wannabe ultra runner?

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

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03/04/2013 at 10:33


New to the forum and been lurking a little bit on this thread and finally plucked up courage to join in! Feel a bit daunted though as from what I can see most of you on here are now ULTRA RUNNERS rather than wannabees!

I've fancied having a go at ultra running for about 3 years now, but having 2 babies in the meantime has rather got in the way! My youngest is now 7 months and I've been back running properly since Christmas and now daring to think about putting my Ultra plan into action! I'm currently back up to about 15 miles on my LSR and increasing gradually and I've been starting to put together a few ideas for the races I would like to do this year. At the moment the plan is to do the OMM Lite in May, Fairlands Valley Challenge (Marathon option) in July, and if all of that goes well then maybe have a crack at the Round Ripon in early October. Does that sound sensible?

Have so many questions about going long, so will try not to bombard you all with them all at once! I'm trying to read back through some of this thread, but it is a bit long and unwieldy now! At the moment I am starting to experiment with hydration and nutrition and my major query at the moment is about sports drinks/electrolytes... At the moment I can't find a sports drink that doesn't make me feel sick (admittedly have only tried a limited number so far) - I just don't like the taste. Does anyone just use water? Or would using squash help? If I don't add electrolytes to my water then can I get them from food? Sorry if this is a really dumb question!

As you can see I am really buzzing about starting out on the challenge of running ultras, so I apologise for the essay! Any hints and tips gratefully received!

03/04/2013 at 10:54

LNandB - That sounds like a reasonable plan. You can have a solid 6 months of training leading up to the ultra.

With regards to nutrition. Try different foods but try and find a gel that works for you. If you can find a gel that works it makes life easier as they are small, easy to store, resistant to any kit getting wet etc. So in short very handy. Real food is good, so do try that out. Anything from nuts, fruit, sweets, chocolate, sandwiches etc. If you can carry it and stomach it then its good. Generally that is the type of food on offer at checkpoints too.

Personally I use gels and fruit to snack on at checkpoints. Also get partial to the odd sweet like jelly babies.

In terms of drink, I used to use elete electrolyte in my water. Now I don't bother, I just use plain water. It has made no difference to me at all, in fact I prefer just having water. You typically get the stuff you need from eating but there are also tabs called S-caps which are quite popular in longer races. Just pop a tablet and away you go. Much better than faffing aroudn trying to poor bits of powder into a bladder etc.

03/04/2013 at 10:54

I think hydration is just what works for you. You can take something like S-Cap tablets for your minerals/elecrolytes if you just want to drink water. Then you can get your carbs from solids. Just experiment in your training.

And welcome along.

03/04/2013 at 10:55

As usual WiB is faster than me.

03/04/2013 at 11:06

Tiago! How's tricks? been racing much recently? Building up to SDW100 ok?

03/04/2013 at 11:08
Don't listen to WiB LN, I used to think we was powered by sunlight and shot bloks but after a long run with him on Monday I found out he doesn't even need the shot bloks.
Personally, and it is a personal thing, I can't stand the taste of anything in my water when I run long, nuun or zero tends to get a little stickly when you're on your fourth of fifth bottle on a long run, these days I just add a few drops of elete to the bottle/bladder or if I'm out for more than ten hours I'll take some s caps with me. No fuss, no taste and easily digestible.
As for what to eat as both of the guys above said find out what works for you. The most important thing is to find a gel that works, if you can do that everything else is just an eating experiment and who doesn't enjoy that?
03/04/2013 at 11:18

Hey WiB, I'm good thanks. SDW50 should tell me where I'm at. Are you there in any capacity?

03/04/2013 at 11:35

Did you get your coffee Lirish? It must have planted a seed in my mind as I fancied one most of the way home!

I will be at the start Tiago, not sure where else throughout the day but I will be about. Will try to catch you in the morning to say hello.

03/04/2013 at 11:45

Some very quick replies and very helpful, thank you. Good to know that just using water may actually be a reasonable plan. Is Elete tasteless?


03/04/2013 at 11:48

Elete is pretty much tasteless unless you really load your water up with it.

03/04/2013 at 11:53

May give that a try as well then. Thanks WiB.

03/04/2013 at 12:04
I did thanks, coffee, pasty and a copy of the times on the train back from Brighton, what could be better
03/04/2013 at 13:47

Nice one, it'd be good to catch up.

03/04/2013 at 16:41

LNandB: Welcome! Regarding your specific query on drinks, I recommend Elete - it's just salts, with no flavourings or anything, so no nasty aftertaste and nothing to upset your stomach. You can buy it online, in a handy 20 mL container, then in much larger bottles once you know you're going to use it (I just bought  480 mL bottle which should sort me for the rest of this year and next year). I keep the 20 mL bottle in my backpack so I can add some in when I top up the water bladder (I use a bladder rather than bottles).

...and I see WiB got in before I sent my post.

03/04/2013 at 18:37

Hihi guys,


sometime since i posted, i dnfed in my previous ultra, got lost badly xD. 

03/04/2013 at 19:55

LNandB , ( why do you all pick such complicated names to type??), agree with the boys that its a personal preference thing and after a while you whittle it all down to what does the job best for you.  the sports drinks are pretty and ive never tolerated them. plain  water  for me too oand S-caps if really hot.

food= anything

and yeah, WiB is always gonna be safe coz im never gonna be fast enough to catch him even if he ran in treacle



03/04/2013 at 21:22

Very little to add to the sports drink / electrolyte discussion other than to support others in the recommendation of Elete, which I use both in water and from time to time to snap me out of a 'bonk' having read somewhere that a few drops in the mouth can work wonders which it appears to do. As an alernative I do very much like nuun coke flavour tablets and can eat my own bodyweight in cola bottles running or otherwise.

03/04/2013 at 21:23

Edred - Tough luck fella, which Ultra did you opt for the 'bonus' miles on?

03/04/2013 at 23:04

Alistair: yes, I've done that a couple of times as well (Elete neat into my mouth).

04/04/2013 at 09:39

Ha ha, sorry loulabell - I wanted a different user name which was simpler, but it was already taken!


Have ordered some Elete to try. Hoping it arrives in time for this weekend's long run!

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