Eight Point Two

First Time Ultra Marathon
As the ‘trail ultra marathon novice’ of the Dig Deep team I thought I’d share my experiences of my first ever trail ultra marathon in case any of you who have signed up to the Suffolk trail ultra marathon or the Peak District trail ultras as a first-timer and are feeling a little daunted!   I signed up to my ultra after a large well deserved glass of wine whilst chock-a-block full of endorphins after a successful if much shorter trail race.
 I gave myself 4 months to train – I’d never done a marathon, or even a half marathon, however 4 months at that point seemed an age away – lots of time to think about training…
 1 month passed with getting regular trail runs in.  I was doing a steady 20 miles a week, which for me was very good.  I’d finish work and head out to the fields with a more experienced ultra runner to get in some miles before the sun went down.  I managed to do little and regular – every evening, even if training didn’t go well (which it didn’t a lot of the time!), I celebrated the fact that even if I only did 2 miles, I was doing 2 miles more than I would be sitting on the couch!
ultra marathon training

ultra marathon training

 So for those of you who are training at the moment and it’s your first time – don’t despair if sometimes it doesn’t go your way, or your legs feel like lead, or your lungs feel like they are going to explode – keep it up, it gets better!
 By month 2 my training plan had to fit around a work schedule which was becoming more and more hectic.  Although I tried to be structured I travel a lot for work, so it turned out to be ‘grab a run when I can’.  My aim being to get out and do something, whatever the distance, every day.   My point being everyone is different, some people can run to schedules but if you can’t then don’t panic!   The best tip I was given when I was stressing about not being able to get out on big long runs, was to concentrate on spending long periods of time on my feet – even if it was just standing instead of sitting at my desk working.
 With only 1 month to go before the big day my ITB reared it’s ugly head – this was the first time I had encountered it, although it’s one of those mythical ailments that I’ve heard many runners whispering about.  I spoke to Dave Taylor from Fell Running Guide and he gave me loads of advice, involving foams rollers (torture but amazing results) and ice buckets (similarly torturous but apparently amusing to watch).
 The day came, I ran, walked, swore, hobbled, almost crawled but after a few tears I finished and it felt AMAZING!  The day after, despite not being able to walk, I felt invincible.  The feeling of pushing your body to it’s limits and then pushing past those limits was addictive and a bit surprising.  It’s interesting to find out what you can really do, especially when you think you can’t.
 If you’ve been mulling it over and I have convinced you to have a go then check out our latest trail race weekend in Suffolk  🙂 –  we are celebrating all things awesome about trail running.  There are 2 trail ultra marathons and 2 shorter trail races to choose from.  It follows the same format as the Dig Deep Peak District and there will be camping, BBQs, running lectures, running shop, running films and of course 4  stunning races to choose from that take you across the most beautiful parts of the Suffolk countryside.
Dig Deep Suffolk Trail Races:
Trail races and ultra marathons in Suffolk

Trail races and ultra marathons in Suffolk

Ultra Tour of Suffolk – 50 mile trail ultra marathon in Suffolk – on trails through ancient woodland, pretty villages, open countryside and on coastal trails.
 Suffolk Trail Intro Ultra – 28 mile trail ultra marathon – perfect first timer ultra marathon, or if you are making the move from road running to trails.
 Rendlesham 20km – 20km Suffolk trail race – through beautiful Suffolk countryside
Rendlesham Dash 5.5 miles – gentle family jog or speedy trail demon! Come and join us and relax with  local food, beer & plenty of tea!