Well, I’m officially four days into ultramarathon training and so obviously, I am an expert about it now, right? Ha, yeah right!
But, I do already have some thoughts around my experience so far, mostly first impressions from putting together my training plan.
The biggest difference: ultramarathon vs. marathon training
There’s a LOT of running, but it’s not very intense. I think most weeks, I am running every single day (sometimes twice a day), but it’s just running most of the time. There is some hill and speedwork, but nothing like marathon training… I’m sure it’ll still wipe me out, but in such a different way.
Along those same lines, the focus for ultramarathon training is time on your feet. Which I think makes sense, because you never actually run the distance that you are going to run on race day, much like you do for marathon training. So, I do have one 30 miler in there, but the experts say that this should be run with some walking breaks to basically create what will happen on race day.
In addition, strength training is super important. I mean, it’s important when you train for any other distance but I feel like you can get away with slacking on the strength training aspect. I do not feel like this is the same for ultramarathon training. I’ve built in a LOT of strength training — arms, core and legs — which is different than any other plan I’ve done before (typically, I just focus on doing arms a few times a week).
What I’m most nervous about
Consecutive days running longer distances. Remember when I tried to do the whole #RunStreak, and my legs were like nahh? Or the time I tried Hansons Marathon Training plan and it just wasn’t my thing? I am curious to see how I mentally, and physically, handle running so many days in a row. There are some crazy parts in here –> back-to-back 25 milers comes to mind first. And of course, when that happens, it’s when I’m in Vegas for work for a week at the end of August.
However, I also do not want this training to take over my life. I love running, don’t get me wrong, but I also love enjoying summer, life and everything in between. So, while training will be very important over the next few months, I don’t want it to be the only thing.
What I’m looking forward to
I am ready for a new challenge and something different. I love the marathon distance a lot, if you can’t tell, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of marathon training cycles. However, it’s always intriguing to try something new and see how it shapes you as a person. I think training for my first ultramarathon will be a learning experience in itself; as well as actually running the race in Canada. I’m excited to see how this helps me grow and change as a person along the way.
So there you have it — some initial thoughts on this whole ultramarathon training thing. I’m sure this will be fun to look back on and read post-race. 😉
Ultramarathoners: What made you dive into the distance?
What’s one way you are challenging yourself right now?
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