#3DATF Three Days at the Fair (UGH)
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
UPDATE: I stand corrected. This event is AWESOME! Susan was right! WE had SO MUCH FUN, we cannot wait to go again in 2020. Click here to read a testimonial about the experience and here to listen to participants explain the event in their own words.
Frankly, this sounds TERRIBLE.
Frankly, that's precisely some of you will go for it.
A group of runners in the Train Like a Mother community have expressed interest in an event known as 'Three Days At the Fair", in New Jersey. The event offers everything from a 5k to an 144-hour option.
Here is the catch: it all takes place on a single, paved, one-mile loop.
The women in question (10 that I am aware of so far) thought this up to do 'Fifty for Fifty' since a couple of them turn 50 next year.
Upside: if you want to do an ultra or 50Miler but can't get to trails or have no interest in trails, then this could be interesting for you. Literally none of the downside from trail races or even traditional road marathons exists in this event. Your friend gets tired and wants to walk- you WILL catch up to her/him. Over and over. People who come to support you will see you over and over.
Downside: it's one f++king loop. For HOURS.
We need to prep you specifically for the demands of this. Remember, 'flatter is faster' logic falls apart beyond the 10k distance. This may be THE most accessible ultra I've ever seen, it is undoubtedly easier than training for a 50-Miler on single-track technical terrain, but that fact BY NO MEANS renders this event de facto easy. 50 miles is 50 miles.
There are all kinds of races you can run at this event, but the ones I'm interested in group training plans for are the 50-Miler (you'd register for the 12-hour race if you can handle the time pressure, or the 24-hour race if you cannot) and the double/triple marathon options (one marathon each day either two or three days on a row).
The requirements would be as follows:
1. You have trained for, and completed, a marathon between May and September of this year AND have not stopped training if your race has already passed. If you are in FPP, you've been here for at least 3 months.
2. You are working with a nutritionist. This is not negotiable. The honest difference between a marathon and an ultra is nutrition. Theoretically you can train to not need food/fuel to complete the marathon distance on a road if you reasonably expect to finish the event in under 5 hours). We always need to work with a nutrition pro to get through single day events that take more than 5 hours to complete.
3. You are really ready for all the strength I'm gonna throw at you. Meaning, you are able and willing to make time for an hour of strength three days per week in addition to all the running imma have you do (don't fret, that part isn't much more than a marathon). The program will be 30 weeks long and the first ten weeks is crazy intense with weights AND running. This is a bigger Time-suck than a marathon.
There you go. If you are interested in training for these events, please let me know asap. Training will have to start no later than Feb 1 for Fitness Protection Members.
3DATF takes place the same weekend as my ten-year grad school reunion in Philly, so if I had enough people there I would plan to take the train up on Sunday morning and cheertate for the final day of events.
Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she coaches all kinds of runners for $30 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her Marathon Selection Guide!