/ Snowdon ultra marathon v Welsh 3000
As I am just embarking on a trail running hobby at the age of 48, I was trying to compare what the Snowdon ultra marathon compares to the Welsh 3000, 15 peaks.
I usually play football a few times a week and I’ve just joined a running club but I usually run anyway to keep fit and my long term goal is to do Trail running Ultras but I haven’t done a marathon yet let alone an ultra but I plan on building up to this for next year.
I was trying to understand how they compare as one is longer but has less ascent but obviously the Ultra is going to be a great deal harder.
I have completed the Welsh 3000 in about 15 hours with just walking and not really pushing myself, plus for the first section I carried my sleeping gear etc.
First thing is, age is no barrier!
I can't comment on either of these races, as I have done neither, but I have run in the Welsh hills (e.g. Snowdon horseshoe, round of Lynn Idwal), and I have done some alpine ultras.
Good training is the key to completing an Ultra - whether you choose a longer, flatter, or shorter, steeper one. But probably go for the one you can do quickest, as building up the stamina takes time.
I recommend you run as much as possible off-road rather than on-road. It's much better for strengthening up all the little control muscles in your legs. Make sure you train for downhill at least as much as uphill. Uphill may be aerobically harder, but there is less technique to it, and it doesn't put the same strains on muscles and joints. I like running back-to-backs as a training technique: go out 2 days on the run. Day 1 you run at tempo pace to get your body tired. Day 2, you run slower, but your focus is technique and technique only. What you are trying to do is teach yourself to run with good technique no matter how tired you are. That way you won't get injured and you will finish!
Finally don't overtrain. You don't need to be doing huge distances to train for an ultra. I think the last race I did (a very big one) I didn't run more than an hour - 90 mins a day at the height of my training. But I was running every day.
If you like being in the hills, hilly ultras are easier than road marathons IMO. Also depends on your goals - compete or complete? If the latter, cut-offs for most ultras in the hills are very generous and conducive to a fast walk. I did the 3000s race (V3K) in 2016, and despite the 5am start finishers were still trickling in until 8/9pm.
Thanks for the information and tips guys.
Im very competitive, so I’m guessing I’d want to complete it as fast as possible but I suppose until I’ve done a few events I won’t really know what I can do
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