wannabe ultra runner?

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

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02/11/2014 at 23:03

Hi all , new to entering stuff on forums , so please be gentle. Lol.

i have just entered myself into the Hoka Highland Fling 2015 . 

Has anyone ever completed it and have information on equipment required/ any transition/ stop points etc , and any good training advice . Bit naive to this so hope not too many bone questions ? 

03/11/2014 at 09:05

LoveEndures: Your plan sounds sensible.  I'm no good at trying to estimate 50-mile finish times from marathon times, so I won't try. I advise getting used to carrying stuff in a backpack. The weather can be very variable for TT50; if it gets cold you don't want to risk hypothermia and if it's raining you need t be prepared for that as well.

Neil Black: Welcome. I've not done the Fling, but it's mostly trail and with a fair amount of elevation. you need to train not just for distance but for those as well. I suggest you look at some 50-mile training plans, e.g. http://www.trailrunevents.com/ul/schedule-50m.asp as a guide to the sorts of distance you need to do. If you can actually trail on the route, great. Otherwise, find similar terrain for some of your runs, particularly your long runs.

There's info about  where the checkpoints are on the Fling website. From my experience on 50-mile trail races I'd say make sure you have savory food not just sweet stuff. Work out on your training runs what you do and don't like eating. Make sure you have more available, and more variety, than you expect, as your tastes may change during the run. Get used to wearing and carrying what you're likely to need to take with. It you don't already have e.g. a lightweight breathable waterproof jacket, think about getting one now.

03/11/2014 at 15:13

LoveEndures: if its any help I did TT50 in 7hrs 46mins this year and at a really rough guess was in about 3:25 marathon shape. Total distance was more like 45 miles and it wasn't helped by the many diversions and thigh deep water in places! Country to Capital 43miles I was about an hour quicker in easier conditions.

All good advice from Debra - for me marathon training seems to work pretty well for ultras, just make sure you do your longer long runs slow enough - introduce fast walking, eating, carrying your pack, navigation etc, and also allow at least a couple of days extra to recover from them. No need to do long runs more often than every 2-4 weeks.

Personally I'm not a big fan of back to backs unless you're doing a run that's going to last 20+ hours or multi day but others find them useful. If you want to practise running on tired legs I'd do a hill or speed session the day before rather than 2 days straight at a plod.

03/11/2014 at 19:57

Hi Neil- I'm a first -time Fling entrant for next year too. I've done a few other ultras, but nothing that is both hilly and long ( GO33 - failry hillly, but only 33miles), Glasgow to Edin- correct distrance, but nowhere near as hilly.

After "running" Glen Ogle 33 this weekend- the thing I noticed most was the , witha "back to front" route, forced by the wet weather, we started with a 200m hill climb in the first 3miles- then a steep ( barely runnable, in the wet underfoot conditions) downhill.

By the time I got onto less steep ground, my legs were tight as hell from all the steep walking- so the lesson?- practice steep hill walking, interspersed with running. It was the walking I found tough, the running bits were a relief!

MTri    pirate
10/11/2014 at 16:47

New poster on this thread, but I'll throw my hat into the ring, as public announce my aspirations for 2015.

I have a history in longer distance triathlon, and also completed a 50 mile ultra back in 2012, ad my first marathon on 'fresh' legs at Snowdon a few weeks ago.

Now I'm looking to have another year of doing ultras, and targeting the Cotswold Way Century in September, but need to complete a 40 miler before I can enter.  So plans are the Green Man Ultra in March and then the Brecon to Cardiff Ultra in May, both over 40 miles, so tick the box for entry into the Cotswold Way, but also act as interim targets for the build to 100 miles, and test events.

10/11/2014 at 17:40

I'm doing Thames Trot 50 in Feb. I have bought myself a lightweight waterproof jacket (which I love), a running backpack (which I also love) and a copy of Relentless Forward Progress

I started running again after 5 months off. I've only run a couple of marathons before and my weekly mileage was only about 35 mpw. I've hit 50+ mpw the last 3 weeks but the 50 mile distance still feels like it is in the realms of fantasy. 

I am going to try and follow this thread from hereon in but it's way too long to read from the beginning. 

10/11/2014 at 18:02

Good luck. Just to say my first 50m was the first time i'd gone further than a marathon. It wasn't fast and I was a little knackered the next day going up or down stairs but it is doable  

Edited: 10/11/2014 at 18:16
11/11/2014 at 08:21

Khanivore: Good luck and I hope you don't have to contend with the flooding problems of the last couple of years or the snow that greeted runners in 2012...

11/11/2014 at 11:56

Don't get too hung up on the huge mileage in some of the truing plans- if it's a 50m race, you can do it without crazy mileage, as long as you don't mind being a slow back- of- packer. IF you want to race/ be near the front, then the high mileage is necessary.

