Training Plan to Run 3 Miles, I mean 30 Miles

If you’ve been reading RER for more than a day it’s pretty obvious I have made a lot of bad decisions…

like that time I ate a whole bunny cake on a dare…eat a bunny rabbit

the time I stayed up till 4am to watch the Royal Wedding the day before I started a new job…IMG_0103

this debacle…vegas baby in the elevator

or that whole “side bun” phase. side buns are for suckers

What was I thinking? (But how cute is my little brother here?!)side buns are no good hair style

But, I think the best worst decisions of my life are yet to come because I signed up for the Born to Run 30 Mile race.

It is an ULTRA Marathon by definition = ultra marathons are anything more than a marathon aka 26.2 miles.

But, while researching Ultra Marathon Training Plans I found that most training plans and tips are for 50 Mile races.

Luckily my 5th favorite person in the world = Steve, sent me a training plan for the BTR 30 miler. (What? You don’t keep an updated list of your favorite people?)sole runners steve

Check out his Born To Run Training Plan here

Steve also shared the course elevation and that’s when I decided the likelihood of me dying on May 18th is pretty high. Eh, it’s okay I’ve lived a full life. born to run course elevation

That elevation profile SCARES me a lot. But Steve put it in perspective – this is not a RACE it’s a CHALLENGE and that’s how I’m going to approach it.

The reason I signed up for this race is because it’s held in Los Olivos, CA and my last name is Olivas – I thought it was a sign from Jesus that I should do it.

Also, I loved the “Born to Run” book and figured there would be other fans at the race. We’re camping out and it’s a trail race – so this is going to be an adventure for me more than anything else. I’ve heard you “party harder than you run” and that says a lot with 30 miles in front of you! So, we’ll see how this goes!

born to run book

My plan of attack for the 30 miler training is:

Keep doing what I’m doing weekdays but add an additional long run either before or after my usual long run. The concept is that back to back runs help get your body used to time on your feet with less risk of getting injured during a super long run.

Side note: This article on active on “How to Run Your First Ultra Marathon” says to:

  1. Sign up
  2. Lose Weight
  3. Do Back to Back Runs
  4. Practice your nutrition during runs

In that order – > losing weight is above back to back runs! Crazy.

I think doing B2B long runs is going to make me hungrier than normal, so I don’t think that’s realistic. But, if someone has a magic weight loss pill please sent it my way!

My goals for the 30 mile race are to:

1. Finish

2. NOT get hurt

3. Have Fun!!!

4. Cross it off my list and never do it again.

So yeah, my ‘training’ plan isn’t really a set training plan with scheduled runs – I just want to spend enough time running that I don’t die out there. And since I’m super NOT “Type A” this is fine by me.

 third wheel

Steve Coaches the Sole Runners so you should check them out if you’re loco. I mean local to SoCal and we’ll all run together as one big happy familia.

sole runners of long beach

Question: If I die at the race, should I be buried in running clothes OR something fancy??


  1. says

    You crack me up. You know you got this… but if someone does enlighten you about a weight loss pill you better share!! I have gained three lbs training for my marathon! UGH!

  2. says

    I had to watch the royal wedding too! …I also stayed up all night for princess Diana’s funeral when I was 9. I love your race plan for ALL races, except the never again plan!

  3. says

    You should be buried in running clothes but not the ones you died in, definitely clean ones. Don’t worry though you probably won’t die, have fun!

  4. says

    Will I seem like the oldest person in the blogger world if I admit that I watched the FIRST televised Royal Wedding (Charles & Diana) and that my SIL made my junior prom dress for me and it was styled after Diana’s dress?

    I bet you’ll do great but (and because I know you are joking), I say if you die you get buried a fancy dress and your running shoes. No one will see the shoes anyway. It’s a win-win!

  5. says

    WOOT WOOT get it woman! You are going to do a great. Stay positive, listen to your body and your belly, and kick those 30 miles in the butt, but still remember to have fun. I loved that book. Great read! :)

  6. says

    I don’t know, if you die during the race, you should just have them carry you across the finish line like Weekend at Bernie’s. Maybe you could run a few extra Ultras too before being floated out to sea.

