Training for the Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge

Well. It’s happened. We’re finally following a ‘proper’ training programme. Not sure what’s come over us…

Or perhaps I am sure and this is actually a sensible reaction. We’ve decided to run the Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge, which features a tough 106km route round the coast of the Isle of Wight with 2,000 metres of climbing (paraphrasing the website). In an effort to not completely fail, we thought it might be sensible to actually do some more regimented training.

Interestingly the race does frame expectations of finishing on the website:

  • Runners – 9 to 16 hours
  • Joggers – 16 to 20 hours
  • Walkers – 20 to 36 hours

I hope we fall into the first category, but we’ll see! So how does one find a training programme to follow? There are many books, advice from peers and the Internets, but we’ve gone for the easy route: a 16-week plan from the organisers that they kindly sent to all entrants.

The format of the plan is structured around three-to-five runs a week of varying intensity with two core strength sessions. The runs are split between hill reps, tempo runs, mid-range runs at a comfortable pace, longer runs at an ultra-pace on trails and an easy recovery run the day after. The recovery run then gradually builds as the plan continues until it peaks at week 14 on 30kms. It all seems a bit perverse at this point, but let’s see how it goes.

Just to mix it up at week 2, we’re looking to run a local 50 km trail run. Specifically the Cold Christmas 50k which is a self-navigating race.

WeekWeekly KMs
145
248
353
456
562
620
769
878
983
1020
1187
1290
1397
14100
1520
16RACE WEEK! (108kms)

I personally won’t be able to stick to the specific days and training sessions, but as long as i do the weekly distance, it will probably work. The other interesting thing to point out are the two points where the distance falls to 20km, likely to allow the old legs to recover.

I fully expect to injure myself at some point either way. Oh well.

Author: Jamie Jones

I kind of like running. Sometimes.

One thought on “Training for the Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge”

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