12 Tips for Your First Ultra Marathon -

Will 2016 see you take on your first Ultra Marathon?
Maybe you went big with your New Year’s Resolution and an ultramarathon is now on your list?

Profeet specialises in custom fitting running shoes and other sports footwear. We asked four of our Run Lab ambassadors for their tips for a first ultra marathon.

Robbie Britton
Robbie is one of the UK’s most well-known and successful ultra runners. He has represented Team GB at the World 24 Hour Champs, won the South Downs Way 100 and recently was in Iceland for #BlackIce challenge.


  1. Get the right shoes. You’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet, in races and in training, so make sure your feet are looked after as you’ll need them for moving forwards. Moving forwards is a vital part of running an ultra, almost as important as eating and drinking.


  1. Run at different speeds. Just because you’ve signed up for your first ultra does not mean you have to just run lots of long, slow miles now. Variety is key and whilst running long (not too long) has its purpose, so do interval sessions and short easy runs.


  1. Rest is key, so don’t overdo it. There is no set amount of mileage you need to do before running an ultra, just make sure you get a good build-up of consistent training. Many people knacker themselves out because they see rest as the enemy, so don’t think about over-training, but under-resting.

Victor Mound
Victor is a student at the University of London but is also an accomplished ultra runner. He won the South Downs Way 50 in 2015, breaking the course record in the process.


  1. Have a small flask of pickle juice handy in the latter stages in case you cramp, certain studies suggest the vinegar may be lighting up specialised nervous-system receptors in the throat or stomach, which, in turn, send out nerve signals that disrupt the reflex melee in the muscles that cause cramps. It won’t taste good but it could save your race.


  1. Try not to listen to music unless absolutely necessary. I’ve had my best races when I was mentally focussed and fell into a rhythm. Music can disrupt this. The only time I would recommend it is if you’re in a massive slump and need a pick up, then make sure you have your set playlist ready.


  1. Try and get as many friends and family to support you out on the course, they can make all the difference, see Richard Ashton here for how it’s done.

Gary Dalton
Gary was originally a Profeet customer who was subsequently invited to become a team ambassador. He is one of the few people to have finished the super-tough Spine Race, and also has completed numerous other ultra marathons including the UTMB.


  1. There will be highs and lows. Accept that and understand neither will last, just commit to pushing through the tough times in the knowledge it will get better.


  1. Get used to eating and drinking on the move. Find out what works for you on your long runs and stick to that on race day. And always carry some wet wipes just in case.


  1. Train for the course you’re racing. If it’s a mountainous one gear you’re training towards plenty of hills, though you may not live in the Alps, find a local hill and work out a challenging programme.

Paul Navesey
Paul is one of the UK’s top ultra runners. He is a previous winner of the South Downs Way 50, who’s also proficient over shorter distances, with a 16:10 5k, 31:58 10k and 2:41 marathon to his name. In December 2014, he broke the indoor 50k treadmill world record at Profeet’s store in Fulham.

  1. Consistency is key. In my opinion consistent training brings the biggest rewards.


  1. Additional to consistent training is running that is relevant to the race. Think about the race and replicate it where possible in training. Does it have long flat stretches? Lots of ascent/descent? Will you need to carry a pack? Will you need to be hiking steeper parts of the course?


  1. The final part to training would be specific workouts. Track/hill/road intervals. These will likely bring smaller gains than the points above but they provide opportunities to work the body hard and recover in a short period of time. Relevant, for example, to running a hill mid-race then recovering on the move allowing you to continue to run well once over the top.

Profeet can help you to the finish line
If you are taking on your first ultra marathon in 2016 and want to do all you can to help you reach the finish line, then you can increase your chances by coming in to see us at the Profeet Run Lab.

When you run the sort of distances involved in an ultramarathon you need to ensure that your biomechanics and support for your body are optimal.

This video below shows what happens when you come in to Profeet for a run assessement:

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Profeet’s services are by appointment only, please call or book online in advance

Call 020 7736 0046