Ultra marathon training – week 1


Monday was the start of my first week in the 12 week training plan that will take me all the way up to the 9th November. I managed 5 out of the 6 planned training sessions which I’m not too disappointed with since it’s week one.

Week one training plan looked like this :-

week 1

On Tues I elected to run with beginners on the Bridge to 10k course even though they were having a recovery week and only running 5km. Afterwards I ran some extra km’s with Martin Hollamby to make up the extra distance needed. Going forward though, my Tuesday runs will need to be predominately in Z4. So for the next couple of weeks I’ll being supporting this group but soon I’ll have to concentrate on my own goals.

After completing my off road marathon and half marathon I’ve decided to throw in some gym sessions in the plan and have a leg training session. The very hilly Long Mynd course made me realise how much that type of terrain takes it out of your legs. Hence gym session 1 comprised of 30 mins on the cross trainer and then I headed into the free weights area for squats, leg press and Romanian deadlifts, finishing off on the weight machines for some legs curls. My legs complained of the punishment meted out to them for the next two days…

For my first ultra-marathon and after a fair bit of reading on the web, it seems that a different approach is going to be needed if I’m to make it through all 3 days. I stumbled across this BLOG here which gave a good overview to a 25/5 run/walk strategy and I’ve decided to adopt this for my race.

Hence on Thursday when I couldn’t get down to the club session I had my first go at 25/5 but realised afterwards that you need longer distances to practice – at least 60 mins of running, preferably 90min.

On Saturday I did a quick 20km blast on the turbo trainer and in a couple of weeks time, weather permitting, I’ll ditch the turbo trainer and hit the roads again for as long the conditions allow me.


Last weekend my poles arrived which is a new piece of kit to me. I’ve opted for a pair of carbon fibre poles called Black Diamond Distance Carbon. The poles are very light and foldable which means they can fit onto the sides of my Inov8 race pack easily. All I needed to do now was to go for a long run to figure them out…


Whilst the wet, cooler and slightly windy conditions were not great for a bank holiday weekend it did make me think that actually, this is probably the sort of weather I’ll be experiencing in November for my run !!

I set off for my Sunday long run and headed towards Kingsbury along the canal paths from Fazeley Junction. The run didn’t exactly start smoothly as I discovered roughly 2km into the run that I hadn’t started my watch…cue slapping ones’ forehead and much @#!*% cursing !!! I decided once again to use the 25/5 approach and figured I’d get a better feel for it over a roughly 16km route.


Unsurprisingly the canal path was fairly deserted.


I decided to run up to the row of cottages by the canal lock before you would turn off towards Kingsbury Waterpark and then turn back. On the way back I pulled out my walking sticks and started to use them for both the 5mins walking and the 25min running.

I had watched a few Youtube videos for ideas on running techniques & tried a mixture of all 3 during the run back.


By the end of the run I had decided that all 3 have their uses depending on the terrain you’re running over. Hopefully in 3 months time I’ll be reasonably proficient at using them. I certainly felt towards the end of the run that they help you with uphill sections. By the end of the run I was soaked through and headed straight for a hot shower !


This week I have ran 31.6km and cycled (turbo) 20km with one gym session thrown in. At the end of the week my weight was down to 11st 5lbs against a race weight target of 11st. A fairly gentle week to get into the plan and next week the mileage will ramp up again by approx 10%.  I’m running in a mixture of Brook Ghosts for tarmac and Inov8 Parkclaw’s for the off road stuff.



That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read and if you want to leave any comments then please feel free to do so. I will be at the Club run on Tues to take the Bridge to 10k group, so hopefully will see some of you there.

Have a great bank holiday !


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