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Ultra Discussion Thread

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  • Some recent thoughts from BPS Digest on the psychological traits of distance athletes.

    https://digest.bps.org.uk/2020/04/22/heres-how-long-distance-runners-are-different-from-the-rest-of-us/




  • If anyone is bored and wants to watch a dot move around a map of the Lake District for the next week then this has just started this morning:
    At 3.00am on Monday 6th July Sabrina Verjee set off from Moot Hall Keswick attempting to visit all 214 Wainwright summits as fast as possible. The 39-year-old veterinary surgeon, based in Ambleside, will run 525 km non-stop, starting and finishing in Keswick and ascending a total of 36,000m (118,000ft). The 214 mountains and hills are featured in Alfred Wainwright's seven-volume book set 'A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells'.

    The current record was set in 2019 by Paul Tierney in a time of six days and six hours.

    Prior to that, in 2014 Steve Birkinshaw completed the challenge in six days and thirteen hours and in 1987 Joss Naylor set it at seven days, one hour and 25 minutes.

    If Sabrina completes the Wainwright challenge it is believed she will be the only female athlete to have done so.

    Coronavirus has brought an additional element to this challenge with respect to the support team and logistics, so unlike her predecessors Sabrina will have to make do with minimal support.

    For the reasons stated above we request that anyone wishing to support or meet Sabrina on the hill does not do so on this occasion. The same applies for finishing in Keswick. Instead you may enjoy the dot watching entertainment from the comfort of your own home.

    You can track Sabrina Live here https://live.opentracking.co.uk/sabs0720/

    [please note that on Day 1 when Sabrina drops down in to Borrowdale the tracker will drop out of signal - its no drama and will pop back up again and will backfill the route she has taken]




  • Here is another dot to watch for a couple of days as John Kelly trys to break the record for the Pennine Way:

    https://live.opentracking.co.uk/johnpennine20/




  • Looking for some advice from the ultra/mountain running community.

    I've noticed that there is going to be some bunching up of events due to covid. It's great that they're going ahead but I need some opinions in terms of injury prevention.

    Namely the Maurice Mullins 51 is going ahead on the 19th September then followed sharply by Ecotrail 80 the following weekend.

    I was going to try my best for both but overthinking injury possibilities . Thinking i'll take it 70% effort for MM and then my best for the ecotrail.

    Training is going good but i'm still a bit clueless in regards to how this all would fair with a back to back long distance in the hills.




  • John Kelly is having a crack at the "Grand Round" which consists of running the Paddy Buckley, Bob Graham and Charlie Ramsay rounds which are beasts when run on their own. He's also planning on cycling between them which is a huge undertaking in itself.

    Tracker link


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  • Carol Morgan set a new women's Lakes record of 65 peaks in 24 hours, finishing just before midnight with a minute to spare. Nicky Spinks previous record was 64 peaks in 23h15








  • 24 hr race in Glouster Engerland at mo for some lap watchin
    https://www.racedirector.co.uk/results




  • I see Caitriona Jennings is taking part in the Hoka CarbonX 100km event today - currently 3 hours in.
    Live feed here




  • I see Caitriona Jennings is taking part in the Hoka CarbonX 100km event today - currently 3 hours in.
    Live feed here

    12 weeks pregnant as well.


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  • Catriona is 6th at the moment in the women's race. Jim Walmsley is rocking the men's. He is around 2 mins under WR pace with 15k to go. He hit his should on a fence at 50k and has been bleeding since. Proper warrior. I can see him doing it.




  • Jim was so, so close. heartbreakingly so. Seconds away from the WR. Amazing drama in the final straight but just missed out. He came into the last 5k with the guts of a minute buffer. But it slipped away. I think it got into his head. Really feel for him




  • One of the harder records, sub 37min 10k pace x 10 - hurts after a while!




  • A truely world class run. To mind that's his breakout run from the American bubble. No doubt having such a wafer thin near miss on the WR will drive him on. He'll learn tons analysing his performance. Next time!




