Ultra Runners

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Your thoughts on long runs... (Read 83 times)


old woman w/hobby

    One long run vs a double with a shorter run the second day.

    And why is this your personal choice?

     

    MTA:  Or does it even matter?

    steph  

     

    OCD  If you don't laugh...   

    Sandy-2


      I prefer b2b 20's rather than one 40 miler.  It's the mental game on the 2nd day that builds character. But that's just me, I know others who prefer one long run.

      tbd

        I think the B2B long runs may be more important if you have a lower base.  Supposedly B2B long runs simulate race fatigue and get you ready for the distance.  I know some runners that maintain around 10 miles per day and only do the long runs and no B2B.  I kind of do a modified version of marathon training, incorporating a longer midweek long run up to 22 miles and usually only do between 20-31 as a long run on weekends.  I've tried a few B2B long runs but it's really tough for me to say whether one is better than the other.  For my first 100, I'm doing a couple 50 mile training "races" as long runs with minimal taper.  I guess I'll see how that goes.

          When training for summer ultra, I've used b2b (4hr/4hr - or something like that) in winter when dealing with frozen water, etc is a challenge then morph that into a 8-9 hr long run followed by or preceded by recovery walk. That puts the long runs in more race-like temperatures so I can figure out what works for food, etc.

           

          MTA: At this point, I can sometimes do 3, almost 4, hr runs with nothing besides sports drink - not intentionally, just don't get hungry or feel a need for additional fuel. So for me, the longer long runs are important to test fuel, drinking, etc - and I make a point of starting by about 2 hrs in.

          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
            I do B2Bs, because I get bored on the super LRs. After 4 hours, I'm usually ready to quit. I'm not sure one is better than the other, at least for my ultras, and how I race them: lots of run/walk. It I ever do a shorter ultra, say 50k or 100k on flat, easily runnable terrain, then my guess would be the super LRs would be more beneficial. But mostly I believe it's psychological.


            old woman w/hobby

              Thanks, every one.  And good luck flatfooter.

              steph  

               

              OCD  If you don't laugh...   

                I typically like to work in both.  The super long run helps me fine-tune my hydration, nutrition and whatnot, as well as reminds me that I will go through several low points but will eventually come out of them.  However, the B2Bs are often easier on my body and don't take as much recovery.  For my Cascade Crest 100 training, I've worked in two 50-milers (should have been three, but got pulled from one at mile 35 for not making cutoff Sad) and a 40-miler during a 12-hour race.  The I've been primarily running B2Bs on the other weekends.  (Just ran 26 on Saturday, 21 yesterday, both on trails with lots of elevation gain).

                Upcoming races: 10/12 Victoria Marathon, 12/7 Tucson Marathon, 12/13 Deception Pass 50K, 3/27-28 Umstead 100

                  (Just ran 26 on Saturday, 21 yesterday, both on trails with lots of elevation gain).

                  Wow, 14 hours of running in two days.  That is quite a bit of time on your feet for B2B.


                  I'm back!

                    Either way, I try to find races for my marathon-length or longer runs. It's just a lot more fun that way, easier too.

                     

                    I am in for Western States next year -- I'm going to take training for this a lot more seriously than I did for my prior three 100s (including WS 2012). So I have some thinking along these lines to do as well.


                    Uh oh... now what?

                      One long run vs a double with a shorter run the second day.

                      And why is this your personal choice?

                       

                      MTA:  Or does it even matter?

                      One long run (usually Saturday) with a hourish easy run the next day.

                      I tried the B2B thing and did not like it--left me tired and achy.

                       

                      I found a weekend cycle of 35ish/6, 35ish/6, 20ish/6, 10ish/6... repeat

                      until the last 20ish was two weeks out, was something my body and

                      head would tolerate--that was for up to 100 km.

                       

                      For what I thought was serious training  for a hundred-mile trail run the

                      cycle was changed to 45ish for the weekend with no concern for which

                      day was which, just so by Sunday night there was an hourly equivalent

                      of 45ish miles done.  If I got it all on one day (including a zero on Saturday)

                      the next day would be an easy 60ish minutes on trails as a recovery run.

                      It was successful only in that I have a buckle from Leadville.

                        So for me, the longer long runs are important to test fuel, drinking, etc - and I make a point of starting by about 2 hrs in.

                         

                         

                        I see this advice a lot but after some point, don't you know what your body can handle?

                         

                        I must be a wimp but I feel the recovery necessary from those really LRs takes too much away from my other runs during the week. Then again, sometimes I wonder if I run too many of my runs too easy.

                         

                        Not discounting what you're saying, but just curious.

                          AKTrail posted:  So for me, the longer long runs are important to test fuel, drinking, etc - and I make a point of starting by about 2 hrs in.

                           

                           

                          I see this advice a lot but after some point, don't you know what your body can handle?

                           

                          I must be a wimp but I feel the recovery necessary from those really LRs takes too much away from my other runs during the week. Then again, sometimes I wonder if I run too many of my runs too easy.

                           

                          Not discounting what you're saying, but just curious.

                           

                          Short version: The 8-hr long runs are a fun day in the mountains. Long run takes one day instead of two. I built up to them. After a few years, yes, I've got the basics down, but there's always new gear, new foods, old stand-bys are worn out flavorwise, changes in race format, etc. For some types of workouts (not long runs), I find b2b days more stressful. Which is better for training adaptations - not sure, but I think changing it up across years is helpful.

                           

                          Long version:

                          The attitude I take for the long long runs is to spend all day running / hiking in the mountains. It's a fun day, maybe a bit boring if still enough snow that I'm running up and down the state park road (1200 ft up in about 3.5 mi). When I was doing those runs, I was probably running 4 days/wk or maybe 2 on/ 1 off as I was building base using a 2wk microcycle. Yea, the first year or so I was probably sore the next day or two, when I'd either hike or run on grass, but a lot of that was from the downhill more so than the duration itself. My preference is to do the long run in one day and enjoy it, rather than taking 2 days of similar workout (granted the 2 days can be different). That gives me the opportunity for more variety.

