24 hour race in belfast

Looking for any info on how  tackle a 24 hour run round a race track.I have done connemara ultra in april and 2 other marathons this year but am going to give this a go to see how far I can run in 24 hours.Does anybody have any experience they can share on strategy.


  • Robin,

    These links might give you a starting point... http://www.ultrunr.com/track.html and http://www.ultrunr.com/24hourpacing.html

    Check out William Sichel's site for loads of tips.


  • sites look  great thanks keith
  • Robin - I'm gonna do this race also. Will be my first 24hr track race. I guess it's tougher mentally. I done the ultra in Connemara for the past 2 years and the scenery is just wow.

    I'm just back from doing Western States 100 - again, scenery - wow. I think after this race, we'll never want to see Mary Peters Track againimage It's a tough old mental grind to run in circles for 24hrs.

    As for strategy - I'm gonna cover as much distance as I can over the first 16-18hrs. Then I'll go on how I feel. I may adapt a run2/walk1 lap. It'll all depend on how I'm feelin mentally.   

  • graeme  running mate and me have decided last minute to give this a go to see how we can get on, were thinking of aiming for connemara 100 next year but thought this would give us a idea of running for long time esp at night.Means dont need extensive back up to follow you and if cant finish then only 400m from end

    I am not sure how We will feel going round and round but looking forward to the challenge but cetainly not as scenic as connemara the heat was something else for ireland,maybe not as hot as Western States.

    We are going to go overboard with kit/food to be on the safe side.and do run/walk strategy like we tried at connemara

    Hope to see you there

  • Good luck guys, i'm currently trying to make the next step from marathon to ultra and can't imagine running round the Mary Peters track for that length of time! A nice scenic ultra such as Connemara will hopefully be a nice starter ultra. Well done on the WS100 Graeme, that really is some going and at altitude! How do you train for altitude in NI?

    Cheers and good luck WR

  • WR they are taking entries now for Connemara next year.Robin and me done it as our first ultra in April and i have to say it was fantastic.The course the people everything  i loved and i will be back.You should enter the track race for the crack and use it as a long training run image

    Graeme WS 100 thats fantastic stuff well done you will have to tell us all about it.

    Really looking forward to this 24 hr race no idea how far i can run/walk and what it will feel like after a few hours mentally.

  • Cheers lads. Connemara was my first ultra back in 2009. Absolutely loved it and a great starter for the ultra world. I made the mistake of running the marathon route the day before the ultra this year and kinda crumbled.

    WS was a great experience. Hardest thing I've done to date. WR - done zero running at altitude, just a LOT of hills. Thankfully the altitude didn't affect me at all and the quads held together. My pacer took me out the Sunday prior and we ran parts of the course which was a huge benefit.

    Looking forward to this challenge. I don't ever run with music but I reckon the mp3 player will be coming with. It's not like we can enjoy the scenery - pretty sure there'll be good company though, which will be a great help in our hamster wheel.

  • Definately no to the track race, furthest i've run is 26.2, got Palma marathon in october and then planning an assault on an ultra next year.

    Good luck WR

  • whitehead once you have done an ultra your mind will be open to "different" challengesimage
  • Cheers Robin, just finding the time to do the training is a challenge!!
  • train on the day like I do every now and again. Nothing beats that "sink or swim" feelingimage
  • I've only done one 24hr race and it went really well so I can tell you what worked for me.

    I ran the first 70km (not planned, just ran for as long as it felt comfortable).  I then switched to my planned run 3mins, walk 2mins schedule.  That lasted until I got a bad case of trapped wind at about 11-12hrs and I had to walk for about 2 hrs.  Someone gave me some bicarbonate of soda, I chundered, cleared the gas and then felt fine.  From then on I ran 700m and walked 300m (every 50m was marked on to the 1km track) until the end.

    I think the most important thing is to be able to change your plans.  

    I'm doing another 24hr run in November and will aim to do a similar thing (without the 2 hours of trapped gas as I'll be taking my own bicarb of soda).

    Good luck with Belfast!

  • manx thanks for the advice (i will add bicarbonate of soda to my list to bring).I think we will do something along these lines,ie make it up as we go along.

