wannabe ultra runner?

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

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30/10/2013 at 17:34

I loath speed work but love hills - so I try and do a hill session every week plus a tempo run - is as close as I'll get to a speed session!! Then mix my long runs up between flat disused railway and forest, hilly mountains and not-quite-so hilly fells. 

Definitely noticed a difference this year from hill work, especially the work of running hard DOWN the hills.

Not sure how much my pack usually weighs, will have to weight it and see - depends on how remote the race is.


30/10/2013 at 18:13

Ditto that cc. I'm not a fan of speed work either, but I love hills. Hills are speed work in disguise, especially if you push it on the downs rather than using them to recover.

I'm a big advocate of doing what you enjoy in training, gotta make it fun.

30/10/2013 at 19:46

 double ditto. And yes, it absolutely has to be fun, otherwise what is the point ... life throws enough of the rubbish at you

30/10/2013 at 20:14


30/10/2013 at 20:47

8kg seems extraordinary.  I hiked the TMB this year.  The 33 litre pack came in at 7.5kg including sleeping bag, food and a litre of water.  What on earth are you carrying?

30/10/2013 at 20:58

Yep. 8kg seems a lot. I think the most I have raced with was about 1kg with all mandatory kit.

30/10/2013 at 21:14

My race pack weighed in at 2.5kg including a litre of water, last I checked.  Because I'm basically a hiker (and anticipate being out on the course longer than most) I'll be carrying more food and an extra warm layer compared with many, so lighter than that is realistic.

30/10/2013 at 21:15

What they said. I'd be incredibly surprised if you're carrying anywhere near 8 kg. My compulsory kit for the UTMB this year was less that 2, my full pack for the Spine will be somewhere around seven, if you're carrying 8kg consisting of just water gels and warm kit then I can't imagine how much stuff is in your bag


04/11/2013 at 20:24

Interesting about pack weights. You prompted me to weigh my pack after doing a recce of some of the Lakeland 50 course this week. Self supported and in fairly grotty weather, I was only carrying about 2.5kg, so I can't imagine why you are carrying 8kg!

On a separate note, could I ask a question about off season training? I did my first ultra in October (35 miles) and main aim for next year is Lakeland 50. I'm planning 2 or 3 trail marathons and probably a 50k as build up. The first marathon will probably be around March so was planning to ramp up the mileage again after Christmas. In the meantime I thought I would have a couple of months taking it slightly easier, to ease the burden on family time and give my body a bit of a rest. However, I don't want to lose the massive fitness gains I have made this year...

Any advice on how to structure the next couple of months and what I should focus on to keep my training productive?

05/11/2013 at 20:42

Hi all, I'm looking for a new challenge next year to renew some motivation for running after delving into triathlon for a bit and have a couple of options lined up, but I was wondering if anyone knew of any flat (ish) road 50ks between now and the end of January? Preferably in the UK, but would consider Europe.

05/11/2013 at 21:05

Hi ChristchurchJon, I was going to suggest the London Ultra (partly road, middle of January) but I'm not sure it's going to be on in 2014 - can't see any new events on their website. There's a good listing at http://www.ultramarathonrunning.com/races/uk.html (and they have European listings http://www.ultramarathonrunning.com/races/index.html#europe

Good luck!

05/11/2013 at 21:32

LNndB try to maximise your efforts on each session, instead of long runs at MP or slower try and mix in more speed sessions i.e one mile warm up 3 miles 10 k pace one mile slow 2 miles 10k pace one mile warm down. That's a decent mid week run that shouldn't take too long. 

Get the most out of each session that you can and there's no real need to spend loads of time training through the winter to maintain your fitness, the real advantage is that when you start focusing on a target race in the spring your average pace should have risen too

05/11/2013 at 21:51

... and LNandB mentally you'll feel refreshed by the new year too, is easy to underestimate the mental toll constant training can take. I always find that by backing off on the longer stuff a little, and getting stuck into some pacier stuff, I'm almost excited to be getting into the longer stuff when the time comes ...

06/11/2013 at 11:26

GKD and Cragchick - thank you, that's very helpful.

That sounds a really hard session GKD, think I might need to build up to that over a few weeks! Will give me something to work on!

You're right Cragchick, I'm already starting to get itchy feet to getting back into long runs every weekend, so hoping that when I ramp things up again I will be raring to go! I'm currently throwing myself into the orienteering season, which I am loving and I think it is doing me good both mentally and physically to be focusing on something different...

06/11/2013 at 12:14

Ooooh Orienteering, that's great fun. I joined our club up here just over a year ago, and have been really getting into it. Is a great family sport too so my kids do it and we are just getting husband into it too. We had a fantastic six-day festival up here in the summer - was weird having about 3000 people from all over the world descending on our little town!! Great training for stamina though I think, and as you say great for focus.  What level do you like to do?  I've been trying Light Green at the moment - sometimes it goes quite well, sometimes (well often) it is really quite embarrassing!!

So on the note of navigating, I've just entered the Highland Mountain Marathon ... and got my entry in for the Great Glen Way too. At last some races that are reasonably local!

06/11/2013 at 12:18

Thanks Debra - someone sent me one in Newcastle that I'm tempted by. I have a target which usually would be manageable, but nothing like deciding to enter a race of a new distance four weeks before race date!

06/11/2013 at 14:06

I've just moved up to doing the Green courses Cragchick. Finding them tricky at the moment, but starting to get into the mix on them... I'm pretty confident on nav with an OS map, but the orienteering maps are a whole new ball game, and there is a real skill to being able to nav well while keeping your speed up. I'm hoping to try a Blue course towards the end of the season!

Definitely agree about orienteering being so family friendly. I have started having a little bimble around the White course with our 2 year old once I've finished - he loves dibbing the checkpoints and playing with my compass!

25/11/2013 at 07:58

I'm planning on doing the Dubai marathon at the end of January and a 50km race in Dibba, Oman two weeks after that. It will only be my second marathon and first over that distance. The 50k is up a mountain and I live in Abu Dhabi which is incredibly flat so any advice on hill training on a treadmill would be appreciated. Thanks

25/11/2013 at 08:41

Hi Samantha, there are lots of online suggestions for hill training using a treadmill - just Google "hill training treadmill workouts". I do suggest that you practice WALKING on the highest incline you can get the treadmill to give you as well, as you're likely to be walking some/most of the uphill. Good luck.

25/11/2013 at 15:04

Samantha do you have access to any large flights of stairs? If you do make them your friend. 

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