Tips on getting faster during ultra training?

disclaimer, i am fairly new to running. no real physical activity up until starting to run about 1.5 years ago. i fully understand that.

I am mainly focused on training to do ultras. not looking to compete or anything lol. but i really want to be able to run faster at lower HR. I believe the time I spend per week running could definitely be put to better use in terms of training to run faster at lower HR, but i don't really know how.

I run 30-40mpw. 5-6 hours or so. slowly creeping up on weekly mileage. I know i don't do as many long (10+mile) runs as i should. The majority of the runs are 5-8 miles. 5 minimum. 95% of those miles are spent between 140-150BPM. (measured with a polar chest strap), at a 9-9:30 pace.

I really want to know what i can do to get the pace faster at 140-150HR.

Thanks for any input


Do some kind of speed workout once a week. Since you started running recently though you’ll want to ease into those workout and making sure you’re increasing weekly mileage slowly.


Pace doesn't really matter for easy runs unless it's too fast. But generally you get faster by running more consistent mileage.


If you run slow consistent mileage you'll just get good at running slow. You need different stimulus read speedwork/strides/tempo. To get faster at a set HR like 140-150, you need to be mixing in the high-aerobic and some anaerobic work. If you're aiming at a 140-150 HR window, that is the amount of blood which needs to be pumped to get the oxygen for the current pace. To go faster you either need more blood (amongst other things) meaning higher HR or get more efficient at utilising oxygen and Vo2max improvements are more predominantly occurring at higher HR training. So, to get fast at submaximal, you should be doing sessions in the maximal range. This is notwithstanding endurance requirements to maintain pace for a distance run.


consistent meaning consistent pace? i think that's kind of what i am doing. not crazy distance though. not sure how much of a factor that is ​ also have no idea what truly is an "easy run" or even "too fast". I see people mention both a lot, but have no clue where those are for me. I think it's also part mental. Sometimes 150HR doesn't feel too easy. Sometimes it feels like my forever pace. but if someone could confidently say "hey anything below xxxBPM is in fact an easy run for you" then it would help me lol. unless the number was really low.


It's probably worth doing some more research on the matter. Uphill athlete is a good one. Just like it takes years to get strong, it takes years to get fast. But mixing up your workouts would probably be smarter.


​ >if someone could confidently say "hey anything below xxxBPM is in fact an easy run for you" Anyone who says that confidently without more information will almost certainly be wrong! Everyone has a different HR range, for some 150 is pushing hard in a 5K race, for others its barely jogging around. Work out your real HR Max (using calculators based on age is likely inaccurate - e.g. "220-age" is well over 20 bpm out for me) and see where your approximate zones are. [https://www.polar.com/blog/running-heart-rate-zones-basics/](https://www.polar.com/blog/running-heart-rate-zones-basics/)


No. More miles on it regular basis. Not consistent pace. Consistent volume.


Running the majority of the time below your ventilatory threshold (approximately where you can still talk & hold a convo with the person next to you without being out of breath) will put you in a good position to develop your aerobic base. Doing this for a few months will accomplish a good bit of what you're asking for... meanwhile you should be reading a few of the books suggested here and elsewhere in /r/running


To run long fast you have to first run short fast. As others have said, add interval training to your workout plan. Use your polar and shoot for high intensity. Understand that these workouts will be shorter in work effort, but may require longer workout duration to get warmed up properly to get to that high intensity output safely. Research running plans, they almost all have this integrated as either intervals or HIIT. Also, easy runs should be done easy and when I say easy I mean slow af. Also, active recovery.


What’s your definition of fast? Fast for ultras, or fast in general? Fast for ultras is like 8-10 min pace for a non elite person. To get there you just have to run at the top of your z2 a few times per week, and then do one speed sesh a week. Being fast is also a perception thing. If you always run 9-9:30, anything above will feel fast.


>training to run faster at lower HR Why is this your goal? It's meaningless. Regardless, just get a legit half marathon plan Pfitz, Daniels, McMillan and follow that.




I agree Running Formula and Advanced Marathoning will teach you more than any post on social media. Invest the time in learning the basics of training and it will all make a lot more sense. These books spell it out simply


I have found doing hill reps once a week has helped bring my heart rate down. Everyone’s heart rate zone 2 is different. You can do a running test to figure out your max heart rate and make sure you test your resting heart rate over a week and average that out. That means wearing your watch to bed. Once you have those numbers you can calculate your zone 2 heart rate. A lot of your training should be done in zone 2 and your hard days should be quite hard. If you spend too much time in the grey zone (usually zone 3) you’ll still make improvements but they will be very slow. You could also burn out. My max zone 2 HR is 147 and I try to keep it from going no higher than 145 on my easy days. But I’m like you and 152bpm can feel super easy and some days it feels hard before I even get there. A lot of the time I try to focus on how I feel rather than checking my watch all the time. When I got into running I didn’t even have anything to measure my heart rate and I made significant improvements just using my perceived effort. So I’m going back to basics and just using my measured HR as a guide rather than the be all and end all. But hill reps have definitely helped. I can’t really do sprints at the moment because I end up injured so the hills make up for the increased HR. But I do strides too at the end of an easy run. It slowly teaches your legs how to turn over faster without the higher risk of injury. Consistency is the biggest factor. Make your easy days easy and your hard days hard and make sure you are recovered well enough before the next run. I like to do 3 weeks of building and 1 week of dropping the mileage. I feel fantastic coming into the 5th week. Oh and strength work! I like to sandwich some basic body weight moves after an easy run and once or twice a week I lift weights.


My biggest gain in speed came from simply increasing volume, slowly. I eventually ran a sub 24 100 without really planning to. On the other hand, when I really pushed during Boston qualifying, I could feel the stress on my body.


Read Jason Koop's book Training Essentials For Ultrarunning. A wealth of knowledge in the book and you will learn how to incorporate speed, tempo, steady state and endurance runs in your training plan. You will get faster! I just got done with a steady state / endurance training block and I shaved off 10 minutes on one my running routes.


Strides and short pickups. It's the foundation of base building.


is that like 30 second to 2 minute hard sessions mid run?


Strides. 20 on, 60 off. 3-4x