wannabe ultra runner?

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

7,301 to 7,320 of 8,250 messages
21/04/2014 at 20:27

Wow £200, that's expensive! 

Country to capital looks interesting, being a first time ultra, is 45 miles too much!? Trained hard for the London marathon this year! but injury in last 4 weeks meant I struggled with the actual marathon, wondering if the training for 45 miles would be out of my league at the moment, I did a 22 week marathon plan....



21/04/2014 at 20:55

Yep, plenty of time, (9 months) I went from my first marathon to 50-miles in under 6 months... you'll probably end up doing 50k in training along the way on a big weekend run 

have a google for training plans there's plenty out there, it should give you an idea of how to build up your endurance with long weekend runs and back to backs. Then get out there and start understanding what works for you! 

21/04/2014 at 21:01

I will give another vote for Country to Capital as an ideal first ultra, for a person steping up from marathon.  Who better to make the case than our own James Adams:


Edited: 21/04/2014 at 21:04
21/04/2014 at 21:19

Ok thanks, so I've got time to train for it and get my mindset into the distance, I'll have a read of the 10 reasons, looks good!

22/04/2014 at 10:00

Dank-art: there's a nice little 30-miler - Croydon Ultra - you could consider for your first step up from marathon on your way to the Country to Capital. It's a small event, friendly, food and water every 7.5 miles, second half is nearly flat, it's inexpensive. It will be 6th July this year.  I ran in it in 2012 and manned an aid station last year.

22/04/2014 at 10:44

Morning all.

Thanks for the advice so far. Based on your comments I have pulled together a training plan which I aim to start this week after having 3 easy weeks post Manchester marathon.

So, I've looked at the profile of the race (it's 30 miles) and there are climbs at 2, 12, 18 and 25 miles. I've run some of these sections before in training and I can run the climb at 2 miles fairly well, admittedly this is in a shorter training run and not a 30 mile race. My initial thoughts were to run the first 12 miles, walk the hill at this point, then run the flats and downhills between the other 2 climbs which I will walk up. Am I being over ambitious thinking I can run all the way around and just walk the climbs ? Might I be better incorporating a 25/5 run/walk strategy ?



22/04/2014 at 12:21

From everything I've read (probably incorrectly) if you are going to run walk might as well do 4/1 or 5/1 as opposed to 25/5

if you are thinking run it, then try to gently run it all but walk all the hills including the one at 2 miles that you can easily run in training. It's not that much further than a marathon, so walk every hill / bump and maybe run the rest at marathon pace plus 30 or so minutes, so add a minute plus per mile at least so around LSR pace, if not slightly slower, excluding the hills that are walking. 

Basically if it's 30 miles it, only 3.8m further than a marathon so so around an extra 6k you are going to be going slower than a marathon you are walking the hills and the bumps in a really good LSR do you feel at times if you could just keep on plodding, if so then I think no reason you cannot run it all (excluding the hills). 

Edited: 22/04/2014 at 12:26
22/04/2014 at 12:32

oh.... You haven't mentioned the terrain is it a road ultra or trail, as of course you will be going slower over a trail ultra, so need to take that into account

Edited: 22/04/2014 at 12:33
22/04/2014 at 14:02
Oh dear 4 weeks to ndw50 and I haven't managed to do any training beyond marathon training, am I right in thinking it should get me through?

Also calf compression stocking things, do they help with fatigue lots of people seem to wear them and I often have calf problems?
23/04/2014 at 19:05

The country to capital does look good, just read another review http://www.justajog.com/2012/01/country-to-capital-ultra-race-review.html

I think my main concern is I am not super quick, managed 1:59 half marathon, and a poor 5:38 London marathon, ( think I could achieve a 4:30/45 marathon if I hadn't had an injury ), so I am debating whether I am good enough to run an ultra, really wouldn't want to miss the cut off and not get my medal if I just completed all that distance!

Also I see a lot is trail, and I have only ran on roads, pavements so guess I'd need to get out there and experience trail running which i am assuming is harder on the legs and knees..?

I love the idea of doing one though, it's such a challenge, and relished the training for the marathon, it's great to aim at something like this, really helps focus on those early mornings when bed seems better than running!



23/04/2014 at 19:19

I'm a 2:11 half, but 4:30 something marathoner. So I reckon you can probably bring you marathon time down quite a bit DA

trail running in a lot of respects is easier, if it's very technical then you have to be careful but most trails I find are easier than roads as you have less impact than on a Tarmac road, and you are constantly making slightly different footfalls so you don't have the exact same repetition.

but of course you get easier and harder trails  

also of course unlike in a marathon you don't get glared at when you walk uphills  

Edited: 23/04/2014 at 19:27
23/04/2014 at 23:44

touie2 - you should be OK.  How has your endurance training been going?  Unless you have done a marathon very recently it is still worthwhile fitting in one more long run in the next week or so.  I'd suggest about 28 miles.  Much more than that and you might not recover quickly enough.

