wannabe ultra runner?

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

8,121 to 8,140 of 8,346 messages
23/06/2014 at 22:02

Also decide on one or two day, if 2 day then pretty much stick to a marathon plan, but be able to do two back to back. 

23/06/2014 at 23:42

I made use of http://www.trailrunevents.com/ul/schedule-50m.asp for my first 50-miler. Like booktrunk says, it's not about following it slavishly, but it does give some idea of the amount you might want to do in order to be reasonably sure you should be ready for it..

25/06/2014 at 10:13

Morning all, 

Just a quick update from me as on Saturday I will no longer be a 'wannabe' Ultra Runner, I'll be on the start line for my first Ultra. 

Having followed the P&D training program for two spring marathons, and having read that that fitness will get you through an ultra, I took the plunge.  The race I've entered is low key and so far very friendly and supportive.  

I had been somewhat fixated on time until last night, whilst running, I decided I was going to pace the race as my body dictates and focus on navigating rather than being on or off a target pace.  After all, it's my first and the moment I step beyond 26.2 miles, it's all new territory for me. 

My training since the Edinburgh Marathon has been patchy to say the least.  A big increase in miles (I have already run my total mileage for 2013) has seen the onset of a few niggles.  PF to start, then some IT problems, now it's Piriformitis.  Thankfully all of these have been manageable with rolling, icing and fortnightly sports massages but it has meant that I had to not do too much running.

I believe I can do it, I believe I can pace sensibly and get round.  Indeed for a while I thought I might do 'quite well' then remembered how humbling running long distances can be and wound my neck in! 

My main concerns are: 

1. Navigating... When the miles ramp up and tiredness has set in, I'm worried about making a mistake and taking a wrong turn.  This is one of the reasons that I have binned 'pacing' my mind needs to be able to focus and looking at my garmin will be too big a distraction.  

2. Nutrition... I haven't practiced eating on long runs.  I have read lots of superb advice but since I haven't trialled anything I have no idea what will work.  With that in mind I've decided to get to a check point and see what I fancy - my body will hopefully tell me what I need.  Furthermore, I might carry some cash so that if I see a shop I can pop in and get what I think I might need.  I've decided to not carry my camelback rucksack and just carry water in my waist belt.  The longest stage is 10.5 miles and I won’t need any more water than I can carry for that distance.  

Having written that, I’m now second guessing myself and think that I should carry my camelback along with my waist belt to keep some items in – i.e. Zero tabs, maybe a spare layer. 

There’s still a lot going on in my mind – obviously because this is the unknown.  I’m excited about it and hopefully will have a positive report for you all post race! 

26/06/2014 at 08:23

I contacted Nate from the 'Pocket Running coach' podcast with regards to Ultra training, and he's advised me to ditch the mileage focused workouts up to the Ultra, and instead to focus on time, so i do this ( I swim, and dont do Yoga, but thats his initial suggestion )

Day 1: 60 minutes

Day 2: 90 minutes

Day 3: off (20 min yoga)

Day 4: off (20 min yoga)

Day 5: 90 minutes

Day 6: 120 minutes

Day 7: off (20 min yoga)

'Adding 20-30 min to the long run every week should put you at about 4 hours in 6 weeks. Leave the other two the same if you can. It's all about long slow distance. 2 weeks out, drop the long run. Just go to 4 x 60 minute runs per week. Off completely 3 days before the race.'

26/06/2014 at 08:33

I also had my first taste of trail / ultra running in Bristol last feel. All set for a morning 6 mile run, i had no idea where to go so ended up running into Aston Court, country house and grounds.... I was then confronted with road up a very long steep hill / then light track around a golf course up hills, then into a forest, onto mountain bike trails, then track in the forest, with gradients and lots of obstacles, then back out.. fantastic run, no one around, whole place lit up with morning sun, epic and breathtaking scenery....really inspire me to run more trails now....MUCH more exciting and interesting than plodding along on road runs!

26/06/2014 at 14:06

Sounds like a good program Dand-art, thanks for passing it on.  If I ever do another I'll be back for that! 


05/07/2014 at 20:55

Will be trying out my new Salomon S-Lab 5 vest at Meon Valley 21 mile Summer Plod tomorrow. Next stop  XNRG Chiltern Ultra 19th July. It's only 50K but a girl's got to start somewhere!!

08/07/2014 at 12:35

So whilst out for my hour run this am, I was thinking about how to tackle e 50km ultra.... Is it a good idea to run a far as I can so maybe 20 miles, then start the run walk 2 mile run / 1 mile walk until the finish, or should I start the run/walk 2/1 from the start.....I am thinking if I start doing this, I'll be more efficient, and not exhausted from 20 mile running?????  Any suggestions?

08/07/2014 at 12:40

I think if you are going to include Run / Walk in a plan, you should do it from the start.  If your plan is to run as far as you can then stagger to the finish fine, but if you are trying to do it as a controlled Run / Walk thing, then do it from the beginning. IMHO.

08/07/2014 at 12:45

Cannot decide, but i'm umming and arrghing at trying my first back to back marathon weekend.  With a 6 hour limit for each day. 

