Ultimate Trails Lake District 50/100km

Morning everyone,

As per the tagline, it looks like I'm going to sign up for the 50k today. I've not gone further than 26.2 before so this looks like a good step up distance-wise, in some beautiful countryside, and I'd say it looks organised + friendly from the website (ie. not quite as "hard-b*stards-only" sounding as Lakeland or Fellsman!). Anybody else tempted / signed up / going to warn me off?


Training-wise, if anyone fancies giving me a few pointers in terms of mileage and structure that'd be much appreciated. Are we talking about 2 or 3 runs of 25 miles plus (with hills) by the start of September? Currently running 20-30mpw as I've not really been focussed on anything race wise, but obviously this is about to change somewhat (!). Unfortunately I live in East London and I've not really got anything by way of offroad or hills nearby, so I'm limited to weekends and trains out of town for that stuff unfortunately. 



  • Hi 33, belated response I know, but just entered the 100k so was looking for chat about these events.

    I think that number of 25m+ would prepare you well, just do them on some nice undulating or hilly trail at weekend. Not the end of world that you can't hit trails during week. Concentrate on some speed work/tempo one day, maybe a run with filled backpack to simulate kit needed during event another day, and try and seek whatever hills or steps you can for a short session during week too.

    I live in east Hull so also lack hills I can run to. I but I do a lot of hilly trail races over marathon distance so get my training in by driving out to hills on Saturday morning for LSR, run-commute to work and back with work gear and food in backpack a day or two. I do escape to country one night a week for trail hill or speed work with running club one night per week if I can too. Another session I've recently introduced is to escape work for 30minutes some lunchtimes and run to docks where I do reps on steps to elevated walkway, not a huge climb, but each 30ft or so up and down the steps repeated a dozen or so times helps to condition legs a bit I reckon And this is the only ascent/descent available in the city centre.


  • Hoping to enter but will wait until July to see the effects of another long run first

  • Hi guys, thanks for the responses. Good to hear that it is possible to successfully train for hilly events without having the raw environment immediately to hand. I’ve identified a couple of options for hill repeats after work that will involve getting the tube out somewhere straight from work for hill reps in Greenwich or Crystal Palace and then schlepping back through 6-8 miles of housing estates. Concrete, ye gods!

    Drunken Euphoria – Thanks for the confirmation on my long run plans – helpful. Quick question: do you find steps a good alternative to hills? I’d always assumed that they were more of a short-term explosive exercise rather than something that would build stamina, but I could just be doing it wrong… Is it then worth doing more, longer reps at a lower intensity?

    Cragchick – I’ve used the South Downs Way a bit before thanks to the ease of connections with London Bridge/Brighton but will look into those options also; it just boils down to whether I can get somewhere in less than an hour on the train and easily find my way to the paths. I have a bag that I’m really happy with (even if I do need to learn to sew so I can fix a hole in it…) and this allows me to run carrying actual food rather than sweets and gels, which means full days out like this are quite straightforward; trained like this quite a bit last year. It can’t be easy training for this kind of stuff with kids so much respect. I struggle enough fitting in my runs around my essentially responsibility-free and rootless lifestyle.

    Runnin man – do it! Not many places left and prices go up again soon!

    If you’ve not already seen it, someone’s completed a full recce already and blogged it with photos which is great: http://www.ajc-runninglate.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-other-lakeland-100.html and I’ve gone out and bought the OS map so I can start planning where to meet people, where’s the best place to give up… &c, as it says in the article, Landranger 90. Might try and head up there in August to have a look round I think.

  • Hi 33riggins, I have heard say that going up and down steps makes you good at going up and down steps, but I feel that is only half true. Whilst on many trail ascents you will be on a "ramp" climb rather than "stepped" climb - in small doses any ascent that gets you used to pushing against gravity and descent that exposes your legs to the extra impact on your legs is a good thing in my book.

    Steps can be used for explosive excercises, but I use them a different way. I run up first time quite fast and jog down, jog up, jog down, walk up, jog down, then repeat these 3 reps for as long as I have available. Never really gets me out of breath, but I can feel the muscles have been worked/stretched on the warm down run.

    But, yes don't do all your ascending/descending on steps, maybe a short session or two per week and get most of you ascending/descending in on your long weekend trail run on the best variety of steepnesses and hill lengths that you can. getting used to running shallow gradients up, down, walking the steeper ups and downs. My typical weekend hill run is on quite small local hills, but I can often get in more than one ascent and descent per mile overall as lots of hills quite close together - so can rack up as much as 200' ascent and descent per mile, which emulates quite close to what this event offers, just in a series of 50-300ft hills rather than 200-1500 footers.

    I've ready that recce blog, very thorough and paints a nice picture of the course make-up, which will be useful for me to simulate in training as I won't be able to do a course recce. What it tells me is that in my long runs I need to try and build in a few sections of flat between back-to-back hills and take advantage of these sections by doing some fast stuff on flat as well as the hills.

    And of course never discount the 6-8m of housing estates in runs, sounds much like my commute (with occasionaly river view, park, industrial works thrown in for variety) and I don't always enjoy doing it. But do after and thinks its good mentally to do it.

