wannabe ultra runner?

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

7,281 to 7,300 of 8,254 messages
01/04/2014 at 23:36

Ultra running is insane

i've ran 587km so far this year, not a  huge amount, but I've still not been running for 2 years,  I'm quite happy with that and was feeling quite happy till I worked out my 3 marathons and 4 ultras that i have planned for this year, total around 620km so I'm probably going to do in 7 days what is going to take me the first 100 days of the year to do. 

..... That's a bit of a reality check *gulp* need to put my credit card away and stop looking at races  

Edited: 01/04/2014 at 23:37
01/04/2014 at 23:40

Oh I have a new work colleague he started today, and my boss said I was a runner, and I said one race I'm doing is 86 miles long, so he said how long is that going to take you, 4 or 5 hours?  I'm assuming maths isn't his strong point  

02/04/2014 at 18:18

Are you saing you're not travelling at 20mph? what sort of runner are you? No ambition to break a 3 minute mile for 80miles?

I would prefer a more varied scnenery for my race on saturday, but I'm crap at hills , so I shouldn't moan ( AND I should get up more hills in trainig!)

06/04/2014 at 10:26

I did it! - all good- beat last year's time by about 10 minutes, only 1 blister and 1 missing toenail ( still attached, but not for long, I fear).

Muddy underfoot, so lots of extra energy spent slithering on the worst bits, good conditions, and my run/ walk worked out perfect 4/1 for the first 30 miles, the ngraually down to 1/1, but still able to run a a good pace- passed 4 people in the last mile!

Onwards and upwards ( ? highland fling next year?)

06/04/2014 at 12:46

tricialitt - well done, particularly in pacing to still be able to run towards the end.

06/04/2014 at 14:10

Well done tricalitt 

I'm really going to have to give 4:1 r:w a try in June on my next ultra The Wall 69m

14/04/2014 at 15:20

Hi everyone

I've kept an eye on this thread over the last year or so but not really posted much. At the beginning of 2013 I started training for my first marathon, Manchester. I picked up an ITB issue so spent a lot of last year at the physio, stretching and rollering etc. I was unable to run at Manchester or at Chester later in the year due to the injury. Eventually, I got to the position where I was managing the injury ok so started another training plan in November 2013 with the intention of running at Manchester this year. The winter training went well so I set myself a target of 4:00 with a sneaky eye on 3:45. I ended up finishing in 3:36:41 last week and was chuffed to bits with it.

I live in Sheffield, on the outskirts of the Peak District, so a lot of my running is spent on the fells and moorlands. I did a few short, local fell races last year which I really enjoyed. I also ran the Lake Coniston trail half marathon. This year I have run the Grindleford Gallop which is a 21 mile fell/trail race with about 3000ft of ascent. So, the marathon box has been ticked and I now want to move on to some longer off road stuff. I have entered the Long Tour of Bradwell which is a 50km race in the Peak District (Bradwell, The Hope Valley, Kinder Scout, Edale) with about 7000ft of ascent. 

I'm starting to put together a training plan for for this race which is in August but I could do with a bit of help and advice from you guys. I'm spending the rest of April building back up slowly following the marathon and from May I am going to start my training in earnest. I believe on of the most important sessions, if not the most, is the back to back runs. A couple of questions I have are:

At what stage of my 14 week plan should I introduce the back to back runs ?

Due to other commitments, I think I am going to have to do the first (and shorter run) on a Friday with the second (and longer run) on the Saturday. Does it make any difference in which order I do the back to back runs, shorter run followed by the longer run or vice versa ?


14/04/2014 at 19:44

carterusm for a 50k I don't generally do back to backs. Basically follow a marathon program and have a max long run of 22-24. With your target race you would be better of doing specific hill training rather than back to backs. I generally only add in those for 50 miles +. Seems like you are in good shape anyway so a hilly 50k is well within your ability.

14/04/2014 at 19:51

Have a peek at this plan, quite a few people their plans, not overly complicated. 



15/04/2014 at 07:56

Can't comment about trainig plans for an ultra- I've never really done anything more , mileage-wise, than for a marathon......................mind you, that's probably why I'm near the back!

