wannabe ultra runner?

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

7,961 to 7,980 of 8,256 messages
02/09/2015 at 15:43

Well done T Rex and good luck for the 10Peaks. I really want to do one of their events at some point - they sound brilliant.

carterusm - the UTPD was brilliant. I had a really good run in good conditions and finished in 17:52 (39th overall). Not a very big field for the 60 mile option; at a guess probably around 70 starters and I think 51 finishers. Lots of very speedy elites doing it as well, so everyone went off very fast. I intentionally kept my speed under control early on and spent much of the day with only about 5 people behind me, before passing loads of people later on! The course is deceptively tough. Only a couple of really big climbs, but you are constantly up and down over lots of steep but shorter ones on quite technical terrain, which takes it out of you. I recorded similar ascent to both the Lakeland 50 and the Fellsman on my Garmin. The race is really well organised and has a nice atmosphere. My only criticism would be that they don't really supply any food (other than a massive spread at about 45 miles). However, you have access to your own drop bags at 4 points on the course so it isn't an issue and they provide plenty of water stops. I'd definitely recommend the ultra, plus the 30 mile, 12 mile and 10km options all looked great fun as well.

I managed to get a place for the Lakeland 100 in yesterday's melee, so now keeping everything crossed that I pass the vetting! I should be fine as I meet their stated criteria, but you never know! We will find out by Friday so not long to wait!

04/09/2015 at 14:09

Phew, and relax... In for the Lakeland 100. Now to start planning!

04/09/2015 at 15:37

LNandB congrats

Back running after my 4 weeks off, done 3 very short runs this week.  Debating another tonight, or stick with three for the first week back, think i'm going to not overdo it and stick with the three.

My new plan is to run 4 times a week, slowly increasing the distance and the difficulty of the runs.  I need to get way more hill work in than before.  But i'm going to try to stick to running 4 days a week and 1 or 2 turbo sessions a week, which should help slowly to build up a few of the other legs muscles that I don't use running.

Will see how it goes.

Also, not sure how many they "talk to" as well, as the Sientry list hasn't changed so maybe they do talk and accepted what was said to some. Who cares we are in now

05/09/2015 at 17:54
Are you entering R86 Booktrunk?
05/09/2015 at 18:22

Hi all-

Helen/ H37- I agree that the trainig for a 50K needn't be too different mileage- wise from a marathon, but the terrain is probably more important- what sort of route is the 50k? You need to running on similar terrain in trainig, and , from experience, this will mean that even if you runs are no longer, a lot of them will be much slower, hence the additional time on feet which is important for ultra trainig. Race vests allow you to carry a vast amount on unecessary kit/ food, - I often go out looking like I'm plannign to overnight in the hills! If you are going to run with one, you need time to get used to it.

CarterUSM- well done on the 100 mile entry- scary!

I've been looking at the Great Glen ultra ( 70 miles or so), and toying with just how stupid would it be? I've now done 3 50milers, and don't want to jump up to 100 miles( or the WHW race, which is 95miles, but tough terrain), Not sure I'd make the cut off- 24 hours. If I maintained my fling overall pace it would take me 19 hours, but if you look at the pace I managed for the last 20 miles, I look more like 23 hours or so. This last 20 miles of the Fling is tough underfoot, and not all runnable, but the Great Glen ultra has 2000m ascent in it's 70 miles, compared to 1594 in the Fling's 53 miles, so very slightly less ascent - per -mile in GGU, than in the fling, and perhaps all on runnable trail.

My OH will kill me, of course! ( Not that I've mentioned it yet). Hmmmm.........

Edited: 05/09/2015 at 18:23
05/09/2015 at 18:37

Hi tricialit, thanks for your reply. I have not decided which one to do yet but will probably look at an easy terrain. I have a couple of marathons to see out the year and then will take a serious look at booking into one.  Will look also at the rest vest things, do you recommend one.  Also, all my marathons have been run in my trusty asics gt2100, I justkeep going back to these. What trainers do you wear or recommend.  I over pronate slightly.  


05/09/2015 at 19:21

Many of the less mountainous ultras can be done in road shoes, but I tend to do almost all my running in Brooks "trail" version of the adrenaline- actually it just has a slightly griippier sole, so good for slippy winter pavements , as well as trails. I also own a pair of cascadias, but only use them on stwwper/ slippier ground. Most trail shoes have less underfoot padding than road shoes, so might not be ideal for longer distances,as your feet can get very tenderised.

Once you know which race you are entering, find out if there is a facebook or runner's world group discussing it, and you can ask them about footwear choice- or look at blogs from last year's race- they will usually give you an idea.

05/09/2015 at 22:46

Loulabell ridgeway86 end of August yes. if you are going I'll see you there, this is the first year it sold out. Entries open later this month. 

05/09/2015 at 22:50

H37 one of the biggest benefits of trail shoes is they have more toe protection, in summer on trails I just run in my asics (nimbus) but when you brush rocks with your toes you really know it, as well as proper tread for winter / mud you do get better toe protection with trail shoes. 

Asics do some decent ones, I have yet to find my ideal trail shoe, thinking this winter of giving the inov8 290 a go. It has extra padding compared to the normal inov8 shoes.

07/09/2015 at 19:04
Booktrunk I would love to do it , it's if I'll recover in time to do Chilterns way 2 weeks afterwards that's the dilemma !!
13/09/2015 at 19:52

Hi everyone - I have tried to search this thread for an answer to my question but there are pages and pages so I'm going to ask possibly again.

First ultra in October.  DownsLink - 38m.  I've been running 25+ years and am in my early 40s.  10k time about 37 mins, half marathon 1.20 and although I've never done a road marathon did the Greensand marathon up and over Leith Hill etc. in 4 hrs.  Although I have been light on the training this summer (not injured, just no time) I'm back up at 50 - 60m a week.

