Preparing for the 12 hour Conti race

How do you prepare for a 12 hour race?

I don’t know.

People keep asking me “What are your tactics?”, “Are you going to walk?”, “How are you going to approach the distance?”

Some of their questions I can answer, but a lot of the information I probably won’t know myself until the day.

quick running

I’m pretty sure high on my list shouldn’t have been running a speedwork session at club on the grass track for the first time this season on Tuesday night, – really pushing myself to maintain a 6:30mm pace on the reps.  (Super happy about being able to achieve this though!)  Legs still a little achy, and after a 7 mile trail run last night to stretch my legs out I’m taking the rest of the week off running until race day.

My running history?  In the past two years I have run four marathons, a 35 mile trail ultra and a 50 mile extreme trail ultra at night where I completed about 40 miles.  I have run nothing like the Conti Lightning 12 hour run this Sunday before and I kinda like that!  No expectations, no stress over time or distance.  Just me, running and doing my thing!

There are three other solo runners going from my club and a team of five female runners.  The idea of the race is to see how many 10k laps you can run within the 12 hour time limit.  You can finish the lap you are on when the 12 hours is up.  The winner is the person that runs the most amount of laps in the least amount of time.   The teams run one at a time and then pass a baton over to another teammate to continue for the next lap.


What I’ve narrowed my tactics down to…
* I will walk every hill on the course.
* I will set off at a slightly slower than marathon pace for the race.
* I will get through a lot of Jelly Babies and flapjacks.
* I will aim to start my last lap five minutes before time is up so that I can continue the lap I am on without pressure after the finishing buzzer has gone.
* I WILL NOT STOP.  Even if I’m only walking along I’m ticking off extra miles towards another lap.  It makes no sense to stand still!
* I will chat to as many people as possible, cheer on other runners from my club and have an amazing time.

I would like to complete at least 50 miles ideally (I’m pretty sure I’m capable…I completed the hilly Shires & Spires 35mile course last year in under 8 hours), but ultimately I’m viewing this race as a big social event and will be taking cider and burgers for the Sunday evening!

I’m not even a little nervous about the running, but the getting there, camping overnight and making sure I remember to take some food for pre-race and post-race are all facts that are scaring me immensely right now!

Has anyone taken part in a similar event before?  Any tips to send my way?!

22 thoughts on “Preparing for the 12 hour Conti race

    1. Thank-you. :) Anything over 50 and I’ll come away very happy indeed. That’s my next demon…!
      Haha! Jelly Babies and flapjacks are a must for any race! 😛

  1. Oh this sounds so exciting!! You will LOVE the course – it’s the same one as the Thunder Run (TR24) and it is goregous and interesting! Good plan on not stopping – I’m hoping for similar tactics in July. Although am considering seeing whether I can get a pizza delivered to the site! :) Don’t worry too much about post-race food – the catering was excellent last year at TR24 and they had a big tent with tables and hot and cold food being served. (Think is same company running both but worth double-checking). Good luck!!! p.s AWESOME pace at the speed session!!
    Sarah F recently posted…London Marathon Race Report: 2-Poo-Rule, Chain Mail & Nutella Eating ButtocksMy Profile

    1. Yes, I heard it was the same as the Thunder Run and have heard nothing but good things about that, but the TR always falls the same weekend as our club race so is a no-go event for me. I’m sure there’ll be lots of pizza deliveries to the site in July!!! I think we’ve got hot food vans there all weekend actually?…

  2. How exciting! And how amazing that you’re doing it solo – hugely impressive. I’m doing Endure 24 in June which is 24 hours of running but I’m part of a 5 (or 6? Can’t remember) team. A lot of our club are doing it so it should be a good laugh. Though I’m part of the ‘fast’ team so there’s a bit of pressure!
    Your plan sounds really good and achievable. You just got be sensible with pacing and go slow when you need to. You’ll be fine – you’re an endurance queen!

    1. I’d like to do a 24 hour event one time too, although that would be as part of a team. I would literally fall asleep running otherwise. I’m rubbish on no sleep and can fall asleep anywhere! Sounds like you’ll have loads of fun at that.
      Endurance Queen?…I like it! :)

  3. I’m afraid I don’t have any constructive advice, because I would have no idea how to take on such an immense challenge! There is a 12 hour race being held for the first time just a few miles down the road from me very soon, but I don’t really fancy it because I’m not strong enough mentally or physically at the moment.

    I just want to wish you good luck and say that I admire you very much indeed!

    Jess recently posted…False IdolsMy Profile

    1. Thanks for your good luck wishes! :)
      You are one of the most mentally strong runners I know! I don’t know anyone else who runs laps the way you do or pushes through dead leg issues like you’ve had to.

  4. Wow what a challenge! Good luck with it, sounds like you’ve got some good tactics!
    Definitely rest up for the next few days, sounds like you are going to need the energy!

    1. Thank-you! Good luck to you for Monday as well. I should still be coming down to support my club so shall look out for you too. :)

  5. This event sounds great! My goal this year is to become a Centurion which is walking 100 miles in 24 hours. This means that I need to keep a pace of 4.2 miles per hour. These sort of events are good practice for that goal……………..the most I’ve managed is 63 miles in 13 hours (walking). My husband supported me for the whole 13 hours at this previous event. The Centurion is policed by UK Athletics and hence there’s only a 100 metre ‘feeding area’. I will need a supporter to always be on hand to pass me drinks/food/Ibuprofen etc. I have found that a mixture of sweet, savoury, salty, hot and cold drinks.helps lots. My treat is iced coffee’s and honey + peanut butter sarnies. Good luck

    1. You must be a super quick walker! I am very impressed. A couple of my club are planning on running 100 mile races this year, within a 26 hour time limit, and that is running!
      Thanks for the tips. I like the idea of mixing up my food as I think I would get fed up with the same food after 12 hours. Good luck for your 100 mile event. I’d be interested to hear how you get on.

  6. I listened to MT when they did the thunder run last year (although they did that as a team)- might be worth a listen to get all excited and pick up last minute tips?
    I have no idea what to do but your plan sounds good- have no pressure on yourself and aim to enjoy it- good luck!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Coconut browniesMy Profile

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