Time for a new adventure! Why not give Ultra Running a try?

What is an Ultra?

There is not one specific definition of what constitutes an ultra run (or ultra marathon) but typically an ultra could be considered to be a single run covering more than 30 miles in one continuous effort. There are various different types of ultras, these may take place either on roads, trails or mountains. One other discipline worthy of mention is a multi-stage event which takes place over more than one day. These events may not technically be ultra runs (dependent on the distance covered each day) but they are closely aligned to the ultra discipline and require dedication and training to complete.

How hard is it to run an Ultra?

Doing an ultra run isn’t as scary as it sounds. You can naturally progress from a base of normal long training runs by gradually increasing the distance covered on your longer runs and maybe include some ‘back to back’ training runs over a few weeks/months. For example, a ‘back to back’ training run could cover between 15-20 miles on the Saturday and say 20-30 miles on the Sunday, teaching your body to run on tired legs. It may help if you have already run a marathon but this isn’t a necessity. Some people enjoy the freedom of running an ultra without the pressure of trying to maintain a certain pace when they run a marathon.

Everyone has a different view on what the hardest part of completing an Ultra marathon is but it is certainly true that there is far more to running an ultra than the physical training. It is often said that running an ultra is 50% physical and 50% mental. On particularly long or difficult Ultras some say it is 80% mental challenge!

Why run an Ultra?

People run ultras for many different reasons. Some love to be challenged in the mountains, some for the feeling of achievement when reaching the finish line after a super long distance and some like to compete for podium places or success against their age group peers. Everyone is different and you may already have your own reason in mind.

Support buddies – who are we?

Jen Sangster, Steve Morris, Veritie Yates
Between the three of us we have a huge amount of experience running ultras of all types between 30 and over 100 miles on roads, trails and in mountainous areas including the Lake District, Wales and the Alps.

What can we offer?

Support with training plans (tailored to the distance you would like to run and the type of terrain you intend to run on)
Advice and guidance on some basic equipment needs
Support of how to fuel – learning how to eat and drink whilst on the go!
Ask us anything! We’re all happy to share our experiences with you (good and bad!)

Understanding your goals – what we need from you?

You should be able to run for a long period (say 2-4 hours at your own pace) or have recently run/intend to run a marathon
An idea what you want to achieve from your new adventure
Would you like to run to achieve a time on a flat course?
Maybe to experience the thrill of the run?
Would you like to run a road or trail event?
Do you want to experience running in the mountains?
Do you have any history of injuries?
An idea of the time you can commit to training and best time of the day for you to do this

Recommended first time Ultras

Greensands Ridge (solo) – June – 34 miles
Monster Ultra (Ely to Oxford) – September – 42 miles
Race to the Stones – July – 62 miles over 2 days

Online resources

LDWA https://www.ldwa.org.uk/index.php
100 Marathon Club http://www.100marathonclub.org.uk/
Talk Ultra http://iancorless.org/podcast/
Steve Morris’ Blog smilersteve.blogspot.co.uk
Marathon To Ultramarathon 20 Things You Need To Know https://extremenrg.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/from-marathon-to-ultramarathon-20-things-you-need-to-know/