  • An amazing run for sure. Only the second man I think to go below 6:10 since Don Ritchie ran 6:10:20 in 1978. Makes 7:39 pace look fairly handy for 24hrs��




  • Ed...... wrote: »
    An amazing run for sure. Only the second man I think to go below 6:10 since Don Ritchie ran 6:10:20 in 1978. Makes 7:39 pace look fairly handy for 24hrs��

    is 7.39 world record pace for 24 hour? In my opinion thats far more impressive than 5.55 for 6 hours. Not taking anything away from a sub 6.10 but holding 7.39 for a full day is mind boggling esp factoring in toilet breaks, food stops etc. which bring the avg up.




  • ultrapercy wrote: »
    is 7.39 world record pace for 24 hour? In my opinion thats far more impressive than 5.55 for 6 hours. Not taking anything away from a sub 6.10 but holding 7.39 for a full day is mind boggling esp factoring in toilet breaks, food stops etc. which bring the avg up.

    My previous statement being tongue in cheek but if I'd to pick one then I'd say the 100km record is physically harder.




  • Ed...... wrote: »
    My previous statement being tongue in cheek but if I'd to pick one then I'd say the 100km record is physically harder.

    I disagree. The 24 hrs record is still far out there and nobody has ever come even close. I think it's the harder one to crack.




  • Ed...... wrote: »
    My previous statement being tongue in cheek but if I'd to pick one then I'd say the 100km record is physically harder.
    I disagree. The 24 hrs record is still far out there and nobody has ever come even close. I think it's the harder one to crack.

    Don't think these two statements are a million miles apart personally

    100km is alot more physically reliant

    24 hr tends to be alot more multifactorial (physically, mentally, nutrition, tactics etc) Alot more can and does go wrong in the longer distances on the day.




  • I disagree. The 24 hrs record is still far out there and nobody has ever come even close. I think it's the harder one to crack.

    I agree it's currently more untouchable than the 100km but I think that's for 2 reasons.
    1. It's an absolutely outstanding performance in a race where so much can go wrong.
    2. The runners who could really give it a run for its money, with some time and focus, are more interested in the shorter stuff or trail runners.
    (an old argument I know)


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  • I'm kinda with Kouros' thinking on 100km versus 24 hours. To my mind 100km is what I call a "speed" ultra. A longer version of the marathon, with similar training and abilities required. 24 hours crosses over the different realm of "Endurance" ultra. I guess its something like crossing over from sprinting to middle distance in the non-ultra world. It's funny that its hard to explain, but nearly everyone who I've discussed it with who has raced both distances (or similar) seems to agree. One of those things experience tells you.

    Of the 2 records, yeah I think the 24 hours is much further "out there". Although the longevity of Don Richie's 100km record was also something special.

    Ed, I would disagree on the trail runners thing. As Killian recently showed, it doesn't matter how good you are at trail ultras. 24 hours is just very different.




  • I was including the top trail runners in my theory as they've spent around 20hrs running in the likes of UTMB. So they are touching on the mental endurance side of the 24hr. An athletes like Jim Walmsley could combine the two.

    Apart from Olivier leblond none of the top 5 runners in Albi WC have experience beyond 24hr. But their 100km times are close to Kouros. Kouros being 6:43 and the others around 6:50.

    So running more races beyond the 24hr is a missing element here.




  • Enduro wrote: »
    I'm kinda with Kouros' thinking on 100km versus 24 hours. To my mind 100km is what I call a "speed" ultra. A longer version of the marathon, with similar training and abilities required. 24 hours crosses over the different realm of "Endurance" ultra. I guess its something like crossing over from sprinting to middle distance in the non-ultra world. It's funny that its hard to explain, but nearly everyone who I've discussed it with who has raced both distances (or similar) seems to agree. One of those things experience tells you.

    Of the 2 records, yeah I think the 24 hours is much further "out there". Although the longevity of Don Richie's 100km record was also something special.

    Ed, I would disagree on the trail runners thing. As Killian recently showed, it doesn't matter how good you are at trail ultras. 24 hours is just very different.

