Tag Archives: ultra

Training to get fit enough to start the training programme (which feels like a bit of a con!)

The Ridgeway – looks like a good running track?

The 16 week training programme for the ultra marathon in July starts mid March. Week 1 is 31 miles with a long run of 11 miles. Interestingly, the maximum week’s running is ‘only’ 47 miles.

It is usually said that mileage should not increase by more than 10% a week. If I stick to that, an application of the ‘rule of 72’* tells me that I should be running over 15 miles a week before the end of January – and I ought to be running 28 miles the week before the programme starts.

Fine, I wasn’t expecting the first week to be a just few short walks … but 31 miles?

It doesn’t really feel like a 16 week programme at all, given how much training is needed before it can be started safely. On that basis I could write a marathon training plan lasting just 4 weeks – but it would require the victim participant to be running 45 miles a week before starting it.

Initially I was pleased that the ultra was in July as I would avoid running through the winter – with the pre-training needed, I’ve been thwarted!

It feels a long way until July – but I know by the time I get there I’ll be wishing I had more time because I still won’t be ready. In some ways I wish I could get on with the training now but I remember how long the 16 weeks of training for the Rotterdam Marathon felt.

What I won’t do is think of the current stage as being ‘ultra marathon training‘.

The thought that I was going to be ‘in training’ for 8 months (to the day!) would be soul destroying. The marathon training is just 16 weeks, starting in March – and that will feel like more than enough.

* Divide the number of years into 72 and the answer gives you the rate of compound interest needed for money to double over that period. Conversely, divide the rate of compound interest into 72 and the result is the number of years it will take for the original sum to double at that growth rate. So, at 7.2% compound interest, the value of money would double in 10 years – at 10% it would take 7.2 years.