What is a 100k Training Plan?
“Nothing is harder than taking the first step of a very complicated journey.”
The 100k training plan is a great way to challenge yourself to achieve a healthier lifestyle while having fun doing it.
At first, you may be overwhelmed about running one hundred kilometers, but you shouldn’t worry because this training plan is for everybody according to their capabilities.
Challenging yourself into bigger goals is a great way to improve, not just mentally but also physically.
Everyone strives to live a healthy life. Since running is not a demanding sport, people that want a change in their lives can start running as a hobby and set short-term goals for them to complete.
Whether you are training for a race/marathon or simply want to run as a hobby, having the 100-kilometer training plan might be the best guide for you throughout your running journey.
This guide can help many beginner runners struggling with starting out and choosing a training plan for themselves.
Determining Your Fitness Level
Although this training plan is for everybody, we still have to determine your fitness level to ensure that the training you are assigned is doable according to your physical capabilities.
We have to make sure that you can finish your training without fatiguing yourself after every workout/routine.
For example, making a beginner do very intense workouts will be inefficient, ineffective, and will only cause more damage to the person’s body.
Instead, they should start slow and progress to more demanding and more intense workouts as they show improvements along the way.
Beginners usually run out of breath quickly when they start running 5 kilometers with no rest. They are new to running and compared to your full-fledged athlete, they don’t often do physical activity.
If you’re in this classification of runners, a great way to start improving is to start running at least 5 kilometers a day. You don’t have to run at a fast pace. However, you need to discipline yourself to complete the 3 kilometers daily.
Once you feel confident and comfortable with the 3km run daily, try increasing the pace of the run or maybe increasing the distance of your run.
Beginners must run at their own pace without forcing themselves to do intense workouts right away.
The main goal should be not getting tired right away and focus on your breathing, forget about running at a fast pace, concentrate on your breathing so you can progress slowly but surely.
Intermediate runners are runners that run at least 2-3 times a week. Compared to beginners, they will not run out of breath efficiently, but they’re not as good as the advanced/pro runners out there.
Unlike beginners, instead of focusing only on their breathing techniques, they now have to concentrate on their speed.
Sure they don’t get tired right away, but they have to train their speed to make progress to proceed to the next fitness level.
This is where the importance of tracking your progress comes in. If you fall under this category of runners, having a record of your speed is a must if you want to improve. Write them on a sheet of paper, or list them down on the phone.
For example, if you do 5km runs daily, try improving your time to complete that 5 kilometers run by increasing the pace while running.
This is where you force yourself to run at a pace you don’t usually run in long periods. However, this is where you improve because after you consistently do this, your body will adapt to this intense activity.
Advanced runners, however, are die-hard fans of running who genuinely enjoy running because they are either passionate about running or have trained their whole life running and became good at it at the same time.
These runners do a more strict and detailed training routine that requires all of their focus to complete.
They do intense training like making 400-meter sprints in under 2 minutes. Now for a beginner, that sounds hard, but for them? It’s just a typical day of training for them.
The intensity of their training does not come even close to the movement the beginner runners and intermediate runners do. The advanced/pro runners are the exact definition of “running is life.”
They constantly train hard and pour all their time and effort to improve their speed and win many marathons and races as much as possible.
Preparations Before Performing the 100k Run
“The winner of the war is the one who has prepared the most.”
Before embarking on your 100-kilometer training plan, we have to make sure you are prepared to avoid potential risks & dangers and get the most out of your training plans to make sure you see results fast.
The 100-kilometer run isn’t an easy task. It’s basically an ultramarathon where runners run a very long distance on hours end.
Long-distance marathons are a lot harder than short-distance ones. Unlike long distances, you are surrounded by a lot of people in short-distance runs/races.
If by any chance, you accidentally sprained your ankle or have severe muscle cramps, you can easily find help in short-distance races since there are a lot of people around you.
