Have you ever done an ultra before? If you are thinking of doing your first ultramarathon, this is the time for you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. But there’s one thing we need to tell you… it ain’t going to be a piece of cake.
Most ultra-beginners have little to no knowledge about what or how to train for an ultramarathon. So, you can’t just approach your training by using your existing training plan. You have to bear in mind that an ultramarathon is completely different from a full marathon.
Signing up for an ultramarathon without preparation and research is a bad approach, so before you get all panicked on what to do, we have prepared seven tips to help you to work toward your first ultramarathon.
Do Your Homework
Before training or racing the course, it is important to research the course and know what to expect when you are running. If you didn’t fully research the course, it might not go well for you, as there are many different types of terrains.
Studying the course maps and profiles will help you approach your training better so that you can be comfortable on the type of terrains you will be facing. Planning your ultramarathon training is also an effective way to start training for your first ultramarathon.
Train on Trails
Most of the ultramarathons are not on flat ground; instead, they are on steep hills. If you don’t live close to trails or any hill location, you can travel somewhere that has hills or train on the stair machine each week to train your leg muscles.
Training on hills will power up your leg muscles to become stronger and steadier when you are running an ultramarathon.
Back-To-Back Long Runs
Doing back-to-back long runs is essential to build up your stamina and run the full distance on the race day. Train your long runs at least once or twice a week, gradually increase your mileage each week and let your body get used to it.
In the beginning, it might be tough for you to cope with long distance running, but after you get warmed up, it will feel easier.
Nutrition is important for your body to be prepared and recover from running an ultramarathon. Lacking a good nutrition plan is a big no; your body needs food to boost or recharge from training.
So, this is the perfect timing for you to test out different gels, electrolytes and food to see which best works for you, as everyone’s body reacts differently. For example, before your race, have solid food and during the race, take in gels, snacks or sandwiches.
Run with Running Mates
Running a long distance can sometimes be lonely, so invite your running mates along for the ride and have a good run.
Having them by your side encourages you to run further and stronger and gives you a sense of support and encouragement through your ups and downs throughout your training session.
With all the intense training your body takes, remember to take a break and rest between your training days. Make sure your body is well-rested to help muscle recovery to prevent any injuries.
In addition, getting adequate rest and eating food packed with nutrients, such as protein, carbs, fibre, antioxidants, etc. helps you recover faster to prepare for your first ultramarathon.
Do not rush and instead take one step at a time to build up your endurance, strength and stamina. Yes, training for an ultramarathon isn’t easy, so be patient and don’t stress out if your plan didn’t work out because we do have those moments along the way in our journey.
It’s OK to skip a run or tweak up some fun long runs ideas if you feel bored running over the same long distance.
If you have ever run an ultramarathon, feel free to share your tips and tricks with us to help out the beginners to complete their first ultramarathon. You can also try out an online ultramarathon races too!
How do I train for my first ultramarathon?
- 1. Research and do your homework
- 2. Train on trails
- 3. Back-To-Back Long Runs
- 4. Nutrition
- 5. Run with Running Mates
- 6. Rest
- 7. Be Prepared
How much training is needed for an ultramarathon?
Train on hills or stair machine each week about two times per week. Train your long runs at least once or twice a week. Gradually increase your mileage each week and let your body get used to it.
What should I eat during an ultramarathon?
You can opt for gels, electrolytes and food to see which works for you the best. Before your race, eat solid food and during the race, take in gels, snacks or sandwiches.
Can anyone run an ultramarathon?
Anyone can run an ultramarathon, as long as you plan your training plan properly.