An ultramarathon is an organized footrace that extends beyond the running distance of 42 kilometers and 195 meters for standard marathons. They are conducted on various trails, roads, and tracks. Some events may extend from the coast-to-coast cross country or even circling around a large province. Long events are common and are conducted for multiple days. Thus, the runners are allowed to sleep, take walking breaks, eat, and drink.
If you’re reading this, then you are probably familiar with running. You may have already finished a marathon or have just started doing a couple of trail races. Jumping into an ultramarathon is a big step. Generally, you get to run for a long time, so stamina is a must. The amalgamation of all your training and running experiences is a necessity, along with spirit and dedication. Some people think of it as just going to the starting line and running to the finish. But in reality, running, especially ultramarathon, is a high-intensity footrace which you have to prepare for. These are some tips on how to train for an ultramarathon.
You have to set your mind through it. As a runner, your thinking must be firm, and you dedicate yourself through it. With a strong mind and selfless dedication, you will get to stick to your everyday routine for that ultramarathon that you are going to finish. Try to use this mantra: “Mind over matter”. You are what you think, and what you think will be achieved by you.
Knowledge and Research
Before running an ultramarathon, you have to know something about it. In fact, it is preferable that you know every detail about your ultramarathon. Discover the trail that you’re going to run to, what roads, how steep, and the usual weather in the areas that the ultramarathon is crossing. Knowledge regarding this information will allow you to prepare for it. More knowledge, more power. Right?
Depending on the knowledge that you have gathered, you can now prepare for the training itself. Set up a training plan that allows you to try similar trails in your ultramarathon. You have to emulate the course conditions as best as you can. Better yet, you can try running the same course in the ultramarathon! Pre-race running is a way of learning the features and this is done by many people that love running on ultra marathons.
Studies have established that training consistency supports the aerobic development and develops muscle strength. Keeping up to your routine and even improving it gives you more ace to your race. Do not skip a scheduled run! Keep your mind to it and run through it. Just run away from all the possible reasons that tell you not to run. Continuous and properly scheduled running will develop your body to get it prepared for that ultramarathon.
Double check your gear, and that is your running shoes. Is it ideal to use on such trails? Are there any hidden damages? Majority of ultramarathon runners have a backup pair or two. Extra preparation wouldn’t hurt, and it is a part of your training. Without proper equipment, how will you be able to run properly?
Maintain your diet for the ultramarathon. As a part of their training, some veteran runners consume the same food that they are going to eat for the ultramarathon. This helps the body to get accustomed to the same diet for the same rigorous exercise that’s going to happen. Also, as you train for an ultramarathon, the calorie intake may change especially when you get to intensify your training as you progress. Thus, taking note of your diet’s nutritional content is a must for the ultramarathon itself. Bulking up protein is a pretty wise choice for the most ultramarathon, especially for their first run.
You will notice your improvements while running. You get to run that extra mile with more energy left until it reaches to the point that you no longer need to catch your breath after a long run. This is an indication for an increase of intensity in your training. You may increase the difficulty by running on a steeper trail or breaking a record of uphill running. You may even try to run longer distances at shorter times. Some runners prefer uphill sprint to get their heart pumping again. You just have to find the ideal method for you to increase the difficulty of your training.
Most ultramarathon runners are not a lone island. They tend to join training groups or sometimes run with friends. Being in a social group is very rewarding, as you get to push your potential especially if your group sets goals that extend beyond your reach. You get to have fun with other people and somehow learn training tips from others. Sharing experiences in marathons will increase your insight on preparation and on the day of the marathon itself.
Time was put last because this is very important. Why? You have to give time for your training. There are no easy programs like “couch to 5k” for ultramarathons. Allotting enough time for your training is necessary and should be one of your priorities. If you are busy, then you may adjust the intensity of your training. Getting a hold of your time and developing a training program that gives you a perfect schedule is the best way to manage your time. If you can see that you and your schedule may not be able to handle such a rigorous training regimen, it’s best to withdraw from the ultramarathon itself. Your health is more important, after all. You can just join the next ultramarathon event that is perfect for your schedule.
This is the most important aspect of your ultramarathon training. Resting time is on the same level of importance as the running or training time. You have to schedule and be diligent in your resting time. With the emulated training conditions for the ultramarathon, having an idea on when and how to rest will allow you to perfectly manage your time during the day of the run itself. Also, do not overwork your muscles frequently during training. This will increase the risk of injury and may cost you your chance to run at the ultramarathon. Give time to rest.
These are the tips on how to train for an ultramarathon. Training is the most important preparation for the event itself, and how you perform reflects how good your training is. Just following these tips will allow you to have a jumpstart in your training regimen. Start now!