Hello. I am new here (sorta--was around on and off on the old format but mostly lurked). I am a big fan of half marathons, have no desire to ever run a full, but really would like to commit a year to training for Vermont 2009. Any ideas or suggestions of where to even start with my training would be greatly appreciated.Currently I run 25-35 miles a week, but get into shape very quickly.
You might want to look to the following web page for advice/links to other sites (the link is from Vermont100's website):
http://www.runnersworld.com has tools, links, and helpful advice as well a decent sized discussion board community.
If you're more of a paper person i'd recommend going down to your local Borders/Barns&Noble/Whatever is nearby and browsing the running books in their sports sections. You might find some interesting training plans/advice or at least a point in the right direction.
Edit After some looking around here are two other sites people recommended:
I'd recommend starting with 50K and 50M races on the way to build up towards the VT100. If you space these out, ramp up your weekly base mileage, and begin to formulate a system for nutrition, hydration and gear during your long back-to-back training runs and races, you'll have tons of experience by next summer. What state do you live in?
Can I assume, NErunnergirl, that you live in New England?
Find some long races to do in the sring/early summer to build up your mileage. There are a few early ultras in New England that would make good prep for VT. I direct the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge in Maine on Memorial Day weekend, the 50 miler is timed pretty well for VT. There is also an annual 6 hour group run in southern Maine that has terrain very similar to VT and makes a great last long run (30 miles) one month before VT.
Start laying down a good base in the winter, run snowmobile trails if you can, they will make you super strong.
I like this site as well:
I saw your post on running a 100 miler thought I would toss my 2 cents in. You still have plenty of time to get ready physically. I have run 3 in the last 18 mos. I find that of 7 x a recent marathon time has been a solid predictor of my 100 times. So you can take your 1/2 time x 2.2 to get some idea if you can finish in under the 30 hour cutoff.
If it shows you are close on time as of now begin a program that will mix relative speed with endurance. You will walk a great deal of most 100s so you need to train how to walk briskly especially if your 1/2 times approach 2 hours. I have talked to a number of people who have done Vermont and commented on its relentless hills. You will walk these so it pays to train walking uphill since you will use different muscles than running. It is probably better to run less days and go farther on each run. Begin a build up that will get you running/walking on long runs for at least 6 hours on trails 24-30 miles roughly. I do a run like this every other week beginning 3 months out from my 100 and then run 3-4 hours on my off week. I run only 2 other days for 1-1.5 hours each then cross train on treadmill and stair climber at least 2 other days. My total run miles peak in the mid 50's. I used races to do the miles on the week ends. Did 2 50s and 2 50ks in prep for my first.
Now all that being said 100's are a lot more about the mental,emotional and logistical challenge than the physical aspect. Anyone who can run a 4-5hr marathon can complete a 100 if the add a longer run to training but you have to have a strategy for eating , drinking and drop bags that will allow you to complete the distance. You will need to know how your body reacts to food after 8 hours of continous physical activity. You will need to understand how to keep your electrolytes in balance to avoid cramps and nausea. Racing your way to a 100 is a solid way to learn about what you will need to suceed. I have learned something from each race I have participated in. The biggest thing for me is to have a solid motivation to get me to the end. I committed to all my coworkers and family I was going to do it and spent about $700 to get ready for and get to the event and did not want my wife to feel I wasted the money by not be able to finish. Sounds silly but it kept me going throught the night.
You have the time and a good start just got really want to run 100 miles. Finishing is awesome I am hooked and will do 3 this year if I am lucky!