Training

Race Like an Ultra Vet

  1. Training – Sometimes, less is more.  Ultrarunners can get crazy with running mileage, usually at the expense of recovery and quality workouts.  Some runners can get away with a lot of volume and not get injured, but they will not have that upper gear when they race.  Think quality over quantity.  Adjust your training for the distance.  Running twice or four times the distance of a marathon dosen’t mean you need to run twice or four times as many miles in preparation.  Alternating between longer, easier runs and shorter ones with a threshold workout or steady faster pace, gives the body a chance to recover while still keeping the the lungs and heart primed for pushing through the harder sections of the ultra.
  2. Mental Preparation - Don’t fear the distance.  Racing 50 miles when your training runs top out at 30 miles, as ultrarunners often do, might seem absurd.  Your body and mind adapt to the race distance and get you to the finish line plain and simple.  It dosen’t matter whether the race distance is 5K, marathon, 50K, 50 miles or 100 miles. Remember the hard work is behind you, and now it’s time to enjoy the race.
  3. Pacing – Race by feel, not pace.  This is a big one.  Don’t obsess about hitting certain splits; the terrain and duration of ultra races require that you downshift to a pace you can sustain for several hours to a day, or even longer.  Instead of tryng to maintain an even pace, you should focus on maintaining an even perceived effort.  Avoid spiking your heart rate on steep climbs and alternate running and power hiking during long, steep stretches.  Your body will be much better off in the later stages of the race if you don’t crush that climb in mile five.
  4. Nutrition – Eat early and often.  This might sound simple, but, like tapering, but it’s easy to forget when it counts. No one really likes downing three gels an hour while racing, but those that do gain an advantage.  Can you get away with less?  Sure, but you are limiting yourself by not optimizing your nutrition.  Figure out what works for you.  Experiment on long runs to figure out how many calories your body needs.  The amount that is just right for your body is often a very thin line between too much and too little.  When you aren’t feeling good, try to assess the situation to read what your body needs or dosen’t need to keep you going.
  5. Keep it Simple – A crew, drop bag, pacer are nice, but so is just toeing the line without all the extras.  Check the rules.  Many ultra races allow pacers and crew, butt the degree to which they can be involved varies.  Some races, particularly those under 100 miles, may not allow support at all.  Always check the race rules in advance and plan accordingly.

  • Badwater Ultra

    Badwater Ultra

    Ultra Marathon

  • Badwater Ultra

    Badwater Ultra

    Ultra Marathon

  • Badwater Ultra

    Badwater Ultra

    Ultra Marathon

  • Badwater Ultra

    Badwater Ultra

    Ultra Marathon

  • Badwater Ultra

    Badwater Ultra

    Ultra Marathon

  • Badwater Ultra

    Badwater Ultra

    Ultra Marathon

  • Lindsey Lary

    Lindsey Lary

    Jump Trainer

  • Bill McDonald

    Bill McDonald

    Running Coach

  • Bethany Lynch

    Bethany Lynch

    Race Director

  • John Devine

    John Devine

    Race Director

  • Rich Hull

    Rich Hull

    Gym Trainer / Workout Trainer