50 Mile Ultra Running Training Plan


  • 10 weeks, 6 days/week with 2 rest weeks at lower volume
  • Designed to be completed the 10 weeks directly before your race.
  • You should be able to handle 30 miles of volume per week to begin this plan
  • Focus on running training, as well as purposefully designed gym-based strength sessions
  • This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.



This 10-Week, 6 day/week training program is sport-specifically designed to prepare fit athletes to run a 50-Mile Ultra Marathon. This training plan is specifically designed to be completed the 10 weeks directly before your race.


This training program has 4 general objectives:

  1. Increase speed over ground
  2. Increase running-specific leg strength, core strength and upper body strength
  3. Increase running aerobic base and efficiency for longer distance runs
  4. Prepare you mental fitness, leg strength endurance and cardio fitness for a 50-mile event

This is Version 2 of this plan, updated in July 2021.



Speed Over Ground Work
This training program deploys multiple 6, and 9-mile assessments and uses the athlete’s assessment time to dictate paces for follow-on, shorter, threshold intervals to develop speed over ground. It’s intended that the assessments and follow-on intervals be completed on a flat course – a running track or similar.

Easy and Moderate Paced Runs
While the Speed Over Ground work in the plan is anchored in 4-5 week blocks, the plan’s easy and moderate pace, longer run volume, increases throughout the plan.

You’ll run easy, long distance two times/week and moderate-paced, long distance one time per week. Your moderate-pace run will occur on Saturday, and will be the longest run of the training week (starts at 8 miles, and increased to 23 miles). 

Total weekly running volume in the plan begins at 30 Miles total in Week 1 and increased to 63 Miles total in week 8.

Weeks, 9 and 10 are “taper” weeks into your race at the end of week 10.

Below it the total volume per week in the plan:

Week  Volume in Miles

1         30

2         35

3         40

4         45

5         35 (unload)

6         50

7         52

8         63

9         30 (Taper)

10       18 (Taper plus race week)


Strength Work
This training plan includes focused, running-specific leg, mid-section and upper body strength training deploying bodyweight and/or dumbbells. You’ll train strength 1 day/week, and chassis integrity (functional core), 1-day/week. 



  • Mon: Total Rest
  • Tue: Threshold Running Intervals
  • Wed: Strength Training
  • Thu: Easy-Pace Long Run
  • Fri: Chassis Integrity
  • Sat: Moderate Pace Long Run (Longest run of the week)
  • Sun: Easy Pace Long Run



  • Stop Watch (smarphone will work)
  • Fully Equipped Weight Room with Barbells/Dumbbells, etc.
  • 40-pound sandbag for women, 60-pound sandbag for men
  • Foam Roller



How Long do the Sessions Last?
Gym-based sessions last 30-45 minutes. Running based sessions can extend to several hours. Longest days will be Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

How many miles do I need to be running per week to begin this plan?
30 miles

What if I miss a day?
If you miss a strength or chassis integrity day, skip it and move on. If you miss a prescribed running day, make up the session you missed the next day and follow the programming as prescribed – skipping a strength or chassis integrity day to get back on schedule. The running in the programming is progressive – it builds upon itself. Don’t skip ahead.

Why are there two numbers listed for the exercises with assigned loads?
The lower weight is the prescribed weight for women, and the higher is for men, for example, Barbell Complex @ 45/65# means women use 45# and men use 65#.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

How do I record my assessment Results?
Notebook and pencil.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run/Ruck Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training? 
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can log in either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

More Questions? Email: coach@mtntactical.com


Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health. Physical training contains inherent risks including, but not limited to, muscle strains, tears, physical and bodily injury up to and including death. This training program is not meant to provide medical advice; you should obtain medical advice from your private health care practitioner. If you are unable to assume these risks then you should not engage in this training program. No liability is assumed by Mountain Tactical Institute, Inc, its owners or employees, and you train at your own risk. Mountain Tactical Institute makes no warranty, express or implied, of any kind in connection with this training program.

Required Equipment

  • Stop Watch (smarphone will work)

  • Fully Equipped Weight Room with Barbells/Dumbbells, etc.

  • 40-pound sandbag for women, 60-pound sandbag for men

  • Foam Roller

Sample Training


Below is the First Week from this Training Plan:

Obj: Run Assessment

Warm up:

4 Rounds
10x Squats
10x Push Ups
5x Walking Lunges
Run 100m
Instep Stretch


(1) Run 6 Miles for Time

Flat Course - Track preferred.


(2) 2 Rounds
Instep Complex 



Obj: Strength

Warm up:

3 Rounds
Barbell Complex @ 45/65#
6x Hand Release Push Ups
Instep Stretch
5x Shoulder Dislocates


(1) 5 Rounds - Grind
5x Dumbbell Bench Press - Increase load each round until 5x is hard, but doable
8x Hinge Lift - Increase load each round until 8x is hard, but doable
3/5x Pull Ups
Mini Leg Blaster

"Grind" = work steadily, not frantically through the exercises in this circuit for the prescribed number of rounds or time.

(2) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back

Comments: This session should take no more than 45 minutes to complete.



Obj: Threshold Intervals

Warm up:

4 Rounds
10x Squats
10x Push Ups
5x Walking Lunges
Run 100m
Instep Stretch


(1) 2 Rounds
Run 2 Miles at your "2-Mile Interval Pace" using your SESSION 1, 6-Mile Run Time and the MTI Run Interval Calculator
Rest 10 Minutes between efforts

Flat Course - Track preferred.

