London Marathon to Snowdonia Ultra?

Hi all,

I have decided to push myself and have entered my first ultra, Snowdonia  in July next year. I think I'm looking forward to it - my reckoning was if I'm going to do an ultra I might as well choose a stunning location that may be more than a bit difficult...

Anyway, I'm also running the London Marathon in April next year. What are your thoughts in terms of training? Should I just concentrate on the marathon until London is out the way or should I incorporate Ultra training? My plan for London is to try and get a sub 3.20, is this silly with an Ultra planned? Though it is 3 months later...

Any suggestions? Also any good training plans to help me conquer those small hills??
Thanks in advance


  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Hi SJJ.  Is that the Always Aim Events Snowdonia Trail ultra?  New for 2018?  If it is you've chosen a tough one for your first ultra, but as you say, why not?

    You'll have plenty of time to recover from your marathon so target a good time for London. After that I would suggest extending about four of your long runs during May and June into the high 20s - I wouldn't go over 30.  These runs need to be very slow and on as near to the expected terrain as you can find in your area. Make your last one three weeks before race day.

    I've done the marathon twice, including this year's.  The extra 11 miles or so will take you into the very marshy Moel Hebog area.    In all expect rocky technical trail, bog sections, as well as easier paths and a little tarmac.
  • SJJSJJ ✭✭✭
    Thanks T Rex, much appreciated. How long would you have off/take it easy after London?

    We do have some nasty off-road hills around here, not that long (1/2 mile) but a couple of sections touch 20% gradient, think I might be doing some loops!

    Any recommendations on the best shoes? I'm looking at the la sportiva mutant trial at the moment...
    Thanks in advance

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    Hi.  I'm a fan of La Sportiva and I'm using Bushidos at the moment.  They're not really quite grippy enough for this one though.  Definitely needs lugs.  Don't know about the shoe you've quoted - I'll have a look at it.

    I notice the ultra route makes an enormous climb to the top of the Vivian Quarry in Llanberis just before the finish!  The first section of the climb leading to a lane coming down from the top has about 400 steps (called the zig-zags - you'll see why) and I think carries on climbing right to the very lip of the quarry at the top before a quad-punishing descent through the woods.

    After a road marathon I don't run at all for 5 days and then ease myself back in gradually over the the following two weeks or so.  I wouldn't do any fast-paced races for about a month if I were you.
  • roebyroeby ✭✭✭
    i did the snowdon trail marathon this year .Its beautiful and well organised.You climb 1000ft in the first 4 miles .Its a tough one I loved it and have entered again for 2018.If you ve not done much off road running id recommend you do some.Its got everything , bogs, technical descents , forests and of course climbs.If youve never done snowdon plan a weekend there recce the pyg track and Llanberis descent youll thank me later .
  • Big one is time on your feet (even if walking and cafe stops included) and practising on similar terrain, underfoot conditions with the right kit and food. Ultra Tour of Snowdonia? Looks fantastic route. I've used Saucony Peregrine for Ultras in Lakes. Enough cushioning for the road sections and hard rocky trails but enough grip apart from the real muddy stuff.
    Ultra very different to marathon as pace, terrain changes frequently - some ways easier :-) 
  • Personally, I would concentrate on London but chuck in the odd hilly trail run at an easy pace, although not at the expense of any key sessions. Once London is done and you feel recovered, just get out on the hills (mountains if possible) and trails as much as you can. You'll have gained a fair bit from the marathon training but will need to get some ascent and descent in your legs.

    I'm doing something similar but in reverse i.e hilly trail ultra followed by road marathon a few months later, although I have a bit longer between races than you.
  • Hi Sjj, I am doing the same two races and was pondering the same thing. I am a 3:30 Mara runner but hoping to get that down. I believe I got a 3:15 in me some day, having just done lakes in a day ultra I will be focusing on my Road pace but keeping some trails in my training to (mostly cos that's what I enjoy). Once my feet have recovered from last weekend that is. Looking forward to 2018, both look like epic events.
    Good luck
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