Trail of Herts 55 mile Ultra Trail Race


Anyone else taking apart in the Trail of Herts? I've just signed up.

It will be my first time past 26.2 miles so would welcome any advice or pointers to decent training plans?




  • Hi Nick,

    just signed up too, should be a good'un!

    As for training plans, the internet is full to brimming point with complicated plans & ott tips but tbh, most of it will just deter you rather than aid you in training (especially if this is your first ultra).

    To train well just keep the fundamentals in mind:

    1) Leave your comfort zone. 2) No sudden jumps in mileage/effort 3) Dull tiredness-pain is good, acute injury-pain is bad. 

    So, in plain speak this means:

    Keep your training pretty similar to marathon training during the week, but start increasing the distance of your long runs slowly (2) over the period of a few months until you're doing around 30/35 miles.

    Further hints: - Sort out a refuelling strategy (ie. food/gels/electrolytes) and test it on long runs. - Don't be afraid to walk hills or give yourself a 5 minute walking break when you need it. Even elites do it.

    Good luck,


  • is there a map of the relief of this race online somewhere? how undulating is undulating? and by the sound of it, 'towpaths' etc, i'm guessing the race will be on hard-packed trail, gravelly sort of stuff mostly, and suitable for a door-to-trail type shoe, rather than requiring mudclaw-like lugs? help me out, people! image

  • I've signed up for this race (gulp!) and have just got myself some trail shoes based on the advice in the race literature ("We recommend you wear trail shoes" - quite unequivocal!).

    Again the race info on the website describes the first half as undulating (through the Chiltern Hills!) and the second half being flatter.

    From my experience in the last year or so of doing two 35-milers and a 45-miler, the long slow runs are the key to not feeling adrift nearer to race day - if you know that you're comfortable up to a certain distance or time-on-feet then you won't start to worry in the race until you reach that distance or time.

    As Robert says, leave your comfort zone - I'm just starting to experiment with doubling up on runs - e.g. long gentle run on the morning followed by a short gentle one in the evening, or a long one on one day followed the next day by a long (but shorter!) run.

    Also, assuming that you're not out to win the race, don't get hung up on pace/time. For an ultra, does it really matter?? My only goal with a new distance is to finish within the cut-off. Twice this strategy has seen me through. For the second 35-miler that I did, the only stress was that I wanted to finish it faster than I did the year before! To beat the 13hr cut-off for this one you can average about 14 mins per mile, which is perfectly doable even with a mixture of walking and running.

    And another point that I hope to test out myself before the race is to train on parts of the course - just to give a little bit of a psychological edge and so you don't feel that you're in 100% unknown territory.

    Good luck with training everyone - see you in September!

  • I've also signed up for this..I've flooded poor Cliff (organiser) with loads of questions and he's been great, its sounding like a fantastic course with well stocked pit stops manned by some experienced runners too.  Done a few runs over the months, Halstead, South Downs and Coniston recently so trying the Salisbury 54321 in a couple of weeks withich is 50K to help bring up the first 50+ Ultra aswell...did the Olympicnic last year so hoping that experience on the hills will help in this run....Good Luck all...image

  • Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom. training has been sporadic because of hols and injuries but getting comfortable with running at a gentle space without checking my speed every few mins. I'm upto 45 miles a week with 60 miles over this week. Praying for mild weather

    Paul - sounds like we're in the same shoes!! The Salisbury 54321 will also be my first ultra marathon. it sounds a great course. Just hope I don't get overexcited and run up the first few hills..

  • Hey Nick, you'll love it i'm sure..i've been doing walk runs over long distances and i've not been injured for a good couple of years now and really helps speed up yep, strange to think we're using a 31 miler as a training run.  See you at Salisbury!!

  • Hey,

    So I'm contemplating this one...... Anyone sway me either way? My longest run this year is only 18miles which was last weekend, have I left it too late?

    Thanks image

  • Oh I just happened on this - looks lovely and is local to me. Never been past marathon distance though, so I'm thinking maybe get a 30+ miles race under my belt early next year then gear up for this one in the autumn. Good luck everyone image

  • One month to go ... how is training going for everyone? I feel at this point as if I have done and am doing all that I can fit in - mixing long runs, back-to-backs, and shorter races for speedwork, etc. My peak training mileage week is this week, 4 weeks out, with the Thames Meander Marathon on Saturday morning, a gentle 5k recovery jog on Sunday morning, then a very gentle 11-miler on Sunday evening. This will still only see me to just over 50 miles in total for the week .... but I don't feel that I could fit in any more AND stay fresh, not permanently knackered, and injury-free. I've confidence in my ability to slow down enough on race day to save some energy early on for those tough later miles, and to enjoy the race itself! I hope everyone else is looking forward to it as I am!

  • Hey Shazza sounds like your doing great and everyone else!..i did the Salisbury 54321 and was superb! recommend that one for next year may knock out a long run this weekend and gradually bring the miles down as just back from 2 weeks on hols...just looking for part of the 55 route to maybe run a bit at the weekend near Enfield...

  • Two weeks to go and taperchondria is setting in .... and all my plans about footwear, kit, nutrition, etc, now seem inadequate and call for revision! It's nerve-wracking when pretty much the only thing left to do is to run the damned race!! Am looking forward to it and feeling nervous about it in equal measures. Trying to relish the thought of sleeping on the Sunday for as long as I'll have been running on the Saturday!!

  • Hey Shazza, keep it all positive and don't worry about your footwear will all work out on the day for sure...I've been switching footwear for a few months to get it right, just ordered a pair of £20 drymax socks aswell just incase..  All these nerves are great I think, to be doing a run/race when you have to give it all to finish..which we all will do.  Doing my last 15 or so tomorrow and then small runs for a week then total rest for me..if I can remember what rest is like.  Oh and anyone fancy doing the Greensand Marathon a few weeks later..did Leith Hill this year and its a brilliant trail run and i'm sure after the 55 it will seem rather short!haha...looking forward to seeing you all on the 21st...

  • It does say on-the-day entry, but are there still spaces? image

Sign In or Register to comment.