Running really far is really cool (in our opinion). You’re able see incredible places, explore incredible surrounding and travel to some of the most beautiful places on earth all in favour of bagging some miles in the bank. Whilst it allows all of these wonderful things, plus the opportunity to story tell your way through the next few months it’s most certainly not something that should be taken lightly, especially if you’re talking about ‘multi stage’ races. Ultra marathons place a huge amount of stress on your body, mentally and physically and they require months of prep to ensure you’re ready for the toll they take. Approaching these with any care less than that is quite frankly a little silly.
With such challenges becoming so ‘cool’ we’re seeing more and more people dive into them. This we back 100%, and remain incredibly excited when we hear of people signing themselves up to said adventures. What doesn’t excite us is when people totally disregard the process, so for what’s its worth here’s a few pointers for people hovering their mouse over the ‘book now’ button.
1) Give yourself time.
It’s easy to get excited (trust me, I’ve done it) and just sign up because your mates said it’ll be fun but this is no walk in the park. Unless you’re already at a stage where your mileage is high enough to transfer to the specific training required, or your an experienced ultra marathon runner these things take and NEED time. If you don’t allow said time your simply asking for something to go wrong, and it’s likely that something will put a stop to the end goal.
2) Seek advice.
Again, unless you’re an ultra running veteran, or a coach loaded with the knowledge needed get help. Not only will this help with a steady progression and balancing loads, it’ll help keep your mind at ease knowing your doing enough, but not too much. We recommend TTH coaches Brad or Luke, but we’ve also heard and seen great things from Tom Craggs, Jordan Foster and Holly Rush.
3) Train for the specifics.
If you’re planning on running 100kms 3 track days and 2 HIIT classes are not the answer. Even more so, if you’re planning on running big back to back days PRACTICE THEM. Running consecutive big mileage days is not something that the body will be used to if you have not previously practiced it, just like tightrope walking is something likely to be successful if you have not previously spent some time on the rope. Just like with the tightrope, if you have not spent time doing what is required it’s likely you’ll fall, and pretty fast and pretty hard.
So let’s switch our sensible hats on here shall we kids, when considering something like repeatedly throwing your body against the floor for multiple hours along tricky terrain and undulating grounds. The body requires prep, practice and a whole lot of love. If you can commit to these things you can likely commit to a successful serving of some seriously good endorphins and one hell of an adventure. And let us tell you, it won’t be the last.
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