In case you’re contemplating an ultramarathon, then hear up and study from those that have been there and completed that!! In some methods it’s a lot simpler than a marthon and in others utterly more durable. Run coaches right here will share some key suggestions that will help you have a profitable extremely.
New to RTTF? Then I’ll shortly share that whereas I really like me some Colorado path time, I’ve solely completed one 50KM extremely. However my staff of operating coaches, particularly Coach Laura Swenson and Coach Amanda Eardley, have a boatload of expertise. Additionally they LOVE IT.
I’ve referred to as upon these two clever girls to assist supplies some first extremely suggestions.
This type of endurance race takes willpower to an entire new degree and I realized lots about myself on the way in which. Principally I realized that I CAN DO IT – and so are you able to.
What Counts as an Ultramarathon?
An ultramarathon is any race longer than a regular marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Some widespread extremely distances embrace 50K, 50 miles, 100K, and 100 miles, however there are ultras that reach even past these lengthy distances.
They are often held on various kinds of terrain, together with roads, trails, or a mix of each. Some might need a big elevation achieve and others may be extra flat. Some are point-to-point races, whereas others could also be looped programs.
Extremely runners are a tight-knit group who share a love for journey. They’re identified for supporting each other, sharing experiences, and inspiring everybody to push their limits. There’s a powerful sense of camaraderie and mutual respect on this operating neighborhood, which I completely love.
7 First Ultramarathon Ideas
Each new distance teaches us one thing totally different. Throughout lengthy coaching runs we uncover new issues about ourselves, and on race day, we encounter precious classes we want we might have identified forward of time.
Hopefully you will be higher ready from issues we realized throughout our extremely marathons.
You’ll discover a whole lot of first particular person, as every of us recounts one thing.
1. It’s a Psychological Sport
Everyone knows that endurance races are powerful and we have to keep mentally sturdy to get by way of them. However nothing ready me for the psychological problem of operating 100km. In hindsight, it is smart. In spite of everything, who of their proper thoughts WANTS to run 100km?! Extra individuals than you’d suppose, actually!
It doesn’t matter how match you might be, there’ll come some extent within the race the place your thoughts begins to let you know that that is simply not enjoyable anymore and that you simply actually, REALLY wish to cease.
Preventing my thoughts was a way more tough battle than preventing my weary legs and sore ft.
It might’ve been nice to have gone into the race with some methods to cope with the psychological pressure of the race and metal myself for the inevitable intuition to cease when the going will get powerful.
Your thoughts offers up manner earlier than your physique, so listed below are some tricks to preserve you in the best mindset:
- Carry your cellphone so you’ll be able to learn encouraging textual content messages or name a liked one.
- Have a really clear understanding of your WHY for doing this.
- Write a be aware to hold with you of quotes or causes you wish to end.
- Have a mantra!
- Let the individuals at assist stations encourage you.
- Attempt to soak within the environment, it’s often a fairly path.
- Count on the low’s in order that they aren’t as stunning.
For me, my ‘why’ was to point out myself how sturdy I will be—and to point out my two sons that you are able to do something you set your thoughts too. I’ve completed fairly just a few endurance races prior to now, primarily triathlons, so I believed I knew all about lengthy arduous races.
However doing my first 100km was utterly totally different.
However I used to be unprepared for a way mentally draining it could be and what number of instances I wished to cease and simply cry. It was actually, actually arduous—a lot more durable than anticipated. At instances it was no enjoyable in any respect, to say the least.
On the flip aspect have been the excessive moments, just like the camaraderie amongst runners at first line, stunning surroundings and ideal climate. So in distinction to the lows, there have been a whole lot of these moments when it appeared life simply couldn’t be any higher.
And naturally there’s no higher feeling than seeing that end line proper in entrance of you. Besides in fact that feeling of full elation that you simply achieved one thing that most individuals wouldn’t even dream about doing.
2. It’s an Consuming and Consuming Race
It’s a lot more durable to eat and drink sufficient while you’re operating all day (and generally all evening) than you suppose.
It’s additionally actually arduous to know what you’ll wish to eat while you’re drained, fed up and your abdomen is churning. Being match and able to run isn’t sufficient. That you must preserve your physique sufficiently fueled and hydrated for it to proceed to carry out for you at any degree.
I had a fueling plan, however I ended up consuming little of the meals I had deliberate.
It turned out I solely wished to eat easy meals just like the bananas and watermelon that have been provided at assist stations in the course of the race, and the odd sandwich that I had packed in my drop baggage.
Oh, and coconut water blended with chia seeds was superior. It’s simple to get down, hydrating, and offers you elevate. (Amanda’s be aware: chia is a NO go for me, so undoubtedly take a look at these concepts throughout coaching.)
I in all probability didn’t eat sufficient, however I bought by way of. A type of belongings you simply dwell and study.
- Not like street racing the place chances are you’ll be utilizing gels for gasoline, you’ll be centered on entire meals.
- Boiled potatoes with salt are possibility for an upset abdomen.
- Many ultrarunners love flat coke for the straight sugar.
- Sure, you will note a lot of junk meals at assist stations, for a lot of it’s only a strategy to keep on high of energy.
