Advice needed on Kent 50

Ok, I'm seriously considering the Kent 50 Mile Challenge in July. The furthest I have ever ran is a marathon, Edinburgh (3.50) in May and Loch Ness (4.11 - injured through ITBS so had to run/walk last half) in October.

I run about 40mpw and am currently working towards the Brass Monkey half in Jan and then will begin marathon training again for Edinburgh in May 2010.

Is it completely insane to think that I can race Edinburgh, then be ready for 50 (52) miles 8 weeks later? Would I mainly follow a marathon plan with perhaps some longer mid distance runs and be able to focus on the back to back sessions with the time I have left? Both marathon campaigns have involved 5 long runs totalling over 100, longest being just over 22 miles.

Too crazy to even contemplate right now?? Put thoughts of an ultra off until next Autumn/Winter?

Thanks for any advice


  • How well do you want to do in the two races?
  • Mr KMr K ✭✭✭

    image  but  image

    As I was recently told....."Priorities really"

    What about these   or these ?

  • The Kent 50 is a good relaxed event for a first ultra as it allows you to go for 30, 40 ot the full distance in a fairly generous cut off time.  I would give it a go.  As you've already done a couple of mararhons you should be able to pick up and increase your training quite soon after Edinburgh.
  • Thanks for the advice.

    My priority really is the marathon. I really want to go for sub 3.45 (but may be closer to sub 3.40 if training continues to go well) for a GFA time. I was quite close this year, but it was really hot and being my first marathon, "lost" it in the last 4 miles - although was still delighted!

    There would be no pressure on for Kent. All I want to do is enjoy it and finish before the cut off so I really don't mind how long it takes me. I've always been drawn to distance, but wanted to consolidate my marathon time first. I am confident I can do it this time, but if not, there's always the next time image.

    After Edinburgh I had about a week off and then went back into training for Loch Ness and was able to continue pb'ing in races over the summer, although I did suffer my first injury with my ITB. I did too many races though (Mr K!) and wasn't sensible with my training so suffered for it. I ended up missing/seriously limiting the last 6 weeks of real training for Loch Ness (still limping 10 days before) and did have to run/walk for the first time ever. I was knackered after that, but I think that was more a fitness issue. I've managed things a lot better this time and have built my base mileage up to a minimum of 40 weeks over the past few weeks (from about 25-30 before I decided to try a marathon, my peak mileage for marathon was only 40-50 miles), so feel I am in a much better condition now for increasing my weekly mileage after York.

  • Hi Kelly

    I've already entered the kent 50 miler in July. it will be my first ultra but this event seemed to be a good one to do for a first timer like me!

     Anyway, if you decide to do it maybe we could keep in touch and give each other some moral support along the way?!

    Good Luck!

  • Hi Kelly

    Based on the fact Im going to do similar (london and Comrades) all the advise I have recieved is you can but has already been said one will neeed to be your priority NOT both. For me London will be a training runimage as originally I was going to go for 3.40  with a best of 3.48 but  now going to sneak a sub 4 and nothing more. Hope that helps> GOOD LUCK

  • I'm this close to pressing the buttons to make this happen. If I enter it, I'll be forced to give it 100%, so it will be fine then, but I'm in this "come on, 50 miles is a LLLOOONNNNGGG way you nutter" limbo at the moment!
  • As BBH says it's a great event.  Very friendly and a great race for a first ultra.  Apart from lap 5, which was my lap from hell, I had a fab time this year.  I was really worried about getting round in the cut-off but managed it in 12.31.  Even if you race Embra hard I'm sure you'll have no probs with Kent.
  • image (why does the thinking smilie look so cheesed off)

    I notice on the website there is a discount on entering the Moonlight and 50 mile challenge together. Moonlight would allow me to test some long, slower miles and get used to ultra type pacing before I need to start my serious marathon training.

