wannabe ultra runner?

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

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09/03/2014 at 19:42

who mentioned it being dry anyway?? we have had these conversations before with this one....

15/03/2014 at 18:33

Question for the not-so-newbies... If you've done a 100mile race how long did it take for your legs to get back to normal afterwards?

I guess its different for everyone so would be good to know what people's experiences are.

I've entered both the TP100 and SDW100 which are 6 weeks apart. Of the 2 I'd most like to have a good run at the SDW so I'm not sure whether to ditch the TP and give myself a few more weeks training or whether I'll still have a good chance with 6 weeks recovery... Any thoughts welcome!

15/03/2014 at 18:50

It should be pretty doable Shaz. I have done two 100s three weeks apart, which I certainly do not recommend. It is not the ideal setup for a super fast time in the SDW 100, but that pair would be a pretty sweet haul for the year. 

Edited: 15/03/2014 at 19:03
16/03/2014 at 22:50

After my first 100 (NDW100 2011), my ankle was swolen up, so that it looked like it was threaded through a sphere!  I fell on it badly at the 60 mile mark, and I should probably have pulled out right then, but it was my first 100, so I couldn't let it go.  I had to go to the hospital afterwards for an Xray, and it messed up my running for the rest of the year. 

The buckle is still hanging on my wall though!

18/03/2014 at 10:01

Thanks, I've bailed out of the TP100 so all go for the SDW50 and 100 - hopefully that way I can aim for a good time as well as just completing. If I'm fresh after that I'll go and sort out some unfinished business with the NDW100.

Now to see if I can manage to train for it without getting overtrained and injured...

18/03/2014 at 14:06

Smart choice.

SDW50 is less than 3 weeks away, hopefully you shouldn't be able to overtrain yourself too much in that time

18/03/2014 at 15:56
cragchick wrote (see)

good luck with that then Ultra Shaz, I am rarely overtrained, usually undertrained AND injured!!! sounds like a good call though to me ...

CC, you n me both!

18/03/2014 at 16:17

Episode 17 of The British Trail Running Podcast is out now!

Direct download:



Interviews with Kurt Dusterhoff (Centurion Running), Roger and Maria (The Dukeries Ultra), Paul Arts (Runner, blogger), Mick Wyldebore-Wood (Firefighter, runner, MDS entrant).

Phil and I discuss our hopeless HM55 recce.

24/03/2014 at 20:09

So...... For newbies, what would you recommend as a good first ultra, and why.

Personally I think Ladybower 50 there is a 20/35/50m option. 

You do a 5m small loop, and then 3 x 15m loops, so you are never that far from the car, so your having an adventure, you have a couple of sleep hills, and with the15m laps you don't have to carry to much just enough for15m  

26/03/2014 at 17:22
Sorry late to the party CC and LLB I'm another one that is always undertrained and injured!

So with that in mind what is the minimal training required to get through 100m? ????
Edited: 26/03/2014 at 17:23
28/03/2014 at 08:29

booktrunk: hugely variable, but I'd say that one close to home, that you can recce, is a good first choice. For me, on both my first ultra (London Ultra, 50K) and my first 50-miler (NDW50), having recced the course was hugely helpful, particularly in the end stages: really KNOWING how far I had to go and what I had to cover to get there was very helpful. London Ultra was definitely a bit longer than 50K and knowing how far I had to go from my recces stopped me from worrying when I had reached 31 miles on the Garmin and couldn't see the finish. NDW50, knowing the route and terrain really helped me push through to the sub-10-hour finish I wanted.

However for some people it might be that covering ground that they have never seen before is the motivation they need to finish?

29/03/2014 at 17:58

cragchick: exactly! - It's so very variable between people, what works, what's motivating - for me, knowing the ground, when I'm tackling a new distance for the first time; for you, NOT knowing.

29/03/2014 at 18:16

Hi guys- am about to do my second 50 miler- (glasgow to Edin= 55miles). UNdertrained, naturally- last year I'd done a trainig run of marathon length, but not this year- max is 20 miles, but more running in the few weeks before the race, whereas last year's trainig marathon knocked me out of action for the 5 weeks before the race.

I can't understand how I finished it las tyear- mostly it was the very strong wish to get a 50 miles run under my belt, then the realisation , that having made it ot 50 miles, I COULD finish within cut off even if I walked, which was about all I could do by then.