This is entirely different in long-distance runs because aid stations are at least 20km from each other. That’s why preparation is essential because the burden you experience from the first 20km will be carried out for the next 20 kilometers until you reach the next aid station.
With that said, we have a few things you need to take note of before starting your 100-kilometer run:
- Footwear and Clothing
You’re going to be running on hours end, that’s why you must have the utmost comfortable footwear and clothing your money can buy.
Having a good pair of running shoes will make you feel comfortable even if you run for many hours without stopping.
Running shoes are unique because they have the right amount of cushion for your toes, so when you land on your feet, it will not add too much stress on your heels for long periods.
Clothing should also be based on the weight you can carry and the weather you are running on. For hot and sunny days it’s highly recommended to wear thin clothing.
Having thin shorts and a shirt is very helpful because it keeps your body well-ventilated and isn’t really that heavy.
The weight of your clothes also matters because each gram you carry will multiply as you progress on the long-distance run when your muscles feel sore and when your body feels heavier than average.
- Study your Route
Knowing your route is more than knowing which direction to go. Study all the uphills, inclination, and trails (for some ultramarathons) that you have to go through.
This will prepare you for what pace you need to run at on a specific part of the route to optimize your power output and energy consumption.
- Being Adequately Hydrated
Other than drinking water before your 100km runs, you can also bring with your sweets and candy while running.
It’s essential to bring some sort of sweet foods while you’re running because your body consumes all the sugar in your body, and if you run out of sugar in your body, you’re risking yourself collapsing to the ground.
What most runners bring is a gel packet filled with all the nutrients needed in high-intensity workouts. They’re disposable and can fit in your pocket.
They come in different flavors and colors but offer the same nutritional value similar to foods you would typically eat before your runs.
- Using a GPS Device
Bringing a phone with you just adds extra weight and, in some cases, adds discomfort, especially if you don’t have a phone-holding armband. This means you’ll be running with a phone in your hand.
Training for the 100 Kilometer Run: What to Expect
Your training will not just be over after a week of constant high-intensity workouts. There are going to be three stages during your training.
This training will go on for several months and weeks, so make sure that you are physically and mentally prepared before even thinking about training for the 100-kilometer run.
Before you think about training, nutrition, and equipment, you should ask yourself first why you want to run 10 hours a day doing either high-intensity workouts or running long distances.
Training (depending on a runner’s fitness level and intensity) will most likely consist of waking up early in the morning, sticking to a strict diet, and running in different weathers, whether hot, cold, sunny, or rainy windy.
Everyone’s motivation may differ, but you have to ensure that this will continue to motivate you for weeks of training and its impact on your social life.
We are going to talk about those three stages and what you should expect during these three stages of training:
- Before Training Starts
Before starting your training, you should motivate yourself, not excite yourself. Being excited and motivated are two different things.
However, it is also helpful to feel pumped up before every training session, but keeping it up for many weeks is the hard part.
“Aim high and hit the mark” is a famous quote used by aspirants and dreamers that want to reach a particular goal/milestone. It’s essential to believe in yourself, believe in yourself that you can complete the 100-kilometer run.
Instead of having bad and negative thoughts of “Not finishing/completing” the 100-kilometer run, think positively and encourage yourself to do it.
One way to achieve that way of thinking is by surrounding yourself with people to finish the 100 km.
- During the Intense Workouts and Routines
Imagine this, you wake up early in the morning but get home late, feeling sore and exhausted that you just want to sleep early and hope to get a good night’s rest.
During the training may be the most complicated and frustrating stage amongst the three stages of training.
You will tire yourself out while training and possibly eat nutritious foods with a bland taste of what you are not used to before.
This may be the most challenging stage but the most crucial stage because the training you do will define your progress after weeks of pure focus and training.
It’s essential to have discipline and consistency with your workouts and routines to get the most out of the time and effort you spend tiring yourself by running.
This is where you pour all your concentration, minimize distractions and stay focused on your goal, completing the 100-kilometer run.
