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Another *sigh* Couch to Ultra Marathon


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#1 Haylz

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 01:30 PM

Hi Guys,

I know it's very dangerous being the new year and all, but this is a plan I have had for a while and it just so happens to start in the new year. I'm trying to stay stealthy from family and friends but I hope you all can get behind me. If for no other reason than to watch me suffer :)

Couch to Ultra in 2017. Ill be updating my progress daily. My plan is on the site.

What do you think?
http://anxiousfatty.wordpress.com

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#2 riffraff

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 07:33 PM

OK, read your blog, and while there are some concerns re your schedule, I'm no party pooper.

I'm onboard, so don't let me down :)

#3 Haylz

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 08:42 PM

Hey Riffraff - thanks for your support :) I'm gonna do my best to not let anyone down, especially myself.

What are your concerns re: my schedule? I understand the second half of the year is ambitious which might be half the fun/idiocy :Cry:

#4 JXT

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:03 PM

Best of luck with it all!
I also share Riffraff's concerns about the schedule. I've run over 4000km each of the last three years and that looks like a brutal second half of the year. I'm not saying you can't do it, but I'd hate for you to get injured and give up on the lifestyle change.
But, as I said, best of luck.

#5 undercover brother

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:14 PM

I perfected the transition in the opposite direction.
best of luck.

#6 Haylz

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:18 PM

Hi JXT - 4000kms - impressive! Yes, brutal 2nd half. I'm wondering if there is some sort of run training that would be better bang for my buck than just pounding out the kms? After I build a base, maybe I could look into hill repeats, stairs, intervals? I have to be especially careful of shin splints which I am prone to. X training on the bike too. As I progress I will identify the different stages to this challenge. Phase 1 will be weight loss which should significantly lower my chance of injuries.

Thanks so much for the support and advice lads :)

Undercover Brother - thanks, it will be an interesting ride.

#7 riffraff

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:27 PM

View PostHaylz, on 02 January 2017 - 08:42 PM, said:

Hey Riffraff - thanks for your support :) I'm gonna do my best to not let anyone down, especially myself.

What are your concerns re: my schedule? I understand the second half of the year is ambitious which might be half the fun/idiocy :Cry:

In short?

Too much too soon.

Which, as JXT mentioned, almost always ends in injury and motivation sometimes lost forever.

You will, of course, also need to make some serious changes in the kitchen :)




#8 Davinator

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:32 PM

Great stuff Haylz, and remember it doesn't have to be all or nothing!
The 24hr race looked to be a big jump but I think it's an adventure race with orienteering check points and a big incentive to get back on time.
So still a big undertaking but not a 24hr run.
4 months to that event and 8 months to your marathon.
Think about the recovery time after your marathon and ultras and which is your target event.

#9 BogFrog

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:41 PM

I don't want to be a party popper either but...

I still regret going too hard too soon and I went from zero to HM in 8 months, not zero to marathon in 8, never mind the ultra in 10!

But... good luck with it. Enjoy the "journey" as the gains are really addictive and fun. If you don't succeed, don't give up. Reassess, regroup and continue. It's worth it

#10 Haylz

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:46 PM

Changes in the kitchen is definitely a must. I'll be posting on this over the coming days. I feel that diet is the main factor to success or failure.

Thanks for the advice Davinator, recovery is essential. I know I'm hoping for a bit of luck with this plan regarding injuries ect.  But as they say, luck favours the brave!



#11 Haylz

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:49 PM

Yes BogFrog that's definitely a concern. I had in my 20's went from 0 to the Anaconda which was brutal but I dragged my ass over the line. The timeline there was approx 6 months. This will not be easy but I have to back myself here. Granted, I'm much older and slower now so let's see how I go ��

#12 JXT

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 10:24 PM

I don't want to squash your dreams, so take my advice with the requisite grains of salt. I'm from a family of morbidly obese people - none of my siblings are taller than 170cm and all weigh well north of 120kg, with two at 160cm and 145kg. At 178cm and under 60kg, I'm the skinny sheep of the family. I wish my siblings had your motivation, so I really admire your dreams. But I do think that it's too much too soon.
Think about this: just one percent of the Australian population runs a single marathon per year. That's a hell of a goal without all of the ultras. I run no more than three marathons per year, and only a handful of shorter races. I couldn't handle the schedule you've outlined.
Please don't take this post as a reason not to give it a big go. Just maybe have a rethink about the goals. A 30kg weight loss and a marathon would be a hell of a year.

#13 toolittletoolate

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 08:32 AM

I wish you the very best of luck with your goals and although like others on here I think this schedule looks difficult, However I also think that if you train sensibly and dont push too hard this could be achievable.  Some of the runners above are training and racing at much faster paces than I expect  you will hence their concerns around the packed scheduled.  I agree with Riffraff that some serious changes in the kitchen are required as running those distances at your weight with a history og shin splints is asking for trouble.  Anyway good on you for having a goal and just remember to enjoy the journey.

