My First Ultra

‘My First Ultra’ from Sport Walk is the definitive guide to walking ultramarathons for first timers. It’s an online course that helps you build a six month training plan and gives you all the information you’ll need, to not only successfully complete your first ultra but, more importantly, to enjoy the whole experience.

My First Ultra is divided into six comprehensive sections covering every aspect of ultramarathon preparation for walkers and recreational runners. There’s advice on adapting your walking style so that you can be as efficient as possible and save energy. There’s guidance on what equipment, shoes and clothing to use and detailed information to help you with nutrition and hydration during the challenge.

In addition to this, there’s advice on how to structure a six month training program, with three phases of training to ensure the whole process doesn’t wear you down or get on top of you and there’s insights into mental toughness and looking after your body and mind, so that you arrive at the start line fresh and raring to go.

The whole course is hosted and presented by Sport Walk’s founder Roger Burlinson, who has put his entire knowledge and experience into creating this course. There’s not much that Roger doesn’t know about successfully walking ultras, having completed 100km non-stop in under 16 hours & 100 miles in under 28 hours. You’ll be in safe hands and will learn everything you need to thrive, not simply survive!

Course Sections


In this first section, we introduce you to the course and explain all the different types of ultramarathons you can choose from:

  • Health advice
  • Course introduction
  • What makes an ultra?
  • Let’s do this

Where to start

It’s important to get the right start when preparing for an ultramarathon, so we set you up to succeed with tips on walking technique and more:

  • Section intro
  • Change the way you walk
  • Understand the challenge ahead
  • Non-stop or two days?
  • Two final essentials
  • Section summary

Planning to succeed

Failing to plan is planning to fail, so in this section we give you all the tools you need to keep your training on the right track:

  • Section intro
  • Starting your plan
  • The importance of a time goal
  • Conducting a speed test
  • Holding your pace for longer
  • Setting your time and pace goal
  • Why you need a process
  • Building your own process
  • Embedding training into daily life
  • Section summary

Building your foundation

Build a strong foundation and it’ll support everything you do, so we give you guidance on training, equipment and nutrition:

  • Section intro
  • Phase one training
  • Baseline training activity
  • Strength and core training
  • Essential maintenance – your body
  • Essential maintenance – your mind
  • Essential equipment – shoes and socks
  • Essential equipment – clothes and waterproofs
  • Essential equipment – backpack
  • Fuelling your challenge
  • Hydration – staying safe
  • Section summary

Sharpening your focus

Getting into the main training block and understanding aspects like mental toughness, so that you can progress:

  • Section intro
  • Using tech – make your data work for you
  • Phase two training – the main work
  • Mind games and how to win them
  • Into the darkness – coping with the night
  • Challenge logistics
  • Test walks – replicate what you’ll face
  • Look how far you’ve come!

Final preparation

Your training journey is nearly over but this last phase needs to be managed carefully, so you arrive at the start fresh:

  • Section intro
  • Phase three training – tapering
  • Preparing your kit
  • Case study – Roger’s ultra tales
  • Accountability – you own this
  • Course conclusion – you can succeed!

With this course, you’ll be able to achieve your goals AND enjoy the whole process.