Tackling my first 100 mile race

My running partner and myself are looking at taking the step up to our first 100 mile event this summer. 

I have completed a 50 mile race previously but my running partner has not gone beyond 50k previously.  I have told him that I will take him on a 50 mile event around April time to give him some experience at that distance. 

So what advice can you guys give us in terms of our training and preparation?


  • take it steady - plenty of decent length back to back runs.....ensure you eat plenty during. Pretty much carry on as you have been, but just keep going.
  • Dan ADan A ✭✭✭
    What is the event? NDW? UTMB? Lakeland 100? Trail? Hills? Laps round a track?

    Best thing is to try and train on the type of terrain that you'll be racing. If you are doing UTMB or Lakeland 100 for example, you need to do tons of vertical. If possible, get out on the course and recce as much of the route as you can.

    Are you planning on racing for a place, or a time, or just to get round? If it's the latter, then your training shouldn't need to be any different from your 50 mile training.
    Work out your nutrition plan? What food & drink is on the checkpoints, and what do you need to carry? Do you need food that requires preparation or cooking for example, and will facilities be available?

    Think about what you will be wearing. How cold/wet might it be. Are your clothes going to be OK after 24 hours soaking wet perhaps? What will you carry, and what can you leave with crew/checkpoints/supporters?

    Physically, 100 miles should be doable for any long distance runner if you get the pace right. If not, then it will be a very uncomfortable experience. Practise running on tired legs if you're not used to it.

    Good luck.
  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    the main advice i would give is prepare for the negative thoughts and feelings of wanting to stop. its a big mind game! also remember that you will go through many rough patches over 100miles. keep plodding through them and you'll come out the other side. as soon as you let self doubt get the better of you your on a downward spiral
  • Ben if you e mail me your address i'd be happy to share the 100 mile training program that I've written for the ndw100. It should give you an idea of what is involved. I am by no means an expert but have run 5 and will be running 5 more this summer for the US Grand Slam so am obviously in the midst of training myself.



  • Ben - You beat me to the thread posting, just decided to take on my first 100 miler this year also (off the back of two ultra's to date 40 miles and 50 miles). I think the NDW100 looks the most likely race for me. Reading the responses above I think the suggestion to recce the route resonates most with me as in my previous ultras I have been a tad anxious about getting lost and this has diminished my enjoyment of the race in parts or lead to me joining groups running either quicker or slower than the pace I wanted at that stage.

    centurionrunner - I will take up that offer for the training plan also, thanks.

    All - On a slightly different but hopefully related note; my wife is a non-runner and the hours spent training / running can add some strain to home harmony has anyone got any suggestions for getting her and my 9 year old daughter involved in the build up to my 100 (aside from converting them to runners as that approach has failed miserably so far)?
  • Hi Alistair

    There seems to be a year leap in this thread but that doesn't matter.

    NDW is a perfect choice for a 100 miler. The downs way is very easy to follow and centurion running marked the course very well. I was worried about getting lost and recced the route a couple of times but i needn't have even in the dead of night the marking was easy to follow.

    I will say the race is a toughy it got the better of me. This year the route has changed and become a point to point. I know the second half like the back of my hand and from mile 65 to mile 80ish is sooo hard. I'll be having another crack this year.

    My wife is also a non-runner but she is my crew for every race I do and sometimes comes on training runs with the kids on thier mountain bikes. It is certainly something we do together. My kids used to love following me around in the car but they are a bit older now and get very bored on race day.

  • Dill

    In your opinion, will the new NDW route be easier or harder than the out and back one?

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Rare thanks to that spammer who resurrected an old thread! (Is RW doing anything about them btw?)

    Not counting the LDWA 100 I did last year, which can't be treated as a race and had issues for runners, this year I'm doing my first 100, the UTSW.

    Would be interested in S or N DW 100s in the future, whichever one is point-to-point, rather than just 50 miles out and back.

    From what I can gather the most important issue is to look after your feet, so find the shoe/sock combination that works for you.  Easier said than done!  Also I've learned it is very important to keep eating, right from the very outset.  Keep the engine fuelled.

    Walk the uphills.  And the steep downhills.  And some of the level bits.  And the bits at night. Unless you're elite of course, which I'm not.

  • The second half is on a par with the first. From Knockholt to the Medway crossing is about 16 mile and is steady ups and downs, after the crossing there is a hill that must be 3 mile in length which is a killer.

    Once that hill is conquered the route is really hard for the next 12 mile ish constantly going up and down the full height of the downs untill you reach Hollingbourne.

    After Hollingbourne things ease off and flatten out and should make for a nice end to the race.

    Are you in it this year?

  • Dill

    I have not decided whether to preserve my ever-present status at the NDW 100 yet.  I have a pretty heavy campaign from March to June, so I don't know if I will be all ultrad out.  This is certainly a race that I intend to come back to though. 

    T rex

    Owing to a change in the route of the NDW 100, both the north and south downs way routes are point to point now. 

Sign In or Register to comment.