5k to Lakeland 50 (in 2013)

Hi there I started running in January of this year to try and improve fitness for other pastimes (I do a lot of fellwalking). I actually started 2011 at a weight of 16.5 stone and managed to shift just over 2 stone on diet alone.

I discovered the Couch to 5k apps and followed one of them right through, culminating in eventually getting my distance up to 4 miles continous. I am very much a plodder though and trying to maintain much below 12 minute meals, probably due to the fact I am still relatively overweight. The one thing I have noticed is recovery time is tiny compared to when I started.

Anyway... it is my aim to enter the Lakeland 50 in 2013. I am not planning to break any records, but I would like to get round, preferably with some running along the way.

My training after the Cto5K ground to halt thanks to a change in personal circumstance, but thing are about to return to normal, so I am going to resume training from next week. My intital plan is to continue on with the "couch to" type training but stretch it out 10k to begin with. I'll drop back to the 2.5 mile week (which I can still manage despite the condition loss) and then follow it for 7 weeks up to 10k.

A few things I could do with advice. I'd like to lift my pace up, especially over shorter distances. What is the best way to achieve this. I certainly think I have a sub 30 minute 5k inside me, but not sure how to unlock it. Should I aim for more ssutained running (rather the jog I can manage now), over short distances (say half a mile or 500 metres), then gradually increase this or will the pace increase over time naturally?

Also the Lakeland 50 is not your average day out on the fells and will take a little more than a few runs on the local cycle track. What other training should I be incorporating for this. I was previously doing circuit training, which I itend to return to, anything else useful.


  • Bike ItBike It ✭✭✭

    Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on getting rid of so much unecessary weight so far.  You will speed up naturally as you carry on getting rid of excess kilos.  However, You are talking about specific training to improve speed.

    I would recommend you to do so interval type training.  This will get your body used to higher speed running, but because the intervals are relitavely short to what you are capable of then it would not be over taxing.  Interval training is a short time at a faster speed than normal and then recover at a slower speed than normal and repeat a few times.  If you can run 5K now then maybe something like 200-400m faster with 400-800m recovery with 4-5 repeats would be a start.

    If you want to run 50 miles next June, I would recomend that you would be able to run a marathon distance race by something like March/April next year.  This would probably give you the rest of this year to build up to run something like 15-20 miles and then have an endurance building phase in winter.

    The Lakeland 50 course looks to be very hilly on rough ground. I assume you are not going to race and just go for a managed run/walk within the time limit.  I recomend you to do lots of leg strengthening otherwise your quads will be destroyed.  E.g. weighted squats and lunges and hamstring curls.  To prepare your legs for the instability of the trail, then I recomend you to run on similar surfaces as it will be very difficult to if you just prepared on the repetitivenes of the road.  Also you would need to run hills (down as well as up) in preparation.  Also run at night and learn to eat as you go.  

     It's a big challenge you set yourself.  There is a risk of injury if you try to do too much too soon so please be careful.  Good Luck image

  • Hi

    Just saw your post.   The Lakeland is do-able.  I know because I did it as an overweight, slightly over middleaged lady.  I am hopefully about to do it again, I say hopefully because you never know and this year is different from last year in many ways.  The weather has been horrendous and the tracks and trails have been battered to bits.  I am keeping fingers crossed.

    Anyway back to the training, I did a combination of run/walk.  I did walk all of the night bits as it was very dark and even with my brilliant headtorch I felt walking was safer than trying to run.     So learn to cope on tracks,  trails, and rough ground uphill and downhill if you are a fell walker already you're half way there.  Get out on the hills, train for the terrain, learn to be comfortable walking in the dark.  Get used to your kit, get used to what you are going to fuel yourself with.   The Lakeland is a brilliant event, well run and very friendly.  I do hope you enter because you won't regret it.  

    I would say make yourself a loose training plan, split into three sections to cover from January to Mid July of base training, core training and then tapering down. Try out some LDWA events if you haven't already, they are great fun.   My main tip would be to get into the Lakes and recce all of the route.   Apart from the fact that it's good from a training and getting ready point of view, recce's are a great excuse to spend even more time there.

    Good luck with your training.



  • Well done for the massive weight loss, good man!

    Get up in the hills and learn the route and as you're doing so, your body will get used to the asscents and descents, as you get more used to it start throwing running into the mix too.  As long as you get the time on your feet in then you'll be fine.  It's more important to be able to hill walk for 10 hours than to be able to run a certain distance on the flats.

    It's a great event with the best people and amazing checkpoints and marshalling staff, you'll love it, but enter quick, it will be full in a few days!


  • Hey I'm similar started this may, was very overweight, lost just under 4 stone and plodding around my first marathon in October, but love the challenge of the Lakeland 50, so just signed up we can both struggle n compete to see which of us comes further back
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