- After Succeeding and Achieving a Great Milestone
After the training stages, you will feel an immense amount of joy for completing the 100-kilometer run.
You should expect yourself to feel rewarded and may want to challenge yourself to even more challenging runs in the future.
Effects of the 100k Plan on Your Health
“Health is Wealth”
Besides completing the 100-kilometer milestone run, you can also reap the benefits of staying healthy while doing this training.
Since running is not a demanding habit, many people take advantage of the benefits they can redeem. Here are a few examples of what effects this training plan can have on your body:
Stay Fit all the Time While Loosening Joints and have a Wider Range of Motion.
This is an obvious benefit, but with constantly running more than 5 times a week, your body will get rid of all the unnecessary fat in your body.
You will sweat so much that you lose all the fat in your body. Instead, you will grow muscles that are needed for running.
If you’re the type of person that constantly lies on the sofa/couch all day and chose to do this training plan, then you are actually loosening your joints and have a more comprehensive range of motion.
Running increases your flexibility, especially in the lower limb areas, as running requires you to do the same range of motion again and again in that area.
Less Risk of Depression and Feel More Confident About Yourself
Since you stay fit, you will feel a lot more confident about your physique and gather enough confidence to socialize with people more.
Have you ever wondered why sometimes, even after a day full of challenging and complex training, you feel a sense of joy or accomplishment? Well, there’s a good reason for that.
Study shows that keeping your mind busy doing physical exercises will trigger your body to release endorphins (cells responsible for making a person happy) and reduce the risk of depression.
Improve your Immune System and Trains your Cardiovascular System
Since you are spending more time outdoors than usual, your immune system will adapt to the outdoor changes your body experience while running.
This is also similar to your cardiovascular system. You will never run out of breath quickly if you consistently run almost every day for longer distances.
According to UVAHealth, when you exercise, your body temperature rises, which helps your body fight off infection and prevents bacteria from multiplying.
The longer the distance, the better, because this way you can train your endurance and stamina and let your body adapt to the new way of breathing you must do to make sure you don’t tire yourself out too early and complete the route you are running on.
Your Training Schedule and Routine
“Hard work always pays off.”
Since everybody has different fitness levels, there are also different levels of intensity for each fitness level. One thing should not change, regardless of fitness level, their determination.
One has to be determined enough to carry out even the most demanding and most strenuous workouts one might expect to be impossible to do in the first place.
The best way to get your body used to the intensity of the training routines is by having a structured approach to adapt the body to different changes it will encounter in the future. This is by having a systematic training plan.
Training Workout Types
This workout involves improving your recovery efforts. The essential part of this workout is to increase the recovery pace at a slightly increased intensity.
During the run, create a workout with a similar structure to:
- 15 min warm-up
- 1 x 4 mins. On 4 mins. Off, 2 x 3 mins. On 3 mins. off
- 15 mins cool down
This workout consists of doing relaxed, steady running. It’s essential to run at a fast pace, but not fast enough to fatigue you.
Similar workout structure should be like:
- Sets of intervals 3-5 mins. of moderate – hard intensity workouts
- Perform at least 5-10 sets of intervals
- Recovery should be enough to complete the entire interval
3. Running – Hill Repeats
Running on hills are great ways to practice yourself running on an inclined route that may potentially slow you down, depending on the preparations and training you’ve had.
Practice running on 400-meter steep but runnable hills and perform:
- Each set for about 2 to 3 minutes
- Focus on your form and breathing technique
- Jog the downhills slightly harder to exercise your quads
4. Long-Distance Runs
Long-distance runs and walks are vital as they are deciding factors if you can finish the 100-kilometer runs.
Ensure that your long-distance route has some slight hills to at least practice some runs with inclination along the way. Running for at least 50 km at a comfortable pace once a week can help you improve immensely.
