new to ultra training

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14/10/2009 at 14:43

Hi

Am looking for some advise. I hope to run comrades next year but am more than a little concerned about training. Not so much the distance but the time involved. Having just dropped my mara pb to 3.48 in Leicester Im going to go easy for a month then start building. I know there are no short cuts but wonder if anyone has run less miles with a back pack or pushed something to make it harder and therefore not run as long. Any other ideas welcome. Thanks

14/10/2009 at 14:57

tricky one really as there isnt a substitute for the long run....the only alternative i can think of is to maybe split the sessions and do two a day, and then over a weekend too.

i'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along at some point with better advice 

14/10/2009 at 15:41
martin 007! wrote (see)

Hi

Am looking for some advise. I hope to run comrades next year but am more than a little concerned about training. Not so much the distance but the time involved. Having just dropped my mara pb to 3.48 in Leicester Im going to go easy for a month then start building. I know there are no short cuts but wonder if anyone has run less miles with a back pack or pushed something to make it harder and therefore not run as long. Any other ideas welcome. Thanks


...but you are looking for some already....

If you want to run Comrades, then you need to train to be able to run 56 miles on road, and hilly ones at that.

Back to back long runs are accepted generally as good practice for ultras....as this means you run on tired legs. You need not always run on road, but some will be necessary....I found out how critical this is recenlty the hard way.

14/10/2009 at 16:03
If you've not been told about it yet, then have a look at Lore of Running, contains a training schedule for Comrades
14/10/2009 at 19:30

i tend to work up to a long run of 15miles ish.... and then start introducing a shorter run the day before.. i.e. 5miles.

and gradually increase both until they're say 20 & 20.

i think nick is better placed to advise than i.

i suspect hal higdon has a comrades/50 mile schedule ?

AndrewSmith    pirate
14/10/2009 at 19:53

Back to backs are good if you really can't get the proper long ones in but to be honest you are not going to get your body used to long runs unless you do long runs. There is more to it than just the running on tired legs, how will you know what foods you can stomach, how will you know what kit rubs you or is comfy, how will you know what shoes are OK for that long.. it goes on and on.  Without the experiance from long sessions or long races these are all unkonwns that could wreck your day.

If you are serious about doing it then find a plan for it (they are all pretty similar) and follow it.

Otherwise you may well be in for a lot of pain and disappointment if you go too slow to make a cut off

14/10/2009 at 20:17

Thanks I think!

I get the message. Will have to think what to do. Sunday felt good and there was a bit left at the end so at the very least I have a good base. Draycote 35 feels like a good stepping stone

15/10/2009 at 10:58
AndrewSmith wrote (see)

Back to backs are good if you really can't get the proper long ones in but to be honest you are not going to get your body used to long runs unless you do long runs. There is more to it than just the running on tired legs, how will you know what foods you can stomach, how will you know what kit rubs you or is comfy, how will you know what shoes are OK for that long.. it goes on and on.  Without the experiance from long sessions or long races these are all unkonwns that could wreck your day.

If you are serious about doing it then find a plan for it (they are all pretty similar) and follow it.

Otherwise you may well be in for a lot of pain and disappointment if you go too slow to make a cut off

IMO this is the most important point Andrew raises, and is critical to success - or not. (fluids are also important)

You can fit in long runs into your lifestyle, it just takes a bit of thinking. Draycote is a good opener, as it is significantly longer than a marathon to mean you cant just 'hang on for the last few miles'.

Think about getting up at Arse O'clock on a weekend once a month....to stick in a 35-40 mile run....you can get this done by noon if you start soon early.

Consider www.ldwa.org.uk also - lots of long and cheap events.

Dubai Dave    pirate
15/10/2009 at 12:10

I always use Norrie Williamsons schedules for comrades you can find them in "EVERYONE'S GUIDE TO DISTANCE RUNNING" . Just about every Comrades schedule I have ever seen only calls for two long runs beyond 26 miles, the longest being 60K or 37miles, you will be able to run this in six hours given your marathon time so start at 0500 and your done before lunch.

There are no short cuts to ultra running. As others have said experiment with what you eat and drink, Comrades has Water / gatorade / Coke (Coke is great after 25 miles) plus banana's, oranges , salted potatoes and various chocolate things!

