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1505 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Oct 18, 2010 6:35 PM by Einherjar
Einherjar Amateur 28 posts since
Jan 28, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 18, 2010 6:04 AM

Thinking about getting into ultras..

This past Saturday I decided to go out and do a nice long run. My longest run ever before had only been about 17 or 18 miles, so I just wanted to beat that, but I think I secretly wanted to go much further. I planned out a ~11 mile out course that went by the inlaws house so I could get some food/water. That worked out well. When I finally made it back my legs were definitely feeling beat, but I wanted to keep going, especially since I was so close to a marathon.


So I made another loop up that would bring me to that and I eventually made it to almost exactly 50k. Time was 4:20 with a few pauses for stretching and water. It was nice to see I could do it, but man were my legs done for after that. Good thing I could just lay on the couch and watch football for the rest of the afternoon.


A couple questions, do most long distance runners have joint issues?  My muscles weren't that bad, but my knee and hip joints were very sore.


And how much is recommended to eat during something like this?  I made an effort to have a Gu every 5 miles whether or not I was hungry, and I think I had 4 water breaks. And I must say I really enjoyed those Orange Gu Chomps. They were good to snack on.


Looking forward to my next bad decision.   Hopefully a real race and not just something I do on my own.

Xterras are fun.

First 50k - 10/16/2010 - 4:20

Half and Full Ironman in 2011

  • doogiedoogiedoo Amateur 9 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 18, 2010 2:31 PM (in response to Einherjar)
    Re: Thinking about getting into ultras..'re crazy. i mean that as a compliment (sort of) because you sound like me, but seriously... if the longest you had ever run before your 50k was 17 or 18 miles you're just asking for an injury. trust me, i've learned this the hard way.

    this is a really long response, but bear with me here. heed my tale of warning!!!


    i used to be very non-chalant about my mileage. i never paid attention to all of the loads of advice i had read saying that you should increase your mileage slowly, no more than 10% per week. you see, i'm young and stupid so i figured if i could grit my teeth and pound out some arbitrary mileage and finish the run upright, i must be ok. well, this past year (fall '09) on a whim i wanted to start doing some races again. i used to run quite a bit a few years ago and had finished a few marathons but eventually i lost interest (i.e. burned out) and went back to weight training. no running whatsoever for probably a year and a half. so last fall i got off my couch and signed up for a half marathon about a month in advance. i just dove right in. the half went pretty good, all things considered, so i signed up for a few more races spaced a few weeks apart. by december i had decided that apparently i was invincible since i was doing all of this on very littly training and still turning in respectable finishes in my age group. so i signed up for a marathon in january...and another in february...and then a "trail challenge" weekend last march that consisted of a half on saturday followed by a full on sunday (did i mention the 'young and stupid' part?). so, i PRd in the marathon in january and i followed up with another PR in the marathon in february. things were going great but my knees were starting to hurt. a lot. and my hips. remember, i hadn't run much at all for over a year prior to the previous october. so now it's march and i got through the half on saturday. i consiously "took it easy" but still went probably fast than i should've given that it was a trail run and this was literally the FIRST i had ever run on crushed granite. that night it felt like my knees were both on fire. i had never had so much pain after a run of any distance (although in hindsight my knees and hips had been getting progressively worse over the past several months). i grudgingly stayed in bed that sunday not because i was being prudent, but because i literally couldn't put any weight on my legs. i tried to get out of bed and suck it up, but it just wasn't gonna happen. within a day or two i got the swelling down and promptly forgot about it. i went about my business running and doing smaller races. it wasn't until just a couple of months ago that i finally admitted that i wasn't imagining my knee pain and that it wasn't going to "work itself out". i went to the ortho and long story short (er...probably too late for that), i had significant tears to the meniscus in both knees as well as some raging ITBS. i had surgery on the left knee a few weeks ago and still need to schedule surgery on the right one.


    so, i know this advice doesn't directly pertain to ultras (i'm in the same boat as you...i had planned to bang some out next year), but i am SERIOUSLY rethinking my approach to training after this past year. i'm beginning to appreciate that joints are finite resources and it IS possible to use them up by being dumb with your training. why not take your time, ease in to the mileage and enjoy those joints for a lifetime rather than gritting your teeth and going down in a blaze of glory? just because you can muscle through the mileage doesn't mean you SHOULD.


    best of luck

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