wannabe ultra runner?

share your ambitions/goals/training here on a 'newbie ultra' thread........

7,221 to 7,240 of 8,253 messages
15/12/2013 at 13:16
Book trunk ! Now ya talking !! Mmm marmite

Britrisky , welcome , hope some of what we post here is of help to you . We do try , and the guys in here really do know their stuff ( just skim over the drivel that appears in between it all , most of its mine ) . As said above really it's a trial and error thing with further distances . Try out all your new kit as far in advance of an event as you can and in all weathers, food too like Tiago said . What fuels one runner for 40/50 miles may not be enough for someone else etc . As for getting on trails it's probably easier than you think . Surprising how close some off road running can be found if you google some national trails online .
Hope you found useful stuff on here , ask away and the clever boys n girls on here will help you - I just make the tea
Britrisky    pirate
16/12/2013 at 22:28

I'm in Hull, Debra - and I have an OS map, so I'll have a good look at this over Christmas. Doing Portsmouth mara at the weekend, and then the planning / training starts! 

17/12/2013 at 14:38

loulabell I have been lurking but haven't been running too much over the summer. Kicked off winter training with a marathon last month. Slow but as nothing longer than 16 miles since May I was pleased! Needed it otherwise will get to next years races woefully underprepared!
Oh and less of the marmite chatter please!

09/01/2014 at 09:16

Finally got a waterproof jacket sorted.  Spent Months umming and arrghing over the OMM or Montane decision and then got a Haglofs (lim ii q) as I could actually find it localish and try it on, Oh and it was 40% of in the sales Very lightweight and wore it for a 8 mile test run in heavy rain last night. Works a treat.

Cannot imagine what conditions are going to be like for those doing the Spine and the Spine Challenger starting Saturday. Wet feet after minutes, and they might not dry out for a week. shudder!

I've also learnt that in really wet conditions, normal trainers are awful on muddy grass, I think those conditions more then any other would possibly prod me in the direction of getting a pair of trail trainers, as opposed to my normal road ones.


12/01/2014 at 10:05

could I ask for some advice for us very inexperienced or newbies, 

Best way to learn or improve your map skills?

i'm thinking get a map, get a compass (with a 1:25000 scale) and get your arse outside long walks good practise as well being on your feet for a long period of time

is there any definitive book that we should all be buying and reading?

or should we be saving our pennies for a days course with anyone? 

Also I guess if running at night need to practise at night? 

Sorry lots of questions

Edited: 12/01/2014 at 10:07
12/01/2014 at 20:53

It is not actually difficult to learn to read a map.  Just buy a map and compass, and go out and play around with them.  You live in Leicestershire, so I can give you a tutorial if you need it. 

Many elite ultra runners use long walks of eight hours or so as part of their training. 

There are many books that an ultra runner should own, but I don’t think that there is one that stands out as being exceptionally useful.  One day I might get a bunch of contributors together, and write such a book. 

Practice running in the dark can be invaluable.  At this time of year, it doesn’t even have to be particularly late. 

12/01/2014 at 22:13

booktrunk: orienteering is a good way to practice using a map and compass and actually reading the features on the map. I also went on a one-day course after one of the Lakeland 50 recces and found that useful as well.

As for running at night, yes, useful to practice. For navigating, I'd practice in the daytime first!

13/01/2014 at 14:00

Hey all - another wannabe ultra runner here. Doing VLM in April and was hoping to maybe use that training to go a little further and maybe enter an Ultra in May / early June. Lets just say personal circumstances mean that if I don't do it by then, I'll probably never end up doing an Ultra so I'm determined to do it. Was hoping for something around the 50k mark (up to 35 miles max) and ideally not too hilly. I've had a look around myself and the ones I've found (within a 3 hour drive from Cardiff) are "The Pony Express Ultra" in Hampshire (30 miles if doing 1 day), "The Dukeries Ultra" in Nottingham (30 miles).

Ideally, it'd need to be paths rather than completely off road as most of my training with be done on the road / cycle paths. I appriciate I'm asking a lot and almost "where can I find an easy Ultra" which clearly doesn't exist. Any other suggestions would be greatly appriciated.

13/01/2014 at 14:03
Google Ox ultra marathon. I think it's a new one in Wiltshire.
22/01/2014 at 11:12

yes theres the ox ultra but that's very hilly ,  at end of May . other option is Northants 35 , start of june, mainly off road but bits on tarmac too going through villages,nice route, more rolling than steep hills, generous cut off. id say that even if most of your training is done on road then Northants is still doable. I really had run off road much at all before I did it and if I can bimble round it then anyone can !!