  7. Stacey says

    I just ran the Way Too Cool 50K in Cool, CA and I’m from Florida! The elevation change was a huge difference. That race is prettyyyy hilly! I think the most important things I learned were 1) It’s ok to walk uphill. If I felt like the uphill was so steep that it required almost running on my toes, I let it go and walked it. 2) Trail runs are so much fun, so even though you think this might be your last 50K ever, you might get hooked!! After running that 50K, I already have been looking into 50 mile trail runs, for one day, far from now, lol. 3) I’m not sure how you feel about headphones and how single track your race will be, but I found that keeping one bud in or none was the best way to go out of respect for people on the single track part of the trails. Honestly the scenery was so beautiful and I was so focused on not tripping on rocks that I didn’t even need the music (and I always need music). And lastly, 4) Bushes are about all there is on trails, and that makes those gross porta-potties at the beginning of the race look good. So the point of that is tuck some toilet paper in your bra! Anyway, maybe you already knew all these things but I thought I would share! Good luck!! I hope you have a blast and I think your attitude for approaching your race is exactly right!

  8. Elizabeth @ livingrunningcooking says

    OMG… Obsessed with Kate. Their wedding was saved on our DVR for months. The DVR automatically erased. I was so sad. Stupid, but wonderful machine. First, don’t think you will die. But, the slim chance that you do… I vote running clothes and make sure you wear compression socks. No one wants cold feet.

  9. Ida says

    i’ve never run an ultra, but i’ve volunteered at several and everyone seems to be having fun-even at mile 27. i’m sure you’ll do great and really enjoy yourself. plus the aid stations at those things are awesome!

  10. Elizabeth says

    Awe how fun!! I grew up in Los Olivos and my parents still live there :) it’s a super fun place to go running, enjoy!!

  11. Jessica says

    This post was incredibly entertaining. Thank you for making me giggle so much my husband accused me of being overtired and loopy. Lol.

    Have you read Eat and Run by Scott Jurek? I finished it a month or two ago and really enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I *almost* actually got up off my fat bum and ran… but then I remembered that I’m inherently lazy. 😉

  12. says

    You’ll rock this, girl! Or, at least, I know you’ll survive it :)

    I just finished Born to Run and was just…amazed! Amazed at the power of these runners and the human body, but also the idea that for people who do ultras, it’s actually a fun and driving experience!

  13. says

    The word “ultra” makes you sound so cool. I hope you don’t die! If you do, get buried in fancy clothes. Seems like fun. Even though you won’t notice.

  14. says

    Cheers for posting this! Now about to go check out the plan. That elevation looks pretty crazy. But at least all the uphills have downhills so you can have some easy recovery sections. Most runners will probably power walk up the steep hills in an ultra anyway I would have thought? (Hope so!!!)…

  15. Becky says

    It is one of my life’s ambitions to run an ultra, but I have yet to run a marathon (next year, fingers crossed)! Here is an awesome blog about a UK lady who runs ultras i definitely recommend it! Also Dirt Diva, which I’m sure you’ve come across before I guess you have to have a completely different mind set with ultras-just taking it really steady-especially considering those elevations! Good luck Monica I know you’ll do brilliantly-look forward to hearing about it!

  16. says

    Good luck on your 30 mile run!! Anyway, it isn’t just a run, it also includes adventure and camping. So, I bet you would enjoy it! Just stay focused on your goal, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, stay calm, and always remember the tips of your trainer. You are actually doing a great job on your training, gradually increasing the length of your run, that would make your endurance stronger than ever. Good luck and God Bless! :)

  17. says

    Why does it recommend you lose weight :S? Just because then your body has less to carry 30mi or…? Either way, youre already lookin’ smoking so Im sure you’ll rock it!

