How to stop the suffering of Ultra Marathons as quickly as possible.

Posted by | January 16, 2014 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

IMGP4651Whatever your reason for running an ultra marathon, be it a personal challenge, to raise money for charity, get yourself a sub 24hr buckle, enjoy a day in the great outdoors or be competitive, every wants to get a little quicker right?

Maybe quicker isn’t the right word, how about more efficient, more comfortable? I’ve run 100 miles in nearly 28 hours and I know it was a lot more comfortable, dare I say enjoyable, running it a little bit quicker. It just hurt less and I got to sleep sooner. I love sleeping.

I’ve decided to forego my right, by Fijian by-law 573, to an afternoon nap for the next few weeks and I thought I would try do something useful with my time and write a series of blogs about ultra marathon running and how to make it as easy as possible.
Running these races is never going to actually be easy but if you can make it 5% less difficult than “really bloody tough” then you’re going to enjoy your day just that little bit more and there is a bunch of stuff you can do to make it as easy as possible on the day.

Keep goingI’ve teamed up with www.run247.com and I’m going to break it down into five different headings, five things that I think are important to running 30 to 153 miles.

Each week I will write down my thoughts on those matters, hopefully get some ideas from some friends as well and some input from everyone else. 

I’ll keep them brief, light hearted and, fingers crossed, useful. The six things I reckon you can work on to get to that finish line a little speedier are as follows, with a link to the first article that went up yesterday.


The Need for Speed (speedwork & fitness) - 

Making it as easy as possible (Efficiency)

Eat, Drink & be Merry! (Nutrition, Hydration & Electrolytes)

Mind Games (errr…Mind games)

Check yourself before you wreck yourself (Pacing)


Feel free to drop me an email and mention anything else you reckon I could inlcude and I’ll do my utmost to make it readable and beneficial to all the crazy suckers who want to move long distances in a competitive manner.

2 Comments

  • Murdo MtM says:

    Hi Robbie. Very interesting and thought provoking. Thank you! How about a discussion of your thoughts on tapering. Traditional thought is for a c 3 week taper leading up (or maybe down?) to a 100 miler, with varying opinions on how steep the training drop-off is during this period. But for (the great) Don Ritchie, tapering for a long race on a Saturday seemed to involve pretty much the normal regime up to and including Thursday, a run on Friday morning as usual, the Friday afternoon spent travelling to the race / preparing in readiness for the gun going off on Saturday morning. Tapering = virtually non-existent. Over to you! Cheers

    • admin says:

      Tapering is an interesting one dude and usually I have stuck to an easier week 2 weeks out and then just keep it ticking over with a couple of 5-6 mile easy runs on alternating days.

      At a recent marathon workshop it was discussed that you should lower the intensity and mileage of your training but keep the frequency of the sessions, keep the patterns usual.

      I wonder if the likes of Don Ritchie reduced intensity and overall mileage in weeks before? I would guess the intensity would have been reduced?

      The tiny amount of potential improvements of training hard in the fortnight before a race simply doesn’t equal the benefits of rest before a race.

      Before Pilgrims this week I am trialling the idea above and keeping the frequency of my training except for an extra rest day on the Friday.

      I’ll let you know it goes in the post race blog.

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