#14 DrinksRunner

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 09:11 AM

Your schedule looks pretty good early on. but quite hard later on. It took me a few months to recover from gold coast marathon. But if you plan to finish rather than race the 50km blackall you should be fine. And there is plenty of time between your Alpine race and your goal race. 85kms will be a big achievement.  You just need to cross your fingers that you stay injury free.

#15 McNick

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 09:23 AM

The New Year is a time for bold plans and stretch goals, but as others have said,  I think you need to take a more measured approach.
If you haven't been doing much running,  you need to build up your endurance,  including Cross-Training, so you don't get injured.
Do you have a training program or coach to help with setting out a program to achieve these goals?
Achieving those goals without a structured program is going to lead to injuries.
I think you will naturally lose weight as you ramp up your running,  but focus on healthy foods and quantities.  You will need food for energy,  so I think it would be dangerous to actually cut back your calories as you increase your energy output.
My advise would be to take a longer term view. Do the 3-5 km races,  join a local parkrun, build up to a 10 km race over 6 months.
Once you can comfortably race  5 - 10 km, aim for a HM in the second half of the year.
I would leave the Marathon and 24 hr races to next year.
Lots of runners on here have been through the over-ambitious schedule leading to injury and disappointment.
Develop a program to match your goals,  find a coach or get some professional advice.
Your blog talked about health and happiness. Make health your goal initially, not some random event. Your body will thank you for good health, not injury.
Don't be discouraged, but be realistic.
Good luck and keep us posted.

#16 Haylz

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 12:43 PM

Great advice guys. All very valid points. This year I will go from couch to ultra however, maybe mid way I could reassess the middle part to better reflect recovery ect. But either way I will race an ultra. Training has started on the trail and the kitchen. Yes, day one is easy but I have to start somewhere. I will update the blog every couple of days and you can all follow my progress.

I enjoy running (jogging and walking at this point) so I think that will help.

#17 StuC

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 01:28 PM

Just read your blog and the first feeling I got was excitement. I believe that if you can nail your marathon training, you can certainly do an ultra. The main thing to consider is that your ultra is not going to be run at the same pace as the Sunshine Coast marathon. I am not familiar with your ultra choices, but your marathon training will be for a relatively flat tarmac course while your ultra choices look like very hilly trail runs.
For an ultra you need to train your mind as much as anything to try and overcome the inevitable central governor telling you its all too hard (acknowledgement Timothy Noakes). For a hilly trail run you need to factor power walking hills into your training as you will need to conserve energy. One of the biggest things I have learnt is to train using the same nutrition and gear that you will use for the ultra. Don't do as I did and wear brand new socks for the event and then have to deal with blisters after 25km.
I ran my first ultra (64km) at 62 years old on a base of around 45km per week and a longest run of 32km. Not to say that was ideal but unless you are an elite, any ultra is going to hurt. It is how you channel the hurt that defines whether you will finish with a smile, death march to the end or DNF.
Good luck. I will watch with interest.

PS I just looked up the Old Ghost Ultra as I had not heard of it before and it is set over country I used to go deer stalking as  kid with my father. Our family came from Millerton which is about 20 miles north of Westport and then up into the hills. The country is beautiful and the weather should be perfect for an ultra. I am very jealous and may have to look at joining you on the start line.

Edited by StuC, 03 January 2017 - 02:04 PM.


#18 omy005

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 03:38 PM

Continuity of motivation will be one of the greatest hurdles. Get yourself along to a parkrun and you'll be with like minded people every Saturday which will help greatly with motivation. Even though parkrun is only 5km it can be cleverly incorporated into your training plan.

http://www.parkrun.com.au/noosa/

Andrew. :)

#19 cjr

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 08:29 AM

Kudos to you for having a go... I agree the schedule looks ambitious, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

Al I can offer is to listen to your body, if (or when) you get injured or run down or lack motivation know when to take a step back and have a rest .

Speaking from experience....tried something similar, did too much too soon and ended up in a web of injury and frustration trying to find a quick fix.
Next time a few years later I took it a lot slower with more of a long term view....and now 40 marathons and ultras later....

#20 dadagain

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 02:18 PM

The others above had said it all really. Good luck!  October/November looks pretty terrifying to me in that schedule!

That being said - If you can build the mileage slowly and keep the intensity of your running low at all times (even in the races) then it may be possible. I'd be making sure you get into good habits with the foam roller and introduce yourself to a good sports massage therapist to keep your legs alive when the mileage really starts to build up. Dont wait for things to fall apart with injury before seeking help - learn to keep your legs in good condition!

I'm daunted by my plan to run 11 events this year - but my 11 events total a mere 212km whereas your 9 are likely to be in excess of 320-350 (depending on the 24hr distance)...and I'm coming from a base of a couple of years of solid running.

I wouldnt want to discourage you though - so take care and go cautiously smash that goal! (See you at Sunshine Coast Mara - its on my list, but only as a half for me)

#21 hillybilly

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 07:25 AM

You have to dream big, and why not pursue something that may break or make you. If it does break you learn from it, and dream again.

