pace advice for a newbie ultrarunner

I'm training for an ultra in August.  Previous races included 1 hill race which i came last and stopped my running for a wee while.  I've never ever done a 5k 10k half marathon or marathon race however i am up to 20 plus miles on my long slow run days so cover these distances with ease.  My dilemma I was talking to a runner who specialises in 5k to half marathons who laughed at my pace which is between 11.5 - 13.5 min/mile. I am not fast and try as i may i cant  get my speed up and  get my mins/mile down. I have looked at all aspects of my training and cant get faster.  i train on trails which incorporates hills and uneven terrain.  But the other night I did a 10 k on the road and did in a shockingly slow at 1hr 08 ins but i enjoyed it! anybody any ideas?


  • Go back to the 5k runner. Piss on his racing flats. Tell him that was from me. Enjoy your running. Job done.
  • cheers GKD will do.  I'm just a wee bit competitive so try to increase my pace so I can beat my times instead of enjoying it.

  • If you're not enjoying it what's the point? It is possible to do both though
  • No sorry GKD I am enjoying my running its brilliant just want to get a wee bit faster but understand that an ULTRA is slow compared to roadsimage


  • Give us a few more details, for instance :

    How old are you?

    What's your background (how long running etc) `

    Height and weight?


  • Stopping for a wee is an essential part of ultra-running, although if you can go on the move you'll save some time.

  • Do some intervals/fartlek sessions during the week (if your long run is on the weekend).

  • On a serious note, have you checked out Phil Maffetone. Some maff training will give you a decent base, you can keep up the mileage, and you should see some pace improvements for the same effort without having to incorporate specific speed sessions. Google it, and see if it's for you. You might get lots of conflicting advice on here, it's all helpful, but there's no magic bullet, so just choose what you like the look of/ makes sense to you/ and can fit into your lifestyle and maintain.

    And, by the way, anyone who laughs at other runner's times or paces is a dick frankly.

  • Tiago that's what I said!

  • I know, but he's too slow to piss on the other guys shoes, so I thought I'd rephrase it.

  • Dont worry about your pace, for Ultras you need to start slow, then slow down, and if in doubt slow down some more, or you will fly the first half and limp home knackered, or injured but undoubtedly late through the last bit.

  • Cheers guys for the info. Lol at tiageo image. Will have a look at that Phil mafetone. All the info I can get is great. And yeah the person who laughed at me is a total dick ! Lol image
  • Yeah, the guy's a dick. So maybe he can blast out a fast 5k. So what! How long do you think he could keep up that pace for? Same goes for his half marathon pace. For ideas on how to pace ultras, have a look at the previous year's results and see what the times look like. See if there are any names you recognise, folk who run at a similar pace to yourself, that sort of thing. I tend to finish about 55% of the way down the field in small marathons and also in the three ultras I've done so far, so when I was trying to think about how to pace a 50 miler (my first attempt at the distance) I looked at last year's results and out of 65 women runners I paid attention to the ones round about 35th place. Gave me a rough idea what might be possible...

  • Tell him to do one.   You are not even warmed up at 5k.

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