Ultra running and road biking

14 messages
19/09/2011 at 21:25

A daft question I am sure, but from someone who hasn't a clue!!! I have been doing a few ultra races and built up from 33 miles, 45 miles, 53 miles and 63 miles. Have got enough points to enter the infamous UTMB, should I succeed that'll be the challenge for 2012, if not then another suitably horrific ultra challenge will be on the card instead.  In the meantime a friend has asked if I'll enter the Caledonia Etape with her in May.

Now I am not an experienced road biker so it would be quite a challenge for me, can plod on for miles on two feet (did Fling in 11 hrs 50) quite happily, probably the furthest I've cycled in one go recently is 20 miles. Is it possible to train simultaneously for ultras and such an event?  I'm guessing you ironman types do?  If I enter, would like to complete with some dignity. Obviously what I'd love you to say is that it's great way of boosting your running endurance!!! Just not sure how to fit in time on feet for ultras with other stuff and lets not forget the two young children and the husband that works away during the week!!

Any advice gratefully received ...

AndrewSmith    pirate
19/09/2011 at 21:41

Of course it is, in fact the cross training and the reduction in chances of getting injured should enhance your training. Personally I have found doing hilly bike work much better for my running than flat cycling.

Obviously there is no replacement for running miles but there is no reason why you won't benefit from incorporating some cycling

21/09/2011 at 11:21
Thank you. Am going to give the etape a miss next year, well that particular one anyway as it's just a week or so after a planned ultra, BUT am definitely going to start adding in some hilly bike work to keep the injuries at bay and help my hill climbing in general! 
21/09/2011 at 12:28
as smiffy says, doing some hilly biking will definitely help your running. I did Ironman Wales a couple of weeks ago and I knew the bike course was tough so had done lots of very hilly rides before the event.

but due to injury in the months leading up to the race I hadn't done a huge amount in the way of running although the injuries (hip flexor/piriformis) didn't prevent me biking - so I was worried about the run at IMW. as it happened I posted my 2nd fastest IM marathon - and on the toughest run course of those I have done.

something to be said for hilly bike rides!
21/09/2011 at 19:53
 am liking the sounds of that kind of benefit. Well done too.  Once I can master swimming rather than drowning, might get drawn into the tri/iron thing ... so many things to do!
23/09/2011 at 20:29

I did the UTMB this year. Nearly half of my training was done on the bike (road and MTB) and was mostly hilly. Of the other 50% about 15% was swimming and only about 35% was running.

I would really recommend biking as part of an ultra training programme, especially for trail races - saves your knees, feet, tendons etc.  

26/09/2011 at 07:37
Firemonkey - thanks for that - am going to be applying to UTMB (not expecting to get in but you never know!), definitely need to protect as much of me as I can
26/09/2011 at 08:02

Even if you don't get accepted for the UTMB you may have the chance to opt for the CCC (98km) or TDS (110km). I've done the CCC twice and it's a great race. I will probably be shooting for the TDS this year so as to complete the "Triple".

I would actually advise to try one of the "minor" races first before attempting the UTMB but I understand that it may not be easy to come from UK to the Alps every year.

Btw they have just changed the entry regulations (points) for the UTMB so you might wish to have a look at that.

27/09/2011 at 15:51
Firemonkey 2 wrote (see)

Btw they have just changed the entry regulations (points) for the UTMB so you might wish to have a look at that.


Just wondering in what way? I just looked at the site and so far as I can tell it's still the same as last year:

UTMB® : 5 points acquired in 2010 and/or 2011 (in 2 races maximum)
CCC® : 1 point acquired in 2010 or 2011
TDS : 2 points acquired in 2010 and/or 2011

If anything, has it got easier to qualify for TDS? I thought it was a one race maximum

27/09/2011 at 17:11

logistics is the main problem for me - living in Scotland we don't get the August bank holiday weekend and I've got a 7 and 4-year-old to juggle into the equation with a husband that works away in the week, so multiple trips to the alps are definitely a challenge, although if I succeed I'll definitely by trying to wangle a reccie.  Would be tempted to have a bash at CCC or TDS though if I didn't succeed, we shall see. It's either that or the Lakeland 100.

Am off to look at the rules though as when I looked last week it was still 5 points/2 races as stated above, although for some reason they were not listing The Highland Fling 2011 as a 2-pointer to count, which it should be.

04/10/2011 at 09:21
Just back from a 2,000 mile road bike trip with 102,000 feet of ascent [carrying panniers].  Prior to that I had done a 100 mile ultra off-road and will be doing the Rotherham 50 on 15th October.  Hilly road biking is the best way ti train for hilly ultras in my opinion - much easier on the knees!
04/10/2011 at 21:33

wow, that sounds like quite a trip! 

05/10/2011 at 17:17

On the points for UTMB. You're right that the site still says the same thing, 5 for UTMB, 2 for TDS and 1 for CCC. There are a lot of rumours however that due to the high drop-out this year on the UTMB (in my opinion entirely due to the lousy weather and the lengthening of the race) which was over 50%, they were thinking of making it more difficult to qualify - something like at least 2 x 3 point races finished.

Coming all the way from Scotland can't be fun. I don't really have that problem living just 3 and a half hours drive from  Courmayeur.

05/10/2011 at 18:44

Actually flying from Scotland is probably no different to flying out of Gatwick tbh, even Inverness (my local airport) flies to more places now. It's more the holiday thing with us not getting the Bank Holiday the rest of the country gets, so kids back at school etc etc. But where there is a will there is a way.  Would be very frustrating if they changed the rules now, having got towards the end of this years season of qualifying races (almost). Oh well, will wait and see ...

Now I would love to live that close to the alps though!


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