/ Run hard or run harder

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derryclimbs - on 28 Sep 2016
Ok, so I'm planning on doing an endurance race in Dorset and does 3 cross country marathons over 3 days with quite a lot of climbing and descending. I've done a few (road) marathons in my time, and never felt too troubled by the distance. The 3 in 3 days sounds challenging but I still think I'll be ok with it. Unfortunately, a friend of mine made me aware of another race, a few weeks later that is the same course but all in 24 hours. Part of me says, "right, now that is a REAL challenge" and the other, more logical part of me says "just do the original race and see how you feel for the following year". But the temptation to go big is still there. So, is it realistic to think I could do 80 odd miles in 24 hours without any pure endurance experience? Or is this a bit of a tall order?

For context, the last marathon I did was in July with only 4 weeks training (it was painful) and my fastest time for a marathon is 3:22 (a few years back mind).
edunn on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

Ummm . . . . no chance mate, you've not done enough training so you'll injure yourself and end up walking the whole thing.

BUT THAT'S NOT THE ANSWER YOU WANT TO HEAR!!

Go for it. Worst case is you pull out and stop. It's just pride and money at stake, nothing real.

PROPER CHALLENGE!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr
Tyler - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

> So, is it realistic to think I could do 80 odd miles in 24 hours without any pure endurance experience? Or is this a bit of a tall order?

I've often wondered how people train for ultra races, surely the training runs are less than marathon distance anyway?
derryclimbs - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to edunn:

I've got 5 months(ish) to train. It's just which one do I enter (and pay for) now?

Great reply btw! properly made me laugh.
Dave Kerr - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to Tyler:

> I've often wondered how people train for ultra races, surely the training runs are less than marathon distance anyway?

Not necessarily shorter than marathon distance but usually not much more. The difference is is the weekly total which will often be close to or above the race distance.
Dave Kerr - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

> I've got 5 months(ish) to train.

With 5 months to train and a bit of a marathon background I'd say go for it. Provided you can commit the time.
Somerset swede basher - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

Weekly distance v high for ultra runners. Back to back (i.e. one Sat one Sun) 20 mile runs at the weekend etc.
derryclimbs - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

> Weekly distance v high for ultra runners. Back to back (i.e. one Sat one Sun) 20 mile runs at the weekend etc.

how may miles total during the week do you reckon? 40 miles at the weekend + ????
edunn on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

Glad you liked it! ;-)

If I'm being honest I read it that you were looking to do both (i.e. the 3 in 3 and then the 24hr two weeks later)

Personally I think if you're going to commit to a (relatively) short, intense training programme then you might as well try and smash the 24hr jobby. Your motivation will be higher and the temptation to quit mid-race will be much less (whereas on the 3-dayer you have to peel yourself out of a warm cozy bed - twice).

Smash it. Good luck.
galpinos on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

Your peak training load should be at or above your final race distance so another 40 odd during the week.
The New NickB - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to Tyler:
> I've often wondered how people train for ultra races, surely the training runs are less than marathon distance anyway?

No, ultra runners will often train at distances further than marathon distance. I did a 67 mile race in the summer, my longest training run was 47 miles. My girlfriend did a 50 mile race last week, she had done up to 40 miles in training. Although even when ultra training the bulk of my training is shorter and faster.
Post edited at 16:34
markk on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to Tyler:

Try this http://www.scrunners.org/ultramarathon-training-schedule-generator.html I've used it to train for a couple of events. Worked well for me.
Somerset swede basher - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

I'm not really experienced at that distance but I would have thought you would need to be comfortable at half the race distance i.e. doing that each week as a single run and making up about the same again in smaller runs by the end of your training.
Tyler - on 29 Sep 2016
In reply to The New NickB:

I'm surprised at that, I'd always been told recovery from long runs could take many days so had assumed lots of shorter runs and thenlarge dollops of grit and determination in the day! Are the longer runs very occasional or do amature/occasional ultra runners do 26+ miles weekly?
Tyler - on 29 Sep 2016
In reply to markk:
Thanks Markk, not something I'm seriously looking at myself but it's quite fun to punch some figures in and think "Well maybe I could do this to keep myself occupied over winter....."
Post edited at 09:33
The New NickB - on 29 Sep 2016
In reply to Tyler:
> I'm surprised at that, I'd always been told recovery from long runs could take many days so had assumed lots of shorter runs and thenlarge dollops of grit and determination in the day! Are the longer runs very occasional or do amature/occasional ultra runners do 26+ miles weekly?

I certainly felt after the 47 miler that I needed a few weeks to be fully recovered and I personally would not run more than 30 miles more than once a month. My girlfriend will run those distances on a two week turn around, but she tends to run less in the week than me. A lot of people do back to back as an alternative, 20 on a Saturday and 20 on a Sunday, so they run the second on tired legs.
Post edited at 09:49
Ferret on 29 Sep 2016
In reply to Tyler:

It all depends on terrain and runner. I'm distinctly average (in performance) but while training for a 100 miler this year, and earlier 50s, I was tending to do high 20s to low 30s regularly in the biggest couple of months training with weekly mileages around 70 to 80. For the 100, I was also comfortably doing say a 25 to 30 on a Saturday with a 10 or 12 miler on Sunday.