    I have raced both and I definitely agree. Beyond 100k the mental side becomes much more important. It becomes a massive factor, and it's something that doesn't get enough attention with all those "runner X will be able to break the WR" predictions. On the other hand, that same aspect allows a "lesser" runner to be a much better 24 hrs runner than results at marathon or 100k would indicate.

    I actually think Killian might have a chance at the record IF he focused on running 24 hrs. He has run for close to that time when he did HardRock, and anyone who saw him running there seemed to say that he wasn't going all out. Having said that, there is no way he will stay away from the mountains to focus on a flat 24 hrs run, so that theory won't ever be proven.




  • Might be of interest here, a documentary about a Radio 1xtra DJ (nope I'd not heard of the station or the DJ either) who for some reason decided to have a go at running an ultra marathon last December with only a months training. Was a pretty daft idea, but then he got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes two weeks out from the event:





  • https://youtu.be/3-VeDM91PNw

    This young Italian Mountain Goat is the future of mountain running..
    Amazing speed, talent and bravery..




  • So the Barkley Marathons started a couple of hours ago. Super detailed live tracking Occasional tweets available here:

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/bm100?src=hashtag_click&f=live

    Exciting happenings so far is someone turned back after 40 minutes because they had forgotten their race number, and someone else must have overslept (3:04am start) and started 58 minutes late.




  • robinph wrote: »
    someone turned back after 40 minutes because they had forgotten their race number, and someone else must have overslept (3:04am start) and started 58 minutes late.

    That's by far the most exciting start of the Barkley ever. Riveting stuff!

    Go Courtney!




  • Only two people left in after the three ladies still in missed the cut off by 12 minutes:
    Maggie
    @MaggatronRuns
    , Courtney
    @courtdauwalter
    , and Liz Canty have finished loop two in 26:52. They are over the 26:40 time limit and cannot continue to loop 3. #BM100




  • Hi all, I'm just hoping to get a sense of what training approaches people take when training for a longer hilly trail ultra. What are the main components of your training and how do you balance them. I did a 50 miler last year and I'm hoping to have a go at a little more than double it this September. I've done up something for the next 6 months which has one speedwork session a week and two longer runs at the weekend consisting of roadwork and hills on alternate weekends, along with some tempo work on one of the long runs. I'm currently at a volume of about 7 hours total weekly volume and I'd be hoping to get that up to 10/12 hours a week by early summer, with a few big weekends peppered throughout June and July due to big back to back weekends or very long practice runs (1 X 50 miler and a 5hour/4 hour back to back). I'd really appreciate any questions that'll make me think, or any feedback about particular things that worked for you.

    I think one of my questions is, is there such a thing as too much hills in training? I think I put a lot of emphasis on hills last year and I'm not sure it didnt do harm in terms of keeping me quite tired (and slow!) all the time, along with sacrificing speedwork which didn't help.


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  • JohnDozer wrote: »
    Hi all, I'm just hoping to get a sense of what training approaches people take when training for a longer hilly trail ultra. What are the main components of your training and how do you balance them. I did a 50 miler last year and I'm hoping to have a go at a little more than double it this September. I've done up something for the next 6 months which has one speedwork session a week and two longer runs at the weekend consisting of roadwork and hills on alternate weekends, along with some tempo work on one of the long runs. I'm currently at a volume of about 7 hours total weekly volume and I'd be hoping to get that up to 10/12 hours a week by early summer, with a few big weekends peppered throughout June and July due to big back to back weekends or very long practice runs (1 X 50 miler and a 5hour/4 hour back to back). I'd really appreciate any questions that'll make me think, or any feedback about particular things that worked for you.

    I think one of my questions is, is there such a thing as too much hills in training? I think I put a lot of emphasis on hills last year and I'm not sure it didnt do harm in terms of keeping me quite tired (and slow!) all the time, along with sacrificing speedwork which didn't help.

    I personally think hills help but it depends on whether you mean hilly runs or mou ntains. I'm getting approx 2,000m+ ascent a week from hilly runs (over approx 100km total), it's hard to get both distance and time on the long trail runs.

    What sort of volume are you doing now and building up to? Am curious too - what you training for?


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