My question relates to pacing.  My "slow" pace on a decent surface seems to be about 7.45 to 8 minutes a mile and if I try to run slower I either find it uncomfortable or stop paying attention and speed up again.

I think that's a bit quick and that I might blow up at some point.  What I was wondering was whether a "run at a pace that feels natural and easy but take 5 minutes to rest at each aid station" might be a valid approach to avoid me coming a cropper as opposed to running at an artificially slow pace.....

I'd be interested to hear from others on what works for them....

13/09/2015 at 20:45

How did you get on, SP13?

Hampshire Runner - welcome.  For your first ultra, indeed any ultra, but particularly your first you are going to have be much slower than marathon pace.  DownsLink looks a good choice for a first one - never heard of it before.

The mistake would be to go out at marathon pace and see how long you can hold out for beyond 26.2.  With this method I guarantee you would not enjoy the last 12 miles!  You need to run the first half well within yourself which will not feel natural to start with.

You need to find your natural ultra pace which, just as in a marathon, should be even paced throughout.

Try using you long slow run training speed.  Another good technique is to walk every incline but I don't think there are many of those in this race. Or, yes, you could faff around at the CPs.

Let us know how you get on 4 Oct.

14/09/2015 at 07:32

I had the most fantastic running experience ever and I am not exaggerating. It was hard but it was wonderful. I started out slightly late at 7am as soon as it became light. The weather was perfect and I was pretty much on my own. All of my marathons have been big city marathons, run on tarmac and surrounded by thousands of people. This was completely different. I was on my own in nature - sheep, cows, swans, geese, hundreds of different flavours of bird, hares, you name it. And of course, running up the coast line there was the sound of the sea and the wind in the reeds. It was a following wind too. It was just wonderful.

I did though have a major fuel issue. Despite practising everything on training runs, after about the marathon mark I was unable to keep any food down. At all. And then after 60km I struggled getting any fluids down. The final 10km were painful, slow and absolute torture. Finally at 70km (not quite the 84 I had worked out on my map), I was greeted by my husband and my bike support partner. Needless to say that I was very pleased to see them.

I have a sports massage booked at half past nine today - I hope he will fix my battered and very sore legs. And who needs toenails anyway???

Despite my fuelling disaster, I had the best day ever. It was nice to be off road and away from crowds of people. It was by far the most rewarding run I have ever done. 

14/09/2015 at 08:21

@ SP13: I just came across your other post with your plan and see that you did it! Great well done. I LOVE being on my own, running my own runs. I ran the St Cuthberts Way with my dog (100K in 3 days) with overnight camping, ran the Borders Abbey Way with my dog (120k in 3 days) and enjoyed every bit of it

Right now I am thinking of doing the northumberland ultra again but I wonder WHY I would pay 60 pounds for the run which I can run by myself as well..... There was no medal left last time and you had to bring your own cup. You even had to climb the gate to get to the start..... Needless to say that i was not impressed (ran it twice, hated it last year).

What went wrong with your fuelling?




14/09/2015 at 09:30

Hi RunningMax

I'm not sure why my fuelling went so horribly wrong. I had practised my strategy and it went fine on my practise runs. My stomach just turned against me I suppose.

In my other "am I bonkers" post, I was worried about the solo side of the run but I am so glad I did it that way. I don't want to sound over-poetic, but it was so serene and intensely personal. I can completely imagine that your runs were fantastic.

14/09/2015 at 09:36

@ SP13: O yes on https://flic.kr/s/aHskeeQniD are some images of the St Cuthbertas way. Are you going to repeat this again?

14/09/2015 at 09:46

It was a fantastic experience - but I'm not sure that I am ready to do it again. I think I will wait and let the dust settle a bit and see.

But it was by far my best running experience ever.

14/09/2015 at 10:51

Well done SP13. So glad it went well for you (other than the fuelling). I can eat things on a 20 mile training run that I would never be able to get down on an ultra! The stress on your body of the extra distance causes an awful lot of people to have fuelling issues (and all sorts of digestive problems!). Unfortunately it is tricky to practise as we don't often run those sort of distances. I think the more ultras you do, the more you find stuff that works for you. I suspect that once the dust settles you will start to get ideas about other long runs and the bad bits will miraculously fade away!!


T-Rex, did you do the Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks? Hope it went well.

14/09/2015 at 11:48

Hampshire Runner - . Do you find it physically or mentally uncomfortable running at a slower pace ? It can be quite difficult to find your ultra pace to start with so get out on some long training runs and practice. As was said above, it can be a long, painful few miles to finish a race if you've gone off to fast in the earlier stages. 

SP13 - sounds like a fantastic run you do and feeling like that is what it's all about. I agree with LNandB, in a few days/weeks time you will be planning your next long run. 

RunningMax - some great photos of the St Cuthberts Way which brought back some memories from when I ran the race a few weeks ago. It looks like you did the run from Melrose ? whereas we finished there. I certainly remember that climb up Wideopen Hill ! 

LNandB - have you recovered from the tour of the peak district yet and back out there running ?

I went for my first long run in ages on Saturday. The weather was absolutely horrendous and there were plenty of puddles, bogs and mud over Derwent Moor. Visibility was 50 yards max and I really wished I took my gloves with me. I'm currently on reduced carbs and trying to become fat adapted so this 21 mile run was fasted and tough, I kept bonking from about 5 miles onwards. I've got just under 5 weeks to get myself in condition for the Round Rotherham 50

14/09/2015 at 16:32
Well I suppose I should never say never. I have a marathon next month in Munich. When should I start training for that? How long should I rest before running again?
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