Novice runner to ultra - bad idea?

I've aways been drawn to stories of going long and read some of the experiences of ultra regulars with wonder. It's always been in the back of my mind.

However, I've previously only run one marathon, a handful of halfs and a few of shorter races. This year I was training to run my second marathon and all of my training was going well until I got injured racing a half mara in my buildup.

I had a bit of a layoff waiting for MRI scans and the like and since returning to running have had little appetite. Now I really want something to train hard for.

The country to capital 45m looks ideal with the added appeal that I used to live a couple of hundred yards from the finnish line.

I'm pretty detrained at the moment after my layoff but still have enough base to ease myself into a marathon program.... if I followed a 16 week mara program followed by a couple of months race prep, is it doable?

Part of me thinks it's ridiculous but the other half says that although I've only run longer than 15 miles about 10 times, the mental side to my running has always been very strong and I've usually looked forwards to my long runs during training.


  • that confused me - there is another wackyracer who obviously spells it differently who is a very experienced ultra runner image
  • I say go for it as long as you are fit and healthy

    January 2012 right?

    Committed preparation, a realistic target and judicious use of run-walk should see you right

    Maybe a 50km event between now and then to get a feel for the challenge?

    Good luck!

  • lurker, although my wife has just told me off for calling myself a novice (apparently that's what she is) I'm definately not to be confused with an experienced ultra runner!

    Lamb Chop, yep Jan 2012. Doesn't sound so scary as it's next year image Do you think a 50Km training run would suffice or would you recommend trying to find an event?
  • Mate, i've never run any further than a marathon so everything I contribute is a combo of opinion and stuff I've picked-up.

    That said I'd recommend an actual event as close to the format and terrain as the main event you are targeting. 50 km too long a training run for me...I think i'd find a good reason to head home after about 20 miles!
  • I know what your saying, the longest training run I've ever done was around 22m and I'm sure I've read that longer training runs than that are not productive. Not sure if that still applies for ultra training.
  • I think the 22 mile distance only relates to marathons.  I do go further when training for ultras although there will come a point when it is not realistic to go further in a single session due to lack of support, time constraints etc.  - as a slow old Bear this is usually around the 30 mile mark.  I then do another session, usually shorter - the following day. 
  • It is eminently doable. 

    I had not done anything longer than a half marathon when I successfully took on my first ultra.  My friend (who also had not done more than a half) was then emboldened to try the same experiment with the same result. 

    Just go for it. 

  • You can do it!

    This time last year I was starting training for my first marathon, (Palma in October) having only runs a few halves.

    I then did a 50km in February, a 50-mile in May and have just done 120km at the 24-hour Thunder Run, (with a few marathons along the way as training runs)

    For me this meant lots of back-to-back long runs, (Sat / Sun) learning to run/walk comfortably and refuel/eat on the move.

    Take it slowly and you'll be converted!

  • Thanks guys, appreciate your comments. Decided I'm definately going to give it a crack....need to slowly build up my distance again first but back to back long runs, here I come image

  • I will give you a warning. 

    You will get a lot of people who have never ran an ultra talking down your chances of doing it.  They mean well but they are really not helpful. 

    Only listen to people who have actually done an ultra, as they will be a lot more positive and have a much more realistic idea of whats involved. 

  • Did some one call me?

    I've done a few Ultras from 30 miles up to 100 plus loads of three and  five days back to back events but i'm still a bit of a novice but if i can help i will.

    The first thing you have to do is get yourself a good name but with a twist. Then you have got to use your craziest  thought wave band to visualize your distance. Then fill your mind with self belief and work out your plan. Then go for it ! You can do whatever you put your mind to.

     just keep smiling and have Fun. image

  • better late than never.

  • glad you could make it waccy image

    it would be fair to say that I have certainly fallen in love with the long run since this!

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