What is a typical ultra running experience for those performing long runs? How are personal goals fulfilled during these runs? Many runners, including those that regularly go ultra running, feel that it is important to have goals as a basis for their training. These goals do not need to be related to competitions. The goal may be as simple as completing a long run, and at the same time being able to enjoy it during the course.
When ultra running: Be patient!
If you succeed in reaching such a goal, it is a big chance that you want it to happen again. By splitting up an overwhelmingly long distance over several days, it may be a realistic new goal. Then you can experience that you get more fit for every day passing. Legs that feel hopelessly sore in the beginning of the day, may work excellent after some time.
A suggestion can be to run 150 kilometers in three days. By doing 50 km per day it will be sufficient time to recover until the day after. That does not necessarily mean that your legs will feel fine after the 50 km the day before. It will probably be quite tough in the start the next day, and maybe you will think in the beginning that this will not work. Calm down, it will work out. However, start slowly and do not stress about it.
Watch your intake of food and drink and make sure you get enough nutrition during the course. Decide for yourself that you shall drink minimum 2 dl every 20 minute. Nutrition like bananas, energy bars or similar should be taken every half hour.
Important during ultra running: Do not think about how fast or slow you are running during these runs, where your goal first of all is to have a positive experience. The focus shall be enjoying being out in the forest or along the road.
To be able to run 150 kilometers in three days, you need a good basis from training, meaning that you should have been running 60-70 km or more during some time. It depends a lot on the speed you want to have. The faster you run, the quicker you will be exhausted, plus the fact that after high speed you will need more time for recovery. Carry nutrition in a backpack, or bring this and other equipment in a wagon for running. If you are running over several days along reasonably good roads, it is a good idea to use a running wagon. Most of these wagons have enough space for storage of a tent, clothes, food and a sleeping bag, if you need it, and are not so heavy to run with. Planning for the run itself, and planning for the logistics, equipment etc, are equally important parts of such “experience runs”.
Mastering the challenge
Having completed such a run can give you an enormous feeling of mastering, which makes it easy to set new and higher goals. Then it can be easy to forget how much preparations that were part of it, in the form of training and planning. It is important to take such planning and preparations equally seriously every time – if you want to continue to have good experiences. This is ultra running.
Read about how to train for ultra running here:
Author: Gjermund Sørstad