wannabe ultra runner?

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

8,021 to 8,040 of 8,345 messages
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 19:17

My last long run before the Great Glen Way on the 7th of July will be the Dirty Thirty on the 14th June. After that, like WIB says, I'll try and keep up the frequency but change the tempos around and cut the overall distances. The week running up to the race I usually take my foot right off the accelerator because I am dashing around trying to make sure childcare scenarios are all in place and don't need to be extra stressed, so any running is short and easy.  But that's just me. I also usually manage to throw several panic last-minute injuries in before race too, so I am rarely over-trained!!

20/05/2014 at 19:18

How far is the Salisbury 54321 race? 12 weeks sounds ample to me, especially if you are realistic about the outcome, ie finish with dignity but not necessarily a best ever kind of time?

Edited: 20/05/2014 at 19:19
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

20/05/2014 at 21:27

It sounds to me like it's blown your mind set more than anything else. Long runs run at a proper slow pace would be fine, I usually find it's when you do them too fast that you injure yourself. You've already trained for and run marathon distance, just eight weeks ago, I expect if you are sensible you will clock up the longer runs easily, just remember the adage that you don't try and up distance AND speed at the same time, one or the other until you are feeling fighting fit.  My first ultra distance was the Marlborough Challenge, so 33 miles, I did it 4 weeks after The Shakespeare Marathon, during those four weeks I did very little training at all and was absolutely fine. Your muscles will remember a lot. More important to be sensible.  A sensible marathon plan should see you through just fine.

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 ?

22/05/2014 at 13:03
My schedule seems to go race, recover, taper, race, recover, taper! Occasionally I get an extra week between the recovery and taper to do some sort of training!
22/05/2014 at 13:37

Despite most of my runs having hills, Since SDW I have started to include specific hill sessions most weeks. Either long shallow gradients of a mile or 2 at a faster pace, or steep shorter ones of 1/4 mile ish at a slower pace with multiple repeats. Thes hills are worked both up AND down. down isnt for recovery, its for working your extended quads so they dont fall apart on race day  You can recover on a flat before going back up and down the hill.

I cant remember who told me to do that, but its slowly working! I even managed the long hill down into alfriston from Jevington (2 miles?) the other week running fairly fast (for me) without my quads falling apart, then promptly turned round and ran all the way back up the 2 miles (very slowly compared to the down ) to jevington. This has now become my fave hill work route! It will be interesting to see if there is any noticable difference in the race on sunday.

Edited: 22/05/2014 at 13:38
22/05/2014 at 19:01

I just try and make sure I include some kind of hills every week. sometimes it's a specific reps session, sometimes a long continual hill climb and sometimes as part of a long run. So I could do short reps one week up a hill in the forest; three mile continual climb on roads another week or like last week, a total leg-trashing in the Cairngorms as part of my long run.  I also focus as much on the descending as the climbing, as this is were most damage can occur, and what will come back to bite you in latter stages of a longer race. Nothing like the DOMS kicking in when you've still got 15+ miles to go for example.  I don't have a specific amount of height gain I aim for, and I like to include different sorts of hills.  For speedier stuff, I make sure that on my 10 mile loop I do each week (on forest trail), the second half is faster, making each mile towards the finish faster and faster.  Not the most specific kind of training plan but it usually works for me.

This week my legs are still recovering from last Friday's trouncing in the Cairngorms so it's not meant to be an 'easy' week but I know if I don't back off this week I'll be stuffed for longer.  Schedules are a guide but you have to listen to your body too.

27/05/2014 at 13:45

Did my 2nd ultra at the weekend - the Weald Challenge Ultra in East Sussex. It was the first running of this event and it was fabulous; a cracking, tough route with amazing views. It was organised by top ultra runner Stuart Mills and really was a "by runners, for runners" event. Really friendly with super checkpoints and for those not keen on nav, the whole course was fully marked (quite an undertaking). Definitely recommend others give it a try.

I was really pleased that I had improved massively from my first ultra last October. Pacing, nutrition, hydration and general fitness all ten times better, but still so much to learn and improve on! Now really looking forward to a big month of training in June, before Lakeland 50 at end of July.

27/05/2014 at 13:58

Well done LNandB !

A training run yesterday of 20 miles with 2,100ft of elevation. Still finding it difficult to run slower and walk when I'm not feeling too bad. Took on board some food during the walks which is a first,. The legs are feeling heavy today but not as bad as when I ran a similar route a couple of months ago so hopefully there have been some improvements

27/05/2014 at 14:16

LNandB I did that one too, was brilliant wasnt it! I would have said hi if I had known 

The route was great, with some pretty tough terrain and a lot of variation in it too 

Definately one for next year again, I reckon Stuart is on to a winner with that !

27/05/2014 at 14:19

Hi Cheesy, glad you had a good day out too. Such a great event - sold out in its first year and I can see it continuing to be extremely popular!

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