    There is the small matter of then needing to travel all that way twice though and it being my youngest's 3rd birthday on the 28th Feb. Do you think he'd fancy an overnight trip to Kent as a birthday treat? image

  • Hmm, somehow I suspect not!

    When I can get my head round the running at night bit I'll give it a go. 

    Luckily for me the race HQ is only a 90 min or so drive.  Given the state of me when I peeled myself out of the car when I got home anyone would have thought it was a lot further though!!

  • I also did this as my first ultra last year after running London and actually only really decided to do it on the morning of the event without putting any proper training in for it.

    There is no pressure as you can drop out whenever you want to and I only went along hoping to do the marathon distance and maybe one more loop but ended up just carrying on to complete it.I certainly wasn't pushing for any time just seeing what I could do and if you're happy with that then this is a great way to try longer distances as you are never more than 3miles from the HQ and everyone was very encouraging and friendly.

    Your times are much better than mine but is it the time or the distance that you want to aim for?You will be able to do it this,no problem.

  • I ran london this year, 3:30, picked up my training and was on for a sub 3:20 in Sept (Sadly collapsing due ot dehydration..bugger bugger, bugger) and then picked up my distance work again a couple of weeks later, and have it im my mind that if i run at least one 20+miler  per month then i am ready to drop into a marathon or ultra with about 4 weeks notice (i'm not usually any more organised that this to book ahead...)

     Last weekend i tackled the Doyen ofd The Downs, my first ultra, and it was wet hard and fun!,m and was pleased with 4:52

     Doing training that keeps you up there in terms of fitness, circa 40 week, so having an 8 week gap between events seems, to me a concern about nothing. I've considered the Kent, but I think the tough part will be knowing it's laps, and a drop out is easy. When you;ve got to get back to base, and it's 20 miles away, well...might as well shuffle along hadn't you.

     Press the button, you know you want to   image

  • Right, that's it. I'll do it image image.

    The thing with me is, when I set my mind to do something, I'll do it, no matter what (hence the crazy decision to do Loch Ness when I was barely able to run a mile the week before). Laps usually drive me nuts, but the first time for this kind of event I would like the safety of it and the fact I won't need to carry anything. Once I go past the line, even if I'm only 0.5 miles into a lap, I'll have to go forwards, not back, so the hardest part will be the starting of each lap.

    My focus for Edinburgh will be time and Kent will be distance. Knowing my competitive nature, I'll still push myself, but if I end up having to walk the last 20 miles, I will image.

    I emailed the organiser with some of my concerns and he replied saying he would make sure I had a place with even a day's notice. I'll definitely enter in advance, but I'll wait until Feb/March just to make sure my ITB is ok once I start really increasing my distance.

    I'm excited now!

  • Hi Kelly,I did this a few years ago, i didn't really do any specific  ultra training just a few long off road runs of about 1hr 45 to 2hr 15 along the Saxon shoreway and in the North downs. I think speed training is more important for me, i tend to think if can do 6min miles for shorter races then i could run 8min miles for an ultra race and it would be like a jog.

    I found that because I was going slower than marathon pace and could eat and drink each lap, that i didn't hit the wall and found it really comfortable compared to marathons.

    I tried to think of it as being on my feet for 7 hours rather than 52 miles which i think helped mentally. I drank a can of full sugar coke at the start of the last lap as well which gave me a boost.

    I didn't try and keep up with anyone and just went at my own pace, then picked off the leaders over the second half. If you get caught up racing someone and blow it's a long way left to struggle.

  • Mr KMr K ✭✭✭
    Good for you kaysdee image I look forward to hearing about it.
  • You have a range of advise most of which I'd agree with, the additional advise I would offer is look up some Long Distance Walker Association (LDWA) events (you can run them, lots of us do) as part of your training they are relaxed  , non competitive and great for building stamina and strength. Events range from 20 miles to a 100 miles, great experience and you'll meet a range of great guys along the way!
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