I've regularly been in a place in training where I will be happily doing marathon plus every week for a couple of months on a 3 week increasing pattern with 4th week being a rest at mid teens.

I think a big factor is terrain and speed - training for long runs needs time on feet so you compensate for that time by reducing intensity, so unlike when training for road marathon when I was doing 18 to 21 miles max but pushing fairly hard, I tend to be doing 5 to 8 hours out at lower speed. And again, I'm not a road runner, but in midst of trail/fell training I did a 26 mile road run home from work and found it very tough. I was stiff and sore next day, unlike when I go off road and generally feel fine bar a little tired after a marathon plus distance. The terrain off road is far more forgiving and variability in pace length and foot placements, plus walking sections seems to spread the load a lot more than the repetitive pounding of a road marathon.
Tyler - on 29 Sep 2016
In reply to The New NickB:
On a slight tangent by was the 47 miler the Mary Townley Loop? That gross near Rochdale doesn't it. I once optimistically tried to run the Rossendale way but I ended ringing my wife for a lift half way around
Irk the Purist - on 29 Sep 2016
In reply to The New NickB:

For a 100, I built up to back to back 30 on Sunday then 20 on the Monday and did that three weeks in a row. I was running at least 20-20 back to back for three months on a weekly basis before that with one week off in four. My total weekly mileage was 100 or so.

I then did the Saunders three weeks before the race and a single 50 miler before my taper.

Doing back to back really builds endurance and recovery without needing more than a day off. But I would say you need those longer runs too. On the day I felt short in the second half. I reckon a mixture is the best way forward but ideally I think using races for the long ones is preferable.

As for the OP, it's mostly mental after 50 anyway. Get on it

The New NickB - on 29 Sep 2016
In reply to Tyler:

It was, I have run it in sections many times, so it made sense to do that and it was something that I had fancied doing for a while.
Moley on 30 Sep 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

Get your head down and go for whichever. None of us have any idea about your capabilities, physical or mental ( very important).
Make your own choice, run it and don't look for excuses if you fail, it is you against the distance and we have nothing to do with it.
Man up and go.
derryclimbs - on 01 Oct 2016
In reply to Moley:

Woah, chill out man. No ' manning' up needed here, whatever that actually means these days. What's wrong with asking for a bit of advice on a public forum from people who have more experience than me?
Roadrunner5 - on 01 Oct 2016
In reply to Tyler:

That's my thoughts, lots of 12-16 milers, every few days, almost never over 21 unless a race
plyometrics - on 01 Oct 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

I'd say "Go for it."

Running far isn't that hard, it's running far fast that is.

Moley on 01 Oct 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

> Woah, chill out man. No ' manning' up needed here, whatever that actually means these days. What's wrong with asking for a bit of advice on a public forum from people who have more experience than me?

No worries, had a few beers and in a slightly stroppy mood

But ultimately we can tell you little without knowing you and your abilities. I understand everyone asking advice, but all you are really getting is a load of ideas and thoughts from us part time runners. We may all try to be helpful, but with little knowledge of you personal ly, some of what we say may be conflicting with others advice or downright wrong for your body and ability.
I may be wrong, but I bet no decent qualified coach would advise a training plan with the info we have - this is not a personal dig, but applies generally. I know I've given advice on here, but am just beginning to think "Is this always the right approach"?

Because we are all so different, my advice (woops!) would be to enter whichever you are best motivated to do, train as much as you feel your body will cope, do it and learn for next time.
Good luck with whatever.

mrchewy - on 01 Oct 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

I went from no running to a 69 mile ultra in nine months - longest training run I did was 18 mile, did that in 2.5hrs. Mostly I did hill sprints to save my knees. And big mountain days out. It's all logged on fitclub back in 2012.
Time on feet is the issue - can you actually stand up for that long? If you can't, it's gonna be difficult, I knew I could cruise that part of it due to my job.

If you have the desire and determination, then go for it. It was one of the most amazing days of my life. Never ran a race before or since of any distance.
LP - on 27 Nov 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:
A bit like MrChewy, I went from a relative non-runner with a couple of Parkruns (5km) under my belt, to Race to the Stones (100km) in six months, which is easier and shorter than what you are proposing but you sound like you have a much stronger base to work from.

There was an option on my run to stop over at half-way but there would have been no way I would have run 50km, gone to bed and got up and done the same again. It was tough at times but for me it was more doable (and far more exciting) going straight through and more mind over matter than pure fitness I felt - in fact it seemed like more of an eating challenge at times just trying to get (and keep) sufficient food down to be able to keep going.

One of our party ate burgers, and drank beer like a viking for the six months and he still made it to 85km with only 20km total training run distance and considering his 'enjoyment' of it all it seems that even failure feels ok if you've gone all out - so just go big while you can.

Enjoy and let us know how you get on!
Post edited at 22:33
jondo - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

run soft and run softer..
WaterMonkey - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to derryclimbs:

Sounds like the Dorset race is perfect training for the 24 hour one a few weeks' later.
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