,millsy1977 , ox ultra looks quite tempting.

Edited: 22/01/2014 at 11:12
22/01/2014 at 12:20

I recently went on a day course for map reading and navigation skills. After a few pointers from the instructor (which are obvious after you have been told about them) it is quite easy to pick up. We then went out into the field to practice our new skills and it was relatively easy to locate certain points on the map that we were given. I've got my first race this weekend, the Kinder Trial, that requires some navigation so I am looking forward to it but am also a bit nervous. The course I went on was in the Peak District and only cost £40 so well worth the money in my opinion

22/01/2014 at 21:50

Thanks carterusm it's worth thinking about.

10/02/2014 at 14:14

More Questions

Someone has to keep prodding the thread

OK so I am now signed up for my first 100m (around 30 odd weeks away). Winter100

I have three other ultras.  69M in June, 86M August, 50M Sept. Then this 18th Oct.

So I am building up my base milage using P&D Plan for an early May Marathon. I've managed to stagger around 50M before in under 12hours.

So after listening to sensible people like Ben.  I'm planning on not going any quicker I don't think then my last 50 for my first ultra of the year in June, so go through 50M in between 11:30 -12 hours, the same as my First one but try not to fade badly towards the end it's more about being able to keep going then going quick.

Then all out training for the next two months for the 86M which is the ridgeway challenge as if I can get through that in 26 hours which is the limit, then I should be able to keep going for the other 14 miles.

Then use my 50M in Sept as a lovely long training run, followed the week after by a Marathon, then a 3 week taper until the winter 100.

I'm not really going with a plan as such after i finish my P&D Plan in May.

After that i'm going to run 5 days a week and try to do a 20 something plus a 10 plus on consecutive days 4 out of every 6 weeks.

As I am using the three ultras as long training runs as well as proper runs, do I need to look at any more serious distances? Is a 25m with say a 15-18 the day after every other week the sort of distance that would just about get me through a 100m ? Or do you think i'm kidding myself and need to dive straight into a proper programme, if so any recommendations?


Edited: 10/02/2014 at 14:16
10/02/2014 at 16:33

Booktrunk, I have no idea as I am as much a novice as you! But, that sounds like some seriously hefty mileage for someone who has not been running that long in the grand scheme of things! I would have thought your biggest issue would be getting through that and avoiding injury!

I'll be interested to see what the experienced guys say, but doing that many back to backs off only a limited initial base sounds a bit worrying to me!

11/02/2014 at 18:39


11/02/2014 at 20:35

It might be helpful if I list my training last week:

Monday to Friday I ran home from work (7.32 miles). 

Friday I rested. 

Saturday 23.53 miles with lots of hills, really slow plodding pace. 

Sunday 18.74 miles on a much flatter route. 

Total 71.55 miles. 

Some world class 100 mile runners don’t do any more than that. 

After a couple of weeks like that, I would always have a light week with little training.  Periodic rest is as important as training, or you will wear yourself out. 

I would say that booktrunk is thinking along the right lines at the moment

17/02/2014 at 19:52
Just chipping in on this as I'm a relative newbie. Took up running a couple of years back after some years enjoying getting out on the MTB. I had 6 months out with an Achilles injury but managed my first ever run which was a 50k last year in about 5 1/2 hrs. Am currently working towards the 70 mile xnrg 2 day event on the IOW in June followed by Ladybower 50 in Sept. My goal is a the UTMB in about 3 yrs time. Not sure if that sounds doable? The injury now seems under control but I'm only clocking up about 30-40 miles per week at the mo...
17/02/2014 at 19:56

Hi David, see you at Ladybower 


18/02/2014 at 08:14

The big difference is what the 'world class' guys put in their weeks to make up those 75 miles, Ben.

18/02/2014 at 09:01

Well I can assure you all that I've no intention of being world class So ball park figures and approximate ideas of ways to go are greatly appreciated here

I'm hoping to end up doing 5 days a week. I think I need to try and put one session in with speed in, I want to try to keep one weekend day with my OH which makes it difficult. So Sunday Long Run, Monday medium long run (after work), Tuesday off, Wed Speed, Thurs medium distance, Friday gentle recovery run.  Might swap Thurs and Friday, but this way round have a nice relaxing little run Friday night, then Saturday off.

By the time I begin this after my May marathon it will all have changed 500 times and be completely different again But, I like having the ideas going through my head.  Some of the Saturdays off will be all day hikes around Derbyshire with my oh and dog.

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