NDW50 is quite hilly so you might want to continue with hill reps.

Dank-art - in my experience a mid-pack marathon runner (like me) finishes near the back in an ultra.  Ultras tend to attract specialists and only a small number of 'recreational' runners.  Don't let that put you off, though.  Fellow runners as well as organisers are extremely supportive. You'll just need to treat your first one as a personal challenge rather than a race and you will be fine.

Trails are better for legs and joints.  The surfaces aren't as hard and you are using more muscle groups. They are harder on feet, though, especially if it is wet.  There is much more foot movement within the shoe, which means one thing at least - blisters!  If you find the solution how to prevent these, please tell us all!

23/04/2014 at 23:47

My next event is Thames Path 100 a week Saturday.  Slightly apprehensive.

24/04/2014 at 00:34

positive thoughts, but plan how you are going to tackle possible hiccups in advance so they don't completely scramble your brains on the day, and think positive  

24/04/2014 at 13:33

Hello All looking for a bit of general advice...

Am in the midst of 14 races I've entered this year, 9 of them marathons, one being Salisbury 54321 50k, but I am really tempted to use them as training for a longer ultra next year.

I'm not built for speed at all but I did get around Manchester recently in 4:11 and I completed Snowdonia last year in 4:48 so I'm pretty resilient and think I'd enjoy the challenge of the longer distance... navigation scares me off entering one though!

I've looked (quite a few times!) at The Thames Trot Ultra, does anyone have experience of this one? Or any other suggestions for one I am less likely to get lost on? (have looked back the last couple of pages and the country to capital one looks like it could be a 'maybe' too)


24/04/2014 at 13:34

Dank-art: Trails are much more forgiving on the body as you don't get anywhere near the impact you get on the road, but you also use a lot of extra muscles with all the twisting, turning and constantly changing footing. Be prepared to find it quite a lot harder to start with! Also, remember that your trail pace will at times be a lot slower than your road pace, so don't get too het up about how fast you are going.

If you are new to trails, then why not try a trail marathon as an introduction and a stepping stone to doing an ultra.

24/04/2014 at 14:22
booktrunk wrote (see)

From everything I've read (probably incorrectly) if you are going to run walk might as well do 4/1 or 5/1 as opposed to 25/5


4/1 or 5/1 - silly question but is this in time or distance ?? If I adopt one of these, or the 25/5, strategy it's possible that the hills will come at a time/distance that don't fit in, how do you deal with that ? 

T-rex also mentioned blisters. So far, I've been fortunate not to suffer from these without doing anything to help prevent them. Are there any other tips/advice you guys have about dealing with blisters ?

24/04/2014 at 14:44

Usually time. So 5 mins run 1 min walk. If there is a hill on its way, trot up to it, walk up the hill (assuming its not easily runnable) then run from the top. Times are not set in stone, so if you find a long stretch thats runnable, and you get 20 mins run in, then walk for a few mins next hill. Hills are great for eating on too 

Walk the steeper hills, Trot the shallow ones, run the flats and run the shallow downhills. Steep downhills take care depending how much your quads will take before exploding, especially later on! This of course applies to long training runs as well as races.

24/04/2014 at 15:11

No silly questions, just daft answers it's time.

does your garmin (if you have one that has run/walk) If so you can set it.

but it's as simple as it sounds run minutes 5 at a sensible pace not quickly, then walk a minute, and repeat. 

You still walk all uphills, then just run the downhill and when it gets flat just get back into the next 5/1 beep rhythm or just manual rest to starting a new 5 or 1.

All of your eating and drinking you do in the 1 min walk or uphill walking sections, don't waste a running section with eating or drinking, I'm sure you will but you know it's a nice principle to try to stick to as much as you can 

try it out on a  few LSR's remember the first two hours you might think I'm not doing enough..... Believe me at the end of an ultra you won't be thinking back saying I really should have pushed harder in those opening 2 hours so if you try it stick with it, it's far better to do from the off then to do it half way around when you are already shot, it's so you can keep going at the same relentless pace, true tortoise and hare scenario.

Take a look at these calculators.

this is my favourite


also one here 


and here with alternative walk run strategies. 




24/04/2014 at 15:15

So if you are run walk 5/1 and run a 10 minute mile and walk a 20 minute mile.

Then after an hour you would have done 5.5miles. If you can do that and have brief stops you are bordering on a  sub 10h 50 mile ultra. But with hills etc... Should still comfortably be sub 11.

I'm looking if I do it more at 12 minute miles. Then seeing how it goes.. Might be down to 1/1  

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