    What food were you taking. did u get hot food brought in by helpers.i like the idea of proper food being delivered

  • There was food there but it meant stopping and ordering and waiting for the order to be made (unless you had a support crew who could do that for you).  Personally, I always have as big a variety as I can get when I do an ultra.  I find that I tend to crave things (eg. prawn cocktail crisps, milk, scotch eggs, ham baps etc) and you never know what the cravings will be or when they'll hit.  If I have a smorgasboard I can take my pick.  Mind you, I normally only eat a fraction of what I bring but it's nice to have stuff available just in case.

    Full fat milk is an absolute must for me though.

  • Just out of interest Manx, how far did go in the 24hrs?
  • 134.5 miles, which was way further than I was expecting image
  • Fantastic Manx  no way am i expecting  to get anywhere near that image  Robin might however he likes the track image
  • dream on jim,if i break a hundred i will be over the moon

    Manx that is some distance,how many were doing the race.they have a maximum of 50 for belfast

  • 43 starters so it wasn't over crowded at all.  It was round Fitz Park in Keswick - beautiful location.  I think that a track is so much more difficult, especially on the mind!
  • yeh I think going round the track will be a killer but i feel if achieve that then anything else must be easier on the mind ,just got a flyer from organisers to say the start will be on BBC local news,better that than the finishimage
  • Nah, nothing is better than the finish of a 24 hour race!  It's an unbelievable feeling.
  • PIty i didnt hear about this til today. Dont think it has left me enough time as a  novice to get enough long runs in.

    I have just done a 50k in 5;15ish two weeks ago. How far/long should one be able to go before you could have a reasonable chance of being able to finish?

    Would a 100k be a necessity or would you be wasting your time and risking injury to take this on without gazillion training miles in the bag?

  • As I have only done one, I'm no expert but I never did more than 55 miles (aggregate) in a week leading up to the one I did last year.  I'm doing the same this year.  Basically (mainly due to time) I manage a 5 miler most weekday mornings, one speed session a week (6 x 800m with 1min rest) and a hard long run (between 22-27 miles) at the weekend.  I think the key to my training was the pace.  I did try to push hard in training and when it came to the 24hr run I just knocked off the speed, went in 2nd gear and seemed to have lots in the tank.

    It worked for me and my longest run was 27 miles.

  • Thats very encouraging.
    Probably best not to look at it for this year though. Try to build up a bit more time on the feet and mileage. Im quite slow. What kind of pace do you run Muppet?

    Im going to buy a bike today so that I can run in and out of work some days during the week. Hopefully the increase in mileage will help towards covering the longer distances.

    Do people actually stay on their feet for the whole 24 hours even if they are reduced to a very slow walk?

  • That's great going Manx, well done!!image

  • The weekday runs are off road hilly so pace doesn't really matter.  The long run at the weekend is normally between 7 and 7.20 min/mile.

    It doesn't really fit in with the established norm for ultra trainiing but it has worked for me the last 3 years (I did an 85 miler the year before the 24 hr race).

  • Hi, been thinking about this race as i had done Connemara Ultra this year - have not done many regular long runs since as i have Ironman Roth this sunday 18th July - will hopefully officially enter after this if the body (and mind) is up for it!

    I hate entering (ie paying) for races to find i'm not up for it! .. also cheers for the lists/ links for race kit etc... its good to be prepared
  • Marty likewise with me apart from pacing the 4.30 group at the Belfast marathon all my runs since Connemarra have been 10 or 11 at most.So i am entering this with what fitness i have and seeing how it goes.Good luck with the ironman.

    Being doing a lot of reading to try and get a game plan for the race but you now what i will just run/walk how i feel.Looking forward to it i think image

  • I always say that an ultra is 40% physical and 60 % mental so you'll be fine if you have a good level of base fitness.
  • Does anyone know if it is filling up fast?

    Logic and reason advises me to wait for next year and do proper training for it. But there is still a little buzz somewhere inside me that says if I can get a place to go for it. I will end up walking most of it anyway but would love to see how far I could get.

    How do they judge the distance you walk? If you walk on the outer lane you will cover more ground than the inner lane. Would you have to pick a lane and stick to it for the entire time?
    Am if Off my head as a 4;10 marathonner not having covered more than 50k recently to even consider this?

    Please put me out of my misery with straight talk one way or the other as I am driving myself demented.image

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