Training for your 1st Ultra

Training For Your First Ultra

first ultra

One should not train to compete in an Ultramarathon event, if you don’t have a good background in Fun Runs and Marathons. This background can also include a multitude of other endurance sports and acitvities. These can include long distance cycling, hiking, Ironman events and triathlons etc. Some people have been able to make the transition straight to Ultras without any background in other endurance/fitness activities and been effective, but it’s not ideal and not recommended by myself.

Before you train for your first Ultra it is highly recomended that you get a clearance from the Doctor and you tell him/her what you want to train for. Especially if you haven’t been doing any activity for a number of years.

The suggestions in this program are aimed at someone that wants to do a 50 mile or 12 hour as your first ultra. The programme may change slightly if you want to do a longer ultra first. But consideration should be made to stepping through the ultra distances.

This is designed with the knowledge I have picked up about the sport over the years. Some is taken from other programmes and some is my own thoughts and suggestions.

Notes to go with the programme:

  1. Pick a race four months away. This gives you plenty of time to train and train effectively. Ideally you should allow more time, but four months will enable you to survive your first ultra and survive well.
  2. Look at your own weekly life schedule and slot a time where you can train and train effectively.
  3. Don’t be afraid to take a couple of days off if you are injured or sick. Training will only make it worse
  4. Practise eating and drinking on the run from the start of your programme and practise with food and drink that you will use in the race. DONT try new products during the race.
  5. Footwear – Have comfortable footwear to train in. Don’t have completely old shoes. Some suggest a new pair of shoes about a month before the race.
  6. Wear comfortable clothing whilst training
  7. Start looking for a crew person for your race straight away. It is highly recomended that you shouldnt attempt your first ultra without a crew person
  8. Pick a time or distance goal for the race.
  9. Except for the long run’s at weekends, it is ok to substitute some of your training for cycling (cross-training) but remember that time on your feet is the essence.
  10. Speed is not the essence with this training plan. Concentrate with time on your feet.
  11. Try and train with the surface that your going to race on. It’s no point doing a 50 mile trail race if you have done all your training on bitumen road!
  12. Record all your training in a diary

Distances in the chart are in kilometres

MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN TOTAL
1 5 5 5 5 10 30
2 5 5 5 5 5 15 40
3 5 5 10 5 10 5 15 55
4 5 5 10 5 10 5 20 60
5 5 5 10 5 10 5 25 65
6 5 5 15 5 10 5 25 70
7 5 5 15 5 10 5 30 75
8 5 5 15 5 15 5 30 80
9 5 5 20 5 15 5 35 90
10 5 5 20 5 15 5 35 90
11 10 5 20 5 15 5 40 100
12 10 5 25 5 15 5 40 105
13 10 5 25 5 15 5 45 110
14 10 20 10 25 65
15 10 15 10 20 55
16 5 5 82 92

Notes on the day of the race:

  1. Get there early
  2. Have a plan and have an alternative plan. Make sure your crew member knows your plan If your plan goes astray, don’t be afraid to settle into survivor mode. Also if your badly injured – be prepared to scratch! It’s not the end of the world!
  3. Discuss tactics with your crew member and make sure that what gets said in the heat of the battle stays at the race!
  4. Have food and drink organised and dont try anything that you havent practised with. Food and drink should be consumed regularly. (Little and often is a good rule of thumb)
  5. Have shoes and clothing organised.
  6. Most of all. Enjoy the experience.

From the www.ultralegends.com site