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Ultramarathoning – Not For The Timid

By John Tango

Lets assume that you are already running (relatively) long distances, right? Before even considering ultramarathons you need to be in pretty good shape to face the trials & tribulations of the sport and that’s before you even think about becoming competitive. Have you done a marathon? Running 26.2 miles is just the start for the challenges that face ultra marathon runners. Have you considered what it will be like to climb mountains? Many ultramarathons go up mountains. Do you have the fortitude to test your endurance? You need a strong mental focus to become an ultra marathon runner. Are you still interested? Here are some of the things to keep in mind if ultra marathons are something that you want to attempt.

Food To complete over 40 miles at one time, many times per week, you need to consume a large number of calories and they need be nutritious too. You might think that eating just things like green leafy vegetables, low calorie portions and low fat dishes would ensure success in your training. However, when running long distances, you needs more energy than non-athletes. Make sure that you’re eating a well rounded, healthy diet including carb’s and protein. You won’t have to worry about your weight since you will burn off almost all of what you eat by running long distances.

The Build Up Ultramarathon runners don’t start out running 50 miles. If you have run a marathon, you understand that endurance is something that builds slowly with work. It is important to have a solid base of long runs before attempting to train for an ultra marathon. Heart rate monitors are a great tool to help you run at the proper exertion level for proper endurance training effect.

Recovery Builds Stamina It may seem like a good idea to train every day but it is more likely to hurt you than help. Taking a day off between long run workouts will actually speed your training success. A day off may include some light running or cross training to get your blood pumping but the key is to keep the effort level low enough and short enough that your body gets the recovery it needs. Keep in mind that recovery time is when your muscles heal from your training and build so they are ready for your next workout. With proper recovery you are less likely to get hurt while improving your speed and endurance.

It is all in your Head If you are going to put in the mileage that is needed to be successful as an UltraMarathoner, you are going to find that the mental aspect will quickly become critical. Do you have the self-discipline to put in the required workouts? Can you stay focused hour after hour, mile after mile during training? As your body adapts to the training, it is inevitable that you will be sore but your mental strength is what will carry you to success.

Would you like to find out more about Long Distance Training from someone who ran across the country? Go ahead and visit Croix Sather’s Badwater blog. It has real live examples of Ultramarathon Training .

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Tango, John "Ultramarathoning – Not For The Timid." Ultramarathoning – Not For The Timid. 23 Jul. 2012. 23 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Tango, J (2012, July 23). Ultramarathoning – Not For The Timid. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Tango, John "Ultramarathoning – Not For The Timid"

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