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Hi,

I'm planning to train to be an ultra runner. I have done some research on the subject and I am aware of just how enormous the distances involved are, and just how long the potential training period is, so my idea is not based on fantasy, although obivously there has to be some dream element involved or nobody would ever find the motivation to do such things.

I have no intention whatsoever of competing with anybody in terms of speed. I am looking only to complete the distances. My intentions are to run long distances to raise money for charities such as cancer research and the like dressed in costume.

To date I have run 14 miles in one go, as the longest single distance I have ever completed. I run regularly, doing 6 miles most days sometimes longer distances like 8 and occasionally 10. I don't really find 6 a problem at all anymore and the only reason I will miss a day running is if I have muscular pain. I find however that if I do go up to 8 miles or more I develop muscular pain in my quads, and this then progresses to include my thighs right on the joint by the hip.

I have had a look at the Higdon website about ultra running training and it seems to start fairly gradually (5-7 miles a day and a 14 mile at the end of the week) and I reckon I could cope with it, but I want some experienced advice first before attempting it, which is why I'm here.

So having got the background out of the way here are my questions:

1)Where can I go to find a proper and fully comprehensive warm-up and cool-down programme for my running training to prevent any muscular pain developing.

2)Are there any specific dietary requirements involved in the training.

3)Am I ready to begin the ultra training schedule yet or should I spend more time building up my training technique and mileage.

4)Is it practical - once fully trained - to run 50-60 miles a day for several days on end provided the distance is spread out over a time period of 16+ hours each day.

5)Do I need to include such things as hill running and the like or is strength training not applicable to ultra runners.

6)My final question, should I visit a physiotherapist to get checked out for any muscular problems I might have before I start training.

Thanks for any help offered, there is no time limit on this, the training can be open ended. If possible I'd like to be thinking of my first massive distance run in the summer of 2009 so there's a good 18months (slightly less) time to go yet.

I do not smoke or drink alcohol ever, so that is not an issue either.

Thanks.
 

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hmmm.. interesting adder


adder_noir said:
Hi,

I'm planning to train to be an ultra runner. I have done some research on the subject and I am aware of just how enormous the distances involved are, and just how long the potential training period is, so my idea is not based on fantasy, although obivously there has to be some dream element involved or nobody would ever find the motivation to do such things.

I have no intention whatsoever of competing with anybody in terms of speed. I am looking only to complete the distances. My intentions are to run long distances to raise money for charities such as cancer research and the like dressed in costume.
thats a good attitude.. some people do race ultras... but most are realistic about the task at hand. even if you're odds on favourite there's usually plenty of time for something to go wrong, so nothing is assured. just set out to make the distance to the best of your ability.

not sure about the costume tho, most people will think you're barking for doing anything further than a marathon.

adder_noir said:
1)Where can I go to find a proper and fully comprehensive warm-up and cool-down programme for my running training to prevent any muscular pain developing.

2)Are there any specific dietary requirements involved in the training.

3)Am I ready to begin the ultra training schedule yet or should I spend more time building up my training technique and mileage.

4)Is it practical - once fully trained - to run 50-60 miles a day for several days on end provided the distance is spread out over a time period of 16+ hours each day.

5)Do I need to include such things as hill running and the like or is strength training not applicable to ultra runners.

6)My final question, should I visit a physiotherapist to get checked out for any muscular problems I might have before I start training.

Thanks for any help offered, there is no time limit on this, the training can be open ended. If possible I'd like to be thinking of my first massive distance run in the summer of 2009 so there's a good 18months (slightly less) time to go yet.

I do not smoke or drink alcohol ever, so that is not an issue either.

Thanks.
how old are you ? how much running background do you have ?
from your post i guess not very and not much, but i could be wrong.
the immediate reaction is to say get some marathons under your belt first, and i would still really strongly recomend that! even slow ones.

that said many people set out to do unfeasible things like ultras and ironman triathlon with little more than a year to train for it, ok its not always fast or pretty but it keeps them out of trouble ;)

1. aside from the usual thing of making sure you have good shoes for your running style. muscular soreness comes with the territory, not sure you can rush this but recovery times do get shorter with training. the first few miles of any run i do are warm up really, no point in rushing! and then a good long stretching session afterwards. perhaps cold bath/shower for the legs too.