Its way to early to be thinking about training specifically for Comrades yet. Keep to your regular marathon schedule until february then start a Comrades schedule. Enjoy it

15/10/2009 at 19:34

DD- That makes me feel a lot better only 2 over 26. 24 hours on Im thinking something like this Rest of October recovery from mara. Nov/dec at least 1 20 miler a month plus similar to what I was doing e.g. 10 miler midweek and a 10k for speed work. How does that sound. Only other question what do you suggest pace wise.  I find running anything over 8.45 difficult so thinking about starting with walk breaks now after maybe 6 miles? The loop Im going to use is 6.5 miles so could walk to my house and try food. Ive eaten SIS bars and choc on training runs in the past without any negative effect

thanks

Dubai Dave    pirate
16/10/2009 at 06:53

Martin: Your plan sounds fine, I always start my Comrades schedule February 01, however I am Marathon fit at that point with the usual background of long runs, speed work and tempo runs, pretty well what your proposing.

Walk breaks: well you are going to take them on Comrades so you might as well get used to them now. My "normal Comrades" includes a run / walk system up the big hills (100 walk / 100 run). A walk through every aid station at 5K intervals, run the rest. This got me to a respectable 8-40 finish last year so it works! Pace wise I run a marathon in about 3-20, at Comrades I went through half way (marathon distance in 4-17. So in other words I slowed by 25% on Marathon pace, I pretty well did my long training runs at Comrades pace, so perhaps 10 min miles for you?

Have fun. See you in the International tent at the end! 

16/10/2009 at 19:23

Thanks Dave

My target is a bronze,allowing an hour for a distaster, must be honest enjoying total blow out food/drink wise this week. Back on track next week

17/10/2009 at 22:02
Hi Martin,

Fully endorse what DD is saying. Just add my penny's worth, definitely worth doing a run that is significantly beyond the marathon if you haven't run one before - it's not just the physical training but the mental training that is useful. Also do lots of run on hills - learning to run downhill when knackered will come in very handy on Field's Hill - which comes with at around 40miles in the race...

SD
17/10/2009 at 22:08

Having just done London2Brighton (56miles cross country) , i would agree with the food element, very important to know what you will and won't want to eat after 8+ hrs running. Unfortunately there is no one size fits all training schedule, as i have heard someone say before 'we are a project of one' what works for me may not work for you training wise. I didn't run further than 30miles (Downland Ultra) in preperation for L2B but i did concentrate on higher mileage than the schedule i was following and got upto 75miles as peak mileage, and did on quite a few occasions do 3 runs in a 24hr period  each 9.5miles (run to work 7am, run home 5.50pm, run back to work 7am) one of these at about Half Mara pace.

You have loads of time to find what works for you, then stick with it and don't be afraid to do some shorter events (half mara's etc) as fun as you want to enjoy the training.

Just my un-expert opinions

20/10/2009 at 18:57
Thanks all, great advise so far. First proper run since Leicester monday. Im going to find reducing pace VERY hard. Plan was to do 10 miles at 9 min mileing, first couple close but felt great so got quicker and quicker, at 8 thought I can go sub 1.20 here so I did, Very strange feeling, great run but far to quick. Any thoughts about the mental side of ultra training. ?
20/10/2009 at 22:02
Yes it is mental. Possibly not the answer you were looking for
20/10/2009 at 22:42
20/10/2009 at 22:53

I am also hoping to do Comrades next year. Did my first marathon in London this year at 4hr13min. Of to New York next week to try and get sub 4hr. Then want to concentrate on training for the Comrades if I get in. Just looking at the events next year, for those of you who have done it, what do you think about me doing the 50kultra at Wyre Forest at the begining of March, would that be good as part of my training programme, and have any of you done that one?

 Thanks in advance.

 Tricia

20/10/2009 at 22:54

ultra running is 50% mental.......and 50% mental.

Dubai Dave    pirate
21/10/2009 at 07:21

Tricia: My Comrades training schedule says 50 - 60K in week 4 of the 16 week plan, so somewhere around Mid March, so your plan should be OK, personally I never do the first 50K run preferring to run a hard marathon instead.  If you want to get in to Comrades enter on 01st November and you will be fine, 1st first come first served.

The mental side of Ultra running? Well you will have bad patches, its learning to get through them and how to ignore pain thats important, I have a couple of coping stratergies,

1  I break the run into sections and only think about getiing to the end of the section I'm currently running,that objective might be a aid station or in the case of comrades the next timing mat. The rest of the run can wait until I get to that objective.

2 Distract myself by trying to name all the english league football teams, counting how many countries I have visited etc etc.

3 If really desperate count my steps, I can assure you by the time you get to 500 you will have forgotton what you were worrying about!

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