Do the Ultra

In a previous Comrades thread, Eric posts a way to run-walk ultras. Do you think there is an appropriate way to run ´em?

I have tried several times the patience-consuming run 5k, walk 2min or so, but I confess that I get sick of waiting next walk. So I am always prone to walk every uphill (even if very slight), jog flat sections and run properly downhills. Any more advice?


  • i found run/walk requires the most discipline early on.. i.e. i've only been running 20minutes i don't want to walk already!

    probably pays to be flexible in the latter stages, especially if it saves your legs a bit... but if you have some experience and are going for time you'd still want to limit how much walking you do.

    (only experience of one long ultra.... ask me again in 2 weeks and i'll let you know how it works on shorter distances)
  • The long ultra Ed refers to is a 24 hour race on a 400 metre track where you need to discipine yourself to take whatever breaks you've planned.
    Comrades would be different, the hills break it up for you I would imagine. I've run London to Brighton without any walk breaks until the last hill.
  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    I've done some mountain marathons where you are on your feet for 6-8 hours. We always run/jog on the flat/downhill and walk up any slopes. We also walk if its too difficult underfoot to run easily (long grass, heather, tussocks etc)

    There is a temptation to run up the hills early on but a 17lb rucsac soon cures that
  • Tim, I read your Comrades experience and the description made of 2Oceans ultra. Does the strategy differ if heat is considered? I have run a 100km/24hour limit in the middle of the Spanish June, above 90Fs, and there was simply no way to jog until we reached sunset breezes.

    On the contrary, the Dutch 60km of Texel is freshy and windy (held on April), and even the beach miles are easily to plod.
  • ultras differ a lot in terrain, road and off road, if i run an off road ultra over 30 miles then i would use the walk run method because unless you know the route there are usually some very big climbs on the route somewhere. on the road i would stick to running at a steady even pace up to the 50 mile or so distance, the diffence mainly is that you are not going to hit any really big hills on the road that you haven't already run up in training. the road runs in south africa tend to start off early morning, 6am, to avoid the strong heat, also the 2 oceans and commrades are run in their so called winter months, still hot but not up in the high temperatures
  • I was lucky when I ran 2-Oceans-it was very British weather. Cool drizzle. When its a hot and I'm running a marathon my stratagy changes-I take my time, relax and survive!
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