                           

                          Over time I've adapted to the ups and downs as I've done more of them and general base conditioning has improved or stayed similar the last few years. (about 10hr/wk, give or take a bit in summer) This year, my races are shorter (10hr and 7.5hrs) and am trying Running Wizard, somewhat modified. It seems more like moderate / somewhat easy vs my usual hard/recover. Jury is still out and won't come back with verdict until late Sept or so. I'm breaking from the schedule next week for "vacation" and doing b2b probably 6-8 hr (mix run and hike) and 4-6 hr (mostly hike)  on some out-of-town trails. (RW caps long runs at 2.5 hrs)

                           

                           

                          Keep in mind that snow-free season in Alaska mountains when we have longer races is a few months. (I haven't done winter ultras since I haven't figured out how to keep feet warm for 4+hrs)  So there's likely only 3 or 4 of the 8-9 hr long runs in a year. There's new foods, new shoes, new packs, got tired of old foods, companies changed their foods, etc.

                           

                          My early ultra had 38 mi between trailheads, so needed to carry fluids and means of purifying water, plus food and gear to handle whatever weather. Yea, the fast guys are to the next trailhead in 5-7 hrs, probably, but older, slowest females, will be out there for almost 13 hrs.

                           

                          A couple years ago, I tried a 10-hr climbathon where we could have drop bags at top of tram (cimb up, tram down), so that I needed to carry less with me - which meant I sometimes forgot to get some stuff from drop bag in hurry to catch tram down. I'm looking at vests to deal with this as well as 7.5hr marathon  with some aid stations (3500ft of uphill in loop course). It's something that I need to improve on.

                           

                          When I first tried my Badrock shoes on long long runs, I thought they were going to be ok - until about 5 hrs in when they became extremely painful across top of foot.

                           

                           

                          But, yes, I've got the basics down. But the first year, I think I ran with about 10 different foods, experimenting with things. Now I probably take about 5 (too many choices isn't good). But I now add peanut butter gel in there (wasn't around a few years ago). Prior gels I'd tasted were way too sweet to stomach. I may replace chocolate slimfast with chocolate milk (the non-refrigerated kind) because slimfast has changed their formula (one can has dropped from 230cal to 180cal).

                           

                          My first two ultra attempts were cold and wet, so almost everything worked since it was like what I trained in. Then we had a couple hot races (70+F), and the same things didn't work as well.

                           

                          We're starting to get more summer ultra options up here in the summer, but still not that many to make short ultras trial runs for longer ones.

                          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                             I must be a wimp but I feel the recovery necessary from those really LRs takes too much away from my other runs during the week. Then again, sometimes I wonder if I run too many of my runs too easy.

                             

                             

                            At one point common sense for marathoners was no more than 30 percent of your weekly training should be made up from the long run.  Although it may be slightly higher for ultras, I see a lot of people at 50-70% of their weekly training base be their long run.  Chances are if you fall into the 50-70% category you are going to be recovering from your long runs all week long.  You can successfully finish an ultra with this training but you probably won't achieve what you are really capable of doing.

                            jjameson


                              One long run.  When I'm building to a >50M run I gradually increase my long run from 20-30 miles.  Once I'm over 25 miles I only do those every two weeks.  Like John M. I will alternate like this for the long run  20, 25, 18, 30, 20, 35, 22, 30, then taper.   Try to get in one run over 12 during the week and one "fast" run whether LT, track, or MP.

                               

                              I just don't have time for the b2b runs though I have been known to do 20 b2b just for the hell of it, especially training for a 50K and try to get one of the 20s pretty fast.

                               

                              Runners can get good results with either approach I think.  If the course is hilly or technical it is important to try to duplicate some of that in your runs.  If you are going to hike a lot, practice that also.

                               

                               

                                 

                                At one point common sense for marathoners was no more than 30 percent of your weekly training should be made up from the long run.  Although it may be slightly higher for ultras, I see a lot of people at 50-70% of their weekly training base be their long run.  Chances are if you fall into the 50-70% category you are going to be recovering from your long runs all week long.  You can successfully finish an ultra with this training but you probably won't achieve what you are really capable of doing.

                                I partly agree with you, but also recognize that long runs for trail ultras can be very different (hills, technical terrain, ups, downs) than long runs for road marathons. Recovery rates will depend on preceding training - not just for that year but prior years. Also some people live for the long runs (nothing to do with performance) while others hate them. Some people adapt to them fairly easily while others don't. The question to be asked is how does this run contribute toward my goals - does it help or interfere too much with other workouts. Some folks may say the other workouts interfere with their long runs. Wink

                                 

                                Some people may use 10- or 14-day microcycles, so when you look at runs by 7-day period, you may not be seeing the whole picture. Some people do the long long runs every other week and the shorter long runs (maybe 3-4hrs) on the intermediate week. One of my earlier influences suggested alternating single long runs (8hrs) with b2b runs every 2 wks for the 3 months preceding 5 wks out from race. So you only end up with 3 long runs and 3 b2b with longest long run 5 wks before race day. And considering the amount of hiking involved, it's not the same as long runs on asphalt every week.

                                 

                                I know I would struggle with long runs over 2 hrs on asphalt (partly mental and physical monotony without all the twist and turns and ups and downs of trails), but could go for a run/hike for 4-6 hrs or more (just haven't done any this year) with little problem - unless I trip on root and hit a rock or whatever.

                                 

                                I definitely know where you're coming from.

                                "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
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