What I learnt on my first Ultra

My very inexperienced views on ultra running races with one under my belt here’s some points…

Mainly that you can do anything that you put your mind to which won’t come as a surprise to any Ironmen or long distance runners out there. 

That you will get some sort of injury if you don’t train the right things. I didn’t have strong enough feet, the latter stages of what training I had taught me that my feet would succumb to the repetitive nature of running and get some pain. That during the 35miles would only get worse. 

Compensatory injuries are real, having ran trying to avoid pressure on my 3/4th toe by favouring my big toe, the big toe is now complaining. Common sense really 

You can never apply too much anti chafe stuff. I was liberal and felt like I’d shat myself before the race but during it there was no chafage which I’ll take as a major win. 

Support. Either before or during or after is necessary. Whether it be a concerned look when describing the multiple reasons why you are injured and looking sympathetic when you declare that even though injured you would still be running. Or during the race knowing there was someone who gave a shit that you were running a silly distance would be enough to get you through. 

Do an ultra that’s interesting. The route is the main draw of this distance. Plodding around streets for a long time would be mind numbingly boring so choose one where you will be seeing the world and make it an adventure. 

Food. Practice running after eating solid food. I didn’t and didn’t really know what to expect. I got bloated so think I need to experiment with other food stuffs other than chocolate flapjack. The salty crisps I had worked a treat so make sure you don’t just pack sweet sweet stuff. 

Trainers. Make sure you wear trainers that you trained in. Your feet will thank you for it. 

Get your legs moving after it. The Tiree ultra had me cycling to and from the start. This was perfect to get the muscles moving again and making sure I wouldn’t be too stiff

Lose a bit of weight. Us hefty blokes have very unthankful feet after pounding for 35miles. 

Finally. Cut those long toe nails before the race. It may just save getting a blister underneath one. Urgh. 


5 responses to “What I learnt on my first Ultra

  1. I did my first ultra this spring. I suspect it will be my last. I did one of those “run around in small circles” races (2 mile loop). It had two aid stations and mostly flat. I picked it since there would be frequent aid stations and it was one of those 24-hour races. I had no intention of going 24 hours but wanted to get at least 50k (my definition of an ultra is 50k or further). I checked out as soon as I hit that milestone. I loved Ironman and hated the ultra (mind numbingly boring). Glad I tried it since that is the only way you will find your passion. Sounds like you had a great race. Any plans on doing another?

    • I’d imagine 2 mile loops x 15 or so would be boring! Kudos on doing it. I do fancy a 24h race like that. I think I’d like to do another one just need to see which one takes my fancy plus need to get healed first! Ironman is also on the to do list again!

  2. Thanks for the tips! Can I ask whether you were eating any particular make of salty crisps? I am doing my first half ironman in a few weeks and I know from cycling 100 miles that I get really fed up of sweet things after a couple of hours so I’m on the look-out for some more savoury snacks!

    • No prob! Ready salted hula hoops tho I’m sure any others would work. They were provided for by the organisers. Handy small packets tho. Probably good to stuff into cycle Jersey. I had iced buns for my ironman and hot cross buns buttered.

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