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bennyhana22 - 13/09/2018 16:12:47
   
Your thoughts - for a newbie
Hi guys

I'm sure you get a lot of these types of threads, so apologies if they're a bit tedious...!

A bit of advice. I'm currently navigating post-run blues having done the Great North Run on Sunday. A massive come down now after four months of pretty full on dedication. I ran the London Marathon in 2016 too, so have some experience of distance.

I'm pretty sure I want my next challenge to be my first Ultra. I'm also always a bit stupidly ambitious, but have the mindset to achieve my objectives too.

Having done a bit of research, I have my eye on the Race to the Tower next summer.

So - am I entirely foolish even to think that my first Ultra would be a double marathon, or, so long as I was meticulous in my preparation, is that a reasonable goal?

Let's throw that out there for starters! For reference, I'm male, almost 49, fit with no medical issues (other than OCD when training for a race...) and did London in 3h05m and the GNR in 1h28m.

Your thoughts would be very welcome...

Thanks!

Ben

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SarahCrunning - 14/09/2018 00:37:34
   
RE:Your thoughts - for a newbie
Hi Ben,

Welcome to Run Ultra and well done on your recent successes. There are no hard and fast rules regarding the best distance for your first ultra, as long as you train appropriately for the distance you are aiming for and don't jump from marathon to double marathon without sufficient time to build the miles gradually. From reading the details of Race to the Tower and reviews from other runners (https://www.runultra.co.uk/Events/HEINEKEN-Race-to-the-Tower), it looks like this is a tough route but well supported. The course is marked and there are frequent checkpoints which are well stocked. This means you won't have to worry about navigation or carry too much food. I would recommend getting plenty of hills in your training runs.

Some people find it helpful to enter a shorter ultra (e.g., 50km) as part of their training for a 50+ miler - you don't have to race it, but you can treat it as a long training run in which you will have checkpoints to make refilling bottles and getting snacks easier. It also allows you to get a feel for the atmosphere and experience of an ultra and to practise pacing. It's not essential - you could do self-supported very long training runs, but the logistics will require some planning.

'Relentless Forward Progress' by Bryon Powell is a useful book for new ultra runners, and it includes some example training plans. You may also find the following helpful:

https://www.runultra.co.uk/Training/July-2018/Are-you-ready-to-tackle-your-first-ultra

https://www.runultra.co.uk/Training/January-2018/How-to-tackle-your-first-ultra

https://www.runultra.co.uk/Training/November-2015/50km-training-plan (useful if you enter a 50km as part of your training or just to use to build towards your double marathon distance)

There are many other useful articles in our training section, so please do browse. You may also find our other articles helpful - for example, nutrition articles and kit reviews.

Good luck with your training.

Sarah (Social Community Manager)
Sarah Cooke

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bennyhana22 - 14/09/2018 08:10:20
   
RE:Your thoughts - for a newbie
Hi Sarah - thanks so much for your reply and all the helpful advice. There's loads of smashing stuff in there and I'll use the links too.

Good to know that I'm not totally off the scale with my ideas. Your suggestion to do a shorter ultra as a training run and practice of the essential skills to get around an ultra distance seems extremely wise!

Thanks again

Ben
:o)

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SarahCrunning - 14/09/2018 20:45:14
   
RE:Your thoughts - for a newbie
Happy to help :-)
Sarah Cooke

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