Back to Back long runs

I will be doing my first Mini Ultra 50K this summer at the end of June.

Most of the training guides for this distance seems to have back to back long runs at the weekend. I havent managed to follow up any of my long runs yet with the required 10 milers. Managed a 6 and an 8 and nothing after my 21 on saturday this weekend. NOt cos the legs cant manage it  usually, although I am being ultra cautious about niggles in case I get injured, its often something else out of my control.

I  manage the long runs fine 18/ 20 /21/ ish. How vital are the second 10 mile runs. Could I still make it being so far behind on the runs or should I defer til next year. I manage marathons pretty ok with average times 4.10-4.30 .

Also is there a minimum( weekly) training mileage that I should be looking at to give me a fair chance of running the whole thing?

Finally . MY LSR's are usually about 9.50-10.10 minute miles with heart rate at 70-75% WHR. What kind of pace or effort should I be aiming for in marathon distance training runs? WOuld I be better going a tiny bit faster or staying very slow and making sure I ge the 10 in the following day.


  • most people would be fine doing a 50k off marathon style training... which rarely (never?) involves back to back long runs.. so chances are you'd be fine.

    i wouldn't like to commit to a minimum weekly distance, heck that varies wildly on marathon stuff as it is. you know what you can do and how your body responds to the training load, listen to your body.

  • Thats good newsimage

    I will just do my 3 or 4 26 milers as slow training runs and hope that will get me there on the day. Does this seem reasonable?

  • Never seen Mini and Ultra  in the same sentence.

    Ultra is Ultra.  Don't try and minimise it.  Do it and be proud.

  • Thanks Cornish Digger. Everyone says the 50 k is not really an ultra - just a bit longer than a marathon so I have got myself into a midset that it has to be at least 39ish to qualify as a real ultra?

    WIll do it and hopefully will not be destroyed ( in my proud state). ANy other tips?

  • i've often tongue in cheek referred to ultras.. and short ultras .. i guess 50k counts as short image

  • Would love to  have a go at a real longer distance ultra but I guess you have to start somewhere not too far from your comfort zone.  I just cant get my head around how you would run for 8 hours or more. Is it walk run kind of thing? and do you have to be reasonably speeedy at the marathon distance to have a go at it? Would hate to think that people had to wait around for hours for me to finish while everyone else had finished and gone home long beforeimage
  • Hence the beauty of a timed race-6, 12, 24 hours etc.  Everyone finishes at the same time.

    I say short ultra too, and I've sat at a table where 24 hour runners were calling 6 days races nuts!!

  • Ok , so the lingo is Short ultra not mini ultraimage Got it.

    I dont think there are so many ultra runs in Ireland that they do timed ones. Must be odd for everyone to finish in different places along the road.image

    So I am determined to finish this ultra . Where do I go from there . or how do I progress?

    Back to trying to  speed up marathon distance or keeping up regular long runs of say 20-26 miles every second weekend? Or what....

  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭

    Fizziofinn - don't knock it, an ultra is an ultra, to me anyway its anything over 26.2 milesimage

    Anyway, having just done my first (Two Oceans) i had the same reservations as you about the back to back long runs. About halfway through training, i did a couple. That was 10 miles followed by a big one the next day. I then got twitchy about getting niggles so stopped that idea and settled for a more reasonable 6-7 miles instead. It seemed to work for me fine and i made it to the finish line in one piece. In total, i manged to fit in ten 20+ milers which seemed to work for me. Above all, i would say enjoy the journey, its amazing when you cross that line.

  • Well done Martyimage Wow , Would love to do the two oceans at some stage.

    Was it fab or was it cruelly painful? Are you a fairly speedy marathon distance runner anyway?

    I am reassured by your post too , so thatnks for taking the trouble to put up a message. Knee was a bit dodgy and last night was my first 5M since satruday but I think I am good to go again this weekend for maybe a 10/10. Have a marthon next week whidh I will do as a lsr.

  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭

    Two Oceans was simply stunning. The scenary is breathtaking and for me anyway, took my mind off of running 35 miles. My intention was to enjoy it to the full so took regular walking breaks to take my gels (every 5 miles). I certainly didn't run it as i would do a normal race which i thinked helped me no end. And in terms of pain, just a few aches for a few days after, so think the training must have helped me in some way...

    In terms of my marathon times, i do around 3.35 ish. But in saying that my marathon split for the two oceans was 4 hours. So i managed to slow myself down enough to enjoy the final few miles.

    Unless i have missed it, which ultra are you doing?

    Good luck with your mara next week.

  • Ive only just started really on the Ultra scene too (being a fellow Irish runner "ultras" are not really talked about coz they dont seem to exist!).  Ive only started them now im on the mainland.

    My first step up to Ultras was a xc 50k and at the end i was "an ultra runner" - not a "mini ultra runner"!!  Ive completed a 24hour and 12 hour solo event and they are definately more relaxed that the point to point races (well for me as its usually more of personal challenge than a race). 

    I Am training for the comrades at the moment and back to back long slow runs are recommended by some, but not all, of the training schedules.  I have done some this month - usually 22 miles followed by 18 the next morning.  I think running on tired legs is really the key, possibly not the actual distance.  However I will also admit that i have had shin splints and achilles injuries this month - having never had them before.

    For my 50k I basically just stuck to a marathon schedule - maybe upping the distance of the long runs a bit. 

    Oh and i am definately not a speedy marathon runner - my pb is 3.50 on a fairly flat course.  I will never be fast but i can always go long image.   What is the race you are doing?? 

  • but but.. connemara is one of the most renowned ultra races in the UK image
  • i hadnt heard of it until i came to england!
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