    Cragchick - Your 'Moray Firth' runs will be a good thing I think, good to strengthen ankles and give you strength to push through claggy sections, which blog mentions there are and there nearly always are some in the LD. I know running around muddy field edges, sometimes in the snow through winter for upto a couple of hours at a time did me some good this year when I didn't have the time to get out for longer runs.

  • Thanks - this is great. I will be giving this a go at some point.

    One thing I do have available to me is my place of work: I'm on the top floor or (thereabouts) of the old Natwest tower in London, meaning I have approximately 600ft or 920 steps worth of emergency staircase at my disposal. 

    Sounds like an absolutely hellish way to spend a lunch hour but probably worth a crack at some point! 

  • Haha 33, more steps than you need there ;) I've used steps in my office for reps before now (after hours), but that's a mere 5 floors.

  • As per the famous line on why you'd climb Everest, "Because it's there"...

  • Sounds like a winning combo cragchick. Sounds really lovely.... soulfood image And probably more pathless stuff than you'll find in this event so you might get a pleasent surprise when running the event that the paths seem quite runnable...

    ...but, I've only run a perecentage of these paths before in other events so can't vouch for them all being quite runnable. That bit from Thirlmere in the blog recce description sounds a bit wet.

    My local hill paths/bridleways/tracks are almost without exception dryer than those in lake district as we don't get the rain. But some of the agricultural lowland field-edge paths usually get/stay a bit damper after any rain. I could also go run on the stoney-beached bits of Humber shore for a few miles, never easy.

    Enjoy the weekend all, anybody doing a long run for this already? I'll be having an easy weekend as still a bit banged up after Hardmoors last weekend. Then back to it the weekend after with a ~20m long run on Leeds-Liverpool canal next week. A smooth surface and quite flat bar a few downhills at lockgates in the direction I'll be going. So will be practicing for making good on the flatter sections of the 100k. Then the weekend after I'm heading out on holiday to Sicily, where I should get a few morning short hill runs in, as the Island is all mountains!

  • Indeed, sounds really beautiful and cracking training as well cragchick. 

    Nothing huge for me this weekend as I've developed a lovely set of blisters in the last week, resulting in a lovely dark red patch soaking through my lime green road shoes. Probably a quickish 6 miles round the park twice this evening before going to the pub, then 12 on Sunday up the Lea/canal near the Olympic park. Far flatter than I'd like and not much scenery but it will do.

    Have also agreed with a colleague to a Monday lunchtime jog up the stairs in the office, a la this http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_involved/events_and_challenges/vertical_rush which I think will at the very least be an amusing story.

    Sicilian mountains sounds great,  and no soggy feet to deal with either you'd hope! I'm off to the Cairngorms on the sleeper train on Tuesday so hopefully something to run up there if the missus is happy having a lie-in at the hotel (I would imagine she'll settle for that...)

    Also, it's payday and I'll be picking up a pair of these for longer road runs: http://www.sportsshoes.com/product/SAU1729/saucony-progrid-kinvara-3-running-shoes/. I've been wearing New Balance MR00s for the last 6 months but finally accepting that my feet are going to moan after about 12 miles in them on concrete. Great price too!

  • Thanks for the tips cragchick, I'm not too far from Loch Morlich this week so could be doable, although I'm without a car or bike so everything will have to be out and back to the hotel I'm staying at. Blisters nearly healed and looking forward to getting off-road again.

    Terrible weekend of running, busy on Friday and Saturday so didn't manage to get anything long in, followed by a hungover 5 mile shuffle up the canal and along a main road, in the sun, with girlfriend "pacing" me on her bike (don't think she turned the pedals once!). Followed by falling asleep in the sun for 2 hours. Not my greatest day of athletic achievement but better than if it was just the sleeping part.

    How did your weekends go?

  • Hi all.

    33riggins - If that was the opening paragraph of a book that charted your journey from barely in a state to run to big success in the hills over 50k I think I'd buy itimage

    cc - Will also be marking out a map, probably a grough route as I can get quite an accurate ascent/descent stats that way (as official and blog figure differ a bit). And my approach is 50% science, 50% fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants so it's good to know what i'm up against.

    Good weekend, no running, but could feel myself getting eager to be back out there againimage

    Per the science part of my approach I've decided that every run (with a few short exceptions) has to count. So I can keep motivated and just be faster/fitter/a better climber by September. I usually focus on a July/august event, so with a whole summer to train through this time and good fitness now to protect and build on I need to keep my eye on the ball (with plentiful distractions). Hangovers aren't much of an issue these days, but being a knackered dad makes up for that image

    So starting tonight, 4m home from work with 1/2 full pack (work clothes) - maybe some hill reps if I can find something on route (steps).
    Tomorrow morning, back into work with 3/4 full pack (work clothes, breakfast, lunch) and empty stomach to boost my bodies fat metabolism.
    Wednesday, lunchtime, step reps.
    Thursday night, club hard session - downhill road reps this week I think. My least favourite in the rotation of sessions as can't just let gravity do the work and concentrate on foot placements like on trail. But, will do me some good probably.