I'm a just over 4:35 mara runner (so far), so not sure what sort of pace to aim for thinking around 5:15 or not sure if I should be aiming faster to put more effort in, amazing how much difference 15 to 20 minutes makes.  Then again two 5:30 maras is a great weekend 52 miles in 11 hours between them i wouldn't really complain about that, in fact i'd be very happy with that.

Not sure what drop off to expect for the second day if any, if I take the first day easy enough then i should be able to replicate it on day 2.  Maybe my target if I go for it should be to make day 2 quicker than day 1, negative days! hehe

08/07/2014 at 14:00

Dank-art, I am no expert, but I'm not convinced by run-walk for a 50km. Personally I would set out aiming to run most of it, but would go a bit slower than marathon pace, walk the hills, and walk regularly to eat. I like to keep things simple and go by feel as much as possible.

I've only done 2 ultras so far, but in my first one I was surprised by how my body could keep running, even though it hurt like mad... But then it hurt to walk as well, so I figured I might as well run and then it would be over quicker!

There are many ways of approaching ultras, so you will get several different answers. What have you been doing in training as this should have given you a feel for what suits you...

08/07/2014 at 14:04

Booktrunk - that is an exercise I also fancy doing before too long. Not able to give you any help on what to expect, but I would have thought that the negative split idea would be excellent training! Think I might look to get round just inside the cut off on day 1 and then really go for it on day 2 if my body felt up to it! No idea if that is sensible though!

Or you could use it as a pacing exercise and aim to maintain your target ultra pace across the 2 days and look to get identical times!

08/07/2014 at 14:06

Hope everyone is looking forward to their upcoming ultras. I've just started tapering for Lakeland 50 and have to say I'm enjoying easing back a bit after a hard few months! Starting to get both nervous and excited now!

08/07/2014 at 14:20

LNandB yes.  I'm thinking take Day 1 slow n steady, and be a bit more creative on Day 2 if i feel like it  It's 6 laps around a lake each day.  So 5:20-5:30 Day 1.  See if I can stay at the same steady pace for the first half of Day 2, then maybe try to speed up a bit in those last 3 laps. If I can do that instead of just flagging and surviving then to me that's a bit of a sign that my endurance is getting better   so slight negative split over the two days is what i'm thinking would be the way to go.

That's it.  I've made a decision and signed up for both days.  So first back to back marathon weekend coming up at the end of this month.

Good luck at Lakeland LNandB it looks a great race.

Edited: 08/07/2014 at 14:30
08/07/2014 at 15:22

I have been training with normal runs with no walks, just a bit worried about my training, if i am ready, only three more weeks and then taper, managed 31 miles last week as had 10 hours mural painting on saturday and it wiped me out for sunday long so only managed 10 miles sunday, week before managed 35 miles, this week i am aiming for 38 miles....

Just want to complete the ultra, not looking for a good time, I did think starting the run walk from the start was a bit of a copt out, maybe i should run half, then see how my body feels....don't want to wipe myself out, and then DNF!

Also, is it advisable to do a half marathon race in place of my sunday long, i was due for a 17/18 mile run this sunday but saw the dartford had marathon is on, and thought i might do that...or is that a bad idea....


been truing with my north face hydration pack, carrying lots of gels and fluids, so used to wearing my pack now.....

getting nervous i am not up to fitness for the ultra, as have missed a few runs, next week i am painting live art at Latitude festival and won't get the chance for my scheduled friday 9 miles....

08/07/2014 at 15:53

Good to try out my Salomon vest on 21 mile trail race. Did find it rubbed my neck a bit so will have to experiment with different shirts. Love the soft bottles and loads of pockets. A few of us managed to get lost so added time and distance to an already insane multi terrain course. Hoping 50K is doable without run/walk strategy and that the hills will be the pace dictator! 

08/07/2014 at 15:56

The theory with R/W from the start is that by the time you 'change' to it, you are basically buggered, and cannot keep going... So it's almost pointless as you just run / walk in whatever seems good at the time,whereas if you do it from the start, you actually don't get to that totally knackered stage in the first place.

that's the theory anyway......

09/07/2014 at 08:18
I am thinking ill do run/walk from the start for
My first ultra to test the water so to speak! As you say bookatrunk don't want to destroy myself up to 20 then run walk crawl the rest of the way!
09/07/2014 at 13:20
I'd rather run for as long as I can and slow down later if needed as long as I'm running at a nice gentle pace it seems to work, upto 50m anyway! I did a 50k starting at road marathon pace minus 30 seconds which led to a very painful last 10 miles, I wouldn't recommend that tactic!

I did the summer plod too fairy clogs, was a lovely course, marking did seem to be a little sporadic in places though, a few times I had to run back and make sure I was still on track! I managed to have a lovely swim in the big too!
09/07/2014 at 19:58

My son-in-law did the Hardmoor 110 recently. I was part of his support team and ran the last 22 miles with him to help keep him going. As far as I could see, apart from the absolute crazy fast front runners all the experienced ultra runners used a version of RWR from the very beginning, to avoid burning out. It seemed to be standard procedure. Some did it to time, some walked any incline but ran the down and flat, some R/W by distance (e.g. mile R then a mile W). There were loads of variations. One of my s-i-l's friends did MDS this spring. He said that RWR was THE way to go in such a race in order to conserve energy and not blow up completely later. And he is definitely no wimp. He is mega fit, running an ultra on average once a month.

I say don't knock it and just do as the experts do.


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