Practice going slowly, eating, wearing a rucksack, and spending a very long time on feet, back-to-backs are one option, but not the only way to do this- you could do a few very long runs ( enter a marathon as a trainig race, if you can find one that's hilly enough).

Good luck.

I'm sure that I would do better if I trained properly, but I'm just saying- there is a good chance of making it around a 50k without committing to crazy mileage.

15/04/2014 at 08:12

Carter I did long tour of Bradwell last year.   Quite a few steep climbs and ascents.   Personally as you live in the area I would spend as much time around kinder,  lose hill and win hill.    Lots of climbs and ascents.

15/04/2014 at 12:10

Hi Carterusm. I used a combination of http://www.runforthetoad.com/trainingprogram.html ( it's in km so I had to convert to miles - I could try to dig the converted version out for you if you want) and http://www.trailrunevents.com/ul/schedule-50k.asp for my first 50K and found them useful. I rather like that the two schedules are rather different from each other; it shows there's no single correct way to train. Worked for me.

Agree that lots of time spent on ascents and descents would be a good idea before a hilly 50K.

16/04/2014 at 08:57

Thanks everyone. 

Jeremy - hill sessions. Long gradual hills, short hill repeats or a combination if both ?

Booktrunk - thanks

Tricialitt - i struggled to eat any solid foods when training for a marathon, I stuck to liquids and gels. Any tips or is it just a case of having to force food down me ?

Spen - I've spent time around Edale etc over the last few months and it's a stunning place to run. Are you entering this year ?

Debra - thanks, I will compare the two plans (I haven't forgotten that it is you who got me in to this ultra running melarky !!). Are there any specific sessions I could do for training on decents, it's not something I've considered before ? What does your calender look like for this year ?

16/04/2014 at 13:46

carterusm: Yes, I know - all my fault! But I think you'll enjoy it. For eating, try slowing down on your long slow runs - then there should be enough blood supply remaining going to your gut for digestion. Other than that, it's just practice and finding out what works for you. Gels may be fine for 50K but most people seem to want solid food for the longer distances.

As for me, well, I tore my posterior tibial tendon in a stupid cycling accident end of September, so my plans for this year (Pilgrims 2-day, London Marathon, Comrades, possibly Ridgeway 85) are toast. After a six month enforced rest, I have so far worked back up to doing a hilly parkrun in just under 29 minutes! So, rather a long way to go to get back to ultras, and that's assuming the tendon (permanently damaged, I've been told) holds out.

16/04/2014 at 15:14

I usually do some hill repeats - once a week intervals and hill repeats on alternate weeks and then try and add as many hills into medium and long runs as I can. Some gym work can strengthen legs which can help with the downhills as well.

18/04/2014 at 18:53

I find I can eat all sorts of things at ultra pace- flapjacks, percy piglet sweets, chocolate milk, and crisps. At marathon pace I just feel sick all the time!

As mentioned abve - slow down sufficiently that you can eat, and you'll be fine!

18/04/2014 at 18:59

Marathons are uncivilised. Shouldn't there be a nice seat half way, with someone offering nibbles and a drink. 

19/04/2014 at 15:42

I agree- the only good reason to do marathons is as long traing runs in company as part of your ultra training................I have quite enjoyed plodding around at a comfortable pace for these- it's odd how little extra time you need to take to make it a whole different experience..............less than 60 sec/ mile slower than PB marathon pace, and it is just a nice day out!

21/04/2014 at 19:00

So I am hoping to run the royal parks ultra next year, just completed the London Marathon and two half marathons this year and really have the bug! What's people's opinions of the royal parks ultra, 50km seems manageable for my first, originally was looking at 50mikes, but think I shouldn't be too ambitious to start!

21/04/2014 at 20:19

Isn't the Royal Parks £200 entry? that's bonkers for a 50k...

look at Country to Capital in Jan 2015 instead, 45 miles and around £45, a brilliant route, well organised, easy to get to and back from. 50k isn't much of a step up from a marathon...


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