I am considering doing an Ultra (53 mile) but I am not sure if I am ready for it. I am currently training for a Half Iron this year so I don't run everyday, but I am logging one long run a week that is typically between 17-19 miles depending on the course. During the week I also log a couple hours in the pool and 4-5 hours on the bike in addition to the 4-5 hours of running I get in. Oh, and I also lift twice a week.
My long runs have been going since July of last year and I typically run long 3 weekends in a row and than only do a 10 miler on my rest week. You should also consider that all my running to date has been done on roads and the Ultra I am considering is mostly trail based. I have been focusing on hills in my running (although nothing like the hills that are in the Ultra).
I have no consideration for time... I just want to be able to do the whole Ultra with my head held high. The question is... can I survive it? Or do I need to wait until my TRI is over and then just focus on running for a year to prepare for an Ultra?
The Ultra I am considering is the Vermont Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge ... www.peakraces.com
Any experiences/suggestions that you can share would be greatly appreciated.
I think you can do it if you can get those weekly long runs up to 25-30 miles. You don't have to run every day and the cross-training you are doing may actually be healthier for your body than straight running.
You could do it, but you might want to get some trail runs in. Trail running can be a lot harder then running on the road. Being that there are rocks and roots and a possible stream. Don't forget hills... Just go at it to finish and don't worry about your time. Good luck and have fun!
All of the responses are good and should be taken into consideration. Logging time on your feet is crucial. I've found back-to-back days of high mileage to be very beneficial. Heading out for a long Saturday, like Jay recommended 25-30 and then doing 2/3rds of that on Sunday is a good way to get your body to adapt to higher mileage on fatigued legs.
The next and often overlooked factor to consider is nutrition. Your calorie intake must increase and this takes practice as well. A fueling (Fueling=hydration and nutritional intake) strategy must be devised and utilized during training and competition.
Simulation of race day conditions. You need to run on trails
Active Toby wrote:
Logging time on your feet is crucial.
It's true. Beyond the running that you will be doing for your training, it's a good idea to avoid sitting down whenever possible. Just try and stay standing as much as you can throughout the day. Even 30 mile training runs can't simulate the amount of time you'll be on your feet during your race. Your legs need to learn how to keep your body upright for such a long stretch.
I believe I neglected to read the 53 mile part. Are you hoping to finish your Tri with a PR? If so you might want to wait to do the Ultra at another time. It's a lot of time on your feet. Everybody's different and some can handle the stress better. Always be sure to keep hydrated. I was just at an Ultra and it was very hot. I took someone to the emergency for dehydration and while we were there four other people arrived. It's not a pretty sight! I will say it was a great experience and the people are a wonderful bunch!
So how was Bishop? Did the altitude get to you? I wanted to do that race but its too close to my target race (6/7). Would you recommend it? I'd probably do the 50M option. How was the weather? Any snow left? Ok, sorry that was too many questions. Thanks!
Hi! It was great! Very hot.. Some snow. I would totally do it again and would recommend it for sure. As for the altitude. I was really nervous about it, but I had no issues with it. Aside from going a bit slower. So you're doing the 100 down near S.D.? I thought about signing up for the 50K. What do you think? Also I'm doing the Tahoe Rim Trail run. Have you ever done it and do you have any suggestions?
That's awesome: Very hot, snow, altitude..! That's a REAL race hehe.
So yeah the SD100 is coming right up, 2 weeks out now
The 50K in SD, the Noble Canyon 50K? I did it last year--it's awesome. Great course. The first portion is climbing. Second portion is flat, next descends back to the start. Check out my race recap fore more details. I've heard the Tahoe run is really good and the guys over at TheRunDown.net have a great race report you should check out. It's cool to meet another CA ultra runner on here. Let's keep in touch for sure!
Thank you for the info! Are you in the S.D. area? I'm north in the San Fernando Valley. We have some (believe it or not) go trails close by so if you're in the area or close and would like to get a run in let me know. I can point you in the right direction. Also if you know of any Ultra running running groups this way let me know. I have been doing most of my training by myself or with my dog Lili.
Hey not a problem, its cool to see another socal ultra runner on here. SD is my home base and Active Network is headquartered here so I'm online all day and I'm here to help. That would be pretty cool if we got to meet up at one of these races eventually too. My schedule has really started to fill in for the rest of the year and its going to transition to triathlon after the SD100. I do my best to keep things diverse and spread out so I'm always trying new stuff. I find its best for me and my role as the "endurance specialist" to be a jack of all trades when it comes to this lifestyle. Please feel free to use me as a resource, bounce ideas, gear, training schedules and such off of me and I'll do my best to get you all the info you need to be prepared so you can train, progress and reach your goals. Lynn, have a great weekend and I'll catch up with you soon. ~Toby
Hey Toby- I will for sure hit you up with any questions I have. It's always good to know someone who's been there. Hope you had a great weekend yourself. Are you in taper mode now so you might actually get out and do something other then run? Take care and thanks again!
I have ran 8 marathons over the past 6 years and did my first ultra (50 mile) marathon last March. My time wasn't that fast, but I had a lot of fun doing it. Trail running is so different from road races. You are forced to stop to go over or under obstacles and through water, so you have breaks built into the course. To me that was more enjoyable and I found myself laughing during the race at some of the ways I had to get around on the trail. If you can finish a Tri, and your long runs are 15-18 miles, you will have no trouble finishing an ultra. However, if you decided to do a longer ultra, I would recommend bumping up your running during the week.
Also, the ultra I ran was sponsored by our local adventure racing team, and they supplied plenty of fluids and snacks during the day. If your event does not supply anything for fuel stops you may want to invest in a hydration backpack and make sure to have a few power bars to snack on as well as Gu or other things you use to add carbs while you are running.
Good Luck and enjoy!
Two things for you, Manti:
1. As Wayne Gretzky so eloquently said, "You miss 100 percent of the shots that you don't take." So, if you don't take that quantum leap to the Ultra level then you may never find out.
2. Whatever condition you envision yourself finishing a simple 5k or a full-blown Ironman becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy so watch your inner dialogue.
Take a look at the great advice that these other athletes have to offer and incorporate their ideas into your own routine. If you need advice from the more experienced runners then I suggest that you visit your local bookstore and consult with Dean Karnazes (among other ultra greats). I mean, why reinvent the wheel?
Best of luck to you and please keep us posted!