For my Centurion Race training I work hard to do all my training at a sub 12 minute 30 second per mile pace average. I find a sub 12 minute training pace average even better. I want my workouts to feel hard. The Reason. In a Centurion race I want to race at a 13 minute 30 second average pace. A 22 hour 30 minute finish. Much slower than I train. Although I have only averaged a little better than that pace once at the finish. I want the race pace to feel easy. I want the race to feel easier than a training session. It is a mental thing. If the pace feels easy then it is easy to hold. My goal is to get about an hour ahead of the clock. Around 66 miles at the 15 hour mark. With this cushion you are safe guarded against almost any problem that pops up the last third of the race. For me it is a given, I will slow down some the last third of the race. If I feel bad the last third I can slow all the way down to a 15 minute mile pace and still make Centurion. The one fact I have come to realize is, If you get behind the clock, catching up will not be an option late in the race. You have to walk 75 miles at 18 hours to have a chance. Bank some extra time early while you feel good. No so fast that the walk feels hard. Just fast enough to bank that extra hour. Train Hard, Race Easy.
Training for my First and even my second Centurion my thought was the more miles the better. I thought back2back training was the key. 28 miles on Saturday then 28 more miles on Sunday. Add up all the miles I could. Now for me 59 miles per week max plus strength training is enough, No back2backs. Training is wasted if you can not recover. Worse yet if you get injured. I could not recover from those back2back training walks. Ideal for me is a 14 week training session before my Centurion Race. Now granted that is 14 weeks with an established 50 mile per week base. Two or three Marathons and/or 50k races mixed in. Not a Cold Start. 2 weeks of 51 miles per week. 2 weeks of 55 miles per week. 6 weeks of 59 miles per week. One 71 mile week four weeks before the race with a 40 mile long walk (Humble Pie Walk). Then a slow Taper down in mileage. 55 mile week, 51 mile week, 31 mile week, Race. Train Hard. Walk Those Miles but not so many you can’t recover.
I use to always watch my diet and weight. Very strict during training. Now I am strict during my Taper. Lots of miles takes lot of calories. Don’t put your body at a disadvantage during high mileage training. Eat well. Drop that extra 5 pounds during the taper before your race.