Ultra running times


Thank you for any responses in advance.

I ran my first ultra distance the other week. It wasn't an organised race, but rather an organised personal challenge where I flew out to Spain an ran a coastal route.

I ran 40 miles in 6 hours, 46 minutes and 12 seconds. 

However, I am curious to know if this is a good time or not? Especially given that I really dont feel I gave enough training for it. I had thought it would have taken me much longer than this.

My training went like this: I got out of hospital in December, Jan- 170 miles, Feb 151 miles, March 123 miles, April 82 miles- all including 24 etc long runs, sometime back to back, so all good so far.

But in the 2 months before the ultra my running for a variety of reasons became almost nonexistant. 

In May I ran a total of 42 miles- the most being 10 miles, some weeks I ran 0 miles.

In June I had increased it again to 81 miles, but again never over 14 mile runs.

In marathon running, it seems to be that breaking the 3 hours mark is a pretty big aim, as is under 3:30, then 4 hours represents the cut off for the most serious 'runners' as opposed to those taking part for charity or as 'bucket list' etc rather than because it is a sport that they enjoy etc- no offence meant to anyway at all who runs a marathon- just people do it for different reasons, non are better than other- apart perhaps those who raise thousands for good causes.


Sorry for the long post, just wondering what the general 'tiers' are for a 40 mile ultra and if my training appears similar to others, as from what i can glean from the internet it doesn't seem to conform to the low milleage/but long run schoo, of thought. Although my pace is fast during my short 10 mile runs, so perhaps this helped?

Thanks in advance. image


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    It's hard to judge with ultras as so many are off road and on hilly courses there is so much variation. Best thing to do is to race an event and see how you do in the results.
  • Many thanks for your reply.

    Yeah, that's my next step.

    It was entirely roads, a bit hilly in places. Totals ascent 900ft.
  • Many thanks for your reply.

    Yeah, that's my next step.

    It was entirely roads, a bit hilly in places. Totals ascent 900ft. But huge descent of about 3000ft.
  • WiBWiB ✭✭✭

    Its probably hard to tell as 40 mile races are now few and far between, with the exception of a couple on track. Where the typical lead time would be 4-4.5 hours.

    Maybe best to look at 50km and 100km road performances which are usually on relatively flat road courses and go from there if you want to compare your time to other events.

    If you were happy with it off of your training then that is a good start!

  • Hi, thanks for the reply.

    I'll have a look at them. I've managed to find a couple of 40 mile ones and it seems an ok time, and I was pretty surprised myself.

    Before the run I really had no idea and was estimating between 7 and 8 hours so I was really pleased with the time.

    Thanks for your reply!
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