It’s tremendous essential to check out your vitamin plan throughout longer exercises so which meals you’ll be able to abdomen effectively whereas operating for lengthy durations.
Everyone seems to be totally different, so don’t depend on what the help stations present. You may want it, but when not it’s worthwhile to be ready with snacks in your drop bag and hydration pack.
Take a look at my favourite hydration packs >>
3. Strolling is A part of the Plan
Going into my first race, I wished to run the entire manner (albeit a bit sluggish maybe!) However on race day this DID NOT pan out and I got here to study that strolling is ABSOLUTELY OK.
Apart from the elite runners, everybody does it, we name it energy strolling or energy mountaineering—so don’t beat your self up about it. As I progressed by way of my first race I made up little strolling guidelines, which helped to maintain me shifting.
- At first I might solely stroll on steep hills, however because the day went on my definition of steep started to change into much less and fewer.
- By the final 20 kilometers any slight incline was sufficient of an excuse for me to decelerate to a trot or stroll.
- I actively began to look ahead to hills so I might enable myself to stroll.
I do know these are technically operating races, nevertheless it’s doubtless you’ll get by way of them simpler and quicker if you happen to stroll a bit from time to time. It’s not simply newbies, it’s what the very long time distance runners are doing, too. They know this isn’t a dash, it’s about conserving sufficient power to final many hours.
4. Tempo Administration
Proper alongside aspect strolling is simply having an total tempo administration plan.
Beginning conservatively is a golden rule in extremely marathons. The thrill originally can result in the temptation to exit too quick, however resist it. Start the race at a tempo considerably slower than your goal common tempo. This deliberate strategy permits you to preserve power for the later and infrequently extra demanding levels of the race.
Prioritize a managed and cozy tempo that allows you to settle right into a rhythm with out undue pressure. Specializing in this lets you decelerate on the uphill or make up time on a descent, whereas sustaining long run power.
Periodically reassess your tempo technique based mostly on how your physique responds to the race situations and make changes as wanted. Within the extremely, your tempo shall be extra dynamic than a street marathon.
5. Understanding the Course Navigation
Familiarize your self with the course markers and signage effectively prematurely. Understanding the racecourse format helps you anticipate turns, ascents, and descents. If the race supplies a map or course description, research it completely, noting essential landmarks and assist station places.
Following the particular person forward of you isn’t at all times your best option if you happen to’re on a course that isn’t effectively marked.
Check your navigation expertise throughout coaching. Select coaching routes with various terrain and follow following course markers or maps. This hands-on expertise not solely sharpens your navigational talents but in addition boosts your confidence in your capability to navigate successfully in the course of the race.
6. Don’t Go It Alone
I ran my first 100km extremely, alone and with no help crew.
My husband was away and I used to be operating in a metropolis removed from residence. I made it by way of, so it’s undoubtedly potential, however I used to be extremely envious of all the opposite runners who had a help crew ready for them at checkpoints and pacers to assist them alongside after they wanted it.
There’s nothing extra motivating than household and associates cheering you on, so if you happen to can muster them collectively, get your self an awesome help crew and it’ll make your race simply that rather more doable. In the event that they aren’t certain the best way to assist, listed below are some concepts:
- Give them an inventory forward of time of what you’ll want while you see them.
- Ask them to be ready with dry socks or pepto at assist stations.
- Be sure they’ve a smile and “atta woman/boy” prepared irrespective of the way you look.
- Have them tempo you for a loop or to the subsequent assist station. (verify your race guidelines on this one).
- Discover somebody to run it with you!!
It doesn’t matter what time you end an ultramarathon—simply by ending you might be in a league with an elite group of decided, match, wholesome individuals (who’re solely a bit bit loopy!).
7. Plan Gear Properly and Have Alternates
Think about the distinctive calls for of the path or terrain you’ll be tackling. Whether or not it’s technical trails, rocky paths, or muddy stretches, go for sneakers with sufficient grip, stability, and cushioning. Be sure these sneakers have been well-tested and damaged in throughout your coaching to forestall discomfort and potential blisters on the large day.
Layering is your good friend, particularly contemplating the unpredictable nature of climate throughout an extremely. Begin with moisture-wicking base layers to handle sweat and forestall chafing. Modify your clothes layers based mostly on the anticipated temperature fluctuations all through the race.
Having a light-weight and breathable waterproof operating jacket on standby could be a game-changer if the climate takes an surprising flip.
Who is aware of why it occurs on race day, however the gear you’ve educated in for months abruptly is rubbing you flawed or providing you with blisters or the battery simply dies.
Have a bag together with your staff or wherever you could have drop baggage with just a few extra issues than you would possibly want.
- Dry socks and dry sneakers are big if it’s raining to forestall blisters
- Throw in an additional battery or an additional absolutely charged watch and headlamp
Bear in mind, the extremely marathon is just not merely a race in opposition to the clock however a profound exploration of your individual limits, each bodily and psychological. Every step, every assist station, and each problem overcome contribute to the narrative of your private triumph. The gear you put on, the gasoline you select, the tempo you keep – these are the threads that weave the story of your extremely marathon.
Better of luck as you embark on this nice journey.
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