Training advice from Dick

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by Dick Kearn

Training advice from Dick

Some brief training notes from Dick

Although you're probably thoroughly browned off with my pontifications I might as well push my luck even more with some training 'advice' for those intending to try ultras.

It is relatively easy to reach a standard where you can add more miles without problems. For example you may find you can do 20 miles in 4 hours and then go for 30 and take 6 hours. This is fine for people with nothing else to do for six hours! For those with a life other than running I say that when you can do 20 in 4 you should go for shorter, faster runs. Try for 4 miles in 30 minutes; 10 in 1.5 hours and 15 miles in 2; you may then find that the 30 mile race you enter to try out the new fitness, slips by in just 4.5 hours. I deliberately have not said 30 mile long run to try out the fitness because it is much more fun running in an event - with others for company, medical back-up and drinks points laid on - than plodding interminable miles on your own. Yes, I know all the running mags praise "the long Sunday run" and bleat on about "time on your legs", but unless you are running against others it can all become terribly boring. It is also difficult to motivate yourself to go out in the cold and wet without the commitment of a race entry. If you train this way you will still have the occasional satisfaction of running further than you ever have before, but you can often have the satisfaction of knocking a second or two off your mile time during that daily half-hour run.

To sum up I say go for quality rather than quantity and save the long stuff for races. By the way, if you think that there are not many ultras, join the TRA or RRC and look in their race directory - you may be surprised.

As a very final motivating thought you may like to remember this quote from Lance Armstrong the five times Tour de France winner, "Pain is only temporary, but quitting lasts forever."