Unfortunately there are no check -point times on the web for last year's race, and my Garmin failed to cope after about 50 miles, so I don't know how my pacing was (excpet for the walking at the end!).

So: any advice re: pacing? - Go out at 40 minutes slower than usual speed of marathon for first half, (ie about MP +90sec per mile) then just try to keep moving? Start slower, hoping I'll not slow down so much??- I only had 11 minutes in hand over the cut- off last yar, but I am hoping I'll not spend so long at the checkpoints this year, - I spent a long time sitting telling everyone I'd stopped, then changed my mind!

Any suggestions? I know I'll be pushing it to finish at all, given my poor trainig, but it isn't actually significantly worse than last year, so I'm hoping I cn get by.

Anyone else doing this race?

29/03/2014 at 20:44

Hi tricialitt - I think the usual advice is "start slow, then slow down...". Can you look at your Garmin data, see what your moving speed was? Or did you actually lose it all? I've previously done calculations on say "well if I keep moving at an average of X and spend five minutes per aid station then I'd come in at..." Of course, the time at aid stations can really add up if you're not careful. Maybe work it out in order to stay an amount you are comfortable with ahead of the cut-offs?

29/03/2014 at 20:44

tricialitt - if you're about a 4:00 marathon runner I would say +90s per mile is just about right.  In the early stages this feels very slow and you have to be disciplined to stick at it.

That's for road running though. If you are off road allow a much slower pace.

Obviously you have to bear in mind the cut off for the first few CPs which in some events are often earlier than is comfortable for even a mid-pack runner.

29/03/2014 at 20:48

My next ultra is a road one - Connemara 39.3 - a week tomorrow.  I'm too undertrained to break the 6-hour barrier.  I'll have to see how I do.  Hopefully at least 6:30.


Hi Debra.

30/03/2014 at 16:19

Thanks- I went out for a 4:1 run/ walk try-out today- this give me about 9.1 kph average, which is close to my target pace of MP + 90sec- so Ill go out like that for the first bit, and reassess at the 22mile mark- I know that eventually I'll get to a point where 4 minutes running seems too much,and I have no idea what happens to overall pace at other ratios.

The race is on such a pan flat course that you can't use the natural variation in incline to prompt walk breaks- there is ONE uphill bit- and stupidly it occurs just after the CP at 22milesl- big uphill, then a slippy run through a long , dark, scary tunnel!- You certainly lose time at tha bit, but I just need to regard it as a recovery break, and not get too rattled ( as I did last year).

CP cut offs seem OK- (actually the finish line cut=off is pretty realxed, too- several finishers have been given times which are outside this "cut off" in the last 3 years). The main concern is daylight-  the last bit of the race runs through a pretty unpleasant neighbourhood, and doing it after dark is not pleasant- last year I hooked up with another runner, who was incapacitiated by vomitig, so could onyl walk- I decided to walk with him, rather than try to run alone, since I didn't reckon I would go much faster even if I tried to run!

30/03/2014 at 18:39

Hi T Rex - hope you enjoy the Connemara.  I completed both laps at my parkrun yesterday, at a walk/jog, in 38.55. That's the closest thing I've done to a run since the end of September. Ankle felt fine, but I'm going to progress s l o w l y, not stress the tendon too soon.

tricialitt - sounds like a plan! Sympathies for the too-flat terrain - I certainly prefer a more undulating course.

31/03/2014 at 10:02

Good to hear that people's injuries are starting to improve. Debra - it must have felt great to be able to do something again after a long lay off.

I did my first event of the year yesterday - the Daffodil Dawdle with the LDWA. It was my first experience of the LDWA and I loved it! Very laid back, great value for money (£7 for excellent organisation and way more food than I could eat!) and plenty of friendly people to chat to on the way round. Plus I knocked about half an hour off my marathon PB (it was only my 2nd marathon and as both have been off road following route descriptions the times don't mean much, but it gives me a good gauge of progress), so very pleased with where I am at this stage of the season. Only disappointment was that tummy was playing up a little bit, so couldn't take advantage of all the wonderful food on offer!

T Rex - good luck for Connemara. I don't know how you manage that distance on the road, I don't think my body could take the pounding!

01/04/2014 at 22:27

LN&B - that's as far as I would ever go on the road.  It's just that the event is so good with great scenery.  Mrs T Rex and I also like Galway City a lot so it makes a good break.  I did the marathon in 2004 and the ultra every year since.

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