I agree with all the great advice above, it does look like your second half to the year is a very heavy load for someone first moving into that ultra-marathon space..  but hey with that said why not try.

If I were you I would be nominating your absolute “A” race that will be your ultra for this year. All others should be incorporated into your training schedule as quality long runs, that can be shortened, modified or dropped altogether (if running them will compromise your body to your ability to fulfil your A race. These quality long runs should allow you to learn how to best manage yourself in ultra-marathons and should not be treated as race or a must complete...

If you have some spare coin, it would be a good investment to employ a coach to provide you with a structured approach and hot tips on gear and nutrition. In the end it will be an investment in harm minimisation as when the niggles come, and they will, it will be either spending money on a physio trying to resolve issues to keep you or get you back to running, or paying a coach to help you avoid those issues in the first place.

Best of luck, it’s a exciting prospect.  Listen to your body and get plenty of good rest.

#22 riffraff

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 07:56 AM

Saw this and thought about this thread.

https://www.facebook...?type=3

#23 Haylz

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 08:00 PM

View PostStuC, on 03 January 2017 - 01:28 PM, said:

Just read your blog and the first feeling I got was excitement. I believe that if you can nail your marathon training, you can certainly do an ultra. The main thing to consider is that your ultra is not going to be run at the same pace as the Sunshine Coast marathon. I am not familiar with your ultra choices, but your marathon training will be for a relatively flat tarmac course while your ultra choices look like very hilly trail runs.
For an ultra you need to train your mind as much as anything to try and overcome the inevitable central governor telling you its all too hard (acknowledgement Timothy Noakes). For a hilly trail run you need to factor power walking hills into your training as you will need to conserve energy. One of the biggest things I have learnt is to train using the same nutrition and gear that you will use for the ultra. Don't do as I did and wear brand new socks for the event and then have to deal with blisters after 25km.
I ran my first ultra (64km) at 62 years old on a base of around 45km per week and a longest run of 32km. Not to say that was ideal but unless you are an elite, any ultra is going to hurt. It is how you channel the hurt that defines whether you will finish with a smile, death march to the end or DNF.
Good luck. I will watch with interest.

PS I just looked up the Old Ghost Ultra as I had not heard of it before and it is set over country I used to go deer stalking as  kid with my father. Our family came from Millerton which is about 20 miles north of Westport and then up into the hills. The country is beautiful and the weather should be perfect for an ultra. I am very jealous and may have to look at joining you on the start line.

Lets see how I go with this quoting thing :) - StuC - YES! See you at the Old Ghost!!! That's so cool that you are familiar with the country, you would have a big advantage :)


View Postdadagain, on 05 January 2017 - 02:18 PM, said:

The others above had said it all really. Good luck!  October/November looks pretty terrifying to me in that schedule!

That being said - If you can build the mileage slowly and keep the intensity of your running low at all times (even in the races) then it may be possible. I'd be making sure you get into good habits with the foam roller and introduce yourself to a good sports massage therapist to keep your legs alive when the mileage really starts to build up. Dont wait for things to fall apart with injury before seeking help - learn to keep your legs in good condition!

I'm daunted by my plan to run 11 events this year - but my 11 events total a mere 212km whereas your 9 are likely to be in excess of 320-350 (depending on the 24hr distance)...and I'm coming from a base of a couple of years of solid running.

I wouldnt want to discourage you though - so take care and go cautiously smash that goal! (See you at Sunshine Coast Mara - its on my list, but only as a half for me)
See you there!!

I am thinking about possibly dropping the ultra at Falls Creek. I really threw that in last minute, more of a hey look at this race type thing. It wasn't part of the original plan so I shouldn't have put it on. I have updated the blog - I've been sick but I still kicked some goals. Eyes on the prize. No excuses.

View Postriffraff, on 06 January 2017 - 07:56 AM, said:

Saw this and thought about this thread.

https://www.facebook...?type=3

I got a bit teary reading this. Thank you for posting that.

#24 Haylz

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 08:03 PM

Also, when the bad thoughts come creeping in as they always do.... I think of this forum. I ain't piking on you guys. :Devil:

#25 David C

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 05:33 PM

Hi Haylz,

Just read your blog - wondering how you are going. I see the rogains in the events. I have done these in the past ... some of my favourite events.

#26 claudicles

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 07:46 PM

Oh man. I was so interested to see how this was going but there has been no update on the blog since January 8.

#27 Spectre

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 01:14 PM

So how is it coming along Haylz? No updates on your blog.

#28 Eagle

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 12:09 AM

Yes a shame no blog updates for over 2 months.

#29 RunningSurfer

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 07:29 AM

Maybe the schedule was to heavy for running and blogging? Well here's hoping they original poster is out there achieving some of their goals.

#30 Eagle

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 09:51 AM

RS I agree. I hope she is achieving something. Her goals were very ambitious and that can make them difficult to achieve but then again we need gaols that stretch us beyond our perceived limits. That the challenge to go past where we think is our limit.

#31 RunningSurfer

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 10:31 AM

Fine line between pleasure and pain - goal setting is a tough act.