Ways to Prepare for Back to Back Ultras.

So I know some of you haven’t quite taken the leap into ultrarunning land but for those of us that enjoy the pain train BEYOND the 26.2 distance, this one is for you! As someone who has done many ultras over the last few years I thought we would discuss a few ways you can mentally and physically prepare for some back to back races! Here are a few ways I like to get my body and mind ready.

It helps if your ultra races are spread at least a month or two apart. One of the most important things is recovery time when it comes to back to back racing. And even more so when the mileage is greater. So let your body recover and charge your batteries before jumping into the next one.

Training wise, make sure you include back to back long runs in your schedule. There are a lot of training plans online that are free that will include this as well. So find one that is tailored to your lifestyle. But the back to back long runs will make you such an efficient runner…a powerhouse of sorts. Time on your feet is crucial.

You may want to decide which race you want to be more of a harder effort. For instance you have a 50k and then a 50 miler 2-3 weeks later, perhaps focus on racing the 50k harder and then running the 50 miler at an easier effort. Or, you could utilize the 50k as more of a training run and then race the 50 miler. It all depends on what your goals are. But it is a fun way to play around with the distances and then lessens your likelihood of injury. Win win.

Stay on top of your stretching/massage work. I’ve said this in many other posts over the years but massage therapy has literally saved my running life and prevented me from injury in such a major way. I really want to say it is one of the things that keeps me healthy and strong. I use my flex spending account benefits with work and helps with being able to pay for it on a monthly basis. But if you can’t afford consistent sports massages make sure you stay diligent with foam rolling. And also yoga. It should become a staple in your fitness routine. Strength training is just as crucial. I would say include that as well as cross training at least 2-3 times a week. You don’t have to be an olympic lifter either. Even bodyweight exercises like planks/pushups/core work are beneficial.

Where my ultrarunners at?! What are some other ways you can prep for back to back ultras? Or back to back races in general…all runners feel free to chime in!

8 thoughts on “Ways to Prepare for Back to Back Ultras.

  1. I haven’t run an ultra, but I’m training for one. I now have a routine of leg and hip stretches that I try to do twice a day. Discovering the routine was a godsend! Thanks for the reminder about the roller, I had nearly forgotten.

  2. I’ve been working regular chiro visits and massage into my recovery for a while now and I agree that it makes such a big difference!

    • Absolutely! I used to see the chiro a ton too especially when I was sitting more at work. Having the varidesk and the option to stand and move more during the day is amazing and has actually lessened my need for constant chiro appointments. But I am a total believer in chiro work! It can really be a game changer with running.

  3. I’m doing both the Cowtown 50k and Hachie 50 also. I did Cowtown 50k – 6 years back, but Hachie will be my first attempt at 50 miles – appreciate this post as I need to remember the stretching & rolling.
    Any nutrition guidance making the jump to a 50 miler? For marathons, I am fine with just eating breakfast before and then gels/sports drinks/water while running. I’m not sure gels alone will get me through 50 miles. Food suggestions or tips for a 50 miler??

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