This can increase your stamina, endurance, and the way you breathe because you are forcing your body to adjust to the conditions you are currently experiencing.
5. Tempo Workouts
Run for 60-90 minutes without feeling overly fatigued/tired. This means you have to run at a fast but comfortable pace. Hard enough for training, easy enough that you can still have a conversation.
- Tempo 1 – Run easy for 45 mins. And tempo for 45 mins.
- Tempo 2 – Run easy for 60 mins. And tempo for 60 mins.
Recovery may be one of the factors that are taken for granted during training. Recovery is when your body will get more substantial muscles based on the activity you have been doing.
It’s also essential that while you’re recovering, you eat nutritious foods to grow leaner muscles to make running easier.
Here’s an example of a training schedule with all the routines you can do.
|1st-4th week||REST or do a 1-hour run/walk||45 minutes of high-intensity running||75 minutes of relaxed running and walking||FARTLEK||REST||TEMPO 1||2.5 HOUR RUNS|
|4th-8th week||REST or do a 1-hour run/walk||55 minutes of high-intensity running||85 minutes of relaxed running and walking||INTERVALS||REST||TEMPO 2||2 HOUR RUNS|
|8th-12th week||REST or do a 1-hour run/walk||65 minutes of high-intensity running||90 minutes of relaxed running and walking||FARTLEK||REST||TEMPO 1||2.5 HOUR RUNS|
- Increase the intensity by either increasing the time or number of sets/repetitions.
- If you feel tired, take a rest day. Missing out on one day of training is alright.
- Having walk breaks in between long-distance runs is okay.
If you want to find a video regarding training and a more in-depth analysis of how to finish the 100-kilometer run, we suggest you watching the ULTRAMARATHON TIPS & ADVICE video.
The Balanced Diet & Sample Eating Plans
As previously mentioned, nutrition is important when attempting to complete the 100-kilometer run. While doing your training routines and workout, it’s important to have an idea of what to eat.
When people hear the word “diet” they immediately think of bland and tasteless food like oatmeal or eating only bread for breakfast which is completely false.
Here’s an example of what an ideal diet should look like while training for the 100-kilometer run:
|Meal of the Day||The Meal and Alternatives|
|Breakfast – This should mainly be composed of carbohydrates and some protein sources to start the day with enough energy.||● Oatmeal with fruits
● Rice and Eggs
● Pancakes with Blueberries
|Morning Snack – Another source of energy enough to add more energy to the body, but not too much that you actually feel stuffed while training.||● Training Gels
● Protein Bars
|Lunch – Meals should have enough amount of protein and some servings of carbohydrates.||● Beef Shawarma
● Fried Rice with Pork Toppings
|Afternoon Snack – Similar to morning snacks, they should supply enough energy after intense training.||● Energy Drinks
● Fiber-Rich Biscuits
|Dinner – Should have enough carbohydrates to have enough energy for the runs and training that will be done on the next day.||● Rice with Fish Soup
● Carbonara with Less Sugar
However, if you want to get a clearer idea of how much you should eat, then check out the How Much Should Runners Eat video and get a better understanding of the nutritional needs of runners.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start doing the training plan?
Instead of asking too many questions on when you should start the training plan, why not consider forcing your body to train despite feeling de-motivated?
You could start doing the training plan as soon as possible, sometimes, it’s better to force your body outside of its comfort zone and experience new things along the way.
Is the 100k training plan difficult?
Yes, in fact, without sufficient preparation, you might want to give up before completing the 100 kilometer run in the first place.
That’s why having prior preparations before actually doing the run itself is very important as it helps the body to slowly adapt to the changes it needs to do before embarking on the 100-kilometer journey.
Is the training plan effective for marathons and races?
Yes. The only difference between a beginner runner and an advanced runner has is the intensity of the workout and the time it takes to complete the route.
Distance is also a factor that differs newbie runners from advanced athletes, the training plan is effective for marathons and races similar to the 100-kilometer run.