Ultra Marathon....a distant dream?

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21/02/2012 at 11:42

Hi all,

 Please don't slate me too much. I know for an Ultra you have to be organised and dedicated.

I have started running again after a few years out. I have taken it real slowly and letting my body catch up with me. I'm doing 2 HM end of April then a Marathon end of May. I don't think these will be a problem as long as I stay injury free. If the truth be known I am looking to hopefully get to a level where i can do some ultra Marathons. Now I was wondering.... this year I am going to take part in a few Marathons, HM etc and get as many under my belt as possible. Now would it be reasonable to think next year to do an Ultra? Would it be best to book a place now and work towards it? If so are their any good ones to start off with in the South West of England?

Thanks and apologies if this question has been ask a thousand times but really I thought its best to start thinking about this now, so any advice would be appreciated


21/02/2012 at 12:05
Seems reasonable to me, an ultra is pretty much anything longer than a marathon, so if you can manage a marathon well enough then you should be fine with just a few tweaks to your training.
I don't see the need to sign up for next year already. Don't wish your life away, as my mum used to say. Enjoy the events you are doing this year, focus on them, and see if the desire is still there afterwards, in which case you can spend the winter looking for your ideal first ultra.
There's no rush in the ultra world.
In terms of events, just use the events tab on this site, or Google, or just keep your eye on these forums and you'll find the one for you.
21/02/2012 at 12:08
Indeed, if you can run a marathon, you can a mile further. You might have a look at the LDWA calendar for events near you.
AndrewSmith    pirate
21/02/2012 at 12:11
TheVicar wrote (see)

 I know for an Ultra you have to be organised and dedicated.

No you don't, just get out there and run and enjoy it
21/02/2012 at 12:22
Agreed ^^^
21/02/2012 at 12:23

Off the back of marathon training you will be fine for a 33 mile run.  Marlborough Challange is one I did last year and plan to do again this year - 12th of May this year so maybe a bit before the marathon?

I am in the South West too.  What Marathon / halfs have you entered?

21/02/2012 at 12:28
Seems reasonable to me. Yeah Ive seen a few 50k's advertised here and there, that might be a good place to start. Ill take whats said on board I though tit might be worth thinking sooner rather than later. Seeing as I have just really taken up running seriously, how long realistically will it be before I could take up an ultra training programme. Just been looking at a 50 k one and its usually 5 days a week with a 24miler on a staurday and a 16miler on a Sunday, as an example! I know its asking how long is a piece of string and how well your body adapts etc. But how long do people usually take to build up to an ultra is probably what I'm getting at? Do you have to be running for years and years?
21/02/2012 at 13:09
Not at all, miles in the bank help, but 3 years ago I didn't run at all, and I've now done marathons an ironman and a 50 mile ultra, and I would probably be considered tardy in getting around to it compared to most on here. Listen to your body and you'll know when you're ready.
21/02/2012 at 13:10

Plenty of people have skipped marathon altogether, and gone half marathon then ultra. 

Once you can do a 20 mile training run, you can actually complete most ultras. 

21/02/2012 at 13:20
Lee, it doesn't take "years and years". This time last year I was training for a HM (my third ever), injured myself and was unable to run for nearly four months. Beginning of June 2011 the physio was letting me run 25-30 mins gently three times/week. On Sunday I completed my first 50K... I'd worked up to mostly five runs/week (sometimes four, if I'd tweaked something and needed a couple of days off, not just one) and my training peaked with a 27.25 mile run followed by a 10-mile the next day. I'll be running my first marathon in April (just to prove Ben's point about going from HM to ultra). Can point you to a couple of different 50K training schedules if you want
21/02/2012 at 14:25

hello again

you could take a look at the endurance life website,http://www.endurancelife.com/event.asp?series=54

there are some stunning  coastal trail runs, from 10k up to Ultra marathon. I am planning on trying the Dorset one if its on again at the end of the year (once i have recovered from the VLM!)

Or what about  the Jurassic Coast Challenge http://www.votwo.co.uk/_webapp_1205242/Jurassic_Coast_Challenge_2012

3 marathons in three days, or as the strapline says "78.6 miles, 3 days, 2 feet"

sorry that these are all trail runs, but I really like trail running so these are the only ones i have heard about!
I don't think you are being too ambitious,  its good to challenge yourself, as Edmund Hillary said 'its not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves'

21/02/2012 at 14:45
Cheers guys for all the positive replies. Any training schedules will be of use because I can use them to guage where I am at and where I ought to be going. i saw the Jurassic coast one and thats something I would be very interested in next year as the course is 15 miles from my house. See Debra I find that amazing being able to run that far with no recovery day straight into a 10 miler. I just presume your body adapts? I eat well I sleep well I dont drink etc  (Just a little on Sunday mornings lol) But I just dont think my body can accept that lol
21/02/2012 at 14:49
Some good advice on here Vicar, I'm running my first ultra this year and am really looking forward to it! I've ran marathons but only did one race last year - the Royal Parks half - enjoy your running and don't worry about it!!
21/02/2012 at 14:53
I thought the Jurassic Coast one looked good too, and also I have walked all of the course at one time or another (not all at once though!)
21/02/2012 at 15:01
I'm doing the Exe to Axe in April, only 20 miles, but decent ultra training as it's hilly and on trails, fancy joining me on that one?
21/02/2012 at 15:03

Aah the Exe to Axe, really enjoyed that one!  Just went to check the date, but clashes with the White Horse half - must do it again though.  Went out too fast and paid for it by the time I got to Branscombe! 

21/02/2012 at 15:07
I believe it gets pretty tough in the second half? Any tips?
21/02/2012 at 15:13
I've not heard of that one before? Sounds interesting. Seems like quite a nice local run Possibly could have my arm trwisted. As long as i can get out the Church that morning. Can't we all go running on Saturdays instead lol
21/02/2012 at 15:23
Lots of ultras are run on Saturdays.
Consider a virtual arm-twisting in progress.
21/02/2012 at 15:31

Good run, take it easy on the first half as the bigger hills come in the second.  Muddy in the first half when I ran it with a couple of slippery hills. 

If the sun comes out it can be really scenic with great views over the sea.  Enjoy over taking the day trippers on the hills!  The gap between the Sidmouth cp and the Branscombe one is quite long so fill up on water etc at Sidmouth.  Once you are up over the hill at Branscombe then the one at Beer feels like nothing and then you are home!

Watch out for grannies and people walking with out a care along the seafront - towards the end your reflexes are not as sharp!

Would love to do it again!  Took me around 4 hours - compared to a flat 20 miles in around 2H40 as a guide.

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