agree cragchick..........never done more than about 28 ever even for a 50 miler
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
Seren - you and me both, usually a 25-miler max does me for most stuff including 50 and 60-milers
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;-)
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.
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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