(2) 2 Rounds
Instep Complex 


Obj: Easy-Pace Trail Run


(1) Trail Run 5 Miles, Easy Pace

"Easy" = you can speak in full sentences while moving.

(2) 2 Rounds
Pigeon Stretch
Hip Flexor Stretch



Obj: Chassis Integrity


(1) 20-Minute Grind
5x Sandbag Getup @ 40/60# (alternate shoulders each round)
3x Sandbag Cross Clean @ 40/60#
5x Dumbbell Crawl @ 25#

(2) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back

Comments: No warm up today, roll right in. 



Obj: Moderate-Pace Trail Run


(1) Trail Run 8 Miles, Moderate Pace

"Moderate" = Comfortable but not easy

(2) 2 Rounds
Instep Complex



Obj: Easy-Pace Trail Run


(1) Trail Run 7 Miles, Easy Pace

"Easy" = you can speak in full sentences while moving.

(2) 2 Rounds
Pigeon Stretch
Hip Flexor Stretch

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1)  Mission Direct

Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI’s fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI’s programming is not “re-tread” bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We’ve built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan “Lab Rats” at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming’s effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn’t.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

MTI exists to “Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe.” To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI’s Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

5) Field Proven

Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI’s library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We’ve developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI’s programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we’ve taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We’ve saved these individual Q&A’s and now thousands are archived on our site.

We’re not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn’t for everyone. If we can help, we’ll let you know. If we can’t, we’ll let you know that, too.

– Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman – so I can’t put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there – our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we’ve put in and received to make these plans effective.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com


Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
Yes. If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

Do you have downloadable .pdf’s of the training plans?
No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we do. Available for IOS and Android.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plan in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.

If I purchase an Athletes Subscription Can I cancel on my own, anytime?

Do I have to contact MTI to cancel or can I do it myself?
You can do it yourself. Instructions HERE.

If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
Yes. We answer dozens of training questions from athletes weekly. Email coach@mtntactical.com.

If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
Yes. We are continuously adding training plans and packets (2-5/month) and updating plans. With your subscription you’ll have access to all new plans, new courses and plan updates.

What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I have more questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com



I think it’s important for people to receive recognition when they play a role in others reaching their goals. I had two objectives in mind when selecting my most recent training cycle with your programs:

1.) Run my first ever 50 ultra marathon
2.) Selections for specialized law enforcement unit.

I ended up doing a hybrid of Ultimate Meathead and the 50mile ultra plans as I needed a little more strength work for objective 2 than the 50mile ultra had built in. I have never felt so fit in my entire life.

I landed first overall in selections where the feedback was “your fitness level set you apart” in a section that is heavily weighted on fitness. I achieved my goal of running my first ultra, Bonus: I had a top 5 finish in my age category. There were days that felt like a real grind but I don’t regret any of it.

Looking forward to “Off season training for endurance” next and then onto my next goal of doing a 100 miler with likely another form of the 100mile plan plus added strength.

Take care, and thanks for helping me achieve what I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to do.


Coach Rob,
I stopped into the gym to meet you this past summer with my wife, when we were on our honeymoon in Jackson; she still jokes with people that meeting you and visiting the gym was the highlight of my trip.

I completed my second ultramarathon this past weekend and wanted to thank you for helping me accomplish my goal once again. Last year, I used your preseason ultra/50 mile ultra plans for my first 50 mile race in Vermont, and I followed the same programming this year. This year, I broke ten hours at the JFK 50 (9:56:42), which was my goal. On the Appalachian Trail, my legs felt strong, and my cardio was spot on. I entered the trail behind a large portion of the pack, and it turned into a nightmare. The trail was too tight to pass a lot of people, and it bottlenecked at many points. Upon exiting the mountain portion after about 15 miles, I was behind on my pacing to break 10 hours but had plenty of fuel in the tank. After, I passed upwards of 450-500 people. In the final 10 miles of the race, my HR was steady, my legs/hips/body were strong, and I dropped the hammer even more, swallowing a handful of people who were trudging. Part of me wishes there were five more miles on the race because my body felt good enough to crank it up even more. With some more experience racing, I know that my times can continue to drop.

The race was on Saturday, and while my legs are sore, I have recovered incredibly well. Your programming is unbelievable, and I would like to thank you for helping me accomplish my goals.

I recently completed the 50 mile training plan to prep for my first ultra in 10 years, which was a 50k. I threw in a lot of "bonus" rest days to take it slow, and would have liked to have had a few more/heavier more upper body pulling exercises in the program, (but then, I have chronically unstable shoulders, so maybe that's just me). Anywho...

After doing this program, (mostly on a treadmill), I went and did my trail 50k and got first place among the females (16th overall). My stabilizers were more than capable of taking the strain of a trail ultra, and nothing got pulled or strained or overly stressed. The aid station crews kept saying it looked like I wasn't even trying! I think that's the mark of some stellar training.

Thanks for putting this together. You guys rock.

- C


"It was a great success! Thanks for the stellar plan. The training program almost doubled my farthest distance to reach this goal. The legs were ready for the challenge, in the end the muscles around my lungs is what slowed me down. Never-the-less, a buckle was earned and that was the goal. Thanks again!"
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