I've done glasgow to Edin ( 55 miles- ish) on little more that marathon truing, plus a couple of training marathons, run at 30 mins slower than usual pace. It wasn't particularly pretty, but I finished without too much trouble.

11/11/2014 at 12:12

I did a back to back marathon weekend this year, and that was a great training exercise, and was nice, as there were always people around. The second was 26 minutes faster than the first.  I went out a little to conservatively on the first day it was the same course both days, a 7 loop marathon course, so over the weekend i did 14 loops in 29.x hours with a nice 18 hour break in the middle

11/11/2014 at 17:10
Find it tough to fit the training time in around work, family etc. this article is good for tips on juggling training around normal life. does anyone else struggle to fit training in round a busy life?

seren nos    pirate
11/11/2014 at 19:09

my calf on my left leg is not happy after sundays run in the lake district.........hoping that it behaves and loosens up a bit soon as I have the Likeys ultra in the brecon Beacons on sunday

12/11/2014 at 07:59

Good luck seren bit of a DIY golf ball massage and rest and hope I guess? 

12/11/2014 at 09:47

Hope it goes well Seren. Snap on the tight calf (and down into ankle) - in my case after a trot round some big hills in Yorkshire. Off to physio tomorrow evening in the hope that she will be able to nip it in the bud!

16/11/2014 at 13:00

I am thinknig about how to train for the fling- april, 53 miles. 2,300 m / 7,500 ft elevation.

Complicating factors:

1. I am not good on hills .

2.My knee seems a bit crocked after doing 2 ultras in fairly quick succession ( 42 mile clyde stride- during which I mildly tore a calf muscle, making me limp up hills sideways, thus knackering my knee), followed by the Glen Ogle 33 miler ( hilly!). I am not sure it will hold up to high- mileage training!

3. I am slow -My longest race so far was the glasgow to Edin- earlier thisyear, shich I did in 11:34.- It is pan- flat, though.

4. I am going on holiday for a week ( ski trpi to norway) 3 weeks before.

5. I'm a surgeon, and my job is averaging about 70hours per weeek, some of my operations mean being on my feet for more than 8 hours, and on- call means about 1 in 6 nights is disturbed, occaisionallly with no sleep at all.


The plan so far-

Finish a 4 week spell of total abstinence from running, that started the day after the last race- I am 2 weeks nito this, my knee is much better, and I am beginning to get twitchy- I will get to the gym and do spinning/ strength/ stretching/ pool running for 2 more weeks ( and perhaps try to lose some weight).


Mondays-  run to/ from work ( 6miles each way)/intervals on tready -depends on on cal comitments and weather

Tuesdays- nothing/ HIIT/ core work

Wednesdays- spin class

Thursdays- moring off- so build up to running 2-3 reps of the local hill- it is 6 miles / 342 m ascent for a single rep.

Friday - rest

Saturday long run- try to get out to some of the recce runs on the race route, but realistically these long runs will stick at about 3 hrs until after jan, I might try 1 or 2 longer ones, but these will be the exception.

Sunday- rest.

Any suggestions?

I have no hope of sticking to any ultra trainig plan I've ever seen, and in the past have managed my ultras on 3 runs per week, mostly peaking at only about 32 miles per week.

I know if I could do more, it would be better, but I remain nervous about breaking down if I do too much. I just want to be comfortably inside the cut off for the fling, and not suffer too much! I would very much like not to be last, but if I have to run wuth the sweepers, itwon't be the first time! ( and the craik is good at the back)


I decis

16/11/2014 at 14:08

1: practise

2: walk

3: who cares

4: good start to the taper

5: yikes, good luck!!

6: perfect endurance practise 

PLAN: just do what you can, when you are in a week or two with not much running, then up the intensity to make up for the lack of distance  hills are always good.

Edited: 16/11/2014 at 14:09
16/11/2014 at 15:26

Yes= practice on the hills is a must- bear in mind I started as a treadmill runner ( 10 years ago), and gradualted to doing most of my longer runs on roads or flat canal paths, but I've never been too keen on hills, 'cos of my crappy knees- hopefully by now they're a bit tougher than they were, and the recent twinges are nothing to worry about longer term.

Think I will start with a couple of walks up the local hills while I'm off running the next couple of weeks- I've just spent a week in Italy, with a couple of 4hour walks thrown in, so shouldn'r have lost all fitness despite the pasta and wine consumed!

16/11/2014 at 17:31

i'm not a hill person either most of my runs are along side a canal so flat as a pancake. Must get back into a weekly at least hill run. 

27/11/2014 at 01:49

How's everyone doing now the sun has gone into hiding for a few months? Training still going to plan? Loving or hating the cooler weather? 

27/11/2014 at 08:34

I don't enjoy the cool weather. It's the rain I dislike the most. Perversely I run much better when it's cool. I've been maintaining over 50 miles per week thanks to my healthy fear of the thames trot  

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