Boris Simbera
Total Running 2'169 km
Member since about 4 years
Post #3 of 3

HI Hunsruedi, 

First, thank you for taking the time for a long reply, I really appreciate the depth of it  I read your comment before sleep last night and needed some time to think about it.  

If I'm honest while I was reading it made sense right away. On your question what I want to prove, who I want to impress? I love to challenge, push my self and with that said the only thing I want to prove and impress is my self. But thank you for the question it made me think that sometimes I want too much too quickly and I have to have more patience. I completely agree with you, it's crazy and I'll use your advice and postpone Ultra for a year. I never run more than HM and it would be too much too soon. My next goal will be a marathon in spring 2020. Now is time to finish training block for HM at the end of October. One step at the time. Thank you for Ultra Bielersee advice. 


Hansruedi Nyffenegger
Total Running 18'571 km
Member since almost 8 years
Post #211 of 373

Hi Boris

Nice to read how far away runners use RC... I understand, that you have run a few HM a few years ago but you consider yourself as new to endurance running. You are going to run (your third?) HM in October and you aim for longer distances. So let's start with your Marathon-goal:

I would usually suggest, that beginners run a few HM before starting with Marthon-Training and that they should be able to run a HM in approx. 2 hours. Why?

To succesfully finish your first marathon:

  • You should be able to run at least 27 km in the 3 hours of the longest Longruns. Be aware: in a Marathon, there will still be 15 km to go. If someone can't run at this pace it is unlikely that he finishes in 5 hours (sometimes the limit until they sweep you off the road). And he will never get near of a distance in his training, where he can be pretty sure "to do it". To run with 9 km/h in a Longjog equals approx. a HM-Time of 2 hours.
  • You should be running longer distances for at least a year, because your body has to adopt to this. Usually you read "2 or 3 years..." As a marathon-runner in spe you will go every week for 30 to 50 km - depending on your goal and time-budget. That is quite a strain for your body and your soul. You have to get used to it. Or you will end up with injuries, overtraining or frustration. And then you will never start in Biel...
  • You will have to run during your training a HM 2 or 3 times a month . So you should really have a certain experience here. Of course a longjog is easier than a full blown competition, but anyway. HM is the average Longjog.

Your plan to run your first marathon in April 2020 sound reasonable, as you have already done a few HM with a nice time and enough time until April.

BUT: From your first Marathon to Ultra, I would allow again one year and at least 2 or 3 marathons. You don't know, how you will feel after your first Marathon (proud of course, but...) and you already plan for a still harder experience? You gotta have guts, mate.. :-)  What is the longest distance you ever ran?

After your first marathon you will need to recover. Physically and mentally, as you will have trained the whole winter through. RC would give you about one month off with only easy training. That is very reasonable, if you run for the first time a marathon. And even a hard blown long-distance-runner will need a few days off, after 42 km. My experience: the muscles in my bum ached for weeks after my premiere. You would have 8 weeks between Marathon and 56 km. So you risk to either start without a decent recovery or without a proper training. 

And, as you write: which would be your primary goal? The Marathon or the 56km? Can you try two steps within two month? My opinion: Only if you set 56 km as your main goal and the marathon as a preparation run. But is it worth it? Why don't you just enjoy your first marathon? Try to set a nice time, enjoy being a marathon-runner and look foreward for the next step.

One of your sentences irritates me a bit: "I would love to do my first ultra in 2020". Why exactly next spring? Why take two steps in one running-season? Who do you want to impress? What do you want to proof?

Of course, as Mike says: you can do it. Somehow. In Biel, you can run 9 hours, that is barely faster than a strong marching-gait. There are in fact quite a few people who do it (or even the 100km) as a march. This you could try. You will probably suffer as we all do. But 8 weeks after your first marathon? You might suffer before you even start. To answer your question: Yes, for me your plan sounds a bit crazy. Of course: if you are an elite soldier, used to long marches with heavy bags: no problem. If you ran more than 40 km per week for years, but simply never did any HM: OK. You are a multi-sport addict? Go for it. But as you write: you want to enjoy the run and be injury-free. So I would postpone it to 2021. Take step by step. Then you can start with the experience of a few marathons. And you can set up a perfect plan for the 56 km. And you will know how you feel after 40 km. My experience: the suffering is not in the middle: it is the whole f... last hour, if you are running at your limit.

To be clear: there is no easy way out in the 56 km race in Biel. If you have to give up between km 22 and 56 you are more or less in the middle of nowhere and it would be tricky to get back to your hotel. You will get back sometimes. But first you will have to wait for the sweeper-car. And Biel is not completely flat, by the way. And quite a lot of people consider night-runs harder than day-races.  

My tip: run your marathon. Then plan your next step. If you recover quickly, you might try the HM in Biel. Even that  would be a stress for your body. But if you run it as a longjog, then it could be the re-start for your next (autumn)-marathon training. The HM in Biel is really a nice run (esp. start and finsh) and you get experience. Then you can look forward for 2021 and you will start will confidence and the experience of the first part.

Other tip: in Biel there is as well the Ultra Bielersee. This one is "only" 50 km and very flat (around the lake). But it is usually early May. So, rather not next year. But would be easier than the 56 km, if you look for easy Ultras.

If you are interested, you find "Laufberichte" of both runs on the forum. In German, but if you translate them with google...

Keep on running and best wishes. Let us know how you decide and how you did.




Boris Simbera
Total Running 2'169 km
Member since about 4 years
Post #2 of 3

Thanks, Mike for the reply, it will be my first full marathon and first 56K so no time goals. 

My goal will be to train hard, be injury-free and enjoy,  of course, I expect suffering in the middle hehe :) 

For my HM this October I have a time-oriented goal because I run it the past. 

Do you recommend I set 56K In June as my primary goal and 42 K in April as secondary? 



Mike Oberli
Total Running 3'734 km
Member since over 13 years
Post #491 of 540

Hi Boris

You like to run 56km 8 weeks after Marathon. There are people they run 10 or more Marathon in a year. This is possible, as long as you don't like to run at your limit all the time.

According to how fast you like to run your Marathon and the 56km it is no problem, or you will endless sufer.

All the best


Boris Simbera
Total Running 2'169 km
Member since about 4 years
Post #1 of 3

Hi Guys, 

My name is Boris and I'm from Slovenia. I'm very new to endurance running. I did complete HM back in 2014 and 2015, and this year I am training with  RC for HM on October 27th. I love long runs:) and my goal for this year HM is 1.55.  I'm planing my season 2020 and would love to hear your advice. 

My plan is to do my first Marathon on 5th of April 2020. I'll have 20 weeks after my HM which is a good time to build a base and prepare for my first 42k. Is too crazy to do Biel 56k on June 4th, 2020? This is just 8 weeks after my first marathon.  I would love to do my first ultra in 2020 but not trails and when I was looking for 50 k  races Beil was the only one at least which I came across. 

So my question.... Is my plan too much? Do you recommend other 50k race in 2020? I want to plan my 2020 season and need your help.


Thank you in advance