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Running expert Gray Rollins recently wrote an article explaining how to train for an ultra marathon:
Marathons are traditionally 26.2 miles. To some, the marathon represents the ultimate running challenge. But to others, namely people who have run several marathons, they simply arenít challenging anymore. For these people, running ultra marathons is the answer.
Ultra marathons are basically any running event that is longer than 26.2 miles. Aside from that, the distances can vary. There are several types of ultra marathon events. Here is a list of some of them:
o Timed events such as 24 hour runs.
o Distance oriented ultra marathons such as the double marathon. Other popular distances are 50 miles, 50 km, 100 miles, and 100 km.
o Events that take place over the course of several days.
o Challenging events that take place on trails and other surfaces. Some also take place on mountains or in very mountainous areas.
Choose Your Event
Since the definition for an ultra marathon is pretty broad, the first thing you will need to do if you are interested in running one is to choose the event that interests you the most. Check out listings at your local sporting goods store or look online. You will want to pick an event that is far enough in the future so that you can have adequate time to train.
Some events, such as those that take place on trails, may present other unique challenges that would not be present in an ultra marathon that takes place on a surface such as a track or the street. The event you choose will all depend on your overall goals.
Develop a Training Plan
Your next step to running an ultra marathon is to find a training plan. Some ultra marathon events are so new that an established training plan may not exist. If this is the case, you will need to come up with your own. You can use an established marathon training plan as a base and just build on it.
If it is an event that takes place on different terrain or over the course of several days, you will have to find another way to develop the plan. Connect with other people who are registered to the event. Speak with a coach or trainer. Look for people who have run the event in the past. Search on the internet for information. The information you gather from the research will help you develop a training plan.
Ultra marathons are definitely extreme. That is why it is important to train smart. Give yourself enough time. Donít try to do too much at first. Make sure you allow yourself adequate rests. Also, make sure you eat a proper diet that will have you taking in enough calories. If you train smart, your ultra marathon event will be a success.
Posted in: Triathlon Running