23miles then I can't go on :-(

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seren nos    pirate
01/10/2012 at 12:58

agree cragchick..........never done more than about 28 ever even for a 50 miler

01/10/2012 at 13:18

FWIW I have trained only one cycle that got me up to 50 km in training earlier this year for an ultra. For that length of run I was totally unsure at the outset whether I could even make it.To get the confidence, do a run/walk for your long runs, and probably 22-23 miles is enough for 50 km training

I recommend you do a walk/run right from the beginning, plus walking up even short hills that would otherwise push your HR over a slow long-run speed (I chose 72% maxHR as a cut-off, with 10:1 min run-walk intervals). At that effort I manage about 4:45 for a 50 km (cf 3:40 mara) but at least it tells me I can actually do the distance. Speed can come later!

It is better to bank energy rather than time, i.e., start and continue very conservatively. Don't worry about being a div or a diva. Ultra people tend to wear tatty old shirts rather than lycra anyway

Edited: 01/10/2012 at 13:19
01/10/2012 at 13:42

Seren - you and me both, usually a 25-miler max does me for most stuff including 50 and 60-milers

01/10/2012 at 14:05

Cheers guys really appreciate the thoughts, ideas and help. Perhaps this week ill do a back to back instead of a long run then next week do an out and back and cover 25 miles (Walk/run from the off) and then perhaps top out there and rein it in a little. You're right because I will be walking from the off on the day without a doubt and conserving energy is the name of the game. Heard somebody say the other day an ultra is eating and drinking with a bit of running.

Plus i'll get myself a tatty shirt too;-)

01/10/2012 at 18:19

An ultra is to be respected (as is someone who attempts to run one).

From my own experience, although I had run a few marathons, I found the step up to ultras to be quite tough and best done gradually - an important part of my training was to allow time to rest, recover and replenish - that didn't mean doing nothing - I would have maybe two weeks where I trained relatively hard (building up the mileage) and then a step back "easier" week.

I also found that the distance involved with an ultra is just as much a mental challenge as a physical one and required a change of mindset (after all, who in their right mind would run an ultra) - rather than tackle each long run as a 20 or a 23 miler I'd divide each long run into sections - a half marathon followed by a 10K or a 5k followed by a half marathon followed by a 10k.

I'd start off each long run at a shuffle - barely a jog - and build very gradually into a pace well within aerobic threshold (a pace I felt I could comfortably run at all day)  - at first I didn't worry too much about how much distance I covered - I'd focus more on building up to running for two hours and then three hours and more - only when I thought I could run comfortably for long periods of time (sometimes walking on the steeper uphill sections) did I start to consider distance.

I found that getting used to eating and drinking on the run (small regular amounts and easily digestible) to be an absolute must.- I'd carry energy bars, and isotonic drinks with me or follow a route that took me past a petrol station or two or a village shop where I could stop off and get something.

Over time the body adapts -  aerobic threshold increases as does lactate threshold (the point at which legs turn to lead) - after putting in the mileage (there's no other way) I began to recognise the right pace to run at - managing to just eke out gradually those energy reserves bit by precious bit.

It does take time and experience - once you get it right though it's a terrific feeling knowing that with 49k behind you and with only 1 k to go there's nothing (not hell nor high water or any any other type of obstacle)  that's going to stop you getting to that finish line. Good luck.

02/10/2012 at 08:47

Graham thanks for taking the time to write all that. Much appreciated. I do respect the distance hence the feelings I am having now. From hearing everybody else's words I feel as though I can attack it and see what happens. What have I got to lose? Also hearing people saying go and enjoy it is a breath of fresh air too. 2 Months ago I could only run a half marathon today I could run 20miles no problems-2 months time, fingers crossed I can run 50k. I am going to take everybody's advice on board and alter a few bits and see how I get on. I think I have sussed the eating and drinking as no matter what I do come 23 miles I get the lead legs. So as you say it is just a case of getting time on my feet and racking up the miles.


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