08 April 16  |  Fitness   |  

The Best Way to Train For An Ultramarathon Is With Care and Preparation

The marathon experience runs parallel to life’s forward movement; it is an outrageously long stretch of steps, about 80,000 (26.2 miles). At a little over a 10 minute/mile, you can expect to spend nearly five hours throwing one leg in front of the other. A half of 1 percent of Americans have ran marathons. Driving at 30 mph, it will take you nearly an hour to travel a marathon route.

Training for a marathon is relatively simple: Run more than 40miles a week and do speed training. You have to be an unusual individual – in many ways – to run a marathon. But what about the great beyond? How do you train for an ultramarathon in Florida? Better yet, why?

Ultramarathons are 50 and 100 miles in length. At slightly more than a 14 minute/mile (which is a slow jog or a fast walk), it would take you 24 hours to run a 100-mile ultramarathon. The short answer as to why someone would run an ultramarathon: Because it’s there, the quintessential answer to all of life’s great, insurmountable challenges.

The body undergoes some traumatic changes during those 24 hours, according to a Washington Post article:

  • Hallucinations are likely.
  • Temporary blurred vision can occur from corneal swelling.
  • Inspect bites are common.
  • Cuts and bruises from falls along unfamiliar terrain are common.
  • Hypothermia is likely after body-energy stores are depleted.
  • Stress fractures and overuse injuries can occur.
  • Blisters are a fact of ultramarathon life.

The Clymb, an online publication for adventurers, details the differences between a marathon and an ultramarathon:

  • Successful marathon running is about pace and speed. The ultramarathon requires only raw endurance.
  • Marathon runners typically take one long run of up to 20 miles per week. Ultramarathoners should take at least one 20-mile run a week.
  • Most competitors can run a marathon on just water during the race. Ultramarathoners have to eat during races. Foods at aid stations include soda, candy, pizza, jelly sandwiches, crackers and fruits.
  • Marathon runners usually don’t have to bring anything with them – but usually, should carry about 2 pounds of additional weight for a water bottle or water belt if water stations are unavailable. Ultramarathons have few aid stations so runners must carry an array of items, such as extra food, socks, gloves, band-aids, Vaseline and a hydration pack.

runners in an ultramarathon

Get Prepared For The Long Haul

Outside, a magazine for lovers of the outdoors, provides 10 tips for training for an ultramarathon:

  • Buy a good hydration pack.
  • Test your equipment.
  • Organize all of your drop bags. Drop bags contain personal items needed for the race and dropped at locations around the route.
  • Do doubles: A double is a long day of at least 20 miles.
  • Forgive a bad training day or race.
  • Study the competition.
  • Watch the weather.
  • Be cool. Start conservatively.
  • Big boys do cry. You’ll get emotional.
  • No excuses: It’s easy to find a reason not to train or do a race. Commit yourself.

Our trainers at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club certainly understand that some of us enjoy taking the big challenges in life. On the other hand, most of us may prefer the short haul. Stop by the Fitness Center  today and learn how we can help you get in top shape!

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