    Thats as far ahead as I've planned at the moment, but going to try and be really creative with my runs whether in town or on trail. I've done 100k'ish runs before so the target is improvement this time.

  • My provisional plan for prep events:

    20/07 - Yorkshire Wolds half marathon - mostly on road but a few hills.

    10/08 - Long Tour of Bradwell 33m - off-road, peak district, v.hilly route
    11/08 - Hardmoors Saltburn marathon - off-road, north yorks, probably a hilly or v.hilly route
    would love to do both, but something will have to give!

    24/08 - Smugglers Trod 26 - offf-road, LDWA challenge, quite hilly
    24/08 - Grand tour of Skiddaw - off-road, you know where, 44m/7136' asc/desc

    Maybe others too, but don't want to be away too much, so these are my first choices.

  • Just a little update: completed the 600ft of stairs up to my office in 8.50. Great workout but absolute lactic hell. Will be doing this twice a week from now on.

  • cc, looked up the Lairig Ghru race and have to say that looks fantastic, if incredibly remote! Wish I'd booked my holiday a couple of weeks later. I'm staying just outside Grantown-on-Spey so not far away at all. Think I can get onto the Speyside way quite easily from there so I'm planning on a couple of runs this week, midges permitting... 

    DE - Yep, have to agree; great set of events. I'm interested in doing a LDWA event this summer with my Dad (who got me into all of this hill running business before conveniently going off for knee surgery and leaving me to my own devices). Skiddaw in particular looks like an ideal last long run in the build-up. 

    Thankfully no quad/calf pain from my stair climbing yesterday, but found out the course record is 4.22 so I've clearly got some work to do! Have my rucksack packed with off-road shoes and vaseline, sleeper train at 9pm tonight, looking forward to getting out of London and doing some proper running at last. 

  • Hotel just outside of Grantown called Muckrach Lodge, which has "mixed" reviews but was from Groupon and therefore nice and cheap and includes a meal and some whisky and let's be honest, if you've got those things and a bed you're generally okay.

    Thanks for the tips, I'm going to pick up a map before I get on the train tonight and see if I can get to the places you've suggested. Shame I won't be getting the personal tour, but great to have some local knowledge from you anyway.

    (PS. wonder how many people are into the fells/ultras because of a dad with a masochistic/wholesome relationship with the outdoors? interesting thought!)


  • Hmmm, I'm now starting to consider entering this....

  • Go on Pudge, a marked route hilly trails run in central Lakeland, not even sure no is an optionimage

    Cracking effort on the tower ascent 33r (and CC for the forest tower - very Lord of the Rings image ), really could do with a descent climb myself nearby, but dock steps will have to do and I suppose I can practice up and downhill on, just a shame not more of them (steps).

    Unfortunately I cannot blame my dad for long trail running addiction, etc... One day I'll compile a list of those to blame (thank).

    Little running for me, just flat ambles back from work with pack yesterday and back in this morning. Confirms legs are way off 100% still. Back to it on Thursday with the half-"dreaded" downhill road reps. Mostly looking forward to my canalside amble at weekend.

  • Really quite fancy this one, a week after the UTMB and the day I'm supposed to take my wife on holidays though. Need to think of a decent excuse!

  • Hi GKD, this is also a conundrum I've often pondered. How could I go somewhere really nice and scenic with missus for a mini-break, but disappear running all day without here noticing or being bothered by it..... I'm drawing a blank so far too image If she's a fan of wind, rain BUT.... really nice scenery, clean air, fell ponies, nice pubs, walking you could holiday in LDimage, she might not be too bothered if your away a whole day then? I took missus with me to TDS last year and stayed 2 days before and 3 days after so about got away with it (thankfullly we got two days good weather after the event).

  • I think this may be one for the future, though I do like the look of it I think I may be too far in debit with hubby points to get away with three weekends away this summer for fell races, the UTMB week, several pennine way recces and a lakes navigation day out.

     Though she does love the countryside she prefers to enjoy it from the comfort of a picnic blanket

  • Lots of flattish to undulating runs my side, but did a nice little 3.15m and 660ft up-and-downer in nearby Elloughton dale yesterday. Had done 20 flat miles the day before, so a bit creaky, but energy was there and the ascending and descending muscles mostly unutilised on Sunday were raring to go. Only a short one, but a Lakeland-like amount of climb in smaller chunks of hill and little over 30mins on feet. I really enjoyed the variety of climbs and quiet woodland trails.

    Back to the streets tonight, but counting down the days to some Sicilian hillworkimage

  • New bridge across the river Hull was opened recently on my route to work. Strange free-flow structure with a ramp up and over and a steps option. So I decided I'd do a few reps on there (up steps down ramp, up ramp down steps) on way in as rest of area is pancake flat.

  • DE: I've taken to always speeding up and pushing over the railway bridge and down the other side near my house, when returning from a session in my local park - it's the only "hill" nearby! Not exactly great training for Lakeland 50, but better than nothing, just about.

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