2. be prepared to eat plenty! but also make sure you're used to taking on enough food and drink whilst running, you will need to be able to. usual running nutrition applies, low fat, high carb, high protein for recovery.

3. i'd go for a marathon schedule to start, then look at extending it for a 30+ mile event. and work from there depending on how you get on.

4. 50-60miles a day ? perhaps very slowly. but practically no.... eating, sorting your muscles & feet out.. and sleeping. the 80miles a day is world record lejog pace (article)
intrigued nontheless.

5. strength is important for injury prevention, so hill work is good. a few fell/ultra types do some cycling for recovery as this helps the quads which get used alot for this kind of running.

6. in theory.. i guess so... but in reality who does? .. not me :d

hope that helps a little..

ed
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Ed, I appreciate your help. I managed to acquire an Army booklet detailing how to properly warm-up and cool down. Would performing these stretches on days off help to increase muscle flexibility, or should they only be performed before and after a run?

I'll make sure I eat plenty. What's the best way of getting protein into my body without resorting to the hiked prices of body building protein drinks?

Thanks again Ed, and to anyone else who has any advice to offer.
 

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Never having contemplated an ultra run and seeing your post i did the most original thing of googleing ultra running training. timeoutdoors.com came up first and i think you should find a lot of the answers to your questions there

sorry i can't be more help

good luck with it

take it easy

cheriton
 

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adder_noir said:
Thanks Ed, I appreciate your help. I managed to acquire an Army booklet detailing how to properly warm-up and cool down. Would performing these stretches on days off help to increase muscle flexibility, or should they only be performed before and after a run?
you shouldnt stretch when cold, only when the muscles (etc) are warmed up.
you might also find benefit in a regular professional sports massage.

adder_noir said:
I'll make sure I eat plenty. What's the best way of getting protein into my body without resorting to the hiked prices of body building protein drinks?
ah ermm... my nutrition has never been textbook!
alot of people go for slimshake type stuff or just low fat milkshakes.
 

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cheriton said:
Never having contemplated an ultra run and seeing your post i did the most original thing of googleing ultra running training. timeoutdoors.com came up first and i think you should find a lot of the answers to your questions there
ah yes... some interesting articles on there.

...wheres that chapman fellow ? :cool:
 

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adder... ed has covered it well but as an ultra runner myself, having run 2 x tough 32 mile races, a 35 mile race and won the ladies race of a 52.4 mile race I would also strongly advise you to get some marathons under your belt first.

Also, I've never seen anyone run an ultra in costume so depending of course what you had in mind with that, you might want to think hard about that aspect. Running an ultra is a tough experience in itself, no matter how slow, doing it in costume might be the difference between finishing and not finishing

Good luck with your training
 

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Thanks for your reply Trinity, I have read several of your posts and I was hoping very much you would reply in this thread.

Marathons first it is then ;)

I've got a half-marathon in March which I'm training for, then after that I'll commence training for a full one.

As for the costume it's nothing too restrictive. It's Segmentata Roman Armour and is made of very light steel which covers a cloth tunic underneath with a period style helmet. I've had a bounce around in it and it doesn't hinder joint movements at all and isn't very heavy. It's not like some of these crazy ones you see people running in like Scooby-Do outfits or deep sea miners and the like. I'm going to do some training in it, I think that's the best way to get the measure of it and see if it's practical or not.

Thanks for all the replies so far everyone! Just one last question before venturing forth, do I need to make any major changes to my running technique for marathons/ultras when contrasted to just getting out for a quick 6 or 8? I know I need to run slower, but personally I always found running slower much harder than bouncing along. I could do with some advice on this one before I commence marathon training as there's a few biggies in the marathon schedule too as I've had a look at it.

Thanks again :embarrassed:
 
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