Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When does the UltraLadies training season begin and end?
A: The "official" UltraLadies season runs from spring to late summer each year. The group training runs usually start a few weeks after the L.A. Marathon and come to an end a couple of weeks before the Bulldog 50k Ultra Run in late August. Sometimes the group continues to meet periodically throughout the year; check the website for updates.
Q: Do I pay to run with the UltraLadies?
A: No fees or dues are charged to run with the Ultraladies. The only thing that we ask in return is that you support the Valley Crest and Bulldog races with your entry or by volunteering at an event.
Q: Can men run with the UltraLadies?
A: Indeed, men do run with the UltraLadies. They are appropriately called "UltraLadies'Men".
Q: How do I join the UltraLadies?
A: Go to "Join" on the website menu. Once your membership is approved, you will begin receiving email updates about the group runs.
Q: Where are the training runs held?
A: UltraLadies training runs are usually held in the Santa Monica Mountains, north of Los Angeles.
Q: How do I find the meeting time and place?
A: You will receive email updates about the meeting times and place. You can also check the "Latest Info" page on the website for any last minute updates or possible run changes due to weather, fire, etc.
Q: Am I ready to run with the UltraLadies?
A: Anyone in marathon condition can train with the UltraLadies. In the spring of each year we encourage newbies join as the training mileage starts low and follows a build-up to the Bulldog in September. If you have a one-year base of steady training (without lapses due to injury) and completed a recent marathon injury-free, you are ready to train with the UltraLadies.
Q: Do I have to be fast to run with the UltraLadies?
A: You do not necessarily need to be a fast runner to train with the group. We will usually run "out-and-back" so everyone get a chance to spend the right amount of time on their feet, and improve as they continue to train.
Q: What are the training runs like?
A: The runs are hard and hilly. But the nice part is... you get to walk the uphills! The rule of ultrarunning is...walk the uphills, jog the flats, run the downhills. You will learn this... and more! The runs are social (leave your competitive ego at home). Nobody cares who gets back to the cars first. Don't be intimidated... the average training pace is on long runs 4-5 mph. Be prepared to deal with altitude, uneven footing, and possible encounters with wildlife. Before your first run with us, please read the Trail Running Guidelines. Reading through this information will help ensure your comfort and safety on the trail.
Q: Are the runs held rain or shine?
A: Yes, we run rain or shine, but do check the "latest info" page on the website for any last minute updates or changes in location.
Q: What gear do I bring to the runs?
A: The following is recommended:
- Trail-running shoes (or running shoes with a wide heel base and knobby tread on the soles). Ultrarunners usually buy their trail shoes one full size larger than their road shoes.
- Double-bottle belt (or hand-bottles w/straps). On some runs in July, August & September you may be carrying up to 3 large bottles (90 oz) of water. You will eventually need to buy a double bottle belt. You will also need to invest in a couple of bottle straps for hand carrying bottles (available at any running store). Note: Camelbacks and other bladder type carriers are not recommended for these long runs because they have been known to spring leaks when runners are 10 or more miles away from a water source.
- On long runs, pack a small snack, a gel or two, and salt or electrolyte replacement tablets, etc. Gatorade (or similar) alone will not be enough to replace the electrolytes you'll lose on long runs in warm temperatures!
- Trail gaiters. These fit over your running shoes to keep out stones/dirt. Go to Adventure 16 (Reseda & Ventura) and ask for OA ankle gaiters or buy Dirty Girl Gaiters on-line.
- Hat/bandana/sunblock/etc(see Trail Running Guidelines).
- Folding chair and small cooler w/drinks for after the run. We usually bring drinks to each run but you're welcome to bring what you like to drink.
Q: What if I need to "do my business" out there?
A: We will try to schedule at least one toilet stop during the run as much as possible. To poop, go off-trail, dig a small hole with the heel of your shoe, and then bury the remains. Do not bury soiled tissue; pack it out in a baggie. It is acceptable to pee by the side of the trail!
If you leave the trail to go in the bushes, always leave your water pack on the trail as a marker of where you left trail.
Q: What is "Ultra Pace"?
A: "Ultra pace" means to walk all the up hills and run all the down hills and as much of the flats as possible.
You might be a fast runner or you might be a slow runner! Sometimes you might be fast on the way out and slow on the way back ;-). Please go your own pace, following the arrows. You are not expected to "keep up". If you feel like running the up hills, save it for the return trip. As most of our runs will be "out-and-back", you are encouraged to go as slow as you need to go on the way out; that will help insure that you can come back a little faster.
Q: What does "time on your feet" mean?
A: Everyone runs for "time on their feet". The slowest runners should plan to maintain a pace of 4-mph overall to complete the distance. A cut-off time will be established for each run and if you are a slower runner you should expect to turn around at the cut-off time and head back to the cars. This means that although the run is tagged at xx number of miles, some of you may actually run
fewer miles but will still complete enough "time on your feet" to finish a 50K
Q: How can I finish a 50K race if my longest training runs are shorter than that?
A: Which do you think is more advantageous for finishing a 50K: Running 26-miles in 4h or running 24-miles in 6h? The runner who spends more time on her feet actually has an advantage over the faster runner when it comes to distance running. On race day, the slower runner will have an easier time adding the extra 7-miles while the faster runner may struggle more to complete those last
Q: What does "running at your own risk" mean?
A: The UltraLadies training runs are unsupported. No aid is provided, course markings are minimal and may be tampered with. You assume responsibility for your own navigation through the training courses; your own care and safety during the training runs; your own rescue and/or removal from the training course, including but not limited to air evacuation.
Q: Why do I need to use the sign-in sheet?
A: Using the sign-in sheet is the only way we know for sure who is out on the course. Always put your car license plate number and cell phone number on the sign-in sheet. When everyone returns, if your name is not checked off as returned, we will be able to look for your vehicle. If your vehicle is gone, we will assume that you returned early and left without checking off. If your vehicle is still parked, we will assume you are still out on the course and we will wait for you to return. If you do not return in a reasonable amount of time, we will assume you might need assistance and we will attempt to reach you by cell phone. If there is no response and you don't return, we may call 911 and dispatch search and rescue to come and find you, at your expense. This is another good reason not to proceed past the recommended turn-around time.
Q: How do I contact Nancy?
A: By mail:
PO Box 17900
Encino, CA 91416