wannabe ultra runner?

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

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18/05/2014 at 19:47

Ridgierunner: welcome! Obviously since you've already done a 100K you ARE an ultrarunner. Hope you continue to enjoy them.

T Rex: sympathies again for the rhabdo.

Meanwhile, my journey back towards ultras continues: I ran a whole FIVE miles today! Continuing to add only 1/2 mile to the run length each week at the moment AND I'm horribly slow but it feels so much better than not running at all.

18/05/2014 at 20:24

Thanks Debra - very kind. 


Recovery from injury can be so painstakingly slow can't it? Sounds like you're managing to remain very sensible!!

19/05/2014 at 14:30

HI cragchick, thanks for that. Yes, frustrating in terms of distance AND loss of speed. But essential to increase gradually if I'm to have a chance of getting back to long distances again. I choose to believe that the tendon WILL hold out if I give it enough time to regenerate and learn to handle the load again.

20/05/2014 at 10:57

So managed to get back into running...at last, managed a meagre 15 miles last week, and this week I'll aim for 15/20 - I have 12 weeks until the Salisbury 54321, with no room for a tapering period? Is this a realistic timescale to train, definitely lost my marathon fitness, wondering whether to train as much as possible and then walk run 50/50 maybe as a learning curve for ultras and as I have entered I want the medal!  

20/05/2014 at 11:01

Why no taper? You have loads of time. 

20/05/2014 at 11:37

Just assumed I'd need every weekend long run in order to get from maybe 10 mile long run this week to over 20 by 12 weeks? 

Is is it realistic to train in 12 weeks? 

20/05/2014 at 12:42

Yeah, its loads of time. You will do more harm than good to your race by not resting up a bit before hand.

20/05/2014 at 12:54
Talking about tapers how long do you experienced people leave to taper? I seem to keep organising marathons 2 weeks before ultras, which doesn't seem to affect me as I'm used to running in tired legs but I do wonder whether I would perform better without trashing myself in a marathon first!
20/05/2014 at 12:55

Yeah, you wouldn't want to be doing your longest training runs within 2 weeks of the event, you'd not see the training effect in that time-frame, so as WiB says, better to rest up and get to the start line feeling fresh. Taper doesn't mean no running, just cutting it steadily back.

20/05/2014 at 13:12

I'm probably doing it wrong, but my next ultra is 21st June and this weekend I'm going to be doing my longest training run(s) 

20/05/2014 at 13:51

I usually aim for my last long effort to be 2 weeks out. From there on in its all getting easier and easier. I swap 2 target midweek sessions the following week for a single one, that will be the last hard effort before the race, and will run as often as usual but total volume will be about 2/3s of my normal weeks.

The week before the race will all be easy running with an extra rest day before the race. About 1/3 my normal weekly mileage.

No point putting the training in if you don't give your body chance to repair and be at its strongest on race day.

20/05/2014 at 19:32

Salisbury is 50km, I was just concerned that say 10 week training and 2 week taper won't do it, especially as I have just got back into running after 8 week post London marathon recovery. I am totally realistic and just want to finish within cutoff and use it as a taster for ultras and trail running, but would hate to dnf or injure myself more, or not complete in the time! 

Looking for plans now, to get me in shape again, have a half marathon June 8th, but cant see how I can leap to over 20 mile training run within 10 weeks, this week will be a 10 miler long, but maybe 15 in the week? Blooming injury has really thrown my training and fitness.....and mindset!?

at least I am back doing the do, 6am sunrise runs in the week we superb

21/05/2014 at 08:18

Dank-art - I think it is enough time. However, if you think 10 weeks training and 2 weeks taper wont do it. Just banging out 12 weeks training will be worse.

If you are happy just to finish, then give yourself the best chance of doing so by training well for the 10 weeks you have then ensure you get to the start line as fresh as possible.

21/05/2014 at 09:23

I'm in a similar situation to Dank-art. I ran my first marathon at Manchester 5 weeks ago and have my first ultra on 22 June, which is a 50km Ultra Tour of the Peak District. I'm just starting to get back into the longer runs after Manchester but my plan seems to have me cramming in plenty of miles with no taper. My plan is for weekly long runs of 20, 12, 24, 20 and the following week is the race. As I'm not planning on racing but just to finish I was unsure if I would still need to taper ? Sounds like I should.

Any thoughts from you experienced guys would be appreciated. 

21/05/2014 at 09:53

All the time you are training you are breaking things down, the rest is when that training takes effect and you get stronger. Why would you turn up to a race that is already hard and make it harder by not ensuring you are well rested and recovered before hand?

You are not making yourself fitter by cramming in extra training, you are making the race harder.

21/05/2014 at 11:21

Dank-art, what WiB is saying is 100% correct and comes from the voice of a lot of experience! (WiB, not me that is, I'm still a novice Ultra Runner )

Your muscles will thank you for giving them a good rest and in 2 weeks wont have forgotten anything. They will just be in a better shape from the start.

Easy time on your feet is what I was told to work on first, learn to eat proper food, drink lots, and have fun! You can go for better times etc on the next one  I think my longest training run for SDW was 6.5 hours, with several over 5hrs, but at my slow speed, this was 30 miles longest with many 25's and alot of 20's. During those, I ate lots, drank lots, learned to walk up hills, run down hills, and wondered how the hell the top guys can go so fast on that sort of terrain  Most of all, I had fun! and have 2 more booked for this year already (probably 3 if august isnt a disaster)

Edited: 21/05/2014 at 11:22
21/05/2014 at 13:23

^ Very good point. Have fun! That is why we all do it anyway right? You will have a lot more fun if you wake up on race morning fresh and ready to run, instead of waking up tired and aching from your last minute hill session the night before!

Prior to the same race Cheesy did my longest run was very similar distance and was 3 weeks out from the race. Doing the same as suggested, eating and drinking what I would expect to be doing on race day.

22/05/2014 at 12:35


Another question. Hills - I've been introducing hills into most of my runs with the intention of trying to increase the amount of ascent each week. Do you guys do all your hill work in your long weekly run or do you try and include some in every/some of your runs ?

22/05/2014 at 12:41

Don't know about anyone else but I try to do one hilly or faster run a week, so one of my shorter sessions.

Some weeks I add hills into long runs, i'm starting to try now to think about the races coming up and if they are hilly then throw that sort of percentage into the LSR's but that's what i'm doing in theory, in reality i'm pretty bloody lazy and most of my long runs end up being beside a canal near home, so flat as a pancake.

22/05/2014 at 12:45

My race has got 4000ft of elevation. Should I set myself a weekly target to try and cover a certain amount of elevation that week ? And if so, are there any sort of guidelines as to what would be a reasonable amount ?

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