  18. says

    “The reason I signed up for this race is because it’s held in Los Olivos, CA and my last name is Olivas – I thought it was a sign from Jesus that I should do it.” – funniest thing I’ve ever read on a blog!!!

  19. says

    doing an ultra is on my bucket list too, but much like yours I don’t want to ever do it again afterwards i just want to experience it. Sounds like you have a ummm sound plan, sure we’ll go with that :)

    Good luck, what a fun adventure

  20. Amy B says

    Awesome! I think you’ll do great. I’ve got an ultra on my bucket list (or is it death wish list?) by the time I’m 40, which means I’ve got a few years before making the plunge. Can’t wait to read about how the training goes!

  21. says

    I have a great idea – why don’t you come to Kansas in October and run my first ultra (50) with me since you will already have experience???!! It could be fun – plus my crew is just coming along so they can party while I run!!

  22. Luna665 says

    you’re funny :) I’ve just ran my first ultra (42Miles on trails, 8000ft elevation gain), and all I can tell you is to train for downhills (and to speed walk on steep hills). I wish I had. I went into the race totally under trained (the longer I had run: a marathon;almost never ran on trails, my idea of hills=highways overpasses). I didn’t get severely injured, and I survived to tell the tale, but I don’t suggest you follow my plan 😉 OH!and CARRY FOOD 😀 I only had 3 gels; the 5 water stations had cookies and stuff with eggs on it, and I am allergic; by the end, i could have eaten my arm off!! But… it was the best “race” I’ve ever ran!!Have fun Monica!

  23. Rocio says

    Hola! I am from Mexico and I was curious as how you pronounce your last name in english lol I know it’s a weird question (specially because I can’t hear you pronounce it) but I have only heard it in spanish before.

  24. Emma Schuering says

    I did a run like this in December-the Huff50k in Indiana. The course elevation scared the crap out of me too. Plus on race day, I showed up to 6 inches of snow and 20 degree weather. I think you have the best attitude for it–it’s a challenge, and it’s going to probably be different than any other race you’ve run yet. Eat early and often (salted potatoes worked wonders for me) and you’ll rock it! Good luck :)

  25. says

    I like your approach… thinking of it as a challenge, not a race. I’m not sure if I’ll ever do an ultra, but if I do I’m thinking the same thing- enjoy it, don’t get injured, cross it off my list and never do it again. :) Good luck!!

  26. says

    Haha I’ve done 4 50ks and 2 50 milers and haven’t lost any weight for any of them yet! Back to back long runs is the way to go! Make sure you get some trail running practice in if it’s on trails!

  27. Shannon in Tustin says

    You amaze me! ultra yourself into greatness!!

    buried in running clothes for sure. it’s all I ever want to wear…if I’m not at work, I am in running clothes or pajamas!

    Happy Easter!

  28. says

    Oh you totally have this one in the bag. Walk the hills, carry plenty of fuel, take advantage of any aid stations by striking up a conversation with the volunteers which gives you a chance to catch your breath. Time is NOT a factor on your first ultra, especially a trail. I adore trail races for their laid-back atmosphere.

    I suggest being buried in a true trail runner shirt. “Hike faster, I hear banjos”.

  29. says

    Hi Monica, “challenge” versus “race” is key. When consulting athletes who want help with their fears (even if they’re little), I always use this: Fear makes you retreat, Challenge makes you defeat! Thanks for the post:-)

  30. says

    BOTH! Something fancy, but with running shoes.

    Back to backs are going to become your best friend. Learning to run on tired legs and fight through fatigue is the key, but you’ll learn all of that. The climbs always look scary, but i have faith in ya,

    See ya next weekend at RnRSF? We completely missed each other in Pasadena… can’t be TWO events in a row. LOL.

  31. Melissa K. says

    I am secretly thinking about doing an ultra.. 50 miler that some of my family is doint in Nov.. But im too scared to tell anyone that i even have such a crazy thought in my head! Lol i just completed my first full marathon and rocked it and now it feels like.. Whats next? Still not sure if ill commit to something so insaaaane!

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