So I know some of you have been eyeing some races past the 26.2 mile distance..well if so, this post is for you! I thought I would share a few pointers that have worked for me when it comes to training for and racing ultras.
Mile 30 something of the Rocky Raccoon 100. Say cheese for the camera!
Here are some ways you can and will totally dominate your first 50k, 50 miler and beyond.
1. Stay consistent with your training. I wrote another post here about this very topic. I think this is kind of the number one thing that will make you successful not only in running but in life. Sure, we have days where we are not feeling well, too tired and need to sleep in, what have you but consistent training will always bring you results. Believe it.
2. Don’t worry so much about how fast you are going. It’s all relative anyway. As runners we tend to be pace obsessed but in the ultra marathon world pace is really not all that important. Time on your feet is definitely more crucial than how fast you are going. There are days for those quality workouts, tempo runs and etc but easy mileage and just being out there for long periods of time will get you where you need to be. Plus, not all ultras are created equal…trail races in the mountains vs a road race, totally different animals. Effort definitely trumps being speedy when it comes to running crazy distances.
3. Take the time to take care of yourself. That means ample sleep, eating the right foods for performance and etc. We all have to have a balance but making sure you are getting good sleep at night if you are running so many miles should absolutely be your top priority. I actually turn my phone off or on silent mode after a certain time of night and most of my friends and family know this about me. I do value my sleep simply because when I’m in training mode I’m all about getting up early.
4. Baby steps will produce results in the long run. Pun intended. So you have a handful of marathons under your belt? Well it would be a great time to sign up for that local 50k. A 50k is only a few miles more than a marathon so it is realistic and doable. Have you completed the 50k distance? Then perhaps you could start doing back to back long runs on the weekends, up your mileage safely and run a 50 miler. Each distance is an excellent stepping stone for the next one. Respect the distance and it will respect you.
Any ultrarunners out there with tips for the group?