 or 6 days each week in most training plans in order to be adequately prepared for your 50K.
How many miles a week should I run for a 50K
If you are a beginner preparing for a 50K race, your weekly mileage will sit somewhere between 30 and 40 miles. Some people who routinely do 50K and further races find a sweet spot where they run considerably more miles than that.
It does really depend on the individual, race experience, and goals for the big event.
5 Tips for running your first ultra
1. Do the Work: You need to find or make a training plan and stick with it. If you don’t do the work and run a 5K, the worse thing that happens is you don’t do so well. However, with a distance like this, you can end up seriously injured if you don’t have the miles under your belt.
2. Get Good Gear: Be sure you have adequate gear for the task you are about to undertake. Start with the foundation of your run, good shoes. If you are doing a 50K trail run, you should invest in at least a couple of pairs of solid trail running shoes.
3. Fuel and Refuel: Since running this kind of distance burns many calories, you need to properly fuel before your event and continue to fuel throughout the race. This is another reason the pack comes in handy.
4. Mental Toughness: To withstand this type of challenge you have to be intentional about building your own mental toughness. There will be moments you will doubt your ability to rise to the occasion. That voice inside your head that says you can’t is a liar.
5. Give Yourself Badass Points: Expect to struggle, both physically and emotionally. Just remember the old adage that if it were easy, everyone would do it. You are earning yourself badass points. Embrace that mindset.
How long does a 50K run take?
That depends on how fast you run other races. Every runner has a different pace when they run.
However, a good rule of thumb is that you can take your marathon time, figure out your per mile pace, and add :10 to :30 seconds for each mile you run.
The amount of additional time would depend on the course. A very flat course would not add as much time as a hilly course, or one that is very technical.
How do I ace a 50K?
When training for a distance race like this, approximately 70% of your training runs should be at an easy, conversational pace. If you spend the time running a lot of easy miles, race day will come easier for you.
The thing to think about when racing your first 50K is that steady and easy is the way to go.
Going out too fast can lead you to burn out before the finish. You don’t want that to happen.
Tips for 50k flat course
A flat course is a great way to get acclimated to this distance. However, it may not be as interesting or scenic as a beautiful trail run. When running a 50K flat course, you can still keep the same steady pace.
Something to consider is to choose a fun trail for your first 50K. That way, if you need to walk some you have pretty and fun sights to behold. Then, when training for your second, you are almost guaranteed a PR on the flat course!
Tips for 50K trail
As already mentioned, what you need are quality trail-specific running shoes. Other things you will need are a pack to carry hydration and fuel, a quality lightweight jacket, higher socks to protect your ankles from scratches, among other items.
Your running jacket should be enough to repel some wind and elements but small enough to tuck away into a pocket of your backpack.
Trail running socks tend to be higher so your ankles don’t get scratched up by sticks, or bruised if you kick up a rock.
Since you are on your feet for so long, most trail runners prefer at least light compression in their socks.
Nutrition when running a 50K race?
It stands to reason that you need a whole lot of calories as you complete an ultramarathon. Many runners find that the gels and blocks they eat for shorter races just don’t cut it for this type of distance.
The average ultra runner needs to take in somewhere between 200 – 400 calories for each hour they are on the course. Some people actually set a timer to remind them to eat every 20 minutes or so.
Some common things for ultra runners to snack on include:
- Trail mix
- Clif bars
- Rice cakes
- Baby food pouches
If you have been searching for your next adventure, wait no more. Especially if you have done a marathon, this may be just the challenge you have been looking for!
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